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SSI Live Podcast Series

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Released 14 April 2017.
SSI Live 064 - Strategic Questions Loom Large in Middle East — Last week's chemical attack by Bashar al Assad and the U.S. military response brought to the fore questions about the American approach to not simply Syria but the broader Middle East as well. Can the Trump administration pull together a multi-faceted strategic approach to complement tactical and operational successes? SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni invited his colleague Dr. Chris Bolan to discuss the latter's just-published essay on this topic. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 24 March 2017.
SSI Live 063 - The 2017 USAWC Strategy Conference — On 26-27 April 2017, the U.S. Army War College will host its annual Strategy Conference in Carlisle, PA. Professor Trey Braun, the conference director this year, discussed the conference theme – the Changing Character of War – as well as the panels and keynote speakers with SSI Live host John R. Deni. Prof. Braun also explained how those outside the War College can observe and participate. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 March 2017.
SSI Live 062 - Comparing Indian and Chinese Engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean — Both India and China actively engage Latin American and Caribbean countries in a great variety of economic sectors, including military sales and high tech trade. Where is Indian and Chinese engagement similar in terms of countries engaged, sectors emphasized, and priorities pursued? Where are they different? And what are the broader implications of those similarities and differences with respect to future development in Latin America and the Caribbean and with respect to American interests in the region? SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni invited his colleague Dr. Evan Ellis to discuss the latter's just-published monograph. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 17 February 2017.
SSI Live 061 - Revamping U.S. Assistance in the Middle East — Should Israel and Egypt continue to receive the lion's share of U.S. foreign assistance? With a new administration in the White House and a continuing era of profound change unfolding in the Middle East, the time may be right to reconsider U.S. foreign assistance priorities in this important region and beyond. Dr. Chris Bolan joined SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni to discuss his perspective on how and why the United States should revamp its assistance program in the Middle East. This podcast is based on Dr. Bolan's recently published essay on the same topic. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 8 February 2017.
SSI Live 060 - The European Union, and U.S. National Interests — Over the last two weeks, there has been some debate in the United States regarding whether Brexit is a good thing from Washington's perspective, and whether other countries could or should follow it. This discussion boils down to whether the continued existence of the EU is in U.S. national interests. Should we be questioning this 70-year old consensus in U.S. foreign policy, and how does the EU support U.S. interests as well as its policies around the globe? The SSI's Prof. Jef Troxell joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these and related questions. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 19 January 2017.
SSI Live 059 - U.S.-China Competition & Army Implications — The SSI's Professor Trey Braun and Dr. David Lai recently led a diverse team of Army War College researchers in assessing competition between the United States and China in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Their study examines U.S.-China gray zone competition in and identifies land forces capabilities and initiatives necessary to advance U.S. national interests in the face of that competition. In this podcast, Prof. Braun spoke to Dr. John R. Deni about the report and its key findings and recommendations. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 2 December 2016.
SSI Live 058 - Retired General James Mattis as SecDef — Yesterday, President-Elect Donald Trump unofficially announced that he would nominate retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as his Secretary of Defense. What does this nomination say about the direction of the Trump administration's security and defense policy? What are the implications for the fight against the Islamic State, or for managing security challenges in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere? Dr. John R. Deni invited two SSI colleagues who are experts in U.S. defense policy and security strategy, Dr. Steven Metz and Prof. Nate Freier, to discuss these questions. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 16 November 2016.
SSI Live 057 - European Reactions to the U.S. Election Results — Last week's U.S. election results were not simply a surprise to most Europeans. Rather, they have led to a profound sense of anxiety and insecurity, especially in Eastern Europe. In this podcast, the SSI's Dr. John R. Deni provides insights gleaned from his trip to Tallinn, Estonia just after the elections, and the reactions he heard from students, government ministers, academics, parliamentarians, and think tank experts. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 27 October 2016.
