Background Briefing: July 4, 2023


The Strategy Behind the Ukrainian Counteroffensive Many Pundits See as Being Bogged Down

We begin with the counteroffensive underway in Ukraine and investigate the pessimistic prognostications from many military analysts who are suggesting the Ukrainian offensive is bogged down and the Russians are winning by not losing. Joining us to assess what the strategic aims of the offensive are and how a limited Ukrainian victory might lead to a negotiated settlement is Aram Shabanian, the Open-Source Information Gathering Manager at New Lines Institute. He recently taught in Non-Proliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where his research focused on the Cold War and contemporary histories of Eastern Europe and the Middle East.


Our Cavalier Disregard of Nuclear Threats From Putin Who Said “We Have No Need For a World Without Russia”

Then we examine the cavalier disregard for the perceptions that Russian leaders have of our aims and activities and how the Secretary of State and others are so quick to dismiss Russian threats of using nuclear weapons when Putin himself said in 2018 that “we have no need for a world without Russia.” Joining us is Robert Crews, a Professor of History at Stanford University where he teaches global history and politics, focusing on Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia, South Asia, and Islam. He is the author of Afghan Modern: The History of a Global Nation and For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and we discuss his article at The Institute for New Global Politics, “The Hydra of ‘Hybrid War’: Who decides when Russia and the U.S. are at war, and what comes next?”