This Week in DC: Events

Highlights of the week’s free international security, terrorism, and politics events.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Conflict in Syria: Geneva II and the Road Ahead
The Washington Institute

As the international community prepares to meet on the Syria crisis in Montreax and Geneva on January 22 and 24, many questions remain regarding what can be agreed on at the negotiating table — and to an even greater extent, what can be implemented on the ground. To discuss the outcome of the scheduled talks and the road ahead, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum featuring the varied perspectives of three Washington Institute experts on Syria: Andrew J. Tabler, Jeffrey White, and Aaron Y. Zelin. Tabler will focus on the regime and the opposition, White on the military situation, and Zelin on Salafi dynamics. Ambassador James F. Jeffrey will introduce the speakers and offer commentary. Andrew J. Tabler is senior fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute and author of In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle with Syria. Jeffrey White is a defense fellow at the The Washington Institute and widely sought out as a commentator on military issues involving Syria, Israel, Hezbollah, the Gaza conflict, and Iran. Aaron Y. Zelin is the Richard Borow fellow at The Washington Institute, where his research focuses on how jihadist groups are adjusting to the new political environment in the era of Arab uprisings and Salafi politics in countries transitioning to democracy.

Religion, Foreign Policy, and National Security: Why religion and Religious Freedom Matter
Institute of World Politics
4:30 PM

Knox Thames serves as the Director of Policy and Research at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The Commission is an independent, U.S. government advisory body established to monitor religious freedom conditions worldwide and make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress. Mr. Thames is also an Adjunct Professor at the U.S. Army War College and is a member of the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. Before USCIRF, he was the lead State Department officer on religious freedom issues in multilateral fora, such as the UN and OSCE, serving in the Office of International Religious Freedom. Mr. Thames was also Counsel for six years at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), focusing on religious freedom and religious tolerance, issues involving refugees and internally displaced persons, and democracy and human rights in Central Asia. From 2004-2012, the State Department appointed Mr. Thames to the OSCE Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and in 2010 he was invited to join the Council on Foreign Relations as a term member.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Witnesses: The Honorable Mark D. Wallace, Chief Executive Officer, United Against Nuclear Iran, (Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations); Mr. Gregory S. Jones, Senior Researcher, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center; Mr. Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, (Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency); Mr. David Albright, Founder and President, Institute for Science and International Security.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Energy and Insecurity: Iran, Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia
Georgetown University

Chaired by CERES Director Dr. Angela Stent. Panel Discussion with: The Honorable David Goldwyn, Dr. Jan Kalicki, Dr. Raad Alkadiri, and Dr. Brenda Shaffer. The event will celebrate the recent publication of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition (co-editors Jan Kalicki and David Goldwyn) by Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Defense Budget in 2014: A Conversation with Russell Rumbaugh
American Security Project

Since sequestration and passage of the new budget the Defense Department has been adjusting to a reduced funding environment – and 2014 won’t be much different. The speaker will discuss the outlook for Pentagon spending in 2014. Russell Rumbaugh is a senior associate at Stimson and director of its Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program. He is a widely recognized expert on the institutions, processes, and budgets of US national security This discussion will be on the record. Join us for a conversation on the current state and future prospects for defense budget.

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