The American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen address the questions we’re all asking in their podcast, “What the Hell Is Going On?” In conversational, informative and irreverent episodes, Pletka and Thiessen interview policymakers and experts, asking tough, probing questions about the most important foreign policy and security challenges facing the world today.
WTH is Havana Syndrome? Catherine Herridge discusses whether Russia is responsible for covert neurological attacks on US personnel
Over the past five years, more than 130 US government personnel have been impacted by a strange neurological condition known as "Havana Syndrome,” causing chronic headaches, memory problems, loss of stability and other brain injuries. First identified in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and largely overlooked by the US government, evidence increasingly suggests that Havana Syndrome may be the result of targeted attacks by Moscow.
CBS’ Catherine Herridge joins Marc and Dany to discuss her investigation into Havana Syndrome, evidence that the condition is the result of a targeted attack, and why Moscow is likely responsible. They also talk about the US response and how to help those affected.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning senior investigative correspondent for CBS News covering national security and intelligence. Prior to joining CBS News, Herridge was the chief intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel and worked as a TV and radio correspondent for ABC News in London.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Herridge-Final-Transcript-7.21.21.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
WTH is going on in Cuba? The people are demanding freedom; will this be the moment the Communist dictatorship falls?
The people of Cuba are rising up against their government and calling for freedom and basic rights. Enabled by new access to social media, protestors are demanding liberty after decades of political and economic abuses exacerbated by the weight of the pandemic. Will the Cuban people finally throw off their dictators?
Roger Noriega joined Dany and Marc to talk about the decades-long political and economic oppression that led to the current demonstrations, how social media has enabled opposition to the regime, and how the US and international community can help the Cuban people win their freedom.
Roger Noriega is the founder and managing director of the consultant firm VisiónAméricas LLC. He has served as both US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and as US Ambassador to the Organization of American States. Noriega was also a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 2005-2020.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Noriega-Final-Transcript-7.14.21.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
WTH is going on with inflation? Are rising prices a temporary, post-COVID phenomenon or here to stay?
Inflation is taking off across the country, with prices up 5% in May compared with a year ago and the US recording its highest rate since 2008. Everything costs more, and many Americans are worried about whether inflation is simply a temporary, post-COVID phenomenon, or a sign of deeper economic issues.
AEI scholar Michael Strain joined the show to discuss the causes behind rising prices, the Fed’s response, and how government stimulus during the pandemic has shaped economic policy. Marc, Dany and Mike also talked about how to take on long-term problems facing the American economy.
Michael Strain is the Director of Economic Policy Studies and the Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at AEI. Before joining AEI, he worked in the Center for Economic Studies at the US Census Bureau and in the macroeconomics research group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/7.6.21-Strain-transcript.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
WTH is going on in Afghanistan? Gen. Jack Keane on the US withdrawal, Taliban takeover, and Biden’s failure to learn from history
Twenty years after 9/11, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is moving faster than expected, and so is the Taliban’s takeover. The Taliban have already taken more than 50 of the country’s 400 districts since May, with the US intelligence community predicting that the Afghan government could fall within six months of Biden’s withdrawal.
General Jack Keane joined Dany and Marc to discuss America’s strategic goals in Afghanistan, why the Taliban are making such strong gains, and the danger that a Taliban takeover would pose to US national security.
General Keane is a retired 4 star general, former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army, the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War and Fox News Senior Strategic Analyst.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/6.30.21-Keane-final-transcript.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
WTH is critical race theory? How a philosophy that inspired Marxism, Nazism, and Jim Crow is making its way into our schools, and what we can do
The national conversation about race is making its way through the US education system. Seemingly overnight, debates about whether to teach children critical race theory have taken hold of state legislatures and school board meetings across the country. But what exactly is critical race theory and why is it so controversial?
Princeton’s Dr. Allen Guelzo joined Dany and Marc to explain critical race theory’s philosophical underpinnings and why it poses a threat to American democracy. Dr. Guelzo also discusses ways to combat its spread throughout American society and the US education system.
Dr. Guelzo is a New York Times best-seller author, American historian and commentator on public issues. He is also Director of the James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship and Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/6.23.21-Guelzo-transcript.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
WTH happened at the Biden-Putin summit? Leon Aron on why the US-Russia meeting was a win for Putin
President Joe Biden returned from his first overseas trip this week, wrapping up the festivities with a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Talking tough on Putin ahead of the meeting, the Biden administration advertised a hard-hitting discussion about the countries’ relationship and Russian misdeeds.
Dr. Leon Aron joined the show to walk us through what actually happened at the long-anticipated summit. He explains that while the leaders discussed cyberattacks, arms control, and the US-Russia relationship, Biden gained little to nothing from the meeting, while the summit legitimized the Putin regime.
Dr. Aron, who was born in Moscow and came to the United States as a refugee in 1978, is a resident scholar and the director of Russian studies at AEI. He studies Russian domestic and foreign policy, US-Russia relations, and the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/6.17.21-Aron-transcript.pdf (Download the transcript here.)
Great, informative content... just increase the mic quality and this will take off!
I learn so much from this podcast!
The origin of CRT segment is especially one of the best!
I learn a lot
I learn a lot from this podcast. I most recently listened to the Critical Race Theory podcast and it was terrific. Pletka and Thiessen often disagree, which leads to good dialogue and additional insights. And Dany, I am always on your side! Looking forward to future episodes -