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Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 See for privacy and opt-out information.

Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 See for privacy and opt-out information.


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Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 See for privacy and opt-out information.




UNLOCKED: The Drones of the Vietnam War

A special production of Angry Planet and David Axe explores how a group of scruffy contractors pioneered the use of drones during the Vietnam War. Axe’s book, Drone War Vietnam, is out now. See for privacy and opt-out information.


America's Liaison to the Taliban on What Went Wrong

The facts on the ground are undeniable. The U.S. is out, the Taliban is back in. The end was ugly and there were plenty of ugly spots along the way. Since we’re all doing what ifs, here’s ours: what would the off-ramp have looked like, and did we ever at least have our turn signal on? Joining us today is a guy who was in the room. Former diplomat Frank Ruggiero dealt directly with the Taliban, as well as managing U.S relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2010 and 2012. Hillary...


Space: Final Frontier or Billionaire's Playground?

Space… Is it still the final frontier? And does anyone really care about it anymore, aside from a few billionaires and maybe a millionaire or two? Does NASA have any mojo left? And are any of us alive now going to see a landing on Mars? These are all questions dear to my heart, so we have Christian Davenport who covers space for the Washington Post and is the author of the Space Barons on the show today. Angry Planet has a substack! Join the Information War to get weekly insights into our...


A Brief History of Lying About Afghanistan

Afghanistan. If you’re listening to this show you’ve probably been following the news. Despite what the Pentagon or White House will tell you, the evacuation isn’t going great. There is a dichotomy between what officials tell us and what’s actually happening that—in the age of mass communication—seems … insulting. That dichotomy and how it affected America’s view of Afghanistan is at the heart of the new book—The Afghanistan Papers. Craig Whitlock, its author, is here with us today....


When the Soviets Fled Afghanistan

Conquerors and nations have been trying to rebuild Afghanistan in their own image for thousands of years. The U.S. is just the latest to fail. The Soviet Union also failed, with a little push from the United States. But they learned their lesson in only 10 years, from 1979-1989. Mark Galeotti joins us today to talk about the lessons the U.S. probably should have learned from the USSR. He’s Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and has literally written the book -...


UNLOCKED: America's Moral Duty to Afghan Interpreters

America is leaving Afghanistan. President Joe Biden has set a September 11th withdrawal date and things are continuing apace. As America packs up its gear and goes home it’s leaving behind something far more valuable than MRAPs and M16s—people. For two decades individual Afghans have stepped up to help the United States and as it leaves the battlefield, some of these interpreters are being left behind. With us today is former Marine Sergeant, Afghanistan War veteran, and Purple Heart...


Rome Was Always in Decline

Are we living in a declining empire in need of renewal? Maybe. But one thing to keep in mind? Romans thought the same thing centuries before the great empire fell. So what’s up with the fascination with the decline and fall of Rome? And what lessons does it have for US politics? To help us answer that question, we’ve got Edward J. Watts. He’s a professor of history at UC San Diego and the author of a new book, The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome. Angry Planet has a substack! Join the...


On the Assassination of Haiti's President

Life in Haiti has rarely been easy. It’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Corruption is rampant. And it’s been invaded more than once since independence, including by the United States. It’s little wonder that the half-Island nation has suffered repression and political turmoil And, on July 7, it’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated. To help us understand the current situation -- and a bit of the history as well -- I’m joined by Francois Pierre-Louis of Queens...


Lies, Damn Lies, and the Alamo

When I was a kid I learned about the Alamo. It’s 1836. Houston said to Travis, fortify the Alamo. Volunteers came from across the continent to fight and die for the dream of a free and independent Texas. Like the Ballad said, One hundred and eighty five holding back five thousand. In the southern part of Texas, near the town of San Antone, like a statue on his pinto rides a cowboy all alone. And he sees the cattle grazing where a century before Santa Anna’s guns were blazing and the...


The View From Kabul

Afghanistan, the site of America’s longest war, is changing. The Taliban is gaining ground in the North while peace talks stall. The U.S. continues its withdrawal and the Afghan military is left to pick up the pieces. Here to help us understand what’s going on is Ali M. Latifi. Latifi is an Afghan journalist living in Kabul. His work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Business Insider, and NBC News. See for privacy and opt-out information.


