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None Of The Above
22 minutes | 15 days ago
Episode 2: Proven Right
On September 14th, 2001, Congress passed a 60-word joint resolution granting President George W. Bush nearly unchecked authority to fight a “War on Terror." Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California was the sole vote against that resolution. She warned that the broad authorities granted by its Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) would be abused by the executive branch. Nearly twenty years later, Representative Lee's concerns have tragically been validated, as the war authorizations passed in 2001 and 2002 have been used to justify military action from North Africa to the Philippines, far beyond what the authorities for which the AUMF was intended. On today’s episode of None Of The Above, Eurasia Group Foundation senior fellow Mark Hannah is joined by Representative Lee to discuss the legacy of these authorizations. They discuss Lee's 20-year fight, and her transformation from a lone voice of dissent to a leader of what is now a bipartisan movement to restore Congressional war authorities. Will the Biden administration follow through on its promise to respect Congress’s constitutional role? And, might the "forever wars" which have been fought across the globe for nearly two decades finally come to an end? Congresswoman Barbara Lee has represented California's 13th district in the United State House of Representatives since 1998. In Congress she sits on the Budget and Appropriations Committees, and is the chair of the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee. She also serves as the co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee in Democratic leadership, and led efforts to place limiting executive authority over military forces in the Democratic Party’s platform last year.
25 minutes | a month ago
Episode 1: Beyond the Pacific
President Biden came into office vowing to restore America’s longstanding alliances across the Atlantic. However, while Europe’s security relationship with the United States remains relatively strong, Europe’s economic ties to China have surged. Will Europe keep growing closer to America's strategic rival? If so, what are the consequences for American security and prosperity? This week, Ian Bremmer, the political scientist and founder of the Eurasia Group Foundation, joins host Mark Hannah to discuss the battle for influence in Europe. Are America’s current policies curbing China’s economic and technological influence effectively, or will America’s “new Cold War” approach backfire, strengthening China’s ties to a part of the world in which America has long enjoyed a dominant influence? Ian Bremmer is a political scientist and is the founder and board president of the Eurasia Group Foundation. You can follow Ian on Twitter @ianbremmer.
24 minutes | a month ago
Episode 18: Reflections From Mexico
Mexico ought to occupy a prominent place on the list of America’s foreign policy priorities, given its proximity. Yet political leaders in the United States historically devote resources and attention to further reaches of the globe, neglecting their Southern neighbor and downplaying the ways in which the two countries' histories and futures are intertwined. That might be changing with President Biden. This week, Jorge Castañeda, who was Mexico’s foreign minister, joins the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to discuss U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations, and Castañeda's new book, America Through Foreign Eyes. Their discussion spans the intensifying migration crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how foreign publics view the US to broader questions about America’s role in the world. Jorge Castañeda served as Mexico’s minister of foreign affairs under President Vincente Fox from 2000-2003. He has authored fourteen books, the most recent of which is America Through Foreign Eyes. He holds a Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of Paris (Panthéon-La Sorbonne), and is a visiting professor of politics and Latin America studies at New York University. You can follow Jorge on Twitter at @JorgeGCastaneda.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 17: Memories of Gitmo
Few places in the world symbolize America’s “War On Terror” as poignantly as Guantanamo Bay. Opened in January 2002, the detention center has extrajudicially imprisoned terrorism suspects without due process throughout four presidencies. One such prisoner was Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man from Mauritania, who was kidnapped, tortured, and detained without charges, for fourteen years. While imprisoned, Mohamedou wrote a memoir about his confinement. After a lengthy review process, the book was published in 2015, quickly became a best-seller, and was adapted into the film The Mauritanian, released last month. This week, Mohamedou speaks with the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to reflect on his experience, his newfound freedom, and America's role in the world today. Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian writer. In 2001, Mohemadou was detained through the United States' extraordinary rendition program under suspicion that he was a member of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and later imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay without charge. While imprisoned, Mohamedou was subjected to what the United States refers to as enhanced integration techniques, described by many as torture. Mohamedou published Guantanamo Diary, a memoir of his imprisonment, and he successfully petitioned for his own release in 2016. He now lives in Nouakchott, Mauritania where he is still waiting to be reunited with his family in Germany. His latest book is The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga (2021).
29 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 16: Should We Stay Or Should We Go?
