Day: January 29, 2024

Background Briefing: January 29, 2024

Biden’s Options to Retaliate as Pressure Mounts to Strike Iran

We begin with the mounting pressure on President Biden to retaliate against Iran for the drone strike on a US base in Jordan that killed 3 American soldiers and wounded 34. Joining us to discuss what options Biden has short of striking Iran and widening the war in the Middle East is Nicholas Heras, Senior Director for Strategy & Innovation at the New Lines Institute. From 2016-2017, Nicholas served as the tenth 1st LT Andrew J. Bacevich, Jr., USA Fellow at Center for New American Security and he is the author of From the Bottom, Up: A Strategy for U.S. Military Support for Syria’s Armed Opposition. He’s conducted an extensive study on Iran’s proxies in the Middle East for the National Defense University.


Will the Presence of 2,400 US Soldiers in Iraq and Syria Become the Main Reason We Fight Iran?

Then, after 160 attacks by pro-Iranian militias, because an incoming drone was mistaken for a US drone returning from a mission resulting in the deaths of US soldiers, we examine how much the presence of US troops in the region who are fighting a defeated enemy ISIS will now become the reason we will fight Iran. Joining us is Paul Pillar, who served for 30 years as an analyst at the CIA, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. Previously, he served as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center and is currently a professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and a member of the Center for Peace and Security Studies. We discuss his article at Responsible Statecraft, “Bring US Troops Home From the Middle East—Now.”


One of 25 Historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction Who Signed An Amicus Brief to Have Trump Removed From the Ballot Under the 14th Amendment

Then finally we speak with one of 25 historians of the Civil War and the Reconstruction era who have filed an Amicus brief with the Supreme Court to bar Trump from the ballot in Colorado under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Joining us is Allan Lichtman, a political historian who teaches at American University and has studied both the American right and the presidency. He is the author of The Case For Impeachment and The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President, and his most recent books are The Embattled Vote in America, The Case For Impeachment, and Thirteen Cracks: Repairing American Democracy After Trump. He created a prediction system that has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984, including the 2016 election when against all odds, he predicted a Trump victory, and has a new weekly show at 9 PM EST on Thursdays at @allanlichtmanyoutube.