Kim Jong-un says North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. The Russians may have caused a blackout in Ukraine with a cyber attack. And President Obama plans to do a lot of foreign travel in his final year in office. Plus, in Object Lessons, why are embassies sending out such crappy holiday gifts?
This week on the podcast, the gang wraps up the year that was 2015. What were the most important stories of the year? And what's the big story we'll all be talking about in 2016?
GOP presidential candidates debate foreign policy and dare each other to carpet bomb the hell out of the Islamic State. And are the Saudis finally ready to get serious and take on ISIS? Special guest Will McCants joins the podcast this week.
Barack Obama tries to reassure the nation that ISIS is not winning. Donald Trump has a different plan to keep America safe. And John Kerry is so over the Middle East peace process.
President Obama is sending 200 more special operations forces to Iraq to combat ISIS. China seems to be hacking the U.S. less. And a Taliban ally is holding an American man hostage.
Turkey shoots down a Russian jet after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Brussels goes on lockdown, raising the question of how long it’s rational to shut down a major city to preempt a terrorist attack. And thoughts on the “forever war” by a commander who served in it. Plus, a special Thanksgiving edition of Object Lessons. Lawfare's new managing editor Susan Hennessey joins the gang this week.
What do the ISIS attacks in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and now France tell us about the group's evolution and whether it’s changing strategy? The Paris attacks are breathing new life into the crypto wars. And U.S governors say they don't want Syrian refugees in their states.
Two weeks after a Russian airliner fell from the sky in Egypt, will we ever know how the plane crashed? GOP presidential candidates are all over the map with their foreign policy plans. Plus, a modest proposal for closing Guantanamo.
President Obama is sending 50 Special Forces members into Syria. A new book marks the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. And a new Twitter war erupts over drone strikes, and it doesn’t involve Ben!
The European Court of Justice may have just knocked the surveillance state back on its heels. Is Russia a resurgent power in the Middle East? And one think tank fellow/podcaster has a bone to pick with Vladimir Putin.
Quinta Jurecic joins Shane and Ben for the podcast. This week: A new leak shows us more about the inner workings of drones strikes. FBI Director Jim Comey concedes defeat in the encryption wars. And Obama’s moral muse.
Has the Obama administration outplayed China on cyber spying? The Taliban is on the march in Afghanistan. What does this mean for the future of U.S. troops in that country? And the new movie Sicario is one of the sharpest criticisms yet of the war on drugs.
Plus, in Object Lessons—GODZILLA!
Russia launches airstrikes in Syria, changing the political calculus in the Middle East. U.S.-backed rebels in Syria are also coming under attack. Is the U.S. abandoning them? And Edward Snowden is tweeting and Edward Scissorhands is trending.
Russia is about to intervene in Syria. Good luck with that. The U.S. and China are contemplating a “cyber arms treaty.” And the New York Times editorial board has a plan for closing Guantanamo. Plus, in Object Lessons, Edward Snowden has a new look.
Is the Obama administration's hand-wringing over Chinese cyber spying making the U.S. look like chumps? Two new books chart the meteoric rise of ISIS. And a former U.S. ambassador highlights the importance of international partnerships to U.S. counterterrorism.
Plus, in Object Lessons, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wants you to chill out!
Donald Trump reveals that he doesn’t know the names of the heads of the world’s biggest terrorist organizations. Does that disqualify him to be commander-in-chief? Turns out killing Anwar Al-Alawki was an “easy” decision for President Obama. And can the House sue the president over the Iran deal?
Plus, in Object Lessons, how our lives would be different had 9/11 never happened.
Gen. David Petraeus has a new plan for fighting ISIS. Is it smart or utterly nuts? A new article takes us deep inside the mind and menace of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared “caliph” of the Islamic State. And a new book takes us deep inside the operation to kill an American Al Qaeda fighter. Plus, in Object Lessons, ancient art and modern icons.
This week on the podcast: How could China's economic free fall affect U.S. national security? What does international law have to say about Russia's invasion of Ukraine? And the Secret Service gets upset when a drone flies near President Obama while he's playing golf.
Plus, in Object Lessons, countering violent extremism...with BBQ.
The top ISIS fighter in U.S. custody is being transferred to Iraq. What’s it mean for the U.S. justice system and the future of detainee policy in the war with ISIS? Two years after the first Snowden leaks, are we over the idea of the idealistic whistleblower? And a photo essay on strategic Jerusalem. Plus, in Object Lessons, drones, shades, and summer reading.
Shane goes on vacation, abandoning the gang to its fate. Brookings scholar Dan Byman steps in and brings a National Counterterrorism Center Calendar, which sparks a discussion of how to categorize terrorist acts that take place within warfare. Ben talks about a recent U.S. court decision that found the war in Afghanistan isn't really over—no matter what the president says. And Tamara talks about the president's Iran speech. In our Object Lessons segment, Dan shows off a large Yemeni dagger. Tamara brings a picture of Egypt's General Sisi sailing down the new Suez canal. And Ben brings an online course we all should sign up to take.
Is notorious Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead—again? And then, Tamara and her very important friends at the Aspen Security Forum were discussing the threat of ISIS and the real truth about encryption. Plus in Object Lessons, Shane is heading off to paradise, and Tamara brought back some primo swag.
This week, Ben and Shane are joined by special guests Wells Bennett of Lawfare and Quinta Jurecic, national security intern at Brookings. On the agenda: Obama has a plan to close Guantanamo, and it may be dead or alive. An Iraqi businessman wants to mount a private Sunni army to fight ISIS. And someone near and dear to us has a new plan to fix the encryption problem. Plus, in our Object Lessons, Ben is going to cut someone, and we’ll explain the title of this week’s show.
The Iran deal is finally here. This week on the podcast, Shane, Tamara, and special guest Wells Bennett look at what’s in the deal, what it does, and what it doesn’t do. Also, a closer look at which sanctions are being relieved and whom that will help. Plus, do we need an AUMF for...Russia? And in our Object Lesson, sideburns and Peanut Brigaders.
This week on the podcast: FBI Director James Comey goes to the Hill to talk about "going dark." Former officials are expressing concern about the Iran deal. And the Office of Personnel Management put people who had no experience in computer security in charge of...computer security! Plus, in Object Lessons, Ben and Tamara survive a shipwreck.
This week on the show: Senators call for hearings on domestic terrorism in the wake of the Charleston shootings. Do we need a new National Commission on the War on Terrorism? And a cat fight between the FISA court and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Plus, in Object Lessons, are you “e-QIPped?” The Chinese are.