Providence is a journal of Christianity and American foreign policy equipping the American mind to engage the real world.
Episode 81 | (In)vincible Ignorance andJust Getting it Wrong About Hamas (Keith Pavlischek)
Marc LiVecche hosts COL Keith Pavlischek, USMC (RET), long-time Providence contributor for a long-form discussion about the Israel-Hamas War. Points of focus include getting the meaning of proportionality right, the criticality of making basic distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, causal and moral responsibility, and much else.
Among the highlights is their imagined scenario in which they are talking with an honest college student who wants to know how the goal of eliminating Hamas–and the known if undesired cost in innocent lives that will go along with that–is compatible with Christian moral commitments guiding the moral prosecution of war.
* Photo: LiVecche and Pavlischek at the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem, in 2017 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War. With colleagues from the Philos Project, they had a private audience with Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and then Deputy Minister within the Prime Minister’s office. Check out an LiVecche’s discussion with him on Israeli history, focusing on the 6 Day War: “One-Hundred-Thirty-Two Hours and Fifty Years“
Michael Brendan Dougherty, “On Proportionality in War” National Review, October 10, 2023
Keith Pavlischek, “Proportionality in Warfare,” from The New Atlantis, No. 27 (Spring 2010), pp. 21-34
Marc LiVecche, “Just War 101,” from providencemag.com
Mattias Küntzel, Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism, and the Roots of 9/11
Bob Dylan, “Man of Peace” and “Neighborhood Bully”
Episode #80 | How America Combats Human Trafficking (Rebecca Munson)
Rebecca Munson—department chair for government and public policy at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government—talks with Mark Melton about how the United States has combatted human trafficking globally. She explains how big of a problem human trafficking is and assesses America’s role in combatting this crime while comparing it to the European approach. Munson then compares and contrasts the crisis in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Mexico and discusses how foreign governments often choose to combat human trafficking only after the US threatens sanctions. Traditionally, this issue as received bipartisan support, and Munson looks at how the Trump and Biden administrations have addressed the problem.
For Further Reading:
“The World Confronts Modern Slavery, Offering Hope,” by Rebecca Munson: https://providencemag.com/2021/12/world-confronts-modern-slavery-offering-hope/
“Hope for Human Rights despite China’s Threats,” by Rebecca Munson: https://providencemag.com/2021/12/hope-human-rights-despite-china-threats/
“Biden Should Follow Trump’s Example on Combating Human Trafficking,” by Rebecca Munson: https://providencemag.com/2020/12/joe-biden-donald-trump-combating-human-trafficking/
“Cold War with China Hits Fashion Industry during H&M Boycott,” by Mark Melton: https://providencemag.com/2021/04/geopolitical-conflict-china-hits-fashion-industry-xinjiang-cotton-hm-boycott-uighurs-forced-labor/
Episode #79 | China as Democracy Falls in Hong Kong (Olivia Enos)
Olivia Enos of the Heritage Foundation speaks with Mark Melton about how the Chinese government has been snuffing out liberty in Hong Kong. She discusses the recent arrests of Cardinal Zen and pro-democracy advocates and explains what they mean for religious liberty in the city-state. She also analyzes the Vatican’s deal with the Chinese Communist Party and warns the Catholic Church against improving relations with the Beijing regime. Enos wrote an article for Providence making the case that the United States government should give Hong Kong refugees “Priority-2 Status,” so she explains what this means, why it is necessary, and how the Biden administration could make this change immediately. After traveling to Europe, Enos noticed how European governments were not taking the China threat seriously as both Republicans and Democrats in America do. So she discussed the dangers of Europe being too lax on the CCP and does not take the US warnings seriously. Even though there is bipartisan consensus that China is a threat to US foreign policy interests, she explains how the Biden administration's approach to Beijing has been mixed. Uighurs still face unprecedented persecution in China, and last fall Congress passed the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act—which Christine McDaniel and Weifeng Zhong discussed on the Foreign Policy ProvCast in February. As part of the process to implement that Act, Congress has been listening to public comments, including from Enos. She explains where this Act stands today and other developments with the Uighur genocide.
