Ambassador (Retired) Pete Romero and Writer/Producer Laura Bennett
Aug 05, 2020 41 min
Quiz: What Do Bernie and Trump Agree on?
Trade! Similar attitudes about trade protections. Is a free trade agreement a free-for-all or a deal to optimize countries' competitive advantage? (Hint: Remember Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations? Or did you snooze during that segment of 11th grade?) Controversy aside, Tony Wayne and Shawn Donnely break down the impact of trade on human lives and campaign politics.
Jul 30, 2020 31 min
A Black Diplomat? You're Lying.
The sting of American racism when you come home. Black diplomats face harassment and humiliation at the border at the hands of Customs and Border Patrol. Senior diplomats Charlie Ray and Alonzo Fulgham discuss reentering the States while Black.
Jul 23, 2020 28 min
This Ain't the Manhattan Project
And it should be. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats we face. The cost to bad actors is minimal, the benefits great. An enemy can hide its attacks, divert attention from other aggressive actions, benefit economically, sow geopolitical chaos and impact elections, all at very low cost. Chis Painter explains why we haven't done nearly enough to protect ourselves.
Jul 16, 2020 27 min
Who Stole My Axe?
Many early adopters of technology are criminals, and their crimes are best done across borders. From stock manipulation, to stealing trade secrets, to weaponizing information in election interference, Chris Painter has investigated a lot of bad actors. As the nation's top (and first-ever) cyber diplomat, he explains all of this, plus the story about the stolen axe.
Jul 09, 2020 37 min
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend?
A young Foreign Service officer posted to Vietnam, his girlfriend, a ride in the country, and what? Cambodia is on fire? Why? The first ever Cambodian refugees tell Ken Quinn, the first person ever to report on this, that the Khmer Rouge has turned. No longer boy-scout revolutionaries, they operate like Stalin, like Hitler, but no one in the United States listens. Why? It was easier not to. Until the skulls piled up.
Jul 03, 2020 16 min
The First Woman Ambassador to Thailand
They royal family requests that the Ambassador wear a skirt. What? Ambassador Kristie Kenney can come up with a skirt, fine, but what about Secretary Clinton? She has only pantsuits! Don't the Thai royals know about Pantsuit Nation? (That came later, yes, but the woman wore only pants. We know this.)
Jun 25, 2020 35 min
The Man of My Dreams
He's charismatic, he's exciting, he's strong. How do elected autocrats woo their publics and then destroy the very countries they promised to elevate? What happens to the populace? Kristie Kenney, ambassador to Ecuador, Thailand and the Philippines has a thing or two to say about these folks and the reasons that people elect them.
Jun 18, 2020 25 min
Hong Kong: The Chinese are Coming!
Chinese President Xi wants one-man rule, but pesky Hong Kong must be put in its place. Is there any future for "one country, two systems"? And why is Xi doing this now? Richard Boucher shares some nuggets of his vast experience with China and Hong Kong.
Jun 11, 2020 34 min
The State Department Spokesperson's Dilemmas
Ever had that dream where you sit for an exam and you haven't been to class once? And you're not wearing any pants? Welcome to the world of the State Department Spokesperson, as told by Richard Boucher.
Jun 04, 2020 20 min
The Scorpion and the Frog - Egypt's Morsi
The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 meant to oust authoritarian President Mubarak, at which time the armed forces took over until Mohamed Morsi was elected by popular vote in 2012. Why did Morsi last only one year before being removed in a coup-d'etat led by General El-Sisi? Has anything really changed for Egyptians? Ambassador Anne Patterson shares her experience.