Show cover of The General and the Ambassador®

The General and the Ambassador®

Diplomacy & Defense: Unique conversations between US Ambassadors and Senior US Defense Officials on how they have partnered across the globe to advance US national security. A project of the American Academy of Diplomacy.


Partnering with Open Eyes – The US-Turkey Security Relationship
General Tod Wolters and Ambassador David Satterfield talk about the key elements of their successful partnership in managing the US-Turkey security relationship (2019-2022): having a clear strategy, relying on the strong US/NATO/Turkey mil to mil relationship and holding frank talks.  Topics:  Turkey’s strong commitment to NATO;  US Turkish differences over the US partnership with the SDF in Syria;  Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense systems; Greek/Turkish clashes & Turkey’s relationship with Russia.
44:02 6/11/23
Boots and Suits: US Dip-Mil Collaboration in Kosovo
Admiral James Foggo and Ambassador Philip Kosnett talk about their collaboration to launch the book “Boots and Suits”,  share their personal observations of US civil military relations in the field and explain how they led US diplomatic and military engagement in Kosovo in the midst of continued tensions with Serbia and Russian influence operations in the Balkans.
48:22 5/25/23
US Colombia Partnership & the 2016 Peace Accord with Colombian General Alberto Mejia and Ambassador Kevin Whitaker
General Mejia and Ambassador Whitaker discuss the arduous effort to negotiate a peace agreement between the Govt of Colombia and the FARC. Topics include: the campaign plan (Espada de Honor) in which the military got access to new key intelligence & used tactics/ equipment provided by the US through Plan Colombia, to drive the FARC to the table;  the multiyear negotiations pursued in Cuba in the presence of a special US envoy; the complicated broad terms of the agreement; how it has been implemented (demobilization, transitional justice and coca cultivation); and the continued challenge of dissident FARC members, other insurgent/paramilitary groups & criminal networks.
52:44 3/26/23
The National Guard & US National Security - The Partnership Program between Mississippi and Uzbekistan
Mississippi Adjutant General, General Janson Boyles, and former US Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Pamela Spratlen discuss the role of the US national guard overseas, focusing on the State Partnership Program between the Mississippi National Guard and Uzbekistan.  They review the US-Uzbek security relationship over the years;  their joint efforts to encourage the country’s emergence from isolation; the Mississippi National Guard’s role in influencing Uzbek military leadership and in strengthening bilateral civilian/economic ties; and the important role of the Mississippi Assistant Adjutant General, Congressman Trent Kelly.
25:22 3/13/23
Shifting US strategic interests in Africa – Pawn or Partner
Admiral Franken and Ambassador Pasi talk about shifting US strategic interests in Africa, the key role of the US base in Djibouti,  the challenge of regional terrorist groups (Al Shabaab, Boko Haram),  the policy of “sound bites” of the Trump Administration, sitting on prayer rugs to inform the government of Chad of the Trump travel ban,  the effects of China’s vast economic investments across the continent and Russia’s “moon” promises to the region.  
43:31 2/9/23
US Security Priorities in Latin America
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Erikson and Ambassador Luis Arreaga review the transformation of the role of the military Latin America, attempts by some governments today to use them for political purpose, the value of US regional engagement in training/disaster response/climate change/cybersecurity and how the region views China. 
38:16 12/22/22
The Power of Two: US Engagement with NATO
General Curtis Scaparrotti and Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison talk about how they tag teamed to engage with NATO during the Trump Administration: pressuring NATO members to boost defense expenditures, expanding the US military presence in Europe, training the Ukrainian military, talking to Russia, traveling to Afghanistan with key partners and keeping them informed of the US-Taliban negotiations. They stress the importance of NATO to the US and explain membership requirements which permit some countries (Finland/Sweden) to join more easily than others.
47:25 12/12/22
Projecting US Power: US Transportation Command
General Darren McDew, former Commander US TRANSCOM and Dr. Alan Misenheimer, former Political Advisor to TRANSCOM, explain how the command projects and sustains US military operations around the globe, drawing on its formidable assets and those of private industry.  They describe how the Dept of Defense and the Dept of State negotiate transit access for US military equipment and personnel as well as the threats posed by Chinese global infrastructure investments and by constant cyberattacks on the networks TRANSCOM depends on.
43:03 12/3/22
The US, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean
Ambassador Kathleen Doherty and former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Rachel Ellehuus talk about their work together on Cyprus - the effects of the division of the island on US engagement in the region and on NATO,  the decision to lift the long standing US arms embargo,  the dispute over energy resources between Cyprus and Turkey,  Russia’s decades long ties to the island and the “time warp” of the UN monitored buffer zone.
