You are here: American University School of International Service Big World podcast Episode 10: Show Me the (Border) Money

Show Me the (Border) Money

At the heart of the 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, was a fiery debate over funding for the border wall. Throughout that period, Americans were constantly reassured by officials that the military would remain funded. While the shutdown ended, Trump’s desire to fund the wall did not.

In this episode of Big World, Professor Emeritus Gordon Adams joins us to discuss how defense money can be moved around across departments (1:31) and how flexible that money can be (4:42). He also explains what Trump’s national emergency declaration means for the future of the US from the perspective of both the president and Congress (8:31). But what exactly is an “emergency?” Adams helps us understand the difficulties in defining this word (14:21). He details the intricacies of the 2020 Pentagon budget and what goes into building those types of budgets (23:42). Finally, Adams shares why he includes the word “thespian” in his email signature (30:52).

What five things would Adams change about the way the US engages the world? Hear his bold ideas in our “Take Five” segment (19:36).

00:08      Kay Summers: From The School of International Service at American University in Washington, this is Big World where we talk about something in the world that really matters. The founders created the US federal government to, among other things, "provide for the common defense." This defense of national security includes defense against terrorism, military attacks and even cyber warfare. Lately, the funding of our national security has triggered a slew of questions around what funds are being used for and how they're being allocated.

00:37      KS: Today we're digging into some of these questions. I'm Kay Summers and I'm joined by Gordon Adams. Gordon is a Professor Emeritus in The School of International Service and served for five years as The Office of Management and Budget's Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, meaning he was the Senior White House Budget Official for national security. He's the co-author of Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy among other books, and he has received The Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Gordon, thanks for joining Big World.

01:09      Gordon Adams: Thank you for having me.

01:10      KS: Gordon, we're recording this in March, so memories of the longest government shutdown in history are beginning to fade. The one consistent talking point throughout that I heard was our military is funded. Don't worry. Our military is funded. Nothing to see here. Now we have the prospect of using Department of Defense funds to pay for the president's border wall.

01:31      KS: As the Senior White House Budget Official for National Security during the Clinton Administration, you had a vantage point to this type of high level budgeting that few of us will ever have so I want to dig in on the specifics a little bit here. How are agencies able to move defense money around after budgets are set and who ultimately reconciles budgets across departments when money starts going back and forth?

01:56      GA: It's an excellent question. You have to keep in mind for openers that the Constitution under Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 7, The Powers of the Congress, says you can't do anything in the executive branch unless it was subject to an appropriation by the Congress.

02:13      KS: The power of the purse.

02:14      GA: The power of the purse. So the first thing that has to happen here is Congress has to vote the money. The president can argue for a budget, make a budget presentation, which President Trump has just done, but it's ultimately Congress that disposes. So you start with the fact that budgets are relational between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to begin with, right?

02:38      KS: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

02:39      GA: What allows the president in this instance to do, he thinks, to do what he wants to do is the declaration of a national emergency. He's basically said, "Emergency. I've got to move money around. I don't need to notify the Congress. I'm going to be able to do this on my own." Now, that's going to be tested in the court so we're still subject to a test. Congress voted it down. The president vetoed their voting it down and Congress probably will not have the votes to override the president's veto. So now it's all going to be tested in the courts.

03:10      GA: If you start with that broad sense of the relationship and then you narrow it down to what can the executive branch do, the executive branch actually has a lot of authority to move money around under certain conditions. This is especially true for the Defense Department. Defense Department annual budget runs 650 to 725 billion dollars depending on the year you're looking at. They are given, by law, from the Congress the authority to reprogram, as it is called, up to 5 billion dollars of that money.

03:46      GA: But, they have to submit a request for that reprogramming identifying both where's the money coming from and where's the money going to. First to OMB and then they have to notify that to the Congress, specifically to the chairs and the ranking members of the committees that control their authorization and their appropriations, that'd be the Senate and The House Armed Services Committee and the Senate and the House Defense Appropriation Subcommittee.

04:13      GA: They all have to be notified and no, you can't say by law you can't do it unless the chairs and sub-ranking members tick the box and say, "Yeah, it's okay with me." That is the practice. The practice is you notify, you wait. Congress says, "I don't like that source. That's coming from somebody's base, somebody's district. I don't want you to do that," and you go back and forth between the department and OMB and the committees and the Congress to restructure a reprogramming package.

