Week in DC: Events

July 14, 2014

Security and Nigeria’s National Elections
Date: July 14, 9:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Washington DC 20036

Please join us for a discussion of the major security challenges facing Nigeria as its 2015 national elections approach. Panelists will examine the security situation at the national level and highlight innovative strategies being employed on the ground in violence-prone communities to anticipate, prevent, and militate against conflict. This conference is the third installment of an ongoing series, supported by the Ford Foundation, that brings Nigerian officials, civil society activists, and opinion leaders to Washington, D.C. to engage with U.S. policymakers and Africa experts on how best to ensure that Nigeria’s 2015 elections are free, fair, and peaceful. Lunch will be served.

Register here.

When if Foreign Internal Defense (FID) a Smart Policy Tool for Washington?
Date: July 14, 11:00am
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20001

Featuring David S. Maxwell, Associate Director, Center for Security Studies & Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Sean McFate, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution; and James B. Story, Director, Office of Western Hemisphere Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State; moderated by Jennifer Keister, Visiting Research Fellow, Cato Institute.

In an era of fiscal constraints and concerns about direct military involvement abroad, helping others defend themselves is an attractive option to address America’s global security concerns. Efforts to train, equip, and advise partner nations are elements of foreign internal defense (FID) policies. But when is FID a smart tool? Does FID produce more effective and self-sufficient partners, at lower political and financial costs to Americans? Or, does FID pull the United States into local fights, and risk outsourcing U.S. security interests to partners with limited capabilities and whose political interests may not align with ours? Please join us as the panelists discuss these and other questions.

Email to attend.

The Muslim Brotherhood: Between the Path of Ennahda and the Threat of ISIS
Date: July 14, 12:00pm
Location: The Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

The Middle East Institute is pleased to host a discussion about the Muslim Brotherhood in the face of significant challenges to its status and future. Muslim Brotherhood experts Alison Pargeter (author,The Muslim Brotherhood: From Opposition to Power, Saqi Press, 2010), Hassan Mneimneh (The German Marshall Fund of the United States), and Eric Trager (Washington Institute for Near East Policy) will examine regional developments and trends affecting the Brotherhood from Tunisia to Syria, one year after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi and in light of growing competition from jihadi movements for dominance within Islamist circles. Kate Seelye (The Middle East Institute) will moderate the event.

Register here.


July 15, 2014

American Attitudes On Nuclear Negotiations with Iran
Date: July 15, 10:00am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Choate Room, 1st Floor, Washington DC 20036

Our friends at the Program for Public Consultation, in association with the Center for International & Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), are releasing the results of a very interesting study on American attitudes regarding the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. This study was conducted using the same policymaking simulation method developed for Voice Of the People’s Citizen Cabinet Project.You are cordially invited to join us at this special event.

As the United States and Iran approach the July 20th deadline for making a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, debate has intensified about what the U.S. should be willing to do. A new innovative survey of American public attitudes on this question will be released this Tuesday, July 15.

Register here.

The Madrid 3/11 Bombings, Jihadist Networks in Spain, and the Evolution of Terrorism in Western Europe
Date: July 15, 2:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Choate Room, 1st Floor, Washington DC 20036

On the morning of March 11, 2004, Islamic militants detonated a series of explosives placed on four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 individuals and injuring an additional 1,800. It was the worst terrorist attack in modern European history.

Ten years later, Professor Fernando Reinares, a senior analyst within Elcano Royal Institute, has now published a definitive account of the attacks, entitled,¡Matadlos! Quién Estuvo Detrás del 11-M y Por Qué Se Atentó en España (Kill Them! Who Was Behind 3/11 and Why Spain Was Targeted). Reinares provides evidence showing that the decision to attack Spain was made in December 2001 in Pakistan by Moroccan Amer Azizi – previously a charismatic member of Al Qaeda’s Spanish Abu Dahdah cell – and that the Madrid bombing network began its formation in March 2002, more than one year before the start of the Iraq war. Al Qaeda’s senior leadership then approved the 3/11 plan by mid-October 2003, Reinares reveals. Today Spain battles the challenge of jihadist radicalization and recruitment networks that are sending fighters to join the wars in Syria and elsewhere.

On July 15, the Intelligence Project at Brookings will host Professor Reinares for a discussion on his book’s revelations, the empirical data on the evolution of jihadism in Spain and the future of terrorism in Western Europe. Brookings Senior Fellow and Intelligence Project Director Bruce Riedel will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. Following their remarks, Riedel and Reinares will take questions from the audience.

Register here.

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Rise of ISIL: Iraq and Beyond
Date: July 15, 2:00pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515

The Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hear testimony on the rise of ISIL in Iraq and beyond. Witnesses include The Honorable James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq; General Jack Keane, USA, Retired, Chairman of the Board at the Institute for the Study of War; Mr. Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute; Mr. Michael Eisenstadt, Senior Fellow and Director of the Military and Security Studies Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Forgotten, but Not Gone: The Continuing Threat of Boko Haram
Date: July 15, 2:00pm
Location: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington DC 20037

When in April 2014 more than 270 girls were abducted from a school in northeastern Nigeria, unprecedented international attention turned to the perpetrators, Boko Haram, an Islamist group. Many activists and observers around the world were outraged by limited government actions to rescue the victims – most of whom remain in captivity today – and foreign governments, including the US government, have offered support in locating the young women.

The furor of the #BringBackOurGirls movement has faded rapidly and Boko Haram’s insurgency, now in its fourth year, has again been largely forgotten by the international media, despite the fact that violence has continued in the form of mass killings, attacks in the capital, Abuja, and new abductions.

