America Abroad

America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each month, we take an in-depth look at one critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.


  • Outer strife, inner peace: Lessons from the Dalai Lama

    Dec 17 2018

    The United States Institute of Peace brought 27 global youth leaders to Dharamsala, India, this fall so they could attend leadership workshops, network together, and receive mentorship from the 14th Dalai Lama.

  • Stories From The Backchannel: Negotiating with US adversaries Iran and North Korea

    Dec 17 2018

    Ambassador Wendy Sherman discusses her unlikely career, which began as an advocate for women's issues before going into politics and eventually landing at the State Department as the lead negotiator for the Iran Nuclear Deal.

  • Stories From The Backchannel: How should the world prepare for a future with autonomous weapons?

    Dec 11 2018

    Since 1984 there have been five Terminator movies. Another is slated to come out next year. Over that time, what was once pure science fiction has become more and more plausible.

  • Stories From The Backchannel: When Middle East peace almost happened

    Dec 04 2018

    When Bill Clinton took over as president in 1992, his then-Middle East adviser Martin Indyk told him he had a chance to partner with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to secure peace treaties with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians.

  • Combating Extremist Ideology Since 9/11

    Sep 04 2018

    It's been 17 years since 9/11, and 14 years since the 9/11 Commission released its recommendations on how to prevent future attacks. While much of the focus has been on military solutions, the commission also made recommendations on how to use diplomacy and soft power to prevent the growth of extremist ideology abroad. In this episode, we take a look at those recommendations, and how each administration has worked to implement them.

  • Stories from The Backchannel: Unavoidable Russia

    Jul 11 2018

    Stories from the Backchannel is a new podcast that examines the stories behind some of America's most important national security moments.

  • Backlash: Europe’s far right and muslim migration

    Jun 29 2018

    "[Populist leaders who] are willing to vilify other people based on their religion and ethnicity are probably not particularly respectful of democratic institutions."

  • Iraq's next steps

    Jun 05 2018

    In May, Iraqis voted in the first parliamentary elections since ISIS was defeated in their country. The winner? An anti-American Shiite cleric's political bloc.

  • Sowing Chaos: Russia's Disinformation Wars

    May 01 2018

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used the media to undermine foreign powers. Now, Russia is at it again. And while the goals are the same, the methods have changed.

  • Syria and fragile states

    Apr 04 2018

    "We feel terrible about what is going on in Syria, but we don't want to get really deeply engaged. So we do just enough to make the situation worse without doing enough to make it better.”

  • Islam and the cosmos

    Mar 06 2018

    While Europe was in the Dark Ages, scientific discovery was blooming in the Islamic world. Now, centuries later, some Muslim countries are making new investments in space exploration.

  • Document Leaks: The consequences of revealing secrets

    Feb 06 2018

    Massive document leaks have led to the fall of world leaders and to new anti-corruption laws. But some leaks have put lives in danger. So what's the limit to the public’s right to know?

  • Brinkmanship: US-North Korea relations

    Dec 07 2017

    North Korean missiles can now reach major US cities. The Trump administration promises to "utterly destroy" the Kim regime if there's a war. So, what will it take to ease tensions between the two nuclear powers? This episode features a live town hall discussion recorded on Dec. 1, 2017 — only three days after the latest North Korean ICBM test.

  • Made in America: Trade policy in the Trump era

    Nov 06 2017

    "You could make an argument that trade was the biggest issue that put Donald Trump in the Oval Office. I mean the states that he won the election in were places that lost the highest percentage of jobs to import competition in the last 15 years," said Edward Alden, author of "Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy."

  • Bioethics in Islam

    Oct 04 2017

    Abortion. Right to die. Stem cell research. Modern bioethical issues confront an ancient religion.

  • After Paris: Global approaches to climate change [UPDATED]

    Sep 05 2017

    Superstorms like Harvey and Irma are increasingly common — a result of global warming, say climate scientists. Yet President Donald Trump intends to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, a historic international pact to reduce carbon emissions. But how is the rest of the world dealing with climate change?

  • Trump, Duterte, and the future of US-Philippine relations

    Aug 01 2017

    Filipino President Duterte’s war on drugs has killed over 7,000 people. But not only has the White House failed to condemn Duterte's tactics; President Trump has praised them. This hour: stories about the drug war, the history of US-Philippine relations, a Philippine city besieged by ISIS and Duterte’s overtures to China. And we’ll talk about how the US can manage this delicate situation moving forward.

