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None Of The Above

News & Politics Podcasts

As the United States confronts an ever-changing set of international challenges, our foreign policy leaders continue to offer the same old answers. But what are the alternatives? In None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah asks leading global thinkers for new answers and new ideas to guide an America increasingly adrift in the world.


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As the United States confronts an ever-changing set of international challenges, our foreign policy leaders continue to offer the same old answers. But what are the alternatives? In None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah asks leading global thinkers for new answers and new ideas to guide an America increasingly adrift in the world.






How the War in Ukraine Ends: A Conversation with General Mark Milley

We recently marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Many are wondering: how does this seemingly intractable conflict end? On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Vladimir Putin’s arrest. On Monday, Putin and Xi Jinping met to discuss China’s peace proposal for Ukraine. The United States and its allies in Europe continue to support Ukraine’s defense with military assistance and aid. Will any of this finally put an end to the war? This week, the...


Defending Europe: How the Transatlantic Alliance Protects and Imperils American Security

President Biden traveled to Poland in February after his surprise visit to Kyiv to encourage NATO countries' continued support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year. “Democracies of the world will stand guard over freedom today, tomorrow and forever,” Biden said. The United States reiterated its commitment to defend countries throughout Europe by remarking on the NATO charter: “It’s absolutely clear: Article 5 is a sacred commitment the United States has made. We will defend every...


Russia’s Red Lines: Where the Russia-Ukraine War Stands at One Year

A year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war grinds on. Early Russian advances were successfully rolled back, but intense fighting continues in the east, where a renewed Russian offensive looms. The United States and many of its European allies remain resolute in their support for Ukraine. In a sign of their commitment, the United States and Germany recently overcame their initial reluctance and decided to provide Ukraine with tanks. But with neither a victory nor a peace settlement...


Is a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Inevitable? The Future of Cross-Strait Relations and Washington’s Commitments to Taipei

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, observers anxiously watched China’s reactions as many feared a similar conflict would break out in the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, it appears China has been increasingly determined to enforce its One-China policy, first against Hong Kong and now against Taiwan. From afar, the United States is caught between deterring China from an all-out military conflict and supporting a democratic Taiwan. A few months ago, President Joe Biden broke away from...


Bonus Episode: America’s Past, Present, and Future Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be sworn in as Israel’s 15th prime minister in the coming days. Israel’s government, which is expected to be the most right-wing in the country’s history, has raised questions about the role the United States should play, if any, in what could be a high consequence and volatile year for Israelis and Palestinians. But before we can begin to think about America’s current role, we wanted to explore what role the United States has played historically in the...


Bibi’s Back: What the New Hardline Government Means for Israel, Palestine, and the United States

In early December, just weeks after Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party won Israel’s parliamentary election (again), US Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked that America’s commitment to Israel has “never been stronger.” The incoming governing coalition that Netenyahu is forming is expected to be the most right-wing in Israeli history. What does this mean for Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Does this change US policy vis-à-vis one of its closest partners in the Middle...


Avoiding Armageddon: Rose Gottemoeller on the Potential for Nuclear War

Last month, President Biden warned of “nuclear Armageddon” as tensions with Russia reached their highest point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. While the Biden administration appears to be working around the clock to prevent this kind of nuclear catastrophe, the American public has been largely kept in the dark about how the United States would respond if Russia used a tactical nuclear weapon against Ukraine. To help us make sense of all of this, and to walk us through what options are on...


Of Mushrooms and Midterms: How Pennsylvania Voted on Foreign Policy

It’s Election Day in the U.S. Americans across the country head to the polls to cast their vote in this year’s midterm elections. Much is at stake for the Biden administration: Republicans are poised to take control of the House of Representatives, if not both houses of Congress. What are the issues motivating Americans to vote (or not)? A month after we at the Eurasia Group Foundation released its annual survey of Americans’ foreign policy views, EGF’s Caroline Gray and Lucas Robinson...


When Does an Uprising Become a Revolution? Reza Aslan and Assal Rad on the Protests in Iran

Iran is in upheaval. The death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” has sparked an uprising throughout the country. Protesters have turned the current regime’s revolutionary iconography against it. Faced with what might be the biggest test to its legitimacy since 1979, the Iranian government has imposed a brutal crackdown on dissent. Countries and human rights organizations around the world condemn the government’s violence. In the United States,...


Another January 6th?: Catherine Osborn on Brazil’s Election & Political Violence

Brazilians head to the polls Sunday to elect their next president and other key legislators in Brazil’s general election. If neither presidential candidate – Brazil’s current right wing president Jair Bolsonaro or Brazil’s former left wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – wins a majority of the vote, a runoff election will take place on October 30th. Election watchers worry Bolsonaro will contest the election results should he lose, prompting a violent insurrection which might look even...


