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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.




Be Like Shawn

Bombshell returns from a long winter's nap for its first 2018 episode and first test run of a brand new set of Bombshell questions! Christy Abizaid joins us to talk Pakistan and the joys of Austin, TX, and we talk protests in Iran and what happens when South Korea hears that hotline bling. Yet another White House shuffle could be in the works, and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of a new defense strategy. Finally, hyperspace ramming and Nazi uncles get the attention you'd expect from us...

Duration: 00:49:04

Special Episode: Live from Maxwell AFB!

Loren, Radha, and Erin traveled to Maxwell AFB for a special live year in review episode at the Air Command and Staff College. Come for their thoughts on the biggest national security stories of the year and stay for an extended Q&A with ACSC students (starting around 39:00). Plus, bonus Star Wars commentary.

Duration: 01:36:48

We Can Only Hope, Sir

This week Susanna Blume joins to tell us how the sausage is made on Capitol Hill - the defense budget, continuing resolutions, and other congressional hijinks. And Radha returns from maternity leave! Then we wade through the president's Jerusalem announcement and recent Brexit breakthroughs, before dissecting the new National Security Strategy. And of course we discuss Season 2 of "The Crown" - and our new gift guide! Episode Reading: A Brief History of Defense Budget...

Duration: 00:54:04

Candlesticks Always Make a Nice Gift

This week on Bombshell we talk with Mieke Eoyang about, well, basically everything. We take a rapid fire tour of political dramas in Zimbabwe, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. Stop for a bit to bask in the crazy sunshine of Turkish plots and then return to the United States just to ask: Exactly how many troops do we have overseas? Then just for kicks, we debate what a lawful order for a nuclear first strike would look like. We wrap up with Mieke's Twitter conversation with John Cusack...

Duration: 00:50:45

Burn Before Pleading

This week on Bombshell, Quinta Jurecic of Lawfare (and Washington Post!) fame joins us to break down the Mueller investigation, AUMF debate, and whether Mike Flynn is really a character from a Coen Brothers' movie. We also discuss the president's trip to Asia and do our best to understand the drama in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, which is all happening without the benefit of a functioning State Department. Quinta confesses her love of James Comey's Twitter account, while Erin and Loren do...

Duration: 00:46:52

The Fallout's Gonna Kill You

This week on Bombshell, Alice Hunt Friend joins us to talk all things Africa and civ-mil. We dive into U.S. operations in Niger and the Kenyan elections reboot. Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping get new mandates while preparing for the president’s big trip to Asia, along with the rest of us. And we all wait for the fallout from the Mueller indictments. Produced by Tre Hester Music: Lovira, All Things Considered Episode Reading: What Does Niger Have to Do with the AUMFCenter for...

Duration: 00:45:46

Me too and the Gimme Gimmes

This week on Bombshell, special guest Elizabeth Rosenberg explains the art of unmaking the Iran deal and the consequences of the Trump administration's Iran 'strategy.' Foreign relations are keeping us busy with a tinderbox in Kirkuk at the worst possible time, and a new lens on the Pentagon's under-scrutinized advise and assist efforts in Africa that resulted in four soldier's killed in an ambush this month. Mattis and the White House are sending mixed signals on transparency and...

Duration: 00:56:05

We Got This, Rexy

This week, the Bombshell squad goes shoulder to shoulder into the fray of referenda for the Iraqi Kurds and the Catalans in Spain, alongside a recap of the German general election. Like many women have before us, we ask "Why Chad?" and explore the merits of the new Trump travel ban. We wonder if it was painful for Secretary Tillerson to get cut off at the knees over North Korea, and contemplate the interagency fun of the Puerto Rico relief efforts. Finally, we spend some quality time...

Duration: 00:46:53

How I Learned to Start Worrying...

Erin, Radha, and Loren get the band back together and invite Laura Rosenberger to dish about the launch of the Alliance for Security Democracy (her new project aimed at countering Russian efforts to undermine democratic institutions), her love of the Steelers, and our open invitation to military listeners to help us land on a carrier. Then it's Groundhog Day in Keeping of Foreign Relations, with new antics and new histrionics around North Korea and Iran, and White House mayhem heads to New...

Duration: 00:53:07

Lattes at the End of the World

This week, Bombshell bids farewell to summer with our final distributed ops episode, closing out what has been a nice, quiet August (ha. ha). Afghanistan is, as usual, still a thing, but this time President Trump - or his teleprompter - actually gave us some thoughts on the matter. We lament waking up to a nuclear test in North Korea and the latest chapters in the Kenyan election and China-India border disputes, and drill down on how everything became about readiness and readiness became...