39:52 9/15/22
The US, Poland and the Eastern Front
General Hodges and Ambassador Jones discuss how Poland has become the center of gravity for the US and NATO on the Eastern Front.  They review their joint work to preserve the  security relationship despite major political transitions in both Poland  and in the United States and to prepare for the Warsaw NATO Summit after Russia’s invasion of Crimea.  They also discuss the issue of a permanent US military base in the country,  President Trump’s visit,  the threat to the region from Russia’s military capability in Kaliningrad and Poland’s support for Ukraine after the Russian attack in February 2022.
55:30 8/24/22
The US & The Civil War in Yemen with General Frank McKenzie and Ambassador Chris Henzel
General McKenzie (former Commander USCENTCOM) and Ambassador Henzel (former US Ambassador to Yemen)  talk about US counter terrorism and political objectives in Yemen, managing a US Embassy in exile,  US security assistance to Saudi Arabia and human rights concerns, Iran’s major military advances in ballistic missiles, Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and UN peace settlement efforts.
39:55 8/1/22
Brazil: “You Have a Friend” – Deepening the US Military and Diplomatic Relationship with Admiral Craig Faller and Ambassador Todd Chapman
Former USSOUTHCOM Commander, Admiral Faller, and former US Ambassador to Brazil, Ambassador Chapman, talk about singing together and their long friendship, their intense efforts to deepen the US-Brazil security relationship with staffs stymied by the COVID pandemic, the long-term significance of the military-to-military relationship, and the Trump/Bolsonaro dynamic.
49:35 7/14/22
US Engagement in Somalia: A Comprehensive Approach with General Thomas Waldhauser and Ambassador Donald Yamamoto.
Fighting Al-Shabaab, losing US soldiers, living in an Embassy bunker and managing the Trump Administration’s abrupt order to pull out US troops.  National War College classmates,  General Waldhauser (former Commander US AFRICOM) and Ambassador Yamamoto (US Ambassador to Somalia) describe how they partnered to 1)  build a new Somali national army to fight Al-Shabaab; 2) relieve massive poverty and famine; and 3) juggle clan divisions/clashes to create a new national government.  
40:33 6/22/22
Building the US-India Relationship During the Trump Administration
Admiral Davidson & Ambassador Juster discuss their joint efforts to strengthen the US-India security relationship despite India’s military dependence on Russia, tense relations with Pakistan & China, and its policy of strategic autonomy.
45:55 6/8/22
Afghanistan: Choosing to Lose & Moral Obligations
In this special episode, former ISAF Commander British General David Richards and former US Ambassador Ronald Neumann critically review ever-shifting US and Western goals and objectives in Afghanistan,  the weakness of the US-led DOHA peace agreement and the effects of the chaotic withdrawal. In their view, the US and its allies CHOSE to lose and have obligations towards those who were left behind.  They offer perspectives on next steps.
41:40 3/26/22
The Republic of Korea: US Dip-Mil engagement during the Trump Administration with General Robert Abrams and Ambassador Harry Harris
General Abrams and Ambassador Harris discuss their partnership,  the treaty alliance with the ROK,  the shift under the Trump Administration to a top down approach to foreign policy and to a transactional relationships with allies, US summitry efforts with North Korea, managing  ROK initiatives, the storming of the Ambassador’s residence, the threat of the PRC and the value of the Quad and AUKUS.  
50:29 2/19/22
Managing Adversity- Serving in Russia: A conversation with Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Admiral David Manero
Former US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman and former US Defense Attaché Admiral David Manero describe the effects of the large expulsion of US diplomats from Russia during a period of heightened tensions, their ground game to advance US interests in a hostile environment, Russia’s toolbox and offensive tactics and US actions to counter them.
51:08 12/5/21
The Front Lines in Syria with General Jasper Jeffers and Ambassador William Roebuck
Ambassador Roebuck and General Jeffers discuss: how the US diplomatic team in northeastern Syria was embedded and partnered with US Special Forces; the pushback of ISIS working with the SDF; managing encounters with Russian troops; the major fallout of US acquiescence of Turkey’s 2019 invasion to drive the SDF forces away from the border; prospects for a political solution to the unwinnable war and lessons learned on US dip/mil cooperation in conflict areas. 
40:51 10/16/21
US National Security Interests in West Africa: Opportunities and Dangers with Ambassador Robin Sanders and General Kip Ward
Ambassador Sanders (former US Ambassador to Nigeria & Congo) and General Ward (former Commander US AFRICOM) discuss US interests in the region including the opportunities (huge markets, a youth bulge, many UN Votes) and the dangers (political instability, sharply rising violence from criminal networks and extremists groups including Boko Haram). They talk about the region’s original rejection of the US African Command and its current request for a greater US military presence.  Finally, they discuss the issue of great power competition on the continent, the mixed messages coming from the US and Africa’s rejection of being “the chessboard on which China and the US play”.     
