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The Truth of the Matter

The Truth of the Matter

A weekly analysis of the complex policy issues driving the news.


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Democracy Summit

CSIS?s Marti Flacks joins the podcast to discuss President Biden?s upcoming 2nd Summit for Democracy. On Tuesday, March 28th, CSIS will host a half-day Forum as part of the 2023 Summit for Democracy spotlighting the critical impact of the private sector on democracy around the world and spotlighting commitments that companies are making to advance democracy. This official Summit side event will feature senior government officials, corporate executives, and civil society leaders.
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China-Russia: A New Cold War?

CSIS?s Lily McElwee and Maria Snegovaya join the podcast to discuss the Xi-Putin summit in Russia, and what it means for the United States. 
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AUKUS: Strategic Convergence

CSIS?s Charles Edel joins the podcast to discuss AUKUS, the strategic agreement between Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. on nuclear-powered submarines, technology, and more. 
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TikTok: Is it Chinese Espionage?

CSIS?s James Andrew Lewis joins the podcast to discuss the bipartisan discussions surrounding U.S. policy on TikTok, whether the Chinese are using it as a vehicle to spy on Americans and our government, and what we should do about it.
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Covid Frozen Conflict

Dr. Stephen J. Morrison joins the podcast to discuss the ongoing confusion over Covid?s origins and what it means for U.S. and global pandemic preparedness going forward.
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Russian Deaths in Ukraine

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss his new report which shows that Russia has suffered more deaths in the Ukraine war than all other wars combined that Russia has waged since WWII.  
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China?s Spying Efforts and U.S. Countermeasures

CSIS?s James Andrew ?Jim? Lewis joins the podcast to discuss the fallout from the spy balloon and how China?s spying efforts toward the U.S. are waged?plus, a discussion of U.S. countermeasures.
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Ukraine a Year Later

CSIS?s Max Bergmann joins the podcast to discuss the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine war, the shape the conflict has taken and the security and economic outcomes in Europe and in Russia because of it.  
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Eliot Cohen on Russia-Ukraine and Iran-Israel

CSIS?s Dr. Eliot Cohen joins the podcast to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and how Israel and the United States have increasing concerns about Iran?s military and nuclear weapons program.
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U.S.-Israeli Military Exercises

Wall Street Journal Middle East Correspondent Dion Nissenbaum joins the podcast to discuss his reporting from aboard the U.S. George H.W. Bush in the Mediterranean Sea while the United States and Israel conducted their largest-ever military exercises, and Israel?s drone strike inside Iran just days later.  
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David Crosby?s Moved On

In this special episode, award-winning best-selling author Steve Silberman (?Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity?) joins the podcast to talk about the passing of his close friend, singer-songwriter David Crosby last week at 81. Over the past several years, Silberman hosted a podcast with Crosby called ?Freak Flag Flying? which explored the musician?s life and career. In this episode, Silberman describes how Crosby was singular as a musician, a unique American, and discusses the incredible life Crosby led.
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U.S. LNG: Remapping Energy Security

CSIS?s Joseph Majkut and Leslie Palti-Guzman join the podcast to discuss U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) production and exports, and what it all means for the world.
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U.S. Weapons Industry isn?t Prepared for a China Conflict

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss his new report, ?Empty Bins in a Wartime Environment: The Challenge to the U.S. Defense Industrial Base? which underscores that the U.S. defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the international security environment that now exists. In a major regional conflict?such as a war with China in the Taiwan Strait?the U.S. use of munitions would likely exceed the current stockpiles of the U.S. Department of Defense.
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The CDC America Needs

CSIS?s J. Stephen Morrison joins the podcast to talk about the Center for Disease Control?s decline in public trust and confidence, and how the organization can return to the prestige it once had. Dr. Morrison describes this moment in CDC history as comparable to FEMA after Hurricane Katrina or NASA post-Challenger.
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Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

