This week’s special guest is Col. Austin Bay, author of a lively new book on foreign affairs and grand strategy, Cocktails From Hell: Five Complex Wars Shaping the 21st Century. Austin Bay has an extraordinary biography, including earning a Bronze Star for his service in the Iraq War. But that is only the beginning. Austin is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books (including a novel or two), a widely syndicated columnist on military and foreign affairs for Creators Syndicate, associate editor at StrategyPage, a frequent guest on TV and radio, and a fellow blogger for our friends at Instapundit. Did I also mention he plays jazz piano and has a Ph.D in English literature from Columbia?
Our leisurely conversation covers a lot of ground, including China, Iran, North Korea and the Congo (yes—the Congo), as well as some detours into the legacy of Andy Marshall, the great strategic thinker who passed away recently. (Marshall had the nickname “Yoda” around the Pentagon.) And since the book title refers to cocktails, we get Austin’s favorite recipe as a bonus.
Transition music today was picked to fit the general theme: “The Permanent Way” by Big, Big Train (since the nature of strategic things are permanent in their essential nature, no matter what century it is); “Better Weather” by Good Old War; and “Army” by Ben Folds Five.