WorldAffairs

In the past year, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked in major cities. A lot of this is attributed to anti-Asian rhetoric about the pandemic. But the hard truth is that whenever tensions escalate between the United States and Asian nations overseas, Asian-Americans bear the brunt of that anger at home. In this episode, we hear from US Congressman Andy Kim about how the  power competition between China and the US creates fear and anxiety on the home front, which often escalates to anti-Asian rhetoric. Then, we hear the stories of two scientists, Wen Ho Lee and Xiaoxing Xi. Both were racially profiled by the FBI—and falsely accused of spying for the Chinese government. 

Read Joyce Xi’s op-ed in USA Today

 

Guests:

Rep. Andy Kim, (D-NJ)

Helen Zia, journalist, activist and author of many books including Last Boat out of Shanghai and My Country vs. Me

George Koo, retired business consultant and writer

Joyce Xi, community advocate

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 05_10_21_Asian_Americans.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When Joe Biden ran for president, he pledged to make climate change a major priority. During his first 100 days in office, he rejoined the Paris Agreement, pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and his administration hosted a global climate summit. Now comes the hard part; convincing Congress to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan. This week on the podcast, we talk about climate policy with former California Governor Jerry Brown, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, 2016 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Then, we visit Paradise, California, the site of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history.

 

Guests: 

Jerry Brown, Governor of California (1975-1983 and 2011-2019)

Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and President & Chair of Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance 

Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia & recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Emily Thomas, documentary filmmaker

Harmony VonStockhausen, student

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 05_03_21_Climate_Future.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

US military forces have occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years and now, President Biden says it’s time to end the war. But Afghanistan is still fragile, and the Taliban is more powerful now than it has been in years. In February of 2020, the Trump Administration signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban, requiring them to renounce attacks on American forces and allies, and the US agreed to withdraw its troops, but the Afghan government wasn’t included in the negotiation -- and Afghan civilians continue to be targeted by the Taliban. Biden says that the US accomplished its goal of degrading Al Qaeda to the point that it cannot not use the country as an operations base again. But it’s possible Afghanistan could devolve into a civil war if the right decisions aren’t made -- and that could destabilize the region. In this episode, we look at the legacy of America’s longest war -- and what’s at stake as the US brings its troops home.
 
 
 

Guests:

Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and retired US Army lieutenant general  

Annie Pforzheimer, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan

Rina Amiri,  senior fellow at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs & United Nations senior mediation advisor

Robin Wright, columnist for The New Yorker and author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World”

 

Hosts:

Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs

Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs
 
 
If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
Direct download: 04_26_21_Afghanistan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Vaccine hesitancy is actually nothing new, and Pakistani Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq has been working to address the problem for a long time. In this episode, she talks with Ray Suarez about what we can learn from Pakistan’s experience distributing the polio vaccine. Even after CIA agents staged a fake vaccine campaign to collect intelligence on Osama bin Laden, stoking vaccine skepticism, health workers managed to brave death threats and convince people to vaccinate their children. They talked with families about the effects of polio, introduced them to victims of the disease and vaccinated the Prime Minister on live TV. Can we use the same strategies with COVID-19?

 

Guest:

Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator in Pakistan and former focal point for Polio eradication

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 04_22_21_Ayesha_Raza_Farooq.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:25am PDT

As vaccine roll-outs bring the end of the pandemic closer in wealthier countries, many poorer nations are enduring a surge in coronavirus cases without access to life-saving vaccines. COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, is working hard to bridge the divide. Anuradha Gupta, deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, talks with Ray Suarez about why vaccinating the whole world is not only the right thing to do, but it will keep the disease from mutating into a more dangerous one. Can we vaccinate a planet of 7.9 billion before the virus gets the best of us?

 

Guest:

Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 04_19_21_Anuradha_Gupta.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

H.R. McMaster, a retired Army lieutenant general and former national security advisor, says the last twenty years of US foreign policy have been characterized by a belief that the world revolves around us. The result? A series of strategic blunders, from the war in Iraq to our missteps in Syria. And we’re not the only political power players who are guilty of “overconfidence” and “strategic narcism.” In this episode, we look at what happens when you think you know what you’re doing and don’t listen to the people you are trying to help.

