Ghida Fakhry hosts a current affairs program on TRT World about global issues and international power politics. In a rapidly changing world, the traditional influence of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council is being challenged by new emerging forces. Through original reports, news-making interviews and expert analysis, Bigger Than Five offers a critical look at the issues that matter. We scrutinize foreign policy decisions made in Washington DC and other centers of power and look at their impact on the rest of the world. Bigger Than Five is about challenging the status quo and those who make decisions that shape our world and affect us all.
July 17, 2019
2018 was the fourth warmest year on record. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we want to prevent the world from warming more than 1.5℃ by 2030, global greenhouse gas emissions would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels. What’s at stake if we don’t act now?
July 10, 2019
Is Russia outperforming the US in the race for global influence? That is the latest assessment from the Pentagon. But is the Russian threat being exaggerated to suit certain military and political interests? On this week’s Bigger than Five, we ask: Has President Trump set the stage for Russia’s return and the revival of a multipolar world order?
July 3, 2019
China’s growing global economic influence has disrupted the US-led world order. With four decades of economic growth, China has refused American demands for structural changes to its economic model. The Trump administration's decision to confront China with an aggressive trade agenda has left the global economy on edge. Is the spat really about ensuring fair competition? Or is the US trying to block China's rise?
End of Daesh (ISIS)?
June 27, 2019
US President Donald Trump says Daesh or ISIS has now been "obliterated". Despite its territorial losses in Syria and Iraq, has the group been 100 % defeated, as the American President claims -- or is the fight still far from over?
June 19, 2019
The world took notice of the plight of refugees after Syrians began streaming into Europe in 2015. But while refugees are no longer appearing in the headlines, their plight endures. Are the global powers taking notice? What can they do to lessen the load on developing nations?
Brexit: Deal or no Deal?
June 12, 2019
Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, and after three failed attempts to push a deal through Parliament, there is still deadlock and uncertainty about how to deliver BREXIT. Theresa May’s successor as Prime Minister will have to find a way out of the crisis. So, will the UK walk out of the European Union without a deal? We speak with Ann Widdecombe, newly-elected MEP for the BREXIT Party and former Conservative party member, about the chances of the UK leaving the EU by the October 31st deadline, with or without a deal.
The Rise of Far-Right Populism
June 5, 2019
With the rise of far-right nationalism, are we seeing the beginning of a new global movement that threatens to disrupt the international order? From Italy to India, from the Philippines to Brazil, the specter of right-wing populism is spreading. But are populist leaders delivering on their promises by addressing the legitimate concerns of their citizens — or are they merely capitalizing on exclusionary politics, disruption and division?
Trump’s Iran War?
May 29, 2019
Is the US setting the stage for military conflict with Iran? As tensions rise between the two sides, will the tug-of-war lead to an open war? The Trump administration is deploying an additional 1500 military personnel and a dozen fighter jets to the Middle East. With Trump warning that it would be the ‘official end of Iran’ and the US National Security Advisor advocating ‘regime change’, a new war in the Gulf cannot be ruled out. We ask Tom Shannon, former US Acting Secretary of State, about the conflicting signals from the Trump administration.
Venezuela’s Power Struggle
May 23, 2019
Venezuela's downward economic spiral and humanitarian crisis continues, amid an ongoing power struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido, the self-declared interim president. Guaido's call for Venezuelans to overthrow Maduro last month failed. Can Venezuela overcome its worsening economic situation and sustain the ongoing threats of Washington's gunboat diplomacy?
Deal of the Century?
May 16, 2019
Is Jared Kushner’s much-hyped and long-awaited ‘deal of the century’ a genuine peace offer? Does a plan that does not include statehood for Palestinians stand any chance? Could its failure embolden Netanyahu and give him a pretext to annex more territory? We look at the divide between East and West Jerusalem and ask people thee what they think about the prospects for peace.
May 9, 2019
Can people power in defeat authoritarian rule? Millions of protesters in the Sudan and Algeria brought down their countries’ strongmen, across two of Africa's largest countries have toppled their country's strongmen. But will they break the military’s grip and push back foreign meddling? We take a look at the powerful popular uprisings shaking the two largest African and Arab countries.
America’s Longest War
May 2, 2019
With another round of talks between the US and the Taliban underway in Doha, what are the chances of a breakthrough? I ask the Taliban spokesman why the group is willing to negotiate with the US, which still has 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, but refuses to sit down with the Kabul government. Does the American decision to engage directly with the Taliban undermine the Afghan government’s authority and legitimacy? I ask an Afghan official in Washington and a former US Ambassador to Afghanistan.
The ‘World’ Bank
April 24, 2019
The World Bank’s stated mission is to alleviate poverty – but does it really live up to its goals? On this week’s BT5, we take a look at a $600 million dam project in Lebanon, funded by the World Bank, that locals say is dangerous, costly and unnecessary. I ask the Vice President of the WB for the Middle East and North Africa, Ferid Belhaj, why the Bank is pushing these risky projects on developing countries when the industrialized world is moving away from them.
The End of NATO?
April 17, 2019
70 years after the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, is NATO a source of stability or a threat to international peace and security? On this week’s BT5, we examine whether the Alliance has outlived its purpose.
With the resurgence of intra-Libyan warfare, I ask the former head of US Central Command, Adm. William Fallon, if the 2011 NATO intervention in the country made the situation even worse.
The Business of War
April 10, 2019
The United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of weapons. It claims to be judicious in providing them to allies. But is that true? American-made bombs are being used in the Saudi-UAE’s war on Yemen. Should the US be held accountable for arming its allies in their relentless bombing? I ask former US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. We also meet some of the victims in Yemen and travel to Arizona where activists are tirelessly protesting outside a major US weapons factory.
Immigration: The Politics of Fear
April 3, 2019
Does the politics of fear drive the immigration debate in the US? Is it fuelling the rise of white supremacist nationalism? On this edition of BT5, I ask former US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, about the alleged crisis a the US-Mexico border, and whether Trump is not in fact building on Obama’s immigration policy.
America’s Pro-Israel Lobby
March 27, 2019
With top Democratic presidential candidates boycotting AIPAC's annual conference this week in Washington DC, we ask: is the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the US beginning to fade — or does the pro-Israel lobby still wield the power it once did? We speak with the former Executive Director of AIPAC, Tom Dine, and Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick about the lobby’s influence on US politics. We also discuss Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan.
Iraq: What Next?
March 20, 2019
On the 16th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, we look at he legacy the US left behind and the challenges the country continues to face as it tries to re-build following a three year battle with ISIS. Did the US deliver when it promised to replace Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime with a stable democracy? Is the future of Iraqis looking any brighter? I ask the first US Ambassador to Iraq post-2003, John Negroponte, if he has any regrets and whether the US-led war was a mistake — and a crime of aggression.
America In Decline
March 13, 2019
Our first episode explores the decline of the US as a superpower and looks at who will fill the leadership void. What impact has President Trump’s ‘America First’ policy had on the US’ global influence? We speak with Trump’s former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski, the Dean of SAIS Vali Nasr and the former NSC Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz. We also look at how AI and emerging technologies will define the new global pecking order. Ana Rold, Publisher of Diplomatic Courier, gives us her take.