SSI Live 056 - Chinese Perceptions of the American Role in International Relations — What is the ‘U.S. Factor’ in Chinese perceptions of international relations? How is it manifested in, for example, disputed claims in the South China Sea, or in broader U.S.-Chinese relations? SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague, Dr. David Lai, to discuss these questions and related issues, including how the United States and China can escape the cycle of misperception and conspiracy theorizing. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 11 October 2016.
SSI Live 055 - Colombia Rejects the FARC Peace Deal — Recently, Colombians rejected by a slim majority the peace accord negotiated by the government with the FARC leftist organization. Is the peace deal truly a dead letter? What’s in store for Colombia’s military as a result? What implications are there for the close security ties between the United States and Colombia? In this podcast, Dr. John R. Deni invited the SSI's Dr. R. Evan Ellis to offer his insights from his extensive travels through Latin America and his discussions with Colombian counterparts. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 30 September 2016.
SSI Live 054 - The 2016 German Defense White Paper — Last week, the Army War College's SSI partnered with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies and the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. to conduct a roll-out event for the 2016 German Defense White Paper (or Weissbuch). This White Paper was the first written in a decade, and represents a paradigm shift in German security policy. Dr. John R. Deni discusses the White Paper and its most significant aspects, outlines the implications for Europe and the transatlantic alliance, and encourages listeners to watch the entire half-day conference here. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 30 August 2016.
SSI Live 053 - Turkish Security, Internal and External — This past week, Turkey launched offensive ground operations into Syria, battling ISIS fighters for control of territory. This comes on the heels of the attempted coup in mid-July and the subsequent purge of the Turkish military by President Erdogan. What impact is the purge having on the military, and what are the implications for Turkey's incursion into Syria? Dr. Andy Terrill joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these developments and to discuss the outlook for Turkish-US relations. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 July 2016.
SSI Live 052 - Nation-Building and Afghanistan — Late last week, President Barack Obama announced his decision to slow the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, leaving 8,400 troops there until the end of his term. Media accounts characterized this as a vote of confidence in Afghanistan's government but also an acknowledgement that U.S. efforts to build an Afghan force capable of securing the entire country had fallen short. Will the slower drawdown strengthen U.S. efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan? Is nation-building even possible there or elsewhere? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Chris Mason to discuss Mason's newest publication, a Parameters article entitled "Nation-Building is an Oxymoron," as well as last week's announcement on the slowed drawdown. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 8 July 2016.
SSI Live 051 - Honduras at a Crossroads — Since his election in 2013, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has made significant changes in the strategy and institutions of the country to combat the interrelated scourges of organized crime and violent gangs, resulting in some notable successes. Yet challenges remain, especially in terms of corruption, and allegations of human rights violations threaten to undermine progress achieved to date. How should U.S. policymakers react? Is Honduras on the right path, and how can Washington incentivize the positive trends? In this podcast, the SSI's Dr. R. Evan Ellis discusses his latest monograph with Dr. John R. Deni. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 22 June 2016.
SSI Live 050 - The Warsaw Summit and the European Reassurance Initiative — Starting in 2017, Washington plans to begin heel-to-toe rotations of an armored brigade from the United States to Eastern Europe. Is this a significant improvement over the assurance and deterrence steps taken by the United States and several of its NATO allies over the last two years? Are there still shortcomings in the U.S. approach to reassurance and deterrence? In this podcast, the SSI's Dr. John R. Deni examines the ERI in the context of the upcoming Warsaw Summit. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 6 May 2016.
SSI Live 049 - Operating in the Gray Zone — Are so-called gray zone wars -- the kinds of operations Russia or Iran has engaged in recently -- really novel security threats? How can the United States best respond to them in terms of adjusting its current campaign-planning framework? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Antulio Echevarria to discuss the latter's latest monograph, "Operating in the Gray Zone: An Alternative Paradigm for U.S. Military Strategy ." Listen below or click here to download.

