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Oct 2, 2020

Commentators describe the first presidential debate of the 2020 general election as a "hot mess inside a dumpster fire," "a bad reality TV show," and "a complete disaster." What insights on American foreign policy might we – and the rest of the world – draw in its aftermath? In this episode, host Mark Hannah is joined by Doug Wilson, the national security policy advisor for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s erstwhile presidential campaign. Doug also served in the Obama administration as the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.


We reflect on the first presidential debate in the context of U.S. national security policy, and on how the politics of American foreign policy is interpreted by America’s friends and foes. Doug discusses his involvement in the Buttigieg campaign, the importance of democratic legitimacy for statecraft, and the most recent survey of American public opinion on foreign policy from the Eurasia Group Foundation's Independent America project