This Week in DC: Events 11.4.13

Be sure to check out the Wilson Center’s synthetic biology event this Friday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Women, Terrorism, and Counterterrorism
McCain Institute
3:30 PM

Cohosted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, this panel will examine the roles that women play in both the perpetuation and alleviation of conflict. The event aims to highlight the tangible advantages of considering both women’s roles within terrorist organizations and women’s potential in countering terrorism, in the hopes of contributing to more comprehensive security policies and programs.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Roadblocks to US-Iran Rapprochement
Marine Corps Base, Quantico
1:00PM – 4:00PM

Speaking will be Ambassador Seyed Houssein Mousavian, Karim Sadjadpour, and Amin Tarzi for a discussion on Roadblocks to US-Iran Rapporochement. Where: Gray Research Center, 2040 Broadway Street, Marine Corps Base Quantico. For more information email Adam Seitz at

Upcoming Event: Preventing Terrorist Abuse of the Nonprofit Sector
Center for Global Counterterrorism Cooperation

The nonprofit sector is a vital means of harnessing voluntary resources in the provision of assistance to those most in need and fulfills a range of positive social, cultural, religious, and educational purposes, including in helping to address so-called conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. Its growth derives from fundamental human rights, such as the right to freedom of association. Yet the sector itself has become an object of concern, perceived as being at risk of misappropriation and abuse. A number of governmental and intergovernmental assessments have warned that nonprofit organizations are vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists, who may use them to raise, transfer, and divert funds, or as a vehicle for the mobilization and movement of personnel. Governments have responded with a variety of regulatory approaches and the nonprofit sector has implemented due diligence and self-regulatory strategies.

Lessons Learned? The U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq and What It May Mean for Afghanistan
12:00PM – 1:20PM

Can the impending transition of major combat forces out of Afghanistan be informed by lessons learned during the U.S. military-diplomatic transition in Iraq? Ending the U.S. war in Iraq was a massive, complex undertaking that posed daunting challenges for U.S. government policymakers, as the military not only was involved with security-related activities but also assisted in political and economic functions across Iraq. A new RAND study being released at this joint Woodrow Wilson Center/RAND Corporation event, Ending the U.S. War in Iraq: The Final Transition, Operational Maneuver, and Disestablishment of United States Forces–Iraq (by Richard R. Brennan, Jr., Charles P. Ries, et al.), examines the planning and execution of the U.S. military’s exit from Iraq, and the transition of responsibilities to the Iraqi government and other U.S. departments and agencies.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Air-Sea Battle, China, and the U.S. Rebalance to Asia
Center for National Policy
12:30 – 1:30PM

In order to overcome “anti-access” challenges to its ability to project power, the U.S. military is developing the Air-Sea Battle concept. As a concept of operations, Air-Sea Battle posits the value of attacking and destroying—preemptively if possible—an opponent’s targeting, command, and weapons systems wherever they are located in order to disrupt the opponent’s ability to hinder U.S. military operations. However, while Air-Sea Battle agnostically seeks to defeat anti-access challenges around the globe, with no particular country or region in mind, it may be undermining U.S. foreign policy objectives in Asia. In particular, despite repeated official U.S. denials to the contrary, the concept continues to be seen as a military strategy to attack China. Should this belief solidify among the Chinese leadership, it could complicate U.S. efforts to improve relations with China—a key pillar of the U.S. rebalance to Asia. In addition, it could result in an unnecessary and costly arms race between the United States and China.

Drone Wars: Challenges and Solutions
GMU School of Law
6:30PM – 8:00PM

You are invited to attend an upcoming panel discussion sponsored by the National Security Law Journal, Drone Wars: Challenges and Solutions, to be held at the School of Law on Wednesday, November 6. A 6:00 p.m. reception will be followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The event is presented in partnership with the Federalist Society and the Military Law Society at the School of Law. The evening’s program will feature a discussion on a framework for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles under the law of armed conflict with panelists from the Heritage Foundation, The New York Times, Newsweek, and George Mason University School of Law.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Preventing another Great War: Lessons from 1914
Brookings Institution
2:00Pm – 3:00PM

As the 100th anniversary of World War I approaches, historians continue to be haunted by the question of cause, examining the confluence of ideologies, ambitions and circumstances which led to one of the 20th century’s most brutal conflicts. On November 7, the Brookings Institution will host noted historian Margaret MacMillan, author of The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (Random House, 2013) for a discussion to compare current tensions around the globe – rising tides of nationalism, economic pressures of globalization, sectarian strife, and the fading role of the United States as the world’s policeman – to the period preceding the Great War. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan will join MacMillan in conversation about modern conflict points and how world leaders must learn the lessons of 1914 and work together to build a more stable international order. Ted Piccone, acting vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, will provide introductory remarks.

National Security vs. Privacy
Institute of World Politics
4:30PM – 6:00PM

Much has been written in the press recently about government programs that track and record an individual’s electronic communications, both here and abroad. The intelligence community defends these programs as necessary for national security; others assert they violate the individual’s right to privacy. This presentation will briefly examine the historical tensions which have ever been present between the rights of the group vs the rights of the individual and how various forms of government have sought to address this tension with an eye toward self-preservation. We will examine the “operative factors” affecting how these systems have (or have not) changed to adapt to this tension, including how our system of Democracy is structured to handle this issue. We will then discuss how the present situation could be addressed and evaluate the path US democracy offers to resolve this tension.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology Research: A Look at the Potential Impacts
Wilson Center
12:00PM – 2:00PM

The United Nations (UN) is working to ensure that the benefits of genetic resources are shared in a fair and equitable way via the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010 to provide a transparent legal framework for sharing genetic resources. “Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,” according to the UN. A new report from the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars looks at how the protocol may affect U.S. researchers working in the field of synthetic biology.

(image: Dell)

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