Category Archives: Global conflicts

The Ezra Klein show: Why the coronavirus is here to stay, explained by Obama’s Ebola czar

Ron Klain served as the chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He successfully oversaw a hellishly complex effort preparing domestically for an outbreak and surging health resources onto another continent to contain the disease.

But Klain is quick to say that the coronavirus is a harder challenge even than Ebola. The economy is in free fall. Entire cities have been told to shelter in place. And there’s no telling how long any of this will last. In this conversation on The Ezra Klein Show, Klain answers my questions about the disease and how to respond to it, as well as questions many of you submitted.

We discuss how to change the virus’s reproduction and fatality rates, the economic policy necessary to make social distancing possible, what the Trump administration needed to do earlier (and what they still can do now), the strengths and weaknesses of America’s particular health care system in responding to a pandemic like this one, what Joe Biden is like in a crisis, and much more.

I’ve been covering the coronavirus nonstop, and this is one of the clearest, most useful conversations I’ve had. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the clarity of Klain’s analysis will help.

Source: Why the coronavirus is here to stay, explained by Obama’s Ebola czar – Vox

Hidden Forces podcast Episode 126: National Emergency: Global Pandemic & Deteriorating Security

In Episode 126 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with David Kilcullen, a theorist and practitioner of guerrilla and unconventional warfare, and counterterrorism. David has amassed extensive operational experience over a 25 year career with the Australian and U.S. governments as an army officer, analyst, policy advisor and diplomat. He served in Iraq as senior counterinsurgency advisor to U.S. General David Petraeus and was senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. He has served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and Colombia. He’s a Professor of International and Political Studies at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. He’s also the author of five prize winning books on terrorism, insurgency, and future warfare, including his latest, “The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West.”

This episode deals mainly with the evolution of warfare and the threats we currently face, including an extensive analysis of Chinese and Russian conventional and unconventional methods targeting the West. However, we couldn’t ignore what’s been happening in the world with the spread of the coronavirus—declared to be a global pandemic by the World Health Organization—and the emergency measures that are being put into place across every major developed and developing economy facing this growing epidemic.

The second hour of Demetri and David’s conversation includes a deep-dive into Russiagate, as well as the types of strategies of liminal warfare being employed by Putin and the Russian Federation against America and the West. The two also speculate about how Western adversaries may inflict further damage upon them during the 2020 election, capitalize on internal divisions, refugee crises, as well as this latest, global pandemic.

Source: National Emergency: Global Pandemic & Deteriorating Security

Colombia’s Imperfect Peace Could Provide a Roadmap for Afghanistan | United States Institute of Peace

The Afghan peace process was jumpstarted in September 2018 when President Trump appointed Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation. Since then, Khalilzad has led 10 rounds of U.S.-Taliban talks, with negotiations focusing on two issues: ensuring the Taliban’s commitment to prevent transnational terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base for attacks, and a U.S. military withdrawal. As the search for peace in Afghanistan continues, what lessons can be learned from other peace processes that could apply to Afghanistan? Colombia’s imperfect peace agreement with the FARC is one especially relevant international reference point for Afghanistan—we explain why.

Source: Colombia’s Imperfect Peace Could Provide a Roadmap for Afghanistan | United States Institute of Peace

The John Batchelor Show: #NewWorld: What Are The Lessons Of Colombia And The FARC That Can Help Afghanistan And The Taliban? Senadora Maria Fernanda Cabal.

What Are The Lessons Of Colombia And The FARC That Can Help Afghanistan And The Taliban? Senadora Maria Fernanda Cabal.

Source: #NewWorld: What Are The Lessons Of Colombia And The FARC That Can Help Afghanistan And The Taliban? Senadora Maria Fernanda Cabal. @MariaFdaCabal Joseph Humire @JSHumire @SecureFreeSoc The John Batchelor Show podcast

Hidden Forces podcast Episode 124: Disunited Nations & the Scramble for Power w/PETER ZEIHAN

In Episode 124 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Peter Zeihan, a geopolitical strategist who combines an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to help his clients prepare for an uncertain future. Before founding his own strategy firm, Peter helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. He’s also a critically-acclaimed author whose first two books — The Accidental Superpower and The Absent Superpower — have been recommended by Mitt Romney, Fareed Zakaria and Ian Bremmer. His latest book, “Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World,” hits bookstores tomorrow.

This is one of the most educational conversations that we have ever recorded on Hidden Forces. The episode is meant to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Peter Zeihan’s work and outlook on the subjects of foreign affairs, economics, and geopolitics. The goal is to help you understand just how abnormal our world has been for the last 70 years and what a return to a more “normal world” is going to look like. America’s withdrawal from the world has consequences for governments, business people, retirees, and especially for anyone who is living or invested in countries that have been the primary beneficiaries of the American lead international Order of the past three generations.

In the first hour, Peter lays the foundation for what this new world is going to look like, how it differs from the world we’ve inhabited since the end of World War Two, and what sorts of forces will be driving the changes that we can expect to experience over the next few decades. Towards the end of the episode we start to get into specific countries and regions, exploring the types of changes that we can expect to see economically, politically, geographically, and militarily in the not-too-distant future. 

The future that Peter lays out is one of both risk and opportunity, and we explore many of these opportunities in the second half of this episode, including those dealing with Turkey, Argentina, and perhaps, most importantly, the United States and what Americans and their nation’s regional partners can expect to experience in the scramble for security, resources, and power in the world to come.