In just two months, U.S. troops are slated to withdraw from Afghanistan per an agreement with the Taliban. It’s unclear whether President Biden will adhere to the terms of the agreement, or whether he’ll try to extend the withdrawal deadline and keep American troops in Afghanistan. Many are calling on the president to prolong the troop deployment until Afghanistan stabilizes -- or perhaps indefinitely. Others argue the May 1 deadline is the best chance in two decades for the U.S. to finally end America’s longest war. This week, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah brings you into this debate. Joined by two leading experts, Laurel Miller and Adam Weinstein, Mark explores the stakes of President Biden’s decision to follow through on, attempt to modify, or walk away from, the agreement made during the previous administration. Laurel Miller is the director of the International Crisis Group's Asia Program. An experienced diplomat, Miller served as deputy and then later as the acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the State Department. Laurel has taught at Georgetown University and was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a JD from the University of the Chicago School of Law. @LaurelMillerICG Adam Weinstein is a research fellow at the Quincy Institute. His research focuses on security and the rule of law in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Adam served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan in 2012 and is a member of the American Pakistan Foundation's Leadership Council. He holds a JD from Temple University's Beasley School of Law. @AdamNoahWho
33 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 15: Can Europe Defend Itself?
President Biden promises to restore and renew America’s commitment to NATO and its European allies. Supporters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization argue Russian aggression compels continued American military engagement on the continent. But is Russia really so threatening and is Europe really so weak? Professor Barry Posen of MIT joins the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to discuss the future of the alliance and America’s security interests in Europe. They cover Posen’s recent piece for the journal Survival, in which he insists - and demonstrates how - Europe can defend itself. Barry Posen is the Ford International Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A leading proponent of the realist approach to international relations, Posen is the author of Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy. His work regularly appears in International Security and The American Interest.
23 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 14: Biden’s Foreign Policy Team
As the Biden administration takes shape, many wonder whether it will implement a truly progressive foreign policy agenda. President Biden’s early action to freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia has given progressives hope. However, several key national security and foreign policy appointments project a more complicated picture. Katrina vanden Heuvel, long-time editor and part owner of The Nation, joins Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to unpack early indications of whether President Biden will follow through on the realistic and humble foreign policy on which he campaigned. If, as the adage goes, “personnel is policy,” what do his cabinet nominees and early appointments tell us about the president’s vision and agenda? Finally, vanden Heuvel explores what might be done to curb some of the interventionist impulses starting to play out among Biden’s inner circle. Katrina vanden Heuvel is Editorial Director and Publisher for The Nation and a weekly columnist for The Washington Post. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of directors for the Institute of Policy Studies. @KatrinaNation
31 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 13: War Power Politics
The so-called war on terror will soon be twenty years old -- and there is no end in sight. The legal basis for this endless war is grounded in two authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs), passed in 2001 and 2002. AUMFs are designed to keep presidents accountable to Congress, stopping short of formal declarations of war. However, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs specify no geographic bounds or sunset provisions. They have been interpreted by every president since 2001 to authorize military action anywhere. Congress fails to challenge this expansive interpretation of executive authority. In this episode, host Mark Hannah is joined by Heather Brandon Smith (from the Friends Committee on National Legislation) and Rita Siemion (from Human Rights First), both experts on AUMFs and advocates for their repeal. They discuss the history of these AUMFs, why repealing them is necessary to end America’s endless wars, and the prospects for reform under the Biden administration. Heather Brandon Smith is the legislative director for militarism and human rights at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington, DC. She teaches law at Georgetown University and was formerly the advocacy counsel for national security at Human Rights First. She holds LL.M.s from the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia. You can follow Heather on Twitter at @HBrandonSmith. Rita Siemion is the director for national security advocacy at Human Rights First in Washington, DC. She teaches law at the Georgetown University Law Center and American University's Washington College of Law. Formerly Rita was senior counsel at the Constitution Project. She holds an LL.M. in National Security Law from the Georgetown University Law Center. You can follow Rita on Twitter at @ritasiemion.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 12: Countries in Glass Houses
After the violent riots on Capitol Hill last Wednesday left America’s democratic institutions shaken, foreign policy leaders in Washington grappled with America’s credibility on the world stage. The next day, the Atlantic Council’s Emma Ashford wrote a provocative piece in Foreign Policy arguing, “It’s a sign of how broken U.S. foreign-policy debates are that the primary reaction from many commentators was to worry about America’s moral authority and global leadership.” Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah spoke with Emma about her frustrations with the foreign policy community’s response. Emma argues that America must first shore up its ability to protect democracy at home before trying to promote it abroad. Emma Ashford is a resident senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council and a columnist at Foreign Policy. @EmmaMAshford
34 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 11: Foreign Affairs Update
As Washington prepares to transition from a Trump to a Biden presidency, how might we expect America’s global role to change in the years ahead? This week, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah speaks with Inkstick Media’s Laicie Heeley and The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor to suss out the possible consequences for U.S. foreign policy. From the Middle East to China, this week’s episode explores what’s in store for the future of the international order (such as it is). Laicie Heeley is the CEO and founder of Inkstick Media and is the host of Inkstick Media and Public Radio International’s national security and foreign policy podcast “Thing That Go Boom!” Ishaan Tharoor is a columnist on the foreign desk of The Washington Post and authors the Today's WorldView newsletter and column.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 10: Militarizing Public Health?
