Day: July 9, 2023

Background Briefing: July 9, 2023


As Russia’s Nuclear Threats Recede, Some NATO States Call For Ukraine to be Admitted

We begin with the upcoming NATO summit with President Zelensky having gotten support to join NATO from Turkey’s President Erdogan who is holding up Sweden’s entry. We discuss nuclear threats from Russia which appear to be receding, but will certainly be inflamed if NATO were to go along with calls from the Baltic states and Poland and now Turkey to have Ukraine join NATO right away which would make Ukraine subject to Article 5 of the treaty and oblige the organization to go to war with Russia since it is waging war against what would be a NATO member. Joining us is Ambassador Steven Pifer, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. He is the author of a number of books including The Eagle and the Trident: U.S.—Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times and Averting Crisis in Ukraine. We discuss his article at Brookings, “Karaganov’s nuclear rant ought to scare Lukashenko.”


Is America Now Divided Between “Team Crazy” and “Team Normal”?

Then with the Special Counsel Jack Smith looking into the December 18, 2020 White House meeting between what has been characterized as “team crazy” and “team normal,” we assess the extent to which America is now divided between team crazy and team normal as a Trump-appointed Federal Judge has decided to forbid the government from interacting with social media companies based on fringe conspiracy theories with crackpot plaintiffs. Joining us is Ryan Cooper, Managing Editor at The American Prospect. He is the Cohost of the Left Anchor podcast as well as the author of the new book, How are You Going to Pay for That? Smart Answers to the Dumbest Question in Politics and we discuss his latest article at The American Prospect, “Trump Judge Effectively Names Himself President.”


When Will Those Who Incite Violence Be Held to Account For the Consequences?

Then finally we speak with Jared Holt, a senior research manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue where he researches hate and extremist movements in the United States and their relationships to the internet. He specializes in Alt-Right and so-called “New Right” media, in addition to the larger culture and influence of right-wing social media. He joins us to discuss his article at The Daily Beast “Shame Went to Die at Moms for Liberty’s Philadelphia Summit” and how it is time for Trump and Kari Lake and others who are inciting violence to be held to account for the consequences.