04:42      GA: Most agencies in the federal government have some capacity to reprogram in that way. What's interesting is beneath the level of the reprogramming, beneath that 4 billion dollars, as long as you stay in the category that you're working in, you can move money within that category under a certain threshold, say 10 million dollars, without notifying Congress. That sounds very technical. What's interesting about it is that that allows the Defense Department to actually reprogram more than 20 billion dollars worth of money. Not just 4 or 5 billion dollars, but 20 billion dollars, so now you've got a department that is actually able to move around a substantial portion [crosstalk 00:05:29].

05:29      KS: So what's a category? What's an example of a category where something fits the same category?

05:33      GA: For example, let's say you have identified, I'll make up the numbers, a billion dollars for training at The National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California. All of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the year you're deploying a brigade to Syria that you didn't plan in the budget. You didn't know you were going to send that brigade to Syria and you need to pay for it. You need to provide the transportation, the fuel, the logistics, the extra supplies, the ammunition, all the things you didn't, you didn't plan for because you didn't know you were going to go to Syria, right?

06:06      KS: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

06:08      GA: Within that budget account, which is called Operations and Maintenance, you can freely without notification reprogram the money from Fort Irwin Training over to Operations in Syria and get back to Fort Irwin later.

06:23      KS: Up to the 5 billion dollar.

06:24      GA: No, this is without any ceiling whatsoever.

06:27      KS: Oh, okay, okay.

06:28      GA: Without any ceiling whatsoever. Operations and Maintenance is the most flexible part of the defense budget because it's all about training people, educating people, deploying people, benefits for people, all those kinds of things. It's a slush fund in the sense that it's extremely what the budgeteers call "fungible." You can move money.

06:47      KS: Well, and it makes a lot of sense, right?

06:49      GA: Yeah.

06:49      KS: The Defense Department, we want them to be as nimble as possible and we can't tell ...

06:52      GA: Right.

06:52      KS: Right, so that makes sense.

06:53      GA: It makes total sense. Most other departments have more constraints on their reprogramming than The Defense Department, but that's the technical way that a department can move money around. They can't do it freely. If you change categories, now you've got to go to OMB.

07:13      KS: So that's the reprogramming.

07:15      GA: Now you've got to go to the Congress. Yeah. That would be like I wanted to do training operations at Fort Irwin in California but my F-35 Program suddenly overran. I'm spending more money on the F-35 than I had planned. You can't just take Operations and Maintenance money and move it to procurement money. That's going across what they call budget titles.

07:39      KS: Okay, but there is still a process that is, it's a process that could loosely be described as a business process even though there's political element to it that we don't ever hear about this. It's just the business of keeping the budget in check and there's a process that involves checks and balances along the way.

07:57      GA: Right.

07:58      KS: So I think all of us who never thought much about the National Emergencies Act of 1976, and I include myself and most other people in that category ...

08:07      GA: Most Americans.

08:08      KS: ... most Americans have learned more about this Act than we thought we would this year, so at the very least it seems as though the requirements to declare a national emergency have gone from a high bar to a somewhat lower one. Does The National Emergencies Act include a high standard to kind of get around these existing processes or did previous presidents informally observe a higher standard?

08:31      GA: It's not a higher standard, it's a different standard. That's the nub of the whole argument with the Congress right now. This is the first time that a president has declared a national emergency under the 1976 statute, and by declaring it, opened the door for him to take money that had been appropriated by the Congress for specific projects and without notification simply move it to an entirely different project in an entirely different department.

09:05      GA: He's saying by virtue of declaring a national emergency I can do that, in other words, this is the first national emergency that has engaged the power of the purse as we were saying.

09:14      KS: Because you just laid out those ways that The Defense Department can legitimately move money around for legitimate needs and then the ways that you can move them are among agencies with the proper checks, so there are processes in place and The National Emergencies Act means you can ...

09:29      GA: In the President's view, it wipes the process. In the Congress's view, hence the court case, there are two, at least two things I know going on here. One is this is not an emergency under The National Emergencies Act, so Mr. President, push the default button. You can't do this because this is not an emergency. That's subject to a lot of interpretation because there's nothing in the law that tells you what a national emergency is, so we're making it up as we go along on the fly here both for the president and for the Congress.

