Why Should We Care About the Indo-Pacific?

by Ray Powell & Jim Carouso

Join hosts Ray Powell and Jim Carouso as they delve into the crucial issues defining the 21st century's pivotal region--one that spans from Hollywood to Bollywood. Learn to navigate its most important geopolitical, economic, military, environmental and cultural challenges, with a practical emphasis on why it matters.

Hosted by seasoned diplomatic and national security practitioners, each episode offers insight ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Why Should We Care About the Outlaw Ocean?

    Why Should We Care About the Outlaw Ocean?

    Ray and Jim talk to Ian Urbina, Director of the Outlaw Ocean Project about the vast, lawless areas of the sea where dark, extra-legal, often destructive and inhumane activities take place. Ian highlights the ethical concern for the well-being of the 50 million people who work at sea, the environmental impact of the oceans as the earth's climate stabilizer and source of biodiversity, and the fascinating stories that unfold in this hidden world. He also delves into the issues of overfishing--especially China's immense distant-water fishing fleet--and human rights abuses in the fishing industry.

  • Why Should We Care About Myanmar's Civil War?

    Why Should We Care About Myanmar's Civil War?

    Ray & Jim talk about an Asian civil war and human rights disaster that many have never heard of with former U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, Scot Marciel. Myanmar is a southeast Asian country of 55 million people strategically located between Thailand, China, India, and Bangladesh, which experienced a military coup in 2021. The ruling junta has been responsible for massive human rights violations and a humanitarian crisis, while a growing resistance has recently gained significant ground. China has strategic interests in Myanmar, and has supported both the military and some ethnic armed groups. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has struggled to address the crisis. The best hope for Myanmar's is for the resistance to prevail and negotiate a new federal system, but there are risks of balkanization among the ethnic groups. At the end, special guest Biak Tha Hlawn--now a student at Stanford University--shares her personal experience as a member of the persecuted Chin ethnic group, and the losses her family has suffered due to the conflict. Those who wish to support her relief efforts can contact Hlawn at bhlawn@stanford.edu.

  • Why Should We Care About America's Indo-Pacific Allies?

    Why Should We Care About America's Indo-Pacific Allies?

    Ray and Jim welcome retired Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., former commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and former Ambassador to South Korea, to discuss how alliances are crucial to U.S. national security. They touch on each of the five Indo-Pacific treaty alliances--Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand--and discuss why some are coming together in a new "latticework", replacing the "hub-and-spoke" model of the past. Admiral Harris explains why he has come to advocate for replacing the decades-long U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" toward Taiwan and replacing it with one of "strategic clarity". He also discusses the roles of several new Indo-Pacific groupings such as the Quad--U.S., Japan, Australia and India.

  • Why Should We Care About the Defense of Taiwan?

    Why Should We Care About the Defense of Taiwan?

    Jim and Ray welcome retired Major General Mick Ryan, Royal Australian Army and retired Rear Admiral Mike Studeman, U.S. Navy to discuss the importance of defending Taiwan. They highlight the profound consequences of a Chinese takeover of Taiwan and its implications for the United States, Australia and the region. They emphasize the need to communicate the significance of Taiwan to the public, and to strengthen deterrence against China's aggression. The conversation explores the challenges of deterrence in the modern age and the need for a comprehensive approach that goes beyond military capabilities. Mick discusses his recent book about a hypothetical war over Taiwan and the importance of land operations in the defense of Taiwan.

  • Why Should We Care About Southeast Asian Economies?

    Why Should We Care About Southeast Asian Economies?

    Jim & Ray interview former U.S.Ambassador Ted Osius--now the President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council--about the importance of Southeast Asia's rapidly growing economies, especially as companies seek to de-risk away from China's deteriorating business environment. They discuss the growth and potential of Southeast Asia, the opportunities for US investment in the region, and the continuing challenges faced by American companies who want to operate there. They also touch on America's failed involvement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and how that has negatively affected its economic opportunities and strategic position in Asia. They further discuss ASEAN's role in regional politics--what it can and can't do in the economic, diplomatic and security arenas. In this episode's "There I was..." segment, Jim recalls how as diplomats in Jakarta he and Ted would meet regularly with a wealthy Indonesian businessman who often had an axe to grind.