David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

The Cold War's Sunny Side

Topic: The Cold War’s Sunny Side

James Goldgeier:  In the book, I mean the idea at the end of the Cold War, and it started with George H. W. Bush and then continued with Bill Clinton, was what George H. W. Bush called a Europe whole and free. Clinton called it a peaceful, undivided democratic Europe. The idea was, let's take advantage of the end of the Cold War to remove the division in Europe and bring the former communist part of Europe, integrate it into the rest of Europe. And there was, you know, the effort with Central and Eastern Europe to bring those new democracies in. There were the wars in the Balkans and Bosnia and Kosovo to try to end the repression that was being carried out by the government in Serbia to try, and move the former Yugoslavia onto a different path. And the Russia part was related to this, trying to bring Russia closer as well. But especially on NATO, the idea was that the United States could use this alliance to help anchor countries like Poland and Hungry and others in Central and Eastern Europe into the West because basically what NATO said to those countries was, "If you can develop democracy and markets and respect for human rights and respect for borders, that you can join this organization but you have to carry out internal reforms in order to join NATO." And it was hugely important for the stability of Central and Eastern Europe and a huge success story after the Cold War that these young democracies did it. I mean, they built democratic, market oriented states, protected human rights and, you know, agreed that they weren't going to change borders and-- because there were a lot of issues from how those borders had been drawn decades before that people were worried about. And, you know, for example, Hungry and Romania, you know, worked out their issues and these countries were able to join NATO which gave the European Union more confidence about the stability in that part of Europe which enabled those countries, in 2004 to join the European Union. Which, you know, has really been, in terms of the American effort to promote democracy after the end of the Cold War, Central and Eastern Europe really is one of the huge success stories. It also should have been a cautionary tale about what was required because a lot of the people in the George H. W. Bush administration in the period of '89 to '91, who were there when Central and Eastern Europe started on this path, saw in Central and Eastern Europe, you know, the bad guys were toppled, statues were pulled down and the populations really wanted to join the West. And when these guys are back in after 2001, they're looking at Iraq and they're thinking about it the way they saw things in Central and Eastern Europe. You get rid of the regime and you topple the statues and the population welcomes you as liberators and wants to join the West. I mean, the lesson in Central and Eastern Europe was how much assistance was required, how much-- how important it was that you had institutions like NATO and the European Union that could help bring these countries in and these countries really saw themselves as part of the West and that they had been denied that by the Cold War. And, you know, things didn't turn out that way in Iraq.


Recorded on: 07/08/2008


James Goldgeier explains the sea change that was Eastern Europe's movement to democracy.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

Credit: Shutterstock
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
Keep reading Show less

Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
Keep reading Show less

Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Keep reading Show less

Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
Keep reading Show less