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 Colin about the recent conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt for genocide. Rob and Colin talk about why it took so long to try Rios Montt, the role that Cold War politics played in the Guatemalan civil war (including the culpability of the US), and the wave of democratization that swept across Latin America. They end by discussing whether this wave is being rolled back, and how convicting figures like Rios Montt can help stabilize Latin American democracy.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Rob discuss the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. Rob says Assad is probing the “pink line.” Has the Syrian civil war really hurt US interests? What happens if Assad wins? Matt argues that maintaining the taboo against using chemical weapons is worthwhile. They discuss the George W. Bush Rehabilitation Project, and close with the neoconservative reaction to Ron Paul’s new institute.
On a very special episode of Foreign Entanglements, Laura and Steve discuss their legendary final confrontation in Twitter Fight Club 2013. They next talk about the academic job market: liberal arts colleges vs. large research universities, the role of luck and timing, and advice for graduate students. They close with a discussion of secession and irredentism in Africa.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Colin discuss Latin American reactions to the death of Margaret Thatcher. Colin describes how the Malvinas/Falklands War is remembered in Argentina. Rob recalls how the war began and how Argentina was surprised at Britain’s willingness to fight it. How has the war’s role in ending Argentina’s dictatorship shaped the way Argentines remember it? How is Thatcher remembered in Chile, where she backed the dictator Augusto Pinochet? And what role did the Catholic Church, and specifically future Pope Francis, play in Latin America’s transition to democracy in the 1980s?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Michael engage in a lively debate over the lessons learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Michael thinks both the invasion of Iraq and the surge in Afghanistan were fueled by undue faith in military force, but Rob argues that the comparison is unjustified. How should the United States respond to Iran and North Korea? Rob and Michael next discuss President Obama’s trip to Israel; Rob has little hope for a US-brokered peace deal. Finally, they discuss the current state of Kentucky politics, including the careers of Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell and the abortive campaign of Ashley Judd.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Dan take a deep dive into the relationship between the Iraq War and the study of international politics. Dan argues that the Bush started the war because executive power has been unbridled since World War II, not because of the September 11 attacks. After Iraq, will the world question American power and resolve? They speculate how a President Gore would have waged a War on Terror, and, going further into this alternate history, whether a McCain victory in 2004 would have unmade the international liberal order.
On Foreign Entanglements, Gil talks about his experience at the AIPAC policy conference, where a single perspective of the Mideast conflict is decidedly on view. Matt criticizes the impact of AIPAC’s one-sided approach. Matt and Gil debate efforts in Congress to support an Israeli strike on Iran, and Matt notes that North Korea presents a great example of the disincentives for Iran to go nuclear. They both condemn Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s harsh remarks on Zionism. Plus: What can we expect from Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob talks to Nate about his efforts to pressure US intelligence agencies to release classified documents. They consider the impact of Wikileaks. Nate offers some horror stories about FOIA requests, and also describes his research on Able Archer, the 1983 incident that nearly triggered a nuclear war. They discuss the new show The Americans, which both Rob and Nate prefer to Homeland. Rob and Nate then discuss Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, the two “national security” entrants in this year’s Academy Awards, and reflect on the difficulties of getting historical films right. Finally, a brief conversation about Seth MacFarlane‘s turn as Oscar host.
On Foreign Entanglements, James explains the Atlantic Council’s shadowy supporters, which may or may not include “friends of Hamas.” Matt wonders whether Hagel’s critics really are this stupid, or just think their audience is. James describes the DC think tank landscape. Did Rand Paul’s foreign policy speech mark a return of GOP realism? Matt argues that, by now, we know who John McCain really is. James sees parallels between Obama’s foreign policy and Reagan’s. Plus: Is Sen. Ted Cruz just a jerk?
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob talks to Peter about the latter’s recent edited volume, Hybrid Warfare. Pete explains the reasoning behind his chapter selections, leading to discussions about warfare in Ancient Rome, the American Civil War, and the Second Sino-Japanese War. Rob asks Pete about the changes that technology has wrought in the practice of hybrid war, and Pete and Rob then discuss the upcoming sequester and the future of the American military establishment.
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt talks to Yousef about Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, which will be his first as president. Matt wonders how the trip will affect Obama and Netanyahu’s tense relationship. Yousef worries that the Israeli public doesn’t actually support a two-state solution. How could the existence of a Palestinian state advance the interests of the US? And how did the Chuck Hagel hearings affect international opinion of America? Finally, Yousef and Matt consider how strongly the American public supports Israel.