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War College Podcast

 

Erik Prince’s terrible plan for Afghanistan

The United State's war in Afghanistan drags on with no end in sight. Worse, the current administration doesn’t have a clear vision of how it wants to proceed in the country. With all options on the table, private military contractor and entrepreneur Erik Prince - the founder of Blackwater - has gone on a lobbying tour around the U.S. pitching his own plan.

Previous Episodes

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Podcast: Why China won't stop North Korea

As tensions grow between the U.S. and North Korea, onlookers have increasingly called on China to intervene. Which makes sense. Beijing is Pyongyang’s biggest trade partner and the two countries have a relationship that stretches back to World War II. But just because China is North Korea’s closest ally doesn’t mean China has control.

Growing up CIA

Despite some close calls, America and Russia never fought a full-scale global conflict during the Cold War. The fear of nuclear Armageddon loomed for decades but never occurred. The world avoided the devastation thanks to the efforts of politicians, spies and soldiers. If not for some special and unexpected relationships across the Iron Curtain, the world may look very different today.

Here’s why China built that military base in Africa

China’s military made international news in early July when it announced the opening of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa. China says the base is simply a logistics building, poised to protect the country’s interests in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. It’s an interesting location for a military instillation considering the American military base just four miles away.

Podcast: Sex and sensibility in the U.S. military

In 2013, the White House ordered the Pentagon to open combat roles to women and gave the military a three year deadline. As women take on more roles in the U.S. military, both on the frontlines and in leadership, the Pentagon must face an issue it’s long ignored – relations between men and women.

Podcast: We need to talk about the Special Forces

U.S. Special Operations Forces worked and fought in more than 130 countries across the world in 2016 alone (http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176227/tomgram%3A_nick_turse,_special_ops,_shadow_wars,_and_the_golden_age_of_the_gray_zone/)

Podcast: My enemy’s enemy - Turkey’s blind eye toward Islamic State

Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would arm the Kurds -an ethnic minority whose territory spreads across Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. No one likes Daesh and the Kurds have done an incredible job pushing back against the religious zealots.

Podcast: The roots of political violence

Antifa and white nationalists clash in the streets. Students on college campuses patrol the sidewalks armed with bats. A man in Portland stabbed several people on a bus and another in Virginia opened fire on Republican legislators on a baseball field.

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In Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s fight, Iran’s the real winner

Thanks to a hack allegedly carried out by Russian intelligence, relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia are tense to say the least. The Kingdom has blockaded Qatar ports and several Gulf states have removed envoys and ambassadors. Right now, the Middle East looks a lot like Europe on the eve of World War I.

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Podcast: How the Pentagon’s wasteful budget hurts the military

The Pentagon lost track of equipment worth more than a billion dollars, according to a now declassified Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International last month. The F-35 program has already cost $100 billion to develop, and may not even be ready for combat according to an ex-director. The Justice Department has charged at least 20 U.S. Navy flag officers in the “Fat Leonard” scandal – one of the biggest corruption scandals in American military history.

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Podcast: Why a troop surge in Afghanistan is a terrible idea

How many soldiers does America need to turn the tide in Afghanistan? The Taliban controls half the country and continues to gain ground. The Pentagon and generals in the field want U.S. President Donald Trump to send an additional 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to help win the war. But we’ve been here before. In 2009, Stanley McChrystal famously requested a troop surge and got it. In the long run, an extra 30,000 soldiers http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/world/asia/06reconstruct.html didn’t matter.

War College is a weekly podcast hosted by Matthew Gault of War Is Boring and produced by Bethel Habte, podcast editor at Reuters.com.   Click here to subscribe 

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Trump clears way for troop increase in Afghanistan as part of retooled strategy

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump opened the door to an increase in U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan on Monday night as part of a new strategy for the region, arguing against a hasty withdrawal from America's longest military conflict. | Video