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Net Assessment

War on the Rocks

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Net Assessment
Net Assessment

Net Assessment

War on the Rocks

22
Followers
73
Plays
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About Us

Hosts Melanie Marlowe, Bryan McGrath, and Christopher Preble debate their way through some of the toughest and most contentious topics related to war, international relations, and strategy. This podcast is brought to you by War on the Rocks.

Latest Episodes

The Looming End of Pax Americana?

The Net Assessment crew is back and this week they are breaking down an article written by Brian Stewart inQuillettetitled, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana." Is NATO worth American attention and money? Why don't the Europeans just get their act together? The crew discusses what threat NATO is designed to counter and whether it should forget about Russia and focus on terrorism. Also, Bryan has a grievance with attorney general Bill Barr, Melanie takes issue with the Danish Atlantic Council, and Chris gives an attaboy to the students at the University of California, Washington Center. Join Melanie, Chris, and Bryan as they dive once more into the breach. Links Brian Stewart, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana," Quillette, December 5, 2019 Bret Stephens, "NATO is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World," New York Times, December 5, 2019 "Emmanuel Macron in His Own Words," Economist, November 7, 2019 Katie Benner, "Barr and D...

53 MIN5 h ago
Comments
The Looming End of Pax Americana?

Can Bryan Pass the Turing Test?

Chris, Bryan, and Melanie talk about the Interim Report issued by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence last week. What kinds of expectations should we have about AI being used for national security purposes? What kind of investments should be made in this technology, and where will the money come from? What about concerns that AI developed by American companies or the United States government might be used by authoritarian regimes to violate their citizens' human rights? Can we continue to reap the benefits of research collaboration with people from other countries, particularly China, and still protect national security secrets? Finally, Bryan tells us of his exploits in Italy, Chris gives a heartfelt appreciation to a friend and colleague, and Melanie looks forward to some long-awaited playtime with her nephews. Links National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, Interim Report, November 2019 Jacey Fortin, “Uber C.E.O. Backtracks After Comparing ...

52 MINNOV 14
Comments
Can Bryan Pass the Turing Test?

Strategy and Exit Strategies: Essential or Misleading?

Melanie, Chris, and guest host Claude Berube discuss the promise and pitfalls of exit strategies. When policymakers plan to embark on foreign wars, should they also prepare a plan for extricating the nation from these wars when they are completed? Is an exit strategy a vital component of strategy? Or do exit strategies create unreasonable expectations of easy victory? Can an exit strategy focus attention on a desired end state, and prevent mission creep? Or are prudent adjustments only possible when policymakers are not shackled to pre-war objectives? Chris congratulates New England Patriots’ coach Bill Bellichick on victory number 300, Melanie blasts Sean Duffy for questioning a decorated U.S. Army officer’s patriotism, and Claude delivers a Net Assessment first -- a heartfelt attadog for his beloved four-legged companion, Reagan. Links David Kampf, "When Are Exit Strategies Viable?" War on the Rocks, October 14, 2019 Adam Wunische, "The Lost Art of Exiting a War," War on the Rocks, October 21, 2019 Devon Clements, "Bill Belichick Becomes 3rd NFL Head Coach Ever to Accumulate 300 Career Wins," Sports Illustrated, October 27, 2019 Christopher Preble, “New Rules for U.S. Military Intervention,” War on the Rocks, September 20, 2016 Richard Fontaine, “The Nonintervention Delusion: What War Is Good For,” Foreign Affairs, November-December 2019 Spencer Ackerman, “Baghdadi Is Dead. The War on Terror Will Create Another,” Daily Beast, October 28, 2019 Doug Bandow and Christopher Preble, “Lost in the Furor Over Syria: Alliances Are a Means, Not an End,” War on the Rocks, October 23, 2019 Ashley Feinberg, "This Sure Looks Like Mitt Romney's Secret Twitter Account," Slate, October 20, 2019 "Sean Duffy on CNN," CNN, October 29, 2019 Aaron Stein, "US Officials Ignored Trump on Syria and We are All Paying the Price," War on the Rocks, October 22, 2019 "The Weinberger Doctrine," Washington Post, November 30, 1984 Jason Whiteley, "No Exit, No Problem," Small Wars Journal, April 21, 2011 James Nolt, "Exit Strategy," World Policy," World Policy, February 23, 2017

