This Week In DC: Events

April 21, 2014

America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East
Date: April 21, 4:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 6th Floor, Moynihan Board Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

The CIA has an almost diabolical reputation in the Arab world. Yet, in the early years of its existence, the 1940s and 1950s, the Agency was distinctly pro-Arab, lending its support to the leading Arab nationalist of the day, Gamal Nasser, and conducting an anti-Zionist publicity campaign at home in the U.S. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Hugh Wilford uncovers the world of early CIA “Arabism,” its origins, characteristic forms, and eventual demise.

Hugh Wilford is Professor of United States History at California State University, Long Beach. He was born and educated in the United Kingdom, where he received degrees from Bristol University and Exeter University. He is the author of five books, including most recently The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Harvard University Press, 2008) and America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East (Basic Books, 2013).

Space is limited and reservations are requested. Email

April 22, 2014

Iraq After 2014
Date: April 22, 12:30-2:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Kenney Herter Auditorium, Nitze Building, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, counselor at CSIS, President and CEO of Khalilizad Associates, and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United Nations, will discuss this topic.

Register here.

Russia and the West in Crisis: Conflict and Competition in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus
Date: April 22, 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Room 806, Washington, DC 20036

Join the European and Eurasian Studies Program as we host our final Washington DC seminar of the year!  We are proud to host Dr. Hannes Adomeit, a renowned scholar on EU-Russia relations, and former professor at the College of Europe. Please join us for a light reception following the lecture.

Hannes Adomeit was a Professor at the College of Europe until 2013, and was until December 2007, Senior Research Associate at the Research Institute for International Politics and Security (SWP) in Berlin. Prior to that, he was Professor for International Politics and Director of the Program on Russia and East-Central Europe at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston and Fellow at the Harvard Russian Research Center.

RSVP here.

April 23, 2014

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Pakistan and the South Asia Region
Date: April 23, 10:00-11:30am
Location: US Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC, 20037

South Asia has experienced excessive and sustained violence over the past decade. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to face major internal insurgencies, while Sri Lanka and Nepal face political turbulence and lingering tensions despite having declared a formal end to their intra-state conflicts.

While there has been a robust international presence and numerous counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts, seldom have we broadened the discussion to more fully understand the root causes of insurgencies and the methods used by Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as other South Asian countries to respond to the threat of terror and insurgency.

Reflecting new research from two recently published books, Counterterrorism in Pakistan (Georgetown University Press and USIP) and Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in South Asia (USIP Press), USIP will host a panel discussion on South Asia’s security challenges, with a special focus on Pakistan. Marked by the 2014 transition in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s formal round of peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, and the launch of Pakistan’s national internal security policy, this moment is a critical turning point for the region and will surely have direct implications for the counterinsurgency efforts there and the violence in neighboring Pakistan. Join the conversation on Twitter with #USIPSAsia.

Featured Speakers include: Moeed Yusuf, Director, South Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace; General John Allen, Distinguished Fellow, Brookings Institution, and former Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); Cameron Munter, Professor of International Relations, Pomona College, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan; Peter Lavoy, Partner, Monitor 360, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA); Andrew Wilder, Moderator, Vice President, South & Central Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace.

RSVP here.

Conventional Arms Transfer Policy: Advancing American National Security Through Security Cooperation
Date: April 23, 10:00am
Location: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20037

This January, President Obama signed the first update to the US Conventional Arms Transfer Policy since 1995. Updated in the wake of events in the Middle East and across the world, this policy sets the standards by which the US decides which defense systems to export to whom, and under what conditions. Regional arms balance, human rights, defense industrial base concerns, and partnerships and alliance strategy: all play a role in this policy. So what does the future of US conventional arms transfers look like in the 21st century?

Gregory M Kausner is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security and Security Assistance. In this capacity, he is responsible for advancing US foreign policy and national security interests through the management of political-military and regional security relations and the sale/transfer of US-origin defense articles and services to foreign governments. He also directs over $6 billion annually in US military grant assistance to allies and friends through policy development, budget formulation, and program oversight. Mr Kausner also oversees the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, which is responsible for managing the PM Bureau’s Congressional relations, public affairs, and public diplomacy functions.

Register here.

Crimes Against Humanity: Pollution and Public Health in Russia Today
Date: April 23, 12:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Room 806, Washington, DC 20036

Sally Stoecker, visiting scholar in the SAIS European and Eurasian Studies Department, will discuss this topic.

