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?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?