90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Russia and the U.S.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Aug. 19, 2008 after an emergency NATO meeting on the conflict in Georgia. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Aug. 19, 2008, after an emergency meeting on the conflict in Georgia. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

What a mess on the Russian front. Russian troops in Georgia, and the West and NATO looking weak. The U.S. and Poland inking a deal to put American missiles a hundred miles from Russia’s border — and Russians warning Poland of nuclear retaliation.

In the 1990’s, Russia seemed like the world’s pet rock. Now, it’s alive with anger, oil-wealth and — in Georgia — action. The new state of affairs seems too hot to be called cold war.

This hour, we’re talking with a top architect of U.S. Russia policy in the 90s, Strobe Talbott, plus a critic of that policy and a top voice now from Moscow on where the U.S.-Russia relationship goes next.

You can join the conversation. Did the U.S. bait post-Soviet Russia with NATO expansion to its doorstep? What’s the right formula now for dealing with a resurgent, energy-rich Russia? Are Russia and the West destined to be enemies? Combatants? If we could replay the ’90s, how might we do it differently? What’s the real U.S. leverage with Russia now, if any? Do you want to hear Russia’s complaints? Or beat it back? Can’t we all just get along? Tell us what you think.

Guests:

Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, he served as deputy secretary of state from 1994 through 2001, and for a year before that as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the Secretary of State for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. He’s the author of “The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation” (2008).

Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies and history at New York University and author of “Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-communist Russia” (2002). He is a contributing editor of The Nation and has written recently for the magazine about “McCain, Obama, and Russia.”

More links:

In the news this morning, Poland and the U.S. have signed a missile shield deal. Anne Penketh of The Independent (UK) covers it here.

And a couple of important opinion pieces in today’s papers:

On The New York Times op-ed page, Mikhail Gorbachev says “Russia Never Wanted a War.”

On the Wall Street Journal opinion page, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says “America Must Choose Between Georgia and Russia.”

Also in today’s New York Times, columnist Thomas Friedman asks “What Did We Expect?”

There’s plenty more news and opinion on this subject, of course. What are your thoughts? And what are your “must-reads” today?

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment