In the tradition of British dramas, Erin, Loren, and Radha reunite for a special holiday episode. The ladies flip the script, answering a range of questions from the first ever Manniversary guest Kai Ryssdal. They then return to some of their greatest hits including transition process, civ-mil issues, and personnel policy replete with process details and holiday movie analogies. Stay through the end to hear pop culture recommendations and special appearances from many former guests with answers to their favorite Bombshell questions.
For their 100th episode, Erin, Loren and Radha discuss new issues, like the escalating conflict at the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, old issues, like HVT targeting of al-Qaeda leadership, and, of course, continuing trade issues with China. They then turn to a discussion of all the White House mayhem (Ok, not all! No one has that kind of time), including lack of legal authority for Department of Homeland Security leadership to make decisions about DACA, the Defense Department “purge,” and the complicated, not-quite-yet-started transition of the Biden administration. The team ties a bow on this episode with a discussion of holiday movies and other pop culture … and that's a wrap!
Loren, Erin, and Radha are joined by their most frequent guest (Kori Schake) and a new guest (Katrina Mulligan) to discuss foreign policy issues we'll need to worry about regardless of the election outcome! After a lively discussion, the ladies go over foreign policy issues that have been over-discussed, under-discussed, and the processes that will always be their valentines. They wrap up with pop culture, self-care, and indulgences to help get you through election day and beyond!
Loren, Radha, and Erin reconvene to explore many of Bombshell's greatest hits - Brexit, troop levels in Afghanistan, and arms control. With a dash of ethnic conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh thrown in for flavor. The ladies then drop a Bombshell of their own: this fair podcast will be wrapping up in 2020. It's the final countdown!
Erin, Radha and Loren use COVID-19 as a frame to ask what this crazy time has brought to our attention, what it’s distracted is from, what it’s possibly helped, and how it’s shaped our own skills and interests. And shopping.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
Protests in US
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Middle East Peace
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.
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.