Day: January 29, 2023

Background Briefing: January 29, 2023

The Culture of Violence in Elite Police Squads and the Failure of Command to Know or Want to Know What is Going on at the Street Level

We begin with the release of body-cam and other videos by the Memphis police chief of the arrest and merciless beating of Tyre Nichols who later died from vicious kicks and punches from 5 Black police officers with the Scorpion Unit who were fired and charged with second degree murder. Joining us to discuss the culture of violence in these so-called elite squads and the failure of command to know what is happening at the street level is Cheryl Dorsey, a retired sergeant of the Los Angeles Police Department who worked patrol, narcotics, and vice assignments for all four bureaus of operation. Raised in South Central Los Angeles, she embarked on a career in law enforcement at an early age, beginning with the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Investigations, and Narcotic Enforcement, and spent her entire twenty years working field-related assignments, which included the infamous gang unit known as the Community Resources against Street Hoodlums, or CRASH. Now a social justice advocate, she is the author of Black & Blue: The True Story of an African-American Woman on the LAPD and the Powerful Secrets She Uncovered.


George Kennan’s Warning About NATO Expansion Eastward

Then we explore historical warnings about NATO expansion eastward focusing on George Kennan’s concern in 1991 when he proposed a three-year moratorium on NATO expansion, warning that a threatened Russia might produce “a new Cold War, probably ending in a hot one, and the end of the effort to achieve a workable democracy in Russia.” Joining us is Frank Costigliola, a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. His books include The Kennan Diaries and Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances, and his latest book, just out, is Kennan: A Life between Worlds. He also has an article at Foreign Affairs, “Kennan’s Warning on Ukraine.”


The Rise of the Radical Right at Home and Abroad

Then finally we investigate the rise of the radical right at home and abroad and speak with Daniel Nexon, a Professor in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From 2009-2010, he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in the US Department of Defense, and, in 2016, he helped coordinate the unofficial foreign-policy group for the Bernie Sanders campaign, and he remains active in efforts to forge progressive foreign policy principles. He is the author of The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe: Religious Conflict, Dynastic Empires, and International Change and co-author of Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order, and we discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “The Vexing Rise of the Transnational Right: Lessons From Interwar Europe.”