Updates from the Battlefield with General Ben Hodges

September 7, 2022

Updates from the Battlefield with General Ben Hodges

Uriel Epshtein announces the launch of a new video series on the war in Ukraine

Winter Is Here

Hello All,

I am excited to let you know that RDI is back to its regular programming after a two-week summer break. Team members took time off, our Program Associate Julie was in Prague for Forum 2000, and our new Director of Strategy Noor has been ramping up and preparing for a working trip to Ukraine later this month.

Meanwhile, Garry and I traveled to Poland and Lithuania for meetings with our allies in the global fight against authoritarianism. This will come as no surprise to listeners of our podcast (especially this episode with former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves), but Poland and the Baltic countries remain impressively committed to combating the threat posed by Putin and other global tyrants. Whatever our other political disagreements might be (and in some instances, they’re pretty huge!), we’re at a unique moment in time where we must unite in the face of a common threat.

I’m drafting this note in the air as I fly from Lithuania to Berlin, where I’ll be joining friend-of-RDI, former CEO of Radio Free Europe, and the current founder of American Purpose Jeff Gedmin. Jeff and I will be meeting with German officials to see if Germany’s political leadership can be convinced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Eastern European allies in defense of the Free World. Winter is Here will return with a special episode from Germany this Friday, where we’ll be able to tell you more.

I also want to take a moment to introduce you to a new video series we’re launching in partnership with New Debate, in which former Commander of US Army Europe, General Ben Hodges, will provide battlefield updates from Ukraine, discuss their strategic importance, and explain the path forward. These uniquely incisive videos will offer a comprehensive strategic assessment of the war and its importance to the Free World. Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite

The coming months will be a critical time for the world and for RDI. We’re ramping up both our domestic work and our global initiatives to push back against authoritarianism.

Given Ukraine’s place on the frontlines of this global fight, I’m especially proud of our efforts to ensure that it is able to maintain its sovereignty as a free and democratic state. Not only is this a moral imperative, but it is a core interest of the United States. Make no mistake—dictators don’t stop; they are stopped, and Putin won’t be sated if the collective Free World allows him to take Ukraine or pressures President Zelensky to accept a premature peace.

Ensuring that Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself is neither altruism nor escalation, but a clear-eyed assessment of what it will take to defend the rules-based international system that has allowed the Free World to prosper since the end of World War II and prevented World War III.

This work does not come free, so if you would like to support our efforts, please consider giving here or reaching out to info@rdi.org with any suggestions or thoughts!

I am honored to fight alongside you, and even in the midst of tragedy, I am hopeful that together, we can ensure that the Free World is willing to do more than merely pay lip service to our freedoms and our democracy.

All Best,