None Of The Above
None Of The Above
Institute for Global Affairs
As the United States confronts an ever-changing set of international challenges, our foreign policy leaders continue to offer the same old answers. But what are the alternatives? In None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Institute for Global Affairs' Mark Hannah asks leading global thinkers for new answers and new ideas to guide an America increasingly adrift in the world. www.noneoftheabovepodcast.org
Who are the Houthis? Inside America's Undeclared Air War
The Houthis continue to attack commercial vessels in the Red Sea amid Israel’s assault in Gaza. This Yemen-based political and military organization says its disruption of international shipping is a response to Western support for Israel. It likely also hopes its attacks will revitalize flailing domestic support within war-torn Yemen.  The United States is no stranger to the Houthis. Since the start of Yemen’s civil war in 2014, Washington has backed a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed organization. More recently, the United States has launched airstrikes against the Houthis to try to deter future Red Sea attacks — though President Biden acknowledges the bombing to be ineffective. In this episode of None of the Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah sits down with Alexandra Stark to help us better understand the Houthis, the illogic of America’s approach to Yemen, and the lessons for dealing with the Houthis in the future. Alexandra Stark is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on Middle East security and cooperation. Prior to that she was a senior researcher at New America. Her book, The Yemen Model: Why US Policy Has Failed in the Middle East is set for release in April by Yale University Press. Show Notes Alexandra Stark, “Don’t Bomb the Houthis: Careful Stop the Attacks in the Red Sea,” (Foreign Affairs, January 11, 2024) Alexandra Stark, The Yemen Model: Why US Policy Has Failed in the Middle East (Yale University Press, 2024)    
Mar 12
33 min
The Case Against Israel: South Africa's Genocide Suit at the World Court
Last month the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide, and protect the human rights of Gazans. Almost everything about the case has generated controversy, from South Africa’s invocation of the Genocide Convention to the court’s decision not to order a ceasefire. In this episode of None Of The Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah sits down with Kenneth Roth, who was executive director of Human Rights Watch for more than 30 years, and Dr. Mia Swart, an expert in international law, transitional justice, and human rights law. They share their perspectives on this landmark case, the role of South Africa and the United States in upholding international law, and the challenges of enforcement.
Feb 20
41 min
Ukraine at Two Years: Sam Charap and Alex Ward on US Aid and Interests
Next month will mark two years since Russia invaded Ukraine after amassing over 100,000 troops at the border. As we look ahead, we ask: What has victory in Ukraine come to symbolize for the Biden administration’s foreign policy? Are Ukraine and its partners making full use of diplomacy to bring an end to the war? And how might the 2024 Presidential election shift the conversation around US interests in Ukraine?  In this episode of None Of The Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah consults with Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and Alex Ward, national security reporter and anchor of POLITICO’s “National Security Daily” newsletter. They discuss the trajectory of the war, how President Biden and his team have approached it, and the stakes involved for all parties.  
Jan 30
45 min
Information Battleground: Disinformation in War with Claire Wardle and Steven Lee Myers
It’s always difficult to gather and verify information in times of armed conflict. But recently that task has gotten much harder. From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, journalists and consumers alike are inundated with intentionally misleading images, information, and narratives. The media ecosystem has become increasingly treacherous, with old photos and quotations taken out of their original context and offered as evidence in conflicts today. In this episode of None Of The Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah sits down with Dr. Claire Wardle, an expert on misinformation, and Steven Lee Myers, a veteran foreign and national security correspondent for The New York Times currently covering misinformation. Together they discuss how misinformation and disinformation spread, and the challenges they pose for accessing accurate information in times of conflict.
Jan 9
38 min
Targeting Lumumba: Stuart Reid on the CIA-backed Destabilization of the Congo
Instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been making headlines in Western newspapers for months. Since the fall of Mobuto Sese Seko’s 30 year dictatorship in 1997, the cobalt rich Congo has dealt with civil war, insurgencies from bordering nations, and government corruption. But before Mobuto, there was another charismatic leader.  Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo, was ousted, imprisoned, and eventually assassinated thanks to CIA intervention. It would be the first time a US president greenlighted the assassination of a foreign head of state. In this episode of None Of The Above, the Institute for Global Affairs’ Mark Hannah sits down with executive editor of Foreign Affairs Stuart Reid to discuss his new book The Lumumba Plot and the legacy of wanton intervention.
