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24 April 2014

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Foreign Entanglements

Hosted by Matthew Duss and Robert Farley, Foreign Entanglements brings together people with contrasting views on America’s role in the world.

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Apr 21, 2014 —  Kelsey D. Atherton & Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
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On Foreign Entanglements, guest hosts Kelsey and Daveed recount their epic battle as finalists in TwitterFightClub 2014, which Daveed won by using lessons learned from battle rap. Applying comic books to national security, they wonder how Iron Man and Galactus could help the US military. Is the sequel to Top Gun really going to be about drones? They analyze what the large outdoor meeting of Al Qaeda in Yemen reveals about what drones can and can’t do. Daveed offers a counterintuitive take on Al Qaeda’s strength and America’s drone war. Plus: The flaws in a Times op-ed connecting military veterans and white supremacy.

Apr 10, 2014 —  Matthew Duss & Robert Farley
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On Foreign Entanglements, Matt reports on his recent trip to Israel, where peace negotiations with the Palestinians have reached a crisis point. Matt and Rob discuss whether Israeli domestic politics will preclude any sort of final deal, and Matt notes that the settlement project has become deeply embedded in the Israeli government. Ripping into a recent WSJ op-ed, Rob argues that sending old American B-52s to Israel would be a bad idea for all involved. They critique Reihan Salam’s column declaring that he is still a neoconservative, and consider what that controversial label means now. They analyze Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the “asshole problem” in international relations. Plus: Geography is for losers!

Mar 22, 2014 —  Robert Farley & Adam Lowther
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Adam debate the need for an independent air force. Adam argues that the US Air Force provides an integrated vision of military airpower that the other services can’t offer. Rob, on the other hand, isn’t impressed by the USAF’s performance. Would bombers exist without an independent air force? What lessons can we learn from the wars in Iraq? What is the Air Force’s most under-appreciated service? Rob and Adam close by discussing the prospects for using airpower in Ukraine.

Mar 3, 2014 —  Robert Farley & Dmitry Gorenburg
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Dmitry discuss the recent Russian incursion into Crimea. Dmitry summarizes Russian interests in the region. Have the US and Europe handled the situation correctly so far? Dmitry suggests that, in the long run, Putin will pay substantial costs for the incursion. Is the new Ukrainian government stable enough to fight back? Rob and Dmitry compare the strengths of the Russian and Ukrainian militaries. Finally, Dmitry thinks through some options for the Western response.

Feb 11, 2014 —  Robert Farley & Stephen M. Saideman
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Steve Saideman, co-author of the new book NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone. Steve discusses his research on the nature of restrictions on coalition warfare in the NATO alliance. Rob asks Steve about how military culture and personal relationships affect the conduct of coalition operations, and Steve elucidates the differences between forces that prioritize outcomes and those that prioritize behavior. Steve sums up his Churchillian view of NATO. Rob and Steve talk about communicating political science findings to a broader audience, then close with a discussion about the recent efforts of the International Studies Association to restrict blogging.

Feb 2, 2014 —  Robert Farley & Lien-Hang Nguyen
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob talks to Hang about her book on the Vietnam War, Hanoi’s War. Hang describes the major myths Americans tend to believe about Vietnam. Rob is fascinated by the conflicting advice North Vietnam received from Moscow and Beijing. How did American air power affect Hanoi’s decisions? How important was secrecy to the negotiations that ended the war? Hang explains how the Vietnamese perspective on the war has changed in recent years.

Jan 22, 2014 —  Matthew Duss & Patrick Christy
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On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Patrick discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, beginning with the Foreign Policy Initiative’s open letter to Congress. Is the Obama Administration right to oppose new sanctions on Iran? How much of a role did sanctions play in bringing Hassan Rouhani to power? Is the new nuclear inspection regime adequate? Why has Supreme Leader Khamanei empowered Rouhani to participate in these negotiations? Can the negotiations be broadened to include human rights?

Jan 12, 2014 —  Matthew Duss & Yousef Munayyer
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On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Yousef discuss John Kerry‘s ongoing attempts to restart the Middle East peace process. Why is recognition of Israel as a Jewish state such a sticking point? Is it fair of Israel to hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for inciting violence? Why is the US giving so much more attention to Israel’s security needs compared to Palestine’s? And what is Abbas’s best strategic option going forward? Matt wonders whether the Palestinians can realistically expect anything better than a semi-occupied state.

Jan 2, 2014 —  Matthew Duss & Robert Farley
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On a special year-in-review edition of Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Rob examine the biggest foreign policy stories in 2013, starting with the NSA revelations. They consider the lack of US intervention in Syria and the amazingly fast change in America’s relationship with Iran. The Afghanistan War has become incredibly unpopular—so why does no one in Washington seem to care? Will the coming 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War change foreign policy views? Was 2013 the year that the GOP finally turned against neoconservatism? Finally, the real issue: whether it’s permissible to have both a lemon twist and olives in a martini.

Dec 23, 2013 —  Robert Farley & Kelsey D. Atherton
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Kelsey discuss the tactical, operational, and strategic imperatives associated with the War on Christmas. Do Santa’s twice-checked lists threaten the NSA’s data supremacy? Kelsey floats the possibility of countering Santa by destroying the joy of America’s children. What are the best aircraft to challenge Santa’s sleigh in a dog fight? Is it time to nuke the North Pole? Rob and Kelsey discuss the lessons of the Imperial assault on Hoth as prelude to a similar attack on Santa’s northern stronghold. Finally, they consider the possibility of replacing Santa with a fleet of loveable drones, and also point out the value of signature drone strikes against Santa’s reindeer herd.

Dec 14, 2013 —  Meir Javedanfar & Emily Landau
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On Foreign Entanglements, Meir and Emily discuss Iran. What exactly is the point of the nuclear deal? And will Iran play by the rules? Emily brings up the possible military applications of Iran’s nuclear program, and Meir argues that Iran deserves the benefit of the doubt. Emily counters that Obama has given up too much leverage in the negotiations. They close by finding some points of agreement.

Dec 7, 2013 —  Robert Farley & Toshi Yoshihara
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On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Toshi about the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea. Toshi discusses the significance of the ADIZ for military and civilian flights from the US, Japan, and South Korea. They consider how China will enforce the zone. Why here, and why now? Toshi argues that if America recognizes the zone, we might as well pack up and go home. Rob and Toshi debate whether the declaration was a bureaucratic error or came from the top. They conclude by discussing China’s new aircraft carrier, which is deploying to the South China Sea.