Join Crisis Group Interim President Richard Atwood and Board Member and Harvard Law School Professor Naz Modirzadeh as they dive deep into the conflicts that rage around the globe with Crisis Group analysts and special guests. These experts bring a unique, on-the-ground perspective to understanding both why those conflicts persist — and what could bring them to an end.
Episode 35: UN Security Council Crankiness and Antonio Guterres' Re-election
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan. They reflect back on Antonio Guterres’ first term as UN Secretary-General now that he is seeking a second. They discuss his approach to crisis diplomacy, some of the challenges and some of the successes over the past five years. They also talk about Security Council dynamics, particularly the fraught relations among its most powerful members, and what those mean for its role and that of the Secretary-General in peacemaking. They look ahead to the big challenges Guterres is likely to face in the next five years.
For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Multilateral Diplomacy page.
Episode 34: Delayed Palestinian Polls, Israeli Politics and U.S. Middle East Policy
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project, which works in partnership with Crisis Group on Israel/Palestine. They talk about why President Mahmoud Abbas indefinitely postponed Palestinian elections, and why not holding the vote is a wasted opportunity and a disappointment to many Palestinians. They discuss recent Israeli elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s struggles to form a government and whether those make any difference to Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. They also talk about what the Biden administration’s Israel/Palestine policy might entail, prospects for a “rights-based” approach and the recent Human Rights Watch report that labels Israeli policies toward the Palestinians as “apartheid”.
For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Israel/Palestine page.
Episode 33: What Déby’s Death Means for Chad and the Region
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s Project Director for Central Africa Richard Moncrieff and Crisis Group’s Libya expert Claudia Gazzini about what the death of Chadian President Idriss Déby means for the country and for the Sahel region and the connection between Chadian rebel groups and Libya. They unpack possible scenarios now that Déby’s son, Mahamat Déby, has assumed power and formed a transitional military council, provoking popular protests in response. They look at what drove the Front for Change and Concord’s (FACT) recent rebel incursion from Libya into Chad that led to Déby’s death. They also discuss Chad’s military engagement against jihadist groups in the Lake Chad basin and the Sahel, and what the future might hold for those operations.
For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Chad page.
Episode 32: Rising Russia-Ukraine Tensions and the West
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s program director for Europe and Central Asia, Olga Oliker, about rising tensions between Russia, on one hand, and Ukraine and Western capitals on the other, over Moscow’s recent military build-up at the Ukrainian border. They talk about the motives behind Russia’s deployments, how they are being perceived in Kyiv, the situation in separatist-held parts of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and why the peace process has stalled. Olga describes the broader standoff between Russia and the West, of which disagreements over Ukraine are an important – but far from the only – factor. They also look at how U.S. and European leaders should respond and what might help reverse the dangerous escalation in Donbas, with a view to returning to the 2020 ceasefire agreement and peace talks.
For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ukraine page.
Episode 31: Is The Gulf Dispute Actually Over?
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s Senior Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa, Dina Esfandiary, about what drove Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among other Gulf states, to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, why the Gulf Arab countries announced an end to the crisis in January 2021 and whether the rift is truly over.
They reflect on what this means for the foreign policies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and how their leaders see their priorities and challenges in the region. They also discuss what the spat has meant for crises across the region where the GCC countries are involved.
Episode 30: How Afghanistan Views the U.S. Troop Drawdown
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Afghanistan, Andrew Watkins, about the fast-approaching 1 May deadline for U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the stalled peace process and ongoing violence across the country. In February 2020, the U.S. struck a deal with Taliban leaders. It entailed the U.S. pledging to withdraw its forces and the Taliban agreeing not to allow Afghanistan to be used for international terrorism and to enter talks with the Afghan government. Those Afghan peace talks have made little progress, even as the deadline for the U.S. drawdown looms. Andrew talks about how Afghan factions view the U.S. withdrawal, what neighbours and other regional powers think and dangers for the country in the months ahead.
For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on Afghanistan page.
Very clear, pertinent and up to date analysis. Listen to this every week! Thank you
The podcast looks at different issues or situations in the hybrid form of a conversation and presentation, building on existing Crisis Group work or emerging concerns.
Very useful both professionally and personally, thank you.
What do you expect?
It’s Crisis-Group level of analysis packaged into a well-produced podcast. What more could one wish for?