Heritage Events Podcast
Sri Lanka in Crisis: From Debt Traps to Soft Coups
Sri Lanka was plunged into a political crisis in late October when President Maithripala Sirisena suspended parliament and attempted to install his former ally and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister. Decried as illegal and unconstitutional by incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his supporters, the extra-constitutional maneuver has been opposed by a majority in parliament and several court rulings. Nevertheless, Sirisena and Rajapaksa have refused to disband their new shadow government and the country’s political crisis endures. The turmoil is unfolding at a time Sri Lanka is grappling with the consequences of a major expansion of Chinese influence and investments, portrayed as a warning to others about the risks of Chinese “debt traps” and the strategic ambitions underpinning the Belt and Road Initiative. As China and India compete for influence in Colombo and prepare for the potential return of the Rajapaksas, the Trump administration has suspended a major aid package and urged the country to resolve the crisis through democratic means.
Why America Needs the Long Range Standoff Weapon
America has embarked on a long-overdue effort to modernize its nuclear deterrent, most of which is decades oldandbecoming obsolete.Acritical partofthis effort is theAir Force’sdevelopmentoftheLong Range Standoff weapon (LRSO), anew generation ofthe current nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), which isquickly aging out.As argued in anewly-released Heritage Foundation report, the LRSO will be critical tomaintainingthe air leg of the nuclear triad, enablingbombers tohold at riskwell-defended targets for decades to come. Yet as with any major nuclear acquisition program, the LRSO facesroadblocks, including decreasingdefense budgets, acquisition challenges, and strident anti-nuclear opposition.Tomake LRSO a reality, we shouldbe prepared toanswer tough questions. Dobombersreally needcruisemissiles?Whatcapabilitieswill LRSO provide? How willthis weaponimpact strategic stability?Join us as ourexpertpanel takes onthese questionsand more.
One Year Later: Lessons from the Early COVID-19 Response
Secretary Azar reflects on the Trump Administration’s early actions on COVID-19 and what lessons can be drawn from the response, including travel restrictions that slowed the spread, pressure for transparency from China, bringing Americans home safely from abroad, rapidly formed partnerships with the private sector, and educating the American people with the best science available at the time.
State-Sponsored Human Trafficking and How to Fight It
Human trafficking in all forms is abhorrent, but when governments enslave and sell their own people, it takes on an even more pernicious edge. 2020 marked the first year that the State Department designated state sponsors of human trafficking, with ten nations earning the dubious distinction. These designations were an important step in raising awareness about how regimes exploit their own citizens for profit and serve as a vital mechanism to hold them accountable. Join us to commemorate National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, as we spotlight this concerning trend and identify solutions.