100 épisodes

Small bites on Transatlantic Security, NATO, the EU, Russia, and all things Europe. Hosted by Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend at the Center for a New American Security.

Brussels Sprouts Center for a New American Security | CNAS

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Small bites on Transatlantic Security, NATO, the EU, Russia, and all things Europe. Hosted by Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend at the Center for a New American Security.

    The State of the War in Ukraine with Michael Kofman

    The State of the War in Ukraine with Michael Kofman

    As the war in Ukraine continues into its third year, the mood has become increasingly dark. While territorial changes continue to be minor, Russia’s slow but steady advances along the front lines could become large losses for Ukraine. This is especially likely if Kyiv is unable to overcome worsening shortages of both material and personnel. As military aid continues to be stalled in Congress, the head of U.S. European Command has warned that Ukraine may be in danger of losing the war unless it soon receives additional ammunition from Washington. Amidst all this apparent doom and gloom, how concerned should we be about the trajectory of the war, and what glimmers of hope may still lie on the horizon? To discuss all of this and more, Mike Kofman joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.
    Mike Kofman is a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on the Russian military and Eurasian security issues.

    • 54 min
    Interpreting the Recent Turkish Elections with Asli Aydintaşbaş and Steven Cook

    Interpreting the Recent Turkish Elections with Asli Aydintaşbaş and Steven Cook

    Just under a year ago, Turkish President Erdogan won another five years in power in the Turkish presidential election. Last week, however, local election results in Turkey delivered a harsh blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Although the gap at the national level wasn’t huge, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won about 38 percent of the vote and Erdogan’s AKP garnered approximately 35 percent, in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul and Ankara the gulf was significant. Following disappointing results for the CHP during last year’s general election, this significant defeat, the largest since the AKP's founding in 2001, proved a surprise. To discuss how we should interpret these election results and their implications for Turkish democracy, Asli Aydintaşbaş and Steven Cook join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.
    Steven A. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies and Director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of numerous books, including his most recent work, The End of Ambition: America’s Past, Present, and Future in the Middle East, which is set to be released on June 3, 2024. 
    Asli Aydintaşbaş is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, as well as a former Global Opinions columnist at The Washington Post and a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

    • 48 min
    Macron’s Change in Tune and the War in Ukraine

    Macron’s Change in Tune and the War in Ukraine

    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there has been a notable evolution in France’s approach toward Moscow. In the initial months following the invasion, French President Emmanuel Macron continued to engage diplomatically with Vladimir Putin, controversially insisting that the West must not humiliate Moscow, prompting harsh criticism from France’s NATO allies. After apologizing last year for France’s previous failure to listen to the warning of its Central and Eastern European allies about Russian intentions, however, the French President notably pushed last month for greater Western strategic ambiguity regarding the war, stating that he had not ruled out the possibility of sending French troops to Ukraine. This once again prompted an outcry from NATO allies wary of escalation, such as Germany and the United States. To discuss how to interpret this apparent shift in French thinking and its possible implications going forward, Tara Varma and Bruno Tertrais join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on Brussels Sprouts.  
    Tara Varma is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.  
    Bruno Tertrais is the Deputy Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, a leading French think-tank on international security issues.  

    • 46 min
    Putin’s Fifth Term and Russian Domestic Politics

    Putin’s Fifth Term and Russian Domestic Politics

    This past weekend, Russians went to the polls for the country’s presidential election. To the surprise of no one, Vladimir Putin emerged victorious with a record-high 87 percent of the vote—or so the Kremlin claims. In the wake of the death of Alexey Navalny and Putin’s bans on attempts of alternative candidates, such as Boris Nadezhdin, to compete in the elections, political opposition was limited to an informal agreement among thousands of voters to go to the polls at noon to express their discontent. Yet regardless of the fraudulent nature of the election, Putin is likely to take this result as evidence of a popular mandate to continue his policies of aggression abroad and repression at home. As we look ahead to Putin’s fifth term in office, how should we expect Russian domestic politics and foreign policy to evolve in the years to come? To discuss all this and more, Angela Stent and Joshua Yaffa join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.
    Angela Stent is senior adviser to the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and professor emerita of government and foreign service at Georgetown University. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-chairs its Hewett Forum on Post- Soviet Affairs. Stent is additionally the author of Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest (2019).
    Joshua Yaffa is a contributing writer for The New Yorker. He is also the author of Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin’s Russia, published in January 2020 by Tim Duggan Books, which won the Orwell Prize in 2021.

    • 45 min
    Franco-German Tensions and the War in Ukraine

    Franco-German Tensions and the War in Ukraine

    Last week, French President Emmanuel Macon made waves when he said that he had not ruled out sending ground troops to fight in Ukraine. This statement prompted a strong reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and for many of France’s NATO allies to distance themselves from Macron’s statement and potential escalation. One of the most notable instances of this came from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who asserted that soldiers from NATO countries should not “actively participate in war events.” This latest Franco-German spat fits within a larger trend of disagreements between Paris and Berlin and comes at a time when unified European leadership is desperately needed to aid Kyiv. To discuss the implications of these recent events for the future of Western support to Ukraine, Camille Grand and Claudia Major join Andrea Kendall- Taylor and Jim Townsend on Brussels Sprouts.
    Camille Grand is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He leads the organization’s work on defense and disruptive technologies in European security.
    Claudia Major is head of the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. Her research focuses on European and transatlantic security and defense policy.

    • 1h 1m
    German Politics and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party

    German Politics and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party

    Throughout January, Germany witnessed weeks of mass protests against the far-right in numerous towns and cities across the country. The immediate impetus for these demonstrations was the revelation that leaders of the Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, had met with neo-Nazis to discuss potential large-scale deportations of certain segments of the country’s population. While the scale of participation in these protests demonstrates backlash among many Germans against the far-right’s xenophobic ideology, the AfD nonetheless retains significant popularity, particularly in eastern Germany. As the country looks ahead to various regional elections this fall that could see the AfD come to power, as well as to national elections in 2025, how significant of a threat does the far-right represent? To discuss the implications of the increasing mainstreaming of the far-right both in Germany and in Europe more broadly, Liana Fix and Erika Solomon join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.
    Liana Fix is a Fellow for Europe at the Council on Foreign Relations.
    Erika Solomon is the Berlin correspondent for the New York Times.

    • 41 min

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