“Wake” with Luke Vargas

“Wake” with Luke Vargas

Wake is a weekly radio broadcast that explores how overseas developments affect the United States. 

Launched in 2017 by Luke Vargas, TMN’s chief foreign correspondent, Wake aims to introduce American news audiences to pressing global developments likely to impact domestic policy, but which may not dominate the cable news cycle.

Find Wake on your favorite podcast app:

Wake aims to maintain a a 50/50 male-to-female gender ratio among on-air guests.

To leave us feedback, pitch a guest, learn more about syndication or apply to be a broadcast intern, shoot us an email at wake@/.


Past Episodes: 

62: Can Maximum Pressure Work With Iran?

  • Ariane Tabatabai, associate political scientist, RAND Corporation

61: ‘The Men Who Stole Africa’

  • Paul Kenyon, reporter, BBC, author, “Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa”

60: Arctic Conflict Isn’t Inevitable

  • Lassi Heininen, research Director, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth Research, University of Helsinki
  • Suzanne Lalonde, professor of public international law, University of Montreal

59: The World is Alright, America

  • Michael A. Cohen, columnist, The Boston Globe, author, “Clear and Present Safety: The World Has Never Been Better and Why That Matters to Americans”

58: America’s Palestinian ‘Blind Spot’

  • Khaled Elgindy, nonresident fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution, author, “Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump”

57: Inside the E.U.’s Controversial New Copyright Law

  • Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, director for European affairs, Center for Democracy and Technology

56: Understanding the Global Water Crisis

  • Sandra Postel, director, Global Water Policy Project, author, “Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity”

55: ‘Combat Obscura’: An Unfiltered Look at the US at War

  • Miles Lagoze, director, “Combat Obscura,” former combat camera, U.S. Marine Corps

54: Is an Arab Spring 2.0 Underway?

  • Chloe Teevan, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Zachariah Mampilly, professor of political science and international studies, Vassar College

53: Stopping the Weaponization of Space

  • Theresa Hitchens, senior research associate, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland

52: Should Terrorists Lose Their Citizenship?

  • Jo Shaw, chair of European law, University of Edinburgh School of Law
  • Peter J. Spiro, co-director, Institute for International Law and Public Policy, Temple University School of Law

51: How (and How Not) to Reform the World Bank

  • Nancy Birdsall, founding president, Center for Global Development
  • Catherine Weaver, professor of public policy, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

50: A Farewell to Arms Control?

  • Tom Collina, policy director at the Ploughshares Fund
  • Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

49: The Costs of Chinese IP Theft

  • Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Peter Harrell, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security

48: What’s Next for Venezuela?

  • Dr. Evan Ellis, research professor of Latin American studies, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

47: The Real Crisis South of the Border

  • Douglas Farah, senior visiting fellow, National Defense University
  • Sarah Bermeo, associate professor of politcal science, Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Eric L. Olson, director, Seattle International Foundation’s Central America-DC Platform

46: Forecasting a US Exit From Afghanistan

  • Vanda Felbab-Brown, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security
  • Gil Barndollar, director of Middle East studies at the Center for the National Interest
  • Graeme Smith, author, “The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan”

45: Living in an ‘Age of Walls’

  • Tim Marshall, author, “The Age of Walls: How Barriers Between Nations are Changing Our World”

44: Bolsonaro In, Merkel Out and Populism on the March

  • Cesar Zucco Jr., political scientist at Brazil’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas
  • Joyce Marie Mushaben, distinguished professor of comparative politics at the University of Missouri St. Louis, author, “Becoming Madam Chancellor”
  • Benjamin Moffitt, senior lecturer in politics at Australian Catholic University, author, “The Global Rise of Populism”

43: The US Retreat on Refugee Leadership

  • Kathleen Newland, senior fellow and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute
  • Daniel Schneiderman, deputy U.S. program director at the International Crisis Group
  • Carl Bon Tempo, associate professor of history at SUNY Albany and author of “Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War”

42: US-Iran Relations After the Iran Deal

  • Daryl Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association
  • Shampa Biswas, Paul Garrett Professor of Political Scientist, Whitman College, author, “Nuclear Desire”
  • Naysan Rafati, Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group

