Turkey Shot Down a Russian Jet – Where Do We Go From Here? | Episode 27

Putin called today’s downing of a Russian Su-24 by a Turkish F16 a “stab in the back” but it this was certainly not an unproved attack. In fact it follows countless warnings from Turkey that violations of its airspace (and aggression against its interests on its border) will not go unchecked. Terrorism analyst and counterintelligence pro William J. Tucker joins me again for a look at this event, the circumstances that got us here, and where we might be going.

Related Links
All episodes featuring William J. Tucker
Follow William J. Tucker on Twitter

War and the New Normal: Phil Walter on Life After War | Episode 23

In episode 23 Phil Walter joins me to talk about his transition from the the battlefield, to home, and eventually into a role where he has the opportunity to work on national security policy.

I’m thankful to Phil for sharing his personal story because I think it might help others who are finding it difficult to adjust to life after war. But even if you aren’t a veteran, and even if you aren’t struggling, there’s something to learn here.

Phil has served in the military, the intelligence community, and the inter-agency. His written works are catalogued on Storify and archived at www.philwalter1058.com. I highly recommend them if you are at all interested in national security issues. You can follow him on Twitter @philwalter1058 and he is a member of the Military Writer’s Guild.

Phil’s “War and the New Normal” series that was featured on this podcast was originally published on the blog Point of Decision.

If you are enjoying Covert Contact, and would like to see content like this continue to be produced, please subscribe and learn how you can support the show.

The Navy SEAL Who Killed Osama bin Laden and the Heroes You’ll Never Know | Episode 8

In episode eight I look at the case of Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill and the culture that lures men and women like him out of the shadows and into a world of fame, ego gratification, and financial reward. I examine the role that military leadership and our culture at large plays in chipping away at the notion of quiet professionalism and share some thoughts about how we can change course. There is also a call from Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland’s Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics. Phillip shares some thoughts on social media and its impact on national security, politics, and the collection of intelligence.

Robots and the Future of Warfare: The Advantage Might Not Lie with the Inventors | Episode 6

In episode 6 I am looking at the evolution of unmanned platforms and speculate about the impact that they could have on warfare. The technology is evolving faster than our appreciation for the complications it will bring so while there will be countless positive benefits there will also unquestionably be a dark side to it all. Smarter systems are better, and spare innocent lives, but does that mean that less ethical actors could exploit less capable platforms to kill indiscriminately? Does that give them an advantage?

Blogs of War contributor William Tucker also called in to the Covert Contact voicemail line and shared some thoughts on how the U.S. intelligence community should be allocating its resources. I close out the episode with a special drone edition of Five to Follow.

The Week’s Five to Follow

@GregoryMcNeal – Professor working in law & public policy and a Forbes magazine contributor. His blog can be found at http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/.

@DIYDrones – The worlds largest RPAS community with over 50,000 members.

@chr1sa – Ex-Wired Editor in Chief, 3D Robotics CEO, DIY Drone founder.

@dronelaws – Brendan M. Schulman is a lawyer who specializes in commercial drone law.

@drunkenpredator – Knowledgeable commentary on drones cloaked in humor.