CSIS?s Mark Cancian joins the podcast to discuss the wargame exercise he created for a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan. Cancian ran the game 24 times and in most scenarios, the United States/Taiwan/Japan defeated a conventional amphibious invasion by China and maintained an autonomous Taiwan. However, this defense came at a high cost. The United States and its allies lost dozens of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and tens of thousands of service members. Taiwan saw its economy devastated. Further, the high losses damaged the U.S. global position for many years. China also lost heavily, and failure to occupy Taiwan might destabilize Chinese Communist Party rule.  
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Brazil?s January 8

CSIS?s Ryan Berg joins the podcast to discuss the events of January 8th in Brazil when supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brasilia and the aftermath.
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Talking Rus-Ukraine with "The Doorstep"

Tatiana Serafin and Nikolas Gvosdev from The Doorstep podcast join the show to discuss the latest in the Russia-Ukraine war.  
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Countering Chinese Economic Coercion and NK?s Latest Test

CSIS?s Victor Cha joins the podcast to discuss his new Foreign Affairs essay on what the U.S. and allies should do to counter Chinese economic coercion, plus a discussion of North Korea?s latest ICBM engine test.  
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Japan?s New Defense Strategy

CSIS?s Chris Johnstone joins the podcast to discuss Japan?s unprecedented policy changes on defense spending and strategy, and what it means for the United States and the Pacific.
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U.S.-Africa Summit

CSIS?s Mvemba Dizolele joins the podcast to discuss this week?s summit in which the leaders of African countries joined President Biden in Washington for discussions on the future of U.S.-Africa relations. 
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US-Australia Ministerial Consultations

CSIS? Charles Edel joins the podcast to discuss the US-AUS Defense Ministerial and what it means for national security in the Pacific.
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World Cup Geopolitics

CSIS's Jon Alterman joins the podcast to discuss the geopolitics associated with the World Cup and the broader ramifications for the United States and the Middle East.
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What Gen Z Voters Want

Victor Shi of Voters of Tomorrow joins the podcast to discuss Gen-Z and Millennial voters, what they want in candidates, policy, and how they absorb information in the modern news cycle.
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China Protests

CSIS?s Scott Kennedy, who recently returned to Washington from 2 months in China, joins the podcast to discuss the widespread protests in China and the conditions which precipitated them.
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Ukraine?s Winter Is Here

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and CSIS?s Daniel Runde join the podcast to talk about what Ukraine is facing this winter and what economic reconstruction in Ukraine will need to look like.
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Iranian Women?s Revolution

Iran?s former minister of women?s affairs Mahnaz Afkhami joins the podcast to discuss the protests in Iran and what they might mean for the future of Iran.
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Tim Shriver on the Special Olympics, Inclusivity, and Smart Power

Special Olympics International chairman, Dr. Timothy Shriver joins the podcast to discuss inclusivity through basic human dignity in education and how the United States can work to engage in foreign policy efforts on an international scale to further inclusion in education.
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Asst Secretary Deborah Rosenblum on Supply Chain and the War in Ukraine

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs Deborah Rosenblum who is also serving as interim Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, joins the podcast to discuss the impact on global supply chains from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  
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Choking Off China?s Access to the Future of AI

On October 7, 2022, the Biden administration announced a new export controls policy on artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor technologies to China. These new controls?a genuine landmark in U.S.-China relations?provide the complete picture after a partial disclosure in early September generated confusion. CSIS? Greg Allen joins the podcast to discuss the new regulations and what they mean for U.S. national security and technology policy.
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Disinformation and the Midterm Election

CSIS?s Suzanne Spaulding, former Undersecretary of Homeland Security joins the podcast to discuss disinformation (foreign and domestic) surrounding the midterm election and its impacts.
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China?s New Era

CSIS?s Scott Kennedy joins the podcast to discuss the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, its outcomes, and the new strategic direction that Chinese President Xi Jinping has set for the country.
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Saudi Oil Moves

CSIS?s Joseph Majkut and Jon Alterman join the podcast to deconstruct Saudi Arabia?s recent push to slash oil production and what it means for the United States, our allies, and the global energy landscape.
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Russia?s Missile Plan

CSIS?s Tom Karako joins the podcast to discuss Russia?s missile arsenal, what they are prepared to do with it, and the implications of Iran?s role. 
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Steve Case on ?Rise of the Rest?

