This Week in DC: Events 12.2.13 – 12.6.13

The highlights of the free and open-to-the-public international security, terrorism, and policy events this week.

Monday, December 2
How the Global Order and the Modern State Empower Organized Violence
George Mason University School of Public Policy

Terrorists, human traffickers, insurgents, drug dealers, cyber criminals, pirates and other forms of organized violence, all actively exploit the separation that western societies and the international community try to maintain between what is considered “crime” and “war.” This separation, which is designed to promote stability and preserve liberty, is reflected in the very architecture, organizational and political cultures, and legal parameters assigned to law enforcement, judicial systems, and the military across western societies and within international institutions. However, insurgents conduct kidnappings by day and launch military-style raids at night as part of a holistic strategy that crosses traditional law enforcement and military boundaries. Pirates operate with impunity knowing that they are unlikely to be overtly attacked by navies on the high seas nor tried in a proper court upon capture. And drug lords, from Latin America to Los Angeles, challenge – and in some cases have virtually defeated – local law enforcement using high-end military weapons and tactics.

Tuesday, December 3
Cyber Conflict on the Korean Peninsula
Korean Economic Institute
10:30AM – 12:00PM

As the most wired place in the world, South Korea’s vulnerability to cyber threats is an important issue, especially when there are tensions with its neighbor to the north. South Korean banks, government agencies, media outlets, and businesses were all victims of cyber attacks and it is believed that North Korea was behind them. Many speculate that North Korea has units dedicated to cyber warfare and espionage. As a legitimate threat and provocation, it is important to understand the dynamics around cyber conflict on the Korean peninsula. Join KEI on Tuesday, December 3 as Dr. Steven Kim, Associate Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii presents his report on the cyber warfare tactics and strategies used by North Korea and the defense mechanisms employed by South Korea to prevent and deter cyber attacks.

Webinar on Environmental Security and Public Health
Elliot School of International Affairs
1:15PM – 2:15PM

Join us on the web December 3 for the third installation of a five webinar series on international environmental security, co-produced by the Security & Sustainability Forum and the National Council on Science and the Environment and led by experts from the Elliott School of International Affairs and the Stimson Center. Each webinar panel will examine a hypothetical scenario that could be a game-changer for national security, international business interests, political science theory, and our global environment. The panel on December 3 will examine the issue of the major threats to public health due to climatic and environmental change through a hypothetical scenario in which a new mosquito-borne disease emerges out of Africa or Asia. Please register for this ONLINE WEBINAR with the Security and Sustainability Forum at:

Wednesday, December 4
FBI Agents to discuss National Security Issues
National Press Club
10:00 AM

FBI agents will discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations, as well as the risks associated with additional budget cuts and furloughs expected early next year, at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Wednesday, December 4. Leaders of the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) will also update the group’s recent report Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of Budget Cuts. The report contains field reports from FBI Special Agents illustrating the impact of budget cuts on their work. Speaking at the Newsmaker news conference will be FBIAA President Reynaldo Tariche and several active duty FBI agents from around the country. This NPC Newsmaker news conference is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 4 at 10 a.m. in the Club’s Zenger Room, on the 13th floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St. NW, Washington DC, 20045.

Subcommittee Hearing: Transition at a Crossroads: Tunisia Three Years After the Revolution
U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “Three years since the Arab Spring began, Tunisia is at a crucial crossroads in its democratic transition. The country has been enmeshed in a political stalemate, and growing internal and external security challenges further complicate the tenuous political process. A democratic Tunisia would not only be a model for other countries in this volatile region, but a failure to make this transition would have grave consequences for the security interests of the U.S. and other nations in the region. This hearing will examine the status of the transition and what the U.S. and other organizations are doing to promote democracy and civil society at this critical juncture in Tunisia’s history.”

Thursday, December 5
The Future of America’s Strategic Nuclear Deterrent
Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments

Although nuclear weapons have played a critical role in American defense strategy for more than 60 years, there is a growing debate over the number and type of nuclear forces that the United States actually needs to maintain its security and protect its allies. Over the past several years, calls for Washington to substantially reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal have become more prevalent, while the combination of declining budgets and looming recapitalization costs have made nuclear weapons a popular target for potential funding cuts. Please join us as CSBA releases its latest report, The Future of America’s Strategic Nuclear Arsenal, by Senior Fellow Evan Montgomery. At the briefing, Dr. Montgomery will address a number of issues: Can the United States implement deep reductions in strategic nuclear weapons and still deter rivals, dissuade competitors, and discourage proliferation? Should it retain the strategic triad of bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines? Finally, must it replace its aging nuclear forces?

Strengthening the NIST Cyber Framework Against Advanced Threats
12:00 – 2:00 PM

The CSIS Technology and Public Policy Program invites you to attend Strengthening the NIST Cyber Framework Against Advanced Threats NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework has tremendous value for risk management and defines best practices to block known threats. This discussion will share intelligence about campaigns by sophisticated cyber threat actors that have targeted critical infrastructure companies and discuss how well the Framework stacks up against advanced and new, unknown threats. Lunch will be served.

The Effects of Funding on Scientific Productivity: The Case of Academic Chemistry, 1990-2009
GMU Technology, Science, and Innovation Policy Research Seminars
12:00 – 1:30PM

This month’s seminar will feature Joshua Rosenbloom, of the National Science Foundation. This monthly seminar series, sponsored by George Mason University’s Center for Science and Technology Policy (School of Public Policy), explores new ideas and work-in-progress with the Washington-area research community. It’s open and free to all interested researchers with a special invitation extended to graduate students. The seminars are held at the George Mason University’s School of Public Policy (Founders Hall) on the Arlington campus, a short walk from the Orange Line’s Virginia Square/GMU Metro stop. CSTP will provide coffee and cookies — participants are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch.

Can the U.S. and China Build a New Model of Major Power Relations?
Wilson Center
3:30 – 5:00PM

On December 4 and 5, the Kissinger Institute and the China Institute for International Studies will hold a groundbreaking dialog on U.S.-China relations. In an effort to build relationships between, and gain the insights of, promising young leaders from both countries, the Kissinger Institute and the China Institute for International Studies are bringing together 16 fully bilingual experts from a variety of fields for an unconstrained and uninterpreted dialog on major issues in Sino-U.S. relations. The U.S.-China Young Leaders Dialogue is developing a platform for new voices and constituencies in U.S.-China relations, with an eye toward finding new approaches to joint challenges. At this public session of the off-the-record Dialogue, four conference participants will offer their views on prospects for a new model of major power relations.

(image courtesy of Dell)

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