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World Affairs Councils Podcast

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WACA Podcasts feature the most influential authors and experts on subjects of national and international importance. Moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

Read more

WACA Podcasts feature the most influential authors and experts on subjects of national and international importance. Moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

Cover image of World Affairs Councils Podcast

World Affairs Councils Podcast

Latest release on Jan 17, 2020

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WACA Podcasts feature the most influential authors and experts on subjects of national and international importance. Moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford.

Rank #1: Cover to Cover: Chris Woods on Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone

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May's Cover to Cover features author Chris Woods on his new book, Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone, on Wednesday, May 13, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Chris Woods is an American investigative journalist who specializes in conflict and national security issues. 

Oct 23 2019

30mins

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Rank #2: C.J. Chivers on "The Fighters"

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More than 2 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001, and C.J. Chivers has reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a medic, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer and a Special Forces sergeant. Chivers captures their commitment and sense of purpose, their courage and ultimately their sacrifice, confusion and moral frustration as new enemies arise, and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which they often were not prepared.

The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans. It does for these troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of WWII and what Michael Herr did for the grunts in Vietnam. The Fighters presents a human side of the long arc of two wars, told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran.

C.J. Chivers is a reporter for The New York Times, where he works on the Investigations Desk and for The New York Times Magazine, covering conflict, crime, the arms trade and human rights, and other themes. His work also appears on the NYT’s At War and Lens blogs. He is a frequent contributor to Esquire and an occasional contributor to other publications, including Field & Stream, Popular Mechanics, Anglers Journal and more.  He is also the author of THE GUN (Simon & Schuster, 2010), a history of automatic arms and their influence on human security and war. The book was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Pick and a Best Book of 2010 by The Atlantic and The Washington Post.

Sep 14 2018

37mins

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Rank #3: KNOW NOW: The Honorable Fran Ulmer on After the Arctic Ice Melts

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The Arctic has been warming almost twice as quickly as the rest of the planet and its effects can be felt worldwide. Research thus far shows the warming Arctic impacts weather patterns as far away as mid-latitude areas like California by weakening the jet stream. Colder water in the Pacific Northwest is becoming more acidic and unstable for farming shellfish, while melting permafrost and coastal erosion in Alaska is causing infrastructure collapse and loss of biodiversity. Join the World Affairs Councils of America and former Lt. Gov and Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer for a conversation about the arctic, climate change, and the intersections of environmental science and policy.

Read more about Hon. Fran Ulmer

May 13 2019

31mins

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Rank #4: Amb. William J. Burns on "The Back Channel"

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Over the course of more than three decades as an American diplomat, William J. Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time—from the bloodless end of the Cold War to the collapse of post–Cold War relations with Putin’s Russia, from post–9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran.

In The Back Channel, Burns recounts, with novelistic detail and incisive analysis, some of the seminal moments of his career. Drawing on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos, he gives readers a rare inside look at American diplomacy in action. His dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Qaddafi’s bizarre camp in the Libyan desert and his warnings of the “Perfect Storm” that would be unleashed by the Iraq War will reshape our understanding of history—and inform the policy debates of the future. Burns sketches the contours of effective American leadership in a world that resembles neither the zero-sum Cold War contest of his early years as a diplomat nor the “unipolar moment” of American primacy that followed.Ultimately, The Back Channel is an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad. It is also a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the enduring importance of diplomacy.

Apr 03 2019

36mins

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Rank #5: Cover to Cover: Walter Laqueur on Putinism: Russia and Its Future With the West

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June's Cover to Cover features author Walter Laqueur on his new book, Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, on Sunday, June 18, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Walter Laqueur is an American historian, journalist and political commentator. 

Oct 23 2019

30mins

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Rank #6: Francis Fukuyama on "Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment"

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In 2014, Francis Fukuyama wrote that American institutions were in decay, as the state was progressively captured by powerful interest groups. Two years later, his predictions were borne out by the rise to power of a series of political outsiders whose economic nationalism and authoritarian tendencies threatened to destabilize the entire international order. These populist nationalists seek direct charismatic connection to “the people,” who are usually defined in narrow identity terms that offer an irresistible call to an in-group and exclude large parts of the population as a whole.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. The universal recognition on which liberal democracy is based has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender, which have resulted in anti-immigrant populism, the upsurge of politicized Islam, the fractious “identity liberalism” of college campuses, and the emergence of white nationalism. Populist nationalism, said to be rooted in economic motivation, actually springs from the demand for recognition and therefore cannot simply be satisfied by economic means. The demand for identity cannot be transcended; we must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.

Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment is an urgent and necessary book—a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continuing conflict. 

Jan 29 2019

33mins

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Rank #7: Cover to Cover: Author and Journalist Beth Gardiner on Our Modern-Day Plague.

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Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future.In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world.

May 01 2019

35mins

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Rank #8: Valerie Plame on KNOW NOW with SFCIR's Executive Director Sandy Campbell

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A former career covert CIA operations officer, Valerie Plame worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons. During her career with the CIA, Valerie managed top-secret covert programs designed to keep terrorists and rogue nation states from acquiring nuclear weapons. This involved decision making at senior levels, recruiting foreign assets, deploying resources around the world, managing multi-million dollar budgets, briefing US policy-makers, and demonstrating consistently solid judgment in a field where mistakes could prove disastrous to national security. She was also involved in covert cyber operations and counterterrorism efforts in Europe and the Middle East.

Valerie sits on the boards of Global Data Security, a cyber security company that safeguards digital data streaming and extends that protection to email and attachments, and Starling Trust, a predictive behavioral analytics company that interprets and forecasts behavioral trends. She also serves on the nonprofit boards of Global Zero the United Way of Santa Fe County, and Postpartum Support International. Valerie is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute, a trans-disciplinary scientific think tank created by two Nobel Prize winners to address the most compelling and complex problems in the world today.

Oct 26 2018

32mins

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Rank #9: KNOW NOW: Joe Cirincione on Global Nuclear Threats

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There is a high risk that someone will use, by accident or design, one or more of the 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Many thought such threats ended with the Cold War, but they remain an ongoing nightmare. Author of the books Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too LateBomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, Joe Cirincione is one of the leading experts in the country on U.S. nuclear weapons. Join Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, as he discusses the major nuclear weapons threats the world faces today and the debate over the best policies to counter them with Tennessee WAC's Patrick Ryan. 

Jun 13 2019

33mins

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Rank #10: Cover to Cover: Sheila Smith on "Japan Rearmed"

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On June's Cover to CoverSheila Smith, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations discusses her new book: Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power.

Japan has one of Asia’s most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. In Japan Rearmed Sheila Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

Jun 24 2019

38mins

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Rank #11: KNOW NOW: Mehdi Noorbaksh on U.S.-Iran Relations

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WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Tuesday, July 16, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Iran has resumed enrichment of uranium and the U.S. has blamed Iran for attacking an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Many worry current tensions could escalate, leading to a wider conflagration in the region. Join Dr. Noorbaksh and WAC Harrisburg President and CEO Joyce Davis as they discuss the current state of U.S.-Iran relations and the potential impact of increasing belligerence between the countries.

Jul 19 2019

33mins

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Rank #12: Cover to Cover: Tom Wheeler on Network Revolutions

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WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, September 25, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featured former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler, Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

Network revolutions of the past have shaped the present and set the stage for the revolution we are experiencing today. In this fascinating book, former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler puts past revolutions into the perspective of today, when rapid-fire changes in networking are upending the nature of work, personal privacy, education, the media, and nearly every other aspect of modern life. Outlining “What’s Next,” he describes how artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and the need for cybersecurity are laying the foundation for a third network revolution.

Sep 30 2019

34mins

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Rank #13: KNOW NOW: Dean Alexander on Family Terror Networks

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Listen to WACA's KNOW NOW conference call featuring Dean C. Alexander, Director of the Homeland Security Research Program and Professor of Homeland Security at the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University.

Family affiliated terrorism, from the role of patriarchs to ISIS brides, poses significant and long lasting security threats to the international community. Author of several books on the subject, Professor Alexander is an expert on the issues surrounding global terrorism and the ways to combat these threats both foreign and domestic. Join WACA for a conversation with Prof. Alexander and former Peoria WAC President and WACA National Board Member Don Samford about the implications of family terror networks and countering international political violence.

