Background Briefing

Background Briefing – July 11, 2023

We begin with tomorrow’s NATO summit ahead of which we have just learned that Turkey’s Erdogan has dropped his objections to Sweden entering the alliance. Joining us to discuss alternatives to joining NATO such as Ukraine modeling its future security on Israel, which is something Zelensky has suggested, is Stephen Wertheim, a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and Catholic University. He is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II and we discuss his article at The New York Times, “Joining NATO Won’t Keep the Peace in Ukraine.”

Then we get a Ukrainian perspective on how the counteroffensive underway is going since US and NATO’s vacillations over supplying arms has allowed Russia plenty of time to build formidable defenses as well as what Zelensky wants from the NATO summit and speak with Oxana Shevel, a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University and an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. She is the author of Migration, Refugee Policy, and State Building in Postcommunist Europe.

Then finally we examine how more than 1,500 lobbyists in the US are working on behalf of fossil-fuel companies while at the same time representing hundreds of liberal-run cities, universities, technology companies and environmental groups ranging from the city governments of Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia to tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google as well as more than 150 universities and some of the country’s leading environmental groups. Joining us is James Browning, the Founder and Executive Director of F Minus. With more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit fundraising and development, political organizing, strategic communications and planning, coalition-building, and political lobbying, he is the author of The Fracking King, and he has just released a new database at F Minus which exposes the extent to which fossil fuel lobbyists also represent people being harmed by the climate crisis.


Artist Song Album Label
Billy JoelWe Didn't Start the FirePiano Man: The Very Best of Billy JoelColumbia
KALUSHStefania (Kalush Orchestra)Stefania (Kalush Orchestra)SME - Sony Music Entertainment
Pete SeegerWhich Side Are You OnThe Essential Pete SeegerSME - Columbia/Legacy
Los LobosOne Time One NightJust Another Band From East L.A.: A CollectionRhino/Warner Bros.