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Episode 65: Riding Tigers and Exposing Corruption

Relevant Reading:

Why the U.S. Can’t Ride the Iranian Tiger
Aaron David Miller

Airing Putin’s Dirty Laundry
John P. Walters

Good evening, podcast listeners! We have an excellent show for you this week as our host, Richard Aldous, welcomes back Aaron David Miller to discuss the problems America faces as it moves forward with the nuclear deal with Iran, before speaking with John P. Walters about Congress’s options for discrediting Putin’s regime.

First, Aaron David Miller, vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a former Middle East analyst and negotiator, describes how Iran has taken advantage of a stalled Arab Spring, and discusses how a rising Iran presents some opportunities but many challenges and constraints. He characterizes the Iran deal as transactional, not transformational, before saying that American foreign policy in the Middle East seems to vacillate between being all-in and not-in-at-all, and that the Obama Administration has struggled to find the balance between those two untenable extremes. He also reflects on the seductive danger of negotiators falling in love with their own negotiations.

Then, Richard welcomes to the show John P. Walters, the Hudson Institute’s chief operating officer and the former Director of Drug Control Policy for President George W. Bush. He reviews why Vladimir Putin represents such a serious threat to the global world order, and outlines a strategy that the U.S. Congress might employ to curb his kleptocratic regime. Walters suggests going after not only the money, but also after the reputations of corrupt officials by releasing reports detailing the shady dealings of Putin and the powerful people surrounding him. He suggests that by leveraging the true soft power of the U.S., we might put real pressure on an inherent weakness of the Putin regime. He also looks at how Putin might try to combat such a campaign, but notes that in today’s information age, it would be extraordinarily difficult for Putin to manage much of a counterattack.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and follow our host Richard Aldous @RJAldous, Aaron David Miller @aarondmiller2, and John P. Walters @john_walters_ on Twitter.

Published on: May 5, 2015
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