This Week in DC: Events

All the week’s free events in DC

Monday, January 13, 2014
Launch of the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA)
National Press Club
10:00AM

Launch of the National Biomarker Development Alliance (nbda) The first non-profit, trans-sector, network-based organization dedicated to creating an evidence-based end-to-end biomarker development process The NBDA team* partners and special guests cordially invite you to attend the launch of the NBDA Please join us for the inaugural public discussion of the NBDA The NBDA is taking on the formidable challenge of assembling/creating the best practices, guidelines, standards, etc. needed for successful end-to-end biomarker development. NBDA will not “reinvent wheels” – so join us for this launch of NBDA – and become a partner or member– by contributing resources and/or expertise to realize the promise of personalized medicine and ultimately transform healthcare Reception immediately following.

Reassessing U.S. Responses to Terrorist Threats
New America Foundation
12:15PM

In 2001, the U.S. Congress authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” This Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) set no limits on time, location, or target. In just the last 12 months, the AUMF was invoked in support of the war in Afghanistan, but also unconventional operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and possibly elsewhere — operations such as targeted killings using drones, raids and captures by U.S. Special Forces, and, in all probability, cyber warfare. As Heather Hurlburt writes in “Battlefield Earth” in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas’ Winter 2014 issue, out this month: “public debate over the use of force in Syria and the revelations concerning National Security Agency surveillance suggest that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with actions being undertaken in their name. President Obama appeared to acknowledge this reality in May [2013] when he said he looked forward ‘to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.’”

Book Lecture: A Citizen’s Guide to Terrorism and Counterterrorism
US Institute of Peace
4:30PM

Dr. Christopher C. Harmon has had over 20 years of teaching security studies, strategy, military theory and history, and courses on terrorism at six graduate schools, including a division of National Defense University, and the Naval War College. He currently teaches Counterterrorism and the Democracies and Terrorism at The Institute of World Politics. He also serves as the MajGen Matthew C. Horner Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University. Dr. Harmon is the author of Terrorism Today, co-author of Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism, and co-editor of Statecraft and Power. He holds a B.A. in History and French Language from Seattle University, and an M.A. in Government and a Ph.D. in International Relations and Government from Claremont Graduate School.

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting
American Enterprise Institute
5:30PM

For many years, economists have made authoritative and mathematically complex predictions about where the US economy is headed. Yet as Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and head of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Gerald Ford, observes in his new book, “The Map and the Territory” (Penguin, October 2013), no one predicted the timing of the 2008 financial crisis, or its severity. What is wrong with economic forecasting that it could not foresee a cataclysm of this magnitude, even days before it happened? Greenspan’s book may portend a complete revision in the way economists forecast the future. At this AEI event, he will argue that entirely new data capturing “animal spirits” (the elements of human behavior) will be necessary if the economics profession is to improve its forecasting accuracy.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
The View of Defense from a Conglomerate
Atlantic Council
10:30 AM

Today’s defense industry is dominated by firms that sell a wide range of products and services with a nearly pure-play focus on military customers. It wasn’t always this way, but one distinctive thread in the post-cold-war restructuring of defense was the exit of conglomerates from the market. Not so Textron, which remains today a multi-industrial company participating in a wide range of markets, including defense. Besides its well-known brand of helicopters (Bell) and general aviation aircraft (Cessna), the company’s Textron Systems business sells unmanned aircraft, armored vehicles, marine landing craft, intelligence and surveillance systems, and precision weapons. Against the backdrop of expectation about a new wave of restructuring, the place of multi-industrial, diversified companies on the defense-industrial landscape is once again a topic of special importance to corporate strategists and public policy-makers, not to mention investors.

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Assessing Warsaw Pact Military Forces: The Role of CIA Clandestine Reporting
Wilson Center
3:00 PM

“CIA Analysis of Warsaw Pact Military Forces: The Importance of Clandestine Reporting” examines the role of intelligence derived from clandestine human sources in the Central Intelligence Agency’s analyses of Warsaw Pact military capabilities for war in Europe from 1955 to 1985. The intelligence was provided to US policymakers and military planners and used to assess the political and military balance in Central Europe between the Warsaw Pact and NATO during the Cold War. The speakers, who were analysts of Soviet military affairs during much of the period, were selected by the CIA to mine its archives for relevant material, previously highly classified, and to provide the documents in coherent form for their study and for public release. The release features a large collection of internal Warsaw Pact classified documents obtained clandestinely during the period and translated and disseminated to senior policymakers by CIA.

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