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This is one of three War on the Rocks podcast series.

This is one of three War on the Rocks podcast series.
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This is one of three War on the Rocks podcast series.




Real or Fake?

The ladies of Bombshell take on proteins and Afghanistan policy all in one segment with special guest Frances Brown. Across the pond, Brexit is going nowhere fast and NATO is celebrating a grand birthday while the American president is questioning whether he wants to keep paying dues. In It’s Aghast, 5G is fast, the future, and not so much fun for American competitiveness. And in White House mayhem, the Congress mustered up some war powers energy to get the US out of the military operations...


Think Instead About Having a Great Life

Join Bombshell for a rousing discussion of the fathomless train wreck that is Brexit and the increasing lack of predictability of the upcoming Israeli elections. Believe it or not, China trade talks are not going as well as they might, as we discuss in "It's Aghast." In White House mayhem, President Trump issued a tremendous press release on the fourth or fifth defeat of ISIL with some bombast and a little general life advice, while recognizing the generally illegal Israeli annexation of the...


Live at Duke University!

Erin, Radha, and Loren made the trip to Duke University to join the Carlucci National Security Symposium at the Sanford School of Public Policy. On the agenda for this special live show: topics we want presidential candidates to debate, big ideas we want to stop hearing about in foreign policy and what big issues that bridge the public and private sectors should we be worrying more about. It is unclear whether Erin has performed enough penance for visiting Duke in basketball...


Ain't It Hard Keeping It So Hardcore

This week Dr. Tanvi Madan joins the ladies to explain the brewing crisis between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Then Radha breaks down last week’s trade negotiations with China (what really is an MOU anyway and what happened to our leverage?). We revisit Venezuela as the Vice President prepares for a trip to the region and then discuss the humanitarian and policy implications of the “ISIS wives.” White House Mayhem lives up to its name with uncoordinated Syria policies, rogue nuclear reactor...


Shove It All Into OCO

This week Paula Garcia Tufro joins the Radha, Loren, and Erin to discuss the brewing crisis in Venezuela. Then the ladies fashion an update on Brexit, explore uncharted waters in Iraq, and ask what is the point of a second North Korea summit when nothing has happened since the first! Radha unpacks recent trade negotiations with China before the group asks the unanswerable question: just how much money can you shove into OCO? Finally, Erin and Loren profess their undying love for Matthew...


A Few Good Men

It's our 2nd annual Manniversary episode! We dug deep to find the most smoldering hot takes from the men in the national security arena. Join us for a far-ranging discussion with Stan McChrystal, Jeffrey Lewis, and Clint Watts! Links Leaders: Myth and Reality The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake New Produced by Tre...


Makes We Wonder Why I Even Bring the Thunder

Bombshell returns in 2019 with a new set of Bombshell questions and a guest, Dana Stroul, to give our best shot at explaining US-Syria policy. Secretary Pompeo has finished a whirlwind tour (while his staff are unpaid) trying to do the same, and at least one of the parties to potential US-North Korea summit seems to be doing its homework (guess which). The team digs deep into the longest government shutdown in history and considers just what kind of emergency it would be if Trump used...


Live at the National WWI Museum!

Loren and Erin travel to Kansas City for a special live recording at the National World War I Museum. Joined by John Ismay and Steve Leonard, they dig into the many aspects of the Forever Wars including some Civ-Mil 101, opportunities for oversight and accountability, and everyone's favorite GWOT film. Links Generations of WarCNAS Conflicting Partisan Priorities for U.S. Foreign PolicyPew Research CenterTom Hanks Thinks Hollywood Isn't Best Suited to Tell Stories of Iraq, Afghanistan...


An Emergency Bomblette

This ONE TIME we huddled for an emergency podcast. Because the Secretary of Defense resigned in protest. That doesn’t happen everyday. At least we hope not. Enjoy!


It Was a Very Good Year

This week Radha, Loren, and Erin sit down to try and figure out just what the hell happened in 2018. Storm clouds gather as the ladies discuss what NatSec stories we missed - and what we’ll still be talking about in 10 years. But Radha brings the sunshine as we discuss the most important events for the military services in 2018 (which sadly has not resulted in any Space Marines). We wrap up with a review of the Administration’s secret villains and heroes and put a bow on it with movie plot...