Sep 03 2019

30mins

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Rank #14: Cover to Cover: Barry Posen on Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Government Strategy

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August's Cover to Cover features author Barry Posen on his new book, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, on Tuesday, August 12, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Barry Posen is an American professor of Political Science at MIT. 

Oct 23 2019

32mins

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Rank #15: Cover to Cover: Ambassador Chris Hill on Outpost: A Diplomat at Work

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October's Cover to Cover features author Chris Hill on his new book, Outpost: A Diplomat at Work, October 6, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.  Chris Hill is an American diplomat, currently charged with the Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver.

Oct 23 2019

39mins

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Rank #16: KNOW NOW: Documentary photographer, Greg Constantine, on the ethics of photographing war and atrocity.

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Photojournalism often succeeds where words fail. From powerful, iconic, and polarizing images, like Nick Ut's Vietnam-era "Napalm Girl" to three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a sandy beach in Turkey - these images tell stories with vivid urgency. Constantine, author of the Exiled to Nowhere book and exhibit, discusses the challenges and ethical implications of documenting war and atrocity with WorldOregon's Tim DuRoche.

Constantine has spent much of the past fifteen years living and working in Asia. In 2005, he began work on his long-term project, Nowhere People. Constantine has spent the past 10 years documenting stateless communities in eighteen countries, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Serbia, Italy, Iraq, Kuwait, and Lebanon. His work has been featured in various publications including the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneNewsweekThe AtlanticThe New RepublicCNN, and Al-Jazeera.

May 01 2019

32mins

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Rank #17: Thomas Wright on "All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power": Cover to Cover Author Series

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Cover to Cover is a monthly program featuring the most influential authors on subjects of national and international importance.

May 26 2017

39mins

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Rank #18: Stephen Tankel on "With Us and Against Us"

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December's Cover to Cover featured a conversation with Stephen Tankel, professor at American University and adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, on his new book, With Us and Against Us: How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror.

Tankel analyzes the factors that shape counterterrorism cooperation, examining the ways partner nations aid international efforts, as well as the ways they encumber and impede effective action. It offers a policy-relevant toolkit for improving counterterrorism cooperation, devising strategies for mitigating risks, and getting the most out of difficult partnerships.

Jan 10 2019

32mins

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Rank #19: Faisal Gill on "The Revised Travel and Refugee Ban": KNOW NOW Conference Call Series

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KNOW NOW conference call series will feature global thought leaders hosted by WACA as well as local authorities in government, business, academia and cultural fields, to bring local and national issues of global dimensions to our network.

May 04 2017

27mins

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Rank #20: KNOW NOW: Her Excellency Lolwah R M Al-Khater on the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue and Qatar's Foreign Policy

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Appointed by His Excellency Mohammad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Before her appointment as the Spokesperson, H.E. Lolwah joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Minister Plenipotentiary. She also served as the Director of Planning and Quality at Qatar Tourism Authority and as a Research Project Manager at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development.

Her Excellency will provide an update on the U.S.-Qatar strategic dialogue and Qatar's foreign policy.

Apr 03 2019

45mins

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Cover to Cover: Andrew Bacevich on "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory"

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Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University, on his new book: The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory.

When the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Washington establishment felt it had prevailed in a world-historical struggle. History, having brought the United States to the very summit of power and prestige, had validated American-style liberal democratic capitalism as universally applicable. Listen to the conversation with Andrew Bacevich as he explains how, within a quarter of a century, the United States ended up with gaping inequality, permanent war, moral confusion, and an increasingly angry and alienated population, as well, of course, as the strangest president in American history.

Jan 17 2020

37mins

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Cover to Cover: Angela Stent and Jill Dougherty on "Putin's World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest""

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Angela Stent, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings Institution and Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University, and Jill Dougherty, SFS Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and CNN Contributor, discuss Stent's book Putin's World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest.

We all now live in a paranoid and polarized world of Putin's making, and the Russian leader, through guile and disruption, has resurrected Russia's status as a force to be reckoned with. Stent helps Americans understand how and why the post-Cold War era has given way to a new, more dangerous world, one in which Russia poses a challenge to the U.S. in every corner of the globe -- and one in which Russia has become a toxic and divisive subject in U.S. politics. Listen to the conversation with Angela Stent and Jill Dougherty about Russia's role on the global stage.