Can the US Win the Wars of the Future?

It doesn’t take high technology to kill someone. Simple chemicals propel pieces of lead out of steel tubes. Other simple chemicals are placed in larger vessels and are triggered by the weight of a vehicle or even a human body. Some are even set off by strings attached to fuses. Not one computer involved. But the weapons of warfare do evolve - some into trillion dollar monsters that gobble up whole defense budgets and can destroy life on earth with the turn of a key. And new weapons are...


Can an Apolitical Military Survive Democracy's Crisis?

So far, in the political battles at the heart of our democracy, they have been AWOL. Just as they should be. The military is an expressly non-political institution, even if they do report to an elected commander-in-chief. But with political divisions deepening, could that change? Eliott Ackerman took on just that issue in a recent column for the New York Times. Ackerman is a combat veteran, journalist and author. And he’s here to talk to us today. Ackermans’ article is...


One Place, Two Peoples

Over the past few months the world watched as the conflict between Israel and Palestine flared up. I’m not interested in litigating the facts of that conflict in this opening and you’ve likely already decided where you stand on the conflict. For some, it’s complicated. For others, the very idea that someone would call it complicated is an insult. Here to help us untangle some of what’s happened and to discuss the future of Palestine is Joey Ayoub. Joey is a writer, scholar, and podcaster...


'Homegrown Hate' and the Modern Crusades

For the last two decades, America has been possessed with a Global War on Terror. The threat of militant Islam has funded the security state and given the Pentagon an overarching goal. But that threat feels increasingly distant and a new specter is haunting America—that of white nationalism. Both groups are complicated, varied, and prone to in-fighting. Both groups rely on apocalyptic visions of the future to drive home their message. Both groups are waging war against the United...


ICYMI: This Is (Not) Sparta!

When you hear the word Sparta, there’s an immediate association with war and the military. Of the Greek City States, it’s the one most associated with battle. Spartan men were expected to be warriors and their society was geared almost entirely toward training for war. For generations, military leaders have drawn inspiration from Sparta. Much of the romance around Sparta centers Around the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE, where the Persian Empire crushed a small and ill-equipped collection...


UNLOCKED: The Failure of McDonald's Peace Theory

There’s a maxim that says “No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war against each other.” This so-called Golden Arches theory enjoyed a brief moment of prominence in the 1990s, got shaky after 9/11, and has been out-right assaulted by pundits and political theorists in the past ten years. It died it’s final death in October when McDonald’s Azerbaijan took public sides in the fight between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here to walk us through the Golden Arches Theory and...


Antifa's Car Brigades

In the summer of 2020, violent riots broke out across America between ordinary citizens and police. These riots led to groups finding ways to develop their own security forces to deal with violence from police, opposition groups, and other antagonists on the ground. Here to help us understand what’s going on is Nikki West. West is a local Seattle photojournalist who was previously on the show talking about the Chapel Hill Autonomous Zone. She’s documented the push and pull between...


What Is Happening in Jerusalem Right Now?

Literally recorded as missiles hit and news broke. Guest: Noga Tarnopolsky, a reporter on Israel and Palestine. Angry Planet has a substack! Join the Information War to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict. You can listen to Angry Planet on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or follow our RSS directly. Our website is You can reach us on our Facebook page:...


Ukraine in the Crosshairs

Russia and Ukraine have been fighting ever since Little Green Men invaded Crimea in 2014. That wasn’t enough for Russia. The former evil empire then aided separatist enclaves inside the rest of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military was unprepared, the world mostly sat back and watched, and an ugly stalemate ensued. If a stalemate includes tanks firing at each other. Recently, Russia massed troops on Ukraine’s border as rhetoric ratcheted up. To help us understand what exactly is going on, we...


Comics, Garth Ennis, and the Golden Age of Tanks

“From mud, through blood, to the green fields beyond.” The tank was meant to push through entrenched enemy lines and put an end to the stale-mate of trench warfare during The Great War. It created a whole new kind of combat. It was high risk, high reward, as men in armored units trundled across the world. With us today is comics writer Garth Ennis. Ennis is the diabolical mind behind Sara, Hitman, War Stories, The Boys, and Preacher. He’s here today talking about his new collection of war...