Released 4 May 2016.
SSI Live 048 - Strategic Landpower and a Resurgent Russia — Is the U.S. Army prepared to address the challenge that Russia poses to U.S. interests and the NATO alliance in Europe? During the 2015-16 academic year, six U.S. Army War College resident students conducted an in-depth examination of this question. In support of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. European Command, the students co-authored a book on whether and how the Army, the Joint Community, and the NATO alliance are strategically postured and operationally prepared to safeguard Western interests. Three of the co-authors – LTC Reed Anderson, LTC Tony Paz, and LtCol Jay Vaughan joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss their book and its recommendations. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 April 2016.
SSI Live 047 - Defense Choices for the Next Administration — A new U.S. administration will take office in January 2017, and it will face a broad range of challenges: an expansionist China, a resurgent and aggressive Russia, the continuing globalization of terrorism, an increasingly violent and unstable Middle East, and a socially and politically-fractured Europe. Professor Nate Freier joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss how the 27th annual U.S. Army War College Strategy Conference will tackle these and related issues on 27 and 28 April, including through an innovative distributed structure. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 30 March 2016.
SSI Live 046 - Old and New Forms of Insurgency — In locations as disparate as Syria, Mexico, and Ukraine, insurgencies of various sorts continue to unfold. In light of these and other conflicts and crises below the level of major inter-state war, the subject of insurgency is a vitally important one for academics and practitioners alike. But how are scholars and policy-makers grappling with the subject of insurgencies? What are the most likely or most significant threats that insurgency poses to U.S. security today? And what more can or should the U.S. government do to prepare to mitigate the threat of insurgency? SSI Live host John R. Deni invited his colleague Dr. Robert Bunker to discuss the latter's latest SSI monograph entitled, "Old and New Forms of Insurgency." Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 March 2016.
SSI Live 045 - Perceptions of President Enrique Peña Nieto's Progress in Mexico — Halfway through his six-year term, Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto is earning mixed reviews for his policies, especially those focused on security issues and combating organized crime. The SSI's Dr. Evan Ellis recently traveled to Mexico to conduct research into the situation there and to assess the way ahead. He joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss his research and his insights into how the United States can best support Mexico's efforts in the drug war. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 22 February 2016.
SSI Live 044 - Prospects for a Revised NATO Force Posture in Eastern Europe —Comments by some NATO leaders like Polish President Andrzej Duda have raised questions about the adequacy of NATO's force posture in an upended European security environment. The recent announcement of a significant increase in funding for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) appears to be a step in the right direction, but will it satisfy NATO leaders in Central and Eastern Europe? The SSI's Dr. John R. Deni examines these and issues surrounding the prospects for a revised NATO force posture east of Germany. This podcast is based in part on his recently published essay at The National Interest. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 28 January 2016.
SSI Live 043 - Military Engagement and Forward Presence — Military engagement and forward-based U.S. military forces offer decision-makers effective and efficient options for achieving American national security goals. However, factors such as significant cuts to overseas permanent presence and continuing institutional bias against engagement as a force multiplier and readiness enhancer have combined to limit the perceived leverage possible through these two policy tools. Are these tools really still useful to policymakers today, and if so, how? The SSI's Dr. John R. Deni addressed how military engagement and forward presence can still be used to expand options available to any future President. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 8 January 2016.
SSI Live 042 - Increasing Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran — Last weekend, Saudi Arabia executed a leading Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Saudi government and an advocate for minority Shi'ite rights in majority Sunni Saudi Arabia. This execution sparked a violent protest at the Saudi Embassy in Iran's capital, Tehran, in which the embassy was stormed and partially burnt. Since then, tensions have only increased. Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Andy Terrill to discuss these events, the international and domestic-level factors that led to them, and the implications for broader security in the region. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 16 December 2015.
