ReConsider, by Xander and Erik, is a twice per month podcast in which we take on, in-depth, one pressing political issue facing western Democracies with a fresh, researched, and challenging perspective. We help listeners see the full context behind the issue and make up their own minds.
The US and the world seem like they're in a really odd, perhaps dangerous place right now. Are we in a major departure from history?
AKA, "The Bromance of the Bad Hombres"
In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific writer. Formerly ambassador-at-large and special advisor to Madeleine Albright.
Prof. Stestanovich puts the Putin-Trump relationship in context by warming us up with understanding the evolving US/Russia Presidential relationship since the end of the Cold War. Strap in for this info-packed episode!
What is Russia's current interest on its borders, and what considerations will shape its behavior over the next 20 years?
Much hubbub over the Syrian airstrike--everything from patriotic fervor to seemingly-genuine terror about World War 3. What happens when we take a step back from the hype and political spin, and look at the strike in the context of geopolitics, international relations, and history?
We're joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast: http://russianrulers.podhoster.com/
We walk through how Russia has dealt with its neighbors and the world, through the Mongols, the Great Northern War, the Napoleonic War, the later 1800s, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and post-Cold War. It's a ton of fun.
(Not the news source.)
Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at seansrussiablog.org. He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.
Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going on with Russia today. We ask:
-Who's in charge? How does Russia's leadership work?
-Why is United Russia so popular?
-What's the economy really look like?
-How corrupt is Russia?
-How do Russians feel about the world?
-What's the plan in Ukraine? How's it going?
-What about the Syria intervention?
-Did Russia manipulate US elections?
-Why is Russia picking a fight with NATO?
-What common narratives about Russia just don't make sense?
Russia is a scary place--and very misunderstood. We decided it deserves 4 whole episodes unto itself. We'll be teaming up with 4 big-wigs that know their stuff about Russia to help you dive deep and understand Russia a whole lot better.
The role of the US in the world since WWII has been unprecedented in history. It has established a complex liberal world order with itself at the top, unchallenged.
Is it time to change that role? What challenges is the current international order facing, and how can the US face those? How can it adjust its strategy in the face of these challenges and changes?
In this episode we interview the esteemed Michael Mazarr, of RAND, at the lead of one of their most ambitious projects yet, "Building a Sustainable International Order."
A 55-year-old civil war may be about to come to an end. The government of Colombia and FARC have hammered out a big, complicated, icky peace deal, and it's going to referendum on October 2nd.
The consequences for Colombia, the geopolitics of the Western Hemisphere, and other civil conflicts could be huge. It's something you should know about, and we'll give you the context to be up to speed.
Everything's falling apart! The breakdown of multilateral institutions! Anti-establishment candidates are popping up everywhere! Russia is escalating! China! Syria! Turkey! Terrorism!
What's it all look like in the long-term?
UNCLOS has ruled on China's claim to the South China Sea and China is totally on board with it. Just kidding! Now the fun begins.
Anti-ISIS forces have scored a string of victories recently, and lots of people haven't heard about them. Why do we hear about the defeats, but not the victories? How can we get the full picture?
Welp: it happened! Britain had its referendum, and they're leaving the European Union. What the heck happens next? What are the short- and long-term consequences, and what is the UK going to do?
David Cameron doesn't want the UK to leave the EU, but he set up the referendum for Brits to vote on it. Why the heck would he do that?
How likely is Brexit to happen? Who wants it and who's against it? What are the stay/leave arguments? What will be the implications for the UK, Europe, the US, and the globe as a whole if the UK leaves or stays? This is hugely complex and hugely important, and the vote is coming up soon: June 23. So time to get yourself some context.
Now that we have a decent idea of the history of Chinese, East Asian, and US diplomacy and foreign policy, it's time to throw all of this into the crucible of the South China Sea. It's a powderkeg of epic proportions, but it's something most Americans know very little about. This is a really important issue and a big pivot point in the upcoming American presidential election.
There are tiny little rocks in the South China sea that have become a pretty big deal. China has claimed them as its own, putting air bases, missile batteries, and harbors on the islands to stake its claim. It's become a huge, but quiet, international struggle. Why are they suddenly so important, and what is the historical context behind it all? In this two-part episode, we let you in on it.
It's hard to get a good sense of why the price of oil can vary between $150 and $30 per barrel. There are a lot of factors behind the price, but in the end it all comes down to supply and demand. In this episode we break down how supply and demand have changed to drive down the price... and discuss what might change in the future.
We've made a nuclear deal with Iran, and everyone that hasn't read the darn thing has a very strong opinion on it. In addition to understanding the deal in detail, we need to understand the history of Iran and the Middle East to get a good sense of whether the deal is a good idea or not. And, given that it's locked in, where do we go next?
In our first "meaty" episode, Xander and Erik tackle ISIS, with such awesome questions as:
- What considerations should govern how we try to take down ISIS?
- Why is current policy against ISIS not working?
- What's different about ISIS from enemies past that means we need a new strategy?
- What about human nature and western politics keeps us from taking on ISIS in the right way?