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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wild decision to suspend parliament and try to force a Brexit. The latest on the protests in Hong Kong. Can the US finalize a peace deal in Afghanistan and is John Bolton cut out of that process? Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu pulls out all the stop in advance of the Israeli elections. North Korea’s missile launches look dangerous. Will France sweep in to save the Iran deal? Trump’s former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis refuses to criticize a president not named Obama and Trump has a message for Poland.
Tommy and Ben answer listener questions in a special mailbag episode. Then, Ben chats with Congressman Ro Khanna about Donald Trump’s misadventures at the G-7, Yemen, Iran, and what a progressive foreign policy platform should look like.
Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib being barred from visiting Israel and the West Bank. The collapse of Italy’s government. How social media companies are fighting Chinese propaganda about Hong Kong. Why the Russians are hiding data about a secret nuclear explosion. The corruption of US foreign policy. A call to action for California wine lovers and an ISIS blooper reel. Then Yaqiu Wang, a China expert with Human Rights Watch, joins to talk with Tommy about the latest on the protests in Hong Kong.
Police crack down as protests escalate to new heights in Hong Kong. An explosion involving a nuclear reactor in Russia kills at least a half dozen people. Boris Johnson tries to negotiate a U.S.-U.K. trade deal ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union. A scary report in the New York Times sheds light on what’s driving the spread of right wing extremism around the globe. And Ben Rhodes shares the story behind his recent reporting for The Atlantic on Aung San Suu Kyi. Then Enes Kanter, a professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, joins Ben in the studio to talk about human rights and the politics of his home country, Turkey - and why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put out a warrant for his arrest and banned him from coming home.
First, Tommy and Ben talk about the threat from domestic terrorism, the escalating trade war with China, the protests in Hong Kong, tensions with Iran, and the war in Afghanistan. Then they discuss changes to Trump’s national security team, why tensions are increasing between Japan and South Korea, a major announcement from India about Kashmir, more sanctions on Venezuela, why arms control treaties are dying, and what the hell Lindsay Lohan is doing with the Saudi Crown Prince. Then former National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen joins to discuss what policy changes are needed to stop rightwing domestic terrorists.