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Pacific Pundit

Welcome to Pacific Pundit, a podcast on Asian geopolitics, foreign policy, and history hosted by Van Jackson. We're here to make sense of the world's most important region, and America's role in it.
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Now displaying: 2017
Apr 20, 2017

In this episode, we explain how the Pentagon gets coercion wrong, what hip-hop tells us about deterrence, and why it all matters.  Our history segment recalls Operation Rolling Thunder, the failed bombing campaign of North Vietnam.  And in an interview with Matt Fuhrmann (Stanford University, Texas A&M University), we discuss his new co-authored book (with Todd Sescher), Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy, and how unhelpful nuclear weapons are for coercion. 

Music: Carl Ranson Vorpahl

Producer: Tre Hester

Mar 7, 2017

In this episode of Pacific Pundit, we debate whether grand strategy under Trump is possible, and the role that his new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, will play. Our history segment recalls the national security policy processes Henry Kissinger ran during the Nixon administration. Next, in a wide ranging conversation with Hal Brands (of the School of Advanced International Studies), we talk about what grand strategy is good for, and why Trump’s “operational code” on foreign policy is scary as hell. We also introduce two pieces of scholarly commentary explaining why “Trump won’t get the best deals,” and how loose and inconsistent presidential rhetoric is feeding the worst predatory excesses of international anarchy.

Production: Tre Hester.

Music: Carl Ranson Vorpahl.​

Jan 26, 2017

In this episode of Pacific Pundit, we think through the implications of President Trump’s words and deeds for the US “One China” policy.  Our historical segment explores Henry Kissinger’s negotiation with China’s Chou Enlai to establish the Shanghai Communique—the foundation of modern U.S. relations with China.  In expert interviews, we get Mira Rapp Hooper (Center for a New American Security) and Dean Cheng (The Heritage Foundation) to weigh in with advice on how to navigate China-Taiwan relations during the Trump administration.  And in a recently declassified National Intelligence Estimate from 1999, we discover what the CIA believed China’s “red lines” were for Taiwan. 

Music and production by Tre Hester.  ​

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