Social Science of War

By West Point Department of Social Sciences

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Description

A production of the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, Social Science of War brings together leading research and practitioner perspective to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the US Army.

Episode Date
The War That Shall Not Be Named: Lessons from Afghanistan for the Army
01:05:32

This episode looks back at twenty years of the US-led war in Afghanistan to find lessons for the US Army. How should the war inform the way we make strategy going forward? What are the keys to effective security force assistance? And is it possible to disrupt the US government's tendency to overmilitarize efforts from the tactical to the strategic level? Three guests join this episode to discuss these questions and more.

Retired Lieutenant General Doug Lute has had a long and distinguished career culminating in a series of senior positions, including US permanent representative to NATO, and is currently the Robert F. McNamara distinguished chair at West Point's Department of Social Sciences. Dr. Jason Lyall is an associate professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College, has conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan as a scholar, and is the author of the book Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance. And Major Sam Wilkins is a US Army Special Forces officer who served in Afghanistan, has written about the rise and fall of Village Stability Operations there, and currently teaches international affairs in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.

Jan 23, 2023
Army Service and Talent Management in the All-Volunteer Era
00:45:27

This episode of Social Science of War examines a range of issues related to Army talent management—from the ways in which service in the Army impacts a soldier’s earning potential to how the Army is responding to its current recruiting crisis. To do so, Kyle Atwell is joined by two guests who bring both deeply relevant military experience and leading academic research to bear on these important subjects. Command Sergeant Major Faith Alexander is the senior enlisted advisor at the Army Enterprise Marketing Office and Lieutenant Colonel Kyle Greenberg is an academy professor for economics in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point and the director of long-term research for the Army’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis.

Among the topics this episode addresses, our guests discuss a recently published article, "Army Service in the All-Volunteer Era," coauthored by Lieutenant Colonel Greenberg, which you can read here.

Jan 09, 2023
Persistent, Deniable, Defensive: Cyber Operations and the Army
00:49:51

This episode of the Social Science of War podcast examines the challenges posed by cyber threats to the United States and how the nation and Army are adapting to the cyber domain. To do so, host Kyle Atwell is joined by Colonel Candice E. Frost, commander of the Joint Intelligence Operations Center at US Cyber Command, and Major Margeret Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point and a researcher at the Army Cyber Institute. They begin by outlining a few of the key characteristics of the cyber domain before explaining why cyber operations often favor the defense, particularly given how challenging and resource intensive planning cyber offensive operations can be. They then discuss how the Army fits into the US national response to cyber threats to include the role of hunt-forward teams working with US partners and allies overseas. They conclude with recommendations for how noncyber military leaders should approach the cyber domain at the tactical and operational levels during both peacetime and in potential large-scale combat operations.

Read more about this episode on the MWI website, including recent works by Major Smith that served as the basis for this conversation!

Dec 26, 2022
Welcome to the Social Science of War: Lessons from Ukraine for the Army
00:54:53

This is the very first episode of a new podcast from the Department of Social Sciences at West Point: Social Science of War. In it, host Kyle Atwell is joined by retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, former commanding general of US Army Europe, and Dr. Rob Person, an associate professor of international affairs at West Point. They tackle a timely and important question: What are the implications for the future of land warfare from the ongoing war in Ukraine? Combining both deep practical experience with European security and scholarship on Russia, grand strategy, and international political economy, our guests' leverage their expertise and unique perspectives to shed light on this critical topic.

Dec 13, 2022