Fault Lines

By National Security Institute

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Description

Fault Lines examines national security and foreign policy issues with expert perspectives from across the political spectrum. This motley crew will examine national security and foreign policy issues with perspectives from across the political spectrum, finding points of agreement and – often –disagreement along the way.

Our regular cast of foreign policy experts includes Jodi Herman, Jamil Jaffer, Dana Stroul, and Lester Munson.

Tune in to learn more about the issues dominating headlines and the news stories you may have missed.





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Episode Date
Episode 60: Are We Bangui? - Continued Crisis on Capitol Hill
48:12

This week, Congress contemplates how to respond to the attack on January 6th. Les, Loren, Jamil, and Jodi discuss how the legislative branch should move forward and news out of China that you may have missed. How should Congress deal with members who supported the riots? With time winding down on the Trump Administration, is impeachment moving fast enough? How is China capitalizing on this moment? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our under the radar segment Jamil talks about the designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group, Les compares the current situation in the US with that in the Central African Republic, Grant dives back into the politics of water, Jodi discusses the elections in Uganda, and Loren won’t be distracted from this moment in the United States.



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Jan 13, 2021
Episode 59: Insurrection Aftermath
43:41

A mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to halt the certification of the electoral college vote. Les, Jamil, Loren, and returning guest Michael Gottlieb pick through the rubble and discuss the implications. How can America rebuild after this crisis? How does it impact our standing in the world? How will our adversaries use this against us? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.




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Jan 08, 2021
Episode 58: Pandemics, Warning, and the IC with Jim Danoy
24:43
Fault Lines welcomes back Jim Danoy, former Defense Intelligence Executive, NSI Visiting Fellow, and author of a recent NSI Law and Policy Paper entitled Stopping the Spread: Pandemics, Warning, and the IC. What role should the IC have in warning about the next pandemic? Is the Department of Health and Human Services part of the IC? Can we afford to expand the mission of the intelligence community? Jim and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Jan 06, 2021
Episode 57: The NDAA, the Industrial Base, and the Future of Acquisitions
33:30
All eyes are on the NDAA because of President Trump’s veto but is the discussion focused on the right issues? Fault Lines welcomes Alex Gallo, Lindsay Rodman, and Moshe Schwartz, contributors to the recent NSI and Duco report The U.S. Defense Industrial Base: Can it Compete in the Next Century? Does China’s economic threat change the approach to its military threat? Can the DoD encourage competition in the defense industrial base? How can America be falling behind while spending so much on defense? These questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Dec 30, 2020
Episode 56: The Iron Butterfly with Megan Jaffer
28:15
Fault Lines welcomes Megan Jaffer, a Founding Member of the Amazing Women of the Intelligence Community (AWIC) and host of the Iron Butterfly Podcast which just completed its first season. Who was the Iron Butterfly? What can we learn from the stories of 15 senior women in the Intelligence Community? What can we expect from the second season of Iron Butterfly? Megan and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Dec 23, 2020
Episode 55: Trump's Administration Wrapped
45:38

The year is winding down but in Washington that means it’s time to argue about the NDAA and the legacy of the outgoing President. This week, Jamil, Loren, Les, and returning guest Michael Gottlieb discuss whether the NDAA will make it across the finish line and whether President Trump had any foreign policy wins during his four years. How did the NDAA become one of the only must pass bills? What hard calls did President Trump get right? Will any aspects of Trump’s legacy be left after Biden “Builds Back Better”? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines. 


In our under the radar segment, Loren highlights the increased use of ransomware to target K-12 schools, Les extends the conversation about Western Sahara, Grant opines about worsening relations between China and Australia, Jamil discusses the latest in the war in Yemen, and Michael talks about the potential of an Edward Snowden pardon.



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Dec 16, 2020
Episode 54: Who Writes Tech Standards - Government or Private Sector? with Megan Brown
25:51

Fault Lines welcomes Megan Brown, NSI Senior Fellow and author of a forthcoming NSI Law and Policy Paper on U.S. involvement in setting global technical standards for 5G and other future technologies. What are technical standards and why are they important? Is hawkishness against China bad for innovation? What can policymakers do to promote private sector participation in standards development organizations? Megan and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!




