Exploring changes in the practice of war while the fundamental nature and principles of war are unchanging. Includes mercenaries, PMSC, Hybrid Warfare, revoluti... More
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E66: The Role of Citizens in Going to War
The United States of America is a republic founded on democratic principles. Not a democracy, but a republic. That means that, except in rare circumstances, the citizens do not vote on issues at the national level. Instead, we elect representatives of the people and of the component states of the United States to make those decisions. That does not, however, absolve those citizens for decisions about war, peace, what goes before, and what comes after. This episode addresses the role of the citizenry in national military strategy and how to properly exercise that role.
Traditional folksong, “Garryowen,” recorded by the U.S. Army Strings
Copland, "Fanfare for the Common Man"
Holst, “The Planets: Mars Bringer of War,” downloaded from the Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/lp_holst-the-planets_gustav-holst-leopold-stokowski-los-angeles
Richard Wagner, “Siegfried Fantasie,” recorded by the USMC Band
E65: The Battlefield Staff Ride
Why do we study old battles? Historic examples of strategy help us to understand enduring lessons about why nations win or don’t win wars. But historic battles and campaigns were fought using weapons, tactics, and other technology that have little relevance to modern warfare. What is the value in studying them and if we should, then how should we go about it? This episode describes one technique: the Battlefield Staff Ride.
The views in these podcasts are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or any other organization I have been associated with.
Music: Liszt, Les Preludes, perfomed by the USMC Band. Public Domain
E64 Military Coup d’États
In Episode 64, Why Wagner, I said one possible risk associated the Wagner Group is the potential that, like previous elite and ostensibly politically reliable mercenary forces, Wagner could be a threat to the Russian government. But what is the likelihood of that happening? This episode explores how military or paramilitary forces might turn on their own governments in a coup d’état.
Disclaimer: The views in these podcasts are my own and do not represent the official position of any organization I might be affiliated with.
Music: Liszt: Les Preludes, recorded by the USMC Band. Public Domain
E63: Why Wagner?
In the past few months, Moscow has used the Wagner Group as the centerpiece in recent military operations in Ukraine. This is very different from how Wagner has been used in Africa. Why is Putin giving a quasi-mercenary organization such a central and visible role in its war with Ukraine? There could be different reasons, each of which present advantages and significant risks: risks for Putin, for Russia, for Ukraine, and for future conflict and conflict resolution.
Music: Liszt, Les Preludes; recorded by the USMC Band. Music and recording in Public Domain.
E62: Mercenaries, Terrorism, and War Crimes
The difference between war and terrorism is that war is, in theory, governed by international law, whereas terrorism is criminal in nature and execution. So where does that leave the use of mercenaries in modern warfare, and particularly the infamous Wagner Group? Are they terrorists? Are they legitimate combatants? Are they both or something else? Can official designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization close an accountability gap?
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For more information see:
The Department of Defense Law of War Manual, 2015
The Lawfare Blog: It’s Time to Designate the Wagner as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, June 30, 2022, https://www.lawfareblog.com/its-time-designate-wagner-group-foreign-terrorist-organization
Les Preludes: Liszt; Recorded by USMC Band (Public Domain)
Mecenaries: Per Killstofte/Machinasound (Licensed)
Exploring changes in the practice of war while the fundamental nature and principles of war are unchanging. Includes mercenaries, PMSC, Hybrid Warfare, revolution in military affairs. For in-depth information see my blog at blog.ctmayer.net