December 22, 2015 · Covert Contact Interviews Strategy Phil Walter

Understanding and Influencing Enemy Behavior

Phil Walter joins me again to discuss behavior. Why do the actors we seek to influence, friend and foe alike, behave the way that they do? What advantage does a deep understanding of the underlying motivations for their behavior give us? It’s easy to be dismissive of an enemy’s needs, wants, and desires but in doing so we risk undermining our ability to counter them and anticipate their next move. We also touch on the complexity of the Middle East (how could we not?) and debate how to balance intimate and precise engagement at the individual or tribal level with much broader diplomatic efforts at the macro level.

Phil has written a companion piece to this podcast for Blogs of War, Behavior Change and the Instruments of Power.

Phil has served in the military, the intelligence community, and the inter-agency. His written works are catalogued on Storify and archived at I highly recommend them if you are at all interested in national security issues. You can follow Phil on Twitter @philwalter1058.

The views expressed here are those of the author alone and do not contain information of an official nature.

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