Like most people, Pod Save America cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. It was a crash course that taught him two things: anyone can understand these issues, and we all have an obligation to try.
That’s why he started Pod Save the World—a weekly podcast that breaks down international news and foreign policy developments, but doesn’t feel like homework. Each week, he and former deputy national security advisor and co-host Ben Rhodes walk you through the latest developments with a variety of experts and take you behind the scenes of big decisions with the people who were there. Count on hearing stories from the White House Situation Room, funny anecdotes, and maybe a few F bombs along the way. New episodes every Wednesday.
Tommy and Ben tell some stories about the New Hampshire primary in 2008, walk through a report on a decades-long CIA/German effort to crack encrypted communications, talk through several major data breaches, and explain why the QAnon conspiracy theory is a national security issue. Then they cover: good news from Sudan, North Korea’s nukes, a dustup between the US and the Philippines, the Wall Street Journal’s attempt to Swift Boat Mayor Pete, and Bernie Sander’s foreign policy doctrine and how the 2020 candidates differ.
Brexit, updates on the Coronavirus, why Trump made Venezuela a focus of his State of the Union speech, the list of countries subject to Trump’s muslim ban gets bigger, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s allies attack Jared Kushner, and Trump’s inexcusable land mine policy decision.
First, Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s plan to help Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu win reelection and how it essentially means the death of the middle east peace process. Then, public health expert Abdul El-Sayed joins to discuss the risk from the coronavirus and the public health infrastructure in the US and China.
Will new facial recognition technology end privacy as we know it? Can Trump scare the Intelligence Community out of testifying before Congress? Why did Putin’s entire cabinet resign and what does it mean for the future of Russia? Then...Russian spies are sneaking around Davos. Anti-war groups are gaining strength in Washington. Press freedom is under attack in Brazil. Hilarious translation errors anger China. How a mustache is exacerbating tensions in Asia, and why Tommy thinks the new Space Force uniforms are genius.
Tommy and Ben cover the latest developments in the Iran crisis, including why the intelligence and legal case for assassinating Soleimani keeps changing, the horrific shootdown of a commercial airliner, and Iran resuming uranium enrichment. Then they discuss Attorney General Barr’s fight with Apple over encryption, and why Obama also got this issue wrong. Finally, they explain why Taiwan’s recent election was good for democracy, the latest on the China trade war, how the Russians are STILL trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, and why 2020 Democrats are fighting about Iraq.