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Dec 09, 2020
Episode 53: The Empire Strikes Back or a New Hope?
49:09

President-Elect Joe Biden begun to name his senior foreign policy staff to various Cabinet and White House positions. Les, Jamil, Jodi, and first time Guest Michael Gottlieb former Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President Obama discuss Biden’s picks and how they might take on the rapidly evolving situation in Iran. What do these selections say about Biden’s Foreign Policy? What are potential blind spots for this team of insiders? How can a President Biden limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our under the radar segment, Les discusses the state of the civil war in Ethiopia, Mike highlights the continued issues in Venezuela, Jamil focuses on Jared Kushner’s trip to the Middle East during a fragile time, and Jodi and Grant both discuss corporations’ lobbying efforts with regards to the Uyghur Forced Labor Act currently making its way through Congress.




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Dec 02, 2020
Episode 52 “What to Keep?” - Conservatism and Foreign Policy with Rachel Bovard
32:00

Fault Lines welcomes Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute. Is restraint the new watch word in foreign policy? What do Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul have in common? Does anyone really understand Senate procedure? Rachel and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!




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Nov 24, 2020
Episode 51: Closing Time at the Trump Administration
39:40
As the song says, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here! Before his imminent departure, President Trump flexed his muscles by firing Secretary of Defense Esper and claiming that the election was stolen. Les, Loren, Jamil, and first time guest Dr. Andrea Little Limbago, NSI Senior Fellow and Vice President of Research and Analysis at Interos, discuss how these moves impact our national security and standing abroad. Does a shake-up at DoD change anything? Was the election stolen? What does this mean for a future Biden administration? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Nov 18, 2020
Episode 50: The First 100 Days with Max Bergmann
40:40
Fault Lines welcomes Max Bergmann, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and co-author of a new report “The First 100 Days: Toward a More Sustainable and Values-Based National Security Approach”. What will a President Biden do on Foreign Policy? How will his foreign policy be impacted by a Republican-held Senate? Is America really moving away from counter-terrorism? Max and host Lester Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Nov 11, 2020
Episode 49: Election Spectacular
53:12

This week, Americans are headed to the polls but foreign policy hasn’t played a big part in the campaign conversation. Les, Jamil, Jodi, and special guest Bishop Garrison, NSI Visiting Fellow and Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First come together in front of a live audience to discuss the foreign policies of the candidates and what national security issues will be facing the next administration. What could we expect from a Biden Administration? Will a second term of President Trump change foreign policy for good? How does all of this impact America’s competition with China long-term? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.




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Nov 03, 2020
Episode 48: The Indo-Pacific with Ambassador Atul Keshap
37:34
Fault Lines welcomes Ambassador Atul Keshap, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. What are the trends to follow in the region? How should the United States be responding to the challenge of China? How is the relationship with Japan evolving under a new prime minister? Ambassador Keshap and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Oct 28, 2020
Episode 47: Bipartisanship in NatSec
41:00

The most contentious election in history is less than two weeks away, but Fault Lines is stepping out of our normal partisan foxholes to talk about the importance of bipartisanship in national security and foreign policy. Les, Jamil, Dana, and returning guest Andrew Borene discuss the past, present, and potential future of working across the aisle to protect Americans and advance America's interests abroad. When did partisanship actually end at the water's edge? Can we find any areas of agreement anymore? What are the future prospects for agreement on the very real threats facing the United States? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our under the radar segment this week, Les focuses on mounting protests in Thailand, Andrew discusses the recent release of the Irregular Warfare Annex by the Department of Defense, Dana highlights the Trump Administration's attempts to free Austin Tice, and Jamil talks about the increasingly fraught relationship between India and China.





