Hosted by Matthew Duss and Robert Farley, Foreign Entanglements brings together people with contrasting views on America’s role in the world.
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.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Erica about the effectiveness of non-violent protest. Erica works through the logic of why non-violence often proves a better practical choice than violent resistance, while Rob wonders why so many movements nevertheless resort to violence. Erica contrasts Egypt’s 2011 revolution and 2013 coup. They discuss the possibility of creating a policy infrastructure for supporting non-violent resistance, which Erica views with some skepticism. Is it possible to turn a violent movement toward non-violence? Plus: What Erica’s research could have taught the Occupy movement.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Meir discuss the Iran nuclear negotiations. They disagree over whether the Arak reactor should be halted as a first step or under a final deal, but agree that additional sanctions now being considered by Congress are a bad idea. Would a nuclear deal help or hinder the cause of political reform in Iran? Turning to Israel, Matt can’t believe that Avigdor Lieberman is now sounding more reasonable than Netanyahu. Does Bibi recognize the linkage between settlements and Iran?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Daniel take a critical look at the idea that America must keep force “on the table” with respect to nuclear negotiations with Iran. They discuss the news that Saudi Arabia may have contracted for a nuclear deterrent with Pakistan, and briefly discuss Israeli attitudes toward the negotiations. How will domestic US political considerations affect a nuclear deal? They next examine the ongoing political phenomenon that is John Bolton. Rob and Daniel conclude with a discussion of air power and American foreign policy.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Kelsey don their Breaking Bad Halloween costumes to talk about drones and science fiction. Kelsey describes many of the less well-known uses of drones, including anti-poaching and disaster relief efforts. They identify a distinction between how drones are really used and their popular image. They then discuss the technological cross-pollination between military and civilian uses. Turning to the new Ender’s Game film, they explore how the sci-fi series treats child soldiers and anticipates drone warfare. What can the Ender series tell us about the moral implications of drones?
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Michael discuss last week’s speech by Iranian President Rouhani. Matt argues that the US needs to recognize the internal political pressures facing Rouhani. Can the US influence Iran’s politics through negotiations? What would a good nuclear deal look like? Is Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons driven by rational statecraft or religious fundamentalism?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Laura about the recent attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall. Laura frames the attack within the larger context of Somalia-Kenya relations, including America’s role in supporting operations targeting Al Shabab. Was this attack a sign of desperation? Rob notes the professional character of the attack. Do Kenyans support their military’s activities in Somalia? Rob and Laura discuss the role of the International Criminal Court in African politics in the context of Kenya’s own ICC experience. Finally, Laura notes that Kenya’s response to the attack demonstrated signs of progress for the nation.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Rob talk Syria, credibility, and the developing conflict within the GOP over foreign policy. Matt runs down the latest developments on Syria, leading to a discussion of how reputation and credibility matter in international politics. Is Israel legitimately concerned about US credibility regarding Iran? Rob wonders whether Russia has really put its credibility on the line by taking responsibility for Syrian chemical weapons. Matt sees the same old hawks using credibility as an excuse for another war, and the two discuss how the Rand Paul–John McCain fight may be playing out in the think tank world. Finally, is isolationism making a comeback?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Zack consider the arguments over intervention in Syria. They start by discussing the minimal case for a set of punishing strikes against the Assad regime designed to enforce the chemical weapons taboo. Would such a narrow intervention work as a meaningful deterrent? Rob and Zack then talk about the long-term prospects of the Assad regime, and how arguments for intervention might look in a decade. Finally, they work out their frustrations regarding the worst arguments currently made about the potential intervention.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Michael discuss the Egyptian military’s crackdown, which Michael contends is aimed at dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood. Who is responsible for killing Egyptian security officers in the Sinai? Are neoconservatives turning into realists over Egypt? Should the US suspend aid? Is Egypt still the center of the Arab world? Has the military completely alienated political Islam? Is there any constructive role the US can play in influencing Egyptian politics? And how have these developments affected Iran?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Dmitry about US-Russian relations. Dmitry suggests that the causes of the summit cancellation go beyond Snowden, and Rob wonders whether the United States and Russia are stuck in an unproductive paradigm with respect to Syria. How has the Russian public responded to Snowden? Rob and Dmitry talk about the potential for an Olympic boycott in response to Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, then discuss recent changes in how the Russian military conducts readiness exercises.