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Ukraine's Challenge To American Foreign Policy

Ukraine’s hot, the Mideast is a mess.  Is this White House shrewdly realigning American foreign policy or frittering away its powers?

*With Guest Host Jessica Yellin.

Pro-Russian activists shout during a rally at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, as the makings of an improved self-appointed government began to take shape, with demonstrators dug in for their third day at the 11-storey regional administration headquarters. (AP)

Pro-Russian activists shout during a rally at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, as the makings of an improved self-appointed government began to take shape, with demonstrators dug in for their third day at the 11-story regional administration headquarters. (AP)

Tensions in Ukraine reach a new boiling point as pro-Russian activists storm government buildings. On the ground:  charges and denials of hostage taking. Ukraine’s leaders brawling in Parliament as Russia masses 40,000 troops near the border. It’s not playing well in Washington, where Senators blasted Secretary of State John Kerry – accusing him of failing at foreign policy. This is the new test case for the Obama administration and its make-nice foreign policy. This hour On Point: crisis in Ukraine, and America’s  leadership on the world stage.

Guests

Elise Labott, CNN foreign affairs reporter. (@eliselabottcnn)

Thomas Pickering, distinguished fellow with the Brookings Institution. Career ambassador and former ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, India, Israel and Jordan.

Kori Schake, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Former senior policy adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign.

David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times. Author of “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.” (@SangerNYT)

From The Reading List

The Economist: Last-ditch bargaining — “Mr. Kerry, in any event, must be running out of ploys to keep the negotiations alive. Since last July he has reduced his sights first to a statement of principles, then to a ‘framework’ for talks, and most recently to a non-binding American paper. Even that now seems too much for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to stomach.”

The Guardian: Iran’s choice for UN ambassador threatens to derail nuclear talks — “Senior US lawmakers who accuse Aboutalebi of involvement in the siege are rallying around legislation to prevent him access to the UN headquarters. On Tuesday, in the wake of the Senate’s endorsement of a bill that effectively targeted Aboutalebi, and as a new round of nuclear negotiations was getting underway in Vienna, Iran stood by its nomination.”

Vox: A Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine just got more likely. Here’s why. — “Ever since Russian troops annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in mid-March, people have been worried that Russia could try to push into eastern Ukraine as well. Like Crimea, parts of eastern Ukraine are majority Russian-speaking and having historical ties to Russia, so it stood to reason they could be next. That didn’t immediately happen, but since Sunday it has very rapidly started to look more likely. Here’s why.”

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