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43 minutes | Aug 11, 2022
The Latest Phase of the War in Ukraine, with Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds
Has the war in Ukraine reached a critical turning point? Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss the evolution of the military situation and what we might expect from a forthcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive. Mike Kofman is the Research Program Director in the Russia Studies Program at CNA as well as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy. Jeff Edmonds is a Research Scientist with CNA’s Russia Studies Program and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations.
57 minutes | Aug 5, 2022
Political Churn in Europe, with Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook and Max Bergmann
What do the recent upheavals in European politics mean for the future of transatlantic cooperation? Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook and Max Bergmann join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss the path ahead for Europe. Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook serves as executive vice president at the Bertelsmann Foundation. Her prior positions include director and CEO of the German Council on Foreign Relations as well as executive director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. Max Bergmann is the director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to joining CSIS, he was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focused on Europe, Russia, and U.S. security cooperation.
46 minutes | Jul 25, 2022
The State of EU-China Relations, with Noah Barkin and Francesca Ghiretti
What have been the latest key developments in EU-China relations? Noah Barkin and Francesca Ghiretti join Carisa Nietsche and Jim Townsend to discuss milestones in the relationship and its prospects going forward. Noah Barkin is a Managing Editor with Rhodium Group's China practice and a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund. Francesca Ghiretti is an Analyst at MERICS, where she focuses on EU-China relations with an emphasis on economic security, China's global investments, China's footprint in Southern Europe, and UK-China relations.
43 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
The 2022 Madrid NATO Summit, with Ivo Daalder and Doug Lute
What are the most important takeaways from this week’s NATO summit in Madrid? Ivo Daalder and Doug Lute join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss how the alliance is adapting to meet the challenges of a new era Ivo Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. Doug Lute served as the United States Ambassador to NATO from 2013 to 2017. A career Army officer, he retired from active duty in 2010 as a lieutenant general after 35 years of service.
57 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
Brussels Sprouts Live with Julianne Smith, U.S. Ambassador to NATO
During the CNAS 2022 National Security Conference, Julianne Smith, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, joined Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend in conversation about Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Then Andrea and Jim were joined by Steven Erlanger and David Sanger of The New York Times to continue the conversation.
44 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
Evolving Dynamics Within The Bloc, with Pierre Morcos and Jeremy Shapiro
As the war between Russia and Ukraine drags on with little progress toward a resolution, fractures are beginning to appear in the European response. While the European Union successfully came together to take swift and decisive action during the early stages of the conflict, unity has been harder to come by in recent weeks, with differing perceptions and attitudes leading to more frequent disagreements among member states. There has been particularly harsh criticism directed against Germany and France, which some have accused of taking an overly conciliatory approach toward Russia, pointing to evidence such as German hesitation to deliver weapons to Ukraine and French statements calling for the West not to “humiliate” Russia. As Berlin and Paris receive increasing pushback from other member states who advocate for a bolder policy of unreserved support for Ukraine, the prospects for continued unity appear much less certain going forward. Pierre Morcos and Jeremy Shapiro join Jim Townsend and Nick Lokker to make sense of these differing European perspectives on the Russia-Ukraine war. Pierre Morcos is a visiting fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as well as a career diplomat with the French Foreign Service. Jeremy Shapiro is the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he focuses on U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations.
46 minutes | May 20, 2022
Unpacking the Transatlantic Technology Council, with Fran Burwell and Tyson Barker
On May 15 and 16, the United States and European Union hosted the second Trade and Technology Council Meeting in Paris-Saclay, France. Since the inaugural TTC meeting, the TTC has emerged as an important venue for transatlantic coordination on export controls directed against Russia, providing a window for further transatlantic cooperation on technology policy. Capitalizing on this momentum, the joint statement from this meeting highlights shared initiatives the working groups have been advancing in the past months and plan to work on moving forward. Tyson Barker and Fran Burwell join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Carisa Nietsche to discuss takeaways from the TTC meeting as well as opportunities for transatlantic cooperation in technology policy. Tyson Barker is the head of the Technology and Global Affairs at the German Council on Foreign Relations, or DGAP. He previously worked at Aspen Germany where, as deputy executive director and fellow, he was responsible for the institute’s digital and transatlantic programs. Frances G. Burwell is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and a senior director at McLarty Associates. Her work focuses on the European Union and U.S.–EU relations as well as a range of transatlantic economic, political, and defense issues.
