KGOU

Joshua Landis

Contributor, World Views

Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

His daily newsletter and blog Syria Comment attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington, D.C. to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks.

Beyond KGOU, he is a frequent analyst on the PBS Newshour, The Charlie Rose Show, al-Jazeera, Frontline, NPR, Public Radio International, WBUR's Here and Now, and the BBC.

He is a frequently published contributor to Foreign Policy, Middle East Policy, and TIME Magazine.

Ways to Connect

Milad Avazbeigi / Wikimedia Commons

Kelly Niknejad founded Tehran Bureau in 2008 to provide a platform for independent reporting from Iran. The Bureau, a virtual hub connecting journalists, experts, and the public, is revolutionary.

“You're not just dependent on one [government] minder who is then reporting back to the Ministry of Cultural and Islamic Guidance,” Niknejad says. “You're in touch with people who are in different neighborhoods, who have different backgrounds, who are in different cities. You get to see what part of what they say overlaps, what doesn't, and why doesn't it overlap -- is it because it’s wrong or is it because the reality is different in this neighborhood or this city?”

Suzette Grillot reports from Antalya, Turkey, where she speaks with Middle East expert Joshua Landis about Turkey’s booming economy and domestic anxieties.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Anna Somers Cocks join the program to discuss art appreciation in the 21st century. Shawe-Taylor is the Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, overseeing nearly 7,000 oil paintings and 3,000 miniatures from the British Royal Collection. Somers Cocks is the founding editor and CEO of The Art Newspaper.

University of Oklahoma political economist and European Union expert Mitchell Smith joins the program for a conversation about the eurozone's economy slipping further into recession, and the American kicked out of Russia over accusations of spying for the CIA.

Veteran diplomat Richard Arndt speaks with Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis about how the national security state changed U.S. diplomatic relations. He's the author of The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century.

United States Diplomacy Center / U.S. State Department

Earlier this year an independent review by veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen slammed the U.S. State Department for inadequate security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi before the September 11, 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“The styles of public diplomacy are now constrained by our fear,” says Richard Arndt, a veteran U.S. diplomat and the author of The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the  Twentieth Century. ”Which after all is what terrorists try to produce, and which they've amply succeeded in.”

Arndt says as the United States reestablished diplomatic relations with European countries after World War II, the goal was to build the most beautiful embassies possible.

China hosted back-to-back visits this week with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More and more detainees are participating in a hunger strike at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

So far more than 1,000 have died in the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka. ABC Radio Sima Bhowmik joins Suzette Grillot for a conversation about the lack of government oversight in Bangladesh's garment industry.

On Tuesday President Obama reiterated that the U.S. has evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and regular contributor and Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses "game changers" and crossing "red lines."

Universidad de Chile industrial engineering professor and Educación 2020 founder Mario Waissbluth joins the program for a conversation about socio-economic segregation in the South American country's schools.

FreedomHouse / Flickr

U.S. and other diplomatic officials say discussions within the Obama administration in favor of providing arms to the Syrian rebels are gaining ground amid new indications that President Bashar Assad's regime may have launched additional chemical weapons attacks.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says eliminating Syria's air defenses would be the first step before inspectors could determine if the regime did indeed use chemical weapons.

"Once you've destroyed the Syrian military, you're in Iraq in a sense," Landis says. "We were criticized in Iraq because we only had 100,000 troops to protect an entire country."

On Tuesday the U.N. General Assembly approved a treaty to regulate the global arms trade, and the panel explores what role the CIA is playing in Arab and Turkish military aid to Syria.

Ambassador Cynthia Schneider joins Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis to discuss how culture influenced her diplomacy while representing the United States in the Netherlands between 1998 and 2001.

isafmedia / Flickr

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multi-billion dollar global arms trade Tuesday.

Iran, North Korea and Syria voted "no" on Tuesday, while Russia and China, both major arms exporters, abstained.

Suzette Grillot is the co-author of the 2009 book The International Arms Trade. She says Syria opposed the treaty because it does nothing to prevent weapons from flowing to non-state actors, like the Syrian opposition.

Focus Features / NBCUniversal

While serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands in 2001, Cynthia Schneider used Hollywood to approach sensitive drug issues between American and Dutch officials.

Schneider invited embassy staffers focusing on drugs, and their counterparts in the Dutch Ministry of Justice, to a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning film Traffic.

“It's a very powerful film that shows the intricacies of drug trafficking, and really shows how complicated it is,” Schneider says. “That was a fantastic experience because it kind of leveled the playing ground, and after seeing that film together we were able to have the most honest, direct conversation that we ever had, and really make progress.”

Suzette Grillot,  Joshua Landis, and Rebecca Cruise discuss the election of Pope Francis, the financial situation of the Vatican, and the influence of the New World on the Catholic Church.

Deputy Director for Research at the Mohyla School of Journalism at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Anastasiia Grynko joins Grillot and Cruise for a conversation about media ethics and transparency in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries.

The Vatican

On Friday, Pope Francis paid a heartfelt tribute to his predecessor Benedict XVI, saying his faith and teaching had "enriched and invigorated" the Catholic Church and would remain its spiritual patrimony forever.

Francis offered the respects during an audience with the cardinals who elected him to succeed Benedict, whose resignation set in motion the extraordinary conclave that brought the first prelate from the New World and the first Jesuit to the papacy.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the hope among many Catholics is that the Church moves away from such strong European influence.

University of Oklahoma comparative political scientist Charles Kenney looks at the death and legacy of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and John Topping, the President and CEO of the Climate Institute, discusses climate change, the Arctic, and international security.

NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Flickr

A new study out this week finds that ice-free passage from North America to Asia directly over the North Pole could be possible after 2049.

UCLA geographers Laurence Smith and Scott Stephenson published the study Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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