NASA satellite photo of Asia via <a href=" ">Wikimedia </a>
NASA satellite photo of Asia via Wikimedia

Carnegie Council Presents New "Trump in Asia" Podcast Series

Feb 23, 2017

Much uncertainty remains around President Trump's emerging approach to foreign policy. With this in mind, Carnegie Council Senior Fellow and Asia Dialogues Director Devin Stewart has launched a series of interviews on how the Trump administration might approach Asia—a region that may become a site of conflict. Tensions may erupt over a U.S. trade war with China, the status of Taiwan, territorial disputes over the South China Sea, or North Korea's nuclear weapons development. Can the relative peace in the Pacific be maintained?

In an effort to illuminate this important topic, we are pleased to present the first 10 podcasts and transcripts with former U.S. government officials, experts, and scholars. All interviews are conducted by Devin Stewart. Access the full transcripts and audios here, or listen to them on iTunes.

A "Chaotic" White House and the U.S. Role in Asia and the WorldEliot A. Cohen, Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)In this outspoken and thoughtful interview, former State Department adviser Eliot Cohen expresses his dismay at the "chaotic and very badly run administration" and discusses the threats from China and North Korea, the role of the U.S. in the world, and the different approaches to military strategy taken by the West (Clausewitz) and China (Sun Tzu).

Trump and the "Trilateral Relationship" in Northeast AsiaMichael J. Green, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Georgetown UniversityAsia expert and former Bush administration official Michael Green discusses the recent meeting between Trump and Abe and what may come of it, on trade in particular; the crucial trilateral alliance between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea; and finally, he offers some advice for the Trump administration going forward.

Geoeconomics and Statecraft: Is China Outdoing the United States?Jennifer M. Harris, Council on Foreign RelationsCo-author of War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft, Jennifer Harris defines geoeconomics as "the use of economic instruments to achieve specific geopolitical results." Why and how are the Chinese so good at this and how will Trump do? While the verdict is still out, says Harris, "Trump's instincts run exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction."

The Secret War in Laos and the Role of the CIAJoshua Kurlantzick, Council on Foreign RelationsJoshua Kurlantzick, author of a book on the U.S. secret war in Laos from 1961-73, notes that the war was responsible for greatly increasing the power of the CIA. "Today the CIA, together with Special Forces, has become the tip of the spear in the U.S. war on terror," he argues, and it's very unlikely that it will be "de-fanged" under the new administration.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar Reflects on the Democratic TransitionDerek Mitchell, Albright Stonebridge Group and United States Institute of PeaceWhat were Myanmar's major challenges during its transition to democracy—and indeed to this day? What was the U.S. role in the transition? What is the situation with the Rohingya minority? How will the Trump administration approach Myanmar, and Southeast Asia in general? For answers, don't miss this discussion with Ambassador Mitchell.

Trump in Asia: Back to the Future?Christopher Nelson, The Nelson Report, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA In many ways, we're back to the future of reassuring every friend and ally—and adversary—that U.S. constancy is there, says Chris Nelson. In some sense, that's the case for every new administration. But the difference this time is that during the campaign Trump "did not present well" as far as Asian observers, especially Republicans, were concerned.

Sensible Advice for Trump's Asia PolicyPatrick M. Cronin, Center for a New American Security"Hopefully, 'America First' really means peace through strength; it means putting our economy and our economic policy at the forefront of our strategy; it means staying strong but using our force in only the most judicious manner." Asia-Pacific security expert Patrick Cronin analyzes the situation in Asia and offers practical advice for the new administration.Instability on the Korean Peninsula and the Trump AdministrationScott A. Snyder, Council on Foreign RelationsNorth Korea is one of the most serious security risks facing the new U.S. administration and South Korea has a political vacuum at the top after impeaching its president. What are the possible scenarios over the next few years? Don't miss this in-depth conversation with Devin Stewart and Korea expert Scott Snyder.

Will Trump be a "Madman" in Asia? Daniel S. Markey, Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)Are there advantages to Trump being seen as an unpredictable "madman" when dealing with Asia, as Nixon was once described in relation to Vietnam? Or will it just make things worse? Devin Stewart discusses Trump's potential foreign policy approaches to Asia with former State Department official Daniel Markey.

Risks to U.S.-China Relations under TrumpJeffrey N. Wasserstrom, University of California, IrvineWhere are U.S.-China relations right now and where are they headed? "I don't think we should give up hope in some way forward. But it's very tough, especially given what we know of the personalities of the two leaders involved," says China expert Wasserstrom. Going beyond the headlines, he provides valuable background information and insights.


By conducting original, empirical research and facilitating educational exchange, the Asia Dialogues Program seeks to advance ethical inquiry around contentions within Asia and the United States.

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