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CNA Talks: A National Security Podcast

CNA’s experts understand today’s complex and dynamic national security environment. On CNA Talks, you’ll find analysis of globe-shaping conflicts, foreign policy and shifting alliances, regional breakdowns, pandemics and other health crises, environmental disasters, homeland security concerns, and the future of strategic competition. Follow CNA Talks to go behind the headlines and learn from data-driven, objective, discussions on the factors shaping today’s national security landscape.
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CNA Talks: A National Security Podcast
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Now displaying: 2021
Dec 22, 2021

Ariel Klein and Kaia Haney join John Stimpson to discuss their new framework for the four types of innovation, sustaining, breakthrough, disruptive and comprehensive. They explain how the Navy and other organizations can use the framework to identify what types of innovation they want and how they can organize to achieve it.

CNA Report: How to Think about Innovation: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/pdf/How-to-Think-about-Innovation.pdf

Dec 8, 2021

When scientists test a hypothesis, they set up an experiment, control for external variables and refine their hypothesis based on their results. CNA’s service StaffLab makes this toolset available to executives to help refine and test their ideas for staffing, organizational reform, and more.

In this episode of CNA Talks, Margaux Hoar and Kelly Diaz join John Stimpson to discuss how StaffLab uses workshops, wargames, and other methods to help leaders achieve their vision for their organizations.

StaffLab Homepage: https://www.cna.org/stafflab/

Margaux Hoar directs the Organizations, Roles, and Missions research program at CNA. Her team conducts organizational, process, and command and control analyses, which provide tailored, transformative solutions to support the vision of CNA's sponsors.

Kelly Diaz is a Research Scientist at CNA and an expert in organizational design and management, specifically for DoD offices and commands. She focuses on issues of command and control, readiness and training, and wargaming.

Nov 10, 2021

For centuries, sabotage has been a tool of war, but what role does it serve in today’s environment where great powers compete in the shadows and non-state actors are important global players. On this episode of CNA Talks, CNA analysts, Alex Powell and Annaleah Westerhaug join John Stimpson to discuss their report, “Maritime Sabotage: Lessons Learned and Implications for Strategic Competition.”

Alex Powell is a Research Analyst on CNA’s Countering Threats and Challenges program. His work has focused on issues pertaining to special operations forces (SOF) as well as violent extremist organizations. His research on SOF has encompassed issues ranging from the strategic down to the tactical levels

Annaleah Westerhaug is Research Assistant with CNA’s Strategy and Policy Analysis Program. Her research portfolio includes Chinese illegal unregulated fishing, Women peace and security in the Pacific Islands, Nuclear posture, Gender in counterterrorism and violent extremism, and Maritime sabotage.

Maritime Sabotage: Lessons Learned and Implications for Strategic Competition: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/PDF/Maritime-Sabotage-Lessons-Learned-and-Implications-for-Strategic-Competition.pdf

Oct 27, 2021

In the modern economy businesses, NGOs and governments are interconnected and interdependent. In this ecosystem it is not enough for these actors to understand their own objectives and capabilities, they must also understand those of their partners and competitors.

In this episode of CNA Talks, CNA analysts Kelly Diaz and Alison Vernon discuss how business ecosystems models can be adapted and applied to issues of national security.

Alison Vernon is a Senior Research Scientist in CNA’s Organizations, Roles and Missions team. Her focus has been primarily on C2 issues, naval integration, and using ecosystems to find solutions to difficult national security challenges.

Kelly Diaz is a Research Scientist in CNA’s Organizations, Roles and Missions team. She is an expert in organizational design and management, specifically for DoD offices and commands. She focuses on issues of command and control, readiness and training, and wargaming.

Oct 18, 2021

CNA Talks wants to hear from you. We are conducting a survey to learn more about you, what you like about the show, and where you think we can improve. If you have a few minutes, we'd really appreciate your feedback!

https://forms.gle/kKakxggL56mhMGaB7

Oct 6, 2021

Federal, State and local agencies regularly use exercises to prepare for natural disasters including pandemics. In 2019, many of these entities and private sector partners participated in the scenario Crimson Contagion, which was meant to test how the U.S. government would respond to a novel influenza pandemic spreading through the U.S.

Sound familiar?

On this episode of CNA Talks, Chris Emory, the Bureau Chief of Health Emergency Management within in the New Mexico Department of Health, and Cynthia Holmes who served as the coordinator for New Mexico’s Joint Information Center for the first 200 of the COVID response join CNA analysts Dawn Thomas and Eric Trabert. They discuss how lessons learned from Crimson Contagion shaped New Mexico’s response to COVID-19.

Dawn Thomas is the co-director of CNA’s Center for Emergency Management Operations. Dawn has written, executed and evaluated more than 60 exercises, in the fields of health and medical operations, animal disease and public health.

