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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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Face Off: US-China

Former New York Times Beijing bureau chief Jane Perlez joins the show to discuss her new Harvard podcast and the latest tensions in the U.S.-China relationship. 
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Israel?s Troubles

CSIS's Jon B. Alterman joins the podcast to discuss the complex set of options that Israel and the United States are facing to secure peace in the Middle East.
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David Sanger?s ?New Cold Wars?

The New York Times? David Sanger joins the podcast to discuss his best-selling new book, ?New Cold Wars: China?s Rise, Russia?s Invasion, and America?s Struggle to Defend the West.?
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Iran Emerges From The Shadows

CSIS?s Eliot Cohen joins the podcast to discuss Iran?s missile attack on Israel and its wider geopolitical implications.
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Japan?s Official Visit and Trilateral Leaders? Summit

CSIS? Chris Johnstone joins the podcast to discuss next week?s official visit to the United States by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as the trilateral leaders? summit between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines. 
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Russia?s New Space Weapon

CSIS? Kari Bingen and Heather Williams join the podcast to discuss Russia?s new space-based anti-satellite weapon, its violation of the Outer Space Treaty and what steps the U.S. can take to mitigate the risks.
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Government Use of Deepfakes

CSIS' Dan Byman joins the podcast to discuss his new report which examines several scenarios in which democratic government might consider before using deepfakes to advance their foreign policy objectives. Read full report at this link
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The Government Clock is Ti(c)kTok-ing

In this episode of the Truth of the Matter, we feature a conversation from CSIS podcast, Smart Women, Smart Power. Host Kathleen McInnis spoke with Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) about her whirlwind past couple of weeks. The pair discussed her recent trip to the Munich Security Conference, including the moment she found out about the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and her sponsorship of the recently passed House legislation aimed at protecting Americans from TikTok?s national security threats. Listen to Smart Women Smart Power here, or wherever you get your podcast.
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China Outpacing U.S. Defense Base

 CSIS? Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss his new report which explains how China?s defense industrial base is operating on a wartime footing, while the U.S. defense industrial base is largely operating on a peacetime footing. Overall, the U.S. defense industrial ecosystem lacks the capacity, responsiveness, flexibility, and surge capability to meet the U.S. military?s production and warfighting needs. Unless there are urgent changes, the United States risks weakening deterrence and undermining its warfighting capabilities.
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Rise of Domestic Terrorism

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen joins the podcast to discuss how domestic terrorism is on the rise and what the United States can do to counter it.
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James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman on ?2054?

Admiral James Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy and former commander of NATO and SOUTHCOM, and award-winning author Elliot Ackerman, contributor at The Atlantic and veteran of the U.S. Marines, join the podcast to discuss their new novel, ?2054,? which explores where the United States could find itself in the middle of this century. ?2054? is a sequel to New York Times bestseller ?2034.?
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The Relevant Question: Pollster Mark Penn on Israel-Hamas

Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll chairman Mark Penn joins the podcast to discuss the results of his February poll on U.S. attitudes toward Israel and Hamas.
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"Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War? on Netflix

Award-winning filmmaker Brian Knappenberger joins the podcast to discuss his new docuseries Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War, which debuts on Netflix on March 12, and how Cold War history is reflected in the current conflict in Ukraine.
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Russia?s Food War

For the past two years, CSIS? Global Food and Water Security Program directed by Caitlin Welsh has analyzed the impacts of Russia?s war in Ukraine on global food security and on Ukraine?s agriculture sector and has shed light onto the ways that agriculture and food are central to Russia?s military strategy in Ukraine and its political strategy for expanding influence around the world. Caitlin joins the podcast to discuss these issues.
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Ukraine: A Real War

On the second anniversary of Russia?s invasion into Ukraine, CSIS? Eliot Cohen joins the podcast to discuss how the conflict has become a ?real war,? and what the consequences are for the United States and the West if Ukraine doesn?t prevail.
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The State of the Global Semiconductor Competition

On this special episode, we are joined by Chris Miller, author of Chip War: the Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology, and Professor of International History at Tufts University. We discuss Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo's CHIPS Act announcement (1:38), how the semiconductor landscape has changed since Chip War was published (6:39), why U.S. export controls on Russia and China are leaky (12:29), and the latest news from the Chinese semiconductor industry (22:58).
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World?s Coolest Dictator

