Tag: foreign policy

Background Briefing: January 9, 2020

 

Evidence the Iranians Shot Down a Ukrainian Airliner

We begin with the information emerging from the crash of a Ukrainian Boeing 737 shortly after takeoff from Tehran International Airport just hours after Iran had launched a salvo of missiles in retaliation for the U.S. killing of General Suleimani. Suspicions arose almost immediately after the early morning crash on Wednesday when Iranian authorities quickly concluded it was mechanical failure in an engine but subsequent spy satellite data shows two missile tracks and now, since Canada lost 63 of its citizens aboard, Prime Minister Trudeau has publicly suggested a missile brought down the plane, possibly in error. David Gleave, a Chief Investigator for Aviation Safety Investigations and an expert with the Transport Research Group at Loughborough University in the U.K., who recently worked at Tehran International Airport consulting with Iranian air traffic controllers to improve safety, joins us. We discuss the division between the technical people who would cooperate with international investigators and the political authorities who appear to be covering up for the rash and impetuous Revolutionary Guards who launched the Russian Tor ground-to-air missiles or mishandled the software in a hair-trigger situation. We will assess whether the Iranian regime has the political maturity to admit they made a mistake in an extremely tense situation and allow a credible international investigation involving the countries who lost citizens, the airline and the manufacturers of the aircraft and the engines.

 

Threat of War Rewards the CEO’s of Defense Contractors

Then we look into the rewards of going to war with Iran following the boost the threat of war gave to the stock of defense contractors and the stock portfolios of the CEO’s of the top five military contractors. Sarah Anderson, who directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, joins us to discuss her article at inequality.org “Meet the CEO’s Raking It in from Trump’s Aggression Towards Iran” and how the outgoing head of Northrop Grumman saw the value of his shares grow by $4.9 million to a total of $94.5 million by the end of the day after Suleimani was killed.

 

Pompeo’s Arrogant and Disdainful Briefing of Congress

Then finally we examine the vote in the House today to limit Trump’s actions against Iran under the 1973 War Powers Act and the contentious briefings yesterday where members of the House and Senate were treated with arrogant disdain by Secretary of State Pompeo who failed to provide evidence that Suleimani was planning an imminent attack on the U.S. Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration and is the author of A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction joins us to discuss the indignation of Republican Senator Mike Lee who said Pompeo’s briefing was “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen on a military issue in the nine years I’ve been in the United States Senate”.