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The National Security Beat with Jim Sciutto

March 29, 2024
Notes
Transcript
Eliot and Eric welcome CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto to the show. The recipient of multiple awards for his journalism, including the Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, and George Polk awards he is also the author of The Shadow War, The Madman Theory, and recently The Return of Great Powers: Russia, China, and the Next World War (New York: Dutton, 2024). They discuss why as a journalist he writes books, how the shooting war in Ukraine changed the perspective of both journalists and government officials about the danger of great power competition, the role of frontline states like Finland and Estonia and understanding the threat of Russian revanchism, Jim’s reporting on the potential for Russian use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield in the fall of 2022 and whether the threat was genuine or an example of Russian use of information operations for “reflexive control,” the transformation of Taiwan’s defense posture and the threat of disruption and damage to US alliances in a second Trump Presidency.

The Return of Great Powers: Russia, China, and the Next World War:
https://a.co/d/1RVHvZ4

Shield of the Republic is a Bulwark podcast co-sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:07

    Welcome to shield of the public, a podcast sponsored by the Bulwark and
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:11

    the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. I’m Eric Edelman, counselor at the center for strategic and budgetary assessments, a Bulwark contributor and a non resident fellow at the Miller center, and I’m joined by my comrade in arms and all things strategic, Elliot Cohen, the Roberty Osgood chair of strategy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Arleigh Burke chair and Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Elliot. How are you?
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:41

    I’m doing very well. This may be the subject of a separate podcast, but I’ve decided I wanted to reread some old classics. And I just got this one, Sulszhen’s first circle, which is probably is his best novel. Though some might dispute that. And what’s interesting is, this edition is the edition which includes about a it’s about a fifth longer than the addition, I remember reading originally because he suppressed some parts of it in order to get it, through the censorship And what I’ve been told is that it’s actually a much, much better book when you read the whole thing as he actually, wrote it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:26

    And given everything that’s happening in the world, seems to me for a circle might not be a bad novel to read on a long plane trip, but we’ll talk about that one later.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:34

    Alright. Well, I’ll be looking forward to that review. I mean, I, I will tease the fact to our audience that I had breakfast this morning with our mutual friend, Barry Strauss, friend of the, of the shield of the Republic show. And, Barry told me that he is just finishing up a book on the Jewish wars in the ancient world. Very timely topic.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:55

    It’s gonna be published, this coming year. And so Barry will be back on shield the republic to talk about that. But today, we have a special guest, Jim Shudo, who is the chief National Security correspondent of CNN, He is a graduate of Yale, one of my alma Motors. So I’m glad to have a a fellow Eli on the show. He is also, the author of Shadow War, the Madman Theory, and, just out two weeks ago, the return of Great Powers, Russia China and the next World War.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:31

    Jim is an extremely distinguished journalist having one, not only an Emmy, but, the George Polk Edward are Murrow Awards. I guess, Jim, is that the equivalent of an egot in the news business?
  • Speaker 4
    0:02:45

    I don’t know if it’s quite that level. It’s, I mean, I I’m certainly honored. I’ll await my egot. I’ll await my egot someday.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:55

    Well, let’s, let’s dive into the book because it’s, you raise a lot of fascinating things, in the book, which is extremely readable. You know, in Shadow War and Madman Theory, you were talking really about conflict in the gray zone, whether that was in cyberspace or in, in areas like the South China Sea where the borders are somewhat fuzzy, in terms of national sovereignty, and about, former president Trump’s very disruptive influence on international affairs. In this book, you’re talking really about the prospect of really major war. And, obviously, some of that has been, prompted by the war in in Ukraine, wonder if you could start by telling us how the war in Ukraine, changed your perspective as a journalist looking at the international environment.
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:48

    Actually, could I if I could just could you begin by describing, what what it is that you do as a journalist? That is to say I mean, you know, you’re at CNN, obviously, one of the really major outlets and you’re a very senior journalist there. That’s, I think, probably different from you know, being a bureau chief here, bureau chief there, bureau chief somewhere else. So maybe if you could do that and then, go to Eric’s Eric’s question as well to be because, I mean, one of the things that’s striking about the book, it is a global perspective. You know, you’re not just talking about Ukraine.
  • Speaker 3
    0:04:24

    You’re talking about a whole bunch of places.
  • Speaker 4
    0:04:25

    Well, first of all, thank you for having me on. It’s great it’s great to be honest with you, and I look forward to the conversation so to to what does it mean to be a journalist? Cover the news. Right? And that that can mean the news that happens before our eyes, a container ship hits a bridge, right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:04:44

    Or, or a country invades another country or, presidential election, I mean, the the list goes on a school shooting. Right? I mean, there’s the news that happens before our eyes. But then there’s also for someone like me. There’s there’s a beat and I cover national security.
  • Speaker 4
    0:04:59

    So I’m I am looking at topical issues under that umbrella every day, and that really spans, from from the defense department of the intelligence agencies to state department, and and to officials and contact contacts and events abroad as well. So you have that beat aspect to it. And then what I try to do and the reason I write books really is that, I I find and part of this is for my own intellectual process, but also a sense of mission is to attempt to connect the dots for people to to explain what which events and how these events are related to each other and And for me, for someone who has covered Russia and China, and many ways and many places that that our country and our allies interact with Russia and China. For many years, what led me to write the shadow war first five years ago was was that I was noticing a pattern, right, of of seemingly unrelated conflicts or interactions, or aggressive acts, that actually were part of a, a matrix, really, a strategy that interestingly enough, both Russia and China, two very different countries were pursuing, which was to attempt to weaken the US and challenge the US and its allies and to weaken and challenge the the rules based international order.
  • Speaker 4
    0:06:22

    We talk about this the system that the US and its allies have helped construct over many decades, to to generally keep the peace, hasn’t always worked, but to generally keep the peace. So, you know, I consider part of my my mission or my value add is to not just cover the news, but to explain how it fits into a broader picture. And that’s what I attempted to do with the shadow war five years ago to say, listen, there’s something going on here. Right? You know, these cyber attacks or these space weapons these land grabs at that point, partial invasion of Ukraine or China’s land grab in the South China Sea are part of a broader challenge to, the international system and to our interests.
  • Speaker 4
    0:07:02