Here are some of the mentioned articles, reports, and podcasts:
“The Latest Arrests of Pro-Democracy Leaders in Hong Kong Lend Urgency to Extending Refugee Status to Persecuted Hong Kongers,” by Olivia Enos in Providence: https://providencemag.com/2022/05/latest-arrests-pro-democracy-leaders-hong-kong-lend-urgency-extending-refugee-status-to-persecuted-hong-kongers-cardinal-joseph-zen/
“Will Europe Ignore U.S. Warnings About China Like They Ignored Warnings of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine?” by Olivia Enos in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/windriver/2022/05/06/the-art-of-defense-mitigating-cyber-exposure-with-threat-modeling/?sh=48be56cc4b15
Foreign Policy ProvCast, Ep. 74 | America’s New Law on Forced Labor in Xinjiang, featuring Christine McDaniel and Weifeng Zhong in Providence: https://providencemag.com/podcast/foreign-policy-provcast-ep-74-americas-new-law-on-forced-labor-in-xinjiang/
“The Battle for China’s Spirit,” by Sarah Cook in FreedomHouse: https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/FH_ChinasSprit2016_FULL_FINAL_140pages.pdf
“Uyghur County in China Has Highest Prison Rate in World,” by Huizhong Wu and Dake Kang in Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/china-prisons-uyghurs-religion-0dd1a31f9be29d32c584543af4698955
Episode #78 | The Russia-Ukraine War after the Battle of Kyiv (Paul Miller)
In this episode, Mark Melton speaks with Paul Miller about what may happen in Ukraine now that the Battle of Kyiv appears to be over and the war is moving into a new, probably longer phase. In addition to discussing the current situation in the country, Miller covers what Russia’s relations with the United States may look like in the medium to long term, what the war should teach us about US-China relations, the possibility that Russia may recover and rearm from this war, how a new cold war is forming, and lessons from the old Cold War for today.
Episode #77 | How to Help Ukraine Effectively without a NATO-Russia War (Lt. Col. Tyson K. Wetzel)
In this episode, Mark Melton speaks with Lieutenant Colonel Tyson K. Wetzel (US Air Force) about how the United States can help Ukraine fight Russia effectively without NATO and Russia getting into a war. Wetzel helped conduct a survey and write a report for the Atlantic Council that created a “strategic risk calculator.” The survey asked foreign policy experts to consider various ways NATO allies could help Ukraine and ranked both how effective that assistance would be and how much it risked escalation. Wetzel covers the findings of that survey and lists some of the different weapons the US could still give. He also talks about how previous US aid helped Ukraine fight the war to its current stalemate, why Russia used a hypersonic missile in the war, how China could help keep Russia in the fight, and the probability of a wider war.
This podcast was recorded on March 21, 2022.
Lieutenant Colonel Tyson K. Wetzel is the 2021-22 senior US Air Force fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. His comments are his own views and do not reflect the official position of the US Air Force or the Department of Defense.
To read the Atlantic Council survey and report, click here: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/content-series/the-big-story/what-are-the-risks-and-benefits-of-us-nato-military-options-in-ukraine-our-strategic-risk-calculator-has-answers/
Episode #76 | Just War Perspective on the Ukraine War (Marc LiVecche and Rebeccah Heinrichs)
In this wide-ranging and impassioned conversation about the war in Ukraine, Providence editors Marc LiVecche and Rebeccah Heinrichs, also of the Hudson Institute, discuss the latest developments, the intersection of just war reasoning and the facts on the ground, future options against Putin, how best to assist President Zelensky and his brave compatriots, and the delicate but critical question of regaining escalatory dominance against the Russian regime.
Exceptional Discussion and Analysis
As a US military officer and a Catholic Christian, it’s such a joy and blessing to have a pub like Providence present thoughtful foreign policy and national security analysis through the lens of the Christian tradition. Where most policy journals defer to the undefined good of “the national interest” or other abstractions, like “peace” and “prosperity”, Providence is alone in its understanding of world affairs as an extension of the affairs of the individual soul: flawed, wounded, beset by original sin, where earthly justice and peace is worthwhile but certainly incremental, and where final peace can only come through obedient alignment of the will to Jesus Christ.
Fantastic podcast. Thoughtful, qualified engaging speakers. Keep them coming!