Alternately hosted by Matthew Duss and Robert Farley, Foreign Entanglements brings together interesting people with contrasting views on America’s role in international society.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Charli, who critiques Foreign Policy‘s recent “Sex” issue. Rob wonders why they decided to publish an issue just on sex. They then discuss how Game of Thrones subverts the foreign policy theory known as realism and offers a chilling portrayal of torture. Is Cersei Lannister the least likeable character in the series? And how are George R.R. Martin’s racial depictions better than Tolkien’s? Finally, Charli and Rob consider how pop culture can affect the study of foreign relations.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Mark about sanction policy against Iran. Mark is optimistic about US sanctions efforts, but Rob worries that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon anyway. Could Iran split the broad coalition that supports sanctions? Rob reminds us that even if Iran completely abandoned nuclear ambitions, Tehran would still be in rough shape. Mark and Rob compare Iran to heavily sanctioned regimes of the past. Finally, what will Obama do if Iran gets the bomb?
On Foreign Entanglements, Michael argues that we shouldn’t squander our current leverage over Iran. Matt says that we need to offer Iran a better choice than “surrender or else.” Do recent Iranian “clarifications” signal greater willingness to engage? What happens if the upcoming talks collapse? Are fears of Middle East nuclear proliferation overblown? Matt and Michael close by debating the importance of the distinction between “nuclear weapons” and “nuclear weapons capability.”
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Michael reassess the Libyan intervention and its impact on the rest of the Middle East. Rob reminds us that we aren’t getting better at interventions; Libya was just a special case. And since when has it been okay for the president to mislead Congress to start a war? Rob and Michael want you to know that, despite what you’ve heard, the world is really safe right now. Finally, they worry that an expansive understanding of human rights would lead to too much military action.