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.
E67: Iranian Missile Strike Demonstrates Growing Threat to US Forces in Iraq
A recent Iranian missile attack into Iraqi Kurdistan indicates the growing threat Tehran poses to the United States and its partners in the Middle East. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fired 12 short-range ballistic missiles at Erbil, Iraq, on March 13, targeting an alleged Israeli intelligence site near the construction of the new US consulate. The attack demonstrates the Iranian leadership’s growing willingness to use increasingly aggressive and offensive capabilities to pursue external objectives and pressure regional adversaries. On this episode of Overwatch, Nicholas Carl, the Iran team lead at AEI’s Critical Threats Project, joins us to discuss Iran’s strategic calculus in this context.
New Moderate Political Bloc in Iran May Complicate Supreme Leader’s Succession
A new political bloc is forming in Iran, comprised primarily of relative moderates and reformists seeking to reassert their political influence in the regime. This bloc includes prominent Iranian politicians, such as former President Hassan Rouhani and former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who have become increasingly marginalized in the political establishment in recent years. This bloc could complicate the intra-regime struggle to determine who will succeed the supreme leader when he leaves the scene. On this episode of Overwatch, ISW Research Director Matt McInnis sits down with Iran analysts Nicholas Carl and Kitaneh Fitzpatrick from the Critical Threats Project to discuss this emerging bloc and what it might mean for US-Iran relations.
E65: Russia's Options on Ukraine Remain Varied and Flexible
Russia continues to increase its military forces poised on Ukraine's border. The situation is tense, deadly, and complicated. On this episode, ISW Russia Team Lead Mason Clark explains the current military picture and what he and his team believe will happen next.
Iran’s Proxies to Fight to Maintain Influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in 2022
Iran-backed proxy militant networks played massive roles in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in 2021. On this episode of Overwatch, ISW Research Director Matt McInnis sits down with ISW Researchers Kat Lawlor and Zach Coles to discuss what Iran’s so-called “Axis of Resistance” may do in 2022. Kat and Zach will also offer insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the Iraqi and Lebanese governments.
Russia Faces Rising Stakes at Home and Abroad in 2022
Over the past year, ISW’s Russia team has closely tracked Russia’s efforts to integrate Belarus, its growing threats to Ukraine’s independence, and a range of other malign activities elsewhere in the world. Escalating events in 2022 and Putin's need to set conditions ahead of the Russian Presidential election in 2024 will likely force the Kremlin to either double down upon or pull back from these efforts. On this episode of Overwatch, ISW Russia team lead Mason Clark discusses the inflection points that he and his team will be watching for. He’ll also share some of his predictions for Russia’s activity abroad over the coming year.
Taliban Face Massive Governing Challenges in 2022 as Poverty and Rival Militants Surge
The Taliban’s takeover of the Afghan government in 2021 brought the biggest shift in that country since the US invasion 20 years ago. On this episode of Overwatch, ISW Research Director Matt McInnis sits down with ISW Afghanistan Researcher Peter Mills to talk about what to expect in Afghanistan in 2022. Peter will provide his prognosis for the Taliban government as well as share some specific inflection points that he’ll be watching for.
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.
Extremely informative and insightful
Always an entertaining and informative listen for my morning commute. Would recommend whether you are in a related industry or not!
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!