In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi speaks to bestselling author and MWI senior fellow Max Brooks. Max is most well known as the author of books like World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide. He also has a unique ability to use unconventional subjects—like zombies—to frame a discussion about important, real-world security issues.

Max describes how he used zombies in World War Z as a stand-in for the type of social, environmental, or other crises that transcend borders and require coordinated responses, often with a military component. “We learned it in Somalia, and we forgot it,” he says in the episode, “there’s no such thing as a humanitarian crisis without a security element.” Given the current context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s an especially relevant discussion episode. The conversation also touches on society’s civil-military gap, the importance of creative thinking for military leaders, and other wide-ranging topics.

Listen to the full episode below, or find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe. And if you’re enjoying the MWI Podcast, please take a moment to give it a rating or leave a review.

Note: this episode was originally recorded and released in April 2016.

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett, US Air Force