Tea Leaves Podcast

© 2021 The Asia Group

May 28, 2018

Robert Kaplan

Kurt and Rich sit down with famed foreign correspondent and author Robert Kaplan to discuss great power rivalries in Asia – particularly between the United States and China. Elaborating ideas that he has explored over the past two decades and in his latest book, The Return of Marco Polo’s World, Kaplan warns listeners that the greatest threat to American influence in Asia is the absence of a coherent vision. Moreover, drawing from a vast array of disciplines – including naval strategy, history, and political theory – Kaplan reminds audiences that technology has shrunk geography rather than defeat it, with events on one side of the Pacific having an ever-increasing impact across the ocean.

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May 14, 2018

Alyssa Ayres

Dr. Alyssa Ayres first arrived in India in 1990 when the country’s political and economic future appeared uncertain – since then, she has closely followed Delhi’s growing confidence on the world’s stage and the international community’s expanding interest in India. Capturing this transformation in her newest book, “Our Time Has Come,” Dr. Ayres joins Tea Leaves to highlight the opportunities and also the persistent challenges that India faces in the decade ahead. With an eye to the future, she places particular emphasis on how China’s explosive emergence has simultaneously shaped India’s own aspirations and presented unprecedented challenges through its increased presence in the Indian Ocean. With this in the backdrop, Dr. Ayres and the Tea Leaves hosts engage in an exciting discussion on what all this means for India’s status in the world, its relationship with Pakistan and Bangladesh, and its ties with the United States.

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April 30, 2018

Ambassador Navtej Sarna

From a demographic, economic, and geopolitical outlook, it is difficult to estimate the full impact that India will have on the coming century. Likewise, efforts to advance shared interests in not just the Indo-Pacific region, but also on the global stage, will be in large part determined by India’s participation. Coming from his unique vantage point, Ambassador Navtej Singh Sarna sits down with Tea Leaves to discuss the past, present, and future of India’s role in the region and its relationship with the United States. From building constructive relationships with regional players and India’s transition from “looking east” to “acting east,” Ambassador Sarna explains to the Tea Leaves hosts why he believes an entirely positive U.S.-Indian relationship is only constrained by time and energy.

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April 16, 2018

Ash Carter

Tea Leaves traveled to Boston this week to meet with Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Kurt and Rich talk to Ash about his tenure at the Pentagon, the dynamism of the Indo-Pacific, and the challenges the United States faces in the region. Ash draws on his 35-year career working on defense and technology to hone in on critical issues, including the rise of China, strategy and policymaking, and partnering with India. Despite myriad challenges, Ash remains confident in the U.S. role in Asia and in the region’s massive potential.

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April 2, 2018

Mike Green

In this episode, Kurt and Rich meet with leading Japan scholar, author, and former NSC Senior Director for Asia Michael Green to discuss his career path, the United States’ long history of engagement with Asia, developments around North Korea, and how the U.S. should be thinking about its grand strategy. His latest book, By More Than Providence, explores the development of U.S. strategy in Asia from its inception, granting insights into how the future of U.S. engagement will shape the region.  Michael’s experience living and working both in Japan and the United States, and both inside and outside government, give him a unique understanding of how the United States is perceived and projects its power in Asia. Using his unique background, not to mention his talent on the bagpipes and in Iaido, Michael explains how America’s role in Asia predates World War II, why that is important, and what it means for American foreign policy in the future.  Note for the listeners: this episode was recorded prior to the announcement that President Trump and Kim Jung-un may meet in early May.

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