SSI Live 041 - U.S. Strategy toward the Islamic State —Early last week, President Barack Obama delivered a rare oval office address in which he essentially reiterated the administration's strategy toward the Islamic State, which continues to avoid the commitment of major U.S. ground forces. This past Monday, following a meeting of the National Security Council at the Pentagon, President Obama said the US-led coalition is making progress against Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria, citing evidence of reclaimed territory and elimination of key leaders in Syria and Iraq. Most recently, Saudi Arabia announced yesterday the formation of a 34-nation Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, which will share information and train, equip, and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants. Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Andy Terrill to share insights on these and related events as the U.S. strategy against the Islamic State continues to unfold. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 1 December 2015.
SSI Live 040 - Center-Right Victory in Argentina and Related Implications — The come-from-behind victory of center-right candidate Mauricio Macri in the 22 November presidential run-off election holds major implications for relations within Latin America and between the United States and Argentina. Will Macri be able to affect the many changes he promised as a candidate? Are we on the cusp of a major shift in trends in South America? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Evan Ellis to discuss the election and its multifaceted implications. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 9 November 2015.
SSI Live 039 - The Real Rebalancing: American Diplomacy and the Tragedy of President Obama's Foreign Policy — American security policy rests on a three-legged stool consisting of defense, diplomacy, and development. The Obama administration has attempted to rebalance from defense toward diplomacy and development in solving the most vexing international security challenges. But has the rebalancing effort succeeded? Several factors point to a continued militarization of U.S. foreign policy, which has major implications for the U.S. military. Dr. John R. Deni discusses these and related issues, which are all addressed in his recently published monograph, "The Real Rebalancing: American Diplomacy and the Tragedy of President Obama's Foreign Policy." Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 October 2015.
SSI Live 038 - Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Presence in the Middle East — The threat perceptions of many Arab states aligned with the United States have changed significantly over the last five years as a result of U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, the Arab Spring, the rise of Iranian power, the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, and the development of civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. In response, the American role in the region continues to evolve as Washington wields various forms of forward presence to assure allies, deter aggressors, and shape the security environment. Dr. Andy Terrill joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these and related issues, which are all addressed in Dr. Terrill's recently published monograph, "Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Military Presence in the Middle East." Listen below or click here to download.

Released 1 October 2015.
SSI Live 037 - The Fall of Kunduz: Evidence of Strategic Lessons Unlearned? — The fall of Kunduz to the Taliban earlier this week cast serious doubt on the American effort at nation-building in Afghanistan. What are the strategic implications, and is there hope for turning around the situation? Or is Afghanistan simply a problem the United States cannot fix? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleague Dr. Chris Mason to examine the broad strategic context of this event and to discuss the latter's recently published book, The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the ANSF Will Not Hold, and the Implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 17 September 2015.
SSI Live 036 - Russians in Syria — The Russian government is building what looks like a forward operating post in Latakia, Syria. Media reports indicate several advanced T-90 tanks, armored personnel carriers, 200 Russian marines, and housing for as many as 1500 personal are already on the ground. In response, officials in Washington have called for Moscow to back off, arguing that Russia's involvement will only worsen the conflict and complicate efforts to reach a political resolution. However, Dr. John R. Deni argues that if Russia really is the most significant threat to the United States, perhaps it's ultimately in American interests to see Russia bogged down in Syria, supporting an unpopular client government with little prospect for success. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 August 2015.
SSI Live 035 - An Update on the Fight Against the Islamic State — This week, the Islamic State (IS) destroyed a 2,000-year old temple in Palmyra, and Turkey announced it had joined the anti-IS coalition. Dr. Andy Terrill joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these developments, to place them in the broader context of the massive human tragedy that is the Syrian civil war, and to discuss the outlook for Syria and the region. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 19 June 2015.
