Overwatch, an Institute for the Study of War podcast, goes beyond the news headlines to give listeners analysis and commentary on issues related to U.S. national security and American foreign policy. The episodes feature discussions with experts and practitioners to explore what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the U.S.
What Happens When Iran’s Supreme Leader Dies?
The struggle to succeed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will have significant consequences for Iran, the Middle East, and the US. In this episode of Overwatch, Nicholas Heras, Director of Government Relations at ISW, and Nicholas Carl, the Iran Team Lead at the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, discuss the leading candidates to succeed Khamenei and how the process of picking the next Supreme Leader could affect US policy.
ISIS Activity Surges in Major Syrian Displacement Camp
ISIS has carried out more acts of violence in the Al Hawl displacement camp in the first quarter of 2021 than in all of 2020. The militant group exploits camp members for propaganda and recruitment, fueling its activities elsewhere in northeast Syria. The US-partnered Syrian Democratic Forces has launched an operation to quell and contain ISIS activity in the camp, but the operation’s long-term prospects for success are grim without consistent international support.
The Dangers of Disengagement: Gen. David H. Petraeus on Withdrawing US Troops from Afghanistan
Civil war and an unrestrained al Qaeda are all but certain should the US withdraw its forces from Afghanistan in May per the US-Taliban deal signed over a year ago. American disengagement will embolden revisionist powers and worsen security in the region. On this episode of Overwatch, Frederick W. Kagan and General David H. Petraeus discuss the US-Taliban agreement, the consequences of a US withdrawal, and a sustainable way forward that protects American interests and those of the Afghan people.
What Does Iran's Presidential Election Mean for Biden's Policy?
The results of the Iranian presidential election in June 2021 will determine whether Iran shifts toward greater cooperation or increasing conflict with the United States. The elections come as the Biden administration is trying to reboot diplomacy with Iran. In this episode of Overwatch, Nicholas Heras, Frederick Kagan, and Nicholas Carl discuss nuances in Iran's upcoming presidential cycle that will affect what the Biden administration can expect to achieve diplomatically with Iran.
Russia’s Putin Exploits War, Crisis, and Disease to Expand his Power in 2020
Vladimir Putin enjoyed a successful 2020 despite a slate of setbacks to his agenda. New constitutional amendments will allow him to rule the Russian state for life. He exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and crises in Belarus and Ukraine. The collapse in oil and gas prices ravaged the fuel-driven Russian economy but failed to derail Putin’s campaigns. On this episode of Overwatch, ISW Russia Team Lead Mason Clark and George Barros discuss Putin and the Kremlin’s biggest successes and setbacks in 2020.
What Will Biden Do on Iran?
Tensions between the United States and Iran are high as a transition in administrations has happened in Washington, DC. President Joe Biden and his top national security advisers want to get back into the nuclear deal with Iran and make it stronger if Iran is willing to get back into compliance with the terms of the deal. In this episode, Nicholas Heras and Frederick Kagan discuss what we can expect in the looming delicate diplomatic dance between the United States and Iran.
The best summary of the Syrian War to date and understanding how Iran poses greatest, short term serious threat to regional and world stability and human rights worse even than the greater long term geopolitical threat of China. Only criticism is that the interviewer’s voice is too soft.
Good Content, Stop Reading
The podcast content is excellent. However, the clear script reading impairs listenability. If it were more conversational and less robotic, it would consistently be at the top of my list.
Great Foreign Policy Podcast
Very informative. Jennifer Cafarella and her team of analysts give you an in depth look at what’s happening in key conflict areas in short, very digestible segments!