48 MINOCT 31
Comments
Strategy and Exit Strategies: Essential or Misleading?

We Just Don’t Make Policy Like We Used To

Join Chris, Melanie, and Bryan as they dive into Professor Philip Zelikow’s recent article in theTexas National Security Reviewtitled, “To Regain Policy Competence: The Software of American Problem Solving.” Has policymaking gotten worse, or is it a problem with implementation? Or is implementation part of the policymaking process? The gang also discusses whether there is a lack of professionalism in the education and training of future policymakers.This week's episode is a little wonky, but well worth the time. At the end of the show, Bryan gives an attaboy for the first person to complete a marathon in under two hours, while Chris gives a shout out to his wife. Links Philip Zelikow, "To Regain Policy Competence: The Software of American Public Problem-Solving," Texas National Security Review, September 2019 John Glaser, Christopher Preble, A. Trevor Thrall, Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover) (Cato Institute, 2019) Justin Logan, “Cult of the Irrelevant: National Security Eggheads & Academics,” American Conservative, June 12, 2019 Danielle Pletka, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Justin Logan, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Danielle Pletka, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Krista Preble, LinkedIn Alex Horton, "A Latina Novelist Spoke About White Privilege. Students Burned Her Book in Response," Washington Post, October 11, 2019 Tim Hains, "Beto O'Rourke: Churches That Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Should Lose Tax-Exempt Status," Real Clear Politics, October 11, 2019 Ryan Prior, "Farmers in Idaho Rallied to Harvest a Neighbor's Potatoes as a Deep Freeze Threatened to Ruin Them," CNN, October 11, 2019 Tariq Tahir, "Nobel Peace Prize 2019 – Greta Thunberg Snubbed as Award Given to Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed for Ending 20 Year Eritrea Conflict," Sun, October 11, 2019 Chris Stein, "Nobel Snub No Obstacle in Great Thunberg's Climate Quest," Yahoo News, October 11, 2019 Andrew Keh, "Eliud Kipchoge Breaks Two-Hour Marathon Barrier," New York Times, October 12, 2019 The Bulwark Podcast, "Bryan McGrath on Trump and American Exceptionalism," October 14, 2019

54 MINOCT 17
Comments
We Just Don’t Make Policy Like We Used To

Syria: A Sad Tale

Bryan is celebrating theanniversary of our first episode on a beach, so this week, Chris and Melanie are joined by Tom Karako of CSIS. In this episode they discuss the Syria Study Group Report, which concludes that "the US can still influence the outcome of the Syrian war in a manner that protects US interests." DoesAmerica have interests in Syria? If so, can they be managed and protected, particularly with a president who seems uninterested in investing political capital and American resources there? How has the Syrian civil war affected Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and does that matter to America? Finally, is there anything the United States should do about the terrible humanitarian situation, the effects of which have spilled over to other countries? Tom tells us about taking his son to his first baseball game (go Nats!), Chris has a birthday wish for a former president, and Melanie both sticks it to and congratulates the press. We can't wait for Bryan to return and give us his review of the Downton Abbey movie! Links "Syria Study Group Final Report," United States Institute of Peace, September 24, 2019 Josh Blackman, "When Is It Acceptable Journalistic Practice to Surface Old Social Media Posts?" Reason, September 27, 2019 Vance Serchuk, "Russia's Middle East Power Play," National Review, September 12, 2019 Michael Singh, Tweet, September 23, 2019 Trevor Thrall, “Resettling Syria’s Refugees Would Be Cheaper Than Widening the War,” Defense One, October 21, 2015 Alex Nowrasteh, “Terrorists by Immigration Status and Nationality: A Risk Analysis, 1975 – 2017,” Cato, May 7, 2019 Kareem Fahim, “In ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Saudi Crown Prince Denies Ordering Khashoggi Killing,” Washington Post, September 29, 2019 Anna Massoglia, “Saudi Arabia Ramped Up Multi-Million Foreign Influence Operation After Khashoggi’s Death,” Open Secrets, October 2, 2019 Elizabeth Wolfe and Brian Ries, “Jimmy Carter, the Oldest Living Former US President, Is 95 Today,” CNN, October 1, 2019 Reis Thebault and Brittany Shammas, "Amber Guyger, Police Officer Who Shot a Man to Death in His Apartment, Found Guilty of Murder," Washington Post, October 1, 2019 Josh Blackman, "When is It Acceptable Journalistic Practice to 'Surface' Old Social Media Posts?" Reason, September 27, 2019 Jack Detsch, "Congress Aims to Restore Syria Stabilization Aid," Al-Monitor, September 18, 2019 Brett McGurk, "Hard Truths in Syria," Foreign Affairs, May 28, 2019 Eric Schmitt, "US Sees Rising Threat in the West from Qaeda Branch in Syria," New York Times, September 30, 2019 Brittany Shamas, "When Trump's Special Envoy to Ukraine Resigned, a Student Newspaper Beat Everyone to the Story," Washington Post, September 28, 2019 "Timeline: Syria's Eight Years of Fire and Blood," Reuters, March 16, 2019 Keith Pandolfi, "How to Refinish Woodwork," This Old House "Hypersonic," Merriam-Webster Events "NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur," Cato Book Forum, October 18, 2019 "Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover)," Cato Book Forum, October 21, 2019

53 MINOCT 3
Comments
Syria: A Sad Tale

What Can We Do About Terrorism?