America’s Secrecy Regime: Alex Wellerstein on Donald Trump and Nuclear Secrets

In early August, the FBI seized boxes of classified documents, some suspected to contain nuclear secrets, from former president Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. News of the FBI’s raid ignited a political firestorm but it also shed light on an obscure aspect of US foreign policymaking — America’s “nuclear secrecy regime.” From its WWII origins in the development of the atomic bomb to the latest controversy miring Trump, nuclear secrecy has cast a shadow over the development and...


Partner of Choice? Michael Woldemariam and Robbie Gramer on Biden’s Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and home to some of the world’s most critical developing economies. But historically, US foreign policy has treated the continent as a monolith and a site for great power competition, ignoring the role of African nations in deciding their own future. This week, None of the Above is joined by Horn of Africa expert Michael Woldemariam, and journalist Robbie Gramer, to discuss America’s relationship with Sub-Saharan...


The Crude Truth: Emma Ashford on the Global Energy Crisis

The fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine has disrupted the global energy market and hiked the price of fuel nearly everywhere around the world. In Europe, which finds itself caught between efforts to cut itself off from Russian oil and Moscow’s firm grip on energy exports, the repercussions of today’s energy crisis are acute. While in the United States, which experienced high prices at the pump, efforts have been underway to resolve the crisis. But how much control does the United States...


From Kosovo to Kyiv: Jamie Shea on NATO Then and Now

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created at the dawn of the Cold War to stop the expansion of the Soviet Union. But in the 1990s, when NATO intervened in the Balkan wars, it assumed a new role for itself. Our guest this week was responsible, more than two decades ago, for explaining the NATO campaign in Kosovo to the international press. Now as NATO member countries assist Ukraine in its defense against Russia, can the alliance continue to provide security on the European...


Brink of Catastrophe: Matthieu Aikins and Masuda Sultan on the Plight of Afghans

The United Nations estimates around half of Afghanistan’s population – nearly 20 million people – faces acute hunger. The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan follows the end of America’s twenty-year war and the withdrawal of all US troops in August 2021. In February, the Biden administration decided to freeze nearly $10 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank in order to prevent money going into the hands of the Taliban. Are US policies exacerbating the humanitarian...


Losing China: Daniel Kurtz-Phelan on George Marshall’s Less Glorious Mission

General George Marshall occupies a central place in the pantheon of American heroes. He helped lead the Allies to victory in World War II, and as the secretary of state, he championed the plan to rebuild Europe which would be named for him: The Marshall Plan. But Marshall’s record as a statesman wasn’t perfect. Tapped by President Truman to negotiate an end to China’s civil war, he proved unable to broker a lasting settlement and prevent the country’s Communist takeover. In this episode,...


War Stories: Brooke Gladstone and Fred Kaplan on the Media, War, and Ukraine

From the Crimean War of 1853 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year, journalists, reporters, and the media have shaped the public’s understanding of war. But do the stories we read and the photos we see provide an impartial picture of the wars they document? As the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah recently explained in Foreign Policy, certain aspects of American war coverage—reliance on government sources and incentives to simplify geopolitics as battles between good and evil—have...


Tactical Brutality: Max Fisher on the Russian Way of War

The Russian military withdrew from Bucha at the end of March, a suburb of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Soon after, photos and stories revealed Russian atrocities, including the apparent intentional killing of civilians. This is sadly characteristic of the Russian way of war in other conflicts beyond Ukraine. Some, including President Biden, have accused Russia of committing genocide in Ukraine. But even if Putin’s military is guilty of acts of genocide and war crimes, will the world actually be...


Fuel to the Fire: Diego Luna and Ernesto López Portillo on the Rise of Militarism in Mexico

In October 2021, the United States and Mexico put an end to the Mérida Initiative—a thirteen-year, $3 billion security assistance package central to a new “war on drugs.” Despite years of weapons sales, military training, and intelligence sharing, the initiative failed to reduce crime and drug trafficking. Instead, violence and homicides increased throughout Mexico. Why? Our guests this week, Mexican movie star Diego Luna and scholar Ernesto López Portillo, argue America’s and Mexico’s...


War Power Politics (from the archive): Heather Brandon Smith & Rita Siemion on the rise and stall of AUMFs

Saturday marked the nineteenth anniversary of the beginning of the second Iraq War—a war Congress never formally declared. Instead, just like with America’s invasion of Afghanistan, Congress passed an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Together, these AUMFs provide the legal basis for the ongoing war on terror and have been loosely interpreted by every president since 2001 to authorize military action anywhere with little to no Congressional oversight. Though these AUMFs remain...