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By New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs
Presented by The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs, MESSAGE TRAFFIC is produced in Washington, DC and features government / foreign policy thought leaders discussing the pressing issues facing international affairs. MESSAGE TRAFFIC is moderated by Princpal Director Justin Russell.
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Mafia Tactics, Ongoing Conflict, and Weak Institutions- Emerging Markets in Africa

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Refugees and IDP's: The Largest European Crisis Since WWII
This week on MESSAGE TRAFFIC we have Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly, the Associate Dean in the School of Liberal Arts and a political science professor at Siena College in Albany, NY. She has a strong background in Refugee and Migration studies and we are grateful to have her on this week to discuss the current Refugee crisis unfolding on the European continent. We compare the European response to the Afghan and now Ukraine refugee crisis. We also delve into the details and differences between a Migrant, Refugee, and an Internally displaced person. As always we have our Principal Director, Justin Russell, moderating the discussion. Here is our episode…
32:08
March 22, 2022
The Balance: UAE, Human Rights, and Global Relations
This week on MESSAGE TRAFFIC we discuss the unique relationship between the UAE and the US governments. This recording was taken from our webinar which was help last Friday March 4th. We were delighted to have our guest speakers Raed McCracken Jarrar and Jordan Cohen join us. Raed McCracken Jarrar is the Advocacy Director at DAWN. He is an Arab-American political advocate based in Washington, DC. Since he immigrated to the U.S. in 2005, he has worked as a lobbyist on political issues pertaining to the U.S. engagement in the Arab world. Jordan Cohen is a Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute and a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at George Mason University. His work focuses on issues related to weapons transfers, alliances, Middle East politics, and the military budget. The centers own Principal Director Justin Russell moderates the discussion. Here is our episode....
48:15
March 08, 2022
US-Russia Relations: The Current Roots of the Crisis, Part 2
This week on MESSAGE TRAFFIC is the second part of a two part series analyzing the roots of the current crisis in Russia. This recording is from our webinar which was held February 11. This part focuses on the question, "What can be done?". Katya Moore, a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at NYCFPA, moderates the conversation between our guest speakers Edward Lozansky, Bill Boerum, Dakota Wood, and Justin Russell. Edward Lozansky is the President of the American University in Moscow and Russia House consulting firm in Washington, DC. Mr. Lozansky is a Professor at the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute). Bill Boerum is an international conference speaker and commentator and is Chairman Emeritus of Sister Cities International. Dakota Wood is a Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs, Center for National Defense, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Justin Russell is NYCFPA's Principal Director with over 30 years of government service and relations, and international affairs.
45:19
February 16, 2022
US-Russia Relations: The Roots of the Crisis
This week on MESSAGE TRAFFIC is the first part of a two part series analyzing the roots of the current crisis in Russia. This recording is from our webinar which was held February 11. This part focuses on the question, "How did we get here?". Katya Moore, a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at NYCFPA, moderates the conversation between our guest speakers Edward Lozansky, Bill Boerum, Dakota Wood, and Justin Russell. Edward Lozansky is the President of the American University in Moscow and Russia House consulting firm in Washington, DC. Mr. Lozansky is a Professor at the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute). Bill Boerum is an international conference speaker and commentator and is Chairman Emeritus of Sister Cities International. Dakota Wood is a Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs, Center for National Defense, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation. Justin Russell is NYCFPA's Principal Director with over 30 years of government service and relations, and international affairs. 
31:02
February 15, 2022
Assassination, Gangs, and a Hopeful Haitian Youth
This week on MESSAGE TRAFFIC Principal Director Justin Russell interviews Jacqueline Charles, journalist from the Miami Herald. We discuss current issues surrounding Haiti. Jacqueline Charles has reported on Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for over a decade. She is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, she was awarded a 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize, and served as co-producer on the Emmy-winning film, “We are fed up". How will Haiti move past its ever present gang presence? What role does the youth play in building democratic institutions? Is it necessary for foreign actors to continue to step in or is Haiti better off on its own? These questions and more are discussed on this edition of MESSAGE TRAFFIC.
39:47
November 23, 2021
Mafia Tactics, Ongoing Conflict, and Weak Institutions- Emerging Markets in Africa
In this episode of MESSAGE TRAFFIC, NYCFPA Principal Director Justin Russell interviews visiting assistant professor in the department of political science at Siena College, Dr. Binda Godlove Aka, on emerging markets in Africa. Dr. Binda Godlove Aka was previously an adjunct professor, research associate, research assistant, and economic development assistant at the University of South Dakota. He has had previous publications focused on security threats, post-colonialism, regional integration, and political leadership within the African continent, as well as several other publications. Over the course of the discussion, the pair analyzes growing markets within the African continent. What does foreign investment mean for the region? Does Chinese investment take advantage of current governmental systems in place? How must leaders of African nations step up in growing the regional economy? These questions and more are discussed on this edition of MESSAGE TRAFFIC.
38:16
November 09, 2021
AUKUS, Subs, and Diplomatic Tensions- a Candid Discussion
In this episode of MESSAGE TRAFFIC, NYCFPA Principal Director Justin Russell interviews former  U.S. Ambassador/ Charge d'Affaires to Australia (and long-time career foreign service officer), Ambassador James Carouso, on the tensions brought on by the AUKUS agreement and the cancellation of a French submarine deal. Ambassador Carouso is a former member of the Senior Foreign Service and has served in many top-level diplomatic positions over the course of a distinguished career spanning over 25 years. In 2019, he was the recipient of one of the highest awards in the foreign service... The State Department Distinguished Honor Award. Over the course of the discussion, the pair looks into the big questions coming from this diplomatic tete-a-tete in the South Pacific; What does the AUKUS deal signal to other allies in the region? Does AUKUS escalate tensions with China and force them to become more aggressive in the South China Sea? Was France justified in its reaction to the cancellation of the sub deal? These questions and more are discussed on this edition of MESSAGE TRAFFIC.
