Background Briefing: August 7, 2023

Have Putin and Xi Handed a Strategic Opportunity to the West

We begin with the possibility that Putin’s disastrous invasion and Xi’s mismanagement of the pandemic have opened a narrow window of strategic opportunity for the West. Joining us is Mathew Burrows, a distinguished fellow and program lead for Reimagining U.S. Grand Strategy and the Strategic Foresight Hub at the Henry L. Stimson Center. Having retired from a 28-year career at the CIA and State Department, he was the principal author of three National Intelligence Council-produced Global Trends reports between 2003 and 2013 and is the co-author of a new study at the Stimson Center “Spheres of Influence in the Coming Decades: Four Alternative Scenarios.”


The Downfall and Jailing of Pakistan’s Former PM Imran Khan

Then we examine the downfall and jailing of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, the cricket star and playboy Imran Khan who is now in a tiny, dirty prison cell reading the Koran. Joining us is Shuja Nawaz, a native of Pakistan who is a Distinguished Fellow at the South Asia Center which he founded at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC. He has advised or briefed senior government and military officials and parliamentarians in the US, Europe, and Pakistan and is the author of The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood, and Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within.


Sunday’s Loss by the US Women’s Soccer Team Celebrated by Right Wing Trolls and Donald Trump

Then finally we assess Sunday’s loss by the US women’s soccer team against Sweden which right wing trolls and Donald Trump are celebrating and speak Andrei Markovits, a Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies, Professor of Political Science, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures as well as a professor of Sociology at the The University of Michigan. He has also worked extensively on comparative sports culture in Europe and North America. His books include Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism, Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture, and Women in American Soccer and European Football: Different Roads to Shared Glory and he just returned from Australia where the women’s world cup is underway.