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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Pacific Pundit


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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 30, 2017
In this episode, we talk about the various ways conspiratorial thinking has encroached on the Asia-Pacific and US foreign policy.  We explore a number of recent developments ripe for competing explanations, including the surprising centrality of East Asia in Steve Bannon's nativist worldview and why Singapore recently expelled political scientist Huang Jing.  In our history segment, we introduce the greatest conspiracy in the history of East Asia--a memorandum between William Howard Taft and Japan's Katsura Taro in 1905.  We also discuss a tandem pair of recommended readings; one about the "paranoid style" in American politics, and the other a leaked memo from the National Security Council that embodies such paranoia.
Music: Carl Ranson Vorpahl. Producer: Tre Hester.
Aug 9, 2017

Don't call it a comeback! In this episode of "Pacific Pundit," we explain the many perils of preventive attacks against North Korea. Our history segment discusses the crazy options the U.S. considered to prevent China from going nuclear in the 1960s. In a satirical role play with Mira Rapp-Hooper (Yale's Paul Tsai China Center and the Center for a New American Security), we walk through every argument that war hawks might make in favor of bombing North Korea. We also discuss research that highlights the theories and risks of preventive attacks against North Korea, and urges making the avoidance of nuclear conflict the foremost policy goal for the Korean Peninsula.

Music: Carl Ranson Vorpahl; Producer: Tre Hester