SSI Live 034 - Russian Engagement with Latin America — Are American interests threatened by Russian engagement with Latin American countries? How do Russian actions compare with engagement by other major extra-regional actors like China or Iran? What steps can the United States take to ensure its interests are protected? SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni invited Dr. Evan Ellis to discuss the recently published monograph, "The New Russian Engagement with Latin America: Strategic Position, Commerce, and Dreams of the Past." Listen below or click here to download.

Released 5 June 2015.
SSI Live 033 - Will ISIS Destroy Palmyra? — Roughly two weeks ago, ISIS captured the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, sparking concerns that the violent extremist group would destroy the antiquities there. What is the significance of Palmyra? Although the ruins evidently remain intact so far, are fears of its destruction by ISIS nonetheless warranted? And how does the political-military operation there fit into ISIS's broader plans for the region? Dr. Andy Terrill joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these questions and more. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 27 May 2015.
SSI Live 032 - Can Russia and the West Cooperate Again? — Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its unfolding invasion of Ukraine have presented the United States and its European allies with a fundamental challenge to the existing post-Cold War security order in Europe. What are the driving features of Russian strategy? How should the United States and its allies adjust strategy and policies, if at all? These were some of the questions addressed during an April 2015 war game conducted at the U.S. Army War College and summarized in the new report, "From Cooperation to Competition: The Future of U.S. Russian Relations." Two of the war game report's co-authors -- COL(RNA) Gert-Jan Kooij and LTC(P) Joe Hilbert -- sat down with Dr. John R. Deni to discuss the report, its findings, and its recommendations. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 12 May 2015.
SSI Live 031 - The Yemen Ceasefire and the US-GCC Summit — As Yemen's Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia announced a 5-day humanitarian ceasefire, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders are preparing to travel to Camp David for a summit with President Obama. What are the prospects for the short ceasefire and some sort of a negotiated peace in Yemen? What can we expect of Thursday's summit at Camp David? With much of the national security establishment focused this week on the Middle East, Dr. Andy Terrill joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss these questions and more. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 24 April 2015.
SSI Live 030 - Burden-Sharing: Can NATO Manage What it Can't Measure? — In the face of continuing Russian aggression in and against Ukraine, and as the migrant crisis spikes in the Mediterranean, the issue of transatlantic burden-sharing remains an important subject confronting the United States and its European allies. NATO measures burden-sharing largely by relying on the 2 percent goal. However, in this latest SSI Live podcast, Dr. John R. Deni argues the 2 percent goal is not a useful tool for measuring shared burdens or shared risk. Instead, he suggests a new measuring stick is necessary, one that more accurately assesses both defense inputs and outputs. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 31 March 2015.
SSI Live 029 - The Crisis in Yemen Expands — Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of other states in conducting air strikes against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen as President Hadi flees Aden. Meanwhile, Egypt says it’s ready to become involved as well. The crisis in Yemen has all the hallmarks of a growing proxy war among major regional powers, and the United States certainly has an interest in the outcome. Dr. John R. Deni sat down with his SSI colleague Dr. Andy Terrill to discuss the latest developments in Yemen. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 March 2015.
SSI Live 028 - Delaying the Drawdown from Afghanistan — The United States will slow down the drawdown of its forces from Afghanistan, and roughly American 10,000 troops will remain there through 2015. What are the operational and strategic implications of this decision? How will this decision affect the pursuit of U.S. interests in the region? How has Afghanistan's President Ghani changed the dynamic between Kabul and Washington? Dr. Chris Mason of the Strategic Studies Institute addressed these and other questions with Dr. John R. Deni. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 4 March 2015.
SSI Live 027 - Prime Minister Netanyahu's Speech and Security Competition in the Middle East — Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress on the issue of nuclear negotiations with Iran. Does the Prime Minister's critique of a prospective agreement with Iran have merit? What is the strategic security context in which both Israel and Iran find themselves in today? Dr. John R. Deni and Dr. Andy Terrill discuss the Prime Minister's speech and the issue of nuclear security in the Middle East. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 February 2015.