41: Making Sense of the ‘New’ Russian Military

  • Bettina Renz, associate professor of politics and international relations, University of Nottingham, author, “Russia’s Military Revival”
  • Dara Massicot, policy researcher at the Rand Corporation

40: North Korea’s Economic Future

  • Nicholas Eberstadt, political economist, American Enterprise Institute
  • Eunjung Lim, professor international relations, Ritsumeikan University
  • Ian Bennett, associate program manager, Choson Exchange

39: What to Expect in Singapore

  • Joe Cirincione, president, Ploughshares Fund
  • Naoko Aoki, research associate, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Sharon Squassoni, research professor, Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs

38: Armenia’s April Revolution

  • Anahit Shirinyan, academy associate at Chatham House
  • Richard Giragosian, director of the Regional Studies Center, an independent think tank in Armenia

37: The Origins and Future of Boko Haram

36: Why We Can’t Ignore Russia

  • Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, author, “From Cold War to Hot Peace”
  • Sarah Henderson, associate professor of political science, Oregon State University

35: Cuba’s Historic Leadership Change

  • Marguerite Rose Jiménez, director for Cuba at the Washington Office on Latin America
  • Vicki Huddleston, former chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and author of “Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba”

34: How to Build a World Parliament

  • Andreas Bummel, director of Democracy Without Borders, co-author, “A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21st Century”

33: Behind the Immigration Headlines

  • Alexis M. Silver, associate professor of sociology, SUNY Purchase College, author, “Shifting Boundaries: Immigrant Youth Negotiating National, State and Small Town Politics”
  • Ana Raquel Minian, assistant professor of history, Stanford University, author, “Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration”
  • Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute

32: Is the E.U. in Crisis?

  • Mai’a Davis Cross, professor of political science at Northeastern University and author of “The Politics of Crisis in Europe”
  • Ivan Berend, distinguished research professor at UCLA and author of “The Contemporary Crisis of the European Union: Prospects for the Future”

31: The Politics of Travel

  • Rick Steves, travel guidebook author and TV host
  • Amos Snead, spokesperson, Visit U.S. Coalition

30: Freedom in Retreat

  • Sarah Repucci, senior director for global publications at Freedom House
  • Thomas Carothers, director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Rosarie Tucci, director of Inclusive Societies at the United States Institute of Peace

29: China’s ‘Millennials’ Make Waves

  • Zak Dychtwald, author of “Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World”

28: The Future of UN Peacekeeping

  • Ambassador James Dobbins, senior fellow at the RAND Corporation and former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Norrie MacQueen, honorary research fellow at the University of St. Andrews

27: The Social Costs of Offshore Finance

  • Dr. Mary Alice Young, senior lecturer in law, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England
  • George Turner, writer and researcher, Tax Justice Network

26: Rethinking North Korea

  • Cheon Seong-Whun, visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies

25: Is There a Trump ‘Africa Policy’?

  • Joshua Meservey, senior policy analyst for Africa and the Middle East at the Heritage Foundation
  • Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

24: Can Impact Investing Replace Charity?

  • Morgan Simon, author of the new book, “Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change”
  • Michael Jacobs, director of the Commission on Economic Justice at the Institute for Public Policy Research in the United Kingdom

23: Sizing Up Israel’s Global ‘Charm Offensive’

  • Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security advisor and senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center
  • Ben Caspit, columnist and author of the new book, “The Netanyahu Years”

22: How to Better Regulate the Internet

  • Natasha Tusikov, assistant professor at York University and author of “Chokepoints: Global Private Regulation on the Internet”
  • Alan McQuinn, research analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

21: Natural Disasters and Climate Resilience

  • Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists

20: The Crisis in Myanmar’s Rakine State

  • Pierre Peron, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Myanmar
  • Cindy Huang, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development

19: History’s Warnings of a U.S.-China War

  • Graham Allison, Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?”

