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Launched in the summer of 2020, The Burn Bag Podcast is a weekly national security and foreign policy oriented podcast that aims to break down some of the most pressing security challenges of today’s world with the people who have worked and lived them. Every Monday, you can listen to a new conversation with a leading policy practitioner, thinker, or leader, that will make these important issues accessible to everyone who wants to know more — no expertise required.

What in the World? (05/07/21) The Burn Bag Podcast

In this week's episode, A'ndre and Ryan provide an update on the COVID crisis in India, breakdown the protests in Colombia, and dig into the political situations in the United Kingdom and Israel.  They also discuss Facebook's Oversight Board and whether dogecoin is going to the moon. 
  1. What in the World? (05/07/21)
  2. 100 Ideas for the First 100 Days: Adding a Deputy DNI for Domestic Coordination and Multilateral Security in the Indo-Pacific
  3. America and the World: Primacy, Alliances, and the Post-COVID Order with Professor Stephen Walt
  4. What in the World? (04/30/21)
  5. String of Pearls: Naval Power and Geopolitics in the Indian Ocean with Nilanthi Samaranayake

How Many Burn Bags Have Our Guests Used?

Former CENTCOM Commander and CIA Director David Petraeus: “We used one a day, at least, so that gives you some sense of that. I mean you literally had a burn bag by your desk, and many of the different military and civilian positions I had over the years, probably starting at a fairly early, when I was maybe the aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army, or a speechwriter for the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe or certainly the Executive Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and then on up from there.”

Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell: “Oh gosh, tens of thousands, I’m sure, tens of thousands. There’s one thing about the burn bags I never understood — they required you to staple them shut, before you threw them down this chute. But as soon as you threw the bag into the chute, the bag broke open, and you could hear all the papers fluttering down this chute, so I never understood that requirement”

Former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Robert Cardillo: “I’m going to estimate it to be, it’s got to be over a thousand, I’m going to go with around 1500 burn bags, that had my name on them before they were destroyed.”

Former US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle: “Having thrown more than a few memos and other reports into the burn bag, I’m surprised that no one else has called a podcast the Burn Bag before”