World Affairs Councils Podcast
Cover to Cover: Tom Wheeler on Network Revolutions

Cover to Cover: Tom Wheeler on Network Revolutions

September 30, 2019

WACA's Cover to Cover conference call on Wednesday, September 25, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featured former Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler, Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

Network revolutions of the past have shaped the present and set the stage for the revolution we are experiencing today. In this fascinating book, former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler puts past revolutions into the perspective of today, when rapid-fire changes in networking are upending the nature of work, personal privacy, education, the media, and nearly every other aspect of modern life. Outlining “What’s Next,” he describes how artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and the need for cybersecurity are laying the foundation for a third network revolution.

KNOW NOW: Oussama Romdhani on the Tunisian Elections

KNOW NOW: Oussama Romdhani on the Tunisian Elections

September 30, 2019

WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Thursday, September 19, at 3:00-3:30 pm ET, featured Oussama Romdhani, Editor in Chief of The Arab Weekly and former Tunisian Communications Minister.

On Sunday, September 15, Tunisians will go to the polls to elect their next president - a vote that will have regional and international implications. Considering the unsettled situations in Libya and Algeria, the success or failure of Tunisia's third democratic contest since the 2011 uprising could have a bearing on regional stability. Join WACA for a conversation with Oussama Romdhani and WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President & CEO Jim Falk about why the Tunisian elections matter and how the new Tunisian president can ensure the future stability and economic recovery of Tunisia. 

KNOW NOW: Dean Alexander on Family Terror Networks

KNOW NOW: Dean Alexander on Family Terror Networks

September 3, 2019

Listen to WACA's KNOW NOW conference call featuring Dean C. Alexander, Director of the Homeland Security Research Program and Professor of Homeland Security at the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University.

Family affiliated terrorism, from the role of patriarchs to ISIS brides, poses significant and long lasting security threats to the international community. Author of several books on the subject, Professor Alexander is an expert on the issues surrounding global terrorism and the ways to combat these threats both foreign and domestic. Join WACA for a conversation with Prof. Alexander and former Peoria WAC President and WACA National Board Member Don Samford about the implications of family terror networks and countering international political violence.

Cover to Cover Jim Olson on Counterintelligence

Cover to Cover Jim Olson on Counterintelligence

September 3, 2019

Listen to WACA's Cover to Cover conference call featuring former CIA Chief of Counterintelligence Jim Olson, Professor of the Practice, Texas A&M University.

To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence

The United States is losing the counterintelligence war. Foreign intelligence services, particularly those of China, Russia, and Cuba, are recruiting spies in our midst and stealing our secrets and cutting-edge technologies. In To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence, Olson offers a wake-up call for the American public and also a guide for how our country can do a better job of protecting its national security and trade secrets. Join Mr. Olson and WAC Dallas/Fort Worth President and CEO Jim Falk as they discuss Olson's recent book: To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence.

Cover to Cover: Anna Fifield on Kim Jong Un

Cover to Cover: Anna Fifield on Kim Jong Un

August 2, 2019

The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un

The behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world’s strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un, by the journalist with the best connections and insights into the bizarrely dangerous world of North Korea. Anna Fifield, Beijing Bureau Chief at The Washington Post, reconstructs Kim’s past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and brings her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family in North Korea. The archaic notion of despotic family rule matches the almost medieval hardship the country has suffered under the Kims. Few people thought that a young, untested, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country that should have fallen apart years ago. 

KNOW NOW: Mehdi Noorbaksh on U.S.-Iran Relations

KNOW NOW: Mehdi Noorbaksh on U.S.-Iran Relations

July 19, 2019

WACA's KNOW NOW conference call on Tuesday, July 16, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET, featuring Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Iran has resumed enrichment of uranium and the U.S. has blamed Iran for attacking an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Many worry current tensions could escalate, leading to a wider conflagration in the region. Join Dr. Noorbaksh and WAC Harrisburg President and CEO Joyce Davis as they discuss the current state of U.S.-Iran relations and the potential impact of increasing belligerence between the countries.

Cover to Cover: Sheila Smith on “Japan Rearmed”

Cover to Cover: Sheila Smith on “Japan Rearmed”

June 24, 2019

On June's Cover to CoverSheila Smith, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations discusses her new book: Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power.

Japan has one of Asia’s most technologically advanced militaries and yet struggles to use its hard power as an instrument of national policy. The horrors of World War II continue to haunt policymakers in Tokyo, while China and South Korea remain wary of any military ambitions Japan may entertain. In Japan Rearmed Sheila Smith argues that Japan is not only responding to increasing threats from North Korean missiles and Chinese maritime activities but also reevaluating its dependence on the United States. No longer convinced that they can rely on Americans to defend Japan, Tokyo’s political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation’s military for war.

KNOW NOW: Joe Cirincione on Global Nuclear Threats

KNOW NOW: Joe Cirincione on Global Nuclear Threats

June 13, 2019

There is a high risk that someone will use, by accident or design, one or more of the 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Many thought such threats ended with the Cold War, but they remain an ongoing nightmare. Author of the books Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too LateBomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, Joe Cirincione is one of the leading experts in the country on U.S. nuclear weapons. Join Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, as he discusses the major nuclear weapons threats the world faces today and the debate over the best policies to counter them with Tennessee WAC's Patrick Ryan. 

KNOW NOW: The Honorable Fran Ulmer on After the Arctic Ice Melts

KNOW NOW: The Honorable Fran Ulmer on After the Arctic Ice Melts

May 13, 2019

The Arctic has been warming almost twice as quickly as the rest of the planet and its effects can be felt worldwide. Research thus far shows the warming Arctic impacts weather patterns as far away as mid-latitude areas like California by weakening the jet stream. Colder water in the Pacific Northwest is becoming more acidic and unstable for farming shellfish, while melting permafrost and coastal erosion in Alaska is causing infrastructure collapse and loss of biodiversity. Join the World Affairs Councils of America and former Lt. Gov and Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer for a conversation about the arctic, climate change, and the intersections of environmental science and policy.

Read more about Hon. Fran Ulmer

Cover to Cover: Author and Journalist Beth Gardiner on Our Modern-Day Plague.

Cover to Cover: Author and Journalist Beth Gardiner on Our Modern-Day Plague.

May 1, 2019

Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future.

In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world.