18: The Iran Deal in the Age of Trump

  • Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council and author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy”
  • Suzanne Maloney, deputy director of the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution
  • Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association

17: Sanctions in All Shapes and Sizes

  • Richard Nephew, research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and former State Department Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy
  • Jonathan Kirshner, professor of international political economy at Cornell University and author of “American Power After the Financial Crisis”
  • Zachary Selden, professor at the University of Florida and former international affairs analyst at the Congressional Budget Office

16: Iraq After the Islamic State

  • Daniel Serwer, academic director of conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Celeste Ward Gventer, defense consultant and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for stability operations capabilities

15: Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Policy

  • Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
  • Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
  • Matthew Bunn, professor of practice at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and co-principal investigator at the Project on Managing the Atom

14: Famine in an Age of Plenty

  • Deepmala Mahla, South Sudan country director at Mercy Corps
  • Amb. Princeton Lyman, former U.S. special envoy to South Sudan and special advisor to the president of the United States Institute of Peace
  • Olivier Rubin, associate professor at Roskilde University

13: Free Trade Lives On, Beyond America’s Borders

  • Iana Dreyer, founder and editor of Borderlex.EU
  • Caroline Freund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics
  • Joshua Meltzer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development Project

12: Back to Afghanistan

  • Peter Viggo Jakobsen, associate Professor in the Department of Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College
  • Rebecca Zimmerman, policy researcher at the RAND Corporation

11: Measuring Access to Essential Medicines

  • Suzanne Hill, director of the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department at the World Health Organization
  • Merith Basey, North American Executive Director of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
  • Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines Project at Public Citizen 

10: Climate Shocks: Ecology & Human Health

  • George Thurston, director, Program in Exposure Assessment and Human Health Effects at New York University’s Department of Environmental Medicine
  • Sarah Henly-Shepard, a senior advisor for climate change and resilience at Mercy Corps
  • Jake Weltzin, U.S. Geologic Survey ecologist and executive director of the USA National Phenology Network

9: Climate Shocks: Economics & Diplomacy

  • Frank Yu, principal consultant for Asia-Pacific power and renewables, Wood Mackenzie
  • Paul McConnell, research director, Wood Mackenzie Global Trends Team
  • Nate Aden, research fellow at the World Resources Institute
  • Samantha Gross, fellow at the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate

8: The Vatican’s Impressive Diplomatic Reach

  • Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Vatican Permanent Observer to the United Nations
  • Father Drew Christiansen, distinguished professor of ethics and global humanitarian development, Georgetown School of Foreign Service
  • Dr. Jodok Troy, researcher at the Europe Center at Stanford University

7: Playing Favorites in the Saudi-Iran Feud

  • Dr. Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House
  • Perry Cammack, fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

6: Is Venezuela’s Simmering Crisis About to Boil Over?

  • David Smidle, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, specializing in Venezuela
  • Juan Nagel, professor of economics at Universidad de Los Andes – Santiago. 
  • Kajsa Norman, journalist and author of 2017 book, “A Hero’s Curse: The Perpetual Liberation of Venezuela”

5: How Cheap Renewable Energy Can Change the World

  • Ethan Zindler, head of the Americas division at Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Mara Prentiss, professor of Physics at Harvard University and author of the 2015 book, “Energy Revolution: The Physics and the Promise of Efficient Technology”

4: How Cheap Oil is Changing the World

  • Thina Saltvedt, chief analyst for Macro Oil at Nordea Markets
  • Morgan Downey, author of “Oil 101,” and CEO of Money.Net
  • Robert McNally, author of “Crude Volatility” and president of the Rapidan Group

3: The Costs and Benefits of Overseas Bases

  • Michael McNerney, the Associate Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation
  • David Vine, author of the 2015 book, “Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World”

2: Drug Policy Across the Americas

  • Kasia Malinowska, Director of the Global Drug Policy Program at Open Society Foundations
  • John Walsh, Senior Associate for Drug Policy at the Washington Office on Latin America

1: Mapping the U.S.-China Relationship 

  • Elizabeth Wishnick, Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University and a Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia
  • Ann Lee, author of the book, “What the U.S. Can Learn from China” and an adjunct professor at New York University