SSI Live 026 - Managing the Space Between War and Peace — Much of the available evidence points to a U.S. Army that is not preparing to fight the last war...but maybe it should. Is the Army and the broader U.S. military ready to manage the likely conflicts -- which are likely to be messy, involve non-state actors, and potentially include stability operations -- of the next several years? Dr. John R. Deni invited his colleague Prof. Trey Braun to discuss an op-ed written by Prof. Braun on managing the space between war and peace, and whether the Army is ready, trained, and manned for that mission set. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 11 February 2015.
SSI Live 025 - The 2015 National Security Strategy — Did the 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS) hit the mark? Does it map ends to ways and means? What are the key threats, challenges, and opportunities facing the United States today, and how does this strategy address them? Dr. John R. Deni and Prof. Nate Freier discuss these and other aspects of the recently released NSS. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 6 February 2015.
SSI Live 024 - Jordan's Struggle Against the Islamic State — The brutal murder of a Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State this week seemed to have been intended to shock the world and Jordan specifically. Certainly that has been the case, but the murder has simultaneously galvanized Jordan's commitment to the fight against the Islamic State. Dr. John R. Deni invited his colleague Dr. Andy Terrill to discuss that reaction as well as the broader implications for the anti-IS coalition. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 January 2015.
SSI Live 023 - The Crisis in Yemen — The ongoing political and security crisis in Yemen took a turn for the worse in the last 24 hours, as elected President Hadi and his entire government resigned. The country appears in chaos at the moment, as the Iranian-backed Houthi militia confronts forces of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). What are the implications for regional security, for U.S. interests in the Middle East, and for American military operations against AQAP and ISIS? Dr. John R. Deni invited his colleague Dr. Andy Terrill to discuss all of this plus the very recent death of Saudi King Abdullah. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 14 January 2015.
SSI Live 022 - 26th Annual USAWC Strategy Conference Professor Nate Freier, director of the 26th annual USAWC Strategy Conference, sat down with Dr. John R. Deni to discuss this year's premier national security event. Scheduled for 7-9 April 2015, held in Carlisle, and open to the public, this year's conference will address key principles for 21st century defense. In conjunction with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, this year's conference will include panels featuring experts from CSIS, the National Defense University, the Atlantic Council, the National Intelligence Council, CNA, and other organizations. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 22 December 2014.
SSI Live 021 - Normalization of US-Cuban Relations — Last week, the United States and Cuba agreed to normalized relations. What are the strategic implications of this decision in Latin American and beyond? Does this decision strengthen the U.S. hand in Latin America relative to extra-regional actors such as Russia and China? Does the administration have a strategy for moving forward, and what policy recommendations should be considered? The SSI's Dr. Evan Ellis talked with Dr. John R. Deni on this momentous policy change. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 1 December 2014.
SSI Live 020 - NATO's Wales Summit and the Continuing Crisis in Ukraine — As the September 2014 ceasefire signed in Minsk appears increasingly meaningless and as Russian manpower and materiel reportedly continue to flow across the porous border with Ukraine's Donbas region, NATO's role in bolstering the security of its Eastern European member states seems vital. What steps did the alliance take at its September Wales summit to strengthen its position? Did the summit indicate that the alliance has set a new trajectory for itself? Dr. John R. Deni offers his assessment, based in part on his article, "NATO's New Trajectories After the Wales Summit," in the latest issue of Parameters. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 13 November 2014.
SSI Live 019 - China in Latin America — With the APEC summit in Beijing this week, it seemed the perfect time to discuss Chinese foreign policy. Dr. John R. Deni sat down with Dr. R. Evan Ellis, one of the newest members of the SSI staff, to discuss Ellis’s recently published book, China on the Ground in Latin America: Challenges for the Chinese and Impacts on the Region. How and where is China engaging in Latin America? Will China displace the United States as the hemispheric hegemon? What are the short- and long-term implications, including those affecting DoD, of Chinese engagement there? Listen below or click here to download.

