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World Affairs Report
32 minutes | Dec 4, 2019
The Crisis in U.S. Middle East Policy feat. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein
In our latest episode of The World Affairs Report, host Katy Caliguiri speaks with Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, diplomat and senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, regarding the current state of U.S. Middle East policy. Amb. Feierstein retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Amb. Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism. Click here to read Ambassador Feierstein’s biography.
26 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
Maximum Pressure: Is the U.S. Campaign Against Iran Working? Featuring Seth G. Jones
On our latest episode of The World Affairs Report, host Angélica Ocampo is joined by Seth G. Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project. Dr. Jones explains the impact of the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, its effectiveness, and what the implications are for both countries and for the rest of the world. As director of the Transnational Threats Project and a senior adviser to the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Seth G. Jones has been continually researching battlefield tactics as nations adapt to threats of conflict by non-state actors in addition to traditional combat planning. Dr. Jones has previously advised numerous commanding officers of U.S. Special Operations Command and others at the Department of Defense, giving him a unique insight into how operational planning takes place on the front lines. Video Resources from the Center for Strategic & International Studies: The IRGC-Quds Force: Iran’s Secret Military Empire Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force controls sub-state Shia militias all over the Middle East. CSIS’s Seth Jones and Joe Bermudez explain how Iran trains and deploys these proxy forces to expand their regional influence. Iran’s Threats to Saudi Critical Infrastructure Iran has the missile and cyber capabilities to significantly damage Saudi Arabia’s oil, desalination, electricity, and other important facilities. CSIS’s Seth Jones explains how the United States can help protect Saudi Arabia’s critical infrastructure and deescalate the situation.
30 minutes | Oct 9, 2019
Civil Wars: The Future of the Middle East and Implications for Global Security, Featuring Ross Harrison
Angélica Ocampo speaks with Professor Ross Harrison on the current state of affairs in the Middle East, how U.S. interests are affected, and what it means for the future. The civil wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya have had devastating effects on the populations in these countries, and they have drawn in most of the regional and international powers into a destructive conflict trap. This is reshaping the Middle East in ways that will have profound consequences for the region as well as for the United States and other international powers. Building on his recently released book, Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East (co-edited with Paul Salem), Ross Harrison unpacks the complexities of these civil wars and what they mean for the region and for the U.S. Ross Harrison is a resident Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. and is on the faculties of Georgetown University and the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches strategy and Middle East politics. He is the author of 3 books: Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy and Business Professionals (2013), From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East (co-edited with Paul Salem, 2017) and Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East (co-edited with Paul Salem, 2019). Harrison also is a regular contributor of analytic articles on the Middle East to journals such as Parameters, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Orient, and al-Monitor, and has been quoted in the The New York Times. He has been a speaker at the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Foreign Service Institute, the National War College, U.S. Naval War College and U.S. Army War College. He has also been part of several back channel diplomatic efforts focused on ending civil wars in the Middle East.
32 minutes | May 28, 2019
The Impact of Social Media on International Affairs
On this week’s edition of The World Affairs Report, host Anna Harrison is joined by Lieutenant Colonel Shaw Pick from the Eisenhower College Program at the Army War College, located in Carlisle, PA. Together they discuss the impact social media has had on international affairs today, specifically the weaponization of social media by major world powers. Lieutenant Colonel Pick defines what he believes the weaponization of social media really is, applies this definition to the actions of Russia and China, and also elaborates on this so-called era of “fake news”. Please note Lt Col Pick’s opinions are his own and do not represent official US policy of any agenda. About Our Guest Lieutenant Colonel Shaw Pick is a native of Kirkland, Washington. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in 1993 and has been a United States Army Signal Officer for 21 years, with experience in Airborne and Special Operations assignments which have taken him around the world, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He worked in strategic plans for the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan where he led campaign planning efforts for the headquarters from 2011 to 2012. He has received his Masters from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies and is a native speaker of the Syrian Aramaic language.
