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Bombshell

Welcome to Bombshell. This new bi-weekly series, brought to you by War on the Rocks, is hosted by three of your favorite Washington insiders who will dissect today’s foreign policy crises and tomorrow’s security challenges. Our hosts — Loren DeJonge Schulman, Radha Iyengar Plumb, and Erin Simpson — will talk military strategy, White House mayhem, and the best cocktails known to (wo)man.
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Now displaying: 2020
Sep 22, 2020

This week, Mira Rapp-Hooper and Rebecca Lissner return to the show to discuss American grand strategy, female partnerships, and their fabulous new book, An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First Century Order. The ladies then revisit the administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East - with notes on the UAE-Israel accord and Iran sanctions drama. Also, Tiktok! Soothing pop-culture ties a bow on it.

Sep 9, 2020

Loren, Radha, and Erin invite Camille Stewart, non-resident fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center, to discuss all the cyber threats and how individual behavior uniquely connects with our ability to mitigate or respond to them. In keeping up foreign relations, we provide short updates on Alexei Navalny, Belarus, and Brexit alongside a brief farewell to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. We'd like to remind you all that Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq are still a thing, and after all the takes have been shared on Trump's views on service members, we talk about the role of the press in this story.

Aug 25, 2020

Radha, Erin, and Loren host Nina Jancowicz, disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center and author of How to Lose the Information War, to talk about the ongoing protests in Belarus and what we should read into the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In keeping up foreign relations, the ladies explore the latest U.S. attempt to use the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or “Iran nuclear deal”) — an agreement the United States ghosted on — to reinstate sanctions on Iran, and in White House mayhem they assess how the recent Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the 2016 election. Plus, process is our Valentine, but process can be used for evil ends, as we learned about the 2018 process to pursue family separation as an official U.S. policy. Unsurprisingly, we need a lot of pop culture to handle all this news.

Aug 11, 2020

This week Erin and Radha regroup while Loren takes a much-deserved vacation. They do a quick review on COVID-19 with the good (100 days no new cases in New Zealand), the bad (cases in Brazil, India, and the United States continue to grow), and the ugly (long-term economic consequences in the United States, India, and Brazil). They also dig into the recent explosion and protests in Lebanon and then go deep on the recent executive order impacting TikTok and WeChat. After reminding us that Afghanistan is still a thing, they talk about the lack of accurate and comprehensive briefings for POTUS and the mayhem that ensues, including quotes (and misquotes) by Robert O'brien (yes, he's the national security advisor!). To calm us all down, they then talk about pop culture from baseball movies (The Rookie, Bull Durham) to Arthurian legend-ish TV shows (Cursed).

 

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Jul 28, 2020

This week the band is back together with Loren, Radha, and Erin once again all in the same time zone. They dive into Mike Pompeo's China speech, global COVID trends, and the world-famous Missile Technology Control Regime. Also, Congress approved the NDAA, and they have lots of thoughts on DHS "troops" engaging protesters in Portland. Stick around for pop-culture dissection of the Guinevere Deception!

 

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Jul 14, 2020

With Radha and Erin on the road, Loren invites Ashely Feng of the Center for a New American Security, Kaleigh Thomas of CNAS, Kara Frederick of CNAS, Hijab Shah of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Meghan McGee of Georgetown University for a Bombshell takeover to discuss foreign policy issues with big generational shifts.

Jun 16, 2020

In this episode of Bombshell, the ladies  welcome Madelyn Creedon, former deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, to discuss the state of arms control today. The crew also discusses other foreign relations goings on: North Korea won’t call South Korea on their cell phone, late at night, or otherwise; India-China drama continues; and there’s much ado in Venezuela. President Donald Trump is reportedly considering full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan before November and you may have noticed something’s up in civil-military relations.

