New Podcast Series from QI & Open Source Examines Why America is Perpetually at War

WASHINGTON, DC In partnership with WBUR’s Open Source, the Quincy Institute is launching a limited podcast series examining America’s over-militarized foreign policy. 

“In Search of Monsters: The Rise and Fall of American Empire” takes a closer look at the people, events, and structures that have shaped and reinforced America’s disastrous, globe-spanning ambitions—from America’s annexation of the Philippines in 1898 to the reporters and think tanks beating the drums of war in Ukraine today. 

Each week, Open Source’s Christopher Lydon will host a conversation with advocates, researchers, historians, and journalists—both leaders who have turned the wheels of history and those fighting to shift the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in pursuit of lasting peace. 

“This is a series for anyone interested in history, contemporary politics, American culture, high-stakes strategy, lively stories, and crucial debates,” Lydon says.

In the series’ premiere, Quincy Institute President Andrew Bacevich joins Lydon for a wide-ranging discussion on the history of U.S. foreign policy and how America became an empire, his own experiences in the Cold War and Vietnam, and how he went from a career soldier to an historian and prominent critic of militarism.

Future episodes will explore the twists and turns of nuclear negotiations with Iran, the possibility of a new cold or possibly hot war with China, Afghanistan in the aftermath of U.S. withdrawal, the history and future of NATO among other topics.  The conversations will challenge conventional understandings and point to different and better ways forward.

In one episode, retired diplomat Chas Freeman recounts his experience as chief interpreter on President Nixon’s groundbreaking trip to China, 50 years to the month after Nixon met with Mao Zedong. He discusses with Lydon the geopolitical pressures that brought about the opening, and how the results of this meeting have radically remade our world.  

“We look forward to working with Open Source to shed light on the roots of an all too often destructive and hubristic U.S. foreign policy,” Andrew Bacevich says. “This series will show how the course that has taken us here was not inevitable — and how with different choices, we can take a better path in the future.”