36 minutes | May 16, 2019
China’s Long Game on Human Rights
On our newest episode of The World Affairs Report, host Anna Harrison is joined by Mr. Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution to discuss human rights, and specifically human rights in China. With a long history of criticisms and distrust in regards to human rights, Mr. Piccone explains how China is rewriting its own version of the human rights model, touching on current issues such as the mistreatment of the Uyghur population and media censorship. Mr. Piccone also introduces and defines the Universal Periodic Review mechanism via the United Nations and gives his take on Sino-Russian relations, in regard to human rights. About Our Guest Ted Piccone is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies, U.S.-Latin American relations, emerging powers, and multilateral affairs. Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in history magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration and was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally, from 2001 to 2008. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid, an association of over 100 former heads of state and government engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy around the world in addition to serving as counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador from 1992 to 1993. Ted Piccone is the author of latest book “Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order”. His research currently focuses on the evolving role of five rising democracies in the global democracy and human rights order. Additional Resources Ted Piccone’s full biography. Ted Piccone’s latest book. Ted Piccone’s article with the Brookings Institution on China. The Brookings Institution.
41 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media
On this episode of the World Affairs Report, P.W. Singer, political strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, joins host Anna Harrison to discuss his latest book, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media. Together, they dive into the world of social media, exploring how it has developed from a fun advancement to a method of communication which both the public and big business rely on. Singer defines how social media is “like war” by examining the methods used by celebrities and terrorist organizations alike while also explaining the key role social media has played in major world events, like the 2016 Presidential election and the Brexit campaign. About Our Guest P.W. Singer is a strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. He has written articles for many of the world’s major media and journals, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and the World Policy Journal. He has delivered a number of talks at venues ranging from the U.S. Congress and the Pentagon to more than 70 universities around the world. Prior to his current position, Singer has worked at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Harvard University, and as the founding director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, where he was the youngest person named senior fellow in its 101 year history. Singer has also served as coordinator of the Defense Policy Task Force for Barack Obama‘s 2008 presidential campaign and currently serves as a member of the State Department‘s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy. Aside from his work in politics, Singer has broken into the entertainment industry, operating as a consultant on the bestselling game series Call of Duty in addition to his work with production companies such as Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, and Universal on films like Traitor and The Whistleblower. His latest book, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, co-written with colleague Emerson T. Brooking, explores the history of communications, the rise of open-source intelligence, and the advent of internet-based information warfare. LikeWar has been named an Amazon “book of the year” and as a NY Times “new and notable”. Additional Resources For more information on P.W. Singer’s latest book https://www.likewarbook.com/ P.W. Singer’s website can be found at https://www.pwsinger.com/
32 minutes | Apr 26, 2019
Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World
Join host Angelica Ocampo on this week’s episode of The World Affairs Report as she sits down with Ambassador Rick Barton, United States diplomat, educator, and author. Together they discuss Ambassador Barton’s new book, Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World, touching on Ambassador Barton’s own experience and opinions on American peacemaking. They cover interventions in Rwanda, Syria, and Venezuela, as well as highlight the impact which today’s world youth can have on the future. About Our Guest Ambassador Frederick D. Barton is a United States diplomat, educator and author. He is the founding Director of the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) within the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID. Barton was appointed Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland in 1999 and became the Frederick Schultz Professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School in 2001. From 2002 to 2009, he was the Co-Director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he served as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group, led conflict-related working groups for the United States Institute of Peace and the Princeton Project on National Security, and produced reports on Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Pakistan. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Barton as the United States’ Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), giving him ambassador rank. Barton served as the very first Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO), from the bureau’s inception in 2011 to his resignation in 2014. Ambassador Barton has recently published a new book entitled Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World, which blends Barton’s past experience and personal stories with world history and political analysis to facilitate a transformative approach to foreign affairs in order to offer concrete and attainable solutions for the future. Additional Resources Ambassador Barton’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Works-Americas-Unifying-Turbulent/dp/1538113007
31 minutes | Apr 16, 2019
How Does Russia See the World?
