Marvin Kalb, former journalist and Harvard professor, came to Pine View Feb. 24 to talk to students about the subject of his new book, “Imperial Gamble: Putin, Ukraine, and the New Cold War.” Kalb was a founding director of the Shorenstein Center of Media, Politics and Public Policy and Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus at Harvard. The event was organized by college resource counselor Lance Bergman, who invited multiple classes to attend.
His book, released Sept. 21, 2015, focuses on Russia’s seizure of the Crimea peninsula in 2014, the events leading up to it and the response of the Allied world afterward. The importance and relation of this to Americans was shown when Kalb said, “If Putin moves against the Baltic, as he did the Ukraine, will the United States honor Article 5 of the NATO treaty and send military force into these countries to protect them against Russia, even running the risk of military engagement with Russia? I think that is a huge question mark and it does loom before all of us even though nobody is talking about it.”
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, decided to send troops into Crimea in March 2014, which Ukraine considered an invasion. Kalb argues that this was a long-planned action that Putin had been waiting to accomplish. Kalb believes that the only solution for this situation is for Russia and Ukraine to reconcile. “The only way that you’re going to have, not a solution but a live-and let live proposition, is if Russia and Ukraine agree between themselves to come up with a deal that each can recognize and live up to,” Kalb said.
Kalb, after speaking about the subject matter of his book, opened the room to questions from students. During which, three copies of his novel were given away to students who correctly answered material from his speech. Twelfth-grader Melissa Hampton said, “It deepened my knowledge of the role of Russia in national affairs as a whole and made me want to develop a greater global awareness.”