58:13 9/16/21
Vietnam & The US: Legacy and Partnership with Admiral Scott Swift and Ambassador Ted Osius
Admiral Swift (former PACOM) and Ambassador Osius discuss; 1) how legacy issues (cleaning up after Agent Orange, finding POW/MIA) have slowly laid the basis of trust; 2) how key visits and US gestures have led to breakthroughs; 3) the role of US veterans and of Vietnamese refugees in building ties; 4) managing sensitive issues (human rights and the long history between China and Vietnam). 
49:03 8/30/21
Myanmar and the Persecution of the Rohingya with General Anthony Crutchfield and the Honorable Anne Richard
General Crutchfield and Anne Richard talk about US diplomatic and military engagement with Myanmar/Burma, the persecution and statelessness of the Rohingya, the closed Burmese military mindset, the available US tools to influence behavior, and the shifts in US refugee policy.
51:35 6/25/21
Iraq & the US Dip-Mil Partnership: Transitioning to Counterinsurgency and Bushels of Iranian Pistachios with General George Casey and Ambassador John Negroponte
General Casey and Ambassador Negroponte talk about their partnership in Iraq after the end of the US occupation: correcting mistakes made by the CPA, adjusting to the reality that the country was not ready for reconstruction, rebuilding the army and police, transitioning to counterinsurgency operations, sharing bushels of pistachios and learning from DOD-DOS cooperation in conflict zones. 
41:04 6/16/21
South Korea & US Asia-Pacific Interests with General Vince Brooks and Ambassador Mark Lippert Part II
General Brooks and Ambassador Lippert talk about US efforts to build a strong relationship between Japan and South Korea amidst historical sensitivities (including the issue of “comfort women”), Korea’s actual contributions to burden sharing, the effects of the suspension of military exercises after the Trump/Kim Summit, and the importance of people to people relations. 
33:06 6/4/21
South Korea & US Asia-Pacific Interests with General Vince Brooks and Ambassador Mark Lippert Part I
General Brooks (former Commander US forces Korea) and Ambassador Lippert (former US Ambassador to South Korea) talk about US military and diplomatic engagement with South Korea in the context of US interests in the Asia Pacific Region. They cover the significance of North Korean nuclear/missile tests in 2016, the THAAD deployment and Chinese disinformation operations and economic actions against South Korea.
27:48 6/4/21
The US & Azerbaijan: The Role of Geography with Colonel Keith Felter and Ambassador Robert Cekuta
Colonel Felter and Ambassador Cekuta discuss the key location of Azerbaijan, the tough negotiations for US overflight rights for the Northern Distribution Network to Afghanistan, the roles of Iran and Russia, Israel and the local Jewish community, the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, the partnership with the Oklahoma National Guard and more…
37:16 5/7/21
The US and Libya’s Civil War with General Thomas Waldhauser and Ambassador Peter Bodde
Former Commander of USAFRICOM Waldhauser and former US Ambassador to Libya discuss their partnership in managing relations with the Government of National Accord, US strikes on ISIS, negotiating with opposition strongman General Haftar, the growing footprint of Russia, the role of Turkey, the inflow of arms and proxy forces and current challenges to the stabilization of the country.  
37:29 4/9/21
Power and Presence: The US & the Arctic with Admiral James Foggo and Ambassador (and SECNAV) Kenneth Braithwaite
Former Secretary of the Navy & former Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite and former Commander, US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, Jamie Foggo discuss US power and presence in the Arctic in the era of great power competition and the close US relationship with Norway.
43:17 3/25/21
The US & Israel: From the Road Map to Today with General Paul Selva and Ambassador Luis Moreno
General Selva and Ambassador Moreno talk about their roles as the Monitors of the Road Map to Peace under President Bush, the subsequent policies of the Obama and Trump Administrations, engaging Israel on Iran, the implications of not pursuing a two state solution, and the “bang for the buck “ of US foreign assistance to Israel.
51:45 2/23/21
US National Security's Sputnik Moment with Admiral William McRaven and Congressman Seth Moulton: How Diplomacy, Education, and Congress Can Meet the Challenge
Former SOCOM Commander Admiral McRaven and Congressman and Iraq Veteran Moulton give their perspective on the national security roles of US diplomacy, Congress, and the US educational system, stressing the critical need for new skills and tools
36:10 1/24/21
North Macedonia: The Long Slog to NATO & the Role of the Vermont National Guard
Ambassador Jess Baily and Major Gene Enriquez describe their work to finalize North Macedonia’s 30 year process to enter NATO and the key role of the National Guard and DOD advisors, training, and programs.
37:34 12/16/20

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