On this episode of The World Affairs Report, our host, Anna Harrison, is joined by retired Brigadier General Peter B. Zwack to discuss the status of relations between the United States and Russia. Through explaining his own personal experiences as the former United States Senior Defense Official and Attaché to the Russian Federation, BG Zwack touches on the development of heightened tensions with Russia, brought on by issues in both Ukraine and Crimea, downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and Russian support of the Assad regime in Syria. Most importantly, BG Zwack highlights what he feels are the most important methods of improving U.S.-Russian relations, one of which is continuing an open line of dialogue between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to foster a better understanding between the two very different nations. About Our Guest From 2012 – 2014, Brigadier General Peter B. Zwack (ret.) served as the United States Senior Defense Official and Attaché to the Russian Federation. By interacting with Russians at multiple levels since 1989, including defense, security, academia, policy, veterans, and private citizens, BG Zwack developed a unique hands-on perspective on Russia and Eurasian security affairs during a turbulent period that included the recent strife in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. BG Zwack enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1980 and received his commission via Officer Candidate School (OCS). He subsequently served 34 years as a Military Intelligence and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer serving in diverse and challenging duty and deployment locations including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Russia, South Korea and West Germany. Inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame in 2015, BG Zwack is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, and many other awards and citations including the Afghan Service Medal and NATO/Kosovo Medal. He was also honored as the Joint Chief’s of Staff “Action Officer of the Year” for 1999. He proudly wears the Ranger Tab and Airborne Wings. Just retired, he regularly consults and lectures within the defense department, private industry, think tanks, and academic institutions on contemporary Russian and Eurasian security issues, and leadership lessons learned. BG Zwack speaks Russian, German, Italian, and some French. He is currently the Senior Russia-Eurasia Research Fellow within the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at National Defense University in Washington DC Additional Resources Brigadier General Zwack’s website can be found at https://peterbzwack.net/.
33 minutes | Mar 7, 2019
Meditation and Compassion with Dalai Lama’s Personal Doctor Dr. Barry Kerzin
Dr. Barry Kerzin, American physician, Buddhist monk, and personal doctor to the 14th Dalai Lama, joins Angélica to discuss his continued work in the areas of meditation and compassion integration. Dr. Kerzin touches on what inspired him to become a doctor, how he has coped with loss, and his journey within Buddhism, which led him to meet the 14th Dalai Lama in 1989. Dr. Kerzin explains his current projects, specifically his joint efforts with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to train fellow medical professionals in the art of compassion, with both their patients and themselves. In addition, Dr. Kerzin defines some aspects of his key teachings, including how to perform “emotional hygiene” and the act of “internal disarmament”. About Our Guest Dr. Barry Kerzin is an American physician and Buddhist monk. Dr. Kerzin has lived in Dharamshala since 1988 and was ordained a monk in the mid-2000s. In addition to being the current medical doctor to the 14th Dalai Lama, he is known to treat citizens of the local community, free of charge. He has authored several books, his most recent being No Fear, No Death: The Transformative Power of Compassion. Currently, he is the president of the Altruism in Medicine Institute as well as founder and chairman of the Human Values Institute, headquartered in Japan. Additional Resources Dr. Barry Kerzin’s book. Altruism in Medicine Institute. Human Values Institute.
37 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
North Korea in Transition: Turning Point, Break Point, or Missed Opportunity?
The world focus has once again shifted to what will become of U.S.-North Korean relations, in light of the upcoming summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un set to occur on February 27th in Hanoi, Vietnam. On our newest episode of The World Affairs Report, host Anna Harrison is joined by Scott A. Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss the current state of American relations with North Korea, explaining his hopes for the forthcoming meeting. He also touches on popular misconceptions involving the state of North Korea, which major powers have interests in the Korean Peninsula, and what a lasting peace with North Korea would entail. About Our Guest Scott A. Snyder is senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Before joining CFR, Mr. Snyder received his undergraduate degree from Rice University and master degree from the regional studies East Asia program at Harvard University. He was also a Thomas G. Watson fellow at Yonsei University in South Korea. Mr. Snyder was a senior associate in the international relations program of the Asia Foundation, where he founded and directed the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy and served as the Asia Foundation’s representative in Korea, from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Snyder has worked as an Asia specialist in the research and studies program of the U.S. Institute of Peace and as acting director of Asia Society’s contemporary affairs program. He is the author of South Korea at the Crossroad: Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers as well as coauthor of The Japan-South Korea Identity Clash: East Asian Security and the United States with Brad Glosserman. Have a strong interest in North Korea? Please join us for our March 20th event with Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector, as she shares her journey to freedom. Additional Resources Scott A. Snyder’s newest book. Council on Foreign Relations – North Korea.
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