Virginia Comolli will be discussing the implications of Boko Haram’s insurgency for Nigeria, repercussions for other West African countries and the role of non-African partners (and the US in particular) in dealing with the security challenges the group presents.

Register here.


July 16, 2014

Hearing: Iran’s Destabilizing Role in the Middle East
Date: July 16, 10:00am
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515

The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East. Witnesses include: Mr. Scott Modell, Senior Associate and Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Mr. Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies on the Middle East Program at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Natan B. Sachs, Ph.D., Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

The Resurgence of the Taliban
Date: July 16, 10:30am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

In autumn 2001, U.S. and NATO troops were deployed to Afghanistan to unseat the Taliban rulers. Yet, despite a more than decade-long attempt to eradicate them, the Taliban has endured—regrouping and reestablishing themselves as a significant insurgent movement. Hassan Abbas, author of The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier, will examine how the Taliban not only survived but adapted to regain power and political advantage. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare will moderate.

Register here.

Sustaining Strong Defense in the Era of Austere Budgets
Date: July 16, 12:00pm
Location: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The debate on how to sustain a strong defense in the era of evolving threats and shrinking budgets has been stymied by the political impasse on Capitol Hill and the series of foreign policy crises that have preoccupied the defense officials and legislators.

Yet, the sum of small and big decisions made at the White House, in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill in the past few months (and more importantly, the decisions that have not been made) are already shaping the military the United States would have to live with for decades to come.

  • What are the implications of the latest congressional actions on the DoD budget request?
  • What do programmatic and budget decisions mean for the future of the U.S. defense posture and capabilities?
  • And what are the areas of opportunities for DoD in this constrained budget environment?

Watch the live webcast of this discussion, as Rep. Randy Forbes, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces and Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow and Director of Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) answer these questions at a congressional luncheon. CSBA Board Chairman Nelson Ford moderates the discussion.

Inflammatory Rhetoric in Iran: Legal Responses and Other Remedies
Date: July 16, 5:30pm
Location: Jones Day, 300 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC

Recent statements by Iran’s new president apparently rejecting Holocaust denial have led some to hope that the Iranian regime’s anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric ceased with the departure of President Ahmadinejad. The former president was not the sole purveyor of such rhetoric, however. In November 2013, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Israel “an illegitimate and bastard regime” and said its leaders “cannot be called human.” Does such language presage violence? What are the remedies for such speech, legal or otherwise? Join us for a discussion about the range of approaches for addressing Iranian leaders’ inflammatory rhetoric.

Featured Speakers include Irwin Cotler, Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Edwin Fountain, Partner, Jones Day and Special Counsel, Center for the Prevention of Genocide; Ray Takeyh, Council on Foreign Relations; Elizabeth White, Research Director, Center for the Prevention of Genocide. The Moderator will be Michael Abramowitz, Director, National Institute for Holocaust Education.

Register here.

Crisis in Iraq: What’s Next for Them and Us
Date: July 16, 6:00pm
Location: Embassy of Slovenia, 2410 California Street NW, Washington DC

Robin Wright, an author, journalist, and foreign policy analyst, has covered the Middle East for four decades. Wright has reported from 140 countries for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, and CBS News. Currently a joint fellow at United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Wright has been a fellow at Yale, Duke, Stanford, Dartmouth, Brookings and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

An accomplished author and editor, her recent books include Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World (2011), for which she received the Overseas Press Club’s award for best book on international affairs. Her other books include Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East (2008), The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and US Policy (2010), The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran (2000), Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam (2001), and The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are (2012).

Space for this event is limited. WFPG members pay $25, non-members pay $40. Register here.


July 17, 2014

High Standards and High Stakes: Defining Terms of an Acceptable Iran Nuclear Deal
Date: July 17, 12:00pm
Location: Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902, Washington DC

As the P5+1 approaches the July 20th deadline for a final Iran nuclear deal, what standards should Congress seek in an acceptable agreement? And what are the stakes for the United States and its allies? Join BPC, the Foreign Policy Initiative, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies for a public forum on these and other questions featuring Members of Congress and experts.

View the full agenda and register here.


July 18, 2014

Nuclear Centers of Excellence in Asia: Next Steps
Date: July 18, 9:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, 212-A/B Conference room, Washington DC 20036

During the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, Japan, China, and South Korea committed to establishing Centers of Excellence (COEs) aimed at training professionals in nuclear security and improving physical protection of nuclear materials.  With growing demand for nuclear energy in Asia, these COEs have an increased stake in improving national nuclear governance and potentially providing venues for regional collaboration in nuclear security.

The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program invites you to join us for a day-long workshop that will cover: the accomplishments of the three COEs, the perspectives of officials in these countries on the progress and goals for their facilities, and discussion among government officials and experts on the future of cooperation in these areas.  A light lunch will be provided.

This event is cosponsored by CSIS, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Statements at this event may be off the record. Please RSVP to Robert Kim at rkim@csis.org or call: 202-741-3921.


Mark Your Calendars for July 22, 2014!

NPC Luncheon with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control
Date: July 22, 12:30pm
Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20045

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, will address concerns about the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus and other key health issues at a National Press Club luncheon on Tuesday, July 22.

Dr. Frieden will also discuss the sharp rise in U.S. measles cases and the growing number of antibiotic-resistant diseases, at the luncheon. Dr. Frieden, who has led the CDC since 2009, is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology.


Lunch will be served at 12:30 pm, with remarks beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for Press Club members. NPC members may purchase two tickets at the member rate. The price for all other non-member tickets is $36 each. Price for students is $21.

For questions, please email reservations@press.org or call (202) 662-7501. Tickets must be paid for at the time of purchase. Tickets are available for purchase here.


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