09:59      GA: So that in court I'm guessing doesn't really fly. The other thing the Congress is saying is you cannot violate Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 7 of the Constitution of the United States by moving money that we voted ... We turned down your money for the wall. We voted those monies for military construction projects. You're now saying you're going to take that money that we voted and you're going to move it to something that we disapproved in the appropriations process. That is unconstitutional argues the Congress, right? The thing that makes it particularly toxic for the Congress, and this is something we haven't talked much about here, these military construction projects are hot potatoes politically. They're little things from 10 to 70 million dollars in somebody's district.

10:53      KS: Right.

10:54      GA: Right? There is a baroque politics to how those projects are chosen and who gets to announce them.

11:00      GA: Hell hath no fury like a Congress scorned on military construction. Because that's local pork. We're talking right down at the nitty gritty of how the Congress functions on money. So one of the reasons, this whole argument right now is so inflamed is because the Congress is not only angry because the President has usurped the power of the purse, but he's usurped the power of the purse around things that really mattered to them locally. That's got a nasty politics.

11:31      GA: You know, I found out when we vetoed the the construction of a reserve facility outside of Salt Lake City and next thing I knew, I had the governor of the State of Utah and the Mayor of Salt Lake City and the member of Congress from Salt Lake City and the head of the White House Olympics office and the Under Secretary of the Army all in a conference call at my desk saying, what the hell are you doing? We cut a deal for that facility because it was going to move a reserve unit out of the University of Utah campus and it was going to put the Olympic facility for the athletes, the Olympic village in that facility. That was funded separately. And we'd screwed up the deal.

12:12      KS: So what was the outcome? Did that blind item veto stand?

12:15      GA: Oh, these projects, military construction is a toxic area in the congress. It's local. It's huge. And what's really interesting, Congress has its own separate military construction appropriations subcommittee, it's all for the Defense Department. When we canceled 40 projects, Congress went ballistic because everybody had a stake in something. And it was like, and the precedent was terrible if you get to veto in his district, what about my district? So they immediately put through a bill that would cancel all of the ... which they had to do by law, they had to cancel all or none. And they voted by overwhelming veto proof margins to literally wipe out all of the terminations that we did of projects under the line item veto. And about six months later, the Supreme Court declared the whole thing unconstitutional anyway. So that was the end of that. It's virtually the only time it happened.

13:13      KS: Wow. So speaking of precedent, we're looking at what are the possible long term ramifications of the President's national emergency declaration for the border wall and other similar challenges to Congress's power of the purse. Because the talking point now is coming from the right that if we let this stand, Elizabeth Warren is going to make the green new deal, a national emergency, going to make climate change, now, you know, some, whatever kind of example they want to throw up. And I kind of also equate it to this national emergencies act and being sort of not really defined was probably by design, but I'm wondering about the courts trying to rule on this because it actually kind of in a weird way, puts me in mind of the famous thing about the judge saying about pornography. I know it when I see it, so I don't know we're getting to a place where they're going to have to say, well, the national emergency, really, we knew it when we saw it, but now we're going to have to try and define it in a really narrow way that could have bad ramifications down the road.

14:21      GA: There are two implications here, one of which you have pointed out and that is the problem of defining a national emergency. The problem is not that you can't define a national emergency, you can define anything. You can set categories, you can list the things that you think are a national emergency and that leaves other things off the list. Nobody likes that either in the Congress or in the executive branch because it reduces flexibility because you can't actually, you come up with something that wasn't on the list, is it not a national emergency? So nobody likes to foreclose options under under a national emergency. The other problem is that that when you have done that, you have created, in this case by Donald Trump, when you've done that and he's declared a national emergency and the court says we're not going to interfere with the President because this is a national security issue and we don't go there.

15:22      GA: You've created the opening for somebody else to define another national emergency that nobody anticipated cause there's no list. The risk is I think Republicans, a lot of Republicans are realizing is if we do that Democrats come into office and control the Congress and you know, all of a sudden we got, this is a national emergency health health system and it's time to create a medicare for all system because we've got a national emergency in the healthcare system of the United States. I don't want to go there, now, that said, I think the Congress is not going to be able to overturn the President's veto of this bill. And the reason they can't is not because members of Congress aren't worried about, oh what will the Democrats do if they get in office, it's because they're all worried about being primaried by Trump supporters in their districts. They're really cowering in fear that they will be ousted in a primary by somebody who said, hey, you didn't support the President. So I think right now that's overwhelming the instinct to keep it flexible and not set precedents.

