Decisive Point Season 2

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Decisive Point Season 1

Select an Episode to Listen

Listen to the Decisive Point Podcast

Season 2: Select an Episode to Listen

Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras – “Veteran Disability Compensation and the Army Profession: Good Intentions Gone Awry”

Released 4 February 2021.

Today, two-thirds of soldiers depart the US Army with a disability rating. Unfortunately, some soldiers are exploiting a generous disability system overextended beyond its original purposes and potentially damaging trust in the military, jeopardizing Army readiness, and encouraging a culture that erodes the Army’s notions of selfless service. Click here to read the Monograph.


Dr. Christopher J. Bolan, Col. Jerad I. Harper, and Dr. Joel R. Hillison – “Diverging Interests: US Strategy in the Middle East”

Released 3 February 2021.

The novel coronavirus is only the latest in a series of global crises with implications for the regional order in the Middle East. These changes and the diverging interests of actors in the region have implications for US strategy and provide an opportunity to rethink key US relationships there. Click here for the article.


Dr. Andrew Bell – “Civilians, Urban Warfare, and US Doctrine”

Released 22 January 2021.

The US military must prepare for the realities of densely populated areas as it plans and conducts campaigns. This planning must include considerations of soldiers’ health and wellbeing. An engaged analysis of urban battlespaces in the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries highlights the need for essential updates to US military doctrine and training, particularly in the areas of civilian mass casualties and civilian noncombatants in the urban battlespace.  Click here for the article.


Dr. Raymond A. Millen – “Stability Operations in WW II: Insights and Lessons”

Released 4 January 2021.

The stability achieved by the US military in the European Theater of Operations after D-Day was the direct result of good military governance concurrently deployed with combat operations. The role of civil affairs in securing this stability has been under-emphasized in analyses of these operations. But an examination of the historical record of these events reveals the necessity of a skilled, effective civil-military effort through civil affairs/military government detachments, civil affairs specialty pools, and G-5 staff sections. Click here for the article.


Season 1: Select an Episode to Listen

Mr. Jody Prescott – “Gender Blindness in US Doctrine”

Released 15 December 2020.

US military Joint and Army civil affairs doctrine have failed to consider the operational relevance of gender, posing a risk to mission accomplishment and force protection. A comparison of NATO and Australian Defence Force doctrine reveals gender considerations have been included in Allied doctrine in recent years. US land-force operational planning can provide an example of how a focus on civil affairs doctrine could jump-start the process to address the larger doctrinal gender deficit quickly and effectively. Click here for the article.


Dr. Tim Hoyt and Pamela M. Holtz – “Challenging Prevailing Models of US Army Suicide”

Released 11 December 2020.

Statistics behind reported suicide rates in the military are often insufficiently analyzed and portray a distorted picture of reality. Several models for identifying individuals at risk for suicide have been proposed but few show adequate predictive power to be actionable. Instead, a collaborative and consistent effort to address core drivers at the individual level may be more useful. Click here for the article.


Michael J. Eisenstadt and Kenneth M. Pollack – “Training Better Arab Armies”

Released 25 September 2020.

US security force assistance missions to Arab partner states have had limited success, due in part to a tendency to impose American doctrine, which embodies American cultural values and norms, on Arab armed forces. Accordingly, US security force assistance missions should train Arab partners to fight in a manner better suited to their own cultural preferences and operational requirements. Click here for the article.


Douglas W. Bristol Jr. – “Two Worlds: African American Servicemembers, WWII and Today”

Released 23 September 2020.

The theory of social stigma provides a context for the subjective experience of African American servicemembers in World War II. Those experiences reveal the paradox the military faces when addressing racial discrimination. An examination of these experiences suggests only a collective response by African American servicemembers will solve this problem.  Click here for the article.


Audrey Kurth Cronin – “Technology and Strategic Surprise: Adapting to an Era of Open Innovation”

Released 21 September 2020.

Technological revolutions affecting state power are either open or closed. The precursor to the digital age is not the twentieth century, with state-controlled programs yielding nuclear weapons, but the late nineteenth century, when tinkerers invented the radio, airplane, and high explosives—all crucial to subsequent wars. To avoid strategic surprise, the US government must take a broader view of how today’s open innovation is changing society, and adapt. Click here for the article.


Nina Jankowicz and Henry Collis – “Enduring Information Vigilance: Government After COVID-19”

Released 14 September 2020.

The framework of Enduring Information Vigilance will help ally and partner governments deny advantages adversaries gain through their use of information operations in our new global perpetual information environment. This approach recognizes the persistent threat, unifies responses within and between governments, and resolves societal fissures toward a more global democratic information environment. Click here for the article.