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Oct 21, 2020
Episode 46: The Kill Chain with Chris Brose
47:31
Fault Lines welcomes Chris Brose, former Staff Director of the Senate Armed Service Committee and author of the recent book The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare.  How are emerging technologies changing warfare? What can be done to fix the broken defense acquisitions process? How does the rise of China change American grand strategy?  Chris and host Jamil Jaffer, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Oct 14, 2020
Episode 45: The United Nations at 75
37:54

The United Nations turns 75 but celebrations are muted as coronavirus has prevented the delegates from meeting in person.  Jodi, Jamil, Dana, and returning guest Andy Keiser discuss America's relationship with the UN and whether it is up for the task of taking on the challenges of today.  Should the United States defund the UN? Is China reshaping international institutions in its image? Why didn't sanctions "snapback" on Iran?  All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our below the radar segment, Dana discussed the United States is planning to shutter its embassy in Baghdad, Jodi highlights the stunning statistic that 10% of the global population may have contracted Covid-19, Andy digs up President Trump's executive order on rare earth minerals, and Jamil emphasizes the importance of projecting military strength while President Trump was in the hospital.



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Oct 07, 2020
Episode 44: Becoming Kim Jong Un with Dr. Jung Pak
35:10
Fault Lines welcomes Dr. Jung Pak, senior fellow and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies at Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies and author of "Becoming Kim Jong Un: A Former CIA Officer’s Insights into North Korea’s Enigmatic Young Dictator." What do we know about what is happening within the hermit kingdom? Is Kim Yo-jong likely to take the lead if Kim Jong Un suddenly passes away? What can America do to push the DPRK to denuclearize?  Dr. Pak and host Jamil N. Jaffer, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Sep 30, 2020
Episode 43: The Eastern Mediterranean and North Korea
37:55

Turkey and Greece are jostling over natural gas in the Mediterranean and Bob Woodward’s book Rage reignites the conversation about America’s stance towards North Korea.  Les, Dana, and Jamil discuss America’s role in settling diplomatic disputes and how to judge the North Korean nuclear question. How should the U.S. project power into the Mediterranean? Can America help hold NATO together? Is America in a worse position with North Korea two years after the Singapore Summit? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In this week’s below the radar segment, Les continues to watch the protests in Belarus. Dana and Jamil have a lively conversation about Iran and snapback sanctions. Jamil highlights that former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says that Afghan peace talks are doomed.



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Sep 23, 2020
Episode 42: China and Trade with David Dollar
39:52
Fault Lines welcomes David Dollar, Senior Fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. How should we think about the trade deficit with China? Is decoupling possible? How should we think about the Belt and Road Initiative? David and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Sep 16, 2020
Episode 41 - Good News From Sudan; Bad News From Russia
33:04
You wouldn’t know it from the news networks’ obsessive coverage of the American election, but the rest of the world keeps spinning, and there are a lot of developments to keep track of. This week, Dana, Jamil, Jodi, and Less discuss the fallout from the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in Russia and the ongoing democratic transition in Sudan. What should the Trump administration’s response be to the poisoning of Navalny? How will Congress react?  How did Sudan become a source of good news in the world?  All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Sep 09, 2020
Introducing Iron Butterfly
25:27
Today, we have a feed takeover by our friends at the Iron Butterfly. We hope you enjoy their first episode!

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Sep 08, 2020
Episode 40: Podcast Free Europe
37:57
Fault Lines welcomes Jamie Fly, former President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor to the President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Why did Jamie’s time at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty come to an abrupt end? Why should Americans continue to support the work of RFERL and its sister stations? How is Chinese and Russian influence impacting Europe? Jamie and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Sep 02, 2020
Episode 39: Diplomatic Ties, Belarusian Lies, and a Coup
39:53

The UAE and Israel normalize relations, Belarusians are in the streets protesting a stolen election, and Mali is rocked by its second coup in less than a decade. Dana, Jamil, Les, and Loren discuss how these situations impact American politics and America’s standing in the world. Will Saudi Arabia be the next to strike a deal with Israel? Can the United States credibly stand up for Democratic activists abroad? How has Africa policy been impacted by the American public’s disinterest? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our under the radar segment, Les highlights insurgent attacks in Mozambique, Dana decries the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, Jamil discusses the possibility of snap back sanctions on Iran, and Loren shares her concerns about the postal service and an asteroid headed towards earth.




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Aug 26, 2020
Episode 38: Do Morals Matter with Dr. Joseph Nye
26:23

Fault Lines welcomes Dr. Joseph Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus and former Dean of the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and author of the recent book Do Morals Matter?: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump. What makes a moral foreign policy? What lessons can be learned from the failures of previous Presidents? Can blue jeans and rock and roll actually change the world? Dr. Nye and host Les Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!