What have we learned in the 18 years since 9/11? Chris, Melanie, and Bryan discuss whether counterterrorism policy takes account of academic research on the subject. Going forward, the goal should be to implement the most cost-effective policies — and over time, to calm public anxiety about terrorism. Bryan gives a shout out to a bipartisan duo of Net Assessment fans, Chris gripes about NFL officiating, and Melanie offers her appreciation of the Constitution via an unlikely source: former Vice President Joe Biden. Links Khusrav Gaibulloev and Todd Sandler, "Six Things We've Learned About Terrorism Since 9/11," Washington Post, September 11, 2019 Khusrav Gaibulloev and Todd Sandler, "What We Have Learned about Terrorism since 9/11," Journal of Economic Literature, June, 2019 John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, (Oxford, 2011) John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Are We Safe Enough? Measuring and Assessing Aviation Security, (Elsevier, 2018) Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner, "Step Back: Lessons for U.S. Foreign Policy from the Failed War on Terror," Cato, June 26, 2017 Scott Simon, "Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch Sort of Hacked the Constitution," NPR, September 12, 2019 Tom Schad, "As New Season Begins, NFL Coaches Still Trying to Sort Out Pass Interference Rule Changes," USA Today, September 5, 2019 Christopher Preble, “Covert Wars, to What End?" War on the Rocks, August 7, 2019 Austin Carson, "Recipient of the Georgetown University Lepgold Prize," Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, September 4, 2019 Ari Cohn, Tweet, September 12, 2019 International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association, Tweet, August 19, 2019

50 MINSEP 19
Comments
What Can We Do About Terrorism?

Mattispalooza: Deconstructing the Legacy of James Mattis

Join Chris, Melanie, and Bryan as they assess Jim Mattis' legacy as secretary of defense and the media splash he is making while promoting his new book. Mattis is a complicated character, and his reasons for entering the administration, for leaving the administration, and for coyly restraining his comments after leaving are similarly complicated. Although President Donald Trump's early affinity for having former generals in key positions in his administration has cooled, the debate over the role retired flag and general officers should play in America's national security political discourse rages on. Links Jim Mattis, "Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism," Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2019 Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Man Who Couldn't Take It Anymore," Atlantic, October 2019 Issue Dan Lamothe and Greg Jaffe, "Emerging from His Silence, Mattis Faces Criticism for Trying to Take the 'Middle Road' on Trump," Washington Post, August 29, 2019 Jim Mattis and Bing West, Call Sing Chaos: Learning to Lead, (Random House, September 2019) Jim Mattis, "Letter from Secretary James Mattis," Defense, December 20, 2019 Mallory Hughes, "When a Boy with Autism was Overwhelmed on the First Day of School, Another Little Boy Held His Hand," CNN, August 27, 2019 Tyler Jost and Joshua D. Kertzer, “Armies and Influence: Public Deference to Foreign Policy Elites,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2019, Hannah Natanson, “A Broken Bingo Machine Left Rhis D.C. Veterans’ Retirement Home Mourning. A 16-year-old girl decided to help” Washington Post, September 2, 2019 Stephen Wertheim, “The Quincy Institute Opposes America’s Endless Wars. Why Should that Be a Scandal?” Washington Post, August 30, 2018 The Human Costs of War: Assessing Civilian Casualties since 9/11, Policy Forum, Cato Institute, September 11, 2019 Ted Galen Carpenter, NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur, Cato Institute, October 18, 2019

50 MINSEP 5
Comments
Mattispalooza: Deconstructing the Legacy of James Mattis

Does Trump’s Trade War Spell the End of the Global Order?

