Uncommon Knowledge
A Lost War: A Conversation with Victor Davis Hanson and H. R. McMaster on Afghanistan’s Past, Present, and Future

A Lost War: A Conversation with Victor Davis Hanson and H. R. McMaster on Afghanistan’s Past, Present, and Future

September 20, 2021
iGeneral H. R. McMaster and military historian Victor Davis Hanson are both senior fellows at the Hoover Institution. In this frank, no-holds-barred conversation, they discuss the United States’ mission in Afghanistan: how it began, how it was conducted, and its ignominious end. McMaster and Hanson debate what worked and what failed, how social issues in the United States may have influenced our mission in Afghanistan and our decision to leave, and whether or not the United States should have continued to maintain a presence instead of leaving in a matter of weeks, abandoning thousands of Afghans loyal to the US mission there (as well as an unknown number of US citizens) after 20 years of military operations in the country.

Recorded on September 17, 2021

Joe Felter On Countering China In Their Own Backyard

Joe Felter On Countering China In Their Own Backyard

August 4, 2021

Joe Felter is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He also served as an officer in the US Army special forces, where he saw combat in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. During the Trump administration, Dr. Felter served as deputy secretary of defense for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. In this wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Felter discusses the ever growing threat to Taiwan from the People’s Republic of China and the state of preparedness for such a conflict in the United States and the West. Dr. Felter also discusses the India-Russia relationship and the US opportunity there, and how private industry in the United States can provide better support for the armed forces than the Pentagon itself. 

Recorded on July 9, 2021

China, Big Tech, and Cyber Defense: The World According to Zegart

China, Big Tech, and Cyber Defense: The World According to Zegart

July 14, 2021

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she chairs the Working Group on Technology, Economics, and Governance. She’s also a professor of political science at Stanford, and an expert on intelligence, cybersecurity, and big tech. In this wide-ranging conversation, Professor Zegart discusses the US relationship with China and how she views that country’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan; why big tech companies are a potential threat not only to privacy, but also to our national security; and why the next war may well be fought with a keyboard rather than on a battlefield.

Recorded on June 30, 2021

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Prey: A Panel Discussion on Europe, Islam, and Women’s Rights

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Prey: A Panel Discussion on Europe, Islam, and Women’s Rights

July 2, 2021

Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book on the explosion of sexual violence and harassment in Europe, was published in early 2021. Since then, the book has sparked a worldwide discussion online and offline about the immigration of huge numbers of mostly young Muslim men (more than 3 million, by some reports) to European cities and its effect on the women who live there. To discuss this phenomenon, explain why many of these young men feel empowered to harass women, and offer some possible solutions, Peter Robinson is joined by Prey author and Hoover Institution research fellow Ayaan Hirsi AliValerie Hudson, a professor of political science at the Bush School at Texas A&M University and an expert on women’s rights and demographics; and Christopher Caldwell, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and the author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, published in 2009, and The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, published just last year. 

Recorded on June 11, 2021

“Tear Down This Wall” At 34

“Tear Down This Wall” At 34

June 17, 2021

Thirty-four years ago, on June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall to deliver an address. Just over two years later, on November 9, 1989, the East German government suddenly announced that it had decided to permit free passage between East and West Berlin—the Berlin Wall had ceased to function. To commemorate one of the seminal events of the 20th century, the Reagan Institute invited Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson to participate and record a panel discussion featuring  Peter Robinson, author of Reagan’s speech; Jamie Fly, president and CEO of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty; William Inboden, chair of the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin; and H. R. McMaster, former national security advisor to President Trump and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Together, the panel delves into the history and provenance of the speech, the reaction of the Soviets and of the world to the speech, and its place in history looking back three decades later.

Recorded on June 11, 2021

The Trump Economy and the Cost of the Lockdown

The Trump Economy and the Cost of the Lockdown

June 14, 2021

Tyler Goodspeed is the former director of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and currently the Kleinheinz Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has published three volumes on economic history and holds undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He has also studied at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and taught at King’s College London.  Goodspeed explains why he pursued a job in the Trump administration, gives his thoughts on the economic policies of the Biden administration, and describes what it was like to watch one of the strongest economies in the history of the world implode over the course of several weeks in the spring of 2020. 

Recorded on May 26, 2021

Maverick: Jason Riley On The Life And Times Of Thomas Sowell

Maverick: Jason Riley On The Life And Times Of Thomas Sowell

May 26, 2021

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley has just published Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowellthe definitive account of the life of Hoover senior fellow Thomas Sowell. In this wide-ranging interview, Peter Robinson and Riley discuss the events and people that helped Sowell become one of the most important American voices on cultural, economic, and racial matters of the last 50 years.

Recorded on May 13, 2021

Doom: Niall Ferguson On The Politics And Policies Of The Pandemic

Doom: Niall Ferguson On The Politics And Policies Of The Pandemic

May 4, 2021

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, his new book on the decisions made by governments and public health officials around the world during the COVID pandemic. In this wide-ranging discussion, Ferguson describes what governments and leaders got right and got wrong—very wrong—over the 15 months since the coronavirus spread from China. Were the lockdowns instituted around the world prudent and life saving, or did they cause more damage by crippling economies and creating massive unemployment and enormous government debt across the globe? How can vaccines be created and distributed faster and more efficiently than this one? Finally, what lessons can we learn from this pandemic that can be applied to or even prevent the next one? Yes, Niall is certain there will be another one.

Recorded on April 28, 2021

Cold War II—Just How Dangerous Is China?

Cold War II—Just How Dangerous Is China?

April 13, 2021

China is a nation with 1.3 billion people, an economy projected to become bigger than the United States’ in just a few years, and a rapidly growing military.  Hong Kong has already fallen under its authority. Meanwhile, Taiwan looms in the distance—with a population of almost 24 million, it’s a technology hub and the world’s leading manufacturer of microchips and other items essential to high tech. What are China’s ambitions toward Taiwan? And if they are ominous, what should the US response to Chinese aggression be? To answer these questions, we’re joined by two experts: former national security advisor (and current Hoover Institution senior fellow) H. R. McMaster and former US deputy national security advisor (and current Hoover distinguished visiting fellow) Matthew Pottinger. They also discuss the Biden administration’s recent diplomatic encounters with China, and which countries might be allies in a conflict with China—and which ones would not be. 

Recorded on April 9, 2021

Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

April 6, 2021

Dr. Stephen Meyer directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He returns to Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson to discuss his newest book,  Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In this wide-ranging and often mind-bending interview, Dr. Meyer explains the God Hypothesis; makes his continuing and evolving case for intelligent design; describes how Judeo-Christian theology gave rise to science; discusses why the discovery of DNA is actually an enigma, as its existence cannot be explained by natural selection; and more.

Recorded on March 30, 2021

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