 

Guest:

H.R. McMaster, Retired lieutenant general, former national security advisor and author of BattleGrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 04_15_21_HR_McMaster.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

What Séverine Autesserre has learned from two decades working on the ground in war torn countries, from Afghanistan to The Republic of Congo, is that the top-down approach to international peacekeeping, practiced by what she refers to as “Peace, Inc,” doesn’t work. With examples drawn from across the globe, she shows how peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances. Contrary to what most politicians preach, building peace doesn't require billions in aid or massive international interventions. Real, lasting peace requires giving power to local citizens.

Host: Ray Suarez

Guest: Séverine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the World

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 04_12_21_Severine_Autessere.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

After more than five years of civil war, Yemenis are bracing for what could be the worst famine the world has seen in decades. Hunger Ward, a new documentary film, follows two healthcare professionals, on opposite sides of the war, who are fighting to save the children of Yemen from starvation. Oscar-nominated director Skye Fitzgerald and Dr. Aida Al-Sadeeq talk with WorldAffairs producer Teresa Cotsirilos about how hunger is being used as a weapon of war -- and what can be done to stop it.

 

Guests:

Dr. Aida Al-Sadeeq, assistant professor at the University of Aden and former supervisor at the pediatric malnutrition ward at Aden's Al-Sadaqa Hospital 

Skye Fitzgerald, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and director of “The Hunger Ward”

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 04_08_21_Yemen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In 2018, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected with a promise to transform the country into a fully-fledged democracy after its people faced decades of oppressive rule. In 2019, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for peacemaking efforts with neighboring Eritrea. Last fall, however, Ethiopia’s democratic experiment seemingly fell apart. Now, the country is at the center of a humanitarian disaster. If Ethiopia erupts into an all-out civil war, it could trigger a regional conflict throughout the Horn of Africa, the continent’s ethnically diverse eastern peninsula.

 

Guests:

Michelle Gavin, Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former Ambassador to Botswana

Adotei Akwei, Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations for Amnesty International

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

 

Direct download: 04_05_21_Ethiopia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Last week, there were seven mass shootings in seven days. And though other nations with better gun control see this as an American problem, the US has been exporting its gun problem abroad for years. Arms traffickers thrive on the country’s inconsistent gun laws. And while President Biden is urging Congress to create stronger gun regulations, it’s unclear whether they will take any meaningful action beyond the usual “thoughts and prayers.” In this episode, journalists J Brian Charles and Ioan Grillo join us to talk about how complicated gun violence is, and how tighter gun laws could help reduce it.

 

Guests:

J Brian Charles, journalist covering guns, race and inequality for The Trace

Ioan Grillo, journalist and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels

 

Produced by Madeleine Wood, Teresa Cotsirilos, and Jarrod Sport

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_29_21_America_Gun_Problem.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Ten years since the war in Syria began and one month in office, President Biden launched his first airstrikes in Syria. The targets were Iranian backed militia groups in response to attacks on American personnel in Iraq. This is just one manifestation of the dangerous proxy wars at play in Syria, involving Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Syrian people are caught in the crossfire and have essentially lost their country. An estimated six hundred thousand people have been killed and twelve million people have been displaced. So what’s happened to the people who were forced to flee? And What does justice for Syria’s people look like? What happened with Syria's chemical weapon stockpile? What can the international community do to bring justice for the Syrian people? In this episode, a Syrian filmmaker, an author and refugee, and a journalist who covers national security explain how we got here.  

Guests:

Feras Fayyad, documentary filmmaker, Last Men in Aleppo and The Cave

Tima Kurdi, author of The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home

Joby Warrick, national security reporter for The Washington Post and author of Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America’s Race to Destroy the Most Danger Arsenal in the World

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_21_20_Syria.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:09pm PDT

When Israelis head to the polls on March 23, it will be the fourth time in just two years. The most recent coalition government fell apart last December, when the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) failed to pass a budget, automatically triggering new elections. The vote is regarded as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is facing corruption charges. At the same time, Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccinations and is normalizing relations with some of its Arab neighbors. The Palestinians have been sidelined and will likely hold their own elections in May. In this week’s episode, we get two perspectives on the region’s political transitions, one Israeli and one Palestinian.

