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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.




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...


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...


No Muppet, No Muppet. You're the Muppet.

This week we do our best impersonation of the Georgetown set recording from 1789 and lamenting the world gone to hell. We break down Pompeo's trip to North Korea, Theresa May's Brexit woes, and the NATO summit which has already been overrun by chaos Muppets. With so much White House mayhem, we focus on Trump's upcoming meeting with Putin, and Radha gets on her soapbox about MAVNI and suitability screenings. Need a pop-culture escape? We suggest Crazy Rich Asians and Sharp Objects. Chaos...


Mutually Assured Dysfunction

Bombshell goes international! Loren warily crosses the border to visit Stefanie von Hlatky, Stephanie Carvin, and Elaine Bunn for a special Canadian episode at the Kingston Conference on International Security. The ladies give deterrence a playlist and it’s own film series, then dive deeper into what deterrence means to the public and How to Teach Your President About Deterrence. And since deterrence is above all a human interaction, we discuss that elephant in the room: what it means to...


Practical, Tactical Brilliance

In the most ambitious crossover event since that one time on TGIF, Bombshell joins Rational Security for a very special joint episode. Radha, Erin, Loren, Shane, and Susan take on our hellscape of a government’s evolving policy on family separation; Radha as a Real Life Economist schools us on the not-so-cleansing fire of the latest trade wars, and, of course we go full blast on Space Force. You knew it was coming. It’s real. And it’s spectacular. Music by Future Teens Produced by Tre...


The Goat Rodeos

Radha, Loren, and Erin invite Alex Bell to preview the Singapore Trump-Kim summit, explaining that while there’s more than staring into one another’s eyes for arms control, chemistry is a good start. When we recorded, the G7 had wrapped but not yet crashed and burned into a playground taunt with Canada, so Radha gives a good lesson on tariffs instead of assessing border skirmishes along the Great Lakes. If you’ve been distracted you may have not noticed the absurd amount of Chinese...


The Hangover

This week we ask Emma Ashford to reveal the mysteries of Trump's Middle East policy. Then Loren, Radha, and Erin dive into the recent trade dramas before pondering whether the summit with North Korea is best understood as a Rom-Com or Telenovela. Colombian elections, change of command in Afghanistan, and the toxic culture within ICE round out the conversation before we escape to the wonders of pop-culture. Unforced Error: The Risks of Confrontation with IranCATO InstituteUnbalanced...


The Only Way Out Is through

This week the Bombshell crew does something different. After a crazy few days in the national security world, we break down the good, the bad, and the pop-culture remedies. From Spain to Iran, to Iraq and Lebanon, to Niger and back home to the Haspel hearings and aviation mishaps we ask ourselves: what are we doing here? Also, Arnie Hammer discovered Iran-Contra and we rank order our favorite Chrises. Revolutions Podcast FundraiserSpain's ETA Basque terrorists disbandEconomistHere's...


All He Had to Do Was Turn Left

This week on Bombshell, Rebecca Lissner of Penn's Perry World House guest hosts with Radha and Loren to discuss the handshake heard round the world at the DMZ. The Iran Deal is on the rocks yet again, despite the entreaties of a very affectionate President Macron of France and #squadgoals eye rolls of Chancellor Merkel. The White House has some personnel wins (Pompeo's confirmation), losses (Dr. Ronny Jackson's trash fire of a VA nomination) and draws (Gina Haspel's confirmation delay)....


Only Mostly Dead

This week on Bombshell, Radha, Erin, and Loren play natsec madlibs with Amanda Sloat, discussing every possible complexity of US-Syria policy during John Bolton's first week. The neverending potential for a trade war, protests in the run up to the US embassy in Israel's moving day, and Russian expulsions get a lightning round in Keeping Up Foreign Relations. And for White House mayhem they stick to the other side of the river, checking in on the disturbing trend of aviation mishaps, the...


Long Legs and Brains

Erin, Radha, and Loren make it back to the Show (where we never handle our own luggage), welcoming back all-star guest Kori Schake to talk NSC turnover, civil-military relations, and everything else that's radical in a tubular kind of way. We break down Kim Jong-Un's super-secret trip to Beijing and note that when the Saudi Crown Prince showed up for his two week tour of America, not all welcomes were warm. Meanwhile, VA Secretary Shulkin is out (sometimes you win), the president's personal...


Not Bringing Rexy Back

This week, the ladies of Bombshell welcome Lindsey Ford, from the ‎Asia Society Policy Institute, to chat about this spring's Appointment in Helsinki: the US-North Korea presidential summit. Then, they set an Iran Deal death watch and puzzle through what happens when Red Sparrow meets real life in the nerve-agent poisoning of a Russian double agent in the UK. White House mayhem continues to say "hold my beer" with the firing of Rex Tillerson and what it means for Trump administration...


Been Caught Steelin'

This week, the ladies of Bombshell welcome Sarah Margon, Washington Director of Human Rights Watch, to explore a side of the Syria conflict we discuss too little on this show: the human dimension. The ladies wade through three different political maelstroms in Italian elections, President Xi’s quest for immortality, and President Putin’s land of misfit nukes. Hairstyles, process, and wrongheaded beliefs about trade deficits explain the White House, and Radha plugs spoken word cookbooks...


No Joy in Munchen

This week, the Bombshell ladies welcome Lauren Fish of the Center for a New American Security to talk all things FY19 defense budget, including why this big funding increase may not be all that it seems. While finding future employment for Navy SEALs on the skeleton track, we talk North Korea’s charm offensive, how we and maybe everyone else have totally lost the plot in Syria, and why the Munich Security Conference was the party everyone wanted to bail on. We offer everything you wanted to...