Elizabeth Ambros at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina, with unidentified male
January 30, 2013

Women in Combat and the Transition to Civilian Life after the Military

Even though the ban on women serving in combat was only officially lifted last week, women have already been serving on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. This hour host Craig Cohen talks with Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Erica Borggren about what the ban means for women in the military and about her experiences serving in Iraq.

Then, we’ll be joined by Elizabeth Ambros, a 26 year old veteran Navy corpsman. She’ll tell us about what it was like to serve as a young woman overseas and about the challenges she’s faced as a veteran transitioning to civilian life. Nicholas Osborne, Assistant Dean of Students in the Office of Veteran Student Affairs at the UIUC and a veteran member of the US Coast Guard also joins us.

Are you a veteran? What do you think about the new policy to allow women to serve in combat units? Join the conversation on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/focus580 or find us on Twitter @Focus580.

Elizabeth Ambros is pictured above at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina after she returned home from Iraq in 2009.


October 12, 2012

The Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 Years Later

Timothy McKeown, Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sheldon Stern, Author of The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths versus Reality and The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis

Host: Craig Cohen

Fifty years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and after exhaustive analysis of the events that transpired during a tense 13 day period in the fall of 1962, questions linger about precisely how those events played out. We have the published accounts of many key players, including then Attorney General Robert Kennedy, brother of the President, who recounted his experience in the book Thirteen Days. And a narrative has been woven from that and other accounts – one that presents the Kennedy White House and the military alternately working together and – at times – battling one another, as they sought to address the Cuban and Soviet governments’ secret development of nuclear missile bases in Cuba, which could have been used to strike much of the continental U.S.

We’ll review the events of October 1962 with Political Science Professor Timothy McKeown from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Sheldon Stern, author of The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths versus Reality.


May 28, 2012

Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I

Two hundred thousand black soldiers were sent to Europe to fight in World War I. Historian Adriane Lentz-Smith says that experience gave many black people their first taste of life outside of the American racial system. She says it led them to imagine a different world, one that they worked to make real when they returned home. In a program from the archives, we’ll look at the ways that World War I shaped the civil rights movement in the United States. That’s the subject of Adriane Lentz-Smith’s book "Freedom Struggles."

This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, January 14, 2010, 10 am


May 25, 2012

Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military Industrial Complex

Dwight Eisenhower’s most famous speech was his last as president. We look back to that speech warning of the power of the military industrial complex.  The guest in this program from the archives is James Ledbetter, author of "Unwarranted Influence." His book charts the connections between the government, military contractors and the overall economy. While military spending may have brought some benefits, there are also questions. Does our massive military establishment really make us safer?

This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, January 24, 2011, 10 am


March 27, 2012

The European Union

With João Vale de Almeida (Ambassador, Head of Delegation Delegation of the European Union to the United States), and Kostas Kourtikakis, Ph.D. (Lecturer & Research Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois)


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