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Pakistan Beyond 70: Rivalries, its Neighbors, and the Great Powers

Pakistan is 70 years old. To make the anniversary, Joshua White of SAIS foolishly asked Ryan Evans to moderate an esteemed panel of experts to discuss Pakistan's role in Asia, its relationships with the great powers, and its future. Have a listen as Sameer Lalwani, Tanvi Madan, Daniel Markey, Olga Oliker, and Rasul Bakhsh Rais share their knowledge and wisdom. Produced by Tre Hester


Ain't No Party Like a World Order Party

Three talented scholars join Ryan in this episode to tackle questions about the future of the international order. ​ Conversations about this topic can often be insufferably dry, but this one definitely isn't -- and not just because of the adult beverages being imbibed as the episode unfolded. Join Mira Rapp-Hooper, Rebecca Friedman Lissner, and Stephen Wertheim for a meaty, fascinating, and historically informed jam session on the future of U.S. power and influence. Produced by Tre Hester


The Making of a Career Intelligence Official: A Conversation with Michael P. Dempsey

Ryan dropped in on Michael P. Dempsey late last week in New York City. He is a career intelligence official who served as the acting director of national intelligence. From 2014-2017, he served as the deputy director of national intelligence and President Barack Obama’s primary intelligence briefer. After decades of work in the intelligence community, Dempsey is taking a year out of government at the Council on Foreign Relations. And for the first time in years, he is allowed to speak his...


Strikes on Syria: The View From Paris

A special dispatch from France: On Friday, April 13, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France launched punitive strikes on Syria following the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons. Managing Editor Usha Sahay spoke with Bruno Tertrais, deputy director of the Foundation for Strategic Research and an expert on French defense policy, about France's perspective on the conflict in Syria, Emmanuel Macron's views on military intervention, and the falling out between France and the...


Horns of a Dilemma: Even Cybersecurity is Bigger in Texas

This is Horns of a Dilemma, the podcast partner to that journal, which features the thinkers and leaders resident at the various institutions of the University of Texas and those who stop in to share their wisdom. On the latest episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we have Amy Zegart, who was hosted at the University of Texas as a part of the Strauss Center's Brumley Speaker Series. You should know who Amy is already, but if you don’t she is co-director of the Stanford Center for International...


A Big Debate About a Little Nuke

Why are so many people at odds over low-yield nuclear weapons? Well, it turns out, this debate touches on a megaton of interesting questions, including how Russia sees its own nuclear arsenal, how it envisions nuclear strategy, how the Kremlin understands the deterrence, and how we might prevent a nuclear war. So if you care about any of those things, you might want to listen in on this fierce debate between Frank Miller - a long-suffering veteran of the Pentagon and nuclear strategy, Dr....


Horns of a Dilemma: The Last Republicans?

In the second episode of our new podcast series, "Horns of a Dilemma," William Inboden interviews Mark Updegrove, president and chief Executive of the LBJ Foundation, and author of the new book The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush (Harper 2017). This new book draws on interviews with both Bush presidents to explore their formative experiences as well as their perspectives on public service, America’s role in the world,...


Introducing "Horns of a Dilemma" with a Conversation on National Security

This is the first episode of “Horns of a Dilemma,” a new series brought to you by the Texas National Security Review, featuring the leaders and thinkers based at the University of Texas or who stop in to share their wisdom. Fittingly, we are kicking this off with a conversation on leadership, mostly in the national security context. This session is moderated by William Inboden, the director of the Clements Center. The guests are all based at the University of Texas: Adm. (ret.) Bill...


Fear Not the Blue-Haired Soldier?

Does the future of warfare demand the U.S. military change its standards for everything from fitness to personal appearance? This question opened up a major debate in the electronic pages of War on the Rocks. So Ryan Evans invited the participants in that debate -- Jacqueline Schneider, Mark Cancian, and Crispin Burke -- to join him on the show and hash everything from why military standards exist to what the wars of the future will look like. Produced by Tre Hester


The Big Cyber Spectacular

In our latest episode, Usha Sahay and Ryan Evans were joined by Thomas Rid, Michael Sulmeyer, and a mystery guest (ok, ok, it's Corinna Fehst) to talk about cyber-security, election meddling, reports about U.S. intel agencies buying back pilfered hacking tools, going dark, legislatures as the vulnerable soft cyber underbelly of democracies, and the different threats posed by Russia and China. Also, "Password1" is not a good password according to our guests. So you should probably change...


