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The Truth of the Matter

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

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Libya Conflict

In this episode, Bob and Andrew invite Bulent Aliriza, director of the CSIS Turkey Project, to unpack the worsening conflict in Libya. Bulent explains who the U.S. is supporting, the impact of other foreign powers in the region, and what the main interests are of the long-standing civil war.

24mins

11 Feb 2020

Rank #1

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Edge of a New Epoch

In this inaugural episode, hosts Bob Schieffer and Andrew Schwartz interview former deputy secretary of defense and now CSIS’s CEO, Dr. John Hamre. Download the full transcript here.

37mins

12 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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COVID-19: New Reality

In this episode, Andrew invites CSIS's Steve Morrison, Jude Blanchette, and Stephanie Segal to discuss how the coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19, is directly affecting the global economy, health security, and international politics.Steve Morrison is senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center. Jude Blanchette holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies. Stephanie Segal is senior fellow of the Simon Chair in Political Economy.

21mins

27 Feb 2020

Rank #3

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Age of Mass Protests

In this episode, Andrew invites CSIS's Samuel Brannen to discuss decade-long trends of mass political protests around the world. Sam draws on the new CSIS report The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend, which he co-authored, to explain factors that could increase the rate of protests, the suppression of movements in certain countries, and the U.S.'s failure to develop a systematic response to the increasing trend of global protests. Samuel Brannen leads the Risk and Foresight Group at CSIS and is a senior fellow in the International Security Program.

18mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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U.S. and China: A New Paradigm

In this episode, Bob and Andrew speak with Jude Blanchette, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. Jude brings us up to date on the demonstrations in Hong Kong that escalated on October 1st, the same day of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Jude explains what the future might hold for Hong Kong protesters, as well as how everything could affect the U.S. and China relationship. Download the full transcript here.

27mins

4 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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An Ongoing Discussion on Syria

In this episode, Bob and Andrew sit down with Melissa Dalton, deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and director of the Cooperative Defense Project. Melissa discusses the current situation of the ongoing conflict in Syria and the sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces there, while analyzing Russia's role, potential U.S. strategy, and the state of Turkey's relationship with the U.S. Download the full transcript here.

30mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Maggie Haberman WH Coverage of Covid-19

In this episode, Andrew invites New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman. Maggie draws from one of her latest reports, "Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic," to discuss WH trade adviser Peter Navarro's memo to the Trump administration about the implications of Covid-19, dated back in January. She also details what it's like covering the WH during this pandemic and what areas of coverage currently take priority.

19mins

7 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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The Attack on Saudi Arabia

In this episode, hosts Bob Schieffer and Andrew Schwartz interview CSIS Harold Brown Chair and Director of the Transnational Threats Project Seth Jones about the recent attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities. They also discuss Jones's prescient and relevant report, "Iran’s Threat to Saudi Critical Infrastructure." Download the full transcript here.

23mins

17 Sep 2019

Rank #8

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Italy Total Lockdown?

In this episode, Andrew invites Heather Conley and Steve Morrison to give an update on the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Italy and Europe. Heather Conley is senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe program at CSIS. Steve Morrison is senior vice president and director director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS.

30mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #9

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Explaining the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act

Bob and Andrew bring in nonpartisan legal expert Bradley P. Moss, Esq., to explain the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. Mr. Moss tells us how it works, the unique situation regarding the President with respect to the Act, and how the process may move forward. Download the full transcript here.

24mins

24 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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Oil Markets Under Pressure

In this episode, Andrew invites Sarah Ladislaw and Kevin Book to give an update on oil markets as they face downward economic pressure.Sarah Ladislaw is senior vice president, director and Senior Fellow of the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at CSIS. Kevin Book is the managing director for Clear View Energy Partners LLC.

29mins

20 Mar 2020

Rank #11

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Health V. Economy

In this episode, CSIS’s Steve Morrison and Stephanie Segal join Andrew Schwartz to get to the Truth of the Matter about the conflicting approaches to saving lives and saving the U.S. economy. 

30mins

25 Mar 2020

Rank #12

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Bonus: Schieffer's Green Room on Iran

In this bonus episode of The Truth of the Matter, listen in on Bob Schieffer’s green room conversation with CSIS’ Jon Alterman, Seth Jones and the New York Times’ David Sanger, prior to the CSIS Schieffer Series event on the Iran situation, September 24. Download the full transcript here.

8mins

1 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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COVID-19: Testing the U.S.

In this episode, Andrew invites Heather Conley, Stephanie Segal, and Steve Morrison to give an update on the global COVID-19 crisis.Heather Conley is senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe program at CSIS. Stephanie Segal is senior fellow of the Simon Chair in Political Economy. Steve Morrison is senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS.

31mins

19 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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COVID-19 in North and South Korea

In this episode, Andrew is joined by CSIS's Victor Cha to discuss how South Korea is battling COVID-19 and the innovative strategies they took to prevent a wider spread of the virus. Victor also gives insight into what is and isn't known on how North Korea is responding to the global pandemic, noting their recent missile tests. Victor Cha is a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair at CSIS. He is also a professor of government and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University.

23mins

31 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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U.S. Troop Pullout of Syria

Bob and Andrew talk with Bulent Aliriza, director of the CSIS Turkey Project, about the escalating situation along the Syrian border with Turkey after President Trump ordered U.S. troops out of the region. Download the full transcript here.

26mins

8 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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Law Professor Joshua Geltzer on Election Security

In this episode, Georgetown Law professor and National Task Force on Election Crises member Joshua Geltzer discusses the challenges that Covid-19, disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks and partisanship bring to the 2020 election.

25mins

21 May 2020

Rank #17

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John Barry, Eminent Pandemic Historian - "Tell the Truth"

In this crossover episode with CSIS's Coronavirus Crisis Update podcast, Tulane University professor and historian John Barry, author of the New York Times bestseller The Great Influenza, joins the podcast from his home in New Orleans’ French Quarter to discuss the lessons gleaned from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that speak to today’s coronavirus pandemic sweeping America and the world.

29mins

15 May 2020

Rank #18

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Sold Out of Meat

In this episode, CSIS Food Security Program director Caitlin Welsh discusses the state of meat production, supply chains and food security in the United States during the pandemic.

21mins

6 May 2020

Rank #19

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Long Term Impacts of Covid-19 on Global Migration

In this episode, CSIS’s Erol Yayboke joins Andrew to provide a window into the challenges that an almost complete halt to human mobility, due to Covid-19, will have on the United States and the rest of the world.Erol Yayboke is deputy director and senior fellow with the Project on U.S. Leadership in Development (USLD) and Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD) at CSIS.

24mins

28 Apr 2020

Rank #20