16:27      KS: It feels like we're in dangerous territory because the idea of a national emergency is supposed to be adaptable to the times and the emergency that could come up. And by having to more narrowly prescribe it perhaps in the courts, we will get into a situation where there's a bonafide emergency that no one thought to put on the list because no one knew it could happen. And there we are.

16:46      GA: Right. That could happen. And there are precedents for that problem. When we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, 2001, 2003 the needed additional money. Inevitably, you don't usually plan wars like this. So all of a sudden war happens and you've got to fund it. You've got to buy the supplies and send the people and all those things that you do when you're deploying forward. So we have a category in budgeting terms also called emergency, which is an emergency supplemental. And you can send up an emergency supplemental for that money to the Congress and they can act quickly or slowly. Usually in wartime they act quickly to approve the money. But what's the emergency? And there's nothing in law that defines what an emergency is for an emergency supplemental. There's tradition there's nothing in law. And over the years the Pentagon has discovered it's a wonderful way to raise money that they didn't get in their initial budget requests.

17:51      GA: You put it in an emergency supplemental, it's now called the Overseas Contingencies Operations Account or OCO. But it basically is additional money for the Pentagon that's outside the budget caps. That's why it's wonderful. It's not constrained by budget caps. And they've discovered in the Pentagon and in the White House and in the appropriations committee that this is great stuff to have for defense. It's extra money that you don't have to be quite as accountable for.

18:19      GA: So without the definition of emergency, anything goes. So we're really funding things the Defense Department wanted all along and long term that aren't really about troops fighting in the field. Additional aircraft, some change of administrative structure of the Army, things like that, that they just throw into this Overseas Contingencies Operations Account. This year, unprecedented, the Pentagon has actually sent to the Congress, a budget with $175 billion worth of emergency OCO money in it to get more money outside the caps. It's like, okay, but that's the problem with emergencies is if you specify them, you constrain yourself unnecessarily, if you don't specify them, the system's subject to abuse.

19:16      KS: Gordon Adams, it's time to take five. This is when you, our guest, get to daydream out loud and reorder the world as you'd like it to be by singlehandedly instituting five policies or practices that would change the world for the better. Specifically, what five things would you change about the way that the United States engages the world?

19:36      GA: So, very big question because there are a lot of things. First thing I would change is reference to the following words: indispensable, exceptional, the necessary leader, the guardian of the Global Commons, the provider of security for the world. I'd eliminate all those words from the foreign policy vocabulary of the United States because they failed to recognize the big changes in the world that say the United States cannot do it, be any of those things anymore. So the first thing I would do is change the language. Second thing I would do is pull the United States back from a full throated embrace of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Royal family. Because I can't imagine any decision that made our engagement in the Middle East less capable of being effective than having fully embraced one side of the two big conflicts there. The Israeli Palestinian conflict and the Saudi Iranian conflict and oh, by the way, those two things are linked. The Israelis and the Saudis.

20:47      GA: So that that is a second thing that I would do, right? Third thing I would do is stop making China the enemy. China's going to be a competitor. There's no question about it. The rise of China is inevitable. We're not going to contain it, but we can guarantee ourselves, if we militarize our discussion about China, we can guarantee ourselves a war that we don't need to have because nothing gets another country to bristle, like somebody arming itself to the teeth with you in their sites. So that would be a third thing that I would totally change. The fourth thing I would do is to end, terminate, all of the United State's training and supporting exercises around the globe, but primarily in Africa and parts of Asia in support of counter terror operations. Terrorism is not a great threat to the United States of America, and what's more our persistent engagement in fighting terrorist wars around the world is a way of encouraging terrorists to take us on. The National Defense University just did a little study about Africa

22:00      GA: Where we have a huge engagement in the counter-terrorist effort in the Trans-Sahel region, Saharan area in Africa, in East Africa. Increasingly in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria. The more we spend, the more terrorists there are. It's what I call the sorcerer's apprentice problem. You keep chopping up the broomsticks and you end up with more broomsticks. You've chopped ... you've got a hold of those terrorists, I've killed them, they're done. So ending the war on terror.

