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Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 Support this show Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.

Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 Support this show Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.


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Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951 Support this show Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.




When War Became a Crime

To say there are widespread reports of abuses by Russian troops in Ukraine is to undersell it. There have been hundreds and hundreds of cases claiming rape, torture, and murder. Last week, a video of the torture and execution of a Ukrainian soldier at the hands of Russian soldiers shocked the world. We call these things war crimes and crimes against humanity. But that’s a relatively new concept. Today we’re going to talk about the Nuremberg Trials, which took some vague ideals and put them...


Who Is Viktor Bout?

WNBA star Britney Griner is imprisoned in Russia and, apparently, the U.S. is making Russia an incredible offer to get her out. Last week Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that America had “put a substantial proposal on the table.” That proposal? The return to Russia of convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout. This so-called Merchant of Death’s story is an amazing one. It even inspired a 2005 Nicolas Cage movie, some six years before Bout’s arrest. With us today to talk about...


Ukraine's Alamo: The Siege of Azovstal

Imagine being trapped below ground for weeks, surrounded by soldiers, bombs dropping just a few feet above your head. Food is scarce, rats are everywhere. Is survival possible? And what would it even look like? A trip back home, or to a Russian prison? That was the situation during the siege of the Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, Ukraine. Michael Schwirtz of the New York Times has put together a comprehensive look at the siege, which is being called Ukraine’s Alamo and he’s joining us...


Biden in Jerusalem

I think we can all assume why Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia recently. In fact, we just did a show on why the world can’t quit Saudi oil. But it’s interesting to pull apart the other part of his journey — to Israel and, very briefly, the Palestinian Authority. Joining us to do just that is independent journalist Noga Tarnopolsky. She’s written for everyone from the New York Times to the LA Times, as well as many other international outlets. So, why visit Israel and why now? Was he just in...


ICYMI: The Origins of Russia's War in Ukraine

We’re digging into the archives one more time to bring you two episodes from the early days of the show. They’re all about Russia and Ukraine. I chose these two because I think they give a unique view of the origins of the war and reflect how much our thinking on Russia has changed since its “official” invasion in February of 2022. We’ll be back next week with a brand new episode. Stay safe until then. Angry Planet has a substack! Join the Information War to get weekly insights into our...


ICYMI: The Roots of Political Violence

This one is a blast from the past. Jason is on Vacation and Matthew is going in for a minor surgery so we're resurrecting some old episodes. Here's what we said five years ago when this first aired: "Antifa and white nationalists clash in the streets. Students on college campuses patrol the sidewalks armed with bats. A man in Portland stabbed several people on a bus and another in Virginia opened fire on Republican legislators on a baseball field. This week on War College, Joe Young –...


The Hooligans Fighting for Ukraine

If you’re a fan of this show, you’ve probably seen and read a lot of things about the war in Ukraine. But you’ve never seen anything quite like the new Popular Front documentary Frontline Hooligan. Today’s guest is the creator of that documentary. He’s been on the show many times. You know him. Jake Hanrahan. He’s an independent journalist and the host of Popular Front, a podcast that focuses on the niche details of modern warfare and under-reported conflict. Today we’re gonna talk about...


On the Frontlines of Ukraine and a Roe Reaction in Real Time

The war in Ukraine grinds on. As the West’s attention wanes, Ukrainians fight for their lives and freedom. They need more of everything. Weapons, ammunition, supplies, people. Today we have various stories from the war, as told by returning guest Danny Gold. Gold is a writer and producer who focuses on crime and conflict. He’s also a reluctant podcaster who co-hosts the excellent Underworld Podcast. Angry Planet has a substack! Join the Information War to get weekly insights into our angry...


Proud Boys, January 6, and When a U-Haul Is a Clown Car

The January 6th committee has gone public with its hearings and once again the Proud Boys are in the news. Charges against 5 members of the group, including its leader, Enrique Tarrio have been superseded. Now, we’re talking about straight up sedition. So, it’s time to look again at what this group — and related groups — did on January 6, and just how dangerous they really are. We’ll also talk about accelerationism, what it is and what accelerationists want. Joining us are two people who...


The Dream of the Kurds Is Alive and in Danger

With America’s retreat from Afghanistan still fresh, it’s popular for politicians and pundits to bemoan America’s inability to fight and win a war. That line ignores an important bit of recent history we’ve memory-holed—the war against he Islamic State. America didn’t fight that war alone, however. Far from it. An international coalition of trained soldiers and volunteer troops recognized a horrifying threat and came together to defeat it. As terrifying as the Islamic State is, the...


