I used to think foreign policy was boring, complicated and irrelevant to my life. Then I served for four years as President Obama’s National Security Spokesman. The hours I spent in Situation Room meetings, traveling abroad, and talking with the brilliant men and women who advised President Obama was the most fascinating education I ever had. It was a crash course in foreign policy that taught me two things: anyone can understand these issues, and we all have an obligation to try.
On Pod Save the World, I’ll go behind the scenes with the people responsible for some of the most important foreign policy decisions of our time. We’ll geek out about the most important issues of the day, but talk like normal human beings. That means you’ll also hear cool stories, funny anecdotes and maybe a few F bombs. Episodes will come out every Wednesday.
First, Tommy and Ben discuss Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s foreign policy speech and Trump’s ongoing and bizarre coddling of noted relative murderer Kim Jong Un. Then they discuss the brave activists and journalists protesting in Hong Kong and Russia, the tariff fight with Mexico, Venezuela, wonder again why we do business with Saudi Arabia, LGBT pride at the State Department, how a fake Iranian author got published, and how a dead tree is a metaphor for our alliances. Then Sudanese activist Wafa May Elamin joins to discuss the crackdown on protestors in Sudan.
Tommy and Ben Rhodes are joined by former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel. They discuss Trump’s trip to the UK, what Bibi Netanyahu’s failure to form a government means for his political future, Jared Kushner’s disastrous interview with Axios and the political influence of Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Then they do a deep dive on US-China policy, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and updates on North Korea, Cuba, India’s elections, Iran and why hiding the USS John S. McCain is actually a real problem.
First, Tommy and Ben discuss the European parliament election results, Trump’s trip to Japan and the major US/Japan split on North Korea, the ongoing political disaster in the UK, more arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Turkey’s slide to dictatorship, NSA hacking tools in the wild and Trump micromanaging aircraft carrier designs (seriously). Then Ron Klain joins to discuss his work coordinating the global response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak and why the outbreak happening currently is so frightening.
This week Tommy and Ben check their anxiety levels when it comes to potential war with Iran, try to understand why a Fox News host is lobbying to protect men accused of war crimes, discuss Bernie's foreign policy record as mayor of Burlington, get an update on far-right parties in Australia and Austria and explain why milkshakes are Britain's hottest new protest. Then Noura Erakat joins to talk about Trump’s middle east peace plan and what it will take to create a Palestinian state.
Tommy and Ben talk about the escalating trade war with China, the drumbeat for real war with Iran, how the Pentagon is hiding how badly things are going in Afghanistan, and (an)other fascist visits the White House. Then Tommy talks with author and historian Michael Beschloss about his book Presidents of War.