The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a c ... more

Latest Episodes

62

August 04, 2022 00:44:13
62. Sooner Than We Think: Command Post Survivability and Future Threats with COL (Ret.) John Antal

62. Sooner Than We Think: Command Post Survivability and Future Threats with COL (Ret.) John Antal

COL John Antal (USA, Ret.) is a lifelong student of leadership and the art of war. His purpose in life is “to develop leaders and inspire service.” Today, he is an Amazon best-selling author, a defense analyst, a military correspondent, and a galvanic speaker. John has appeared on radio, podcast, and television shows and is the author of 16 books and hundreds of magazine articles on military and leadership subjects. His latest books are Leadership Rising (July 2021); and 7 Seconds to Die, A Military Analysis of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and the Future of Warfighting (February 2022). In the past year, based on his in-depth study of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, COL Antal has made over 108 presentations on the “changing methods of warfare” to U.S. military and national security leaders. He offers these presentations to the U.S. military at no charge and as a “Soldier for Life.” His previous The Convergence podcast — Top Attack: Lessons Learned from the 2nd Nagorno-Karabakh War — and its associated blog post remain Army Mad Scientist’s “best-selling” listens and reads to date! In today’s podcast, COL Antal returns to discuss the challenges facing our Army in executing continuous and uninterrupted mission command in the contemporary battlespace, ensuring command post survivability, and achieving the Joint Force’s requirement for an All Domain Common Operational Picture.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Modern conflict is increasingly transparent; it is impossible to hide on the battlefield.  Consequently, it is imperative that the Army adopt and practice “masking” — a full spectrum, multi-domain effort to deceive enemy sensors and disrupt targeting.  Our Joint Force must obscure its optical, thermal, electronic, acoustic, and quantum signatures — or die!  Today’s centralized command posts are ...

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61

July 21, 2022 01:01:54
61. How Russia Fights 2.0 with BG (Ret.) Peter B. Zwack, BG (Ret.) Peter L. Jones, Ian Sullivan,  Dr. Mica Hall, Samuel Bendett, Katerina Sedova

61. How Russia Fights 2.0 with BG (Ret.) Peter B. Zwack, BG (Ret.) Peter L. Jones, Ian Sullivan, Dr. Mica Hall, Samuel Bendett, Katerina Sedova

Army Mad Scientist interviewed the following world-class SMEs to address what we’ve learned about How Russia Fights 2.0: Ian Sullivan serves as the Senior Advisor for Analysis and ISR to the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC G-2). This is a Tier One Defense Intelligence Senior Level (DISL) position. He is responsible for the analysis that defines and the narrative that explains the Army’s Operational Environment, which supports integration across doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy. Mr. Sullivan is a career civilian intelligence officer who has served with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI); Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 (USAREUR G-2); and as an Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) cadre member at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Prior to assuming his position at the TRADOC G-2, Mr. Sullivan led a joint NCTC Directorate of Intelligence /Central Intelligence Agency Counterterrorism Mission Center unit responsible for Weapons of Mass Destruction terrorism issues, where he provided direct intelligence support to the White House, senior policymakers, Congress, and other senior customers throughout the Government. He was promoted into the Senior Executive ranks in June 2013 as a member of the ODNI’s Senior National Intelligence Service, and transferred to the Army as a Defense Intelligence Senior Level employee in January 2017. Mr. Sullivan is also a frequent and valued contributor to the Mad Scientist Laboratory. Sam Bendett is an Adviser with CNA‘s Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. ...

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60

July 07, 2022 00:26:00
60. Ukraine: All Roads Lead to Urban with Maj. (Ret.) John Spencer

60. Ukraine: All Roads Lead to Urban with Maj. (Ret.) John Spencer

MAJ John Spencer (USA-Ret.) is the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies with the Madison Policy Forum. He served over twenty-five years in the U.S. Army as an infantry Soldier, with two combat tours in Iraq as both an Infantry Platoon Leader and Company Commander. He has also served as a Ranger Instructor with the Army’s Ranger School, a Joint Chief of Staff and Army Staff intern, fellow with the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group, and Strategic Planner and Deputy Director of the Modern War Institute, where he was instrumental in the design and formation of the institute. In today’s interview, MAJ Spencer returns to discuss what we’ve learned about LSCO, urban conflict, and the changing character of warfare from the last four plus months of Russia’s “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: Modern technology forces our societies, and those of our adversaries, to be more connected to the battlefield. As the Ukrainian “Tik-Tok” war demonstrates, such connectedness can allow actors outside of the war to leverage open-source intelligence to influence the conflict by providing either side with logistical support and operational advice.  It is important to study wars firsthand to understand how they are evolving to the modern context; the U.S. military used to employ appointed observers for this mission. Given that the battle for Kyiv is a truly urban fight, there is much the Army can learn from the conflict. The battle for Kyiv demonstrates that, especially in an urban environment, terrain still matters. Ukrainians flooded rivers and destroyed bridges to canalize Russian invaders into chokepoints and kill zones, demonstrating an understanding of their environment unthinkable to non-natives.  The Russian invasion also demonstrates the importance of  ...