Africa and the Arms Trades Treaty
Date: April 23, 1:00pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 212-C Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Last year, the United States signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a multilateral agreement to regulate international conventional weapons trade. This treaty, which 118 states have signed and 31 have ratified, has not yet entered into force.  While the ATT’s standards are not as high as those of the United States, the potential for the treaty to reduce illicit trade could help improve security in areas that need it most – particularly in regions of conflict like Africa.  Greater scrutiny of African governments, better review of legitimate exports, import controls that can stop illicit shipments, and management of arms stockpiles can help to address the humanitarian impact of conventional weapons.  The ATT can be one part of the formula to catalyze change and reduce violence.

Please join our distinguished panel of speakers as we discuss the significance of the ATT, its relevance to Africa, and how the treaty might move forward into the future.   This event is co-hosted by the CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program.

Featuring: Mr. Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, State Department; Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Academic Dean, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University; Ms. Jennifer G. Cooke, Director, Africa Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Moderated by: Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Senior Fellow and Director, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Register here.

Putin’s Foreign Policy and Russia’s Long-Term Interests
Date: April 23, 5:00-6:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC

President Vladimir Putin’s destabilizing actions in Europe’s East may be boosting his numbers at home, but they are not making him any friends abroad. As tensions rise in Ukraine and more evidence emerges of Moscow’s orchestration of events in the nation’s east, Western leaders have stepped up their response and Russia is finding itself increasingly isolated in the international community. Is this in Russia’s long-term interest?

Join the Atlantic Council as we explore the ramifications of today’s events both in the short- and long-term with Russian opposition leader, and former prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov. Prime Minister Kasyanov will offer his perspective on the events in Ukraine and Putin’s strategy in the region, and his approach toward the United States and Europe.

Mikhail Kasyanov served as prime minister of Russia from 2000 to 2004 and minister of finance between 1999 to 2000. Currently he is co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia – Peoples Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS) and one of the most consistent critics of Putin’s style of governing. Kasyanov attempted to participate in the 2008 Russian presidential elections, but his candidacy was barred by the Central Election Commission under suspicious circumstances.

Register here.

Beyond Crimea: Evolution of The Crisis in Ukraine
Date: April 23, 7:00pm
Location: GMU School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Founders Hall Multipurpose Room 125, 3351 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA

The crisis in Ukraine, which began in November, leading to the eventual ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich and was followed by months of civil unrest, has evolved into a regional conflict with global implications.  While much remains uncertain about the sovereignty of Crimea and greater Ukraine, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have dangerously escalated.  Meanwhile, the EU, NATO, and the United States are rallying to sanction Russia in hopes that economic pressures can bring Russia to the bargaining table. The increasing instability has not only raised concerns about the potential for violent interstate and intrastate clashes, but also a breakdown in relations between Russia and the West.  What may have originally began as a struggle for identity and power is now situated within a larger context of complex regional dynamics that involve geopolitics, energy security, and ethnic differences.

Please join the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) and a distinguished panel of experts as we conduct an analysis of the conflict’s development, current challenges, and opportunities for a resolution.

Register here.

NSABB, 1918 flu, H5N1 and the New Botulinum Strain: Causes, Effects and a Potential Way Forward
Date: April 23, 7:20pm
Location: George Mason University, Mason Hall, Meese Conference Room, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA

Dr. Franz served in the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for 23 of 27 years on active duty and retired as Colonel. He served as Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institue of Infectious Diseased (USAMRIID) and as Deputy Commander of the Medical Research and Materiel Command. Prior to joining the Command, he served as Group Veterinarian for the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Dr. Franz was the Chief Inspector on three United Nations Special Commission biological warfare inspection missions to Iraq and served as technical advisor on long-term monitoring. He also served as a member of the first two US-UK teams that visited Russia in support of the Trilateral Join Statement on Biological Weapons and as a member of the Trilateral Experts’ Committee for biological weapons negotiations. Dr. Franz was Technical Editor for the Textbook of Military Medicine on Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare released in 1997. Current standing committee appointments include the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control, the National Research Council Board on Life Sciences, the Department of Health and Human Services National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the Senior Technical Advisory Committee of the National Biodefense Countermeasures Analysis Center. He serves as a Senior Mentor to the Program for Emerging Leaders at the National Defense University. He also serves on the Board of Integrated Nano-Technologies, LLC. Dr. Franz holds and adjunct appointment as Professor for the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University. The current focus of his activities relates to the role of international engagement in life sciences as a component of global biosecurity policy. Dr. Franz holds a D.V.M. from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in Physiology from Baylor College of Medicine.