This week the gang talks about President Trump’s trade policies and why trade wars can be bad and hard to win. Do we have a strategy for success, or is the president simply venting frustration through erratic policies? What is the endgame? How doAmerica'seconomic policies, especially withregard to China, affectU.S.national security?Other highlights: Chris condemns Trump’s attempt to buy Greenland, Melanie finds a CEO worthy of immense respect, and Bryan explains why real British royalty isn’t as appealing as the Netflix version. Links Chad P. Bown and Douglas A. Irwin, "Trump's Assault on the Global Trading System: And Why Decoupling from China Will Change Everything," Foreign Affairs, September 2019 Chad P. Bown and Melina Kolb, "Trump's Trade War Timeline: An Up-to-Date Guide," Peterson Institute for International Economics, August 13, 2019 Madeleine Kearns, "Royals, Climate Change, and Private Jets," National Review, August 19, 2019 Scott Lincicome, CATO Institute Simon Lester and Huan Zhu, "Closing Pandora's Box: The Growing Abuse of the National Security Rationale for Restricting Trade," CATO Institute, June 25, 2019 "Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy," Cato Institute, January 24, 2018 Pierre Lemieux, “Peter Navarro’s Conversion,” Regulation, Fall 2018 John Harwood, “Americans Overwhelmingly Support Free Trade as Concern Grows About Trump’s Economy: NBC/WSJ Poll,” CNBC, August 19, 2019 Scott Lincicome, "The ‘Protectionist Moment’ That Wasn’t: American Views on Trade and Globalization," Cato Institute, November 2,2018 "Former Danish PM Lied About Iraq War Plans," Local, July 3, 2015 Tim Marcin, “Denmark to Trump: Seriously, Greenland Isn't for Sale,” Vice News, August 19, 2019 Maggie Fitzgerald, “Here’s What New Tariffs Will Cost the Average American Household,” CNBC, August 19, 2019 “Exploring the Militarization of US Foreign Policy,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, August 31, 2019 “The Human Costs of War: Assessing Civilian Casualties since 9/11,” Cato Institute, September 11, 2019

43 MINAUG 22
Comments
Does Trump’s Trade War Spell the End of the Global Order?

Explaining Mission Creep in Afghanistan

Special guest Rick Berger joins Bryan and Chris for a discussion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the state of civil-military relations. The post-9/11 mission expanded from counterterrorism to nation-building, but this occurred, according to CSIS’s Mark Cancian, without a serious "discussion about the relationship between the desired end state and the military effort required to reach it." Bryan, Rick, and Chris disagree on whether that’s actually true — and whether it matters. Bryan gives kudos toNational Review’s Kevin Williamson for making the case for independent thinking, Chris knocks CNN and the Democratic debaters for spending too little time on foreign policy, and Rick praises newly installed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for his plan to beef up conventional deterrence in the Asia-Pacific. Links Mark F. Cancian, "Tell Me How This Ends: Military Advice, Strategic Goals, and the "Forever War" in Afghanistan," CSIS, July 10, 2019 Caroline Dorminey and Eric Gomez, "America's Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward-Looking Anthology," CATO Institute Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Julian E. Barnes, "S. Military Calls ISIS in Afghanistan a Threat to the West. Intelligence Officials Disagree," New York Times, August 2, 2019 Felix Tam and Anne Marie Roantree, "Trump Says It's Up to China to Deal with Hong Kong Riots," Reuters, August 2, 2019 "Interview with Kevin Williamson," C-Span, July 19, 2019 Max Boot, "The Case for American Empire," The Weekly Standard, October 15, 2001 Justin Logan and Christopher Preble, “Fatal Conceit,” National Review, August 12, 2010 Fred Kaplan, “Five Minutes to Explain the World,” Slate, August 1, 2019 Congressional Budget Office, "Funding for Overseas Contingency Operations and its Impact on Defense Spending," October 2018 Rick Berger, "Why Withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan Won’t Save Much Money," Defense One, February 26, 2019 Music and Production by Tre Hester

46 MINAUG 8
Comments
Explaining Mission Creep in Afghanistan

Bold Strokes from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Join Melanie, Chris, and Bryan as they discuss the recently released Commandant's Planning Guidance, a document from the new Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger that has taken the seapower community by storm. In the guidance, Berger slays at least five USMC sacred cows and provides a framework for integration between the Navy and the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy. Also, Chris has an issue with presidential tweeting and Bryan complains about the weather. Links "Commandant of the Marine Corps Planning Guidance: 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps," Headquarters Marine Corps Taylor Dinerman, "Why Apollo 11 Matters," National Review, July 20, 2019 Michelle Basch, "Apollo 11 Tribute Features Stunning Projections Onto Washington Monument," WTOP, July 20, 2019 Elizabeth Janney, "Heat Advisory Issues for Maryland," Patch, June, 30, 2018 Robin Emmott, "Britain Wins Early European Support for Hormuz Naval Mission," Reuters, July 23, 2019 Chris Spargo, "Predatory Lender," Daily Mail, July 22, 2019 Kevin D. Williamson, "Trump’s Omar Comments Erode Our Sense of Citizenship," Yahoo,July 21, 2019 Joe Sestak, “We're to Blame for Escalating Tensions With Iran,” Des Moines Register, July 20, 2019 Daniel Larison, “Sestak’s Sensible Warning against War with Iran,” American Conservative, July 22, 2019 Donald Trump, Tweets, July 14, 2019 Music and Production by Tre Hester

50 MINJUL 25
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Bold Strokes from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Latest Episodes

The Looming End of Pax Americana?

