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Episodes

Politics Over Turkey

11/17/2017
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Worried that Uncle Bob is going to start talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner? Have no fear! This is your simple guide to turning brewing fights into persuasive conversations.

Duration: 00:31:42


Princes to Jail, Trump to ROK, and Measuring the Costs of War

11/10/2017
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This week the team tackles the ongoing shakeup in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the President's speech in South Korea during his trip to Asia, and new research on the full costs of war.

Duration: 00:38:15


NY Attack, Domestic radicalization, and Russia Facebook ads

11/2/2017
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In the shadow of this week’s terrorist attack in New York, we discuss the connection between domestic politics and radicalization. And after the Senate holds hearings on Russian Facebook ads during the 2016 campaign, we dive deep into how voters and policymakers should think about the responsibilities of social media companies.

Duration: 00:32:49


The Politics of Being Above Politics. And China.

10/27/2017
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This week we’re jumping off comments by WH Chief of Staff John Kelly to dive deep into how Americans think about how civilians and military leaders should interact. Then we take a trip to Asia with promised follow-up on the 19th Communist Party Congress in China and the president’s planned trip the Asia in November. Links mentioned in the show: WH Chief of Staff John Kelly Remarks in the press briefing room https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps5ttDzWBaY Robert Killebew, US Army (Ret.) An Old...

Duration: 00:48:50


Iran Deal, TAA Missions, and the Dogs of the CIA

10/20/2017
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The world responds to President Trump decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement. The death of 4 servicemembers in Niger raises questions about US Train Advise and Assist (TAA) counter-terrorism missions. Practice for US civilian evacuation of South Korea raise eyebrows (unnecessarily, it turns out). And the CIA tweets about dogs.

Duration: 00:30:42


Nuclear Trump and the Pirates of SCOTUS

10/12/2017
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With President Trump expected to "de-certify" the Iran nuclear agreement on Friday, we walk through what that means and what happens next. Then it's a detour into some pretty crazy reporting about national security decision-making. Finally, we learn about a 1789 statute, what it has to do with pirates, and why the Supreme Court heard a case on it this week.

Duration: 00:40:47


Morons, Guns, and Facebook

10/6/2017
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Rex Tillerson gets caught being mean, the gun industry is legislated into darkness, and Facebook has some explaining to do. All that, and Caitlin finally explains to us what she does for a living. This week's very special episode is brought to you by a lack of sleep.

Duration: 00:51:41


Muslim Ban, Kurdistan, and Autumnal Beer

9/30/2017
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This week's episode is a day late because of technical difficulties. But we still managed to pull together a tight show: This week we cover the Muslim Ban 3.0, focusing on the refugee issue specifically, and explain how a referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is relevant to Americans. Bonus: Rebecca's spy novel recommendations.

Duration: 00:25:09


The Punch-Drunk Episode

9/22/2017
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The team, low on sleep and a little punch-drunk, got together this week to continue our discussion of Myanmar and what concrete steps countries and companies can take to respond to ethnic cleansing. Next up: Disaster response in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which are complicated by the fact that while they are America, they aren't states. And we were rudely interrupted by the latest Kim Jung Un threat during our recording. The show closes out with some good news.

Duration: 00:31:13


A Myanmar Explainer and Tillerson Walks Into the Senate Buzzsaw

9/14/2017
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GOPers in the Senate do not look kindly on attempts to cut diplomacy and development. We talk about two stories, what they mean, and why one idea to reform USAID might be worth considering. Then we take the time to walk through the crisis in Myanmar: What’s happening and the tensions in how policymakers think about responding to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. The show closes with three things to keep an eye on in the next month.

Duration: 00:32:41


Kim Junganistan

9/8/2017
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If you work in national security issues, you've been asked 42 times this month: "How scared should I be about North Korea?" So we figured it was time to answer it for everyone. What do they want? What can they do? What are the likely and unlikely scenarios? We got you covered. Then we dive deep into the Afghanistan strategy -- focused not just on the security questions at stake, but the moral and values challenges at the heart of that 16 year long conflict.

