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The President's Inbox

Council on Foreign Relations

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The President's Inbox, a Council on Foreign Relations podcast hosted by James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon, examines the foreign policy challenges facing President Donald J. Trump. Hear what issues are topping the forty-fifth president’s inbox, what...Show More

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Anticipating Israel’s Election, With Martin Indyk

28:50 | Mar 19th

Martin S. Indyk, distinguished fellow and director of executive education at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss Israel’s upcoming election.

India-Pakistan Relations, With Alyssa Ayres

32:09 | Mar 12th

Alyssa Ayres, CFR senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, discusses India-Pakistan relations and the recent violence in Kashmir with Robert McMahon.

Nigeria’s Election, With John Campbell

23:28 | Mar 4th

John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the recent election in Nigeria.

The Second Trump-Kim Summit, With Sue Mi Terry

27:49 | Feb 26th

Sue Mi Terry, senior fellow for Korea at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the second summit between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The Global Artificial Intelligence Race With Samm Sacks

23:45 | Feb 19th

Samm Sacks, fellow for cybersecurity policy and China digital economy at New America, discusses developments in artificial intelligence in the United States and China with James M. Lindsay.

TPI Replay: Presidential Emergency Powers With Matt Waxman

29:51 | Feb 15th

President Donald J. Trump has declared a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. James M. Lindsay previously spoke with Matt Waxman, a professor of law at Columbia Law School, about presidential emergency powers. (This is a r...Show More

The Aftermath of the INF Treaty With Lori Esposito Murray

27:30 | Feb 11th

Lori Esposito Murray, adjunct senior fellow at CFR, discusses President Donald J. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the future of international nuclear competition with James M. Lindsay.

Developments in Venezuela With Shannon O'Neil

29:03 | Feb 4th

Shannon K. O'Neil, vice president, deputy director of studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller senior fellow for Latin America Studies at CFR, discusses the situation in Venezuela, and what the future holds, with James M. Lindsay.

Next Steps in Syria With Mona Yacoubian

29:06 | Jan 30th

Mona Yacoubian, senior advisor for Syria, Middle East, and North Africa at the United States Institute for Peace, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the Trump administration's plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

TPI Replay: Priorities for Afghanistan with Zalmay Khalilzad

35:10 | Jan 28th

Zalmay Khalilzad, the current Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the State Department, recently announced a potential framework for a peace deal between the United States and Afghantistan. James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon sat...Show More

Presidential Emergency Powers with Matt Waxman

28:57 | Jan 25th

Matt Waxman, professor of law at Columbia Law School, sits down with James Lindsay to discuss presidential emergency powers and executive actions.

Congress and Foreign Policy with Chris Tuttle

32:46 | Jan 18th

Chris Tuttle joins James Lindsay to discuss the role that Congress plays in U.S. foreign policy.

Conflicts to Watch in 2019

32:32 | Jan 3rd

Paul Stares joins Jim Lindsay to forecast the conflicts of 2019.

Great Power Rivalry with Tom Wright

33:17 | Dec 20th, 2018

Tom Wright joins Jim Lindsay to discuss great power rivalries and challenges to the U.S.-led international order.

Women’s Empowerment in the #MeToo Era, With Rachel Vogelstein and Meighan Stone

34:22 | Dec 6th, 2018

This week, Jim Lindsay discusses the global #MeToo movement with Rachel Vogelstein and Meighan Stone. Vogelstein is the Douglas Dillon senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy program at CFR. Previously, she was the director of poli...Show More

On the Upcoming G20 Summit with Stewart Patrick

29:11 | Nov 29th, 2018

Stewart Patrick joins Jim Lindsay to discuss the implications of the G20 summit.

Trade and Immigration after the Midterms

32:03 | Nov 15th, 2018

Ted Alden joins Jim Lindsay to discuss trade and immigration policy after the Congressional midterms.

A Discussion on Global Health with Tom Bollyky

34:00 | Nov 8th, 2018

Tom Bollyky joins Jim Lindsay to discuss the state of global health and the paradox of progress.

The Liberal World Order with Robert Kagan

33:34 | Nov 1st, 2018

Robert Kagan joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the state of the liberal international order.

A Discussion on Climate Security and Water Crises with Sherri Goodman

28:17 | Oct 18th, 2018

Sherri Goodman, a senior fellow at the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and senior advisor for international security at the Center for Climate and Security, talks with James M. Lindsay about water crises and how they affect ...Show More

A Look at Public Opinion and Foreign Policy with Dina Smeltz

34:47 | Oct 11th, 2018

Dina Smeltz, senior fellow of public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss American attitudes toward foreign policy.