51 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
New Phase of War, with Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds
More than two months after Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine, the war has now entered a second phase, with the two sides facing off in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Looking forward, it remains unclear how the conflict will evolve as well as how it could eventually come to an end, given the numerous difficulties that stand in the way of achieving any sort of negotiated settlement. Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend discuss where the war now stands and what the future may hold for Ukraine, Russia, and the broader international community. Mike Kofman is the Research Program Director in the Russia Studies Program at CNA as well as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy. Jeff Edmonds is a Research Scientist with CNA’s Russia Studies Program and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations.
55 minutes | Apr 21, 2022
Macron vs. Le Pen Redux, with Célia Belin and Ben Haddad
What can we expect from the final round of the French presidential election? The possibility of a Le Pen presidency poses major concerns for the future of the European Union and the transatlantic alliance, given her expressed desire to take actions such as leaving NATO’s integrated military command, seeking rapprochement with Russia, and enshrining the supremacy of French legislation over EU law. Another term for Macron, by contrast, would likely see a continuation of his strong pro-European and internationalist vision for France. Célia Belin and Ben Haddad join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss this high-stakes political event, as well as what might unfold and what that might mean for France and the international community. Célia Belin is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. Her areas of expertise include transatlantic relations, U.S. foreign policy toward Europe, and French politics and foreign policy. Benjamin Haddad is the senior director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council. He is an expert in European politics and transatlantic relations, and his work has notably advocated for transatlantic unity in the face of Russian aggression, greater European responsibility, and investment on strategic matters.
45 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
Inching Closer Toward NATO with Mika Aaltola and Anna Wieslander
Will Finland and Sweden join NATO? Since Russia launched its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine in late February, European political and security dynamics have changed in profound ways. For Finland and Sweden, the invasion has ignited a new round of debate around the question of NATO membership, causing both countries to reexamine their longstanding policy of remaining outside the transatlantic military alliance. Despite this movement, no political decision has yet been made in either country, and obstacles may remain in the way of membership. Nevertheless, it appears that a seismic shift in foreign and security policy could be on the horizon for both countries. Anna Wieslander and Mika Aaltola join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss what we might expect to see going forward. Anna Wieslander serves as director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council. In addition to her role at the Atlantic Council, she chairs the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm and serves as secretary general of the Swedish Defense Association. Mika Aaltola is the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He is also a tenured professor of International Relations and European Union Affairs at Tallinn University in Estonia and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University.
37 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Orbán’s Grip On Power, with Dan Kelemen
What does Viktor Orbán’s win in Hungary mean for the future of Europe? On April 3rd, voters in Hungary went to the polls for national parliamentary elections. Despite efforts by the opposition to unite around a single candidate, Viktor Orbán easily managed to win a fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister, as his right-wing Fidesz party retained the two-thirds super majority that has allowed it to drastically reshape Hungarian politics and society over the past twelve years. The European Union and the transatlantic alliance are certain to face major challenges from Orbán’s continued leadership of Hungary, including his consistent pro-Putin stance amidst the war in Ukraine, his ongoing efforts to undermine the rule of law, and his hardline stance on critical issues such as migration. Dan Kelemen joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss this and more. Dan Kelemen is Professor of Political Science and Law and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics at Rutgers University. He is the author or editor of six books, including The Transformation of Law and Regulation in the European Union, which won the Best Book award from the European Union Studies Association in 2013.
