This podcast seeks to learn what war teaches. There has been a steady decline in the study of military history and its associated theoretical discipline, strategy.This podcast seeks to fill that gap through in-depth interviews on military and diplomatic history. Our guests have included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis, and China Select Committee chairman Mike Gallagher. We discuss the battlefield commanders, diplomats, strategists, policymakers, and statesmen who have had to make wartime decisions in the ancient and modern eras.The subject of an episode may be an historical battle, campaign, or conflict; the conduct of policy in the course of a major international incident; the work of a famous strategist; the nature of a famous weapon; or the legacy of an important military commander or political leader.
Aaron MacLean is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has worked as a foreign policy advisor and legislative director to Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and spent seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
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Aaron O’Connell, Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, joins the show to talk about the “founding fathers” of 20th century geopolitical thought: Mahan, Mackinder, and Spykman.
• 01:46 Introduction
• 02:20 From Marine to scholar to the NSC
• 06:24 Alfred T. Mahan
• 12:27 Choke points, decisive battle, and battleships
• 15:45 Security through imperialism
• 18:08 Chinese Mahanians
• 20:33 China’s crowded neighborhood
• 21:27 Halford Mackinder
• 28:56 Heartland rising
• 31:36 Inner and outer crescent
• 33:01 Nicholas Spykman
• 37:55 The nature of power
• 39:03 Containment
• 42:11 The American role
• 46:22 The path of partnerships