A Look at the New NAFTA with Shannon O'Neil and Ted Alden

33:48 | Oct 4th, 2018

CFR's Shannon O'Neil and Edward Alden join James M. Lindsay to discuss the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, now renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

A Recap of the United Nations General Assembly with Stewart Patrick

37:26 | Sep 27th, 2018

Stewart M. Patrick, senior fellow in global governance and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the impact of the United Nations General...Show More

Recent Developments in Syria with Aaron Stein and Steven Heydemann

39:39 | Sep 20th, 2018

Aaron Stein, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and Steven Heydemann, the Janet Wright Ketcham 1953 Professor in Middle East Studies at Smith College and nonresident senior fellow in the Center f...Show More

The Meltdown in the Emerging Markets with Sebastian Mallaby

32:35 | Sep 12th, 2018

Sebastian Mallaby, the Paul A. Volcker senior fellow for international economics at CFR and a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the collapsing currency valuations in places like Turkey, Argentina, and S...Show More

The 2008 Financial Crisis Ten Years Later With Adam Tooze

34:56 | Aug 29th, 2018

Adam Tooze, the Shelby Cullom Davis chair of history at Columbia University and director of the European Institute, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss how the 2008 financial crisis affected the world in the years that followed.

U.S. Climate Policy With Susanne Brooks

33:41 | Aug 29th, 2018

Susanne Brooks, director of U.S. climate policy and analysis for the Environmental Defense Fund’s global climate program, joins James M. Lindsay  to discuss how the United States is confronting climate change.

The U.S. in Afghanistan With Anthony Cordesman

32:28 | Aug 16th, 2018

Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), joins James M. Lindsay to discuss President Trump’s Afghanistan strategy.

Pakistan With Christine Fair

32:58 | Aug 9th, 2018

Christine Fair, associate professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and expert on South Asian political and military affairs, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss Pakistan’s July 25 election and incoming Prime Minist...Show More

Arms Control With Daryl Kimball

51:34 | Aug 1st, 2018

Jim M. Lindsay sits down with Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, to discuss the current state and future of arms control.

U.S.-Russia Relations With Michael McFaul

39:13 | Jul 26th, 2018

Michael McFaul, director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and former U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the fraught relatio...Show More

The Fallout From the Trump-Putin Summit With Jim Goldgeier and Charlie Kupchan

31:31 | Jul 19th, 2018

CFR senior fellows Jim Goldgeier and Charlie Kupchan join James M. Lindsay to discuss the continued fallout from the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, Finland.

The Aftermath of the Trump-Kim Summit With Victor Cha

48:06 | Jul 10th, 2018

Victor Cha, senior advisor and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss North Korea and the aftermath of the Trump-Kim summit.

George C. Marshall's Legacy With Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

41:12 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, executive editor of Foreign Affairs and author of The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War, 1945–1947, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the lasting legacy of former U.S. general, secretary of state, and secretary of d...Show More

Turkish Presidential Elections with Henri Barkey and Steven Cook

40:12 | Jun 29th, 2018

Henri Barkey, senior fellow for Middle East studies at CFR and former member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, and Steven Cook, the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at CFR, join James Lindsay to discuss ...Show More

Transatlantic Tension With Célia Belin and Alina Polyakova

42:52 | Jun 19th, 2018

The Brookings Institution's Célia Belin, an expert on transatlantic relations and U.S. foreign policy toward Europe, and Alina Polyakova, an expert on European politics and far-right populism and nationalism, join James M. Lindsay to discuss U.S.-Eur...Show More

The Emerging U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry With Aaron Friedberg

45:41 | Jun 13th, 2018

Aaron L. Friedberg, an expert on the international relations of Asia and professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the emerging U.S.-China strategic rivalry, the Trump administration's ...Show More

Mexico's Upcoming Presidential Election With Shannon O'Neil

27:52 | Jun 8th, 2018

Shannon K. O'Neil, vice president, deputy director of studies, and senior fellow for Latin America studies at CFR sits down with James M. Lindsay to talk about the upcoming presidential election in Mexico and what it might mean for U.S.-Mexico relati...Show More

Killer Robots and Autonomous Weapons With Paul Scharre

33:34 | Jun 1st, 2018

Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), discusses autonomous weapons and the changing nature of warfare with CFR's James M. Lindsay.

