Several weeks ago, the US Congress commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with the unveiling of a bust of Vaclav Havel. One of the attendees, Pavol Demes, was part of the delegation that traveled to Washington with Havel in 1991. Demes is an internationally recognized NGO leader, a former government official, and also an author and photographer. We spoke with him about the anniversary and the current state of democracy in Slovakia, as well as about concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The Obama Administration has spoken of a “pivot” or “rebalance” toward Asia as a foreign policy priority. But the U.S. is not alone in turning its sites toward the Pacific. The European Union continues to focus more and more on the Asian continent as well. Does the pivot present an opportunity for the EU and U.S. to draw upon shared values and a history of cooperation as they engage China and other Asian nations? Or will we see increased competition as both seek to benefit from the economic opportunities the region presents?
A. Ross Johnson and Nenad Pejic reflect on the decline of independent media and the attempt to fill the information deficit in nations across the globe. What Cold War lessons resonate today and what are the demands of the new media environment? And is the U.S. doing enough to bring objective information to authoritarian countries and unfree societies?
With the benefit of 25 years of hindsight, Duke University Professor Bruce Jentleson, looks back on the fall of the wall and its meaning then and now. He and NOW host John Milewski also discuss their firsthand experience in Berlin as part of a project that resulted in a televised town meeting between east and west Berlin residents that was seen nationally on C-SPAN.
"When you look at ISIS, it's in at least two countries - you have it in Iraq and you have it in Syria - and that complicates exactly how you can go against them and deteriorate their ability to carry out terrorist acts. You have to have countries in the region who support this (campaign against ISIS). It can't be a west against this group (ISIS), it has to be other countries and especially countries from that region," says Jill Dougherty.
“Clearly, it still has nuclear weapons, it has a seat in United Nations and it has the ability to influence international affairs, but Russia really doesn't have the economic power or the influence abroad to really be the number one geostrategic enemy of the United States,” William Pomeranz said on C-SPAN.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in much discussion of European Security and whether or not current arrangements and resources are adequate to deter threats. While much of the discussion has focused on NATO, former President of Finland, Martti Ahtissari, spoke to us about a more holistic view of how security is achieved and maintained.
Global reaction to Russia's aggressive moves into Ukraine has created a sense of Déjà vu. If you listen to the rhetoric and ignore the calendar, you might think that you've traveled through time to the days of the Cold War. A recent edition of The National Conversation series posed the question, "If it's not a Cold War, what is it?" That's the focus of this edition of REWIND.
In recent weeks, Lamberto Zannier has travelled to Kiev on numerous occasions, as well as to Moscow and other European capitals, attempting to defuse the ongoing crisis. During a recent conversation with Wilson Center President Jane Harman, Zannier presented the OSCE’s priorities for restoring stability in Ukraine and discussed the impact of the crisis on European and Euro-Atlantic security. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.
In the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the topic of European security and NATO expansion post-Cold War is being discussed with renewed urgency. During a recent special event at the Wilson Center, the issue was explored by an impressive panel that featured keynote remarks from US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.