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Trump could stumble into war with Russia, why Syria is worse than ever, and a welcome to Worldly

The first episode of our new foreign policy and national security podcast just went live.

A cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is reshaping the modern Middle East. Something that was once unimaginable — American and Russian planes shooting at each other in the skies over Syria — is more likely than ever before. One of the biggest famines in history is threatening the lives of 20 million people without anyone in the West seeming to notice or care.

In the age of Trump, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the most important stories in the world often take place outside the borders of the US. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of our new podcast, Worldly, which is your guide through a world that feels more confusing, complicated, and dangerous by the day.

Each week, my colleagues Jennifer Williams, Zack Beauchamp, and I will do a deep dive into the people, places, and policies you need to understand to make sense of what’s happening in the world around you. Our first episode is below; if you like it, please subscribe here.

Worldly isn’t a generic news roundup, and it isn’t something that will sound like an academic lecture. Instead, you’ll be part of a freewheeling conversation between me, Jenn, and Zack, who spend most of our days having these types of talks over our desks in the Vox newsroom.

Let me tell you a bit about the three of us. Jenn is Vox's deputy foreign editor, and used to be a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution and the deputy foreign policy editor for Lawfare, where her work focused on jihadist groups, terrorism, and the Middle East. She also happens to be a heavily tattooed Muslim convert with sometimes pink, sometimes platinum blonde hair who speaks Arabic and curses like a sailor (as you’ll hear on the podcast).

Zack is a senior reporter at Vox, where he covers US foreign policy and great power politics. He is particularly interested in the rise of the far right in Europe and at home, how Trump is reshaping America's relationship with the world, and the future of liberal democracy. He’s into vegetarian cooking, all things Canada, and, inexplicably, the Dallas Cowboys.

Jenn Williams/Kainaz Amaria/Vox

As for me, I’m the senior editor in charge of all of our foreign and national security coverage. I spent most of my career at the Wall Street Journal, including several years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and covered wars in places like Mali and Israel. I’ve also written a book about how one military family has tried to fight the military’s suicide epidemic. I’m a lifelong Cubs fan who still can’t believe we won the World Series, occasionally tears up at commercials featuring dogs, and is the occasionally sleep-deprived father of two toddlers.

Worldly isn’t just a podcast. We will be working to build a community around this podcast so we can hear from you and make sure this is a two-way conversation. Worldly is meant for you, and we want you to help us shape it.

You can subscribe to Worldly through all the usual channels — Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, NPR One — or you can check it out at its official site. If you enjoy it and have a few moments, we’d deeply appreciate a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, and for you to tell your friends. It helps get the podcast in front of other people who might be interested (and helps us know what’s working, and what’s not).