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Aug 20, 2020
Episode 37: The Middle East Goes Nuclear
39:36

The UAE builds the first civilian nuclear reactor in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia moves down the path to building a nuclear weapon. Dana, Jamil, Jodi, and Les discuss the geopolitical ramifications of a nuclear powered Middle East. Are 123 agreements useful anymore? Will the United States be able to prevent nuclear proliferation? How does china play into all of this? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.


In our under the radar segment, Jamil highlights the changing tide of U.S.-China relations, Dana discusses the explosion that rocked Beirut, Jodi examines the election in Belarus, and Les laments the lack of foreign aid on the table for the next round of coronavirus legislation currently under debate on Capitol Hill.



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Aug 13, 2020
Episode 36: The Intelligence Community in Exile
24:09

Fault Lines welcomes Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at the CIA and Department of Defense. What are the biggest challenges facing the intelligence community? How has the icy relationship between the President and the Intelligence Community impacted national security? Are trendy dances a national security threat? Jeremy and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!




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Aug 06, 2020
Episode 35: Pipelines, the Arctic and Crimes Against Humanity - Global Leadership Dilemmas!
34:49

Nord Stream 2 is exacerbating the split between the United States and its European Allies. Across the Mediterranean Laurent Gbagbo is acquitted of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Les Munson, Jamil Jaffer, Loren Dealy Mahler, and Andrew Borene discuss how the U.S. should push back against the Russians in Europe and how Americans should think about the ICC.

 

In our under the radar segment, Les highlights the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam raising tensions along the Nile, Loren explores the legislative twists and turns of this year’s NDAA, Jamil discusses the tit-for-tat consulate closures in Chengdu and Houston, and Andrew discusses how rebalancing special operations forces and potentially elevating the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict to full Under Secretary will impact great power competition.

 

Can the United States stop Nord Stream 2 at this point? Is the ICC an international institution worth protecting? Will the long-view of foreign policy return in a post-Trump America? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.



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Jul 30, 2020
Episode 34: Aristotle and Hypersonic Weapons - The Future of Arms Control
26:22
In our second "Better Know a State Department Bureau" series, Fault Lines welcomes Dr. Chris Ford, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation. How should America respond to Russian non-compliance? How can the US work with China to control nuclear proliferation? How does ancient Greek and Roman philosophy play into all of this? Dr. Ford and host Lester Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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Jul 23, 2020
Episode 33: Beijing and America's Broken Immigration System
36:47
Hong Kong’s National Security Law went into effect and information continues to flow out about the genocide in Xinjiang. At home, American Universities tangle with ICE while the U.S. Agency for Global Media is letting visa for foreign journalists working for Voice of America expire. How can America push back against Beijing’s continued consolidation of power? Should Hongkongers be granted asylum in the United States? How does this play into the larger immigration issues bubbling up during the pandemic? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Jul 16, 2020
Episode 32: U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger and the View from Congress
30:17
Fault Lines welcomes Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-16). Representative Kinzinger has served in Congress since 2011 and currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to joining Congress, Kinzinger served in the Air Force in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. How should Congress respond to the Russia bounty scandal? How can the U.S. push back against China online? What is the biggest national security threat facing America? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Jul 09, 2020
Episode 31: Bounties and Berlin - Turmoil with Russia
39:18
This weekend, news broke that Russia was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militias for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan. Dana, Jamil, Les, and first time guest Loren Dealy Mahler, NSI Visiting Fellow and former director of legislative affairs at the National Security Council, discuss how America should respond to these revelations and the recent announcement that the America’s military presence in Germany will be significantly reduced. What does this mean for US-Russia relations? How should America be standing up for our troops in the field? Will the US and Germany ever be on the same page? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Jul 02, 2020
Episode 30: Systemic Racism and National Security
30:43
Fault Lines welcomes Bishop Garrison, Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First and co-Founder and President of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. Where do the diversity problems in national security come from? Why are some military bases named after confederate officers? How can individuals and organizations promote a more diverse and inclusive national security community? Bishop and Fault Lines Guest Host Jamil Jaffer, answer these questions and many more!

