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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rebecca Kobrin, "How Will the White House Remember the Holocaust?"

Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Assistant Professor of American Jewish History, contributed an opinion piece to CNN (April 23, 2017), titled "How Will the White House Remember the Holocaust?":

"Monday is Yom Hashoah, the day designated in 1953 by the State of Israel to commemorate the murder of millions of Jews during the Second World War. Selected to mark the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, this day is meant to impart a lesson: Jews should be remembered not only for dying in the Holocaust, but for fighting for their lives as well. But perhaps the most important lesson of the Holocaust for Americans is the role that open borders for refugees can play in saving victims from unspeakable violence.
Since January 20, I have often pondered: What does our current administration see as the lessons for Americans to learn from the Holocaust? Especially on the occasion of Yom Hashoah, I cannot stop thinking that a deeper knowledge of the the world's role in the Holocaust is needed in America."
You can read the full piece here.
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Timothy Frye Interviewed on CNBC about Tillerson's Meeting with Putin

Timoth Frye (Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy) was interviewed on CNBC about the meeting between Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin (April 12, 2017).
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mark Mazower Reviews Books on War and Peace for Financial Times

 Mark Mazower, Ira D. Wallach Professor of History, reviewed books on war and peace by Azar Gat, Martin van Creveld, AC Grayling, and David Armitage in the Financial Times (April 13, 2017).

From the review's opening paragraph:

"This turbulent international scene of ours is starting to resemble one we thought we’d left behind a long time ago. President Donald Trump once professed to be against foreign entanglements. Now he fires Tomahawks into Syria and sends an aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula. In the South China Sea the arms race is accelerating. The air is thick with jets over the east Aegean. With American hegemony challenged by the rise of China, some talk about a return to the late 19th century. We know where that world of jostling great powers ended up: it is not surprising if people have war on their minds."
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kimberly Marten Interviewed on Charlie Rose This Week about U.S.-Russia Relations

Kimberly Marten (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and Director of the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations) appeared on Charlie Rose This Week (April 14, 2017) to talk about the current state of U.S.-Russia Relations following Rex Tillerson's visit to Russia and his meetings with Sergey Lavrov and Vladimir Putin. 

You can find the interview here. Marten's interview with Rose begins at 10.28.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Into the Unknown: U.S.-Russia Relations Unhinged" by Robert Legvold

In his thoughtful essay "Into the Unknown: U.S.-Russian Relations Unhinged" (Valdai Paper #64), Robert Legvold (Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, and Director of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative) explores the Trump administrations's policy on Russia.

From the opening:

"If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy. More fundamentally, how likely is it that he really means to abandon a leadership role for the United States in global politics and substitute a stark realpolitik approach to foreign policy issues? Already in the fourth week after a tumultuous first three weeks in office, he and his team had retreated on their more extreme positions: on a “One China” policy in a renewed pledge to Xi Jinping; on the Iran nuclear agreement in a pledge to Federica Mogherini; and on the U.S. mutual defense pact with Japan in a pledge to Shinzō Abe. Toward Russia the language quickly hardened in the speeches of senior foreign and defense policy officials. Thus, early signs suggested that the radical departure implied by the President’s pre- and post-election comments would melt away once harsh reality and difficult choices set in. But who could say for sure?"

The essay is available in English and Russian translation here.