    And we need to be aware of it. At that point, It was below, to your point, Eric, was below the the the level of a shooting war, kinetic conflict, and a shadow war. That’s where I came up with that idea. It’s just below the surface. Grays own activities.
  • Speaker 4
    0:07:16

    What struck me as I was sitting in Ukraine in February twenty twenty two as the first Russian tanks were rolling across the border in the first cruise missiles were dropping on Ukrainian cities was well, the wars out of the shadows. This is this is the largest war in Europe in eighty years. You have, a country attempting to change the borders of Europe by force of arms. And not just in a little way, not just slicing off a piece, say, in Eastern Ukraine or trying to turn Transnistria away from Moldova, but to absorb a country of forty fifty million people. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:07:50

    The largest country in Europe by land size, land mass too. That’s a big deal. Right? And that is a that’s a clean break. It didn’t come out of nowhere.
  • Speaker 4
    0:07:59

    Right? There were signs in advance, and and there were smaller steps in advance, but that that took the war out of the shadows and was a clean break. It struck me with that period of relative peace and calm that we’d enjoyed post nineteen eighty nine, post nineteen ninety one. You know, history never ended. There there was never the end of history, but we did have a respite and it just struck me that that was the breaking point.
  • Speaker 4
    0:08:25

    And now it’s out in the open. So long answer to to two short questions, but I hope I got there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:31

    Let me let me, ask you about, how some of your sources saw this. So, one of the things that, you know, struck me pretty forcefully in reading the book is, at least in the European security side, when you’re talking about that, two of of your on the record sources were, Mico Hautala, who is the Finnish Ambassador to the United States, he’s, an ex a usually experienced diplomat. He was the Finnish Ambassador of Russia served in Ukraine as well. And also was, president, Salli Nienesto’s national security adviser. But also the, prime minister of Estonia, Kaya, Colace who, is, has been a, you know, persistent presence on, you know, international broadcast about the war in Ukraine and is now at least potentially a candidate for the NATO Secret Podcast general job, although I suspect it’ll go to someone more in the Western European mold.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:34

    But what did what was it about this sort of front line you know, finish a stonian experience. The stonians already being in NATO, Finland transitioning Ron DeSantis, that you found particularly compelling because it did seem to me that there was a, you know, important message that they were transmitting.
  • Speaker 4
    0:09:52

    Yes. Well, deliberately for this book, I I I wanted to talk to and meet and travel to the broadest variety of places possible. In Europe, east and west, here in the US, in Asia, spent time in, in Taiwan, and and speak deliberately to people from different parties in each of those places to get the broadest view possible. I certainly wanted to listen very closely to what the Eastern facing NATO allies, current and new, of course, Estonia has been in for a number of years in Finland just joining because they’re closer to the Russia threat and they, they’re certainly more aware and more concerned about Russia’s aggression And by the way, they’ve got a lot of personal experience of it. You know, they they lived, you know, who speak to Kayakala said, you know, they lived under Soviet ruled generation ago.
  • Speaker 4
    0:10:44

    So they’re not speaking out of, they’re not guessing. Right? They they they have real life experience of this. And it’s interesting, Kai Colas, said to me, and this is in the book. She said, listen, for a lot of our Western facing NATO allies, this is an intellectual conversation.
  • Speaker 4
    0:11:03

    The discussion about the Russian threat. And she said for us, it’s existential that, you know, that that, he denies our existence. Putin does much as he did for Ukraine denies it’s, the Baltic’s right to independence. So for us, it’s not just something that he might do someday. We feel it’s a very clear and present danger.
  • Speaker 4
    0:11:25

    So they have they have a more pointed view, right, of that threat. And I think it’s important to to get that in. Now I spoke to to others that that are further west. And and it’s not and it’s not a clear cut dividing line, right? Because when you speak, spoke to a lot of UK officials, the UK has been very forward on this as well, and they’re from the other side of the alliance.
  • Speaker 4
    0:11:45

    But, you you you know, and I’ve spent time on a on a NATO task force in in the Baltic Sea, which had half a dozen countries represented, you know, German flagship. The Portuguese is a Spanish etcetera. So I spoke to a variety of folks, and and I think that in general, you know, the fans and the the the estonians, they have a lot of personal, very recent experience and proximity to the issue and and face to face dealings with with the putins of the world. So you really do wanna listen to them. And, They certainly have that they have a more immediate fear, but I do sense that a lot of the rest of Europe is moving in that direction, right, that that folks are used to to dismiss the threat, don’t do so much anymore.
  • Speaker 4
    0:12:29

    But that’s that’s, one reason why I spent a lot of time speaking to those folks in particular.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:34

    You know, you’d you described in the book trying, to make the case to your bosses at CNN, that, you know, that that this threat is really very serious and you talk about encountering a fair amount of skepticism. Now to be fair, you’re also talk about encountering a lot of skepticism from people like Mark Millie, who’s chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Could you just talk a little bit about, you know, how did the those kinds of Ron DeSantis that sort of consensus form in the journalistic world and how does it get broken? And and is it any different from the way that consensus gets formed and gets broken, say, within government?
  • Speaker 4
    0:13:14

    Yeah. It’s a good question. I think there are a lot of parallels. Right? There are a lot of parallels to to group think, right, that can take place in the news business as it does in in, well, the business world or or government.
  • Speaker 4
    0:13:25

    And I saw that, during my time in the state department as well. So they’re not they’re not entirely dissimilar. And there was a commonality to that prior to the Russia invasion. You had a lot of folks, my colleagues in the news business, a lot of European leaders, right? I’m not Chrome.
  • Speaker 4
    0:13:40

    Among them, he was speaking to Putin days before the before the invasion, imagining that there’s some deal that could be made. Zelensky, even you’ll remember, was downplaying the threat worried that the US was was exaggerating the threat of the invasion to the detriment of the Ukraine’s economy. So there there were a lot of folks who had that skepticism which was built on on a few things. It struck me. One is You know, they had this impression.
  • Speaker 4
    0:14:06

