Day: February 26, 2019

Background Briefing: February 26, 2019


Trump Might Just Pull off a Big Deal in Hanoi

We  begin with the outline of a tentative deal between the U.S. and North Korea which might emerge from the talks underway in Hanoi between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un and speak with William Arkin, one of America’s premier national security experts who is now a columnist for The Guardian U.S. where he has an article “Say what you will about Trump, but his tactics on North Korea are working”. He joins us to discuss how already an end to nuclear and missile testing and “the penis-wagging and button-pushing” rhetoric is an achievement and “just getting rid of the war cry is enough to cheer over”. But if the outline of a tentative deal to end the Korean war, return more American remains, open up liaison offices short of embassies and have North Korea stop making fissile material in exchange for lifting sanctions to pursue joint economic projects between North and South Korea, is not just promised but materializes, then Trump might well have something to boast about. We will also look into the how the successful East German model of soft power persuasion versus the disastrous Iraq model of counterproductive confrontation might come into play, if the U.S. were to no longer be the enemy and the glue that has kept the regime in the North on a perpetual war-footing for decades were to be taken away.


 Inside the Inner Sanctums of the Global Elite in This New Gilded Age

Then we speak with Anand Giridharadas, editor at large for Time Magazine and a former columnist for The New York Times about his new book “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World”, an insider’s groundbreaking journey into the inner sanctums of the global elite of this new gilded age. We will discuss the issue which exposed the emperors of Davos having no clothes which happened when Dutch historian Rutger Bregman cut through the sanctimonious talk of justice, equality and transparency by pointing out that “nobody raises the issue of tax avoidance and the rich not paying their fair share. It’s like going to a firefighter’s conference and not talking about water”.


Could India’s Bombing of Territory Pakistan Claims Lead to a Wider War?

Then finally with Indian jets bombing a Pakistani terrorist training camp in disputed territory Pakistan claims, we will examine how much this retaliation for a suicide attack on Indian soldiers could ignite a wider confrontation between these two nuclear powers. Dr. Sumit Ganguly, the Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at the University of Indiana and co-author of “India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia” whose latest book is “Deadly Impasse: India-Pakistan Relations at the Dawn of a New Century”, joins us. We will discuss how India’s Prime Minister is acting tough ahead of an election while Pakistan’s Prime Minister who is a puppet of the military, has vowed to retaliate.