 

Guests:

Shlomi Kofman, Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest

Khaled Elgindy, Director of Middle East Institute’s Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_15_21_Israeli_Palestinian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:29pm PDT

On February 1, Burma’s military stormed the country’s capital, arrested its elected leaders, and declared a military state of emergency. Since then, protesters throughout Burma (also known as Myanmar) have taken to the streets, even as the military threatens more violence. Dozens of people have been shot and killed by the military junta, and the crackdown has been compared to the 1989 protests and massacre in China’s Tiananmen Square. Burma was supposed to be a transitioning democracy, and the power-sharing agreement between its military and civilian leadership was regarded as one of the Obama Administration’s major foreign policy achievements. So, what went wrong? In this episode, we talk with former US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun and Thant Myint-U, a former diplomat, historian and author, about what fueled the coup and what’s different about this protest movement.


Editor’s note: You may be wondering why we are using “Burma” rather than “Myanmar." For decades, the country was called “Burma,” after the dominant Burman ethnic group. But in 1989, one year after the ruling junta brutally suppressed a pro-democracy uprising, military leaders changed the country’s name to “Myanmar.” Out of sympathy with Aung San Suu Kyi and other advocates for democracy many people, and the United States government, continue to use “Burma.” For further explanation, please see this Associated Press article.

 

Guests:

Joseph Yun, former US ambassador to Malaysia and former US Special Representative for North Korea Policy

Thant Myint-U, historian, conservationist, former diplomat, and author of many books including “The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century”

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_08_21_Burma_Protests.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:29am PDT

Computer security experts at the Department of Homeland Security sighed in relief after seeing minimal Russian interference in the 2020 elections. What they didn’t realize was that hackers were in the process of performing what might be the largest and most sophisticated cyberattack on the United States. SolarWinds is named after the software hackers used to breach computers throughout the federal government, including nuclear labs and the Department of Homeland Security, the agency charged with keeping us safe. Today, more than 35 countries have the technology to perform a major attack on the US while only nine have nuclear capabilities. In fact, cyberattacks are much easier to get away with because they’re hard to track and retaliate against. This week on WorldAffairs, New York Times reporters David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth join us to talk about the threat of cyberwarfare, how the United States is uniquely vulnerable, and whether or not there is something we can do to prevent it.

 

Guests:

Nicole Perlroth, Cybersecurity Reporter, The New York Times and author of This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends

David Sanger, National Security Correspondent, The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_01_21_Perlroth_Sanger_Solarwinds.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a series of agricultural reforms last November, India’s farmers launched what might be the largest protest movement in modern history. An estimated 250 million Indians went on strike in solidarity, and today, tens of thousands of farmers are camped just outside the nation’s capital. Modi’s government has responded by silencing  journalists and detaining activists, raising troubling questions about the state of the world’s largest democracy. Then pop star Rihanna tweeted about the protests, causing an international incident, and all hell broke loose. In this episode, we talk with experts and journalists about India’s new agricultural reforms, why farmers don’t like it, and how platforms like Facebook and Twitter are playing a pivotal role in this conflict.  

 

Guests:

Ravi Agrawal, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy Magazine

Milan Vaishnav, Director of the South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and host of Grand Tamasha

Pranav Dixit, Tech reporter for BuzzFeed News, based in New Delhi


If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_22_21_India_Farmers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Michael McFaul and Kathryn Stoner take a closer look at Russia — a country whose economy has continued to grow despite international sanctions—as Vladimir Putin cracks down on protestors. The discuss her new book, Russia Resurrected.

In this episode, we partnered with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_18_21_Russia_Resurrected.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In his inaugural address, president Biden declared, “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause -- the cause of democracy.” But is the United States still a beacon for aspiring democratic societies around the globe?  In this episode, we’re partnering with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University to look at the state of democracy with Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul.

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_15_21_Democracy_Peril.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

As the US reckons with the shock of the Capitol insurrection on January 6, the FBI has arrested dozens of alleged rioters, and we still don’t fully know why law enforcement was so unprepared for the attack.In this episode of the podcast, we talk with former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi about the issues now facing authorities in the wake of the January 6 insurrection and reflect on the FBI’s history and culture. In his new book, The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Excellence, Figliuzzi makes the case that the FBI, for all its recent and historic public controversies and transgressions, still sets a gold standard for excellence and ethics that should be followed more widely.