Internet legend and famed investor Steve Case joins the podcast to discuss his new book, ?The Rise of the Rest: How entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream.?
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Brazilian Election Preview

CSIS Americas Program director Ryan Berg joins the podcast to discuss the runoff election for the Brazilian presidency.  
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#NAFO Co-Founder Matt Moores on Combatting Russian Disinformation

#NAFO, the North Atlantic Fella Organization, a play on NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is an Internet meme and social media movement dedicated to countering Russian propaganda and disinformation about the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Launched in May 2022, NAFO has achieved a surprising amount of traction, even to its cofounder, retired U.S. Marine Matt Mores who joins the podcast to discuss the phenomenon. 
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Visions of Kiev

CSIS?s Dr. Eliot Cohen joins the podcast to discuss his recent visit to Kiev and meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky, his assessment of Polish efforts to help Ukraine, and his analysis of Vladimir Putin?s next moves.  
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Taiwan Confusion

CSIS?s Jude Blanchette joins the podcast to discuss U.S. policy confusion surrounding Taiwan, our concepts of ?strategic ambiguity? and ?strategic clarity? and how China can be deterred.   
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Paul Rosenzweig on Misinformation and Difficulties Facing the Tech Industry

Former federal prosecutor and Homeland Security official Paul Rosenzweig joins the podcast to talk about the national security implications of misinformation and technology.
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Politico?s Ryan Heath: Global Insider

?Politico journalist Ryan Heath, author of the Global Insider newsletter, joins the podcast to discuss all things Europe and the upcoming UN General Assembly, aka ?the new Davos.?
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Russia Falls Back

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss Ukraine?s stunning battlefield advances. 
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Future of News Consumption

Morning Consult media and entertainment analyst, Kevin Tran, joins the podcast to discuss how Gen Zers are less likely than their older counterparts to be aware of or have favorable views toward major news brands, and what that means for the future of news.
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PM Truss and Europe?s Energy War

CSIS?s Max Bergmann joins the podcast to discuss the UK?s new PM and the energy and economic war she, and Europe are facing.
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Winter is Coming

CSIS?s Ben Cahill joins the podcast to talk about energy prices in the US and globally, plus how Europe is bracing ahead of winter to prepare for life without Russian oil and gas. 
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Six Months of War in Ukraine

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to assess Ukraine after six months of war with Russia, plus, the assassination of Russian nationalist Daria Dugina, and winter is coming.  
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Climate Legislation Explained

CSIS non-resident senior associate John Larsen, of the non-partisan Rhodium Group, joins the podcast to dissect what the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) does to address climate change and whether the legislation could be overturned in the future. For more of John's analysis on the IRA, visit:
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The Great War: A View From The Ground In Ukraine

?Wall Street Journal national security correspondent Vivian Salama joins the podcast to discuss her reporting from the ground in what the Ukrainians call, ?The Great War? against Russia.
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Unprecedented Chinese Activity Toward Taiwan

CSIS?s Dr. Bonny Lin joins the podcast to discuss the aggressive military exercises China conducted against Taiwan and how she?s tracked the crisis, what the United States is doing and should do in response, and what China?s overarching strategy in the Taiwan Strait is.
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Terrorism Threat Not Over

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and the future of the terrorist organization. Plus, an update on the situation in Ukraine.
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Japan After Abe

CSIS?s Chris Johnstone, former NSC director for East Asia, joins the podcast to discuss the aftermath of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the current policies of Prime Minister Kishida going forward.
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