Eric Trabert is the Director of CNA’s Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience. He has evaluated the public health responses to more than a dozen emergencies, including the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic, and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Chris Emory is the Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Health Emergency Management within the New Mexico Department of Health.

Cynthia Holmes is currently an instructor with NCBRT out of Louisiana State University. Before this position, she served as the training and exercise manager for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. During this time, she served as the coordinator for the Joint Information Center for the first 200 days of the COVID Response.

Sep 22, 2021

Rear Admiral Mike McDevitt (ret.) sits down with Kevin Pollpeter to discuss his book, “China as a Twenty-First Century Naval Power.” They cover topics including China’s military presence abroad, the dispute over the South China Sea, and how the U.S. can continue to support its allies in the region.

Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt (retired) is a senior fellow at CNA. During his 34-year naval career, McDevitt held four at-sea commands, including command of an aircraft carrier battle group. He spent all of his operational time in the Pacific, including a two-year assignment in Sasebo, Japan. McDevitt was Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Fellow at the Naval War College.

Kevin Pollpeter is a research scientist in the CNA China Studies Program. He is an internationally recognized expert on China's space program and is widely published on Chinese national security issues, focusing on Chinese military modernization, China's defense industry, and Chinese views on information warfare.

Sep 8, 2021

In part two of their discussion, CNA counterterrorism experts Alex Powell and Jon Schroden sit down with James Cunningham the lead author for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). 

They discuss some positive takeaways from the development of the Afghan National Security Forces and what lessons the U.S. government can learn from Afghanistan.

Timestamps by Topic

1:17: Were there effective approaches to developing the Afghan National Security Forces?

7:05: What lessons should the U.S. government learn from Afghanistan?

12:59: Will the U.S. government make any actionable change because of these lessons?

Guest Biographies

James Cunningham is the lead author and project lead for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction focused on reconstructing the ANDSF.  For over 16 years, James has worked Afghanistan-related issues as a member of the Intelligence community and providing independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction programming.

Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Countering Threats and Challenges Program (CTCP), whose mission is to support US government efforts to better understand and counter state and non-state threats and challenges. Schroden has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times.

Alex Powell is an expert on terrorist group tactics, counterterrorism, and special operations forces (SOF).  He has worked extensively on security issues in Afghanistan, traveling there numerous times to conduct assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

Additional Resources

SIGAR Website: https://www.sigar.mil/

Divided Responsibility: Lessons from U.S. Security Sector Assistance Efforts in Afghanistan, June 2019 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-19-39-LL.pdf)

Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, September 2017 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-17-62-LL.pdf)

Sep 1, 2021

In this episode, CNA counterterrorism experts Alex Powell and Jon Schroden sit down with James Cunningham the lead author for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). 

They discuss the collapse of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the face of the Taliban offensive, how the Taliban were able to take territory with so little resistance and problems with how the U.S. military trained the ANDSF.

Guest Biographies

James Cunningham is the lead author and project lead for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction focused on reconstructing the ANDSF.  For over 16 years, James has worked Afghanistan-related issues as a member of the Intelligence community and providing independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction programming.

Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Countering Threats and Challenges Program (CTCP), whose mission is to support US government efforts to better understand and counter state and non-state threats and challenges. Schroden has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times.

Alex Powell is an expert on terrorist group tactics, counterterrorism, and special operations forces (SOF).  He has worked extensively on security issues in Afghanistan, traveling there numerous times to conduct assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

Additional Resources

SIGAR Website: https://www.sigar.mil/

Divided Responsibility: Lessons from U.S. Security Sector Assistance Efforts in Afghanistan, June 2019 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-19-39-LL.pdf)

Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, September 2017 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-17-62-LL.pdf)

 

Aug 25, 2021

The collapse of the Afghan government to Taliban fighters has prompted the U.S. and its allies to evacuate their citizens from the country. However, China has bucked the trend by leaving its embassy in Kabul open and suggesting that it is interested in a cooperative relationship with the Taliban.

CNA analyst, Brian Waidelich joins John Stimpson, to discuss how China has a history of playing both sides when it comes to Afghan and how they might leverage their existing relationship with the Taliban to further their interests in the region.

CNA Report-Beyond Belt and Road: https://www.cna.org/research/OBOR

Brian Waidelich is a Research Scientist in CNA’s Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Program. His research interests include Chinese foreign policy and security affairs, as well as strategic competition.

Aug 11, 2021

Ariel Klein and Kaia Haney join John Stimpson to discuss their new framework for the four types of innovation, sustaining, breakthrough, disruptive and comprehensive.  They explain how the Navy and other organizations can use the framework to identify what types of innovation they want and how they can organize to achieve it.  