Michael Fullilove and Herve Lemahieu on Power in Asia

33:20 | May 22nd, 2018

Michael Fullilove and Herve Lemahieu join CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the Asian power landscape.

Michael Dempsey and Philip Gordon on the Iran Nuclear Deal

40:55 | May 16th, 2018

CFR's Michael Dempsey, Philip Gordon, and James Lindsay discuss President Donald J. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Andres Rozental and Rohinton Medhora on NAFTA

41:05 | May 8th, 2018

Andres Rozental and Rohinton Medhora join CFR's James M. Lindsay in examining the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Elizabeth Economy on Xi Jinping

34:29 | May 3rd, 2018

CFR's Elizabeth C. Economy and James M. Lindsay discuss Chinese president Xi Jinping and U.S.-China relations.

Sarah Margon on Human Rights

35:03 | Apr 26th, 2018

Sarah Margon, the Washington director at Human Rights Watch, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the Trump administration's approach to human rights policy.

Sheila Smith on the Abe-Trump Summit

35:30 | Apr 19th, 2018

CFR's Sheila A. Smith joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the recent meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump.

Bruce Hoffman on Terrorism

36:06 | Apr 12th, 2018

CFR's Bruce Hoffman joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the evolution of global terrorist threats.

Thomas Bollyky on Global Health

34:03 | Apr 6th, 2018

CFR's Thomas J. Bollyky and James M. Lindsay discuss global health and World Health Day.

Edward Alden on Trade Policy

43:14 | Apr 3rd, 2018

CFR's Edward Alden joins James M. Lindsay to discuss U.S. trade policy and the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on China.

Mara Karlin on National Defense

40:54 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Mara Karlin, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the 2018 National Defense Strategy report.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is Fired

36:24 | Mar 13th, 2018

CFR's Stephen Sestanovich and Paul Stares join James M. Lindsay to discuss Rex Tillerson's firing and other planned personnel changes within the Trump administration.

Benn Steil on the Marshall Plan

45:09 | Mar 8th, 2018

CFR's Benn Steil joins James M. Lindsay to discuss his new book, The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War.

Fredrik Logevall on Lessons of the Vietnam War

41:33 | Mar 1st, 2018

Fredrik Logevall, the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of History, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to examine the lessons of the Vietnam War.

Hal Brands on Grand Strategy

43:56 | Feb 22nd, 2018

Hal Brands, the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss grand strategy.

Julia Ioffe on What Vladimir Putin Wants

32:25 | Feb 15th, 2018

The Atlantic's Julia Ioffe joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss Russian president Vladimir Putin's political goals.

Andrew Zimbalist on Costs of the Olympics

27:30 | Feb 6th, 2018

Andrew Zimbalist, the Robert A. Woods professor of economics at Smith College, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the political and economic costs of hosting the Olympics.

Stephen Hadley on America's Place in the World

42:22 | Feb 1st, 2018

Stephen J. Hadley, former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss the U.S. role in today's world order.

Max Boot on Lessons of History and Edward Lansdale

34:09 | Jan 25th, 2018

CFR's Max Boot joins James M. Lindsay to discuss his new book, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.

Richard N. Haass on Trump's First Year

45:22 | Jan 16th, 2018

Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, joins James M. Lindsay to assess President Donald J. Trump's first year in office.

Philip Gordon and Ray Takeyh on Iran

42:11 | Jan 10th, 2018

CFR's Philip Gordon and Ray Takeyh join James M. Lindsay to discuss political unrest in Iran and the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Michael O'Hanlon on U.S. Defense Policy

41:56 | Jan 5th, 2018

Michael O'Hanlon, the Brookings Institution's senior fellow for foreign policy, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the Trump administration's defense policy.

Adam Segal on Information Operations

33:22 | Dec 21st, 2017

CFR's Adam Segal joins James M. Lindsay to discuss information operations and cybersecurity.

Elliott Abrams on Jerusalem's Status

29:44 | Dec 14th, 2017

CFR's Elliott Abrams joins James Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine President Donald J. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Reuben Brigety on Security in Africa

31:48 | Dec 7th, 2017

CFR's Reuben Brigety and Robert McMahon examine African peace and security issues.

Lisa Monaco on Threats to U.S. Homeland Security

39:00 | Nov 30th, 2017

New York University School of Law's Lisa Monaco joins CFR's Robert McMahon to discuss the threats facing U.S. homeland security.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns on U.S. Diplomacy

36:57 | Nov 17th, 2017

Ambassador Nicholas Burns joins CFR's James M. Lindsay to discuss the state of U.S. diplomacy under the Donald J. Trump administration.

