This Week in DC: Events

June 16, 2014

Mutual Security on Hold? Russia, the West, and European Security Architecture
Date: June 16, 10:00 am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

This year, the Munich Security Conference celebrated its 50th anniversary. These fifty years of substantive dialogue on security cooperation have existed against a changing political backdrop – from the tensions of the Cold War and the brutal conflict in the Western Balkans, to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the global “War on Terror.” Mutual security and the transatlantic relationship are once again faced with challenges in the form of the crisis in Ukraine. What does this crisis mean for mutual security, and how will it affect the security architecture in Europe? The Wilson Center brings together this distinguished panel to discuss these issues, as well as the recent anniversary volume: “Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference.”

RSVP here.

India’s Nuclear Policy and Regional Stability
Date: June 16, 12:30 pm
Location: Stimson Center, 1111 19th St NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC 20036

The triumphant return of a Bharatiya Janata Party government in India after a contentious campaign season has raised questions about revising India’s nuclear posture, India-Pakistan relations, and regional stability with the draw-down of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Two panels of distinguished experts will discuss the potential for changes to India’s historically minimalist approach to nuclear doctrine, as well as the regional security challenges facing India. Short presentations by the invited speakers will be followed by a question-and-answer period for each panel. A light lunch will be served.

RSVP here.

How to Unwind Iran Nuclear Sanctions
Date: June 16, 2:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

With the deadline for an Iran deal fast approaching, a key element will be how to coordinate US and European sanctions relief with Iranian confidence building measures. The Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force invites you to the launch of two papers outlining options for unwinding nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. Authors Kenneth Katzman and Cornelius Adebahr will explore US and EU sanctions, respectively, looking at the evolution of sanctions over the past decade and the most feasible path to providing meaningful relief in the event that Iran agrees to significant curbs on its nuclear program.
The Iran Task Force, chaired by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West. This project is generously supported by the Ploughshares Fund.

Register here.

June 17, 2014

ISIS Rising, Middle East Crumbling? Regional Implications of Iraqi Instability
Date: June 17, 12:00 pm
Location: Bipartisan Policy Center, 1225 I St NW, Washington DC 20005

Mosul and Tikrit have fallen to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Kurdish forces have occupied Kirkuk. Iran has sent the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to help protect Baghdad and Iraq’s central government. And Ankara, which abetted, if not supported, ISIS, is now scheming how to get back the Turkish hostages the terrorist group has taken in Iraq. This chaotic situation attenuates an already complex and evolving web of relations between a wide array of state and non-state actors and threatens to throw the larger Middle East into disarray.

Join us for a discussion of the regional implications of the emerging conflict in Iraq, how it will impact regional players, and what U.S. interests and policy options might be.

Register here.

June 18, 2014

2014 Global Peace Index: Measuring Country Risk and Opportunity
Date: June 18, 9:30 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

What is the state of global peace in 2014? What are the risks that threaten the peacefulness of nations and communities? How can our foreign policy and aid interventions better prioritize the mitigation of risk?

The 2014 Global Peace Index discussion will explore these questions, detailing recent trends in militarization, safety and security, and ongoing conflict. It will also include a presentation of a new country risk framework, which quantifies current knowledge around the structural drivers of peace and conflict to identify countries most at risk today of falls in peacefulness.

RSVP here.

Presidents at War: Presidential War Powers and the Challenges of Managing Wars
Date: June 18, 10:00 am
Location: New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20036

What constitutes a legitimate wartime target? Where can combat be waged? How do we keep Americans safe while respecting their civil liberties? And how do we target an enemy, or handle POWs, in an age of irregular combat?

Such questions and controversies may seem unprecedented in our post-9/11 age of drone warfare, electronic surveillance, and increasingly diffuse global threats. But they are also the same questions that have fueled bitter public debate about the office of the Commander-in-Chief throughout America’s existence, including in its most divisive hour: the Civil War.

What can we learn from the age of the telegraph and the cannon about how to manage modern warfare ? And how can debates over constitutional war powers from the war that divided the nation apply to the war that seems to be dividing the world?

Join the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Dickinson College, and New America as they host a range of military and presidential advisors and scholars for a debate about how American presidents can—or should—wage war.

RSVP here.

The Approaching Deadline: Prospects for a Final Deal with Iran
Date: June 18, 10:30 am
Location: JINSA Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy

JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy will host a panel discussion for its Iran Task Force on the prospects for a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The Task Force recently released a report which judged that the current interim deal is not making a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program more likely to be achieved. A light lunch reception will be served after the panel.