Dec 19, 2023
29 min
The Problem of Our Power (from the archive)
The United States military is one of the most advanced and best funded militaries in the world. But critics argue this has helped make US foreign policy overly reliant on the use of military force. Over the past several decades, the US has grappled with blowback and retaliation, a ballooning defense budget, and a decline in traditional diplomacy. For the 100th episode of None Of The Above we’re revisiting our very first episode. In 2019, IGA’s Mark Hannah sat down with defense and foreign policy expert Chris Preble to discuss how big military spending might actually make us less safe. Four years later, as the US weighs the wisdom of continuing to aid the armed conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, the paradox of America’s military might remains as relevant as ever.
Nov 28, 2023
21 min
The Struggle for Stability: Israel, Hamas, and US Policy in the Middle East
Today marks one month since the Palestinian militant organization Hamas launched a brutal terrorist attack on Southern Israel. Before October 7th, the Biden administration’s foreign policy had largely centered on Europe and Asia. Issues of Palestinian self-determination and self rule appeared to be something the administration (and Israel) were eager to avoid. Now, in the wake of Hamas’ attacks, Palestine’s political future and the United States’ long term strategy for the Middle East have become increasingly unclear. In this episode of None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah sits down with political analyst and public opinion expert Dahlia Scheindlin, and US Program director of the International Crisis Group, Michael Wahid Hanna to discuss the immediate causes of the war, and evaluate Israeli and US strategic objectives. Effective policy, they argue, will require clear-eyed consideration of the longstanding conflicts at the root of today’s violence.
Nov 7, 2023
31 min
Worldviews: Data-Backed Discoveries on Americans’ Opinions
With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, the Biden administration’s foreign policy decisions will face increasing scrutiny. Some think foreign policy decisions should be exempt from regular public debate. To gain a better understanding of the concerns and priorities of voting age Americans, we at the Eurasia Group Foundation compiled our sixth annual survey of Americans’ foreign policy views.  In this episode of None Of The Above, Mark is joined by his EGF colleagues, Zuri Linetsky and Lucas Robinson, as well as media consultant Deepika Choudhary to dive into our annual report of Americans’ foreign policy views. Across partisan, age, and racial differences, our survey reveals a public attentive to global realities, and supportive of recalibrating America’s international activities. Though this survey data was collected before the outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza, we think the discussion provides useful context for how Americans’ view their country’s role in this turbulent time.
Oct 17, 2023
29 min
Beyond Superpowers: Global “Swing States” and the Need for UN Reform
The United Nations, founded in the aftermath of history’s most destructive war, is the world’s premier forum for international diplomacy. But is the UN a vestige of a bygone era? This year’s session of the UN General Assembly, which today closes general debate, has been the site of much frustration over the war in Ukraine, the stalled progress of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the lack of representation for the global south.    The world has changed since the end of World War II, and as this episode’s guest, Suzanne Nossel, argues, so too must the UN. Currently CEO of PEN America, Suzanne served in the UN under both the Clinton and Obama administrations as Deputy to the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations. Suzanne joins the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to reimagine the UN to better address these challenges and others. To listen to more episodes or learn more about None Of The Above, go to www.noneoftheabovepodcast.org. To learn more about the Eurasia Group Foundation, please visit www.egfound.org and subscribe to our newsletter. Suzanne Nossel currently serves as the CEO of PEN America, a leading human rights and free expression organization. Her prior career has spanned roles in both the Clinton and Obama administrations as part of the US Mission to the United Nations.
Sep 26, 2023
27 min
Authors at War: How War Stories Shape the American Psyche
Yesterday’s anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States has us turning to the legacy of America’s post-9/11 wars. As veterans reflect on their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as the country contemplates the impact of these wars on the morale of the US military and America’s standing in the world, literature offers a powerful way to make meaning from war’s experience. From Ernest Hemingway to Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger, the author-soldier has long been a fixture in American literature. In this episode of None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah is joined by two of his favorite contemporary novelists, veterans Elliot Ackerman and Phil Klay. Books, they argue, are more than a medium to unpack trauma and untangle the web of emotions war provokes: war stories have implications for the battles we have yet to fight. Elliot Ackerman is a veteran of the US Marine Corps who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Elliot is the author of several novels, including Halcyon (2023) and 2034 (2021), which he co-wrote with Admiral James Stavridis.  Phil Klay is a veteran of the US Marine Corps who served in Iraq. Phil is the author of the novels Redeployment (2014) and Missionaries (2020). His most recent book is Uncertain Ground: Citizenship in the Age of Endless, Invisible War (2022). To listen to more episodes or learn more about None Of The Above, go to www.noneoftheabovepodcast.org. To learn more about the Eurasia Group Foundation, please visit www.egfound.org and subscribe to our newsletter.
Sep 12, 2023
29 min
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