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59

June 23, 2022 00:36:23
59. Outsiders Solving Wicked Problems with Shubhi Mishra

59. Outsiders Solving Wicked Problems with Shubhi Mishra

While Shubhi Mishra, founder and CEO of Raft, is a lawyer and data scientist by training, she’s better known as an intentional government technology (GovTech) disruptor at heart.  She loves solving complex problems, even the kind that give you a headache while you’re working through them. But that process of discovery, of realization, and coming to a solution makes it all worthwhile.  Her passion is working with bleeding-edge technology focused on the defense sector.  Raft provides an innovation space for people who are similarly mission-focused, tackling vexing challenges with passion and enthusiasm.  Ms. Mishra seeks to inspire other women in and out of the GovTech space and excite them enough to join the movement of providing better solutions and services to the defense industry through sustainable, emerging technology. In today’s interview, Ms. Mishra discusses wicked problems in national security; finding creative, mission-focused solutions; and equipping the DoD with sustainable, emerging technology.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:  Raft’s strategy seeks to build a data fabric, or mesh, on top of data lakes, to reduce silos and increase communication among data resources. This enables faster decision making, which ultimately benefits our warfighters.   When delivering a data product, it is important to maintain a human-centered design which considers for whom you are building the product. It is critical to experiment with the project and obtain user feedback.   When working with historical datasets, one must consider: [1] If the full data is present. Can other datasets be integrated to get a better picture?[2] How will we measure the success of the algorithm we are using the data to build? Will we obtain a new result, or are we simply pattern matching? [3] Who can we get comments from ...

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58

June 09, 2022 00:36:29
58. The Light on the Hill: America and Non-Terrestrial War

58. The Light on the Hill: America and Non-Terrestrial War

COL Stefan Banach (USA-Ret.) is a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and served in that organization for nine years, culminating with command of the 3rd Ranger Battalion from 2001-2003. He led U.S. Army Rangers during a historic night combat parachute assault into Afghanistan on October 19, 2001, as the “spearhead” for the Global War on Terror. Steve subsequently led U.S. Army Rangers in a second combat parachute assault into Al Anbar Province in western Iraq in 2003.  He served with distinction in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 2010. Since then, he has provided executive consulting services to a diverse range of clients at a number of prestigious institutions.  Steve Banach also serves as the Director, Army Management Staff College, an element of Army University responsible for “igniting the leadership potential for every Army civilian.”In today’s interview with COL Banach, we explore non-terrestrial war, weapons of mass deception, and why we are at a pivotal point in the defense of our country.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: The United States is experiencing a new form of conflict known as “non-terrestrial warfare.” Our adversaries no longer seek to confront us on the traditional battlefield. Instead, they will use non-tangible capabilities in cyber, big data, space, and the information space to influence entire societies and create tangible results, the effects of which may remain invisible for weeks, months, or even years. It is an unbounded, global, strategic form of maneuver, performed by nation and non- state actors that is an enduring, new approach to warfare.  Non-terrestrial warfare encompasses strategies like mis-and disinformation — weapons of mass deception — where social media has emerged as a ...

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57

May 19, 2022 00:26:46
57. The Most Consequential Adversaries with GEN Charles A. Flynn

57. The Most Consequential Adversaries with GEN Charles A. Flynn

Gen. Flynn is a native of Middletown, Rhode Island and Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Business Management. General Flynn is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Benning, GA. He holds two master’s degrees, one in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI, and one in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from the National Defense University.   In today’s interview, Gen. Flynn discusses the unique pacing threat posed by China, building interoperability with partner nations, and the future of multi-domain operations in INDOPACOM.  The following bullet points highlight some of the key insights from our interview: - While it is often argued that future conflicts in the Pacific will be fought in the air and at sea, the U.S. Army remains critical in securing our regional interests. The Army continues to build relationships with partners on land, and will likely be the only Service not hindered by China’s Anti-Access /Area Denial (A2/AD) system, which is not designed to find, fix, and destroy land forces. As a result, land power will serve as a counterweight to Chinese aspirations both regionally and globally.   - The Army’s Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) integrates live, virtual, and constructive environments, enabling our forces and partners to conduct training via a mobile, regional training center in the Pacific’s Arctic, Jungle, and Archipelago conditions and environments. JPMRC enables the Army to maintain a constant presence in the region, train, and build readiness with our allies and partners.    - While training with technology in the region of operation is important, relationships matter.  Building strong relationships between individuals, organizations, and countries is vital for deterrence ...

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