Episode 92 examines conflict delegations and the roles of intermediary actors within proxy conflict.
Our guests introduce the idea of intermediaries and pull from academic and practical experience to set the stage. Along with other historical examples, they examine the role Pakistan played as a key go-between from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan through the American withdrawal in 2021. They offer lessons for working through intermediaries in ongoing conflicts and highlight pitfalls found within these complex geopolitical relationships.
Dr. Michael G. Vickers served a distinguished career as a special operator, CIA operations officer, national security policy maker and Intelligence Community leader. His latest role in public service was serving as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Before that Dr. Vickers was the first and only Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities. He was the principal strategist for the Afghanistan covert action program during the 1980s. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins and is the author of By All Means Available: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy which helps form the foundation of this episode.
Dr. Vladimir Rauta is an Associate Professor at the University of Reading. Vladimir holds a PhD in international relations from the University of Nottingham and his research explores the delegation of war to rebels. His research has been published or is forthcoming in International Security, International Studies Review, Civil Wars, International Relations, Contemporary Security Policy, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. His recent article in International Security, “Dealers and Brokers in Civil Wars: Why States Delegate Rebel Support to Conduit Countries‘ ‘ provides the academic foundation of this episode.
The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a production of the Irregular Warfare Initiative (IWI). We are a team of volunteers dedicated to bridging the gap between scholars and practitioners in the field of irregular warfare. IWI generates written and audio content, coordinates events for the IW community, and hosts critical thinkers in the field of irregular warfare as IWI fellows. You can follow and engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn.
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