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The Burn Bag Podcast
28 minutes | 12 hours ago
What in the World? (02/26/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan talk about the alleged coup attempt in Armenia, political instability in Georgia, and U.S. report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. They also discuss Australia's new media law and the likely prosecution of Sri Lanka's former president.
30 minutes | 2 days ago
100 Ideas for the First 100 Days: Endless Wars and Putin's Russia
The Burn Bag Podcast is excited to launch a special collaboration with The Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Security and Strategy, where we highlight the contributions to the Scowcroft Center's "100 Ideas for the First 100 Days" project. This inaugural episode in this new mini-series features an introductory conversation with the Center's Director Barry Pavel, where we discuss the Center's mission and the inspiration for this project. We then dive into the first two contributions in the mini-series, as we hear thinking on some of the biggest challenges facing the Biden Administration from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Daniel Fried. General Petraeus discusses his idea, "Scope US Forces’ Involvement in ‘Endless’ Mideast Wars" while Ambassador Fried talks about why the U.S. needs to "Push Back On Putin’s Aggression; Cooperate If We Can". You can read more about the project here: "100 Ideas for the First Hundred Days of the Biden Administration"
37 minutes | 5 days ago
The COVID Economy: Markets, Crypto, and Recovery with Michael Barr, Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
In this week’s episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, co-hosts A’ndre and Ryan speak to Michael Barr, Dean of the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions. A’ndre, Ryan and Dean Barr discuss the challenges of rebuilding the global economy post-COVID-19, attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, the Robinhood debacle and securities regulation, repeating mistakes from the 2007/08 financial crisis, the risks of cryptocurrency, and economic sanctions as part of U.S. foreign policy.
29 minutes | 7 days ago
What in the World? (02/19/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan discuss the aftermath of impeachment, the latest on the Navalny case in Russia, India’s domestic and foreign difficulties, the latest developments in Myanmar, and the Biden Administration’s outlook for the Middle East, among other topics.
42 minutes | 12 days ago
The Fourth Estate: Presidential Reporting with Zeke Miller, President of the White House Correspondents' Association
On this special Presidents’ Day episode, A’ndre and Ryan talk with Zeke Miller, AP White House Reporter and White House Correspondents’ Assoc. President, about presidential reporting. They discuss the history of White House correspondents and the relationship between the President and the press. Zeke also discusses sourcing and the role of leaks. He shares his views on the public’s relationship with the press and how social media has impacted his job, in addition to providing some insights on how Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden have interacted with the press.
30 minutes | 14 days ago
What in the World? (02/12/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan discuss the Senate trial of former President Donald Trump and the threat of far right domestic terrorism. They also talk about the easing of India/China tensions, Big Tech, and President Biden's phone call with China's Xi Jinping.
46 minutes | 15 days ago
"The Unexpected Spy": Life in the CIA and FBI with Tracy Walder
In this episode, A’ndre and Ryan talk with Tracy Walder, a former CIA staff operations officer and FBI special agent, about her life navigating both of these agencies. They discuss why Tracy joined the CIA, and how she, as a 22 year old, was at the forefront of intelligence analysis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, interacting with officials at the highest levels of government, including President Bush and CIA Director George Tenet. Tracy lifts the veil on the impact that working in the CIA and FBI has on daily life, which includes a candid discussion on how she overcame varying personal challenges throughout her career. Tracy talks about some of her field experiences, ranging from interviewing terrorists with the CIA's Counterterrorism Center to working with the FBI on Chinese counterintelligence in Los Angeles. The conversation ends with Tracy’s perspective on diversity in the IC and how more women can pursue such careers. This episode was based on Tracy’s fascinating and captivating book, “The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists“.
47 minutes | 19 days ago
"The World": A Conversation with Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations
In this week’s episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, co-hosts A’ndre Gonawela and Ryan Rosenthal speak with Dr. Richard Haass, a veteran diplomat and president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). A’ndre and Ryan discuss Dr. Haass’ new book The World: A Brief Introduction, American policy towards Mainland China and Taiwan, COVID-19’s strengthening of European institutions, popular protests in Russia, defining challenges of the 21st century and multilateralism.
