Day: March 13, 2022

Background Briefing: March 13, 2022


A Moscow-Based Defense Analyst on How the Ukrainians Are Winning So Far

We begin and go to Moscow to speak with Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defense analyst, columnist and journalist who previously served as senior research officer in the Soviet Academy of Sciences. From 1994 to 2005, Felgenhauer published a regular column on defense in the English language local daily The Moscow Times and in 2006, after more than six years as an independent defense analyst, Felgenhauer joined the staff of Novaya Gazeta. Felgenhauer’s regular commentary on Russia used to appear in many other local and international publications but is now shut down due to censorship. We discuss how the military landscape in Ukraine looks from the Russian perspective and how the Ukrainians are not just holding their own, but are likely to do better as the war drags on into the fall when Pavel predicts there will still be a Ukrainian army fighting, not just a guerrilla force.


An Assessment of the Military Situation From an Analyst Who Surveyed the Terrain

Then we get a further assessment of the military situation in Ukraine from an analyst who recently surveyed the terrain in Ukraine where the fighting is now taking place. Joining us is Malcolm Nance, a career counterterrorism and intelligence officer with the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence agencies, who has over 33 years of experience in combating radical extremism. He is the author of The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It and the forthcoming book They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency.


A Perspective From a U.S.A.F. Nuclear Missile Operator on Putin’s Possible Use of WMD’s

Then finally, with concerns that Putin may use chemical or even nuclear weapons in Ukraine as his war does not go as he planned, we speak with Cole Smith, a writer and director who received an MFA in screenwriting at Columbia University after serving in the United States Air Force as a nuclear missile operator. We will discuss his op-ed at The Guardian, “I was a nuclear missile operator. There have been more near-misses than the world knows.”