We All Believe Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories are part of the foundation of the United States. Our first strong third party, the Anti-Masonic party, had its roots in the belief in a conspiracy theory. Years later the John Birch society shaped American politics. Things feel different now. Lies are doing something to the United States that no foreign enemy has been able to achieve: Shredding it. The bizarre QAnon, imaginary purple elephant and, far more dangerous, the big lie of a stolen election. It’s time to talk...


When the Battlefield Is the Home Front

Right now, Russia is learning a lesson as old as combat, morale is at the center of any fighting force. How does it change things when you can pick up your cell phone and call your mom to share your experiences, or even complain about your commander? How do you build a band of brothers when home is just a phone call away? Colonel John Spencer asked himself these questions and wrote a book about it called Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connections in Modern War. Spencer is...


SPONSORED: The Mega-Tank of the Future

Today’s episode is brought to you by Auroch Digital, makers of many fine video games including the one we’re here to talk about today: Ogre. For almost fifty years, it has terrorized our future. The Ogre. A massive AI-controlled tank hell bent on the destruction of the human race. Ogre. That’s both the name of the game and the name of the game’s strongest unit. First published in 1977, Ogre became a phenomenon in the wargame scene. It was asymmetric, deceptively simple, and has endured for...


Checking In With The White House's New Disinformation Czar

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:; and on Twitter: @angryplanetpod. Support this show...


Will There Be a Nuclear War?

When it comes to U.S.-Russia relations, everything old is new again. Russia and the West are separating. Fast. For those of us who were alive in the 1980s, it all feels bracingly familiar. That includes, especially, nuclear saber rattling. Putin, the Duman, and Russian TV feel like they’ve gone out of their way to remind the rest of the world: hey, we’ve got nukes. But how likely is the possibility of nuclear war, really? And what are Russia’s nuclear capabilities exactly? Here to help us...


"America Is an Idealist Power in a Reapolitik World"

Over the past month, we’ve discussed a lot of specifics regarding the War in Ukraine. We’ve gone over the role of tanks, talked about Putin’s motives, and discussed War Crimes. What we haven’t done, really, is look at the big picture. What does this war mean, not just for Ukraine, but for Europe and America. What is the future of NATO? Increasingly, it feels like we’re on the precipice of something … new and, perhaps, frightening. With us today to talk through all this is Charles A....


Bucha, Chechnya, and Russian War Crimes

Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine are being revealed as its military is pushed back. In the Kyiv suburbs, evidence of summary executions, torture and rape are being revealed. All countries are guilty of crimes during war, but Russia deserves special mention for its actions in the last hundred years. At the end of World War II and the occupation of Germany after, at least 2 million German women were raped by Russian soldiers, along with other atrocities on the most brutal front in the war. In...


You're Wrong. Tanks Aren't Done Yet

The tank is an iconic weapon of modern war, but the truth is that it’s more than a century old. When we think of tanks we think of the battles of World War II. The Tiger and the Sherman squaring off, the relentless push of the Soviet T-34s into Eastern Europe. Or maybe you think of beige ones driving through the deserts of Iraq, keeping its crew snug and safe. But how safe are you? In Ukraine, Russia is losing many tanks. It’s hard to know how many exactly, and what is wartime propaganda....


Russia and the West's Love/Hate History

Relations between Russia and the western world are complicated. In the grand scheme of things, America is but a recent addition to a long simmering rivalry that runs back a thousand years. Putin and Ukraine? Well, that’s just the latest dust up in a very long history. So let’s talk about it. Here with us today to suss all this out is Michael Hirsh. Hirsh is a senior correspondent at Foreign Policy and the author of the excellent piece there, Putin’s Thousand-Year War. Angry Planet has a...


Eastern Europe's Fascist Salad

According to Vladimir Putin, he’s on a quest to de-Nazify Ukraine. But what about the Nazis in his own backyard? Hell, what about the Nazis all over Central and Eastern Europe. Right now, the Azov Regiment in Ukraine is dominating the conversation. Pictures of the ultra nationalist group are circulating online and being used to justify Russia’s invasion. But they aren’t the only fascists in the area. Far from it. But it’s complicated and Azov is part of a broad tapestry of Fascist movements...