45 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
China’s Role Within the War, with Jude Blanchette and Dave Shullman
What role will China choose to play within the Russia-Ukrainian war? Beijing has notably refused to condemn Moscow for its military aggression, instead putting the blame on the West for sparking the crisis. Moreover, there are concerns that China may come to Russia’s aid by providing military assistance or helping it to evade sanctions, though it remains unclear whether China will ultimately act so blatantly in Russia’s favor. In any case, it is certain that the evolving relationship between Russia and China will be a key factor in both the current crisis and the emerging new world order more broadly. Jude Blanchette and Dave Shullman join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss all of this and more. Jude Blanchette holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Previously, he was engagement director at The Conference Board’s China Center for Economics and Business in Beijing, where he researched China’s political environment with a focus on the workings of the Communist Party of China and its impact on foreign companies and investors. Dave Shullman is Senior Director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, where he leads the council’s work on China. David’s research focuses on China’s foreign policy and grand strategy, U.S.-China relations, China-Russia relations, and the implications of China’s rise for global order and the future of democracy.
41 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
War in Ukraine: One Month in with Carl Bildt
With the war in Ukraine now entering its second month, we are seeing few day-to-day changes on the battlefield. Russia’s focus appears to be primarily on the south and the east of the country, as it looks less and less likely that it will be able to muster sufficient forces to take Kyiv. Meanwhile, there has been limited progress in negotiations—while President Zelenskyy has said he is amenable to neutrality for Ukraine, there nonetheless remains a deep political divide when it comes to territorial integrity. Taken together, it seems that we are likely to see a long, drawn-out conflict with no real end in sight. Carl Bildt joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss all of this and more. Carl Bildt is the co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served as both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden. Under his leadership, the government initiated major liberal economic reforms and negotiated Sweden’s accession to the EU.
39 minutes | Mar 18, 2022
Flash Release: Russia-Ukraine Escalations & Off-ramps with Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds
As the war in Ukraine continues into its fourth week, the picture on the ground has largely remained the same in recent days, with the Russian military making only minimal progress toward its objectives. Meanwhile, negotiations are continuing but look highly unlikely to produce tangible results in the next couple of weeks—Putin knows that the conflict will eventually be settled at the negotiating table, and Russia is therefore likely to increase the brutality of its tactics in the short-term with the aim of compelling Zelensky into concessions. Finally, the risk of an expanded conflict remains, demonstrated by Moscow’s recent attack on a training facility near the Polish border as well as its warnings that Western arms convoys could be considered “legitimate targets” for attack. Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to examine the continuing war and potential trajectories. Mike Kofman is the Research Program Director in the Russia Studies Program at CNA as well as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy. Jeff Edmonds is a Research Scientist with CNA’s Russia Studies Program and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at CNAS. His research focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions, and Russian information and cyber operations.
61 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
War in Ukraine: The World Weighs In
One week after Russia launched its invasion into Ukraine—an invasion that President Biden condemned as "premeditated and unprovoked" in his State of the Union address—Europe has become engulfed in its biggest war in decades. While Russia has expanded its assault on several key Ukrainian cities, a firm resistance from Ukrainian forces and civilians continues and the list of countries vowing immediate military aid to Ukraine continues to grow. On March 4, the Center for a New American Security hosted a panel featuring Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Richard Fontaine, Jeffrey Edmonds, and Michael Kofman to examine the unfolding crisis. Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on U.S. national security, especially as it relates to Russia. He works full time for CNA’s Russia Studies Program. Most recently, Jeff served as the Director for Russia on the National Security Council and acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 presidential transition. Prior to the NSC, Jeff served as a senior military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, covering Eurasian militaries. Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses’ Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on the Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in the Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy.
67 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
Sanctions and Export Controls Explained: What's going on with Russia
The United States and its allies have released an unprecedented and sweeping set of sanctions and export controls in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This includes blocking sanctions on most major Russian banks, asset freezes on Russian elites, and a broad set of restrictions on exports of technology to Russia. Over the weekend, we saw the announcement of sanctions on Russia's central bank, along with removing select Russian banks from the SWIFT system and sanctions on Putin himself. On March 2, the Center for a New American Security hosted a panel moderated by Richard Fontaine and featuring Edward Fishman, Tom Keatinge, Emily Kilcrease, and Elina Ribakova to discuss what these new sanctions and export controls mean, how they will impact the Russian and global economies, and what to expect next in the economic domain from the United States and allies. Edward Fishman is an Adjunct Fellow at the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Tom Keatinge is the Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. Emily Kilcrease is a Senior Fellow and Program Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Elina Ribakova is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and she is the Deputy Chief Economist at the Institute of International Finance.