  • Warrior diplomats: A look into US special operations

    Jul 03 2017

    "We don't crave the combat so much as we crave hard things to conquer," said one Green Beret.

  • Beyond the Border: The future of US-Mexico relations

    Jun 05 2017

    Much of President Donald Trump’s populist support comes from people who are deeply worried about globalization and immigration. But Trump’s pro-border wall, anti-NAFTA stance has strained US- Mexico relations. Can the two nations find common ground and work past the rhetoric?

  • After Paris: Global approaches to climate change

    May 02 2017

    It’s been a year and a half since 195 countries signed a historic climate change agreement in Paris. Now, cleaner energy policies are being implemented across the globe. But the agreement alone won’t be enough to reach emissions goals.

  • Trump's approach to the Middle East

    Apr 04 2017

    As the Trump administration begins ironing out its strategy in the Middle East, America Abroad examines what may lie ahead regarding Israel, Syria, Iran, and the fight against ISIS.

  • US Asia policy under Trump: A Honolulu-Tokyo town hall

    Feb 08 2017

    President Trump's declarations on Asia have caused much uncertainty in the region. To better understand the hopes, fears, and concerns on both sides of the Pacific, America Abroad convened a bi-national town hall bringing together audiences and experts in both Honolulu and Tokyo.

  • US-Russia Relations in the Trump Era

    Dec 14 2016

    In this hour of America Abroad, we look at the state of the US relationship with Russia. We explore Russia's use of cyberspace and propaganda, Vladimir Putin's domestic political strategy and how it shapes Russia's foreign policy, and Russia's relationship with NATO.

  • Fighting Zika and Future Epidemics

    Nov 01 2016

    "I think the US has to do a lot of thinking about what type of assets it's willing to put forward not on an ad hoc basis but something that the entire global community can rely upon on a continuous basis in terms of disease response." (Rebecca Katz, Associate Professor in International Health, Georgetown University).

  • America’s bond with Israel — its history and its current challenges

    Oct 06 2016

    "Public Opinion about Israel in America is similar to what physicists say about the universe, it’s expanding and contracting at the same time." (Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to the US)

  • US foreign policy and the next president: Through the eyes of the world

    Sep 07 2016

    America Abroad collaborates with The Takeaway for an international town hall in front of live audiences in New York, Berlin and Cairo. A New York-based panel discusses topics including from international trade and the economy, the threat of terrorism and instability in the Middle East, and how the world sees the role of American leadership in international affairs.

  • Espionage in the Age of Terror

    Jul 07 2016

    “What was unreasonable at 8 o'clock in the morning on September 11 may have been quite reasonable by 2 o'clock in the afternoon given the changed circumstances in which the country found itself.” (Michael Hayden, former former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency)

  • Africa's fight against Islamic extremism

    Jun 07 2016

    “This message of extremism is alien. It's alien to their culture, it's alien to their communities, it's alien for their future," said ambassador Phillip Carter, former deputy to the commander for civil military engagements, United States Africa Command).

  • Civil Resistance: The Power of the People

    May 02 2016

    You get this feeling of sweeping non-violent movements today, in part because the knowledge is sweeping of how to fight without violence, and the fact that there may be better results as a consequence of that." (Mary King, author of the Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement)

  • Tibet

    Apr 05 2016

    The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday has been a cause for celebration, but also consternation for Tibetans at home and in the diaspora. Now, as he grows older, doubt hovers in the air as to who will carry on the struggle when he's gone.

  • Online Data, Information, & Privacy

    Mar 01 2016

    The fight between Apple and the FBI over whether an iPhone should be unlocked to better solve the San Bernardino shooting, underscores a larger international debate over the trade-offs between national security and individual privacy rights.

  • Fighting ISIS At Home & Abroad

    Feb 03 2016

    The latest attacks in the Middle East, Paris and San Bernardino have proven the fight against ISIS is not limited to a country or even a region — it's a fight against an ideology.

  • How Drones Are Reshaping the World

    Dec 01 2015

    In this hour-long program, we look at how drones are revolutionizing the skies, and how this technology has so quickly moved from science fiction to ubiquitous reality.

