Background Briefing: February 20, 2023


Biden’s Surprise Visit to Kyiv and Hysteria From Putin’s Supporters on America’s Far Right

We begin with the surprise visit of President Biden to Kyiv where he met with President Zelensky and strolled across the main square amid air raid sirens to lay a wreath at the war memorial. Joining us to comment on the shrill condemnations of Biden coming from the American far right and the pro-Putin caucus in the House and at Fox News is Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest, a columnist for The Spectator and the author They Knew They Were Right: the Rise of the Neocons. Previously, he was an editorial writer for the LA Times and a senior editor at the New Republic, and we discuss his article at The National Interest, “Biden’s Kyiv Visit Shows He’s a War President.


Deteriorating Relations With China Amid Fears China Will Supply Lethal Aid to Russia

 Then we assess the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China and fears expressed by Secretary of State Blinken that China may soon provide lethal aid to Russia to use in Ukraine as well as what kind of peace plan Xi Jinping will propose to end the war in Ukraine about to be announced on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion. Joining us is Michael Swaine, Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute and one of the most prominent American scholars of Chinese security studies. Previously, he worked for nearly twenty years as a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace specializing in Chinese defense and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations. He also advises the U.S. government on Asian security issues and his books include Remaining Aligned on the Challenges Facing Taiwan and Conflict and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Strategic Net Assessment. We discuss his article at Responsible Statecraft, “Blinken-Wang Yi meeting marked by sharp words and confrontation.

The Supreme Court About to Hear Two Cases That Could Determine the Future of the Internet

Then finally we look into the two important cases before the Supreme Court that could determine the future of the Internet with oral arguments on Gonzales v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Joining us is Jeffrey Kosseff, a Professor in the United States Naval Academy’s Cyber Science Department and author of the bestselling book, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and the recipient of the George Polk Award in National Reporting. His other books include The United States of Anonymous: How the First Amendment Shaped Online Speech and Liar in a Crowded Theater: Freedom of Speech in a World of Misinformation, out later this year.