A national security and foreign policy podcast hosted by FDD founding president Clifford D. May featuring discussions about consequential international affairs and security issues with top experts.
The UN and the Illiberal International Order
With the defeat of the Axis Powers in 1945, the United States emerged as the strongest nation on earth. But rather than emulate hegemons of the past, American leaders envisioned a new and different world order.
Their goal was to organize an "international community," establish "universal human rights," and a growing body of "international law."
This project required new institutions, in particular the United Nations.
Three quarters of a century later, it requires willful blindness not to see that the UN and many other international organizations have become bloated and corrupt bureaucracies, increasingly serving the interests of despots.
To discuss what’s gone wrong and what might be done to prevent the UN and other international organizations from drifting further into the clutches of authoritarians host Clifford D. May is joined by Richard Goldberg, Orde Kittrie, and Emma Reilly.
Rich Goldberg is a Senior Advisor at FDD. Among his many government positions, Rich previously served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the National Security Council, and Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to former Mark Kirk, both when Kirk was in the House and then the Senate. Rich is also an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. We thank him for his service.
Also joining is Orde Kittrie. He, too, is a Senior Fellow at FDD as well as a professor of law. He is a leading expert on nonproliferation law and policy, and an expert on international law, particularly as it relates to the Middle East. On lawfare, well, he wrote the book. It’s title: Lawfare: Law as a Weapon of War. Orde served for over a decade in various legal and policy positions at the U.S. State Department. He was a lead US negotiator at the UN for the treaty on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism and participated in drafting several UN Security Council resolutions.
Joining, too, is Emma Reilly who has worked in the field of human rights for almost 20 years. She joined the UN Human Rights Office in 2012. In 2013, she blew the whistle on an exceptional and dangerous policy: UN bureaucrats giving to the Chinese government the names of dissidents, including US citizens, who planned to engage UN human rights mechanisms. The bureaucracy’s response: To not fix the problem and to attempt to fire her instead.
All three join host Cliff May for this episode to discuss what happened and what, if anything, can be done moving forward to combat this high level of corruption.
Iran’s Road from Monarchy to Islamist Theocracy and Empire
February 11, 2021 is the forty-second anniversary of the revolution that transformed Iran from a Western-aligned monarchy to an anti-Western Islamist theocracy.
Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, one of America’s leading analysts of contemporary Iran, and the author of a new book: “The Last Shah: America, Iran and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty.”
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at FDD, a former officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, and also an expert on Iran — both contemporary and ancient.
Both join host Cliff May to discuss the Revolution.
Thinking Bigly at Foggy Bottom
Starting in 2019, and until the recent change of administration, Peter Berkowitz served as director of Policy Planning at the State Department. That’s the government ideas shop that George Kennan established in 1947.
Dr. Berkowitz was an unusual choice for this job in that his background is scholarly rather than governmental. He holds a doctorate in political science and a law degree, both from Yale University.
He was, and now continues, as the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where he studies, thinks, and writes about the principles of freedom, the American constitutional tradition, political ideas and ideologies, national security, Middle Eastern politics – pretty much anything he likes.
Having emerged from Foggy Bottom, he joins host Cliff May to discuss his adventures in government and the issues he grappled with while there.
Arms Control and the Man
Marshall Billingslea has worked on a range of significant and difficult national security issues.
He served as Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing at the Treasury Department, president of the international Financial Action Task Force, Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy. He’s also been an Assistant Secretary General at NATO.
Last April, he was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control with the personal rank of ambassador — a challenging portfolio over the months that have followed.
To find out more, he joins Cliff May and Bradley Bowman, senior director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power, for a discussion on the latest national security issues.
The Powers that Should Be
Robert Gates served as secretary of defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also has served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and he was a member of the National Security Council in four administrations. In all, he worked for eight presidents of both political parties. And he served in uniform, in the US Air Force, something we at Foreign Podicy consider always worthy of note and praise. He’s written a new book: Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World.
Eric Edelman has served in senior positions in the both the State and Defense Departments. He was the US ambassador to Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush administrations. He retired from the Foreign Service as a career minister. He’s now a senior advisor for FDD.
Both join host Cliff May to discuss a range of national security and defense issues.
The Rise of the Illiberal World Order
In theory, the United Nations and other international organizations express the will of something called “the international community,” while enforcing something called the “liberal international rules-based order.”
In practice, the UN and other international organizations now pursue different agendas.
John Bolton served as National Security Advisor under President Trump, as U.S. ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush, and in senior positions under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
He has long been concerned that the UN and other international organizations are drifting – or being pushed – and what such transformations portend for the United States and other free nations.
Richard Goldberg is a former director on the National Security Council. He also served as a foreign policy advisor in both the House and Senate. He is now a senior advisor at FDD.
Both join Cliff to discuss what’s become of the modern experiment in internationalism.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well articulated discussions
I listen to a lot of podcasts and I love getting to understand multiple perspectives on every political issue. I live how detailed these podcasters get when discussing international issues which many people don’t necessarily have inside access to make a more informed decision. Is it dry sometimes yes but that’s not because of the podcasters and is more because the given issue isn’t like most things a right or wrong decision regarding a foreign policy issue. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who is interested in learn more or adding to their individual research on a particular topic.
They are willfully ignorant at best and misinforming. Subscribe only if you you’d want to listen to Trumpian praise, glorification for Israel, and disdain for the UN, WHO, etc.
The most incisive foreign policy podcast. I only regret that the podcasts are infrequent. Mr. May is outstanding at simplifying complex foreign policies and foreign actors with excellent guests.