Duration: 00:54:36

Livin' in a Powder Keg

This week the Bombshell crew preps for the eclipse from opposite corners of the world to ask why we haven't all perished in the Fire and the Fury (alternate title for our next romance novel). Along with North Korea we talk India-China donnybrooks, military 'options' in Venezuela, and are somehow not overwhelmed by all the mayhem emanating from the White House. We go once more with feeling in Afghanistan, ask what Bannon's departure will mean for foreign policy, and debate the Chiefs...

Duration: 00:43:15

Day-Drinking Like a Queen

This week on Bombshell, we each dial in from parts-unknown to compare our drinking habits to the Queen of England. We also discuss new North Korean sanctions, whether anyone sent flowers to the new Pakistani Prime Minister, and what on earth is happening in Venezuela. White House mayhem is dialed to eleven and we dissect leaks, tweets, and the new sheriff in town. Finally Loren and Radha confess their love of spoilers because they’re obviously insane control freaks. Episode...

Duration: 00:41:22

How to Lose a Clearance in 10 Days

Susan Hennessey of Lawfare and Rational Security fame joins Radha and Erin to wade through recertifying the Iran deal, social media shenanigans in the Persian Gulf, and whither the new Russia sanctions. Also on tap: all the leaks! and how we forgot about our $1 billion in foreign loans. Radha swoons over a baby hippo and Erin begs Loren to return so we can talk about Jon and Sansa. Reading: Trump Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal, But Only ReluctantlyThe New York TimesThe attack on Poland’s...

Duration: 00:41:55

In Space, No One Can Hear you Scream

Special guest Amy Shafer joins us for the full show and highlights her fabulous research on the civil-military divide in America (and dishes on the Air Force Tops in Blue). Then we celebrate the liberation of Mosul, walk through the North Korean missile test, and wonder what exactly happened at the G20 meetings. Also on the table: Whither our Afghan strategy? And Erin gets giddy over space marines. Stick around for our “Game of Thrones” preview!* *By which we mean fan-girl shouts of joy...

Duration: 00:48:51

Bombshell LIVE! Fake News Edition

A special LIVE episode from the CNAS annual conference. We pour some French 75s and talk to Karen Attiah and Jia Lynn Yang from The Washington Post about national security in a time of distraction. Then we dive into the Modi visit, late night Syria shots, and Defense Department recruiting and personnel issues. We wrap up with questions from the audience and a blast from the past: how not to dress like an Army colonel. Music: “Jennifer Lawrence,” by Future Teens; Produced by Tré Hester

Duration: 00:56:32

Gutter? Catahr? Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

How do you solve a problem like Qatar? This week over Pimms Cups, we talk with Mara Karlin about all the Middle East dramas (and why she loves the SAIS cult). We lament the State Dept budget and UK politics, pay tribute to the USS Fitzgerald, and wonder if we’ll ever have a strategy in Afghanistan or Syria. Finally, American Gods, the Manic Pixie Dream S2 of Band of Brothers, and Fidget Spinners. Reading: Afghanistan Stabilization Program: A Summary of Research and Key Outcome TrendsUK...

Duration: 00:47:57

Soon, and For the Rest of Your Life

This week we go it alone to focus on your questions! We force Radha and Loren to actually define their true loves of process and staffing, all while drinking delicious white sangria. Plus, what’s a wonk? Then we dig into the president’s whirlwind trip, upcoming U.K. elections and Erin and Radha's obsession with measurement error, how to make decisions on major international agreements after a Frenchman shakes your hand too hard, and whether the world is really as zero-sum as reality...

Duration: 00:47:39

Drink to the Foam

This week we trek out to the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis for a geek field trip of epic proportions (three words: Jack Ryan's couch). We drink some rum and Claude Berube's scotch, and ring up former Under Secretary of the Navy Janine Davidson to talk about service secretaries, readiness, and why there is no Santa Claus. Then we dive into the Iranian elections, Syrian proxy war(s), our many desires for special counsels and other investigations, good skin care, and the defense...

Duration: 00:49:16

Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Bombshells

This week on Bombshell, we say nothing about Jim Comey! We recorded Monday and who could have guessed we'd be here today? Instead, we discuss recent casualties in Afghanistan and Somalia, check in on Venezuela and the French elections, and talk about the many ways one does and does not talk to friendly dictators. We also do our part to keep Costco margaritas in business. And then, in honor of Mother’s Day, we talk to our moms. You should too (your moms, not ours). Episode Reading: Elite...

Duration: 00:54:33

Mother of all Bombshells

This week on "Bombshell," we dissect Trump’s first 100 days: whither America First, Axis of Adults (or just the big kids table?), budget shenanigans, and delegating all the things. But first, Mira Rapp-Hooper joins us to walk through the state of play on the Korean Peninsula (and reveals where you can get literal bombshells made into knives). And then Loren and Erin confess why all we want in life is Mara Jade back in the Star Wars canon. Want to meet the Bombshell crew in person? Click...

Duration: 00:52:42

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