Jan 17 2020

30mins

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Cover to Cover: Marina and David Ottaway on the Four Arab Worlds

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WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Thursday, November 21, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featured Marina and David Ottaway, Middle East Fellows at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

A Tale of Four Worlds: The Arab Region After the Uprisings

First came the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire following World War I; then, in the 1950s and '60s, the Nasser-inspired wave of Arab nationalism and socialism. The Arab world's third great political cataclysm of the past 100 years has also brought permanent changes, but not as its activists had hoped: the 2011 uprisings. Their consequences have differed greatly from area to area, splintering the Arab region into four different worlds. Join Marina and David Ottaway as they discuss the profound upheavals that have shaken - and continue to transform - Arab and global politics.

Dec 13 2019

34mins

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Cover to Cover: Hope Harrison on "After the Berlin Wall"

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WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, October 9, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET, featured Hope Harrison, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, The George Washington University.

After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present

The history and meaning of the Berlin Wall remain controversial, even three decades after its fall. Drawing on an extensive range of archival sources and interviews, this book profiles key memory activists who have fought to commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall and examines their role in the creation of a new German national narrative. This revelatory work also traces how global memory of the Wall has impacted German memory policy, and it depicts the power and fragility of state-backed memory projects, and the potential of such projects to reconcile or divide.

Dec 13 2019

32mins

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Cover to Cover: Sarah Chayes on Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security

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February's Cover to Cover features author Sarah Chayes on his new book, Thieves of State, on Wednesday, February 18, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Sarah Chayes is an American author and world renown speaker. 

Oct 23 2019

35mins

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Cover to Cover: Chris Woods on Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone

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May's Cover to Cover features author Chris Woods on his new book, Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone, on Wednesday, May 13, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Chris Woods is an American investigative journalist who specializes in conflict and national security issues. 

Oct 23 2019

30mins

Play

Cover to Cover: Walter Laqueur on Putinism: Russia and Its Future With the West

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June's Cover to Cover features author Walter Laqueur on his new book, Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, on Sunday, June 18, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Walter Laqueur is an American historian, journalist and political commentator. 

Oct 23 2019

30mins

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Cover to Cover: Russell Gold on The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

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June's Cover to Cover features author Russell Gold on his new book, The Boom, on Thursday, June 12, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Russell Gold is an American reporter for Wall Street Journal and the author of The Boom.

Oct 23 2019

31mins

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Cover to Cover: Barry Posen on Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Government Strategy

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August's Cover to Cover features author Barry Posen on his new book, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, on Tuesday, August 12, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET. Barry Posen is an American professor of Political Science at MIT. 

Oct 23 2019

32mins

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Cover to Cover: Ambassador Chris Hill on Outpost: A Diplomat at Work

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October's Cover to Cover features author Chris Hill on his new book, Outpost: A Diplomat at Work, October 6, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET.  Chris Hill is an American diplomat, currently charged with the Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver.

Oct 23 2019

39mins

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Cover to Cover: Tom Wheeler on Network Revolutions

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WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, September 25, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featured former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler, Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

Network revolutions of the past have shaped the present and set the stage for the revolution we are experiencing today. In this fascinating book, former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler puts past revolutions into the perspective of today, when rapid-fire changes in networking are upending the nature of work, personal privacy, education, the media, and nearly every other aspect of modern life. Outlining “What’s Next,” he describes how artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and the need for cybersecurity are laying the foundation for a third network revolution.

Sep 30 2019

34mins

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KNOW NOW: Oussama Romdhani on the Tunisian Elections

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WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Thursday, September 19, at 3:00-3:30 pm ET, featured Oussama Romdhani, Editor in Chief of The Arab Weekly and former Tunisian Communications Minister.

On Sunday, September 15, Tunisians will go to the polls to elect their next president - a vote that will have regional and international implications. Considering the unsettled situations in Libya and Algeria, the success or failure of Tunisia's third democratic contest since the 2011 uprising could have a bearing on regional stability. Join WACA for a conversation with Oussama Romdhani and WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President & CEO Jim Falk about why the Tunisian elections matter and how the new Tunisian president can ensure the future stability and economic recovery of Tunisia. 