Presidential War Powers

46:30 | Nov 9th, 2017

CFR's John B. Bellinger III joins James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Protecting Sovereignty

35:44 | Nov 3rd, 2017

CFR's Stewart M. Patrick joins Robert McMahon to discuss sovereignty and U.S. interests.

Kurdish Independence

27:35 | Oct 26th, 2017

CFR's Steven A. Cook joins Robert McMahon to examine the Kurdish movement for independence.

State of the U.S. Air Force

26:11 | Oct 13th, 2017

Colonel George "Marty" Reynolds joins James M. Lindsay to examine the state of the U.S. Air Force.

U.S.-Cuba Ties

32:35 | Oct 6th, 2017

CFR's Carla Anne Robbins joins Robert McMahon to examine President Donald Trump's foreign policy on Cuba.

Making Use of Intelligence

31:26 | Sep 29th, 2017

CFR's Michael Dempsey joins James Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine the U.S. intelligence community's role in maintaining national security.

Trump and Africa

30:19 | Aug 10th, 2017

CFR's John Campbell and Robert McMahon examine U.S. foreign policy in Africa.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement

36:35 | Jul 31st, 2017

CFR’s James M. Lindsay and Philip Gordon examine the Iran nuclear agreement.

Remaking Trade

39:34 | Jul 25th, 2017

CFR's James M. Lindsay and former U.S. trade representative Michael Froman discuss President Donald J. Trump's views on U.S. trade policy and the global trading system.

Global Perceptions of the United States

31:00 | Jul 19th, 2017

Pew Research Center's Bruce Stokes joins CFR's Robert McMahon to discuss Pew's latest survey on global perceptions of the United States.

The North Korean Nuclear Threat

40:28 | Jul 11th, 2017

Evans J.R. Revere, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine the North Korean nuclear threat.

Rerun: The North Korean Nuclear Threat

40:46 | Jul 11th, 2017

This episode is a rerun. Evans J.R. Revere, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine the North Korean nuclear threat.

Meeting Putin

32:32 | Jul 6th, 2017

CFR's Stephen Sestanovich, James M. Lindsay, and Robert McMahon preview U.S. President Donald J. Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Qatar's Diplomatic Crisis

33:09 | Jun 30th, 2017

CFR's Steven A. Cook joins James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon in examining the causes and consequences of Qatar's diplomatic crisis with its neighbors in the region.

Creating Jobs

30:30 | Jun 22nd, 2017

CFR's Ted Alden and Bob Litan join Jim Lindsay to talk about cultivating new job skills, automation, and American competitiveness.

BONUS: White House Summer Reading

14:26 | Jun 15th, 2017

This is a bonus segment from our summer reading special on our sister podcast, The World Next Week. On this part of the show Bob, Jim, and guest host Gayle Lemmon offer summer reading recommendations for White House staffers. You can find the full sh...Show More

Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement

31:17 | Jun 9th, 2017

CFR's Charles Kupchan and Michael Levi join Robert McMahon to analyze the impact of the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.

How to Stop Terrorism

36:27 | May 31st, 2017

CFR's Farah Pandith joins James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine President Donald J. Trump's options on countering violent extremism.

Afghanistan, Fifteen and a Half Years Later

34:30 | May 24th, 2017

Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon to examine President Donald J. Trump's priorities on Afghanistan.

America's Allies

33:38 | May 17th, 2017

Michael Fullilove and Robin Niblett join CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon in examining how America's allies view the Trump presidency.

Renegotiating NAFTA

35:24 | May 15th, 2017

Andres Rozental and Rohinton Medhora join CFR's James M. Lindsay in examining the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Human Rights and Diplomacy

35:40 | May 15th, 2017

David Kramer, the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon in examining President Donald J. Trump's human rights policy.

France's Presidential Election

34:17 | Apr 25th, 2017

CFR's James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Philip Gordon examine the outcome of the first round of France's presidential election.

The Turkish Referendum

34:44 | Apr 18th, 2017

CFR's James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Steven Cook examine the consequences of the Turkish referendum on U.S. foreign policy.

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program

37:45 | Apr 11th, 2017

George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon in examining President Donald J. Trump's options on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Xi Meets Trump

38:38 | Apr 4th, 2017

CFR's James M. Lindsay, Robert McMahon, and Ely Ratner examine President Donald J. Trump's first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.