    I think people invest Putin with far more wisdom than he actually has. Right? You you heard a lot of folks saying, he’s too smart to invade Ukraine. He’s playing three-dimensional chess. This is all part of a plan to fool us, and we don’t wanna be fooled by.
  • Speaker 4
    0:14:17

    Well, lo and behold, actually, he was planning. And there he rolled across the border. So I think some of it is, just a misinterpretation of of his intentions and his willingness to to to break through all the norms and so on. And and and that impression despite a whole lot of evidence to the contrary prior to February twenty twenty too. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:14:39

    I mean, here’s a guy who took a slice from Georgia in two thousand eight, took two slices from Ukraine in twenty fourteen. Carried out the largest nation on nation cyber attack on Estonia in two thousand seven, a NATO a NATO member by then, you know, this idea that, well, he would never touch NATO. In fact, he has. I mean, not like scale invasion, but he has. And folks just weren’t connecting the dots as it were.
  • Speaker 4
    0:15:04

    And that that you know, extended from the news business to folks in government, a lot of folks in this country as well. And and I think that’s part of a larger phenomenon. I I wrote about this in in the shadow war too that and and I spoke for instance in Shadow War to the late Ashton Carter who who copped to it because he said I was part of, you know, I I was among the the officials who He was the the term mirrored who who looked at both Russia and China and imagined that you know what? They want what we want in general. Even through years where there was a lot of evidence to the contrary that that that mirroring phenomenon continued, and I think it continued right up to, you know, for a lot of people right up to February twenty twenty two.
  • Speaker 4
    0:15:46

    Now, there are still folks today, as you know, in this country who are like, well, you know, it whose fault was the war? And there’s a candidate for president who says he could end the war in a day and he knows what Putin wants and he could make a deal, etcetera, etcetera, which again denies the facts before our eyes. Right? So some of that some of that mirroring or denial still exists today, but, it was hard to break through. And, you know, you know, the US was trying to show the world by declassifying a lot of intelligence it would not have been done in the past, you know, satellite images of the forces on the border.
  • Speaker 4
    0:16:22

    You know, intercepted communications of of Russian commanders discussing invasion plans. So they were trying to push back against that. And for a lot of people, it wasn’t convincing enough until the tanks started rolling in?
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:34

    So one one question just following up on that. You know, I I I was in, Munich the Munich Security Conference, like, two days before the war broke out. And I’ve been talking to a lot of European friends and acquaintances. And it was clear to me that one of the things that was, introducing a lot of skepticism on their part was the memory of Iraq, and weapons of mass destruction. So again, I’m and I’m I’m I know I’m gonna be asking a lot of questions about about the world of journalism.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:09

    Was that, was it similar was there a similar kind of filter On the journalistic side, do you think?
  • Speaker 4
    0:17:16

    I had conversations. I remember I had a phone call with some of my colleagues, who who brought up that very point. They said, well, remember a rock WMD. And I said, okay. Fair point.
  • Speaker 4
    0:17:25

    No question, but this is not they have they can see these forces building up. Right? They got pictures of them. It was you you know, the the the when you looked at the balance of intelligence that went into this, invasion plans assessment compared to the the WMD assessment, you know, what was the name curveball of that source? I mean, you know, it was it was not as fulsome an assess one might say.
  • Speaker 4
    0:17:50

    And and this one was more visible. It was tactile. Didn’t didn’t mean that, you know, Putin necessarily was going to to make the call and order the troops in. But boy, he put the bulk of his conventional forces on, you know, on the border of Ukraine and his including building the field hospitals and all the stuff you would need for an invasion and his his generals were talking about the invasion. It was a pretty decently, you know, sourced assessment.
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:17

    Again, you know better than me having had the security clearances as well that assessments or assessments in their incomplete information and and the best judgment of that, of that information, the best analysis of it. But this information was certainly more complete than the Iraq WMD one. And and by the way, it turned out to be true. Now, what didn’t turn out to be accurate, right, was how that war would progress because as you remember, the assessment was that, the Iraq Ukrainians were gonna get routed in a few days, but that didn’t happen. They they surprised on the upside.
  • Speaker 4
    0:18:47

    So it’s it’s not perfect, but they were at least right about the invasion.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:51

    Yeah. A couple of points I would make on that. One is, you know, I actually wrote something around December of twenty one in which I described what the administration was doing as an attempt at deterrence by disclosure that they were doing something we did occasionally in the war on terror, which has publicized the information we had about a potential impending terrorist attack in the hope that you would take your adversary kind of out of their, you know, planning cycle and and force them to go back and and start over again. This was done in a much more systematic way and obviously not against a non state actor, but but a state actor. And, I mean, to the point, your point, Jim, about curve ball.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:33

    And so curve ball, of course, was a German source that, you know, we, the R and RIC used on the mobile, biolabs. It was, the idea that Saddam Hussein had mobile biolabs. One of the things that struck me about what the Viden Administration was doing. It was much less collateral from other intelligence services involved here. This was much more US intelligence being disclosed.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:58

    Yeah. So they didn’t have to go through the process of getting allies to agree, you know, to, to disclose. They failed in the end you know, to, to to actually deter Putin, but they did. I think I think it’s fair to say they did set, set themselves up for success in the sense that they, created a predisposition to disbelieve what Putin and the Russians were saying about various false flag kinds of operations. And they, I think laid the groundwork for the very something you described, which is a very close allied cooperation in supplying Ukraine, once the war you know, actually, started.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:47

    So, I mean, I I give them, you know, a high points for that. You broke some news just as the book was coming out because you have a discussion, of, events that took place in the fall of twenty two, you were just talking about the Russian failure to, seize Keith and, to take the Ukrainian government and wrap this all up in seventy two hours. By the fall, it was actually the Ukrainians who were taking territory back. And you describe in some detail, something that David Sanger of the New York Times also wrote about, about the same time that your material appeared on the CNN website just prior to the publication of the book, which was the fear that American officials had that in the fall of twenty two in the, face of these battlefield setbacks that the Russians were potentially preparing to use theater nuclear weapons. And I’d like to dig into that, a little bit.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:50