Duration: 00:46:41


Special Ambassadors, Korean Missiles, Uranium Banks, and Fracking Volcanoes

8/30/2017
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For our milestone 10th anniversary episode, the team dives deep into why the Special Envoy and Ambassador roles being cut at the State Department are important. We join North Korea's missiles mid-flight over Japan for a quick chat before coming back to earth and talking about NAFTA. Alex talks up a bank that sells uranium, and Xander reveals both her questionable taste in movies and why NASA wants to frack a volcano. Yeah, this one's fun.

Duration: 00:35:52


Domestic Terrorism, Radicalization, and a Nerd Baby Boom?

8/24/2017
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We return after a week off. The team takes a look at Charlottesville from the perspective of domestic terrorism and radicalization with guest expert Jasmine El-Gamal, before asking what impact these events and related politics have on our ability to execute a foreign policy. Then it’s a brief chat about the president’s speech on Afghanistan before wrapping up with good news.

Duration: 00:47:33


Two Men With Abnormally Small Hands

8/9/2017
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As the rhetoric mounts over North Korea, we ask a simple question: How do you make a nuclear weapon? It’s essential context for understanding everything from North Korea to the Iran deal to spending on the American arsenal. We dive into the war of words and over North Korea’s program before touching on topics we think folks should keep an eye out for these next few weeks. And the show ends with some good news.

Duration: 00:40:46


Russia dumps on Trump & Trump dumps Trans Servicemembers

8/2/2017
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As Russia responds unhappily to new sanctions, we ask if they’ve decided Trump's politics mean he simply can’t deliver changes to the relationship. Meanwhile, Tillerson’s staffing decisions continue to confuse us and threaten to undermine the State Department’s ability to recruit top talent. And we dive deep into the President’s tweet-order on trans servicemembers, the military’s reaction to it, and why it’s dangerous to use the military as a domestic political tool. All that and we manage...

Duration: 00:41:33


Empowering women, Decertifying Iran, and Choosing Fonts

7/26/2017
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We continue our series on foreign assistance with a deep dive into American programs that empower women economically and politically through family planning, maternal and prenatal care, and other gender-focused assistance. We discuss what happens if those programs are cut and how these issues are connected to domestic political values. Our guest for that discussion is Talia Dubovi of CSIS. We also pull apart recent reporting on the president’s attempt to torpedo the nuclear agreement with...

Duration: 00:41:46


BONUS: Foreign Assistance, Human Rights, and Democracy with Rose Jackson (Full Interview)

7/20/2017
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As promised, this is our first Bonus Episode! In episode 5 you heard a much-shortened version of Dave Solimini's interview with Rose Jackson. Rose was Chief of Staff at the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and before that spent years as a practitioner, working around the world on these issues. There was so much packed into our discussion that we decided to make the whole interview available. It dives pretty deep into how foreign aid funding helps protect...

Duration: 01:00:59


Foreign Assistance, ISIS Without Land, and Iran Without Nukes

7/20/2017
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In a jam-packed episode, we hear from former State Department official Rose Jackson about how America supports democracy and human rights through foreign assistance programs. It's a deep dive into how foreign aid funding promotes values and increases security. Then the crew of regular contributors got together to talk about what ISIS could look like when it doesn’t control land anymore. Finally, we took a look back at the Iran nuclear agreement, inked two years ago this week, and ask...

Duration: 00:50:55


The Threats of Warsaw and the Hotels of Hamburg

7/12/2017
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For the first time, our recording is timed to respond to breaking news! After we’ve picked our jaws up off the floor over Trump Junior emails, it’s off to Europe. We step back and take a look at the President’s Warsaw speech, its unusual language, and why defining “the West” matters to him and us. Then we dive into why the fact that the White House didn’t book a hotel room for the President isn’t actually funny, but signals real problems in policy and planning. Under the radar lifts...

Duration: 00:38:26


DPRK, NPT, IAEA, CTBT, WTF? The Nuclear Alphabet Soup Edition

6/28/2017
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The Secure Line goes nuclear and we welcome a new regular contributor. Episode 3 gets into the weeds on the nuclear weapons program of the DPRK -- that's North Korea to most of us -- their bomb and missile tests and the options and tools America and our allies have to respond. Then we take a step back and talk about the system of rules, norms, institutions, and treaties that make up international efforts to control nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear war. There's even a little...

Duration: 00:42:39

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