Nathaniel Fick: The Making of an Officer

Nathaniel Fick

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Nathaniel Fick for a discussion of his best selling book One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer. Drawing on his wartime experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, Fick reflects on the nature of war and the role of the marines in post 911 conflicts. He focuses on military training and leadership with special attention to reconciling tactical and strategic imperatives, ethical issues in counterinsurgency missions, and deployment of military force as a complement to the full utilization of all aspects of American power.


Michael R. Gordon: The Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

Michael R. Gordon

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes Michael Gordon, Chief Pentagon Correspondent for The New York Times, for a discussion of his new book Cobra II, co written with General Bernard E. Trainor. In the interview, Kreisler and Gordon discuss the origins of the war plan, the key decision makers the intelligence failure before and during the war, the insurgency, Saddam's war plan, and the implications of the war for the American military.


Michael Howard: The Transformation of Europe

Jennifer Doudna

Historian Sir Michael Howard joins Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler for a discussion of the changes in Europe with the end of the Cold War.

Micah Zenko: Limited Military Action in the Post-Cold War World

Micah Zenko

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations for a discussion of his book, Between Threats and Wars. Topics covered include the political goals of US foreign policy after 911, the unique qualities of non state threats to American security, the efficacy of discrete military operations for dealing with these threats,the development, role, and limits of drone aircraft technology, and the conflicting views of the military and civilian officials on the use of limited military action.

KEYWORDS: National Security.

Lt.Col. John A. Nagl: Counterinsurgency

Lt.Col. John A. Nagl

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Dr. John A. Nagl for a discussion of his life as a scholar/soldier in the U.S. military. After recalling the highlights of his career, Dr. Nagl, focusing on the problem of counterinsurgency, analyzes the army’s failings as a learning organization. He discusses the trajectory of military thinking after the Vietnam War and the long struggle to recognize the unconventional ways of warfare conducted by insurgents and terrorists. He describes how a group of innovators in the military came to draft the US Army/Marine Corp Counterinsurgency Field Manual...

Lawrence Wilkerson: Vice President Cheney and America's Response to 9/11

Lawrence Wilkerson

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army (ret.), for a discussion of the break down of the national security process in the administration of George W. Bush. Colonel Wilkerson offers an insider's view of the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal that drove American policy in the wake of the Al Qaeda attack on 911. The Vice President's manipulation of the policy process, he argues, led to a lack of a post conflict planning for Iraq and the failure to abide by the Geneva conventions. Wilkerson also analyzes the motives of Cheney and Rumsfeld, their penchant for...

Victor Davis Hanson: Iraq and the Lessons of the Peloponnesian War

Victor Davis Hanson

Conversations Host Harry Kreisler welcomes historian and classicist Victor Davis Hanson for a discussion of the Peloponnesian War and its lessons for today. He compares that conflict with the war in Iraq. He talks about imperial ambition, the conflict between civilizations, and military power as an instrument to achieve democratization in the struggle between modernity and tradition.

KEYWORDS: Iraq, Nimitz Lecturers.

Thomas P.M. Barnett: The Pentagon's New Map

Thomas P.M. Barnett

Military Strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett joins Conversations host Harry Kreisler for a discussion of military strategy, the changing role of the U.S. military, and the implication of globalization for world order and military power.

KEYWORDS:Strategy, Nimitz Lecturers.

Thomas E. Ricks: The Military and the Iraq War

Thomas E. Ricks

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Thomas Ricks for a discussion of his work as a writer and journalist. Reflecting on his career, Ricks discusses his two books on the Iraq War, Fiasco and The Gamble, offering an analysis of the failures of the first years of the war and the changes in strategy engineered by Generals Odierno and Petraeus. Reviewing the conduct of the Iraq War, Ricks analyzes the weaknesses and strengths of America's political and military leaders, the long term consequences of the conflict for the military, the unanwered questions about the future of Iraq,...

Karl Eikenberry: Force and Diplomacy

Karl Eikenberry

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Karl Eikenberry, who commanded coalition forces in Afghanistan and served as U.S. Ambassador there. Reflecting on his career as soldier and diplomat, Ambassador Eikenberry recalls his formative experiences and compares the skill set and challenges of the two postings. He evaluates the volunteer military force, analyzes the situation in Afghanistan as the US stands down, describes the problems posed by exit strategies after intervention, and reflects on the implications of the rise of China and the US pivot toward Asia.