FROM David Shlapak
America's foreign policy: Now you see it…now you don't… The founder of Communist China, Mao Tse Tung, was famous for unpredictability -- keeping the world off balance with unexpected contradictions. In less than 100 days, President Trump has set a new standard for American leaders, flip-flopping on Syria, NATO, China — and Vladimir Putin's Russia. Inexperience requires reliance on his advisors, so White House office politics may be more important than ever. But what does the inconsistency mean for America's strengths and weaknesses in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world?
In Eastern Europe, saber rattling — or risky escalation? You'd never know it from this year's campaign, but Russia and NATO are engaged in the biggest military buildup since the Cold War. In addition to Syria and Ukraine, the next US president might be faced with Russian aggression in the Baltic States and puppets of the former Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin has deployed forces and talked about using nuclear weapons. Comparisons are being made to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. NATO has changed the name for its military buildup in the region from "reassurance" to "deterrence" and is responding with tanks and troops -- at a time when the European Union is weakened and American leadership is fraught with uncertainty.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.