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Jun 25, 2020
Episode 29: A House Divided
47:52
The murder of George Floyd on May 25th has led to waves of protests across America and around the world for racial justice. Dana, Jamil, Les, and first time guest Harry Wingo discuss the protests and how racism and discrimination has impacted the national security community. What is the role of national security leaders in the first for justice? How have foreign governments been using this opportunity to push their agendas? Can America seize this opportunity to make real changes which can set an example for the rest of the world? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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Jun 18, 2020
Episode 28: Syria and Libya - Clone Wars?
34:22

Fault Lines welcomes Jennifer Cafarella, NSI Visiting Fellow and National Security Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War. Jenny recently testified before the House Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism alongside Fault Lines regular Dana Stroul on the Crisis in Idlib. How has the situation in Syria evolved since March? What role do Russia and Turkey play in the region? Are the same dynamics at play in Libya and across the Middle East broadly? Jenny and Fault Lines Host Les Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!




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Jun 11, 2020
Episode 27: TREATIES - What are they good for?
38:24

The President recently announced his intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty and is considering restarting nuclear testing. Dana, Jamil, Jodi, and Les discuss the state of arms control and how the US should approach international agreements. Is it better for the United States to model behavior by staying in bad treaties or leave them? Can the US prioritize non-proliferation and modernization of the nuclear triad? How should we deal with our allies who are stuck in the middle? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.




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Jun 05, 2020
Episode 26: INL - Better Know a State Department Bureau
30:08
Fault Lines welcomes the Honorable Kirsten Madison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). What role does the INL Bureau have in combating corruption abroad? What is the current state of the global war on drugs? How has punk music impacted how Assistant Secretary Madison views her job? Assistant Secretary Madison and host Les Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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May 28, 2020
Episode 25: Attempted Coups and Virus Crackdowns in Latin America
35:24
Nicholás Maduro and Jair Bolsonaro have had a very tumultuous month. Dana, Jamil, Les, and returning guest Andrew Borene discuss the failed coup attempt failed in Venezuela, and Brazil’s new status as a COVID-19 hotspot. How should America treat friends and foes in South America? Should America place sanctions on a democratic country? Can our hosts find a way to link all of this back to Iran? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault lines.

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May 21, 2020
Episode 24: The Solarium and the Private Sector with Ron Gula and Megan Brown
39:09
Fault Lines welcomes Ron Gula, NSI Advisory Board member and President of Gula Tech Adventures, and Megan Brown, NSI Senior Fellow and Partner at Wiley Rein LLP to discuss the recent Cyberspace Solarium Report. How will the Cyberspace Solarium Report impact the private sector? Why did the report punt on the encryption debate? Does any of this actually get implemented? Ron, Megan, and Fault Lines Host Les Munson answer these questions and many more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines!

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May 14, 2020
Episode 23: Is the Middle East Getting Messier?
39:29
While the pandemic continues to take its toll around the world, the issues in the Middle East continue unabated. Les, Jodi, Jamil, and Dana put the Middle East under the microscope this week and discuss the protests in Lebanon, the war in Yemen, and the dysfunctional government in Iraq. Why are the Lebanese back in the streets? Is it possible for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen to get worse? How much can America actually influence outcomes in the Middle East? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.

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May 07, 2020
Episode 22: The Cyber Solarium with Dr. Samantha Ravich
38:46
Fault Lines welcomes Dr. Samantha Ravich, former Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Cheney and Commissioner of the Cyber Solarium Commission which recently released their report. What is layered deterrence? Is it possible to create a continuity of economy plan? What is a solarium anyway? Dr. Ravich and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more!

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Apr 30, 2020
Episode 21: WHO to blame?
42:38

Last week President Trump announced a 90 day freeze on funding to the World Health Organization. Dana, Jamil, Les, and first-time guest Andrew Borene, NSI Senior Fellow and former Associate Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense, discuss this move and how our understanding of the origins of the virus are changing. Is President Trump crippling a vital international organization? Is the WHO acting as a mouthpiece for dictators? Could this pandemic have been stopped through better safety protocols at a Wuhan lab? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.




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Apr 23, 2020
Episode 20: The Race to 5G with Andy Keiser
38:00
Fault Lines welcomes Andy Keiser, NSI Fellow, former Senior Advisor to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and recent author of The Race to 5G: Securing the Win. What is 5G? How does it impact the national security of America and its allies? Why are some Brits attacking 5G towers? Andy and host Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more!

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Apr 16, 2020
Episode 19: Aid in the time of CoVid
49:58

CoVid-19 continues to impact the state of play at home and internationally. Dana, Jamil, Jodi, and Les discuss the international aid provided in the most recent coronavirus relief bill. What do we owe others when we are in a crisis? Should America relieve sanctions on Iran? How are our hosts fairing during quarantine with their children? All these questions and more answered in this week’s Fault Lines.





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Apr 09, 2020
Episode 18: Combating Extremism with Farah Pandith
39:03
Fault Lines welcomes Farah Pandith, first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities and recent author of How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat. What role do young people have to play in countering extremism? Where do we stand in the war on terror? Has America invested enough in soft power? What does Harry Potter have to do with it? Farah and Fault Lines Host Les Munson, answer these questions and many more!

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Apr 02, 2020
Episode 17: Foreign Policy Quarantined
41:47
CoVid-19 is spreading across the globe and is impacting every aspect of American life. Dana, Jamil, Les, and returning guest Katrina Mulligan, discuss the implications of the virus on American foreign policy, our adversaries, and our allies. What role should the United States play internationally during this crisis? How is our response different from China’s? Was “America First” right all along? Answers to these questions and more on this week’s episode of Fault Lines.

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Mar 26, 2020
Episode 16: Maximum Pressure
33:33
Fault Lines welcomes Rich Goldberg, former Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council, to discuss U.S.-Iranian Policy. Rich laid out the policy of the current administration in a recent op-ed in the New York Times. What should Americans know about this "maximum pressure" campaign? If not regime change, what should the goal of U.S.-Iranian policy be? What should a new deal look like? Rich and guest host, Dana Stroul, answer these questions and many more!

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Mar 19, 2020
Episode 15: Peace in Our Time?
32:36
On February 29th, Zalmay Khalilzad, America’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the State Department, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, a representative of the Taliban, signed the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan. This agreement comes of the heels of a temporary cease fire and purports to be a stepping stone to intra-Afghan negotiations. Andy, Dana, Jamil, and first time guest Katrina Mulligan, Managing Director for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, discuss the implications of the peace agreement on the ground in Afghanistan and politically in the United States. In this episode, Andy commends Amrullah Saleh's piece in Time and Dana reads from Representative Tom Malinowski's op-ed in the Washington Post.

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Mar 12, 2020
Episode 14: Can the U.S. Solve Foreign Crises Before They Start?
35:25
Fault Lines welcomes George Ingram, Senior Fellow in Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, to discuss US assistance in fragile states. George recently served as an advisor to a congressionally-mandated task force looking at this issue. Can American foreign aid programs address the root causes of war and violent extremism? How are Congress and the Trump administration using the foreign policy toolbox to address crises before they start? How are our foreign aid programs fitting in as the US pivots toward the Great Power Competition with China? George and our host, Lester Munson, answer these questions and many more!

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Mar 05, 2020
Episode 13: China's Big Bet In Africa
38:35
China is spending $20 billion or more each year in Africa and inundating the continent with infrastructure projects, cheap phones, television programming, and communications networks. Why is China making this bet and is it working? How are the Trump administration and Congress responding and what is at stake for American interests? Guest NSI Fellow Andy Keiser sits in again with Jodi, Dana and Lester to discuss these questions and many more.

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Feb 27, 2020
Episode 12: Hot Topics in the Arctic
40:17
What do Russia, China and Canada all have in common?  All disagree - in one manner or another - with American policy goals in the Arctic, where climate change is driving opportunities and challenges for US policy-makers.  In this episode, former senior intelligence official Jim Danoy discusses his paper, “The Arctic: Securing the High Ground,” with host Lester Munson.  They discuss the fascinating policy dilemmas posed by the unique geography of the North Pole and how the United States can exploit new opportunities to maximum benefit.

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Feb 20, 2020
Episode 11: Gobsmackingly Apparent
41:08
Our favorite foreign policy nerds - with the addition of NSI Visiting Fellow Andy Keiser - discuss the geopolitics of the Coronavirus that has massively impacted China and its economy.  Listen in as Jodi, Dana, Lester, and Andy discuss what the Coronavirus pandemic may mean for China's place in the world, China's internal politics, and the ins-and-outs of the U.S. response.

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Feb 13, 2020
Episode 10: War and Peace, or: How Do You Solve a Problem Named Putin?
41:28
Jodi, Dana, Jamil and Lester discuss constitutional changes in Moscow, the future of Vladimir Putin, how the United States should handle Russian aggression and whether Republicans and Democrats have any common ground on the matter. 

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Jan 30, 2020
Episode 9: Soleimani Fallout
37:41
Jamil, Dana, Jodi and Lester discuss the current state of affairs between Iran and the United States, for better and for worse. A vigorous and pointed analysis of congressional war powers is not to be missed. The first Fault Lines Podcast of 2020 is a humdinger! And that's no malarkey!

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Jan 15, 2020
Episode 8: The Empire Strikes Out?
42:52
In our last episode of 2019, Dana, Jamil and Lester welcome special guest Elisa Catalano, former Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council and former Senior Policy Advisor at the State Department, to the podcast. The group takes on the Washington Post’s 6-part series on the war in Afghanistan and the foreign policy aspects of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. 

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Dec 19, 2019
Episode 6: Return of the Founder
47:48
The original Rum Bunch is back and talking about protests in Hong Kong and oppression in Xinjiang. In this China-focused episode, our band of former Hill staffers discuss what makes these two very important challenges to American values distinct, why the president and Congress treat them very differently, and how the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties see the democracy protests in Hong Kong and China's repression of its own people in Xinjiang Province in basically the same way.

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Dec 12, 2019
Episode 5: Groundhog Day All Over Again?
46:44

What better way to begin Thanksgiving week than to listen to our motley bunch discuss Turkey… and Iran? Jodi, Dana, Lester and guest Matthew Heiman review protests in Iran, Turkish incursions into Syria, and how Washington is responding. Is it “Groundhog Day” in Iran? (What would Bill Murray do?)

Also included: a serious discussion of changing power dynamics in the Middle East and how that affects American interests.



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Nov 25, 2019
Episode 4
36:28
In an interview format this week, Fault Lines spends some quality time with Norman Roule, former National Intelligence Manager for Iran. Lester and Norm discuss the past forty years of difficult US-Iran relations, the nature of the Tehran regime, and possible paths forward for the Iranian people.

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Nov 14, 2019
Episode 3
41:28
This week, Dana, Jodi, Lester and guest commentator Matthew Heiman take on the seeming wave of popular protests seen around the world in places like Lebanon, Chile, Iraq, France, Algeria and Sudan. They also discussed the dilemma for U.S. policymakers when a democratic friend of the United States, like India or Brazil, makes policy decisions that may not be in accord with U.S. interests and lastly, the group briefly talked about the recent killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

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Oct 31, 2019
Episode 2
37:32
This week, Dana, Jamil and Lester delve into two hot spots. First, in Syria, they explored the implications of President Trump's abrupt pullout of American troops for the region and American politics. Second, they'll take a look at the dustup between the NBA and China, and what it might mean for the politics of US national security - and they'll also decide who is the greatest basketball player of all-time.

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Oct 17, 2019
Episode 1
42:32
This week, Fault Line experts delve into two hot spots. First, in the Middle East, where Iran attacked Saudi oil facilities, they examine possible reactions from President Trump, who is now without former National Security Advisor John Bolton, as well as the American public's limit regarding Iranian aggression. They also argued over whether China, with an ongoing trade dispute with the US, upcoming elections in Taiwan, and continued global attention on China's crackdown on Uighurs, tempers its response to near open revolt in Hong Kong, and whether Congress is going to do something in light of the Administration’s seeming disinterest.

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Oct 01, 2019