The Net Assessment crew is back and this week they are breaking down an article written by Brian Stewart inQuillettetitled, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana." Is NATO worth American attention and money? Why don't the Europeans just get their act together? The crew discusses what threat NATO is designed to counter and whether it should forget about Russia and focus on terrorism. Also, Bryan has a grievance with attorney general Bill Barr, Melanie takes issue with the Danish Atlantic Council, and Chris gives an attaboy to the students at the University of California, Washington Center. Join Melanie, Chris, and Bryan as they dive once more into the breach. Links Brian Stewart, "Tensions in NATO and the Looming End of Pax Americana," Quillette, December 5, 2019 Bret Stephens, "NATO is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World," New York Times, December 5, 2019 "Emmanuel Macron in His Own Words," Economist, November 7, 2019 Katie Benner, "Barr and D...

53 MIN5 h ago
Comments
The Looming End of Pax Americana?

Can Bryan Pass the Turing Test?

Chris, Bryan, and Melanie talk about the Interim Report issued by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence last week. What kinds of expectations should we have about AI being used for national security purposes? What kind of investments should be made in this technology, and where will the money come from? What about concerns that AI developed by American companies or the United States government might be used by authoritarian regimes to violate their citizens' human rights? Can we continue to reap the benefits of research collaboration with people from other countries, particularly China, and still protect national security secrets? Finally, Bryan tells us of his exploits in Italy, Chris gives a heartfelt appreciation to a friend and colleague, and Melanie looks forward to some long-awaited playtime with her nephews. Links National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, Interim Report, November 2019 Jacey Fortin, “Uber C.E.O. Backtracks After Comparing ...

52 MINNOV 14
Comments
Can Bryan Pass the Turing Test?

Strategy and Exit Strategies: Essential or Misleading?

Melanie, Chris, and guest host Claude Berube discuss the promise and pitfalls of exit strategies. When policymakers plan to embark on foreign wars, should they also prepare a plan for extricating the nation from these wars when they are completed? Is an exit strategy a vital component of strategy? Or do exit strategies create unreasonable expectations of easy victory? Can an exit strategy focus attention on a desired end state, and prevent mission creep? Or are prudent adjustments only possible when policymakers are not shackled to pre-war objectives? Chris congratulates New England Patriots’ coach Bill Bellichick on victory number 300, Melanie blasts Sean Duffy for questioning a decorated U.S. Army officer’s patriotism, and Claude delivers a Net Assessment first -- a heartfelt attadog for his beloved four-legged companion, Reagan. Links David Kampf, "When Are Exit Strategies Viable?" War on the Rocks, October 14, 2019 Adam Wunische, "The Lost Art of Exiting a War," War on the Rocks, October 21, 2019 Devon Clements, "Bill Belichick Becomes 3rd NFL Head Coach Ever to Accumulate 300 Career Wins," Sports Illustrated, October 27, 2019 Christopher Preble, “New Rules for U.S. Military Intervention,” War on the Rocks, September 20, 2016 Richard Fontaine, “The Nonintervention Delusion: What War Is Good For,” Foreign Affairs, November-December 2019 Spencer Ackerman, “Baghdadi Is Dead. The War on Terror Will Create Another,” Daily Beast, October 28, 2019 Doug Bandow and Christopher Preble, “Lost in the Furor Over Syria: Alliances Are a Means, Not an End,” War on the Rocks, October 23, 2019 Ashley Feinberg, "This Sure Looks Like Mitt Romney's Secret Twitter Account," Slate, October 20, 2019 "Sean Duffy on CNN," CNN, October 29, 2019 Aaron Stein, "US Officials Ignored Trump on Syria and We are All Paying the Price," War on the Rocks, October 22, 2019 "The Weinberger Doctrine," Washington Post, November 30, 1984 Jason Whiteley, "No Exit, No Problem," Small Wars Journal, April 21, 2011 James Nolt, "Exit Strategy," World Policy," World Policy, February 23, 2017