22:35      GA: And the fifth thing I would do is to stop beating up on the Europeans all the time for not spending enough on defense. They spend a lot on defense. It isn't some magic two percent number, but a share of GDP doesn't tell you whether it's any good or not. Instead, I would be working with the Europeans to improve the quality of what they do and the coordination of what they do with each other. They spend plenty of money in terms of acquiring a force, it's because it's a bunch of nations, each spending on their own forces that they're not as effective as they could be. So that's five things, just for starters.

23:11      KS: All right. Thank you. This 2020 Pentagon budget has been sort of a strange process, from what I've read. It was described by the acting defense secretary as a masterpiece. And then it was rolled out in March with no five-year projections, a delayed detail briefing. And sort of bearing the lead here, the largest spending request in history. So what's happening with the 2020 Pentagon budget?

23:42      GA: This is all a budgetary shell game. It's really, really fun. If you get amused by budgets, that is. Some people don't really get amused by budgets. But I get amused by budgets. Especially when games are being played with them. And we had no idea what this defense budget was gonna be. At one point, the Pentagon projections for the coming year, 2020, were to be $733 billion.

24:08      GA: In about October or November, the President said, "Oh, it's gonna be $700 billion." And the Pentagon went into a high dungeon, suddenly scrambling around the comptrollers office, how do we get this request down? And what do we cut out? He's gonna want $700 billion. Only to totally reverse himself two months later and say, "It's gonna be $750 billion." And all those squirrels that had been running around the corridors of the Pentagon suddenly had to reverse course and run in the other direction, which is how do we add stuff to the budget that we'd already planned? It's mayhem in the Department of Defense. The number itself, 750, has no intrinsic programmatic value. It just doesn't. It's just a number.

24:53      GA: It's very hard to figure out what's been added to the program with the additional $17 billion that they hadn't counted on having. And from the President's point-of-view, I think this is just a bargaining position. It's classic deal making by a guy who considers himself a great deal maker. Which is $750 billion and then we'll figure out and we'll settle and we'll negotiate. It's like a real estate deal. So I think what's in his head is this is just a bargaining chip.

25:26      GA: I mean I've looked at some of the details. It's a, from the Pentagon's point-of-view, a wonderful budget. Because when you get money that big that fast, and they've gone up over a hundred billion dollars in the first three Trump budgets, is you can buy almost anything you wanna buy. You can fix almost anything you wanna fix. You can throw more money at operations, you can throw more money at buying aircraft. Air Force is now buying some extra F-15s they hadn't even planned on. I mean it's great. And the last time I saw this, because I've been doing this a long time, was in the early '80s when Reagan came in and in one year he added $50 billion to the defense budget that had been previously planned.

26:08      GA: I'm telling you, people in the Pentagon were opening desk drawers to find dusty covered copies of things, wish list things they'd wished they'd always had.

26:16      KS: Old white papers, yeah. Binders.

26:19      GA: And [crosstalk 00:26:20] and throwing it into the $52 billion. I mean, this is ... The top in a lot of budget planning is very specific and very detailed and takes a routine, 18 months, and dah, dah, dah. When you all of a sudden get a whole hunk of money and you haven't planned for it, you start throwing the money at everything. And you can buy just a lot more of everything.

26:39      KS: And that opens you up to all kinds of abuse, as well.

26:42      GA: It certainly does.

26:43      KS: And it kind of dwarfs the amount of money that they're even contemplating taking for the national emergency, frankly.

26:48      GA: Yes. It does. It totally dwarfs it. There are those who say, "Oh my God, how can you take $3.6 billion from what were projects for military construction for the military and throw them not even in the department, you send it out of the department to build some kind of wall at the border? What are you gonna do to military readiness?" Well the answer's nothing. The real answer is in a budget of $750 billion, moving $3.6 billion or whatever it may mean for a specific project does not compromise American national security one wit.

27:22      KS: Pulling back for some historical context. In the broader sense, over the past two decades, how has defense spending for national security budgeting changed since the Clinton administration?