40 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Flash Release: Claudia Major and Daniela Schwarzer React to Germany’s Shifts on Defense Policy
In response to the escalating crisis in Ukraine, Germany recently announced several historic policy shifts over the past few days. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated that Germany would deliver weapons to Ukraine, reversing Germany’s long-held refusal to deliver weapons to a conflict zone. Furthermore, Scholz announced that Germany would plan to spend more than 2% of GDP on defense spending year on year and would create a €100 billion investment fund for the armed forces. Claudia Major and Daniela Schwarzer join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Carisa Nietsche to assess this monumental shift in German foreign policy. Dr. Claudia Major is head of the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin (SWP). Her research, advisory work and publications focus on security and defense policy in Europe and in a transatlantic context, including NATO, EU, Germany, UK, and France. Previously, Claudia held positions at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, the German Council on Foreign Relations (Berlin), the EU Institute for Security Studies (Paris), the German Foreign Office (NATO desk) and Sciences Po Paris. Claudia is member in various boards, such as the Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention at the Federal Foreign Office and the German-British Koenigswinter Conference. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer is executive director for Europe and Eurasia of the Open Society Foundations. Schwarzer is a renowned expert in European affairs and transatlantic and international relations. She is an honorary professor of political science at Freie Universität Berlin and a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. She has been a special advisor to European leaders such as EU High Representative Josep Borrell and to countries including Poland and France during the preparation of their EU Council presidencies.
62 minutes | Feb 25, 2022
War in Ukraine: What Next?
Russia’s swift and unprovoked invasion of the country this past week has been met with insane condemnations from leaders across the globe, including in the United States and Europe. As Russian soldiers engage in a full air and land operation on a massive scale, questions remain about how their military campaign might unfold as well as what the geopolitical implications might be for surrounding countries and the NATO alliance. On February 25, the Center for a New American Security hosted a panel featuring Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Richard Fontaine, Jeffrey Edmonds, and Michael Kofman to examine the unfolding crisis. Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on US national security, especially as it relates to Russia. He works full time for CNA’s Russia Studies Program. Most recently, Jeff served as the Director for Russia on the National Security Council and acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 presidential transition. Prior to the NSC, Jeff served as a senior military analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, covering Eurasian militaries. Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses’ Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on the Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in the Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy.
42 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Flash Release: Rob Lee Reacts to Ongoing Russian Military Developments
Earlier this week, Russia escalated its ongoing aggression toward Ukraine by announcing that it would formally recognize the independence of the separatist territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, a decision that the Kremlin has backed up by deploying troops to both Eastern Ukrainian regions. In preparation for the possibility of a wider conflict, more serious sanctions have been threatened and additional troops have been moved to NATO’s eastern flank. Yet it remains unclear what Vladimir Putin’s next move will be—while many believe that he is poised to go further and launch a massive military attack against Ukraine, some have argued that he may stop short of a full-blown war. Rob Lee joins Andrea Kendall Taylor and Jim Townsend to assess the events and implications of this major global crisis. Rob Lee is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program, as well as a PhD student researching Russian defense policy at King’s College London’s War Studies Department. He is a former Marine infantry officer, Alfa Fellow, and visiting fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), a Russian think tank focused on defense policy.
31 minutes | Feb 18, 2022
Flash Release: Samuel Charap Reacts to Continued Russian Aggression
Over the last 24-48 hours, there has been a dizzying number of new developments in the situation surrounding Ukraine and Russia, all of which are deeply concerning. This morning, the Kremlin formally accused the United States of ignoring the package nature of its proposal for security guarantees. This comes amid signs that Russia is creating pretexts for conflict, including spreading false claims of genocide in Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as shelling a Ukrainian village in the Donbas in an apparent attempt to bait Ukrainian forces into responded. Finally, Vladimir Putin is scheduled to soon address the entire Russian Federal Assembly, am ominous sign that a major action could be on the horizon. To make sense of this, Samuel Charap joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss these recent, concerning developments. Samuel Charap is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he focuses on the foreign policies of Russia and the former Soviet states, as well as on European and Eurasian regional security. He has written widely on Ukraine, including his 2017 book titled Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia.
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