Background Briefing: May 29, 2024

Complaints From Ukraine’s Front Lines That Big Ticket U.S. Weapons Don’t Work, Get Jammed or Are Unsuitable

We begin with reports coming from the front lines in Ukraine that a lot of the big ticket items the U.S. supplied, like Abrams tanks, HIMARS and F-16’s are either not working, jammed by the Russians or are unsuitable. Joining us to assess the military situation as the $61 billion in aid from the U.S. begins to arrive in Ukraine is Stephen Biddle, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, Director of the International Security Policy Concentration and a senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. His books include Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle and Non State Warfare: The Military Methods of Guerillas, Warlords, and Militias and he has a recent article at Foreign Affairs, “How Russia Stopped Ukraine’s Momentum: A Deep Defense is Hard to Beat.” 


A Possible Trade War With China or a Necessary Stimulus For the Next Green Economy?

Then we look into the implications for a possible trade war from Biden’s tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, solar panels, semiconductors and batteries and speak with Zachary Carter, a Slate columnist and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes and we discuss his latest article at Slate, “Biden’s Tariffs Are a Good Idea: National security, technological innovation, and economic development depend on them.”

Today’s Election in South Africa as a Referendum on the ANC

Then finally we get an update on today’s election in South Africa that is likely to see the dominant post-Apartheid ruling ANC lose its parliamentary majority after 30 years in power. Joining us is Dr. Steven Nabieu Rogers, the Executive Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network. He has a background in public policy and urban planning with a special interest in globalization and governance in Africa and has several years of experience in higher education in Sierra Leone and South Africa. He was a faculty member and Old Mutual Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business in South Africa.