CSIS?s Ryan Berg joins the podcast to discuss the reelection of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, the Central American leader who calls himself ?the world?s coolest dictator.?
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U.S. Targets Baghdad

CSIS? Norman Roule joins the podcast to discuss the recent U.S. strike in Baghdad and what U.S. policy is seeking to achieve in the Middle East in combating Iranian proxies. 
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U.S. Strikes Back

CSIS? Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss U.S. strikes on targets in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In addition, Dr. Jones discusses his recent trip to Israel and meetings with senior officials there.
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LNG Terminal Pause

CSIS? Joseph Majkut and Ben Cahill join the podcast to discuss the Biden Administration?s decision to pause the permitting process for new liquified natural gas export facilities in order to analyze their impact on climate change, the economy and national security.
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AI 2023 Year in Review

In this episode, Andrew sits down with Gregory C. Allen, director of the Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies and discuss 2023 AI biggest developments, newest policies, and our responses to it all. This episode is a crossover with the AI Policy Podcast, a podcast by CSIS' Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies.
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The Houthis and U.S. Options

CSIS? Eliot Cohen joins the podcast to discuss how the United States should respond to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, plus, Dr. Cohen describes what he saw and experienced during his recent visit to Israel.  
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Wider War in Mideast

Former national intelligence manager for Iran at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA senior official and current CSIS senior adviser Norman Roule joins the podcast to discuss the war in Gaza against Hamas and how Iran and its proxies are provoking a potentially expanded Mideast war.
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Grateful Dead?s Influence on Modern Media and Culture

Jonathan Shank, CEO of Terrapin Station Entertainment joins the podcast to discuss live music, immersive entertainment and the impact of the Grateful Dead on social media and the future of rock and roll. 
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Israel?s Hard Choices

CSIS? Daniel Byman, who just returned from Israel where he met with senior military officials, joins the podcast to discuss how the war in Gaza is progressing, why the Israeli campaign has been so destructive and what success looks like for Israel and for Hamas.
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Hamas? Hostages

CSIS? Jon Alterman and Washington Post columnist Jason Rezaian, who serve as executive directors of the CSIS Commission on Hostage Taking and Wrongful Detention, join the podcast to discuss the ongoing hostage situation in Gaza, lessons from the Israel-Hamas hostage deal, and how global thought and policymaking regarding hostage situations should evolve.
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Ukraine: Will America Come Through?

CSIS? Max Bergmann joins the podcast to discuss U.S. funding for Ukraine and its implications
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WSJ?s Dion Nissenbaum Reporting on Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah

Dion Nissenbaum is an award-winning reporter covering U.S. policy in the Middle East and regional security for The Wall Street Journal. He joins the podcast to discuss the challenges Israel faces to the south with Hamas and to the north with Hezbollah, the current Israeli psyche, and the political situation in Israel.  
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Brian Stelter on ?Network of Lies?

Former CNN Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter, now a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, joins the podcast to talk about media polarization, how Israel?s war against Hamas is being covered, and his new book, ?Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump and the Battle for American Democracy.?
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Gaza Hospitals

CSIS?s J. Stephen Morrison joins the podcast to discuss the situation surrounding Gaza?s hospitals as Israel fights against Hamas.
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A View From Israel

Israeli Brigadier General Asssaf Orion (res), who served the IDF for over 30 years and is now on reserve duty joins the podcast to discuss the events of October 7 and the Israeli response.   During his career in the Israel Defense Forces, General Orion was responsible for strategic policy formulation, international cooperation, and military diplomacy. He also served as a liaison to neighboring militaries and peacekeeping forces in the region. He was most recently the head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff. In this position, he was in charge of communication with UNIFIL and the Lebanese army, led staff meetings with counterparts from the Pentagon and from other Western militaries, took part in the U.S.-Israel security dialogue, and represented the IDF in talks with the Palestinian Authority.  After retiring from the IDF in 2016, General Orion joined the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv and serves as the Liz and Mony Rueven International Fellow with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
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De-Risking and Export Controls

