Background Briefing: January 24, 2024

The Need For a New Strategy to Defend Democracy at Home and Abroad as the US No Longer Deters Iran, Russia, China or North Korea

We begin with the challenge of defending democracy at home and abroad and examine the possibilities of alternative approaches since American military power is not deterring Iran, Russia or China and even North Korea, which is threatening war with South Korea. Joining us is Stephen Wertheim, a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. He is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II and we discuss his article at The Atlantic, “Biden’s Defense of Democracies Isn’t Delivering.”


Life in Russia Which is Becoming a Garrison State With a Wartime Leader Who Started a War He Has No Intention of Stopping

Then we get an update on life in Russia as the country becomes a garrison state with a wartime leader who started a war he has no intention of stopping. Joining us is Nina Khrushcheva, a Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. She is also an editor of and a contributor to Project Syndicate and the author of The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind and her latest book, coauthored with Jeffrey Tayler, is  In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones. We discuss her article at Project Syndicate, “Preparing Russia for Permanent War.”


Argentina Faces a General Strike in Opposition to Its Chainsaw-Wielding New Leader’s Slash and Burn Policies

Then finally, as Argentina faces a general strike in opposition to the slash and burn policies of the chainsaw-wielding, uber-libertarian new president Javier Milei who was recently elected promising a painful cure for the country’s ills, which he blames on Marxist, communists and leftist in general. Joining us from Buenos Aires is Federico Perelmuter, a freelance writer, critic, and editor who writes about Latin American contemporary literature, tech history and culture, and Argentinian and Latin American politics. We discuss his article at Zocalo Public Square, “Where Did Argentina’s Firebrand New President Get His Political Ideas?