Ariel Klein is a Senior Research Scientist with CNA’s Organizational Roles and Mission Operations Program.

Kara Haney is a research intern at CNA. She is currently pursuing her master’s at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

CNA Report: How to Think about Innovation: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/PDF/How-to-Think-about-Innovation.pdf

 
Jul 28, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, Jonathan Schroden and Carter Malkasian join Elizabeth Cutler to discuss the ongoing U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Jul 14, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, we are covering the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Iran and China which was signed on March 27, 2021. CNA analysts Mike Connell and Jeffrey Becker discuss the provisions of this deal, what both sides hope to get out of it, and what it means for the United States.

CNA Report: Beyond Belt and Road: https://www.cna.org/research/OBOR


Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Jun 30, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, Jamie Biglow and Lars Hanson from CNA welcome Shawn Talmadge Deputy Secretary of public safety and homeland security for Virginia. Together the three of them discuss how states can protect their critical infrastructure in the age of cyber-attacks.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Jun 16, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, Ralph Espach welcomes Joseph Tulchin of the WWICS Group and Román Ortiz of the National Defense University. Together they discuss the current security situation in Latin America, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of China in the region.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

 
Jun 2, 2021

This time on our Polar Politics occasional series, Josh Tallis sits down with Dr. Cameron Carlson of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick of Montclair State University. They discuss the idea of Arctic identities in The Arctic states, how they compare between different nations, and their impact on great power competition in the region.

 

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

May 19, 2021

In this episode of CNA Talks, Elizabeth Clelan, Anita Hattiangadi, Yancey Hrobowski and Amanda Kraus discuss what big data can tell us about systemic bias in the military and how this can be applied to our institutions more broadly.

The 2018 Population Representation in the Military Services is available here: https://www.cna.org/research/pop-rep

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

 
May 5, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, Jonathan Schroden and Alex Powell discuss the plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. They cover the logistics of the withdrawal, how the Afghan Security Forces will operate without U.S. forces, and what this means for Afghanistan's future. 

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Apr 21, 2021

On this episode of CNA Talks, Dr. Michael Connell provides a primer on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the current negotiations attempting to bring the United States and Iran back into compliance, and how the suspected Israeli attack on the Natanz nuclear facility has impacted them.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

 
Apr 7, 2021

Pamela Faber and Megan McBride sit down with David Knoll to discuss their new report Viral Extremism, which examines how Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) are capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Mar 24, 2021

Rear Admiral Mike McDevitt (ret.) sits down with Kevin Pollpeter to discuss his book, “China as a Twenty First Century Naval Power.” They cover topics including China’s military presences abroad, the dispute over the South China Sea, and how the U.S. can continue to support its allies in the region.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

 
Mar 10, 2021

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm, CNA Talks presents Analysis in Combat. On our final episode, Admiral Arthur and Christine Fox sit down to discuss CNA’s reconstruction of Operation Desert Storm. This effort examined all the data that CNA analysts gathered during the operation, looking for lessons on how the Navy could learn from it.

For more information about CNA’s analysis in Desert Storm please visit our Analysis in Combat page.

Mar 3, 2021

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of Desert Storm, CNA Talks presents Analysis in Combat. On this episode, you’ll hear about the story of the amphibious landing that never was.

You’ll hear from Admiral Stanley Arthur who was the commander of Naval Forces Central Command during the conflict, Major General Harry Jenkins who was the commander of Marine Forces 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Dr. Marvin Pokrant who served as the CNA field representative assigned to Naval Forces Central Command.

For more information about CNA’s analysis in Desert Storm please visit our Analysis in Combat page.

The story in this episode's introduction was adapted from, "Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did," by Dr. Marvin Pokrant. 



Feb 24, 2021

This week on our Polar Politics occasional series, Josh Tallis sits down with Walter Berbrick, one of the lead authors of the U.S. Navy’s new Arctic Strategy titled “A Blue Arctic.” Walter is an associate professor at the Naval War College.

Go to www.cna.org/CNAtalks to learn more about the participants and listen to more CNA Talks episodes.

Feb 10, 2021

August 2nd 1990, Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, sweep aside its army and occupy the nation.   

To deter further aggression, President George HW Bush deploys the Marines to Saudi Arabia. Some of the forces board amphibious ships, which will arrive in the Persian Gulf over 5 weeks later. But the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade deploys using a novel approach never before tested in wartime. Just 12 days later the unit’s 15,000 Marines, flanked by their tanks, helicopters and artillery are in position and ready for combat.

On this episode of Analysis in Combat, Bill Morgan and Mark Geis discuss how the Maritime Prepositioning Forces made such this rapid deployment possible.

For more information about CNA’s analysis in Desert Storm please visit our Analysis in Combat page.

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