foreign policy

It’s not everyday that we interview an author who has stared into Vladimir Putin's eyes while being accused of "purposely seeking to ruin U.S.-Russia relations." As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, Michael McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy, known as “reset,” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency.


Henry Griffin / AP Images

The annual Frank Church Conference is set for Oct. 14 at Boise State University. The day-long event will focus on international topics covering Russia, China and populism. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice talks with organizers of the conference to learn more. 

China is a nation in pursuit of a new role on the global stage. But what implications will those reversing trends have on the US and the rest of the world?


On the home front, Russia is a nation in turmoil. A flagging economy, shrinking population, with some rural areas that still don’t have running water. Yet Russia has emerged from the ashes of post-Soviet Communism as an international broker of mediation and disruption, lead by President Vladimir Putin.

  

This encore program originally aired in January, 2019.

Fracking has upended the global energy map, transforming America into the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. With the influence of Saudi Arabia and Russia shrinking as the goal of “energy independence” comes into focus, America’s energy policy would seem to be on a clear and positive trajectory. But the truth is more complicated.


For decades, North Korea has operated as a prime example of a “hermit kingdom” – a nation ruled by a despotic family regime, where propaganda and historical, political, and economic theatre are a daily ritual for the country’s 25 million citizens.


In 1992, the United States stood at the pinnacle of world power and Americans were confident that a new era of peace and prosperity was at hand. 25 years later, those hopes have been dashed. Relations with Russia and China have soured, the European Union is wobbling, nationalism and populism are on the rise, and the United States is stuck in costly and seemingly endless wars that have squandered trillions of dollars and undermined its influence around the world. And it’s only getting worse.


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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week to shed light on the recent meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. While some Republican senators pressed Pompeo for answers, Idaho Senator Jim Risch didn’t ask about the controversial summit.


This encore Reader's Corner interview was originally broadcast in September, 2017.

Scott Anderson holds the unique distinction of having a full issue of The New York Times Magazine devoted to his story. That speaks both to the quality of his work, as well as to its immense relevance.


Our country was founded on the very idea that a free people should not be ruled by kings and queens. That said, there is an undeniable and lasting allure associated with monarchies. And that’s particularly true when it comes to Great Britain.


George Prentice

Daniel Benaim served as a speechwriter and policy planner in the U.S. State Department during the Obama Administration. He's a distinguished speechwriter, scholar and visiting lecturer at New York University.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

After Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee announced Tuesday that he would not run for reelection in 2018, a powerful position in foreign affairs opened up.

As Donald Trump continues on his first major foreign trip as President, statesmanship is in the spotlight. Today we speak with a former State Department official about this moment in U.S. diplomacy.

Steve Feldstein  is joining Boise State University to teach in the School of Public Service. In this audio clip, Tom Michael of KBSX News begins by asking him what he thinks of the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.