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Biden Abroad: Experts Weigh Stakes In President's First European Trip

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Cybersecurity. Strategic stability. Corruption. While in Europe, Biden has first tete-a-tete with Putin.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by two political scientists to discuss President Joe Biden's summit with NATO member countries and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“NATO stands together. That's how we met every other threat in the past. It's our greatest strength," Biden said. "As we meet our challenges of the future and are many, and everyone, everyone in that room today understood the shared appreciation, quite frankly that America is back.”

Kieffer discusses the trip and more with Sara Mitchell of the University of Iowa and Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College.

“President Trump often emphasized the costs of an alliance. ... Why are we paying for weapons and other security provisions that are going to help other countries?" Mitchell said. "What you have to consider is, what is the cost of wars that you would have fought if those alliances hadn't been in place. And so it's hard to really estimate those, the cost of the wars that never happened."


  • Sara Mitchell, F. Wendell Miller Professor of political science, University of Iowa
  • Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of political science, Grinnell College
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa