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Each episode of Why It Matters breaks down an issue that is shaping our world's future. Join host Gabrielle Sierra as she speaks with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these questions head on. Fueled by the minds at the Council on Foreign Relations, Why It Matters brings some of the world's most compelling stories home to you.

Why It Matters Council on Foreign Relations

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Each episode of Why It Matters breaks down an issue that is shaping our world's future. Join host Gabrielle Sierra as she speaks with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these questions head on. Fueled by the minds at the Council on Foreign Relations, Why It Matters brings some of the world's most compelling stories home to you.

    Podcast Takeover: Nuclear Security, From The President’s Inbox

    Podcast Takeover: Nuclear Security, From The President’s Inbox

    Why It Matters is pleased to present an episode from its sister podcast, The President’s Inbox. Today, U.S. national security is dependent on international nuclear agreements. How does the world regulate nuclear weapons as countries continue to advance their arsenals?


     


    Featured Guests: 


    James M. Lindsey (Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations)  


    Rose Gottemoeller (Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer, Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Center for International Security and Cooperation)


     


    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at https://www.cfr.org/podcasts/podcast-takeover-nuclear-security-presidents-inbox

    • 33 Min.
    Spying 101

    Spying 101

    The glamour and thrill of espionage, brought to life on screen by characters such as James Bond, have long captivated imaginations. But this profession is deeply misunderstood, and it is always changing. Today, spycraft hangs in the balance as new technologies emerge and societies change. 


     


    Featured Guests: 


    Edward Lucas (Senior Fellow, Center for European Policy Analysis) 


    Emily Harding (Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies)


     


    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at https://www.cfr.org/podcasts/spying-101

    • 33 Min.
    Perspective on Afghanistan, With Richard N. Haass

    Perspective on Afghanistan, With Richard N. Haass

    The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country, has prompted a moment of national debate about the war’s cost and legacy. Many are asking what went wrong and what the conflict accomplished. 


    For insight, Why It Matters turned to CFR President Richard N. Haass, who has spent four decades studying and advising on Afghanistan. As head of policy planning for the State Department under U.S. President George W. Bush, and later as U.S. coordinator for the future of Afghanistan, Haass was in the room when many of the earliest and most important decisions about the war were shaped. In this episode, he offers his critique of how the war unfolded and raises potential lessons the United States should consider as it turns its eyes to future challenges.


     


    Featured Guest: 


    Richard N. Haass (CFR President)




    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at https://www.cfr.org/podcasts/perspective-afghanistan-richard-n-haass

    • 29 Min.
    Hey, Remember the Olympics? (Flashback Episode)

    Hey, Remember the Olympics? (Flashback Episode)

    Hosting the Olympics is a monumental undertaking that often leaves behind rusted stadiums and financial losses. So why do nations compete to do it? This episode examines the political history of the games, and the soft power that countries hope to gain by hosting them.


     


    Featured Guests: 


    Jules Boykoff (Professor of Political Science, Pacific University) 


    Katharine Moon (Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College)


     


    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/hey-remember-olympics

    • 37 Min.
    Japan's Population Problem

    Japan's Population Problem

    The United States’ alliance with Japan is the centerpiece of U.S. security in Asia, but new demographic challenges from within Japan raise concerns about the future of the region.


     


    Featured Guests: 


    Zach Cooper, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) 


    Motoko Rich, Tokyo Bureau Chief, New York Times 


    Sheila A. Smith, John E. Merow Senior Fellow for Asia Pacific Studies


     


    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/japans-population-problem

    • 29 Min.
    Water Scarcity

    Water Scarcity

    Fresh water is more than just a resource, it is the source of all life. But in many arid regions of the world, water supplies are under pressure from climate change, and outdated rules and infrastructure are making the problem worse. What does the world need to know about water consumption, and how can societies build better systems for a dryer future?


     


    Featured Guests: 


    Mark Giordano (Professor of Geography and Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs, Georgetown University) 


    Sandra Postel (Founder and Director, Global Water Policy Project)


     


    For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/water-scarcity

    • 36 Min.

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