Multiple promising vaccines for the coronavirus are nearing FDA approval, and the United States is gearing up for widespread vaccination. While the beginning of the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight, the effect of the virus on international politics remains less clear. This week, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah is joined by defense procurement and national security expert Dr. Eugene Gholz. They discuss what role the military should (and shouldn’t) play in distributing the vaccine and the complicated history of the Defense Production Act. They also explore the geopolitical impact of the coronavirus on the U.S.-China relationship, and its implications for a more restrained U.S. foreign policy. Dr. Eugene Gholz is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and Adjunct Scholar at CATO’s Defense and Foreign Policy Initiative. From 2010-2012, he served in the Pentagon as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy. Gholz co-authored “Come Home, America,” a seminal article making the case for a restrained American foreign policy.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 9: Regime Change
President-elect Joe Biden sees the world very differently than President Trump. He’s promised to reinvigorate diplomacy, and his approach to a range of pressing national security challenges – from Afghanistan to Iran to China – will likely diverge starkly from that of the current president. Biden has also begun to assemble his foreign policy team. State Department senior staffers and long-time Biden aides Anthony Blinken and Jake Sullivan will reportedly be nominated as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor (respectively), and Pentagon veteran Michelle Flournoy will be Biden's pick for Secretary of Defense. Who are these people and what does their selection mean for Biden's approach to international relations? Do these choices augur a confrontation between Biden and his progressive critics on foreign policy? Vox national security writer Alex Ward joins host Mark Hannah for a conversation on the last two months of the Trump administration, and the future of American foreign policy under President-elect Biden. Alex Ward is a staff writer for Vox on international security and defence, and co-host of Vox’s Worldly podcast on international affairs. He formerly was an associate director at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and holds an MA from American University in International Relations. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexWardVox.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: Will President Biden End The War?
In February 2020, the U.S. government and the Taliban signed an agreement with steps to end the war in Afghanistan. With Intra-Afghan talks also underway between the Taliban and the Afghan government, the end to the war is in sight… though it’s not without complications. In recognition of Veterans Day and the election of a new president who will now inherit America’s longest war, Mark Hannah speaks with retired Army general Donald Bolduc and Kabul-based journalist Ali Latifi. What do we know about Joe Biden’s plans for the Afghanistan war, and what challenges does a new administration face in — and possibly pose to — the peace process? General Donald Bolduc served 10 tours in Afghanistan and is a former Green Beret. He was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire earlier this year. In 2001, he commanded the special forces that the United States inserted into the South of Afghanistan after 9/11. He is a prominent advocate for veterans and mental health. You can follow Don on Twitter @GenDonBolduc. Ali Latifi is a journalist based in Kabul. Born in Kabul, Ali grew up in California before he returned to Afghanistan in 2013 to cover the on-going war. Ali has written extensively on the Taliban’s presence and diplomacy in Doha. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine, Al Jazeera English, Los Angeles Times, VICE, The New York Times, and CNN. You can follow Ali on Twitter at @alibomaye.
27 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 7: At the Crossroads (Again)
The 2016 U.S. presidential election may have been the most divisive election in modern memory. The aftermath has left the United States in a period of “agonizing reappraisal” over America’s role in the world. Four years later, the United States appears to still be at a crossroads between Donald Trump’s vision of an “America First” foreign policy and Joe Biden’s promised restoration of a “liberal international order.” This week, host Mark Hannah is joined by Margaret Hoover and David Eisenhower, prominent descendants of two American presidents, to discuss what is at stake for foreign policy in next week’s election. Does Donald Trump represent a paradigm shift in American foreign policy? Is the restoration which Joe Biden seeks possible? They also discuss America's relationship with China, a topic which looms large in American foreign policy today. Does China’s emergence as a competitor augur a coming conflict or can we avoid a second cold war? Margaret Hoover is the host of PBS’s “Firing Line,” a conservative political commentator, and a regular contributor for CNN. She is the great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover and serves on the board of overseers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter: @MargaretHoover. David Eisenhower is an author, public policy fellow, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is the Director of the Institute for Public Service. He is also the host of “The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower,” on American Public Television (APT). He is the grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower and the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon.