Released 31 October 2014.
SSI Live 018 - NATO's Eastern Flank — The crisis in Ukraine has placed defense and deterrence at the center of discussions within NATO. From a geostrategic perspective, where is the alliance most exposed along its long Eastern flank? What steps can the alliance take to strengthen its position, and is there any evidence that European members of the alliance are able and willing to take those steps? Dr. John R. Deni invited Dr. Luis Simón of the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to discuss the security risks facing the alliance and how NATO can best secure its Eastern flank. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 17 October 2014.
SSI Live 017 - Power-Sharing in Afghanistan — In late September, Afghan political leaders reached agreement on a power-sharing arrangement. This followed months of negotiations after the inconclusive presidential elections of April and June 2014. What are the prospects for this agreement to heal the political and societal divisions within Afghanistan, and how will the agreement affect security and stability there? Dr. John R. Deni invited Dr. Chris Mason, one of the newest members of the SSI staff, with extensive policy-making and policy-implementation experience in Afghanistan, to discuss the power-sharing agreement, its future prospects, and the implications for the U.S. and allied military mission post-2014. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 25 September 2014.
SSI Live 016 - The Unfolding Arab Spring and U.S. Policy — The Arab Spring continues to unfold dramatically as seen in Syria (and Iraq) today. From a broad perspective though, what are the lessons learned for U.S. policymakers and what is the regional outlook? How should the U.S. Government, and the Defense Department specifically, adapt policies in order to maintain influence in North Africa and the Middle East? Dr. John R. Deni invited Greg Aftandilian of the Center for National Policy to discuss the latter's chapter on the Arab Spring in the book, "Political and Socio-Economic Change: Revolutions and Their Implications for the U.S. Military," published by the USAWC Press earlier this month. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 11 September 2014.
SSI Live 015 - The President's Address on ISIL — On September 10, the President addressed the nation regarding the evidently increased threat posed by ISIL and his administration's strategy to "degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy." Is the strategy realistic? What are the major risks and challenges ahead for the United States? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleagues Dr. Andy Terrill and Prof. Nate Freier to discuss the President's address and the way ahead in Iraq and Syria. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 19 August 2014.
SSI Live 014 - Political, Military, and Humanitarian Crises in Iraq — As the threat posed by the Islamic State broadens to include Iraqi Kurdistan, the United States has increased its involvement. How are U.S. interests evolving in the short run and the longer term? What are the likely military implications? As a follow-up to their discussion two months ago, Dr. John R. Deni again invited his SSI colleagues Dr. Andy Terrill and Prof. Nate Freier to discuss the state of the crisis in Iraq. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 10 July 2014.
SSI Live 013 - NATO After Afghanistan — Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited the White House. While the deaths of four NATO troops this week as well as Afghanistan's disputed presidential election were doubtlessly on the agenda, so too were preparations for the September NATO summit in Wales. Among the most important subjects the summit will address is how NATO members will maintain the ability to operate together, as they have done to date in Afghanistan. Dr. John R. Deni discusses the challenges the alliance faces in maintaining interoperability, as well as policy recommendations to help ensure the United States has willing and able coalition partners well into the future. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 13 June 2014.
SSI Live 012 - The End of Iraq as We Know It? — With cities large and small across northern and western parts of the country falling under the control of the militant extremist group known as "ISIS" – and the Kurds staking their claim to Kirkuk – are we witnessing the inevitable unraveling of Iraq? Does the United States have reason, or even a responsibility, to become engaged some way? Dr. John R. Deni invited his SSI colleagues Dr. Andy Terrill and Prof. Nate Freier to discuss the state of the crisis in Iraq, American interests at stake, and the potential U.S. response. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 2 June 2014.
SSI Live 011 - Examining the President's West Point Speech — Last week's commencement speech by President Obama at West Point was an important statement on the path of American grand strategy after nearly a decade and a half of war. The SSI's Dr. John R. Deni and Prof. Nathan Freier sat down to discuss the speech and its implications. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 30 May 2014.