27:33      GA: Well, a lot of the change has been driven by the will, if you will, the wishes of the chief executive in the White House. The process hasn't changed that much. The process pretty much stays in place. Although, and it's a very important although, Congress in particular has not been very good for more than 25 years at actually following the process.

28:04      KS: Right.

28:04      GA: All Americans are aware of the fact. Where's the budget? Why don't we have a budget?

28:06      KS: Regular order. Yes. Yes.

28:07      GA: What on Earth? With continuing resolutions? We get to the end of the fiscal year and they haven't agreed on the Hill on what the appropriations are gonna be, so they pass something called a continuing resolution. All that says is, for all these programs, you keep spending at the level you were spending last year until we figure out what the level spending is gonna be for this year. Which is kind of mayhem for agencies, if you will. It's not a happy dance. But they're used to it by now. Because we've been doing this mostly for the last 25 years. It's rare for Congress to pass appropriations on-time. Some years we don't even have a budget resolution. Many years, they haven't been able to pass the budget resolution. They just can't pass it. This comes back to the President's budget.

28:56      GA: Because what the President's budget does is declare a particular architecture for spending. It is probably dead-on-arrival. But the Congress hasn't figured out what the alternative is. Now who's gonna figure that out? Budget committee? Maybe. Maybe not. Appropriations committee? Maybe. Maybe not. If history is any indicator, that will be figured out by four people. And their names are Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy. They're the leadership. And they will, along with the orange haired guy in the White House, they will figure out what deal they can agree on for the totals. One bunch that's discretionary spending, one bunch that's national defense spending. And they'll have an argument and a negotiation and a cliff hanger and maybe a shut down or whatever over whether the leadership can agree. Not the appropriators. Not the authorizers. Not the budget committee. It's the leadership that have to cut this deal.

30:06      GA: And they won't get around to that probably until next fall sometime. So guess what's gonna happen to the President's budget. Already DOA. They won't have it until some time next fall.

30:18      KS: Wow. Gordon, I want to shift gears in a big way now. So you and I exchanged emails. I know you live in Maine now, and we exchange emails, and you're giving me updates on your media appearances. Your email signature says, in part, Gordon Adams, Thespian. I have so many questions, but I think it's probably better if I just ask you to explain what is this? What do you do now that you're semi-retired?

30:45      GA: Yeah, semi-retired's probably the right phrase.

30:48      KS: Yeah, I can't call you retired. You do too much in this space.

30:52      GA: Yeah, I'm an actor. And I've probably been an actor most of my life. Because what is standing in front of a classroom of kids or briefing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but it be a performance? That's half of what it is. But I did a lot of theater when I was a kid from 9 to 30, basically. And then I sailed off in this public policy career and academic teaching and all of that stuff. And about 15 years ago, I said to myself, "I don't want to die having not done more of something I love doing as much as stage work."

31:30      KS: Nice.

31:31      GA: So I literally went back to Studio Theater Conservatory in Washington and I studied. Took their curriculum. Honed my skills. And about 10, 11 years ago, started auditioning. Most in the D.C. area. And did a lot of work in D.C. Everything from community theater to Shakespeare Theater Company. Some paid, some not paid. Welcome to acting.

31:56      KS: You didn't say you wanted to die rich.

31:58      GA: There's almost no way I can guarantee dying rich at this point, but I can certainly die happy that I got the chance to do a lot of theater.

32:04      KS: Last thought, what's your favorite Shakespearean role that you've played?

32:07      GA: King Lear. Without a doubt.

32:08      KS: Nice.

32:09      GA: I don't know any other role that goes through as enormous an arc as King Lear goes through. There's no arc more meaningful for an older person than that arc from utter insensitivity to one's self to full self-awareness. It's like wow, how many chances in life do you get to do that?

32:32      KS: Gordon Adams, thank you for joining Big World and helping us make sense of defense budgeting and Shakespeare. It's been wonderful to speak with you.

32:39      GA: Thank you for having me.

32:40      KS: Big World is a production of the School of International Service at American University. Our theme music is "It Was Just Cold" by Andrew Codeman. Until next time.

Episode Guest

Gordon Adams,
Professor Emeritus

Stay up-to-date

Be the first to hear our new episodes by subscribing on Apple Podcasts.

Like what you hear? Be sure to leave us a review!

Subscribe Now