Background Briefing: February 6, 2023


Will Western Donors Respond to Erdogan’s Plea for Aid After Earthquakes Devastate Southern Turkey and Northern Syria?

We begin with the devastating earthquakes in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, areas already under stress from refugees fleeing the ongoing war in Syria that has destroyed much of Aleppo which was hit hard by the 7.8 earthquake. Joining us is Sibel Oktay, a Professor and the Director of the School of Politics and International Affairs at the University of Illinois and a nonresident senior fellow of public opinion and foreign policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs whose research focuses on Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East, specifically Turkey and Israel. She is the author Governing Abroad: Coalition Politics and Foreign Policy in Europe and is a recipient of the Jefferson Science Fellowship of the U.S. Department of State.


The GOP House Plans To Cut FBI Funding Just as They Stop American Neo-Nazis From Attacking Critical Infrastructure

Then we look into the arrests of two neo-Nazis, one of whom is the founder of Atomwaffen which models itself on the Nazi SS. They were planning to blow up five electrical substations around Baltimore to shut off power to the city and create chaos to the point they hoped a race war would begin. Joining us to discuss the threat to critical infrastructure from domestic terrorism and the motives of these racist extremists engaged in accelerationism is Thomas Mockaitis, a Professor of History at DePaul University who has taught counter-terrorism courses for the past 13 years at venues around the world as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Counter-terrorism Fellowship Program. He is the author of 6 books including ‘New’ Terrorism: Myths and Reality, Violent Extremists: Understanding the Domestic and International Terrorist Threat and Iraq and the Challenge of Counterinsurgency.


The Global Struggle Between Democracies Under Threat and Encroaching Autocracies and Kleptocracies

Then finally we assess the global struggle between democracies under threat and encroaching autocracies and kleptocracies and speak with James Cronin, a research professor of history at Boston College and a local affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Global Rules: America and Britain in a Disordered World and, we discuss his latest book just out, Fragile Victory: The Making and Unmaking of Liberal Order.