April 24, 2014                 

India-Pakistan: The Opportunity Cost of Conflict
Date: April 24, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC

Over the course of sixty-six years, India and Pakistan have continued an implacable rivalry marked by periodic wars and hostilities, and invested heavily in the acquisition of new and more lethal weapons systems. Yet increased spending has not brought foolproof security to either country, but instead has pulled resources from much-needed economic development in Pakistan and social investment in India, among other things.

What are both India and Pakistan foregoing in terms of economic development and social progress by continuing their military hostility and engaging in periodic conflict? With a new government in Pakistan and a new government currently being selected in India, there may be an opportunity to change the narrative of conflict between the two countries. The speakers will discuss the impact of this historic rivalry, and make recommendations for greater confidence building between the two rivals.

Register here.

Engage or Contain? Future Policy Toward Russia Trilaterally Considered
Date: April 24, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Please join us for an interactive discussion on the occasion of the release of the Trilateral Commission’s latest report entitled, “Engaging Russia: A Return to Containment?” The Trilateral Commission convenes experienced leaders within the private sector from Europe, North America, and Asia to research, analyze and assess pressing international challenges in an interconnected and interdependent world. This is the third in a series of reports on Russia that the Trilateral Commission has undertaken since 1995. For the first time, the Trilateral Commission solicited contributions from a group of Russian experts led by Dr. Igor Yurgens, Chairman of INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development. Former Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski; Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; former Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan Shotaro Oshima; and Dr. Yurgens will discuss the findings of the report and Dr. Zbignew Brzezinski will offer his reflections on the current state of Russia’s domestic and international affairs and what policy approaches the Trilateral countries should pursue towards Moscow in light of the crisis in Ukraine.

Register here.

April 25, 2014

South Asia’s Nuclear Competition in the New Era of Extremism, Militancy, and Terror
Date: April 25, 12:30pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

The Asia Program and the Los Alamos National Laboratory present a meeting of the Wilson Center’s Nonproliferation Forum on South Asia’s Nuclear Competition in the New Era of Extremism, Militancy, and Terrorism. The event speaker is Peter Lavoy, Partner, Monitor 360 former acting Assistant Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of National Intelligence

RSVP here.

Sabin Vaccine Institute 20th Anniversary Scientific Symposium
Date: April 25, 1:00pm
Location: Pan American Health Organization, Conference Room A (Ground Floor), 525 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC

In celebrating twenty years of advocating greater access to existing and new vaccines for the world’s poor, the Sabin Vaccine Institute will convene experts from around the world – leaders from industry, government, NGOs and academia – to examine key lessons from recent efforts to address pressing global health challenges and share insights on emerging immunization trends.

Full agenda available here. Register here.

Benghazi, Ukraine, and Beyond: Applying American Power in the 21st Century
Date: April 25, 1:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC

Events in Benghazi, Ukraine, Syria, and elsewhere have forced US policymakers to rethink the way the United States can wield its power. A recent Pew poll showed 53 percent of Americans believe the “US role today as world leaders is less important and powerful…than ten years ago.” The poll cited several reasons for this, including the public’s desire to focus more on domestic issues, frustrations with years of war, and a preference to not engage with the difficult foreign policy problems that face the United States and the international community.

Washington must figure out what elements of US power can be applied effectively to achieve its objectives around the world. Indeed, the US defense community now must consider some new questions: Is the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review defense strategy appropriate to deal with the geopolitical environment? What elements of US power, other than military might, should be strengthened? How can the United States deal with diverse geographic hot spots in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe effectively? What role should the United States play in a world where its power is questioned at home and abroad?

To answer these and other questions, the Atlantic Council will convene fresh and innovative thinkers on this subject to gain new perspectives. Ranging from former US strategy-making insiders to columnists to private-sector leaders, these panelists will outline their diverse prescriptions to help address this power problem for the United States.

Watch Online or Register here.

Post-2014 Afghanistan: The US Military Exit and Political Stability
Date: April 25, 3:00pm
Location: Elliot School of International Affairs, Voesar Conference Room, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Washington DC

This talk will provide an Afghan perspective on what U.S. military withdrawal will mean for political stability and state survival post-2014. The 2001 international intervention created a ‘network state,’ whereby state and political networks became partners in statebuilding. This has produced a state that is underpinned by informal power structures. A successful international military exit from Afghanistan will depend on the stability of these informal networks in addition to the strength of Afghan National Security Forces and reconciliation with the Taliban. This talk will also address the recent presidential election in Afghanistan.

RSVP here.


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