On diversity and fiction in national security

Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure of chatting with August Cole for the inaugural edition of our new podcast, The Pen and the Sword. In our first episode, we wanted to reflect the diverse nature of MWG and its focus on both fiction and non-fiction when discussing the military.

With this in mind, our conversation focused on the necessity of having diverse voices in these debates, the role that fiction can play for civilians and service members alike, and how writing can become an important tool for thought and development as a thinker and leader. We hope you enjoy the discussion!

Speaker Bios (in order of appearance)

Adin Dobkin

Adin Dobkin is a writer on national security and foreign policy issues. Currently, he serves as an Adjunct Fellow of the American Security Project, a nonpartisan national security think tank. During his time at ASP, Adin’s writing has focused on technology and the defense space, in addition to American economic competitiveness and its role in national security. Previously, Adin has served in government relations and media affair roles for government officials, non-profit organizations, and private firms. He is a member of the National Press Club, the Military Writers Guild, and the Center for International Maritime Security. His work has been featured in outlets like Military Review, The Hill, the Atlantic Council, and others. Adin Tweets at @AdinDobkin

August Cole

August Cole is an author and analyst specializing in national security issues. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. He is the director of the Art of Future War project, which explores narrative fiction and visual media for insight into the future of conflict. He is also writer-in-residence at Avascent, an independent strategy and management consulting firm focused on the defense and aerospace sectors. His fiction writing tackles themes at the core of American foreign policy and national security in the 21st Century. His first book Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, is a collaborative novel written with Peter W. Singer. This near-future thriller about the next world war was published in June 2015 by Eamon Dolan Books, a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint.

Tyrell Mayfield

Tyrell O. Mayfield is an officer in the U.S. Air Force who is currently serving as a Political Affairs Strategist and splitting his time between Washington, D.C. and Kabul. Ty’s interests include strategy, languages, and the intersection of social media and conflict spaces. He has published in a number of online forums and peer-reviewed journals and is an editor a The Strategy Bridge. He is currently writing a memoir about his time in Kabul and working on an edited volume on Military Professionalism and Ethics in the 21st Century. Ty tweets at @tyrellmayfield.