“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.
Jesus take the wheel (before Trump does)
Tommy and Ben talk about abortion rights globally, President Biden’s trip to Europe for G7 and NATO meetings about Ukraine, WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia, Afghanistan, free speech in India and the national security implications of Tuesday’s explosive January 6th committee hearing. Then Tommy talks with journalist Peter Beinart about the human rights issues swirling around President Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East.
Inside Navalny’s operation
Ben lays out the significance of the elections and governmental shakeups in Israel, Colombia, and France and talks through the latest on the war in Ukraine. Then Ben talks with Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov in Copenhagen about Navalny’s fate, his media operation, and Putin’s propaganda machine.
In this special mailbag episode, Tommy and Ben answer listener questions on topics including framing climate change as a national security interest, how both artificial intelligence and migration are going to become headline issues in the years to come, why Democrats are better at foreign policy, Myanmar, their top Pearl Jam albums, career advice for those who want to work in foreign policy, and more. Plus, they offer their takes on the NBA Finals, Taylor Swift, Jared Kushner taking James Patterson's masterclass, and the Saudi golf league.
Justin Trudeau is in studio!
Tommy and Ben interview Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the state of democracy, gun control, Ukraine and the best comedians in Canada. Then they cover the Summit of the Americas, the latest from Ukraine, President Biden’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, why Jared Kushner could be in trouble, how Poland is showing what a post Roe America might look like, why confidence is waning in British PM Boris Johnson, lasers and the Platinum Jubilee got weird.
Ukraine and the global food crisis with Samantha Power
Tommy and Ben cover the latest news from Ukraine, including the EU’s plan to ban most imports of Russian oil, reports that Iran has enough nuclear material to make a bomb, how other countries have prevented gun violence, a major election in Colombia, President Biden meets BTS, the Queen’s Jubilee controversy, and climate activists say let the Mona Lisa eat cake. Then Ben speaks with USAID Administrator Samantha Power about how the war in Ukraine is creating a global food shortage and what we can do to help.
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Biden (sort of?) pledges to defend Taiwan
Tommy and Ben talk about President Biden’s trip to Asia, whether the US would defend Taiwan in a war with China, the latest news from Ukraine, including calls for Ukraine to cut a deal with Russia and the growing food crisis. They also cover a plot to assassinate George W Bush, fascism in Hungary, charges of anti-semitism against progressives and US policy towards Israel, MAGA grifters and Boris Johnson’s party pics. Then Ben talks to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield about her efforts at the UN to help Ukraine and tackle the international food crisis.
The best pod save the world ep. Loved hearing from Trudeau. Great get, guys!!
Doesn’t get better than this
Listening to these gentleman makes me feel like I’m back in grad school listening to a favorite professor leading a class discussion on international affairs. They truly know the material, augmented by their real world experiences working in the Obama White House, and openly display their compassion and desire to make our world a better place through sharing their knowledge. Their motives are pure which seems to be a rarity these days, their guests are fascinating, and the discussions are wonderfully insightful.
A little too biased
Ben Rhodes is a standout great, insightful host. Tommy is a little too juvenile in his commentary. Also, as a Salvadoran-American who has been personally impacted by decades of violence in my home country, their take on the president of El Salvador is very one-dimensional and quite frankly, removed from the opinions of actual Salvadorans on the ground. I would urge them to seek an opposing viewpoint to bring on as an expert to provide some context for their listeners.