Background Briefing: March 1, 2022


A Leading Military Expert on Russia’s Seige of Kyiv and Kharkiv

We begin with the massive military deployment of Russian forces poised and surrounding the two biggest cities in Ukraine, Kyiv and Kharkiv, and speak with William Arkin, one of America’s premier military experts whose investigative work has appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Until recently he was an NBC News analyst and reporter for thirty years and he also served in Army intelligence in West Berlin during the Cold War and has been a consultant to wide-ranging organizations, including the US Air Force, the United Nations Secretary General, Human Rights Watch, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars, and his latest, On That Day: The Definitive Timeline of 9/11, we discuss his article at Newsweek, “Shocking Lessons U.S. Military Leaders Learned by Watching Putin’s Invasion.”


How to Respond to Putin’s Nuclear Provocation

Then we speak with Thomas Nichols, a contributing writer and author of the Peacefield newsletter at The Atlantic and a former U.S. Naval War College University Professor who previously taught international relations and Soviet/Russian affairs at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University. The author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters and the forthcoming book, Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy, we discuss his latest article at The Atlantic, “How Should the U.S. Respond to Putin’s Nuclear Provocation?


Will Tonight’s State of the Union be Biden’s “Ich bin ein Ukrainian” Moment?

Then finally, ahead of tonight’s State of the Union address by President Biden, we will speak with Jeremi Suri, who holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of history and public affairs. He is the author and editor of nine books, most recently The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office and he is quoted in an article at Courthouse News “Will the State of the Union be Biden’s ‘Ich bin ein Ukrainian’?”