FROM Ivo Daalder
The US and Russia: Another re-set? Donald Trump has publicly scorned the CIA for claiming that Russia tried to help him get elected. But the disagreement's much deeper than that. Trump has picked a national security team with close ties to Vladimir Putin, who intelligence agents -- and many Republicans -- insist is up to no good. How much do they really know about that, and when did they know it? Is Trump's hand of friendship a lucky accident for Putin, whose real goal is a divided Europe? We look at the long-term threat to the Atlantic Alliance, national security and the global balance of power.
Mr. Assad Goes to Moscow It appears that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is not staying home anymore because he's afraid of a coup. Yesterday he visited Moscow at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, who has been giving military support to Assad's regime. After their meeting , Putin reportedly promised political assistance, "in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict." Ivo Daalder, a former US Ambassador to NATO who is now president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, considers what that could mean for both military and political developments in the Middle East.
Russia Changes the Battleground, at Least for the Moment President Obama said yesterday the US has failed “to change the dynamic inside Syria.” He’s all but conceded that Vladimir Putin has. Russian air strikes are helping two American enemies: Syrian President Assad, and, perhaps indirectly, the Islamic State. Meantime, ISIS is increasingly a threat to Turkey, America’s NATO Ally. Although the US appears to be running out of options, is Putin creating his own quagmire?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.