For registration and location information email

Assessing Threats Facing the U.S.-Korea Alliance
Date: June 18, 12:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

The dynamism of Asian markets, China’s rise, and Japan’s quest to become a normal state, play key roles in determining the future of the US-ROK alliance. At the same time, U.S. perception of China’s growing influence differs from that of Korea’s. Similarly, Washington does not see eye-to-eye with Seoul over changes in Japan’s policies. While the bilateral alliance remains strongest in dealing with North Korea, the two allies also have different views on dealing with this challenge.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel will deliver the keynote address of the second annual U.S.-Korea dialogue hosted jointly by the Wilson Center and the East Asia Foundation of Seoul. Join us for this half-day conference, where opinion leaders from Korea and the United States will discuss their concerns for the future and seek ways to increase cooperation and mutual political, economic, diplomatic, and security benefits.

RSVP here.

The Rt. Honorable David Lidington: The Ukraine Crisis and NATO
Date: June 18, 4:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Please join us on for a conversation with The Hon. David Lidington, UK Minister of State for Europe and MP for on “The Ukraine Crisis and NATO as We Move Toward the Fall Summit.”

Facing the end of operations in Afghanistan and a resurgent Russia, 2014 stands as a pivotal year for NATO. As the September Newport Summit approaches, the Atlantic alliance’s principal mission of European security has returned to the fore.

At this event, Mr. Lidington will discuss the United Kingdom’s views on how ongoing events in Ukraine will affect the Atlantic partnership, and will also offer thoughts on NATO’s future roles and missions. He will also consider ways of enhancing stability along Europe’s eastern borders.

Register here.

Chaos in Iraq: A conversation with Senator John McCain and General Jack Keane
Date: June 18, 4:00 pm
Location: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th St NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC 20036

In the little more than two years since US troops left Iraq, al Qaeda–aligned insurgents have effectively taken over the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. The White House has called on the Iraqi government to “step up to the plate,” while rebuffing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s request for assistance with airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) staging areas. As the black flags of ISIS rise over the two cities, a new directive is on the horizon: march on Baghdad.

Join us for a conversation with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and General Jack Keane (ret.) as they assess the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and consider what role the US should play to help the Iraqi government confront terrorists hostile to democratic government in Baghdad and Washington.

RSVP here.

June 19, 2014 

Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War
Date: June 19, 10:00 am
Location: Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Lehrman Auditorium, Washington DC 20002

Pakistan’s army has dominated the state for most of its 66 years. It has locked the country in an enduring rivalry with India to revise the maps in Kashmir and to resist India’s slow but inevitable rise. To prosecute these dangerous policies, the army employs non-state actors under the security of its ever-expanding nuclear umbrella. Based on decades of the army’s own defense publications, Fair’s book argues that the Pakistan military is unlikely to shift its strategy anytime soon, and thus the world must prepare for an ever more dangerous future Pakistan.

Christine Fair is an Assistant Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She previously served as a Senior Political Scientist with the RAND Corporation, a Political Officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and a Senior Research Associate at USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention.

Register here.

Afghanistan: The Corruption Challenge
Date: June 10, 11:45 am
Location: AU Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 600, Washington DC

No issue has plagued US national security interests in Afghanistan quite like corruption. Leading experts will discuss the challenges and need for progress in confronting this scourge which has cost the Afghans and Americans so much blood and treasure.

Presented by The US and International Anti-Corruption Law Summer Program.

Register here.

Security in and Around Europe
Date: June 19, 1:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council for a moderated discussion with Germany’s Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, on the future of security in and around Europe. She will provide a German perspective on the security challenges facing the transatlantic community at a time of rapid change and turbulence. Minister von der Leyen’s visit to Washington also follows on the heels of a recent NATO defense ministerial meeting, and President Obama’s recent three-country trip to Europe.

The transatlantic community is currently facing a broad range of security and foreign policy challenges, ranging from the Ukraine crisis to continued unrest across the Middle East and an ongoing civil war in Syria. Along with these challenges, the transatlantic community must also grapple with austere fiscal circumstances on both sides of the Atlantic, along with the drawdown of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. But this period is also an opportunity for the transatlantic community, as the conflict in Ukraine has made collective defense a higher priority and brought European security to the top of the agenda. As a result, the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales could be used as a springboard to better equip the Alliance to deal with regional and global challenges.

Register here.

Confronting the Human Rights Challenge in North Korea
Date: June 19, 2:00 pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Lehrman Auditorium, Washington DC 20002

During Kim Jong-Un’s rule, North Korea’s unrelenting deprivation of fundamental human rights has, if possible, gotten even worse. North Koreans seek to flee the regime ruled by political prisons, torture, hunger, and public execution, completely void of fundamental rights or an adequate standard of living.

The UN Commission of Inquiry condemned Pyongyang for “systemic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights” of such a monumental scale as to constitute crimes against humanity. What will it take for the international community finally to say “no more” to the North Korean regime? Why can’t there be a “red line” for human rights violations as there are for weapons ofmass destruction? The UN Security Council is now at a crossroads as to how to respond to North Korea’s human rights violations. Bringing real change takes courage and the political will to confront the Pyongyang regime. Ambassador Lee will examine the state of human rights violations in North Korea and how best for the international community to sustain the momentum created by the UN Commission of Inquiry.

Register here.

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