 

Guest:

Frank Figluizzi,FBI Assistant Director (ret) and author of THE FBI WAY: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Excellence

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_11_21_FBI_Way.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When footage of rioters storming the US Capitol was broadcast live around the world, some far-right extremists in Germany were watching it like a soccer game. The country has spent decades confronting its dark history, but neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists remain a threat. In this episode, we hear from Stephan Kramer, the head of domestic intelligence in the eastern German state of Thuringia. He talks with Ray Suarez about what he’s learned trying to stop this movement.

 

Guest: 

Stephan Kramer, head of domestic intelligence for the eastern German state of Thuringia

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_08_21_White_Nationalism_Germany.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm PDT

After years of agonizing political and economic uncertainty, the United Kingdom has finally left the European Union. Brexit is the law of the land and UK voters are just as divided over it as they were five years ago. As the UK’s new trade deal with the EU rattles the country’s economy, Teresa Cotsirilos talks with two political activists on opposite sides of the Brexit divide. 

 

Guests: 

Lara Spirit, Our Future Our Choice

Hani Mustafa, Student and Brexit activist

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_04_21_Brexit.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:52pm PDT

The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union, but Brexit is far from resolved. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU in 2016, but they were powerless to stop it. Now, Scotland is talking about independence again and tensions are on the rise in Northern Ireland. With the Republic of Ireland still a member of the EU and Northern Ireland in the UK, how will Northern Irish people and commerce move freely between the two countries? Will Brexit divide or unite Ireland? Fintan O’Toole, a columnist for The Irish Times and author of  Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain breaks it down with co-host Ray Suarez.

 

Guest: 

Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times columnist and author of Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain

 


If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_01_21_Fintan_OToole.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Donald Trump is no longer in charge, and much of the world is hoping Joe Biden will rebuild America’s international reputation. President Biden got the ball rolling his first week by rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Accords, and stopping construction on a border wall with Mexico. How will his administration mend relationships with the rest of the world after four years of unpredictability? Michael McFaul, former US Ambassador to Russia, and Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico, join co-host Ray Suarez to talk about how to best address foreign policy moving forward. 

 

Guests: 

Michael McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Former Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council and US ambassador to Russia and author of From Cold War to Hot Peace

Jorge Castañeda, Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico, professor and author of America Through Foreign Eyes

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_25_21_Castaneda_McFaul.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

For months, the domestic terrorist attack on the US Capitol was planned in plain sight on social media. So why weren’t we ready for it? This week, former FBI special agent Michael German explains why the bureau deprioritized the threat posed by white supremacists… and why the Department of Homeland Security says they pose “the most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.” Then, historian Nell Irvin Painter breaks down how a legacy of racism in the United States brought us to this moment. Can we change our trajectory? She argues that the Black Lives Matter Movement of 2020 could bring lasting, positive change to this country.

 

Guests: 

Nell Irvin Painter, American historian, artist, author of numerous books including The History of White People and Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University

Michael German, Brennan Center for Justice at NYC Law School, former FBI agent and author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy



If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_16_21_German_Painter.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:19pm PDT

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has spent her career documenting the stealth strategies authoritarian leaders use to gain power. In her new book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, she outlines the “strongman playbook” used by authoritarian leaders including Donald Trump. She says that the January 6 insurgency by far-right extremists, meant to facilitate Trump’s self-coup, lays bare how much the 45th president has in common with autocrats like Benito Mussolini and Vladimir Putin. When President Trump incited his followers to storm the US Capitol, some were shocked, but Ben-Ghiat saw this coming. She joins Ray Suarez on the podcast to talk about last week’s events and warn us of what could come next.

Guest: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_08_21_Ruth_Ben-Ghiat.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:20pm PDT

As each country manages the pandemic differently, the already fragile global economy has been disrupted by broken supply chains and shifts in demand. Now we’re questioning the role of the government, the future of capitalism and changing our values. The choices we make now could change the world for decades. On this week’s episode, we revisit a conversation about the future of the global economy with James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, and Gillian Tett, Editor at Large at the Financial Times. 

 

Guests: 

James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute

Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz 

Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_04_21_Global_Economy_COVID-19.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

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