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.
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.
Tommy and Ben talk about the fallout from Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. What do we know about Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq? How are the Iranian people responding? Why is Trump threatening to commit war crimes? Why does the rationale for the strike keep changing and what can Congress do to stop the war from escalating? Then they discuss Kim Jong Un’s announcement that North Korea will abandon constraints on its nuclear program and how climate change has led to catastrophic fires across Australia. Then Middle East expert and former Bush, Obama and Trump aide Brett McGurk joins to discuss when the Soleimani assassination means for our relationship with Iraq and our efforts to fight ISIS.
In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Iranian official named Qassim Soleimani. What happened? How did we get here? Who is Soleimani and why is he so influential? What happens next and how should the 2020 Democrats respond?
British MP David Lammy joins to talk about the UK elections and what they mean for Brexit and the future of the Labour Party. Then Ben and Tommy talk about India’s ongoing slide into Hindu nationalism, the China trade war, and a troubling investigation into problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process.