Sep 30 2019

30mins

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KNOW NOW: Dean Alexander on Family Terror Networks

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Listen to WACA's KNOW NOW conference call featuring Dean C. Alexander, Director of the Homeland Security Research Program and Professor of Homeland Security at the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University.

Family affiliated terrorism, from the role of patriarchs to ISIS brides, poses significant and long lasting security threats to the international community. Author of several books on the subject, Professor Alexander is an expert on the issues surrounding global terrorism and the ways to combat these threats both foreign and domestic. Join WACA for a conversation with Prof. Alexander and former Peoria WAC President and WACA National Board Member Don Samford about the implications of family terror networks and countering international political violence.

Sep 03 2019

30mins

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Cover to Cover Jim Olson on Counterintelligence

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Listen to WACA's Cover to Cover conference call featuring former CIA Chief of Counterintelligence Jim Olson, Professor of the Practice, Texas A&M University.

To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence

The United States is losing the counterintelligence war. Foreign intelligence services, particularly those of China, Russia, and Cuba, are recruiting spies in our midst and stealing our secrets and cutting-edge technologies. In To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, Olson offers a wake-up call for the American public and also a guide for how our country can do a better job of protecting its national security and trade secrets. Join Mr. Olson and WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President and CEO Jim Falk as they discuss Olson's recent book: To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence.

Sep 03 2019

30mins

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Cover to Cover: Anna Fifield on Kim Jong Un

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The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un

The behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world’s strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un, by the journalist with the best connections and insights into the bizarrely dangerous world of North Korea. Anna Fifield, Beijing Bureau Chief at The Washington Post, reconstructs Kim’s past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and brings her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family in North Korea. The archaic notion of despotic family rule matches the almost medieval hardship the country has suffered under the Kims. Few people thought that a young, untested, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country that should have fallen apart years ago. 

Aug 02 2019

31mins

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KNOW NOW: Mehdi Noorbaksh on U.S.-Iran Relations

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WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Tuesday, July 16, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Iran has resumed enrichment of uranium and the U.S. has blamed Iran for attacking an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Many worry current tensions could escalate, leading to a wider conflagration in the region. Join Dr. Noorbaksh and WAC Harrisburg President and CEO Joyce Davis as they discuss the current state of U.S.-Iran relations and the potential impact of increasing belligerence between the countries.

Jul 19 2019

33mins

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Cover to Cover: Sheila Smith on "Japan Rearmed"

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On June's Cover to CoverSheila Smith, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations discusses her new book: Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power.

Japan has one of Asia’s most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. In Japan Rearmed Sheila Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

Jun 24 2019

38mins

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KNOW NOW: Joe Cirincione on Global Nuclear Threats

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There is a high risk that someone will use, by accident or design, one or more of the 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Many thought such threats ended with the Cold War, but they remain an ongoing nightmare. Author of the books Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too LateBomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, Joe Cirincione is one of the leading experts in the country on U.S. nuclear weapons. Join Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, as he discusses the major nuclear weapons threats the world faces today and the debate over the best policies to counter them with Tennessee WAC's Patrick Ryan. 

Jun 13 2019

33mins

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KNOW NOW: The Honorable Fran Ulmer on After the Arctic Ice Melts

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The Arctic has been warming almost twice as quickly as the rest of the planet and its effects can be felt worldwide. Research thus far shows the warming Arctic impacts weather patterns as far away as mid-latitude areas like California by weakening the jet stream. Colder water in the Pacific Northwest is becoming more acidic and unstable for farming shellfish, while melting permafrost and coastal erosion in Alaska is causing infrastructure collapse and loss of biodiversity. Join the World Affairs Councils of America and former Lt. Gov and Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer for a conversation about the arctic, climate change, and the intersections of environmental science and policy.

Read more about Hon. Fran Ulmer

May 13 2019

31mins

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Cover to Cover: Author and Journalist Beth Gardiner on Our Modern-Day Plague.

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Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future.In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world.

May 01 2019

35mins

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