34 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 6: American Supremacy
Historian Stephen Wertheim traces America’s decision for global military dominance back to World War II in a widely anticipated book published this month. Some anticipated Donald Trump would follow through on a campaign promise to end America’s endless wars, and finally break the United States from the globe-spanning role in which it cast itself. But Wertheim points out that President Trump is as conventional in his quest for military dominance as most other presidents before him. This week, host Mark Hannah sits down with Wertheim to discuss the origins of American military supremacy, the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and what it all means for the future of America’s global role. Stephen Wertheim is a historian of American foreign relations and the co-founder and deputy director of research and policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. His forthcoming book is Tomorrow, The World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy. You can follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenwertheim.
35 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 5: With the World Watching
Commentators describe the first presidential debate of the 2020 general election as a "hot mess inside a dumpster fire," "a bad reality TV show," and "a complete disaster." What insights on American foreign policy might we – and the rest of the world – draw in its aftermath? In this episode, host Mark Hannah is joined by Doug Wilson, the national security policy advisor for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s erstwhile presidential campaign. Doug also served in the Obama administration as the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. We reflect on the first presidential debate in the context of U.S. national security policy, and on how the politics of American foreign policy is interpreted by America’s friends and foes. Doug discusses his involvement in the Buttigieg campaign, the importance of democratic legitimacy for statecraft, and the most recent survey of American public opinion on foreign policy from the Eurasia Group Foundation's Independent America project
28 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 4: Strange Bedfellows
The United States has been mired in endless war for more than a generation. This week, journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept sits down with the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to discuss the true costs of America’s militarized foreign policy. Are journalists so used to reporting on the polarization of the American electorate that they miss the close collaboration between Democrats and Republicans in Congress to pursue pro-war policies? Ultimately, Glenn argues, “the policies that both parties endorse, a posture of endless war, of militarism, of aggression, of blind support for Israel, not only are amoral, but are actually contrary to the interest of the American people.” Glenn Greenwald is co-founder of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books. Glenn has won numerous awards for his reporting on mass surveillance and human rights abuses against the backdrop of the War on Terror. You can listen to his new show System Update and follow him on Twitter @ggreenwald.
30 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 3: Reclaiming History
In the wake of protests surrounding the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, America’s institutions are reckoning with their roles in legacies of slavery and racism. The U.S. military is no exception. This week, Bishop Garrison, a U.S. Army veteran and former homeland security and defense official, joins None Of The Above to discuss this reckoning. From the renaming of Army bases named after Confederate figures to the recruitment of veterans by white nationalist organizations and the importance of diversity in the enlisted and officer ranks, Bishop delves into the moral and strategic importance of representation in America’s most vital national security institutions. Bishop Garrison is the director of national security outreach at Human Rights First and is president and co-founder of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. His most recent article is “Challenges to Improving Racial Representation in the Military.” You can follow Bishop on Twitter@BishopGarrison.
24 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 2: The Atomic Bomb’s First Victims
The U.S. bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago this month. Although nuclear weapons haven’t been used in combat since, they continue to proliferate across the globe. This week, two activists from New Mexico explain the lesser known costs of the production of nuclear weapons, from the devastation inflicted on indigenous communities by impact testing and mining around the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to the risks modernization poses to national security. As the U.S. prepares to embark upon a major nuclear modernization program, will the impact on civilians worsen? Beata Tsosie-Pena is the environmental health and justice program coordinator at Tewa Women United and a Los Alamos National Laboratory downwinder. Jay Coghlan is the executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico and has worked on nuclear weapons and environmental issues for the past 25 years.
29 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 1: Endless War Comes Home
In May 2020, the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor touched off some of the largest protests in U.S. history and shone a spotlight on police militarization. This week, the ACLU's Hina Shamsi explains the connections between brutal police tactics and the ongoing War on Terror, from the Insurrection Act to drone strikes overseas. More than fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned of the interconnected evils of racism and militarism, can America overcome police violence at home and endless war abroad? Hina Shamsi is the director of the ACLU’s National Security Project and an adjunct lecturer at Columbia Law School. She previously served as senior advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions. You can follow Hina on Twitter @HinaShamsi.
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