    I mean, it it’s interesting that right around the time, I think, just after but certainly before your book was published, but after you had, written it, there also was a leak of some Russian nuclear planning documents to the financial times that purported to show that the, threshold for nuclear weapons used by Russia was lower somehow than it had been in the past. Although when you look at the documents, I mean, you look at the accounts of the in the financial times, and I think it was the times of London as well may have gotten them. It’s hard to see how it actually differs from Russian doctrine as we know it, which has always suggested that if the nature of the regime was in a threat as a result of either conventional or nuclear attacks Russia reserve the right to use nuclear weapons. But in the the episode you described, and and it’s you you have a great detail in the in the book on this. US officials, not only started to hear chatter about this among, Russian officials.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:59

    They also got very alarmed about the Russians talking about a potential ukrainian dirty bomb, which would then be the cover, the false flag cover for a Russian use of of theater nuclear weapons. And I I wanna just ask you about that. I mean, you acknowledge, that the sources you used in presumably their some overlap between the sources you had and David Sanger did, because they tell roughly the same story. That although there was no movement visible of nuclear weapons. Normally, those of us who watch this stuff when I we were in government, would be looking for the twelfth Gumo, the the twelfth, general, office of the Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for nuclear weapons, to actually be moving them around on trains or trucks or whatever, There was no movement, but there was talk.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:57

    Now, of course, because of the previous episode, we were just discussing the US making public a lot of Russian planning Russians knew we were monitoring what they were saying. So what, you know, there’s a judgment being made here. Your sources were telling you that the judgment inside the administration was, this is very serious. They might be considering it, and you detail all the steps they took, getting China, India, others to weigh in with the Russians weighing in through various channels directly sending Bill Burns, our former colleague, to speak with Sergei Rishkin, the head of the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. But there’s another potential story here, which is that president Biden had said very clearly at the outset of this that he wanted to support Ukraine, but not at the point of having World War three.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:52

    There had been a lot of discussion at the outset of the war, the potential for nuclear escalation, This is something that the Russians knew was a neurologic point for the administration. So how do we know that this was genuine, not conversations held for the benefit of the listening big ear of, you know, of the intelligence community, and that it wasn’t what the Russians call reflexive control, which is the, I mean, really an idea as old as trying to get your adversary to do what you want by making them think that you’re gonna do something that they you know, therefore, must take some action to preclude. How how do we know this wasn’t really an information op?
  • Speaker 4
    0:25:37

    So it’s an assessment. Right? And assessments are, built on a number of pieces and rarely are assessments a hundred percent. Right? Some are more correct than others.
  • Speaker 4
    0:25:49

    What I reported, before the New York Times, so I will note, although and David gave me credit for that. Is that they had a number of pieces that led them to this assessment. And I’ll walk through those pieces again. I mean, you touched on them. One, At the time Ukraine was losing ground in the south.
  • Speaker 4
    0:26:08

    They had just lost her son, which was his biggest prize. The biggest city it captured during the invasion, and they were losing further. The Russians did. Yes. And the their Russian forces thousands of Russian forces were in danger of being surrounded and cut off by Ukrainian forces.
  • Speaker 4
    0:26:26

    So there was, concern that that would have been such a catastrophic loss, that it was pushing Russia to consider the use of the tactical nuclear weapon. In addition to that, you had this public, campaign, if you wanna call it that by senior Russian officials, Sergei Shoyguin, and others, just to claim that, well, actually, Ukraine is planning some sort of radiological attack. Perhaps a dirty bomb, perhaps an attack on Zaporica, etcetera. And the world has to be prepared for it and Schuego was calling up all of his colleagues around the world. That was another piece.
  • Speaker 4
    0:27:04

    The US read of Russian military doctrine, which is, you know, as as you know, not an exact science. I mean, there there’s some, there there’s some foggy pieces in there, but their read was that Russia might, view the the the loss of ground in the south and the potential loss of many thousands of forces as a potential threat to the entire operation, to territory, which they claimed is Russian, even though it was Ukrainian territory, and therefore a threat to the state and Putin is the state. So it might qualify, for their you know, for a tactical nuclear attack under their their military doctrine. And again, it’s not an exact science, but that was their read their read of it. And then thrown into the mix intelligence intercepts of Russian commanders speaking about it much as they had had intercepts of Russian commanders speaking about the invasion several months before.
  • Speaker 4
    0:27:59

    So that they took all those pieces together and said, this is serious. Now, now the other piece in terms of not having seen the movement of the weapons. These officials acknowledged to me they did not see that, but they said we we aren’t sure that we would. See it in this case because you would know if they were moving warheads onto an ICBM, but if it was a tactical new which could be fired with conventional systems already in place in Ukraine. You might not see it.
  • Speaker 4
    0:28:27

    So that element of uncertainty led them to say, okay, we have to take this so seriously that we have to communicate this directly. For instance, Bill Burns to Nariscan, Milly to Garasimov, you know, all along those lines are allies to Russia, and then enlist, unconventional allies in this case, which was China and India, to get on board and say, you gotta warn Russia away from this, and and sources in the book give credit to to Chinese and Indian efforts, some of which were public comments, statements that, Xi Jinping made when I believe it was, the German chancellor was visiting him statements before the UN by the Indian minister of Foreign Affairs, they they consider that, helpful. So anyway, that big picture, including the seriousness with which, Russia, China and India were taking the threat led them to if they didn’t know a hundred percent, they were certainly concerned about it. And that’s, that’s where where it came about. Could Russia have been playing games with us?
  • Speaker 4
    0:29:31

    I mean, we know that that Putin rattles the nuclear saber frequently in his public public comments often to needle that happens. There’s no question. And by the way, for this book, I I spoke to, officials in Europe who who do believe in Kai Colas being one of them that We allow ourselves to be snowed by the Russians on the nuclear threat because Russia knows, as you say, that we get really scared about that. So anytime they wanna you know, kind of, scare us away. They’ll say, oh, by the way, we have nuclear weapons and we might use them.
  • Speaker 4
    0:30:00

    You know, so there there is some of that. But, And that’s happened multiple times from Putin and Medietta than others, but not with these other ingredients, you know, the potential loss of Russian forces forces on their back foots, the interseptic communications, etcetera. So that in their view, it was different and more real.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:21

