Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran’s March Across the Middle East

June 13, 2018

Lebanon and Iraq both recently held elections, which is good news – or is it? Hezbollah, Iran's terrorist foreign legion, is now more firmly in control of Lebanon than ever before. Meanwhile, Iraq still faces many perils, not least from the Islamic Republic of Iran as it pursues its imperialist ambitions in the region.

In episode 14 of Foreign Podicy, host Clifford D. May discusses these developments with Tony Badran, an FDD research fellow born and raised in Lebanon who focuses on the Levant, and Zalmay Khalilzad, born and raised in Afghanistan who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the UN.

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Nothing but Net: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare

May 21, 2018

A peril that may not be on your radar screen: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare (CEEW). Computers and the Internet have made our lives easier but they’ve also left us vulnerable to an arsenal of cyber weapons that threaten us as much as terrorists, guns and bombs.

Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by Dr. Samantha Ravich, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies as well as a principal investigator for FDD’s Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare project, to discuss CEEW, and what must be done to combat it.

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Of Strikes and Strategy: U.S. Policy in Syria

April 24, 2018

War will always be hell – but the laws of war were meant to make wars at least a little less hellish. In Syria, however, the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad – backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and by Russia – has many times used prohibited chemical weapons to murder innocent men, women, and children. President Trump has now twice responded with punitive attacks. What has he achieved and what still needs to be done to protect American interests?

Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has served on the national security teams of both democratic and republican administrations, to discuss the ongoing crises and potential ways forward in Syria and the broader region.

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In the Shadow of the Pyramids: Egypt’s Past Glories and Future Perils

April 17, 2018

It’s been eight years since what was called—with more hope than accuracy—the “Arab Spring.” Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won reelection, surprising no-one since he had no serious competitors. Mr. Sisi may not be a democrat but he does appear to be a reformer, and he’s battling jihadis on Egyptian soil. Should the United States support him, challenge him – or both?

Foreign Podicy host Cliff May discusses these and other issues with Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros, an expert on Egypt’s history, politics and religions.

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The Future of the Iran Deal

March 27, 2018

There are three views on the Iran nuclear weapons deal, more formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The first is to insist that it’s the best deal that could have been cut, and that it prevents the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—at least anytime soon. So, stick with it. A second view holds that the deal is flawed, but it can be fixed and it’s up to America’s European allies to get that job done without delay. The third view claims that the flaws in the deal are fatal, and the deal needs to be terminated.

On this week’s episode of Foreign Podicy we ask, “What’s ahead?” Host Cliff May is joined by FDD Chief Executive Mark Dubowitz, an expert on Iran, sanctions, and the exact details of the 159-page JCPOA, to unravel what the future and fate of the Iran nuclear deal could be.

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Africa’s Jihadist Frontiers

March 6, 2018

Jihadists in Africa are not just spreading. They’re also learning and innovating.  Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have spawned such groups as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab south of the Sahara, in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and beyond. A new FDD study shows that the number of jihadist attacks against Western interests in Africa has nearly tripled since the so-called 2011 Arab Spring. Yet, we hear little about these groups and their acts of terrorism in the mainstream media.

Foreign Podicy host, Cliff May, is joined by FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross to discuss these evolving threats and what can be done now to stop – or at least slow – them.

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UNRWA’s Palestinian Refugees

February 27, 2018

The offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for all the world’s refugees with one exception: Palestinian refugees. They are served by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which designates not only those who fled from the land that became Israel but also their descendants. As a result, the number of Palestinian refugees has risen from hundreds of thousands to millions.

Foreign Podicy host, Cliff May, is joined by FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer and Richard Goldberg to discuss their research on the UN agency, and their recommendations for reforms that could be beneficial to Israelis, Palestinians and American taxpayers.

Show resources:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/25/donald-trump-palestinians-peace-216529

https://nypost.com/2017/12/27/trump-should-crack-down-on-unrwa-finally-end-fiction-of-palestinian-refugees/

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Russia’s Disinformation Offensive

February 6, 2018

Using social media, tech platforms and cyber weapons, the Russian government is running a sophisticated campaign to undermine faith in America’s democratic institutions, assist extremists on both the left and right, polarize Americans, and poison policy debates.

Foreign Podicy host, Cliff May, is joined by Jamie Fly and Laura Rosenberger of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., to discuss their research on Russia's campaign to strategically deceive public opinion, and their urgent recommendation that a bipartisan effort be mounted to combat Putin’s disinformation offensive.

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A bombing, a cover-up, and a murder: Lessons from Alberto Nisman’s work to bring Iranian officials to justice for the AMIA terrorist attack in Argentina

January 25, 2018

Three years ago this month, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found drugged, bludgeoned and shot to death in his Buenos Aires apartment. He was murdered only hours before he was to testify before Argentina’s Congress. Nisman had solid evidence that top Argentine officials had conspired with top Iranian officials to cover up Tehran’s responsibility for the 1994 AMIA bombing, which killed 85 people and remains the most lethal terrorist attack in Argentina’s history. His investigations continue to have lessons for law enforcement today.

Foreign Podicy host Cliff May is joined by FDD’s Toby Dershowitz, who knew Nisman well and has followed this case for years, to discuss his life, legacy, and lessons.

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Busted! Iran, Turkey and the Largest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Modern History

January 17, 2018

It was likely the largest sanctions-evasion scheme in modern history, involving top state officials from both Ankara and Tehran. While the U.S. was attempting to use economic pressure in response to revelations regarding Tehran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab and banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla facilitated an illicit oil-for-gold scheme that enriched Iran to the tune of over $100 billion.

Foreign Podicy host Cliff May is joined by Jonathan Schanzer, Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu, who were involved in FDD’s extensive role in the case, to unravel the story and discuss its many implications.

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