48 MINOCT 31
Comments
Strategy and Exit Strategies: Essential or Misleading?

We Just Don’t Make Policy Like We Used To

Join Chris, Melanie, and Bryan as they dive into Professor Philip Zelikow’s recent article in theTexas National Security Reviewtitled, “To Regain Policy Competence: The Software of American Problem Solving.” Has policymaking gotten worse, or is it a problem with implementation? Or is implementation part of the policymaking process? The gang also discusses whether there is a lack of professionalism in the education and training of future policymakers.This week's episode is a little wonky, but well worth the time. At the end of the show, Bryan gives an attaboy for the first person to complete a marathon in under two hours, while Chris gives a shout out to his wife. Links Philip Zelikow, "To Regain Policy Competence: The Software of American Public Problem-Solving," Texas National Security Review, September 2019 John Glaser, Christopher Preble, A. Trevor Thrall, Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover) (Cato Institute, 2019) Justin Logan, “Cult of the Irrelevant: National Security Eggheads & Academics,” American Conservative, June 12, 2019 Danielle Pletka, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Justin Logan, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Danielle Pletka, Tweet, October 13, 2019 Krista Preble, LinkedIn Alex Horton, "A Latina Novelist Spoke About White Privilege. Students Burned Her Book in Response," Washington Post, October 11, 2019 Tim Hains, "Beto O'Rourke: Churches That Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Should Lose Tax-Exempt Status," Real Clear Politics, October 11, 2019 Ryan Prior, "Farmers in Idaho Rallied to Harvest a Neighbor's Potatoes as a Deep Freeze Threatened to Ruin Them," CNN, October 11, 2019 Tariq Tahir, "Nobel Peace Prize 2019 – Greta Thunberg Snubbed as Award Given to Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed for Ending 20 Year Eritrea Conflict," Sun, October 11, 2019 Chris Stein, "Nobel Snub No Obstacle in Great Thunberg's Climate Quest," Yahoo News, October 11, 2019 Andrew Keh, "Eliud Kipchoge Breaks Two-Hour Marathon Barrier," New York Times, October 12, 2019 The Bulwark Podcast, "Bryan McGrath on Trump and American Exceptionalism," October 14, 2019

54 MINOCT 17
Comments
We Just Don’t Make Policy Like We Used To

Syria: A Sad Tale

Bryan is celebrating theanniversary of our first episode on a beach, so this week, Chris and Melanie are joined by Tom Karako of CSIS. In this episode they discuss the Syria Study Group Report, which concludes that "the US can still influence the outcome of the Syrian war in a manner that protects US interests." DoesAmerica have interests in Syria? If so, can they be managed and protected, particularly with a president who seems uninterested in investing political capital and American resources there? How has the Syrian civil war affected Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and does that matter to America? Finally, is there anything the United States should do about the terrible humanitarian situation, the effects of which have spilled over to other countries? Tom tells us about taking his son to his first baseball game (go Nats!), Chris has a birthday wish for a former president, and Melanie both sticks it to and congratulates the press. We can't wait for Bryan to return and give us his review of the Downton Abbey movie! Links "Syria Study Group Final Report," United States Institute of Peace, September 24, 2019 Josh Blackman, "When Is It Acceptable Journalistic Practice to Surface Old Social Media Posts?" Reason, September 27, 2019 Vance Serchuk, "Russia's Middle East Power Play," National Review, September 12, 2019 Michael Singh, Tweet, September 23, 2019 Trevor Thrall, “Resettling Syria’s Refugees Would Be Cheaper Than Widening the War,” Defense One, October 21, 2015 Alex Nowrasteh, “Terrorists by Immigration Status and Nationality: A Risk Analysis, 1975 – 2017,” Cato, May 7, 2019 Kareem Fahim, “In ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Saudi Crown Prince Denies Ordering Khashoggi Killing,” Washington Post, September 29, 2019 Anna Massoglia, “Saudi Arabia Ramped Up Multi-Million Foreign Influence Operation After Khashoggi’s Death,” Open Secrets, October 2, 2019 Elizabeth Wolfe and Brian Ries, “Jimmy Carter, the Oldest Living Former US President, Is 95 Today,” CNN, October 1, 2019 Reis Thebault and Brittany Shammas, "Amber Guyger, Police Officer Who Shot a Man to Death in His Apartment, Found Guilty of Murder," Washington Post, October 1, 2019 Josh Blackman, "When is It Acceptable Journalistic Practice to 'Surface' Old Social Media Posts?" Reason, September 27, 2019 Jack Detsch, "Congress Aims to Restore Syria Stabilization Aid," Al-Monitor, September 18, 2019 Brett McGurk, "Hard Truths in Syria," Foreign Affairs, May 28, 2019 Eric Schmitt, "US Sees Rising Threat in the West from Qaeda Branch in Syria," New York Times, September 30, 2019 Brittany Shamas, "When Trump's Special Envoy to Ukraine Resigned, a Student Newspaper Beat Everyone to the Story," Washington Post, September 28, 2019 "Timeline: Syria's Eight Years of Fire and Blood," Reuters, March 16, 2019 Keith Pandolfi, "How to Refinish Woodwork," This Old House "Hypersonic," Merriam-Webster Events "NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur," Cato Book Forum, October 18, 2019 "Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover)," Cato Book Forum, October 21, 2019

53 MINOCT 3
Comments
Syria: A Sad Tale

What Can We Do About Terrorism?