    So so as you’ve probably, can tell, Eric and I have dark suspicious minds, And, I mean, like like Eric, I, frankly, I shared the suspicion that the Russians were deliberately playing this up. And because at the end of the day, from their point of view, even if there is, you know, the administration runs around and rallies people, to, you know, tell them not to do it. That’s not a bad situation for them to be in that, you know, people feel awkward just barely holding these people back from, using nuclear weapons. I I have to say I also, obviously, I haven’t seen any of the classified intelligence in a very long time. The idea that people would move tactical nuclear weapons around with no special security measures, no special communications links, I find that very hard to believe.
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:11

    I don’t think they you move those around the way you move hundred and fifty two millimeter, artillery shells around. But I I the even nastier and darker suspicions that I have have to do with what is, you know, intercepted communications, among Russian generals. That’s pretty sensitive stuff. Signals intelligence, which at one point you couldn’t even talk about, is still one of our most highly classified and one of our most valuable sources of intelligence. And and yet, and and sometimes governments very deliberately tell journalists about these things.
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:50

    As they did it at the outset, and for very good purpose in that case, you know, to try to see if they could deter Putin from invading by saying we know what you’re doing. So help me understand why all of a sudden US government officials a few months ago, or however long ago it was, decide that it’s okay to share with two of the countries most prominent national security journalists, the fact that we’re listening in on Russian general officer telephone conversations. What what do and and and and this is really about the craft of journalism. How much do you have to worry about that when you’re reporting the story?
  • Speaker 4
    0:32:40

    Okay. Well, let’s see, a few questions. Listen, is there an information warfare warfare aspect to this? Absolutely. And And, you know, US officials have spoken quite openly about, revealing and and and declassifying intelligence that they would not have done in the past in part to to achieve ends.
  • Speaker 4
    0:32:59

    I mean, one one way they did that was to, early in the early stages of the war They exposed Russia’s planned false flag operations. In Eastern Europe, they all had a whole host of plans in in the works to, for instance, carry out, quote, unquote terror attacks in Eastern Ukraine blame blame, blame Ukrainian terrorists, Nazis, etcetera, acquiring a, you know, Russian military action in the country, but the, you know, US got wind of them and said, hey, this is what the Russians are gonna do, and and you defuse those false flag operations. So there’s some There’s some clever information warfare, you know, as when when intelligence gets, either you know, shared with reporters or publicized in other ways, that there there’s no question. There’s no question that that happens, and listen, as a journalist, you have to be aware with, you know, with with any source under any circumstances, whether it’s an intelligence story or political story, You gotta know your source, right? And you gotta know whether your source has an axe to grind, then you have to plug that into the broader picture.
  • Speaker 4
    0:33:59

    So that you could just run it through your own credibility filters. For me, for instance, with the intelligence, that was, shared and declassified prior to the Russian invasion I’ve been covering this for some time. Right? I’ve been in Ukraine going back to twenty fourteen, and I’d I’ve been writing about and reporting on and doing interviews about Russia’s other aggressive acts around Europe and around the world. So it it fit into that broader picture.
  • Speaker 4
    0:34:24

    It didn’t come out of nowhere. Right? So I found it personally credible based on the trend lines I’ve been covering, you know, for some time. And that’s part of the process as well. And again, not dissimilar from the way an intelligence might look at it.
  • Speaker 4
    0:34:36

    Right? They’re gonna look at the individual pieces and say, well, this fits in with a broader picture, and I certainly don’t have access. You know, I I did have top secret security clearance when I’m in government, but I don’t have it anymore. So do I have to, you know, I have to, you know, use less of that information to try to to build a story that I find credible. I will say, listen, that a lot of the questions you’re asking about this nuclear scare, and the doubts you’re expressing are aren’t entirely dissimilar than the doubts many expressed prior to Russia’s invasion.
  • Speaker 4
    0:35:06

    Right? They’re like, well, you know, and that was exactly the read that many people had. They’re like, well, Putin is doing this just to scare Europe. Right? You know, he’s he’s playing three-dimensional chess He’s not really gonna invade.
  • Speaker 4
    0:35:18

    Trump said that many times, but of course, he did. And I’m not saying the equivalent. I’m just saying that, you know, sometimes, you know, listen to what they say, right? End up, following through on it. And it’s and it’s not the first time that that, intelligence agencies have done this.
  • Speaker 4
    0:35:33

    I look back to the twenty sixteen election and Russian interference in the twenty sixteen election, when you look at that intel report in January twenty seventeen that that described Russian interference and what its intent was It was based in part on not just intelligence intercepts, but intelligence. It seems gleaned from the highest source the US has ever had the Kremlin, right? It may have been part of the reason that that, by the way, that was a story I reported first. The extraction of that that, that, Russian spy, it may have been part of the reason that that Russian spy was taken out of the country. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:36:09

    So there there have been other times when they were like, listen. And and, you know, you you do that with some awareness of the cost, right, that you might very well lose such a source like that or expose a source and so on. That’s all part of the, the judgment they have to make. And and listen, The, all of us have to be aware of how this kind of stuff is weaponized even by our side. So we have to go into we have to enter this with with some skepticism and not believe everything you say or hear and try to, you know, run it through whatever credibility filter you have.
  • Speaker 4
    0:36:44

    And it’s tough It’s not easy. Right? You know, you don’t you you don’t always get it right. You just try to do it as best you can.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:51

    Yeah. I just if I could follow-up on that, because, no, I I agree with you. And I think, you know, I think sometimes people figure, think that, top notch journalists are easily spun. And I don’t think that’s that’s really true. The the follow on, I want to ask you those, as you just mentioned, you did have a couple years in government serving in, the embassy in Beijing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:13

    I think a lot of journalists don’t have that experience. Did it affect how you do your job as a journalist? Does it affect how you report stories and how you understand simply how you understand what’s going on in the world.
  • Speaker 4
    0:37:29

    Yeah. It absolutely I learned so much. I gotta say. And it’s, I feel lucky for it. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:37:34

