Dan recently joined the Commentary Magazine podcast to share analysis on the current state of Israeli politics. We are posting that conversation here.

What have we learned so far about this election cycle, and what does it tell us about what’s likely to happen in the midterm elections of 2022, and the Democratic and GOP primaries for president in 2024?

Historically, California has often served as a movie trailer on our national political future — ‘coming to a theater near you.’ Richard Nixon started there, turning the Cold War threat into an election theme in his early political campaigns; Ronald Reagan transformed what we now think of as movement conservatism during his two terms as governor; and Proposition 187 was a California state ballot issue in 1994, before immigration became a national political issue (it helped get then-Governor Pete Wilson re-elected on the issue of immigration).

The Biden administration has announced that the President will take his first trip to the Middle East as president. His first stop will be in Israel to meet with Israeli leaders and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, before heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The U.S.-Saudi relationship began nearly eight decades ago between FDR and King Ibn Saud. With varying degrees of tumult, the relationship has survived – and sometimes thrived – through 14 U.S. presidencies.

After the 100-day mark of the 2022 Russian war against Ukraine. we assess some grim facts of this war, and try to understand how they should inform what to expect in the next hundred days.

Richard Fontaine, CEO of the Centar for a New American Security (CNAS), returns to the conversation. Richard is a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. CNAS is a bi-partisan foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain and worked at the State Department, the National Security Council, and on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

When it comes to the future of sports and entertainment, Jon Patricof is always trying to innovate and disrupt. He’s had the added challenge of launching a business from scratch on the eve of the pandemic.

Jon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Athletes Unlimited, a network of professional sports leagues. Launched in March 2020, Athletes Unlimited now operates leagues in pro women’s softball, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball. By the end of this year, if current estimates hold, Athletes Unlimited will have conducted over 120 games that will be broadcast in over 150 countries.

What are his objectives at this point in his war against Ukraine? And what are Ukraine’s objectives? What are US objectives? After all, the goals of different leaders in wartime often evolve based on battlefield developments.

Are objectives shifting right now before our eyes…for Putin, Zelensky, and the US and NATO? And has the likelihood that Putin would use a limited nuclear strike changed as his objectives have evolved?

In Israel we sit down with an entrepreneur and former Naval officer, who has built a company that has had to navigate the twin crises of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the maritime implications of cracks in global supply chains.

Ami Daniel comes to these crises as the co-founder and CEO of Windward, a maritime data, analytics and artificial intelligence company bringing transparency to what is among the largest but most opaque part of the global economy. Ami also brings his perspective as a former Naval officer serving in the Middle East.

Should we be surprised that there seems to be a renewed by bi-partisan consensus in response to Putin’s war? Are we back in a Cold War posture, both in policy terms and in our politics?
Speaking of today’s politics, what can the past few decades of Republican politics and conservative ideas tell us about 2022 and 2024? According to Matthew Continetti, quite a lot.
Matt Continentti is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, founding editor of The Washington Free Beacon, and a columnist for Commentary Magazine. He’s also the author of several books. He has a new book just out called “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism”.

Order the book here:

Is Putin crossing almost every line the West did not anticipate he would cross? What does this tell us about where he might might ultimately escalate to?

Richard Fontaine returns to the podcast to answer these questions and others. Richard is CEO of the Center for New American Security. He was recently appointed to the Defense Policy Board by the Biden Administration’s Pentagon leadership. Prior to working at CNAS, Richard was foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain and worked on the Senate Armed Services Committee, at the State Department, at the National Security Council, and on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The 1970s were a tragedy – inflation, rising crime and crumbling cities, American humiliation abroad from the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, to Moscow’s geopolitical advances right in our backyard in Latin America. But here we are again, in the 2020s – with inflation surging to a four-decade high, a new crime wave and new decay in our cities, American humiliation in Afghanistan, ongoing Iran deal negotiations, and a new war launched by Russia.

Are we living through another version of the 1970s right now? What can we learn from that era? John Podhoretz returns guest to the podcast. John is a writer, public intellectual and culture critic, He is editor in chief of Commentary Magazine and host of Commentary’s critically acclaimed daily podcast, he’s a columnist for the New York Post, and author of several books. He is also a film critic – formerly for The Weekly Standard and now for The Washington Free Beacon.

