Background Briefing: March 6, 2023
Trump’s Bizarre Fact-Free Speech to CPAC Where He Out-Polled DeSantis for the Nomination 3 to 1
We begin with Trump’s bizarre fact-free speech at the CPAC gathering over the weekend where he won the Republican presidential
The Russian Strategy to Draw Ukraine’s Main Force Into the Bakhmut Battle is Not Working
Then we look into the critical battle for Bakhmut in Ukraine which has the Russians trying to draw in Ukraine’s main forces that are training up on new equipment for a spring offensive but in the meanwhile Ukraine’s B Team defending Bakhmut have put up a surprisingly dogged defense that has cost Russia’s A Team enormous losses. Joining us is Aram Shabanian, the Open-Source Information Gathering Manager at the New Lines Institute. He recently studied and taught in Non-Proliferation and Terrorism Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where his research focused on the Cold War and contemporary histories of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We discuss the tensions between the Wagner mercenaries and Russia’s Ministry of Defense now out in the open.
An Assessment of Reports That Russia Will Supply Uranium to Iran in Exchange For Drones and Missiles
Then finally we assess reports that indicate Russia may be supplying Iran with Uranium for its covert nuclear weapons program in exchange for Iranian drones and missiles which Russia is using in its war against Ukraine. Joining us is Mark Fitzpatrick, an Associate Fellow and former Executive Director of the Washington-based Americas office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies where he heads the IISS Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program focusing on proliferation challenges and on nuclear security and nuclear disarmament issues. He served as US Foreign Service Officer from 1979–2005, with postings in Seoul, Tokyo, Wellington, Vienna and Washington, including as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation, and his books include Asia’s Latent Nuclear Powers: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers and The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Avoiding worst-case outcomes.