31 minutes | 21 days ago
What in the World? (02/05/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan discuss U.S. foreign policy decisions by the Biden Administration and the coup in Myanmar (Burma). They also talk about the fate of Alexey Navalny and provide an update on the farmer protests in India.
37 minutes | a month ago
Reopening the World: A Conversation with GEN (Ret.) John Allen, Brookings Institution President
In this week’s episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, co-hosts A’ndre and Ryan speak to retired Four Star General and current Brookings Institution President John Allen about how we 'reopen' both the United States and the world, in a conversation oriented around Brookings' 'Reopening' project. General Allen discusses why a global approach to addressing the pandemic is necessary and why U.S. leadership is unique in its capability to build a global coalition to combat the crisis. We dig into what the General and the Brookings Institution mean when they refer to 'reopening' as opposed to mere 'recovery', why an 'America First' foreign policy hindered our response to the pandemic over the past year, and the opportunities the Biden Administration has in broader diplomacy in addressing the pandemic in a multilateral fashion. A'ndre and Ryan talked about several other issues with General Allen, including the future of the U.S.-China relationship, and why General Allen doesn't believe the recent tensions are necessarily indicative of a new Cold War. General Allen, the co-author of Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence, also discusses artificial intelligence as a new medium through which war-fighting will take place, providing an insightful take on another huge challenge that will only rise in prominence in the years to come.
29 minutes | a month ago
What in the World (01/29/21)
In this week's episode, Ryan and A'ndre discuss the threat of domestic terrorism and challenges posed by the intersection of social media and politics. They also talk about the arrest of Russian opposition politician Aleksey Navalny and a recent ISIS bombing in Iraq.
52 minutes | a month ago
Lessons in Leadership: A Conversation with GEN (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal
In this week's episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, co-hosts A'ndre and Ryan speak to retired Four Star General Stanley McChrystal about his views on leadership. We discuss the topic with the General by drawing on lessons in leadership from his own career, looking at how General McChrystal spearheaded the transformation of JSOC, or the Joint Special Operations Command, to effectively adjust to new battlefields and circumstances that insurgencies wrought. Under his leadership, JSOC went from conducting 4 raids a month to 300 raids a month, and captured Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein and killed Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. General McChrystal gives us his take on the leadership qualities that made both of these men so lethal and deadly to American forces, and digs into how al-Zarqawi's leadership in particular transcended his practical duties and made him in some ways more dangerous than Osama bin Laden -- even after death. We then bring the conversation to contemporary issues, getting the General's take on how COVID-19 and the fight against terrorism are similar, and how common failures have exacerbated the challenges associated with each. Lastly, General McChrystal outlines how the military needs to rethink what the 'traditional' soldier is in light of new challenges across a range of domains, that include cyberspace, and how his work now with the McChrystal Group is furthering the 'battlefield to the boardroom' mentality.
47 minutes | a month ago
Big Tech, Populism, and Fake News: Social Media and Politics with Dr. Joyojeet Pal
In this special episode of The Burn Bag, Dr. Joyojeet Pal speaks to us about the intersection of social media and politics, especially in light of the spread of #FakeNews and the recent banning of President Donald Trump from Twitter. An Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, Dr. Pal starts out by giving us a primer on how politicians like Barack Obama first used social media, before digging deep into populist messaging on Twitter and other platforms by leaders like Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. Our conversation further dives into how #FakeNews and other extreme speech spreads so quickly, and why it’s so effective at infiltrating the minds of so many, giving us some key examples of how this has worked. We then evaluate whether social media companies can actually fight the spread of misinformation, what the implications of the Trump social media ban are, and how Big Tech and Governments are not seeing eye to eye, and perhaps even may not see eye to eye in the future, given the interests of the tech companies.
29 minutes | a month ago
Defining 'Resilience': A Conversation with Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, former Homeland Security Advisor
In this special episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, we speak with Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, former Homeland Security Advisor (official title: Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security & Resilience) to President Donald J. Trump. Julia discusses the Administration's response to COVID-19 with respects to the domain of homeland security, in addition to discussing her prior experience in working on resilience, especially with regards to climate change. Having served as the Chief Resilience Office of Florida, Julia had a unique insight on responses to the unique challenges posed by climate change. We draw on Julia's expertise in her current position in getting her take on what the top threats to the United States are, and then we touch a bit on one of Julia's past lives, when she was a key official involved in hostage negotiation. Lastly, Julia gives us her take on whether the Trump Administration achieved the goals it outlined for itself in the 2017 National Security Strategy.