The security situation continues to deteriorate in Israel — tragic developments, including right in the heart of Tel Aviv. We continue to monitor developments and stay in close touch with Israeli family and friends. While Israel is a major focus of today’s conversation, the security crisis is not. We focus on the political impasse in Israel, which may be connected to the security crisis.

Today we sit down with Ambassador Ron Dermer, who served as Israel’s chief envoy to the United States from 2013 to 2021 – working closely with the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. During that time, he was widely regarded as one of the most consequential ambassadors from any country.

Regardless of how or when the Russia-Ukraine war ends, is it possible to see the very early signs of a new geopolitical order taking shape? There are certainly some surprises, especially as it relates to Germany’s response to the crisis and – more broadly – the unity of Europe, and the overall scale of the economic response. Are there other new trends or global power centers we should be keeping an eye on? It’s a question we will be asking a number of our guests going forward.

This week we sit down with Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize winning foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, and a bestselling author of many books, including “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, “The World is Flat”, and “Thank You For Being Late”.

While we are all following the minute to minute developments in Russia-Ukraine, a new international deal with Iran on its nuclear program may be on the cusp of finalization. While there are still key details to be worked out, the broad contours are out there, and the implications are massive. So we wanted to have a conversation with an expert and policy practitioner that could walk us through the history of how we got here, and where it’s going.

Ambassador Eric Edelman is Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He’s also on board of the Vandenberg Coalition. He has served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House. As undersecretary of defense for policy he oversaw the Pentagon’s bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counterproliferation, counterterrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.

How could Russia-Ukraine escalate? How could it deescalate? Does Zelensky survive? Does Putin survive? Does China try to bail out Russia?

On this episode, we explore five scenarios with Richard Fontaine, who returns to the podcast. Richard Richard Fontaine is the CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a bi-partisan foriegn policy think tank in Washington, DC. Prior to joining CNAS, Richard was foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain and worked at the State Department, the National Security Council, and on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As Russia has become isolated globally, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official was asked if Moscow has anyone left in its corner, anywhere in the world. Her response: “Of course, we have them. Look at the reaction of world giants. Those who do not pretend to be giants, but are real giants. For example, it is China. You can see this reaction, can’t you?”

So what exactly is going on between Xi Xingping and Vladamir Putin as tensions escalate between Russia and the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

Is Putin winning or losing? It looks like his war effort is not going according to plan, and that he underestimated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the resistance of the Ukrainian military, and the unity of the international response. But could Putin quickly turn things around? What would that look like?

Congressman Mike Gallagher brings his perspective. Gallagher served for seven years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, including two deployments to Iraq. He was a national security aide on Capitol HIll – having served as a top staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Back in Wisconsin, he worked for an energy and supply chain company. He’s also a warrior scholar, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University, a second in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University, and a PhD in International Relations from Georgetown.

Vladimir Putin may be unpredictable, but his direction seems to be clear. That’s the view of our guest today, Fred Kagan, who is a return guest.

As of what we know now, February 25th, there are at least 1,100 Russian casualties in Ukraine, and Russian forces are entering Kiev. President Biden has announced new sanctions, but oil and natural gas are still exempt from sanctions, and Russia is still part of the SWIFT BANKING SYSTEM. So it’s not clear how tight the economic noose is tightening around Moscow.

“Shadow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power”:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-strike-yaakov-katz/1129520355

“Weapon Wizards – How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower”:

You can order Micah’s books here:

Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catch-67-micah-goodman/1128089735

On this podcast, we spend a lot of time discussing the rising threat from China and Cold War 2. We’ve hosted Matt Pottinger (episode #28), Josh Rogin (episode #17), and Admiral Stravidis (episode #44). We’ve also done an episode on the future of the movie industry, with John Podhoretz (episode #16).

But what do China – and specifically Cold War II – and Hollywood have to do with one another? You may not have realized it, but when you watch movies like Skyfall, Mission Impossible III and World War Z, to name a few, you are watching a strange relationship at work between the Chinese Communist Party and one of America’s most influential exporters.