The Kościuszko Chair Intermarium Lecture Series 2017/2018

In this academic year 2017/2018, monthly lectures were given as a part of our Intermarium lecture series.

1. Propaganda, paranoia, and the public interest
Dr. Caitlin Schindler, Research Professor at the Institute of World Politics, spoke about propaganda which is once again a subject of US public interest and debate, arguably since the onset pf the Cold War in the 1950s. America must develop a measure approach towards propaganda in order to avoid succumbing to continued foreign influence.

2. Russian Policy in its Neighborhood
Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvili (Ambassador of Georgia to the U.S), co-Founder and President of the New International Leadership Institute, provided insight into the Russian policy in its “neighborhood.” The fact that Russia has never been a nation state created a number of identity issues for the Russians. Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign policy has been consistent for many decades; getting access to the warm seas, especially the Mediterranean, means that they must first occupy their neighboring countries which align the warm sea coasts.

3. Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine? Kirill and Filaret in the Donbas.
Geoffrey Seroka, a student of IWP, gave a lecture on Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill has been openly criticizing the Ukrainian government and the Maidan movement. Those ties between political authority and religious authority have been causing tension in Ukraine. With the frozen conflict continuing, larger churches, like the Roman Catholic Church, start to be more vocal in their support for the Ukrainian Orthodox church, which adds to the overall political pressure in the region.

4. How Does the War with Iran Benefit Russia?
Brandon Weichert, a former Congressional staffer and the founder of The Weichert Report, goes into detail on how war with Iran benefits Russia. He first remarked that Russia with their economy tethered to the petro-economy is less of a threat to the U.S at present because of the low global price of oil. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic of Iran strives for nuclear weapons to solidify its growing regional hegemony in the Middle East. Should it obtain them, it would destabilize the already precarious regional order. That is why the Trump Administration is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms at all costs – risking even a potential war with the Islamic Republic. If conflict with Iran were to erupt, Iran’s long-time strategic partner, the Russian Federation, would benefit disproportionately.

5. Novorossiya or Intermarium? The Fight for Donbass
Jarrod McDowell, IWP class of 2017, presented a short lecture on the fight for Donbass. He deciphered the definitions of Novorossiya and Intermarium as well as provided the history and components of both. The war in Donbass began in 2014 and is still ongoing.

6. Slovenian War of Independence: Another Perspective
Tibor Babic, an international political science graduate (Vienna, Austria, and Washington, DC), discussed how Slovenia became an autonomous and sovereign state independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. He contrasted historical facts with emotional interpretations during the war and immediately after its end.

7. The Many Myths of Marxism
As chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Dr. Lee Edwards has long studied communism and is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on the victims and crimes of Communism, past and present. Rarely in history has a political movement and its leaders promised more and produced less than Communism and its notorious dictators, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

8. Russian Lobby in Belarus: Could Belarus be Next after Ukraine?
Franak Viačorka, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, gave a lecture on the Russian lobby in Belarus. After the occupation of Crimea, Russia began to expand its presence in Belarus. Hundreds of Russia-backed initiatives, formally cultural, educational or media, emerged. They increase polarization between pro-Western and pro-Russian Belarusians, which could lead to open conflict in the future.
Lectures outside of IWP

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