Jun 2, 2020

In this week’s episode, while Loren cleans out her office, Radha and Erin dig into an array of China-related topics: Huawei! India! Hong Kong! And last, but certainly not least, the World Health Organization. The ladies then turn to White House/American mayhem and try to be analytical while lamenting ongoing violence against black Americans and the potential deployment of U.S. troops in American cities. And finally, an awkward transition to a discussion of pop-culture yields some gems.

 

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Huawei

India Border

Hong Kong

WHO

Protests in US

George Floyd

May 19, 2020

This week Erin, Loren, and Radha regroup for a "what did I miss" session to discuss the events of the last few weeks. Starting with the bizarre coup that wasn't in Venezuela, the ladies go on to talk about the Iran not-so-snap-back sanctions — including the Babysitter's Club analogy that you’ll need in order to understand why everyone is so annoyed — and the potentially pending restart of the China trade war. They then turn to the dwindling number of inspector generals and remind everyone why process is their valentine. They close out this episode with a discussion of books that will help you to learn if you feel like, cope when you need help, and escape when you want to.

May 5, 2020

Jung Pak, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, joins Bombshell to discuss her fascinating and timely new book: Becoming Kim Jong Un. Radha, Erin, and Loren remind listeners that Afghanistan is still a thing even if the U.S. government would prefer it not to be. Also, did you know it’s possible to restart a trade war amid the pandemic? Or that the United States is a participant in the JCPOA? Neither did we. Plus, pop culture!

Apr 21, 2020

This week the ladies are back with a normal-ish episode, complete with special guest Nora Bensahel! She helps them dive deep on COVID-19 impacts on the defense budget. From there, they explore possible changes to the “global order,” Loren offers a tutorial on Hungary and Israel, and Radha schools us on trade issues. The ladies wrap up with a discussion of the most pressing issue of the day - haircuts. And issue a heartfelt socially distant hug to the Iyengar family.

 

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Apr 7, 2020

This week Loren and Erin talk their way through all the coronavirus feelings: fear, hope, gratitude, some minor policy questions, and the pop culture that's giving us life. Stay home, be safe, wash your hands.

Mar 24, 2020

Kathleen Hicks, director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and all-around superhero, joins Loren, Radha, and Erin for an all-COVID-19 episode, starting with potential contributions by the Department of Defense to addressing this crisis. The ladies explore different angles of the global pandemic, including how it's impacting other ongoing international events, the economy, and domestic politics. Thanks be they also spend a lot of time on pop culture to soothe the soul.

Mar 10, 2020

This week Erin, Loren, and Radha reunite after a midwinter break to talk pandemics. They then turn to the Afghanistan “peace” deal, Israeli elections (third time’s the charm?), and recent developments in Syria. As always, there’s plenty of White House mayhem with a new chief of staff, and vacancies as far as the eye can see in Pentagon civilian leadership. Thankfully, Hilary Mantel books and Love is Blind provide a pop culture escape to soothe (or at least distract) the soul.

 

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Coronavirus

Afghanistan

Pop Culture

Syria

OSD

Feb 11, 2020

This week the ladies return to regular programming and try to catch up after one of the more crazy weeks in recent political memory. They start off with the Coronavirus crisis before returning to an old-standby, Brexit. They also provide some color commentary on the recent Irish elections. And how could they forget the new Middle East Peace Plan! That’s before they get to impeachment, NSC firings, and White House Mayhem. Stick around and hear them gush about Little Women.

 

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Coronavirus

Brexit

Irish Elections

Middle East Peace

Irish Election

Travel Ban

Pop Culture

  • Marlon and Jake Read Dead People, Podcast
Jan 28, 2020

Erin, Radha and Loren welcome three special guests for their annual "manniversary" episode: Hayes Brown from Buzzfeed, Tommy Vietor of Pod Save the World, and Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe join them to talk about communicating national security in this crazy world.

Jan 14, 2020

This week Bombshell welcomes Suzanne Maloney of Brookings to chat all things Iran. And because we love our listeners so much, we extended the discussion for the whole show to consider legality, effectiveness, process, and what happens next. Also, Megxit. Duh.

 

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