Hosted by Robert Farley, Matthew Duss and Natalie Sambhi, Foreign Entanglements brings together people with contrasting views on America’s role in the world.
On Foreign Entanglements, Hussein offers his take on the Egyptian presidential election and predicts that Egypt’s voters will opt for a balance between the presidency and parliament. Is presidential candidate Aboul Fatouh an Islamist that liberals can love? Turning to Israel, Matt and Hussein try to figure out why Kadima’s Mofaz joined Netanyahu’s government only days after calling Bibi a liar. An American congressman has urged Israel to annex the West Bank—is this at all realistic? Matt argues that Israel’s Gaza closure has strengthened Hamas. Finally, will the Arab Spring help or hurt Hamas?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Matt discuss the election of François Hollande in France and how it will affect the future of the European Union. Matt suggests that a face-saving deal may be in the works to paper over differences between France and Germany. Matt explains how a Greek exit from the Eurozone could cause the whole thing to collapse, while Rob questions why many on the American left seem to favor Greece over the EU. Matt and Rob talk about the effects of another Euro crisis on the global economy (not to mention the US election), and whether foreign leaders should be campaigning for each other. They conclude with some thoughts about punctuation.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Daveed discuss Obama’s visit to Afghanistan. Daveed thinks the GOP makes a fair point about politicizing the Bin Laden killing. Matt and Daveed then compare how politicians use and misuse the legacies of Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Daveed assesses the state of Al Qaeda a year after Bin Laden’s death, and Matt takes issue with a recent column arguing that the Arab Spring has encouraged “electoral Bin Ladenism”. Finally, Matt and Daveed defend Richard Grenell, the openly gay advisor forced to resign from the Romney campaign.
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.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Ben discuss new indications that Israel will hold off on striking Iran. Matt brings up the important difference between preemption and prevention. They point out that a nuclear Iran would be subject to the dangers of accidents and mistakes. We shouldn’t grow too comfortable with the Cold War doctrine of mutually-assured destruction, they suggest, just because it happened to work for a few decades. What are the chances of Obama ordering a strike after the election? They close with Ben’s interview with Iraqi opposition leader Ayad Allawi.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Andrew Erickson, editor of the new book Chinese Aerospace Power. Andrew and Rob discuss the long road to development of China’s new aircraft carrier, including the choices that the carrier represents and what it might portend for China’s military future. They then work through the implications of China’s development of anti-ship ballistic missiles and what it tells us about China’s military bureaucracy.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Joshua discuss the tragic massacre of sixteen Afghan civilians by a US Army sergeant, and the public reaction in Afghanistan, before moving on to the implications of the massacre for the US election. Rob and Joshua then consider whether Afghanistan can become a modern state, and the regional implications of the impending American withdrawal. Plus: Instead of victory, should our goal be risk management?