CSIS?s Emily Benson joins the podcast to discuss her new Project on Trade and Technology and its first report, ?Establishing a New Multilateral Export Regime.?
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War in Gaza and The Hollow Crown

CSIS?s Eliot Cohen joins the podcast for a discussion of the ground war in Gaza and his new book ?The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare on How Leaders Rise, Rule and Fall.?
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U.S.-Australia Relationship

CSIS?s Charles Edel joins the podcast to discuss the recent State Visit of Australian Prime Minister Albanese to Washington and its implications for Indo-Pacific security.
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Israel, Hamas & Egypt?s Role

CSIS?s Jon Alterman joins the podcast to discuss the ongoing battle between Israel and Hamas, and the role Egypt could play. 
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Israel?s Intelligence Regroups

CSIS?s Emily Harding joins the podcast to discuss Israel?s tragic intelligence failure and its efforts to regroup against an unseen enemy. Plus, a discussion of Egypt?s role going forward.
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Tell it Like it Is: Aaron Neville

Legendary singer Aaron Neville joins the podcast to discuss his new book ?Tell it Like it Is: My Story,? performing with his brothers?The Neville Brothers, duets with Linda Ronstadt and how he overcame addiction and hardship to ultimately achieve platinum album sales, number 1 songs and most importantly, a fulfilling, happy life.
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Dimensions of War in Gaza

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss Israel?s military objectives and what?s coming next. 
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Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Avi Mayer on Hospital Blast

Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Avi Mayer joins the podcast to discuss the catastrophic blast at the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, his tour of the massacre at Kibbutz Be?eri in southern Israel, mood of the Israeli people and government, challenges that lay ahead and the role of media in the conflict.
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Aftermath of Hamas Attack

CSIS?s Jon Alterman joins the podcast to discuss the brutal aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel and its implications in the short and medium term. 
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Hamas's Attack on Israel

CSIS's Daniel Byman joins the podcast to discuss the last few days of war between Hamas and Israel and what might come next in the conflict.
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Ukraine Funding?s Real Battlefield Implications

CSIS?s Max Bergmann joins the podcast to discuss congressional funding for Ukraine and what it means for Ukraine?s war against Russia.
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Mexico?s Historic Election

Former CEO of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI) and host of the CSIS podcast ?Mexico Matters? joins the podcast to discuss Mexico?s historic 2024 presidential election featuring two female candidates and the issues at stake for Mexico and the United States.
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Iran Hostage Release: Honey and Vinegar

CSIS?s Jon Alterman joins the podcast to discuss the deal the U.S. made to retrieve 5 American prisoners from Iran, plus approaches the U.S. may take to deal with Tehran going forward.
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CSIS Visits Taiwan

CSIS?s Seth Jones joins the podcast to discuss his recent visit to Taiwan, meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen and senior officials of the Taiwan government and discussions surrounding Taiwan?s security.
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Kim Jong-Putin Summit

CSIS?s Victor Cha joins the podcast to discuss the meeting of the two autocrats in which they vowed greater cooperation on economic and security issues.
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AI and Autonomous-Powered U.S. Military

CSIS?s Gregory C. Allen joins the podcast to discuss the Department of Defense?s ?Urgency to Innovate? and its new initiative called ?Replicator,? a Pentagon drone program designed to compete with China?namely to field thousands of drones across multiple domains in the next two years to outcompete China?s industrial advantages.
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Everyone is Confused About Covid

CSIS?s Dr. J. Stephen Morrison joins the podcast to discuss Covid confusion and why most Americans have no idea what to do if they get Covid, whether they should be vaccinated or not this fall, and what the CDC and NIH aim to do about it. 
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Conflict Minerals

CSIS?s Gracelin Baskaran and Joseph Majkut join the podcast to discuss why the U.S. should elevate the role of critical minerals for achieving the energy transition, spurring economic development, and strengthening national security.
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Prigozhin's Demise

CSIS?s Catrina Doxsee joins the podcast to discuss the alleged death of Yevgeny Prigozhin and its impact on the future of the Wagner Group and Russia's foreign policy.   
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