    You know, I got to serve and it’s a reason I took the job to be in the middle of this relationship between the US and China at a consequential time and to, not just have security clearance where you can read the reports and and the analysis, but also be in the room for meetings with senior Chinese officials, and things happen while I was there. If you remember, While I was there, the, the blind dissident, as it was known Chen Guang Chen, took refuge in the US embassy. That was a major international issue between the US and China. So I got to witness those things, provide the best advice I could in those circumstances and being involved. So that was just I learned a lot, right, just straight up.
  • Speaker 4
    0:38:14

    But I also learned, you know, that, something I knew to some degree, but you there’s no substitute for being in the middle of it that, listen, you know, I think from the outside, we can have this impression that the government knows everything. Right? I mean, you you have the largest intelligence apparatus in the world. They have all these sources. They know which they can, you know, take a picture of anybody from space a million miles.
  • Speaker 4
    0:38:36

    You know, all that kind of stuff. We kinda like they know everything in inter The truth is I know a lot. Right. But again, they’re imperfect people working with imperfect information often making the best judge they can. They have enormous tools that that I don’t have, but but, they get stuff wrong and they get stuff right.
  • Speaker 4
    0:38:53

    And some are high confidence assessments. Some are low confidence assessments. There are people with access to grind inside and outside of the government. You know, so you learn that as well and that’s you know, that that’s important to know because, and to see play out because it just helps you, I think, you know, get it helps you, for instance, when you’re presented with a story like intelligence or the Russian invasion. It helps you run it through your kind of credibility filter.
  • Speaker 4
    0:39:18

    And the the final thing I’ll say is this is that It also gives you listen. Government is flawed. We’ve all you we’ve all worked in government. But by and large, They’re generally good people trying to do their best, you know, with the country’s best interests at heart. There are exceptions to that, but in general, you know, these are bad people.
  • Speaker 4
    0:39:39

    Right? And and particularly today, when everybody’s lost confidence in every institution, I think that that’s an important message to get out. We’ve got a lot of good people doing their best, making enormous sacrifices, working in difficult countries under threat away from their families and, you know, trying to do their bad. I think that’s important for us to know too because the nature of my job is adversarial, right, with the and that’s the way it should be. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:40:01

    Cause you don’t wanna be you don’t wanna be their best friend. Right? You wanna have some distance. But doesn’t mean you have to distrust them or think that they’re horrible people, right, or think they’re out to get you, because that could also be insidious in its own way. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:15

    Yeah. That’s a really important point, I think.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:18

    Yeah. I mean, and I think we I think both Elliot and I agree with that. We we try to I mean, we’ve got plenty of criticisms of the current administration, but we try to remember our own times in government and what it felt like, when you’re in there sort of levered and, you know, I I have discovered though that once you leave government, you immediately add twenty five IQ points, and you’re so much smarter
  • Speaker 4
    0:40:40

    than than the people who are still paying for it. And
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:44

    And and I’ve also noticed that when you testified before the congress, when you’re an outside expert witness, you get treated with so much more deference and kindness than you do when you’re an administration witness of of whatever administrations. I try to keep all that in mind. You know, we you’ve talked about your time in China with Ambassador Law, Jim. And you talk in the book about, your discussions in Taiwan, about the, you know, cross straights flash point that we all know is is out there. And a lot of your discussion focuses on, Taiwan lessons from Ukraine and and what they’re learning and how they have concluded that, you know, they they’re gonna have to fight if they have to fight, you know, an asymmetric conflict and that they have to, as you describe in the book, make themselves into a very undigestible meal for for the PRC, a porcupine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:48

    But my sense of this, because people have been talking about this now for kinda almost a a decade about trying to, you know, create dilemmas and problems for a a Chinese amphibious invasion, which would be a very difficult, you know, military undertaking across ninety miles of, you know, of, open ocean, the very hard thing to accomplish. Certainly that Chinese military has never done anything on that scale or like that. But my sense is that Taiwan is not very far along, and nor are we in helping them become a porcupine? I mean, it’s it’s been a lot of discussion but we haven’t really quite gotten there. Is that your sense as well, or do you think more progress has been made than I’m allowing?
  • Speaker 4
    0:42:38

    I think they’re definitely making progress. I spoke to admiral Lee Shimen. You you may have met who was there. I suppose so that they’re equivalent of chairman of the joint chiefs, and he comes from the Navy side. And and he’s one of the folks who’s been pushing for this transition for some time, pushing Taiwan to to adjust its way away from sort of, you know, legacy weapon systems or, you know, big ships power projection and and more on asymmetric, defensive weapons know, and training their units to be more mobile and and that kind of thing.
  • Speaker 4
    0:43:14

    And and he he speaks quite openly in the book that that took, you know, he had to fight, right, to get that to get that view across and there certainly are still skeptics, but it does seem like it’s it is changing and some of that pressure is coming from the states. Kinds of weapons that we sell them. Right? You know, different than you did in the past. And I I went and I spent time with both the Navy, the air force, and the, army units who were training for, to defend the island.
  • Speaker 4
    0:43:41

    And, and they you know, they take this very seriously. They they watch for lessons from Ukraine. They certainly speak the language of asymmetric warfare, and if they don’t quite say porcupine, but they, you know, in that kind of, in that, kind of general view. So, you know, the the challenges are still enormous. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:44:04

    Even if you snap your fingers and they had that kind of force tomorrow, you know, this is still China. Right? We’re talking about, which is ginormous and Taiwan is small. And, though it’s surrounded by water, China has weapons systems that could really devastate that place in a short period of time. Right?
  • Speaker 4
    0:44:21

    Now, at tremendous cost to China’s own forces, because Taiwan also has tremendous capabilities. And This president at least has committed the US to some sort of military intervention to defend Taiwan, and that when you look at the war games, you’re just devastating for everybody. So, doesn’t make the picture any easier, but I I like the way the way Millie described it is, is, you know, the US strategy is effectively not today. That, you know, that they hope to inject enough doubt into Xi Jinping’s calculation that he wakes up in the morning and looks at the picture and says, Not today. And then the next day, you hope he does the same thing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:58

    Yeah. It’s, you know, it’s an interesting thing. This is a it’s a larger issue in a way. That that that’s how we think about it. I mean, we used to think if we’re gonna if we could end up in a war.
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:10

