War Pigs: Ukraine and the History of the Military-Industrial Complex

Recently, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes reported to his shareholders, “[W]e are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE, which have attacked some of their other facilities. And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.”  While lauded in the press for his comments, Hayes’ thinking embodies structures established by government and private industry for over a hundred years.

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Beyond Good vs Bad: More Background on Ukraine and Russia

We’ve got another briefing on the larger contexts of the current  conflict between Ukraine and Russia.  Sure, Putin is a horrible and  brutal force in the world and the attack on Ukraine is indefensible, but  we ignore the larger contexts at our own peril.

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We talk about the impact of the breakup of the USSR, the privatization of the Russian economy, the sense of western/NATO encirclement felt by  Russia, and U.S-Russia-Ukraine economic and trade relations.

Deep Background on Ukraine and Russia

This week, Russia invaded the Ukraine sparking the largest land assault on the European continent since World War Two. The markets went into turmoil. The price of oil and gas went up. Political and media establishments scrambled to act on what’s next.  Biden moved 7000 US troops to the Polish-Ukrainian border and NATO is expected to send more troops. In cities across Russia, antiwar protestors took to the streets to protest Vladimir Putin’s war with over 2000 being arrested. Finally, the Biden administration and allies have begun a sanctions war against Russia’s people, it’s elite institutions and Putin himself.

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In our latest episode, we go deep into the history of the Ukraine-Russian conflict and the bipartisan involvement by the U.S. ruling class.  We discuss the break up of the Soviet Union, the expansion of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), the role of the 1999 war in Kosovo in all of this and the Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008. Most importantly, we talk about how U.S. foreign policy has sought to contain Russia and wield economic and political influence over Europe and the former Soviet republics.

Col. Andrew Bacevich on the Deepening Crisis in Ukraine

Rising tensions in eastern Europe between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine have dominated the news.  We discuss the situation with scholar and retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich.   We discussed why the U.S. is so concerned, and hawkish, about Russia and Ukraine–Russophobia?   We talked about the role of NATO in this current crisis.  We talked about the many more pressing issues the U.S. should focus on–like inflation, COVID, the surveillance state, and especially Climate Change!

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It’s a great conversation with one of America’s leading intellectuals and critics of foreign policy.