To Compete with China, Can America Get Out of Its Own Way?

Two key strategy documents released by the Trump administration signal the United States is finally gearing up for a new era of great power competition. And China is the most daunting competitor on the horizon. Is this the right move? Is the president on board? Are America's allies up for it? What would a war of choice in North Korea do to a Sino-American competition? How can and should America compete politically, economically, and militarily? Was it naive to expect China to become a...


Grand Strategy from Obama to Trump

How did President Barack Obama leave America's strategic position when he left office? How is President Donald Trump doing so far? What is the role of the historian in sorting through these questions? Hal Brands and Francis Gavin — both of the Kissinger Center at SAIS — join Ryan Evans to debate these questions and many more over beers and through the lens of Hal's new book, American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump.


Satire and Terror: A Conversation with the Editor-in-Chief of Charlie Hebdo

Ryan spent a week in France earlier this year and was fortunate to meet with Gérard Biard, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, the ever-irreverent French satirical magazine that made international headlines almost three years ago when jihadist terrorists attacked their office in Paris. Gérard spoke with Ryan about everything from the impact of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, how the ideal of French secularism contrasts with its American counterpart, the nature of the satire they do better...


The Adventures of Intel in Trumpland

Weeks before Donald Trump took office, Ryan convened a group of professionals from in and around the intelligence community to talk about the incoming president's approach to intel ("He's Just Not That Into You: Trump, Intel, and the American Presidency"). In today's episode, Ryan brought the same group of people together (minus one). Tune in to hear Carmen Medina, Mark Stout, and Mark Zaid chat (over drinks, of course) about how the president has done so far.


Storming Rome with Mike Duncan

History podcasting mastermind Mike Duncan joined Ryan for a few drinks in Washington for our latest episode. Rome is what brought them together — more specifically his New York Times best-selling book, The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic. The book tells the story of Rome from 146 to 78 BC. In this wide-ranging conversation, they cover the challenges of writing ancient vs. modern history, going from fishmongering to podcasting (and making a living at...


The Hard Human Realities that Follow the War

The bottom line of this episode is this: If you can identify with the experience of coming home from war or you want to better understand that experience, you should see the new film "Thank You For Your Service." When you go, be prepared for something powerful and heartbreaking, but also something necessary. In this episode, we hear from Jason Hall, the writer and director of the film, and Adam Schumann, the Army veteran played in the film by Miles Teller. The movie is based on the book of...


Must the War Go On? Let's Talk About Iraq and the Kurds

The Kurds of Northern Iraq held an independence referendum, Iraqi federal forces seized Kirkuk, and the world wondered if we were on the precipice of another round of what could be described as one long-running Iraqi civil war involving the state, jihadists, tribes, sectarian militias, various Kurdish factions, and - of course - a bevy of outside powers. We haven't seen a descent into a new round of violence, at least yet. But what does the future hold for Iraq? Can the Kurds and Baghdad...


Nothing New Under the Sun? Ethics and Service in the Age of Trump

Since Donald Trump began to close in on the Republican nomination for the race for the White House, people have been debating the ethical implications of a Trump administration. And those discussions became more urgent and, in some cases, heated with Trump assuming office this year. Much of the focus has been on the ethics of public service during this presidency. Nine months have not delivered any sort of consensus. Is it ethical to serve this administration? Is it different for political...


Outlawing War: Did it Work Better Than We Thought?

Ryan Evans had the pleasure to sit down with Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, authors of the new book The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World. Remember that treaty you learned about in school that outlawed war after World War I - the Kellogg-Briand Pact? That's right, the one you laughed at. Well Oona and Scott -- both of Yale Law School -- make a pretty strong argument that it actually worked far better than we all thought. And, in doing so, they make a...


Trump and Counter-Terrorism, Sixteen Years After 9/11

It’s been 16 years since the 9/11 attacks. We thought a good way to commemorate the anniversary would be to take stock of the terrorist threats facing the United States today and to evaluate how the Trump administration is responding. Guest host Stephen Tankel tackles these issues with an all-star cast of experts, including Victor Asal, Tricia Bacon, Mia Bloom, Dan Byman, Julia Ebner, John Horgan, Gary LaFree, Phil Potter, Jake Shapiro, and Joe Young. This wide-ranging discussion touches...


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