Rich Outzen, career military officer and senior State Department advisor on the Middle East, rejoins the podcast to diagnose the politics, strategy and military realities that led to the current collapse of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Is the foreign policy establishment to blame? Does this blunder really compare to Saigon? Will the Taliban use the “Hezbollah-model” to find international sympathy in its governance of a fractured state?
Counterbalance is a foreign policy podcast that embodies Hudson’s tradition of challenging conventional wisdom. The Trump era attacked the elite consensus regarding several key issues, including the rise of China, American policy toward the Middle East, and the compartmentalization of domestic and foreign policy. Many observers in the media and in establishment foreign policy circles are presenting the advent of a Biden presidency as a total repudiation of President Trump’s policies and a return to “normalcy.” But, regardless of how one feels about the Trump era or any of his specific policies, there is no turning back the clock. The elite foreign policy consensus will never be the same. Counterbalance will reckon with what’s next.