Episode 6, Season 2 of the Social Science of War is the second in a two-part series looking back at lessons learned from the United States’ war in Iraq. Major Gabe Royal is joined by Dr. Isaiah “Ike” Wilson III, a veteran and scholar of the conflict. After twenty-eight years as An Army officer, he served as the director of the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College and subsequently as the president of the Joint Special Operations University. He is the author of the book Thinking Beyond War.

In the first part, which you can listen to here, the discussion focused on the prewar planning period through the ten-year anniversary of the initial invasion. In this second part of the conversation, Dr. Wilson begins by highlighting learned from Iraq by examining the force structure of security force assistance brigades. He goes on to identify six lessons, which he says the US military has “gathered” but not yet learned, from the war in Iraq. He challenges the next generation of military and civilian leaders to consider how we can restore peace and governance in places like Iraq once major combat operations cease. This fascinating discussion includes a story of how research and scholarship played a role in finding and capturing Saddam Hussein in Tikrit. Finally, the episode concludes with a critical look at force protection in the Middle East today as Dr. Wilson calls for a redefining of America’s mission across the region.

The Social Science of War podcast is produced by the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. Visit our website if you would like to be a student or teach in the department, or if you would like to connect with any of our instructors based on their expertise.

Kyle Atwell created the Social Science of War. Hosts on Season 2 of the podcast are Dr. Nakissa JahanbaniDr. Alexandra ChinchillaLieutenant Colonel Sean McKnight, and Major Gabriel Royal. Please reach out to the podcast team with any questions about this episode or the Social Science of War podcast in general.

Image credit: Spc. Quincy Adams, US Army