What have we learned in the 18 years since 9/11? Chris, Melanie, and Bryan discuss whether counterterrorism policy takes account of academic research on the subject. Going forward, the goal should be to implement the most cost-effective policies — and over time, to calm public anxiety about terrorism. Bryan gives a shout out to a bipartisan duo of Net Assessment fans, Chris gripes about NFL officiating, and Melanie offers her appreciation of the Constitution via an unlikely source: former Vice President Joe Biden. Links Khusrav Gaibulloev and Todd Sandler, "Six Things We've Learned About Terrorism Since 9/11," Washington Post, September 11, 2019 Khusrav Gaibulloev and Todd Sandler, "What We Have Learned about Terrorism since 9/11," Journal of Economic Literature, June, 2019 John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, (Oxford, 2011) John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Are We Safe Enough? Measuring and Assessing Aviation Security, (Elsevier, 2018) Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner, "Step Back: Lessons for U.S. Foreign Policy from the Failed War on Terror," Cato, June 26, 2017 Scott Simon, "Edward Snowden Tells NPR: The Executive Branch Sort of Hacked the Constitution," NPR, September 12, 2019 Tom Schad, "As New Season Begins, NFL Coaches Still Trying to Sort Out Pass Interference Rule Changes," USA Today, September 5, 2019 Christopher Preble, “Covert Wars, to What End?" War on the Rocks, August 7, 2019 Austin Carson, "Recipient of the Georgetown University Lepgold Prize," Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, September 4, 2019 Ari Cohn, Tweet, September 12, 2019 International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association, Tweet, August 19, 2019

50 MINSEP 19
Comments
What Can We Do About Terrorism?

Mattispalooza: Deconstructing the Legacy of James Mattis

Join Chris, Melanie, and Bryan as they assess Jim Mattis' legacy as secretary of defense and the media splash he is making while promoting his new book. Mattis is a complicated character, and his reasons for entering the administration, for leaving the administration, and for coyly restraining his comments after leaving are similarly complicated. Although President Donald Trump's early affinity for having former generals in key positions in his administration has cooled, the debate over the role retired flag and general officers should play in America's national security political discourse rages on. Links Jim Mattis, "Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism," Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2019 Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Man Who Couldn't Take It Anymore," Atlantic, October 2019 Issue Dan Lamothe and Greg Jaffe, "Emerging from His Silence, Mattis Faces Criticism for Trying to Take the 'Middle Road' on Trump," Washington Post, August 29, 2019 Jim Mattis and Bing West, Call Sing Chaos: Learning to Lead, (Random House, September 2019) Jim Mattis, "Letter from Secretary James Mattis," Defense, December 20, 2019 Mallory Hughes, "When a Boy with Autism was Overwhelmed on the First Day of School, Another Little Boy Held His Hand," CNN, August 27, 2019 Tyler Jost and Joshua D. Kertzer, “Armies and Influence: Public Deference to Foreign Policy Elites,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2019, Hannah Natanson, “A Broken Bingo Machine Left Rhis D.C. Veterans’ Retirement Home Mourning. A 16-year-old girl decided to help” Washington Post, September 2, 2019 Stephen Wertheim, “The Quincy Institute Opposes America’s Endless Wars. Why Should that Be a Scandal?” Washington Post, August 30, 2018 The Human Costs of War: Assessing Civilian Casualties since 9/11, Policy Forum, Cato Institute, September 11, 2019 Ted Galen Carpenter, NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur, Cato Institute, October 18, 2019

50 MINSEP 5
Comments
Mattispalooza: Deconstructing the Legacy of James Mattis

Does Trump’s Trade War Spell the End of the Global Order?