    And if it’s a war, you wanna make sure that you can win. And I think even within government, to a remarkable degree, that’s not how we frame things as even you know, it’s interesting that Millie, a a general would frame it that way that we just wanna, you know, we’re designing forces to inject out, which is quite different from saying we’re we’re developing forces that can really prevail. You know, the one one thing that strikes me about the book is it it doesn’t really talk about the Israel Gaza war. Of course, it was already in production. Is that give you that war as just kind of orthogonal to the central issues that you’re talking about with Russia and China or If you had more time and you had written the book, you know, maybe a year from now, do you think you would have would you have tried to weave that in in some way as well?
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:02

    How how do you How’s that fit to your conceptual framework?
  • Speaker 4
    0:46:06

    Sure. Well, fair question. I’ll I’ll I’ll be honest with you. I was I was in Israel late October early November following October seventh attacks. I’d already, just about handed the the manuscript in.
  • Speaker 4
    0:46:17

    And I called my editor and I was like, We gotta talk about this and I and I add it. Listen. I I was not gonna be able to to add another, you know, hundred pages to the book on it just based on time and of course the events still happening, so it wasn’t quite clear how things were gonna play out. But I but it was clear, and I spoke to senior Israeli officials, and, and US officials as well. That Russia was doing what it often does, which is part of the broader picture, which was just stoking the flames where it could.
  • Speaker 4
    0:46:44

    Right? It liked to see the US mired in something in the Middle East and America’s ally, of course, Russia has a deep relationship. With Israel as well, but America’s ally in trouble that just occupies us in a way that they see as advantageous to them. And I thought it was notable, and I noticed in the book that Russia sent an s three hundred system to Hezbollah in the midst of this via the Wagner Group, but certainly with the Kremlin okay, which is what would be a nice way to make it more difficult for Israel if it were to have a northern front, maybe to track that end of the war, which is kind of a classic Russian thing to do, which is just disrupt. You know, as Bill Burns tells me in the book, he’s like, you know, Russia’s view of the international order that, you know, Putin’s the kind of guy in his words and bring the temple down.
  • Speaker 4
    0:47:30

    You know, they just they they they like to disrupt and you saw some of that. Now, Yes. To your point, had I written the book later? There would be a a longer section on that, but I do think you you at least get that sense of how they operate. Now it is interesting.
  • Speaker 4
    0:47:43

    I have spoken to to to, sources and officials in the region who have made the point that to some degree Russia’s sort of odd man out in this conflict, right, that it has less influence than it than it imagines, on this one, but, it doesn’t take a lot to disrupt and Russia’s pretty good at disrupting because they don’t They don’t mind. They don’t mind the chaos, you know.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:07

    And that’s been their traditional policy in the region. For a long time, which is to, you know, keep the pot boiling and keep the United States, you know, preoccupied. And, yeah, it’s attention focused on that. You mentioned when we were talking about Taiwan, you know, president Biden’s statements that, he would, you know, unequivocally defend Taiwan, including at least on a couple of occasions to your CNN colleague Anderson Cooper. It it was quite striking to me that recently presidential candidate Donald Trump said, absolutely, I wouldn’t defend Taiwan.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:44

    And, you know, China’s big, Taiwan is small. You know, what, you know, they compete with us, you know, you know, why would we why would we defend them, which may may have come as a shock to some people who think that the Trump presidency was a big, you know, a big effort to reorient us towards the pace challenge of China as his national security strategy and national defense strategy suggested at least in formal documents. You have a whole chapter in the book, about, Trump. That is, I think perhaps in in a book that has a lot of things in it that are sort of scary and terrifying is perhaps the most terrifying thing of all. Because you rely very heavily on, on the record comments from people who worked very closely with Donald Trump, you know, on national security matters day to day for extended periods of time.
  • Speaker 2
    0:49:44

    I mean, have in mind, John Kelly, former chief of staff, Member Secretary of Homeland Security. And John Bolton, former national security adviser, I’ve had similar conversations by the way with both of them. And both of them, you know, as you, recount in the book, basically say he is not fit, to serve as president of the United States, and that a second term would bring almost incalculable risks to the nation’s security and to the rules based global order that you’ve talked about earlier. Can you talk a little bit about that? I mean, you know, you’ve already written a, you know, kind of a a book about the the madman theory about, you know, Trump’s, you know, disruptive effects.
  • Speaker 2
    0:50:35

    And you talked all, you know, to other people who were less anti trump, but also, hadn’t reservations, and I’m thinking my friend, Matt Pottinger, for instance, former Deputy National Security Advisor. But how did you think about that chapter? I mean, typically, that’s not the kind of chapter you see in the book like this.
  • Speaker 4
    0:50:56

    Well, here’s the thing. It it just struck me that you couldn’t write a book about the return of great power competition without describing the two frankly diametrically opposed approaches that you have that that this country is gonna make a decision about, you know, in in the November election. Whatever your politics, the Trump versus Biden view of the world is is vastly vastly different. And the US place in the world, and and how to adjust to this this new era, gray power competition. And it’s not like a incremental difference, you know, ten degrees this way, ten degrees that way.
  • Speaker 4
    0:51:37

    It’s really one eighty. And As you say, John Kelly and Bolton and others say, you know, if if Trump will be reelected, Ukraine aid ends, and that Trump has said that himself, so you don’t have to guess about it. The US will not defend Taiwan. I mean, there’s a story I tell in the book, Bolton, that Trump used to sit in the Oval Office, point at his Sharpie and say, see, the tip of that pen, that’s Taiwan. See this desk, that’s China.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:03

    To to make the point that Taiwan has no chance against China. Therefore, we have no business defending it. So they say in quite explicit terms, if I’m Ukraine, I’d be worried. If I’m Taiwan, I’d be worried. They make the point that just as he has no real interest in NATO and doesn’t see it in in America’s interests, and they say that He very likely will attempt to get the US out of NATO.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:24

    And if if not due to legislation and Congress won’t ratify, he’ll effectively neuter it by as commander in chief rendering article five meaningless because and again, this is something he said out loud. I’m not Russia do whatever the hell you want. Right? And they tell the story in there about how he very nearly pulled the US out of NATO in twenty eighteen. But they say similar.
  • Speaker 4
    0:52:47

