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, Matt and Jamie discuss the Foreign Policy Initiative’s new poll of US opinion on foreign policy. They debate whether isolationism is still an important strain in American politics. Why was the Obama administration so slow to acknowledge the Libyan consulate murders as a terrorist attack? Were the embassy demonstrations a sign of US weakness in the Middle East? Both Matt and Jamie think supporters of Bush’s “Freedom Agenda” should’ve been prepared for Morsi’s UN speech. Finally, Matt criticizes Netanyahu’s infamous bomb chart speech, while Jamie defends an aggressive stance against Iran.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Toshi discuss the East China Sea island dispute between China and Japan. Toshi gives a brief history of the dispute, then explains why tensions have escalated in recent months. Rob wonders how much the growing strength of the Chinese navy affects the calculations of policymakers in Tokyo and in Southeast Asia. Rob and Toshi discuss the role that the United States can play in de-escalating the crisis. They also consider China’s relationship with Taiwan in this context. Plus: how does climate change influence disputes like this one?
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt talks to Carey about Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans killed in Benghazi. Carey disputes the idea that diplomats get “captured” by their host countries. Matt asks Carey about the impact of the 2011 WikiLeaks cables, and Carey goes on to explain the difficulties of diplomacy in the age of Twitter. Matt asks Carey about his experience establishing the embassy in post-Soviet Georgia, and Carey closes by offering lessons for Libya and Egypt today.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Michael about the political conventions. Michael, who attended both conventions, says it was like going from a country club to New York City. Rob and Michael talk about newfound Democratic confidence in foreign policy, and they wonder how hawkish the party can become. Rob asks Michael who he thinks might take the key foreign policy positions in the Obama and Romney administrations, and they evaluate John Bolton, John McCain, and George W. Bush as picks for Secretary of State. Looking past the 2012 election, Michael asks Rob about the prospects of a 2016 Rand Paul run for the GOP nomination.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Meir discuss the new IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program. Meir is concerned that war with Iran has become an identity issue for some Americans. Turning to the recent Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran, they discuss the surprising roles of Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Matt argues that Obama’s strategy of diplomatic engagement at the UN has been vindicated. Is Israel or the US ever likely to bomb Iran? Matt worries that the tension between US and Israeli red lines increases the risk of war.