This Week in DC: Events

May 12, 2014

Morocco’s Approach to Countering Violent Extremism
Date: May 12, 12:00 pm
Location: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050, Washington DC 20036

Morocco’s traditionally strong counterterrorism efforts are now being challenged by the spread of terrorism to even the most stable parts of the region. At a time when al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is posing a formidable threat to the neighborhood, the crisis in Syria continues to serve as a magnet for aspiring jihadists, including Moroccans. Meanwhile, prisons in the region often facilitate radicalization rather than deter it, raising questions about how best to prevent and counter extremism and terrorism.

To discuss these and other aspects of Morocco’s threat environment, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with Mohamed Salah Tamek who is the delegate-general of Morocco’s Penitentiary and Reintegration Administration. Previously, he served as governor of the Oued Eddahab province, chief of staff to the interior minister, ambassador to Norway, and head of the security portion of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue.

Space is limited. RSVP here.

Meet the Syria Opposition
Date: May 12, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20036

The Syrian conflict just entered its fourth year and according to some estimates the death toll is approaching 150,000 killed. A revolution that began peacefully has morphed into one of the most violent wars in recent memory, creating not just bloodshed but an unparalleled humanitarian crisis. “Victory” for any party remains elusive, the Geneva talks proved fruitless and the UN’s Syria envoy is preparing to leave the task for someone else. So what possible solutions exist for Syria? After years of fighting, a fractured society, unspeakable brutality and a lack of commitment from the international community, is Syria’s future anything but bleak?

Join us for a conversation with members of the Syrian opposition delegation currently visiting Washington, DC for meetings with senior U.S. officials. They will discuss the opposition’s vision for a new Syria and what solutions, if any, exist for the current impasse. In addition, they will address the growing global concern over the rising power of extremists and what efforts are currently underway to counter these trends. Finally, the delegation will provide the latest updates and developments from the field as well as a blueprint for the future.

RSVP here.

Ivory Towers and Palace Guards: The Disconnect between Outside Expertise and Policymaking
Date: May 12, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004

How does advice and information from outside experts and scholars reach top policymakers—or does it? Terms like “echo chamber” and “information bubble” are often employed to describe an environment where it is difficult for outside information to penetrate or influence the policy process. Author and consultant Suzanne Massie will share the inside story of her interactions with Ronald Reagan and how she provided him with an outside voice at a vital time. Reagan turned to Massie for her advice on understanding and dealing with Russians, and carried her suggestions — including the now famous Russian proverb, “trust but verify” — into his meetings with the new Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. You can read about her latest book here.

RSVP here.

A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat
Date: May 12, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

As diplomats return to the negotiating table on May 13 in an attempt to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, it is a propitious time to review the prospects for a negotiated settlement and our options for resolving the Iranian nuclear challenge if the talks do not succeed. President Obama has vowed that he is willing to do whatever it takes, including using military force, if necessary, to keep Tehran from the bomb. If not stopped, a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to international peace and security, including the potential for a nuclear arms race in the region and around the world, and an increased risk of nuclear war, among other major threats.

In A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat, Matthew Kroenig, internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on Iran’s nuclear program, explains why the United States must be prepared to conduct a limited strike on Iran’s key nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails to resolve the Iranian nuclear challenge.

Register here.

May 13, 2014

The Countdown Begins: All You Need to Know about an Iran Nuclear Deal
Date: May 13, 9:30 – 11:00 am
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC 20037

The clock is ticking on a nuclear deal with Iran. The deadline is July 20. An unprecedented coalition of eight Washington think tanks is hosting three discussions on the pivotal diplomacy to coincide with the last three rounds of talks. The first event—”The Rubik’s Cube of a Final Agreement”—on May 13 will explore the 10 disparate issues to be resolved and the many formulations for potential solutions.

The coalition includes the U.S. Institute of Peace, RAND, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Arms Control Association, the Center for a New American Security, the Stimson Center, the Partnership for a Secure America, the Ploughshares Fund, and staff from the Brookings Institution and the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies.

RSVP here.

Pakistan’s Bilateral and Regional Trade Priorities
Date: May 13, 3:30 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1050 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

Economic issues are at the forefront of Pakistan’s priorities and regional connectivity is central in improving the business and economic environment there. Khurram Dastgir Khan, federal minister for commerce, has supported greater regional cooperation and led trade and commerce negotiations with India. Khan will share the government’s trade priorities, and progress made on improving regional economic connectivity and business and economic conditions in Pakistan.

The US-Pakistan Program is a comprehensive approach to US-Pakistan relations, focusing on the key areas of security, economic development, and public policy. The program will explore these issues and their relevance, in order to develop a long-term, continuous dialogue between the United States and Pakistan. This project is generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Register here.

Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism in Pakistan
Date: May 13, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

Pakistan is currently facing failed negotiations with the Taliban, increased jihadi terrorist attacks in its major cities, and an uncertain presidential transition in neighboring Afghanistan. While these developments have major implications for U.S. policy in the region, they pose near-existential threats to Pakistan, as well as fundamental challenges to the transition in Afghanistan. Samina Ahmed and Mark Schneider of the International Crisis Group will introduce a discussion on these challenges and what can be done to address them. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare will moderate.

Register here.

May 14, 2014

Disrupting Defense: Dynamic Security in an Age of New Technologies
Date: May 14, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security on May 14, when we will convene experts to discuss how the United States and its allies can manage the security-related challenges and possibilities of disruptive technologies.

This high-level event will focus on four topics:

  1. How emerging technologies already are disrupting geopolitics
  2. Defining a new US strategy to operate in this new environment
  3. How the US Department of Defense funds technological breakthroughs
  4. Leveraging the creativity of artists and screenwriters to envision future wars

The conference will conclude with live technology demonstrations and a reception in which participants will see first-hand examples of these disruptive technologies.

Register here.

New Terrorism Meets New Media
Date: May 14, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Boardroom, Washington DC

The Internet proves to be a useful instrument for modern terrorists who use it for a wide range of purposes – from recruitment, radicalization and propaganda to data-mining and online instruction and training. However, cyber-savvy terrorists found the need to update their online presence. There is a clear trend of terrorist “migration” to online social media, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Moreover, this trend is expanding to the newest online platforms such as Instagram, Flickr, and others. Rephrasing von Clausewitz, the new media should be regarded as “an increasing continuation of war by other means.” This new arena of open and social systems presents new challenges and requires dramatic shifts in strategic thinking regarding national security and countering terrorism.

This event will not be audio or video recorded. RSVP here.

India, China, and Russia: Prospects for Cooperation
Date: May 14, 1:00 – 5:15 pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

India, China, and Russia are all set to play a major role on the global stage throughout the rest of the twenty-first century. The relationships between the three nations are complex, however, with opportunities for cooperation in areas of convergent interests often being hamstrung by long-standing disputes and rivalries. This half-day conference will explore how New Delhi, Beijing, and Moscow are likely to cooperate—or clash—on major questions of international order, including energy security, defense cooperation, and regional dynamics. It will also consider the likely implications for the West.

Register here.

May 15, 2014

Ukraine Between East and West
Date: May 15, 11:00 am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Boardroom, Washington DC 20004

Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will discuss the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.

In recent weeks, Zannier has travelled to Kiev on numerous occasions, as well as to Moscow and other European capitals, to attempt to defuse the crisis. The Geneva Statement has called on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which reports on security conditions throughout the country, to play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities to implement de-escalation measures.

In a conversation with Wilson Center President Jane Harman, Zannier will present the OSCE’s priorities for restoring stability in Ukraine and discuss the impact of the crisis on European and Euro-Atlantic security.

RSVP here.

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