In The Room

Each week, listeners are invited to join Peter as he covers topics like the Ukraine War, the war in Gaza, the Pentagon’s long and schizophrenic relationship with UFOs, a rare peek inside the FBI’s unit that is trying to prevent mass shootings, and a tour of the CIA’s secret museum. He interviews top experts and leaders like U.S. Army General David Petraeus, Jen Easterly, who leads U.S. efforts to prevent cyberattacks, former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, U.S. Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Josh Geltzer, CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Lord Andrew Roberts, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christine Abizaid, Admiral William “Bill” McRaven and leading authors like Patrick Redden Keefe and Elizabeth Kolbert.

Listen on Audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever podcasts are found.

Episode 60

The One Way Out of an Israeli-Palestinian Forever War

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman has been thinking about the Middle East since he was 15 years old and he’s been covering the region for 45 years. He remains adamant that the only way forward for Israelis and Palestinians is through a two-state solution. He tells Peter what it will take to get there.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Episode 59:

The Rise, and Maybe Downfall, of Liberal Democracy

Veteran journalist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has made a career of putting hard questions to many of the world’s most powerful people. Taking the temperature of global politics these days, he’s worried democracy is on a dangerous downward slide. He explains why — and where — leaders are taking their countries down dark paths, and what can be done to rescue democracy as we know it.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Transcript

Episode 58

The Right-Wing Plan for Trump to Root Out the “Deep State Department”

You may have heard some ruckus about Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s 887-page plan to overhaul the federal government, fire thousands of career bureaucrats and bring in loyalists if Trump wins a second term. But what would this look like in practice? You’ll hear from the author of one chapter of the plan who says curing what ails the US State Department should start with replacing many of its diplomats. And you’ll hear why a couple of veteran US diplomats believe doing so will threaten national security.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Transcript

Episode 57

How Women Became Central to the Central Intelligence Agency

Peter speaks with a former CIA officer who entered the CIA in 1968, another who got her start just before 9/11, and the author of The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Transcript

Episode 56

India’s Modi Will (Likely) Get the Most Votes in Human History. Why?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is the most popular leader in the world — and he’s poised to win reelection to a third term. With his embrace of religious nationalism, is India’s secular democracy in peril? Or is Modi just giving the country’s 1.1 billion Hindus what they want?

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Transcript

Episode 55

The Man Who Led NATO Is Trying to Frighten You

How could the US lose a war with China? What happens if American political divisions keep getting more extreme? And what in the world will A.I, mean for national security? These are the questions that keep the former commander of NATO, retired Admiral James Stavridis and retired Marine Captain Elliot Ackerman up at night. But unlike a lot of people in their shoes, they haven’t been harrying policymakers with op-eds or whitepapers. Instead they teamed up to write a set of novels showing how badly things could go — and what the U.S. can do to avoid a nightmarish future.

Listen on Audible | Apple Podcasts

Episode 54

The View From a Newsroom in the Middle East

In the Room with Peter Bergen

Mina Al-Oraibi is the editor of The National, an English-language newspaper headquartered in Abu Dhabi. She shares how the post-October 7th news landscape looks inside the Middle East.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Transcript

Episode 53

1-on-1 with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

RFK, Jr.’s views on vaccines and his penchant for questioning official narratives have kept him on the fringes of American politics for years. But now, as a third-party presidential candidate he is polling around 10% — enough to affect the outcome of an election that is expected to be decided on a razor-thin margin. In this lengthy sit-down, first published in September, 2023, Peter probes Kennedy’s unrelenting skepticism about a wide range of issues, from the war in Ukraine to the fentanyl epidemic — and whether he buys the official narratives about 9/11 and the moon landing.

Listen on Audible | Apple Podcasts

Episode 52

Is the U.S. is headed into a new Cold War?

David Sanger thinks so. After four decades at The New York Times, he may be America’s most experienced national security reporter, and he thinks superpower conflict is back. He describes how the U.S. overestimated the democratizing power of globalization, underestimated the ambitions of Russia and China, and what, if anything, can be done to counter the “grand delusion” that kept so many smart observers from seeing this new era coming.

Listen on Audible | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Transcript

Episode 51

What Happened When the Migrant Crisis Came to Chicago?

What Happened When the Migrant Crisis Came to Chicago?
In the Room with Peter Bergen

Busloads of migrants have been arriving in northern cities for the past two years, testing the patience of some residents and bringing out empathy in others. We go to Chicago to find out what the real, local effects of this surge are — not just what the politicians with their megaphones say they are. And we explore some solutions to a problem that has become the number one issue on voters’ minds in this crucial election year.

Listen on Audible | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Transcript