52 minutes | a month ago
Inside the Far Right: Dissecting the Assault on the Capitol and Domestic Terror Threats with NYT Magazine Contributor Janet Reitman
The January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol Building by a mob of far right extremists looking to overturn the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election was shocking to many, but not necessarily unexpected to some. A’ndre and Ryan speak to Janet Reitman, New York Times Magazine contributor, who is engaged in research on extremism, the far right, and domestic terrorism, to better understand why the events of the 6th happened, and why it’s *not* merely a one-off blip or a culmination of trends, but rather a new marker in the intensity of this threat. Janet provides her perspectives on what the ‘Far Right’ is, why it’s a threat (relative to the Far Left), and the complications in dealing with these domestic threats. Janet also discusses the lack of effort by the U.S. Government to adequately identify the radicalization of far right actors, but warns against “another War on Terror,” instead calling for a national conversation on this complicated topic to understand what is going on, and how we can halt radicalization.Link to Janet’s 2018 article is here.
31 minutes | a month ago
What in the World? (01/15/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan discuss the siege of the Capitol, more Biden Administration nominations, and some political crises in Europe. They also breakdown their recent op-ed in The Hill which advocates for a rethinking of U.S. cyber strategy.
35 minutes | a month ago
From the Director's Chair: Javed Ali in Conversation with LTG (Ret.) James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence
In the latest edition of this mini-series, From the Director's Chair, Javed Ali (former NSC Senior Director of Counterterrorism) speaks with his old boss and mentor LTG James Clapper, who served as the Director of National Intelligence between 2010 and 2017, in addition to prior stints as Director of both the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. LTG Clapper discusses his long career in the military and in the intelligence community, providing his perspectives on the big changes in the intelligence community from Vietnam through the Gulf War through today, using his career as the lens with which to view these from. LTG Clapper also discusses the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the subsequent integration of the IC, and how the prior arrangement that required the Director of Central Intelligence to both oversee the CIA and other agencies was fundamentally difficult.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Top Risks 2021 with Ian Bremmer, Eurasia Group President and Founder
In this very special episode of The Burn Bag Podcast, A'ndre and Ryan speak with Ian Bremmer, President and Founder of the Eurasia Group, who is widely seen as bringing the trade of political risk to prominence as an academic discipline and to practical usage in financial markets, in addition to introducing a range of other concepts that are widely applied in geopolitical conversations today. Bremmer speaks with The Burn Bag about the Eurasia Group's newest annual forecast of the top political risks that may affect the world in 2021. In this conversation, Ian digs into what he sees as Risk #1: #46, U.S. President Joe Biden, and how the trends leading to the recent assault on the U.S. Capitol Building may complicate Biden's Presidency and the broader U.S. political situation. Ian also discusses the other major risks, including COVID, climate change, the U.S.-China relationship, technology, and the future of the European Union. You can find the link to the full "Top Risks 2021" report here.Additionally, subscribe to our brand new newsletter, here.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
What in the World: Assault on the Capitol (01/07/21)
In this week's episode, A'ndre, Ryan, and Javed discuss the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th. They breakdown the root causes, explanations for how such an event could have occurred, and what it means for the United States domestically and on the world stage. Finally, they explore the implications of resignations and whether action may be taken to remove President Trump from office.
44 minutes | 2 months ago
From the Director's Chair: Javed Ali in Conversation with Chris Costa, former NSC Senior Director
In the first episode of this new mini-series, From the Director’s Chair, our Executive Producer Javed Ali, who served as the former Senior Director of Counterterrorism on the NSC, interviews his former colleague Chris Costa, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum. Costa served 34 years in government, with 25 of those years being for the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel, and then holding a series of civil service positions in the government’s special operations community, wrapping it up with a year-long stint as Special Assistant to the President for Combating Terrorism, beginning in early 2017. Javed discusses this career at length with Chris — a career that Javed got to experience first hand, as the two men were colleagues and worked together on these issues of counterterrorism. We also get Chris’ insights on the state of U.S. counterterrorism policy, and what we might expect in the Biden Administration.
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