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John Spencer on War, Disinformation, and Proportionate Response
These days, wars aren’t merely fought on battlefields. The battle is also for public sentiment and perception. Whether we’re talking about government propaganda, or the massive spread of lies on an unprecedented scale due to speed of transmission—it is not something to be dismissed lightly.
On this episode of Forbidden Conversations, I talk to combat veteran and national security/military analyst, John Spencer about the state of modern warfare, Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine, the situation in Israel, what “disproportionate response” really means, and the difficulty of fighting both mis and disinformation.
I also encourage you to read his insightful article for CNN about whether Israel is actually committing war crimes in Gaza.
John Spencer is an award-winning scholar, professor, author, combat veteran, national security and military analyst, and internationally recognized expert and advisor on urban warfare, military strategy, tactics, and other related topics. Considered one of the world’s leading expert on urban warfare, he served as an advisor to the top four-star general and other senior leaders in the U.S. Army as part of strategic research groups from the Pentagon to the United States Military Academy.
He is the author of three books: Understanding Urban Warfare, (Howgate Publishing, 2022), Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connections in Modern War (Potomac Books, 2022), The Mini-Manual for the Urban Defender (John Spencer, 2022).
Spencer currently serves as the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, Co-Director of the Urban Warfare Project, and host of the Urban Warfare Project podcast. He serves as the Chair of Urban Warfare Studies with the Madison Policy Forum, a New York based think-tank. He also serves as a Colonel in the California State Guard with assignment to the 40th Infantry Division, California Army National Guard as the Director of Urban Warfare Training. He is a founding member of the International Working Group on Subterranean Warfare.
You can find him on X at @SpencerGuard.
The FORBIDDEN CONVERSATIONS Podcast is a series that takes on topics that don't always get attention or are more challenging to tackle and seeks to address them through civil discourse and nuanced exploration. To view all episodes so far, visit here. Please subscribe, like and comment. You know, all the YouTube things. It helps a LOT!
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