And the Money Kept Rolling In

This week Erin, Loren, and Radha read the G20 tea leaves, opine on continued chaos in Afghanistan, and remind you about all the White House mayhem from Saudi politics to a Moscow Trump Tower. Radha gets way too excited about USMCA (pronounced U-Smack-Ah) and all things trade before the ladies round some pop culture. Keeping Up Foreign Relations Afghanistan At Least 40 People Killed in Deadly 24 Hours Across AfghanistanTIME3 American service members killed in Afghanistan roadside...


Come What May

Erin, Radha, and Loren invited Dr. Lindsay Cohn of the U.S. Naval War College to join their posse and explain America's history of employing the military for domestic purposes. In Keeping Up Foreign Relations, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is still negotiating the terms of her break up with the EU, and new revelations on the tragic killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are giving us a collective heart attack. A new entrant to White House mayhem, First Lady Melania Trump, flexes her muscle to...


A Post-Election Bomblette

Loren, Erin, and Radha meet up in a special short episode to talk about the election aftermath. What will happen with the change in the house, who is on the Senate armed services committee, and what is oversight anyway?! Plus, a quick discussion on the defense budget and why data and statistics should be a year-round pastime! Music by Future Teens Produced by Tre Hester


Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

This week Tamara Cofman Wittes joins the Bombshell ladies to discuss the fallout of the Khashoggi assassination and the future of US-Saudi relations. We get further bogged down in Afghanistan and try to understand the migrant caravan moving north from Central America. Then Radha tries to cheer us up by explaining the intricacies of the Universal Postal Union. For icing on the cake, we dive deep into the INF treaty and wonder if the Defense Department really being asked to cut its...


Every Rosé has a Thorn

This week, Loren, Radha, and Erin are reunited to discuss such cheery topics as political assassinations and sexual violence (albeit in the form of Nobel Prizes awarded to combat it). Radha dives deep on NAFTA 2.0, and we work our way through the crazy Chinese hacked hardware story. Rounding out White House Mayhem, John Bolton is back and joins the president and vice president in making blustery foreign policy speeches. And Erin demands answers on Banksy's newest prank. New WOTR podcast:...


In Vino Veritas

This week on bombshell Erin and Radha drink at Kori Schake's favorite bar in the world. Joined by Amelia Egghart, they discuss why climate change is still a thing and the (lack of) process in national security issues from Syria to Korea. They also remind us why you shouldn't start a land or trade war in Asia. And of course all the White House mayhem that's fit to print. Did we mention the guest was a...


Live at the Army Navy Club!

The Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC, hosted Loren and Radha this week for a live show. Lara Seligman of Foreign Policy and Valerie Insinna of Defense News joined the Bombshell crew to discuss defense journalism in the Trump administration, what it's like to cover a 17 year old war, and the most mayhem of mayhem weeks the White House has had in the last year. To listen to the audience Q&A for this episode, sign up for the War Hall at


Next Time Jack Write a Memo

Erin, Radha, and Loren head back to school from summer break, with smiling and shining faces. This week they catch up on some extensive Kabul mayhem, covering recent Taliban forays into Afghan-government controlled cities, the state of possible negotiations among both parties, and how this fits into new changes on command at ISAF and CENTCOM. Revisiting a topic that's come up since the first episode of Bombshell, the ladies check in on U.S. support to the coalition campaign in Yemen and...


It’s Aghast

While the ladies of Bombshell will talk with just about anyone, should the U.S. government? Bombshell dives into President Trump's proclivity for theatrical political summits with adversaries, following up on current efforts in Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran. Radha introduces a new segment on trade: It's Aghast! And the National Defense Authorization Act is a 2500 page gold mine of wonky policy fun. Keeping up Foreign Relations North Korea North Korea continuing nuclear programme -...


And Now For Something Quite Special

Alina Polyakova of Brookings joins the Bombshell crew to dive into the fallout from the Helsinki Summit. Radha furthers our education on tariffs, er trade taxes, as the great trade war of 2018 slouches toward chaos. Meanwhile, Teresa May’s Brexit woes continue as she mucks around with Northern Ireland. And despite Secretary Pompeo’s personal attention, President Trump is catching on to the fact that Singapore did not set up the greatest of deals with North Korea. In White House mayhem...