Mar 31, 2022 • 33M

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper: Why Russia’s Invasion Is Failing & How to Bring More Innovation to the Pentagon

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Appears in this episode

Joe Lonsdale
American Optimist, hosted by Joe Lonsdale: entrepreneur, investor, and founder of four multi-billion dollar companies and other mission-driven organizations. American Optimist is an alternative to the fear, cynicism, and zero-sum thinking in mainstream media. Learn from the innovators and leaders who are solving our nation’s most pressing challenges, and doing it in a way that will lift everyone up. Hope should dominate our discourse, and American Optimist will show you why.
Episode details

Dr. Mark Esper served as the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2019 to 2020 and Secretary of the Army from 2017 to 2019. He's currently the Distinguished Chair of the Modern War Institute at West Point and sits on the Board of Directors of Epirus [a defense startup co-founded by Joe]. His forthcoming memoir is titled "A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times.” In this episode, he dissects Russia's military weaknesses and explains how its invasion of Ukraine may ultimately strengthen NATO and change China's calculations with regard to Taiwan. He and Joe also discuss the risk-averse, top-down management culture at the Pentagon and what needs to change to bring new, better technologies to the Department of Defense.