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Syrian Conflict Underlines Russian-American Divide47:32

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Fresh tensions as Secretary of State Tillerson readies to visit Moscow –from the Syria strikes to the investigations into Trump’s Russia ties. Where is this relationship headed?

In this image provided by the White House, President Donald Trump receives a briefing on the Syria military strike from his National Security team after the strike at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (White House via AP)
In this image provided by the White House, President Donald Trump receives a briefing on the Syria military strike from his National Security team after the strike at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (White House via AP)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on his way to Moscow. Interesting moment to be going.  In the long election campaign Donald Trump was effusive in his praise for Vladimir Putin. Last week, after a gas attack in Syria, Trump ordered US missiles down on a Syrian airbase shared with Russians. The President’s camp is under investigation for colluding with Russia to win the election. What a combo.  This hour On Point,  Mr. Tillerson heads to Moscow. — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times.  (@SangerNYT)

Amb. Michael McFaul, professor of political science and director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Former senior director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council. (@McFaul)

Amb. John Negroponte, professor of international affairs at the George Washington University. Former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Tillerson, on Eve of Russia Trip, Takes Hard Line on Syria — "Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is taking a hard line against Russia on the eve of his first diplomatic trip to Moscow, calling the country “incompetent” for allowing Syria to hold on to chemical weapons and accusing Russia of trying to influence elections in Europe using the same methods it employed in the United States."

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Strike on Syria Shakes Up ISIS Fight — "Moscow swiftly suspended an agreement with Washington for military coordination in Syrian skies on Friday following the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian base, in a new complication for the Trump administration’s key priority of fighting Islamic State. Russia’s response is heightening concerns of more unpredictable reactions from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s backers, in particular Iran, to the U.S. strike, conducted in retaliation for a suspected regime chemical attack on a village."

Foreign Policy: Is Trump’s Bold Syria Strike a Dangerous Miscalculation? — "The punitive military strikes President Donald Trump ordered on Thursday night against the Syrian airbase from which the forces flew that dropped chemical weapons on Syrian civilians — and then bombed the hospitals treating the victims of the attacks — are not only a valuable reinforcing of the norm against the use of weapons of mass destruction, they are also a reminder that the United States can, in fact, use military force in limited but effective ways. "

 

This program aired on April 10, 2017.

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