The bottom line of this episode is this: If you can identify with the experience of coming home from war or you want to better understand that experience, you should see the new film "Thank You For Your Service." When you go, be prepared for something powerful and heartbreaking, but also something necessary. In this episode, we hear from Jason Hall, the writer and director of the film, and Adam Schumann, the Army veteran played in the film by Miles Teller. The movie is based on the book of the same name by David Finkel and it tells the story of members of an Army unit once they’ve come home and left the military, only to do battle with the memories of their combat and the trauma of their experiences.
The Kurds of Northern Iraq held an independence referendum, Iraqi federal forces seized Kirkuk, and the world wondered if we were on the precipice of another round of what could be described as one long-running Iraqi civil war involving the state, jihadists, tribes, sectarian militias, various Kurdish factions, and - of course - a bevy of outside powers.
We haven't seen a descent into a new round of violence, at least yet. But what does the future hold for Iraq? Can the Kurds and Baghdad come to some sort of agreement? What do we mean when we say "the Kurds" anyway? What does this mean for Iraq and Iraqi nationalism now that the war to take back territory from the self-proclaimed Islamic State is winding its way to an end? What about the Shia militias raised for that fight? What place do they now hold in Iraq?
Since Donald Trump began to close in on the Republican nomination for the race for the White House, people have been debating the ethical implications of a Trump administration. And those discussions became more urgent and, in some cases, heated with Trump assuming office this year. Much of the focus has been on the ethics of public service during this presidency. Nine months have not delivered any sort of consensus. Is it ethical to serve this administration? Is it different for political appointees than civil servants? What about members of the military? Does President Trump force any new ethical questions?
Ryan Evans turned to Pauline Shanks Kaurin and Shannon French, two philosophers who focus on military ethics, to help us parse these questions.
Ryan Evans had the pleasure to sit down with Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, authors of the new book The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World. Remember that treaty you learned about in school that outlawed war after World War I - the Kellogg-Briand Pact? That's right, the one you laughed at.
Well Oona and Scott -- both of Yale Law School -- make a pretty strong argument that it actually worked far better than we all thought. And, in doing so, they make a good case that international relations scholars should take the power of the law more seriously.