35:30
October 26, 2021
The Illegal Case Against Paul Rusesabagina in Rwanda
In 2020, human rights activist and hero of the Rwandan genocide, Paul Rusesabagina, was illegally renditioned from an airport in Dubai, to Rwanda to face trumped-up criminal charges...including murder and terrorism.  On September 20, 2021, Paul Rusesabagina was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  According to many in the international community...the arrest, the trial, and the conviction were not only a violation of basic legal rights, but a travesty of human rights. You best know Paul Rusesabagina from the critically acclaimed movie "Hotel Rwanda". Mr. Rusesabagina, played by actor Don Cheatle in the movie, saved more than 1,200 Tutsis and others in his position as the manager of Hotel des Mille Collines during the Rwandan genocide. He even received the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. Rusesabagina is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and a citizen of Belgium. Paul Rusesabagina is a humanitarian who has regularly criticized human rights violations and the lack of democracy in Rwanda. His arrest came after his calls for change. Everyone sees the headlines that he was guilty of terrorism, but the average person with no prior knowledge of Paul's case does not know that the trial was unfair. Paul did not have access to international counsel, he had his attorney-client privileged documents confiscated, and there was a violation of the presumption of innocence through public accusations at the highest levels of government. He was subject to abuse, and his human rights and legal rights were violated. In this episode, NYCFPA Principal Director Justin Russell interviews Carine Kanimba (Mr. Rusesabagina's daughter), Kitty Kurth and Brian Endless of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation. They detail the charges against him, his time in custody, and the illegal actions perpetrated by the Rwandan Government under the leadership of President Paul Kagame. 
01:02:53
September 22, 2021
The Importance of Being Benin...The Political and Security Ramifications of the Upcoming Elections
As political tension grows in the West African nation of Benin, so does the pressure on current President, Patrice Talon.  After contradicting a promise to serve only one term as President...after disqualifying almost every opposition candidate running in the upcoming election...after arresting opposition political leaders in broad daylight...President Talon has shifted from democratic leader to autocrat in very short order.  With the validity of the April 11th elections now in question and the democratic future of this once shining city on a hill in doubt, the broader ramifications of the political instability in Benin could have adverse regional, continental, and even global effects. On this episode of MESSAGE TRAFFIC, we are pleased to have Ambassador Omar Arouna. Ambassador Arouna was the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin to the U.S. and Mexico. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Board of Advisors for the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs. 
29:21
March 15, 2021
The Political Crisis in Burma - an Interview with Olivia Enos from Heritage Foundation.
On February 1st, 2021...Burma’s military leaders seized power from the civilian-led government in a coup, plunging the Southeast Asian nation into a political crisis only a decade after the end of almost 50 years of strict and brutal military rule. In this seizure of power, the senior military officers arrested the civilian government leadership, including Nobel Laureate and Burmese President Aung San Suu Kyi. On this episode of MESSAGE TRAFFIC, we interview Olivia Enos...a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation.  Ms. Enos specializes in national security and human rights in Asia.  Recently she wrote an article called “How the US Should Respond to the Coup in Burma”. In this interview, we discuss how Burma was able to fall to the military leadership, the identity conflict of Aung San Suu Kyi in dealing with the Rohingya question, and what the future holds for this Asian country teetering on democracy or autocratic military rule.   Here is our discussion
32:29
March 09, 2021
Interview with Dr. Gregory Johnsen from the Brookings Institution
Join the Principal Director of the New York Center of Policy Affairs, Justin Russell, as he speaks with Dr. Gregory D. Johnsen. The two will breakdown the key differences in the Trump and Biden administrations in their approach to foreign policy in the Middle East. Dr. Gregory Johnsen also takes us through a comprehensive look at the United States policy towards the conflict in Yemen, and what the future might hold for the United States relationship with the main players in the region. You can find Dr. Johnsen's latest book "The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America's War in Arabia." here.
38:27
February 12, 2021
US / Canadian Relations In A Post Trump World
In our inaugural outing for MESSAGE TRAFFIC, the NYCFPA's new podcast...we interview BEN ROWSWELL, President and Research Director of The Canadian International Council in Toronto.   The discussion focuses on how badly did the Trump Administration hurt the relationship with our neighbors to the north...is the relationship broken beyond repair...and how optimistic are Canadians on the incoming Biden Administration?  The discussion also addresses the bigger issue of why Americans should be concerned about the important relationship we have with Canada.   A little bit about our guest...Prior to heading up the Canadian International Council, Mr. Rowswell served as Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela from 2014 to 2017. This capped a 25-year career as a professional diplomat including assignments in Canada’s embassies to Egypt, to the United States, and in Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN. He served as Canada’s first diplomatic envoy to Baghdad, Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein from 2003 to 2005, as Deputy Ambassador to Afghanistan and as head of the NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar between 2008 and 2010.
34:36
December 14, 2020
Our First Episode of MESSAGE TRAFFIC
Our first podcast and a brief introduction to the NEW YORK CENTER FOR FOREIGN POLICY AFFAIRS!   For more information on our Center, please check out our website at nycfpa.org You can also email us at infor@nycfpa.org with comments, thoughts or questions.
05:49
November 30, 2020