What are the hallmarks of an adaptable military force, especially in wartime? What types of leaders best create cultures of adaptability in their formations? How do such forces employ rapidly changing technologies? And for forces—like the US military—that have an extraordinarily robust set of doctrine governing how they operate, how does that doctrine either drive or hinder adaptation?
In this episode of the Modern War Institute Podcast, John Amble is joined by two guests to discuss these questions and more. Retired Gen. Dave Barno and Dr. Nora Bensahel are visiting professors of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the authors of the book Adaptation Under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime.
This episode was originally recorded and released in early 2021. We’re republishing it now because of the patterns surrounding adaptability that this episode’s guests discuss help to provide a framework to understand the role of adaptability, or the lack of it, on both sides of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
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Image credit: Spc. David Barnes, US Army