SSI Live 010 - Costing out the AC-RC Balance — Getting the right capabilities balance between the Active Component and the Reserve Component is the subject of heated debate today in the Army and on Capitol Hill. From a cost perspective, which capabilities does it make sense to keep in the National Guard or the Army Reserve versus the active component? Why could it make sense to shift, for example, the National Guard's combat aviation assets into the active duty Army? The SSI's Colonel Rick Morrison discusses his recent article on these issues in the current issue of Parameters with Dr. John R. Deni. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 21 May 2014.
SSI Live 009 - Recalibrating the Rebalance — How do America's allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region perceive Washington's latest efforts to implement and operationalize the rebalance policy? Is rebalancing destined to worsen the security dilemma with China? Dr. Bill Tow of Australian National University recently joined the SSI's Dr. John R. Deni to discuss Dr. Tow's chapter in Augmenting Our Influence: Alliance Revitalization and Partner Development, the latest edited volume from the USAWC Press. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 30 April 2014.
SSI Live 008 - Revitalizing NATO for the Crisis in Ukraine — How can the United States revitalize NATO to ensure it remains a capable partner, willing and able to respond appropriately to crises like that unfolding in Ukraine, well into the future? Dr. Sean Kay of Ohio Wesleyan University joined Dr. John R. Deni to discuss Dr. Kay's chapter in Augmenting Our Influence: Alliance Revitalization and Partner Development, the latest edited volume from the USAWC Press. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 17 April 2014.
SSI Live 007 - Leveraging Economic Power Against Russia — The Western response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine has included military, diplomatic, and economic instruments of power. But are there additional economic tools the West might employ in compelling or deterring Russia? Professor Jef Troxell joins Dr. John R. Deni in discussing the latest events in Ukraine and how the West might strengthen its response. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 March 2014.
SSI Live 006 - Russia and the Ukraine Crisis — Has Russia's President Putin caught the West on its heels? What are U.S. interests in the unfolding crisis in Ukraine? Dr. John R. Deni explores U.S. strategy toward Russia and potential policy options including using energy as a weapon and deploying U.S. ground forces in Eastern Europe. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 26 February 2014.
SSI Live 005 - Ukraine's Unfinished Revolution — Dr. John R. Deni discusses the latest chapter in Ukraine's ongoing revolution, including the strategic implications for the United States, what the events of recent weeks say about U.S.-Russian relations, and what may be in store for the Ukrainian people in the coming months. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 10 February 2014.
SSI Live 004 - Prospects for Peace in Syria — What progress has been made to date in the Syrian peace talks, and what are the prospects for success? SSI research faculty member Dr. Andy Terrill sits down to talk to Dr. John R. Deni on whether diplomacy holds any chance of ending the civil war in Syria. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 17 January 2014.
SSI Live 003 - Freier & Deni on Gates & Duty — SSI research faculty members Dr. John R. Deni and Prof. Nate Freier offer their take on former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates' new memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 January 2014.
SSI Live 002 - Regionally Aligned Forces — Why has the Army launched the Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) initiative? Can the Army achieve GEN Odierno's vision for the RAF given defense austerity and downsizing? Dr. John R. Deni discusses these and other issues surrounding the RAF with Colonel James Learmont, the Army's staff lead for RAF concept development. Listen below or click here to download.

Released 15 January 2014.
SSI Live 001 - USAWC's 2014 Strategy Conference — In this inaugural episode of the SSI Live podcast series, host Dr. John R. Deni talks with Prof. Nate Freier about the upcoming 25th annual U.S. Army War College Strategy Conference and how it will inform the U.S. military's implementation of broad strategic guidance from the forthcoming 2014 QDR and the National Security Strategy. Listen below or click here to download.

The opinions expressed in these podcasts are those of the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.