  • Understanding Europe's Refugee Crisis: An International Town Hall

    Nov 03 2015

    The ongoing war in Syria has led to the worst refugee crisis since World War II. And now, many of those refugees are heading for Europe. 700,000 have made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean so far and another 100,000 are expected before the year's end.

  • Searching for Religious Common Ground

    Oct 06 2015

    As conflict intensifies throughout the Middle East and around the world, it's more important than ever to foster greater understanding between religions. Europe's refugee crisis and globalization more generally has lead us to an increasingly pluralistic society in which we must learn to live with our deepest differences, or face severe consequences.

  • Examining the Nuclear Deal With Iran

    Sep 01 2015

    Soon, Congress will vote on one of the most important and hotly contested foreign policy agreements in decades. The Iran Nuclear Deal will have a major impact on America's national security and the future stability of the Middle East, and it will help define President Obama's legacy. In this hour-long documentary special, we look back at the last 10 years of US policy towards Iran, including an oral history with they key players. We also look ahead to how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Acti...more

  • Poaching and Terrorism: The Race to Protect Wildlife and National Security

    Jul 06 2015

    The illicit wildlife trade is now worth up to $20 billion a year. That's double what it was just a few years ago — worth far more than the weapons trade and approaching the rate of human smuggling. This has attracted the attention of Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Lord's Resistance Army and other terrorist groups, African militias, and Asian criminal syndicates — all looking to capitalize on this high-value, low-risk venture. And it flies in the face of US officials and law enforcement who, since 9...more

  • Countering Violent Extremism: An International Town Hall

    Jun 02 2015

  • Understanding Islamic Feminism

    May 05 2015

  • Burma at the Crossroads

    Apr 04 2015

    This fall, Burma is scheduled to hold an historic presidential election. But with ongoing persecution of ethnic minorities and many other human rights issues, many wonder if it is ready for true reform.

  • Saving Innocence: The Global Fight to End Child Marriage

    Mar 02 2015

    Each year, 15 million girls are forced into marriage, many of them before they turn 15. How can the practice be stopped?

  • America and Cuba: After the Thaw

    Feb 04 2015

    President Obama's announcement to begin normalizing relations with Cuba marks the most significant change in US policy toward the island nation in a half century. But as America looks to make it easier to travel to the country and establish more economic ties, what does that mean for the average Cuban or Cuban American?

  • Global Girls' Education: Breaking Down Barriers

    Nov 03 2014

    The numbers are staggering. Worldwide, 58 million primary school-age children are not in school. More than half of these children are girls, and 75 percent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

  • The Keystone XL Pipeline: An International Town Hall

    Oct 07 2014

    The Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial project in both the United States and Canada. On this edition of America Abroad, audiences in Lincoln, Nebraska and Calgary, Canada engaged in a cross border discussion about how the oil sands industry and the building of the Keystone XL pipeline directly affects their lives. Participants debated the environmental safety of the pipeline, the economic costs and benefits, the legal suits brought by Nebraskan landowners and complaints against it bro...more

  • When water scarcity leads to conflict

    Aug 08 2014

    AK-47s, grenades, water? Earth's most precious resource doesn't fire bullets or explode but it is guarded, hoarded, and stolen in a way that ignites political tensions on a local level and an international scale. This month, we travel to Sub Saharan and Pakistan to bring you the stories of those caught up in the struggle to secure clean water. We’ll hear from unapologetic water thieves, reporters turned refugees, and rural residents whose way of life may be completed decimated because of the w...more

  • Global Water Scarcity: Combating Drought

    Jul 03 2014

  • The Power of Art in a Changing Middle East

    Jun 06 2014

    Film, music and art are often the best ways to capture the will and the mood of the people in times of turmoil. Art sometimes has the power to move millions where politics fails. So in this program we attempt to identify some prominent artistic voices in the Middle East, North Africa and in South Asia and evaluate their take on liberal ideals, on sectarian violence, on terrorism and how they're being received by audiences in both the Arab and Muslim communities and in the West.

  • The Consequences of Shrinking America's Military

    May 19 2014

    As America draws down troops from Afghanistan, cuts back on military spending and the size of its military, many worry that America’s leadership in the world and ability to protect its allies is eroding. On this edition of America Abroad we travel to Estonia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to speak with US allies as well as officials and experts in Washington to understand how America’s defense cuts are perceived around the world.