    He has a similar view of US defense alliances with South Korea and with Japan. So that’s a retreating America, huge consequences for our allies and for parts of the world that that, that we as Americans are used to going to safely, etcetera, and doing business in. That’s a big choice. And he also imagines that out of pure force of will and personality, he can make deals with she and Putin to sort of you know, he’s willing to to to accommodate and find peace, which to me strikes me as not fact based. Because these are strategic decisions by Russia and China to undermine the US, weaken the US, and break down the system.
  • Speaker 4
    0:53:28

    You know, the best negotiator in the world cannot change those countries’ strategic interests. So, that’s a big choice. And the following again, you know, like like you say, don’t believe me. Believe the guys who worked with him very closely in the last administration because they say this very much on the record. I just as I was writing the book, it’s it’s not a political book.
  • Speaker 4
    0:53:48

    It’s about the world, but America’s place in the world is consequential and we have an election coming that will decide, you know, a quite dramatic difference in approaches to that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:54:03

    You know, I in a, a book that has a lot of powerful parts. I I have to say I thought that was that was the most powerful, and it’s disturbing. We’re we’re running, to the end of our time here. I I had one last question. I wanted to ask you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:54:17

    You’ve got this vast beat, national security. I mean, it it literally global. You must have some stories that you think gosh, I really wish I could devote more time to this. I think it’s really important, but I’m just spread too thin. Could you just tell us what one or two of those stories might be?
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:36

    If you’re you’re saying if I were to go to the place and tell them or or squeeze it into the book.
  • Speaker 3
    0:54:41

    Well, either either one. So, stories that you think need you would really like to see being told to the American people or to a global audience since CNN is global that, you know, just don’t get told. And I think
  • Speaker 4
    0:54:56

    Sure. I think this is one of them. I think that when we talk about the election, we talk about a lot of ways. We don’t talk enough about what a consequential decision this will be for America’s place in the world. I think that’s quite important.
  • Speaker 4
    0:55:07

    But I also think we don’t do nearly enough coverage of how the great powers interact in the global south because there is a great game underway on the Nance of Africa and and Latin America today. China with the belt and road, Russia with various coups, and you name it. To establish influence in their their and often successfully. It’s not perfect. And and I also think that you know, this is just from perspective.
  • Speaker 4
    0:55:37

    We don’t want to approach either Russia or China as ten feet tall because they have their own weaknesses, Russia’s economy is decrepit. They just lost their entire European market for for, their, for energy. They’ve got an aging population. China’s economic growth is flattening, and it’s it’s hitting this demographic wall, etcetera. So we don’t ever want to give the impression that they’re perfect.
  • Speaker 4
    0:55:59

    And I look at Belton Road, that’s one example. I mean, Belton Road kinda ticks a lot of people off, right? Because China comes in. I mean, think of Sri Lanka, and they build this port, and they’re like, oh, you’re in debt. I want that port for ninety nine years.
  • Speaker 4
    0:56:10

    Sounds a lot like Hong Kong, by the way, which China is still burning about. You know, the, you know, the the treaty there. So I think, global south, we have to spend a lot more time looking at how this is happening there, where the US is behind, and where it needs to interact more similarly in Latin America. And then I think the Arctic too. And I talk about the Arctic a little bit in this book, and I’ve done some stories up there, but that is another great game where you have certainly the US and Russia head to head there, but also China as a player in that space, as the ice melts, it’s a both a business story, but it’s also a national security story.
  • Speaker 4
    0:56:47

    And one of my favorite trips ever, was to go on a a US sub during the ice X exercises up there and bust through the ice and walk out and kinda, you know, see the see the forever sunlight. But also be part of those exercises which are you know, part of this cat and mouse game keeping your eyes on Russian subs as there as we’re testing each other out. I think, those fields of play They may seem far away, but, they’re really active right now.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:16

    Yeah. You’d you’d touch on the on the space issues in the book. And and, you know, one thing I know I’m concerned about, and there’s been a lot of attention. Obviously, thanks to, chairman Turner of the house senate or house intelligence committee about whether the Russians are or aren’t going to put a nuclear weapon in space but, you know, China has become, you know, the major space faring country over the last couple of years, which is a story we haven’t paid much attention to. Building a lot of ground stations in in, in Latin America.
  • Speaker 2
    0:57:52

    Yes. And, very, very worrisome because I can’t recall now whether they’re talk about it or not, but the, the launch several years ago by China of a fractional orbital bombardment system which approach the United States from the south rather than the north, which we lack or we’re changing it, but we, at the time, lack the ability to track. Very, very worrisome. For what it says about potential Chinese Chinese intentions as they become a nuclear peer, which is something you do talk about, in the book.
  • Speaker 4
    0:58:25

    Yeah. Definitely talk about space. I talked about this in in, the shadow war, and I and I talk about it in this That’s another example. When I when I try to explain this audience is that that we we may like to think that this is a distant problem and, you know, the the Ukraine war, Taiwan far away. It’s not really our fight, but, you know, the first of all, I I believe from a values perspective, it is our fight and also it has these systems break down that does not serve our selfish interests too.
  • Speaker 4
    0:58:51

    It’s not just for, the sake of, the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people are the Taiwanese people. It’s also because we benefit from from this system. But I also say that, you know, the weapons systems that both China and Russia have and employee are designed to bring pain to us at home, right, to to turn the lights out in Washington via cyber attack or to take away GPS capabilities, which would wouldn’t just mean you’re driving your car into the water. Right? It means, you know, all the way financial transactions get time stamps and train signals and so on.
  • Speaker 4
    0:59:24

    Anyway, the weapons are designed to make it so we feel it too in the event of a conflict.
  • Speaker 2
    0:59:30

    Our guest has been Jim Shudo. His new book is the return of Great Powers Russia China and the next World War. And Jim, since, you know, writing seems to be a kind of, passion and habit of yours. I expect that in a couple of years time, there’ll be another book and hope we’ll be able to bring you back as a guest on shield of the Republic.
  • Speaker 4
    0:59:51

    I’d love it. It’s a real honor to speak to both of you. Thanks so much for on it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:55

    Thanks, Jim.