This week the gang talks about President Trump’s trade policies and why trade wars can be bad and hard to win. Do we have a strategy for success, or is the president simply venting frustration through erratic policies? What is the endgame? How doAmerica'seconomic policies, especially withregard to China, affectU.S.national security?Other highlights: Chris condemns Trump’s attempt to buy Greenland, Melanie finds a CEO worthy of immense respect, and Bryan explains why real British royalty isn’t as appealing as the Netflix version. Links Chad P. Bown and Douglas A. Irwin, "Trump's Assault on the Global Trading System: And Why Decoupling from China Will Change Everything," Foreign Affairs, September 2019 Chad P. Bown and Melina Kolb, "Trump's Trade War Timeline: An Up-to-Date Guide," Peterson Institute for International Economics, August 13, 2019 Madeleine Kearns, "Royals, Climate Change, and Private Jets," National Review, August 19, 2019 Scott Lincicome, CATO Institute Simon Lester and Huan Zhu, "Closing Pandora's Box: The Growing Abuse of the National Security Rationale for Restricting Trade," CATO Institute, June 25, 2019 "Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy," Cato Institute, January 24, 2018 Pierre Lemieux, “Peter Navarro’s Conversion,” Regulation, Fall 2018 John Harwood, “Americans Overwhelmingly Support Free Trade as Concern Grows About Trump’s Economy: NBC/WSJ Poll,” CNBC, August 19, 2019 Scott Lincicome, "The ‘Protectionist Moment’ That Wasn’t: American Views on Trade and Globalization," Cato Institute, November 2,2018 "Former Danish PM Lied About Iraq War Plans," Local, July 3, 2015 Tim Marcin, “Denmark to Trump: Seriously, Greenland Isn't for Sale,” Vice News, August 19, 2019 Maggie Fitzgerald, “Here’s What New Tariffs Will Cost the Average American Household,” CNBC, August 19, 2019 “Exploring the Militarization of US Foreign Policy,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, August 31, 2019 “The Human Costs of War: Assessing Civilian Casualties since 9/11,” Cato Institute, September 11, 2019

43 MINAUG 22
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Does Trump’s Trade War Spell the End of the Global Order?

Explaining Mission Creep in Afghanistan

Special guest Rick Berger joins Bryan and Chris for a discussion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the state of civil-military relations. The post-9/11 mission expanded from counterterrorism to nation-building, but this occurred, according to CSIS’s Mark Cancian, without a serious "discussion about the relationship between the desired end state and the military effort required to reach it." Bryan, Rick, and Chris disagree on whether that’s actually true — and whether it matters. Bryan gives kudos toNational Review’s Kevin Williamson for making the case for independent thinking, Chris knocks CNN and the Democratic debaters for spending too little time on foreign policy, and Rick praises newly installed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for his plan to beef up conventional deterrence in the Asia-Pacific. Links Mark F. Cancian, "Tell Me How This Ends: Military Advice, Strategic Goals, and the "Forever War" in Afghanistan," CSIS, July 10, 2019 Caroline Dorminey and Eric Gomez, "America's Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward-Looking Anthology," CATO Institute Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Julian E. Barnes, "S. Military Calls ISIS in Afghanistan a Threat to the West. Intelligence Officials Disagree," New York Times, August 2, 2019 Felix Tam and Anne Marie Roantree, "Trump Says It's Up to China to Deal with Hong Kong Riots," Reuters, August 2, 2019 "Interview with Kevin Williamson," C-Span, July 19, 2019 Max Boot, "The Case for American Empire," The Weekly Standard, October 15, 2001 Justin Logan and Christopher Preble, “Fatal Conceit,” National Review, August 12, 2010 Fred Kaplan, “Five Minutes to Explain the World,” Slate, August 1, 2019 Congressional Budget Office, "Funding for Overseas Contingency Operations and its Impact on Defense Spending," October 2018 Rick Berger, "Why Withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan Won’t Save Much Money," Defense One, February 26, 2019 Music and Production by Tre Hester

46 MINAUG 8
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Explaining Mission Creep in Afghanistan

Bold Strokes from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

Join Melanie, Chris, and Bryan as they discuss the recently released Commandant's Planning Guidance, a document from the new Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger that has taken the seapower community by storm. In the guidance, Berger slays at least five USMC sacred cows and provides a framework for integration between the Navy and the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy. Also, Chris has an issue with presidential tweeting and Bryan complains about the weather. Links "Commandant of the Marine Corps Planning Guidance: 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps," Headquarters Marine Corps Taylor Dinerman, "Why Apollo 11 Matters," National Review, July 20, 2019 Michelle Basch, "Apollo 11 Tribute Features Stunning Projections Onto Washington Monument," WTOP, July 20, 2019 Elizabeth Janney, "Heat Advisory Issues for Maryland," Patch, June, 30, 2018 Robin Emmott, "Britain Wins Early European Support for Hormuz Naval Mission," Reuters, July 23, 2019 Chris Spargo, "Predatory Lender," Daily Mail, July 22, 2019 Kevin D. Williamson, "Trump’s Omar Comments Erode Our Sense of Citizenship," Yahoo,July 21, 2019 Joe Sestak, “We're to Blame for Escalating Tensions With Iran,” Des Moines Register, July 20, 2019 Daniel Larison, “Sestak’s Sensible Warning against War with Iran,” American Conservative, July 22, 2019 Donald Trump, Tweets, July 14, 2019 Music and Production by Tre Hester

50 MINJUL 25
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Bold Strokes from the Commandant of the Marine Corps
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