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The Foreign Affairs Interview

The Foreign Affairs Interview

Foreign Affairs Magazine

Foreign Affairs invites you to join its editor, Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, as he talks to influential thinkers and policymakers about the forces shaping the world. Whether the topic is the war in Ukraine, the United States’ competition with China, or the future of globalization, Foreign Affairs’ biweekly podcast offers the kind of authoritative commentary and analysis that you can find in the magazine and on the website.

32 - Why Is Rwanda’s Leader Sowing Chaos in Congo?
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  • 32 - Why Is Rwanda’s Leader Sowing Chaos in Congo?

    After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Paul Kagame was widely seen as a hero—a rebel leader who came to the rescue of his people and helped stop the killing. Over the last 30 years, the Rwandan president has cultivated this vision of himself, and the West has been eager to believe it.  But for Michela Wrong, a journalist who has covered Africa for decades, cracks in this story became too big to ignore. In her most recent book, Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad, she investigates the 2014 political murder of a former Rwandan spy chief who fled the country after a falling out with Kagame. Her reporting uncovered the true nature of Kagame’s regime, painting a picture of a dictator who will stop at nothing to silence his critics. Now, in a piece for Foreign Affairs, Wrong reports on Kagame’s meddling in eastern Congo and how his support for the M23 rebel group is risking a broader regional conflict. We discuss her reporting on Kagame, how Rwanda is working to destabilize central Africa today, and why the West is doing so little to stop it. You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

    Thu, 01 Jun 2023 - 32min
  • 31 - How Does China Want the War in Ukraine to End?

    This week, a top Chinese envoy is traveling across Europe, making stops in Ukraine and Russia. Beijing says that the purpose of the trip is to discuss a “political settlement” to the war. But this diplomatic push raises bigger questions not just about China’s attempt to position itself as a peacemaker but also about the growing closeness of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Bonny Lin is a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She previously served in the Pentagon, including as country director for China. Alexander Gabuev is the director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, based in Berlin, where he moved after leaving Moscow at the start of the war.  We discuss the relationship between Putin and Xi, how China has responded to the war in Ukraine, and whether China might provide Russia with lethal aid. You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

    Thu, 18 May 2023 - 39min
  • 30 - Bonus: The West Versus the Rest

    Russia’s war in Ukraine has drawn Western allies closer together, but it has not unified the world’s democracies in the way U.S. President Joe Biden might have hoped for when the war began last February. Instead, the last year has highlighted just how differently much of the rest of the world sees not only the war but also the broader global landscape.  In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, policymakers and scholars from Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia explored the dangers, as well as the new opportunities, that the war and the broader return of great-power conflict present for their countries and regions. In this episode, you can listen to a May 4 conversation between Tim Murithi, Nirupama Rao, Matias Spektor, and Executive Editor Justin Vogt that was part of the Foreign Affairs’ event series. They discuss the issues most important to their regions, the mounting costs of the Ukraine war, and the impact of sharpening geopolitical tensions. You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

    Mon, 15 May 2023 - 25min
  • 29 - How to Avoid a Great-Power War

    As the Biden administration continues to provide massive amounts of military and economic support to Ukraine, it also has its eyes on China. What will it take to deter Beijing from attempting to seize Taiwan someday? What is the best strategy to avoid a great-power conflict? How can the United States maintain its technological edge on the battlefield?  These are the questions that occupy the Pentagon’s leadership, including U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before becoming chairman, the president’s top military adviser, he served as chief of staff of the U.S. Army. He has deployed all over the world, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We discuss the battlefield dynamics in Ukraine, how concern over escalation has shaped Western support for Kyiv, and how the United States can avoid a great-power war in the future.  You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

    Tue, 02 May 2023 - 32min
  • 28 - Immigration Before Automation

    There seems to be an unstoppable march toward the automation of work, including the checkout at the supermarket, the seemingly limitless possibilities of ChatGPT, and so much else. What is driving this push toward automation? For one, labor scarcity in developed countries. But Lant Pritchett, a development economist, argues in a new piece for Foreign Affairs that instead of choosing machines over people and funneling resources into job-killing technologies, countries should work to let people move to where they are needed. Pritchett is the research director of Labor Mobility Partnerships, the RISE research director at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, and a former World Bank economist. We discuss why automation is a policy choice rather than an inevitable force and how it is contributing to poverty levels across the globe. You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

    Thu, 20 Apr 2023 - 44min
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