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.
First, Tommy and Ben talk about Trump's new asylum rules, an Iran update, the global response to Trump's racism - including China seeming to echo him, Biden's foreign policy speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's health and legacy, a North Korea update and if a deranged conspiracy theorist will lead the US intelligence community. Then Tommy speaks Army veteran and US Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Trump picks a Twitter fight with the British Ambassador to the US. Iran revs up its uranium enrichment. New polling about the Iran deal. High five diplomacy with the North Koreans. Updates on protest movements in Sudan and Hong Kong. Russia’s role in peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy. Introducing America’s chief diplomat, Ivanka Trump, and a 2020 foreign policy update. Then Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran joins to discuss Turkey’s slow descent into authoritarianism and the parallels around the world.
Tommy sits down with former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to chat about his book “Inside the Five-Sided Box”, and some of the most complex challenges facing our national security community today, including the war in Afghanistan and closing the prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Tommy and Ben talk through Trump's bizarre on again, off again war with Iran. They explain how the targeting process is supposed to work, try to divine the broader strategy, and do some self reflection about the terrible government euphemisms that mask the cost of war. Then a quick update on Saudi Arabia, Jared's rehashed Middle East Peace plan, Beto O'Rourke's "war tax", Bernie Sanders' foreign affairs article, some good news out of Turkey and then wtf is wrong with Boris Johnson? Then, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon joins talks with Tommy about Scottish Independence.