This Week in DC: Events

July 22, 2014

The 9/11 Commission Report: Ten Years Later
Date: July 22, 9:00am – 2:30pm
Location: Newseum, Knight Conference Center, Eighth Flood, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20001

Join the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, former 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean, former Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton and other commission members on the 10th anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission report to examine the threat to the nation; current homeland security challenges, successes and innovations; and the difficult questions and oversight obstacles presently facing policy makers.

Register here.

The Impact of Ukraine in the Neighborhood
Date: July 22, 10:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine is having ripple effects throughout Eurasia.  But what has been the impact in the immediate neighborhood, the South Caucasus, Moldova, and Belarus as well as Ukraine itself? This distinguished panel will examine recent developments and prospects in each focusing first on the situation on the ground in Ukraine, the performance of the Poroshenko government, and the latest Russian moves. Georgia and Moldova, as well as Ukraine have now signed their partnership agreements with the EU; how has Russia reacted? How have internal politics in these countries been affected by Ukraine? What accounts for the nuanced approach taken by Belarus and the release of a prominent political prisoner? And what are the implications for US foreign policy?  Please join us for this special program which will be followed later this year by programs specifically on the South Caucasus and Central Asia.

RSVP here.

A Roadmap for Ukraine
Date: July 22, 12:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The situation in Ukraine is extremely fragile as the Kremlin continues its relentless push against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Following his victory in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections, Petro Poroshenko has galvanized the country’s security forces for a thus far successful campaign to restore orderthroughout the East. In response, however, the Kremlin has increased the inflow of military equipment and fighters into the Donbass.

An Atlantic Council delegation recently visited Ukraine. After an introduction by Paula Dobriansky, Damon Wilson and John Herbst will report on their recent trip to Kyiv. The Council will also present its latest papers on key issues facing Ukraine, including policy recommendations, which were presented to the US government.

Register here or watch online.

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 or call (202) 662-7501. Tickets must be paid for at the time of purchase. Tickets are available for purchase here.

July 23, 2014 

National Security Space Launch and the Industrial Base: Issues and Opportunities
Date: July 23, 9:00am
Location: The Army & Navy Club, 901 17th Street NW, Washington DC 

In light of the deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations over the past several months, and the subsequent proposed Russian ban on the export to the U.S. of the RD-180 rocket engine, what are the space launch propulsion options for the United States in the coming years? In order to assess this question, the Air Force convened an independent advisory panel of experts, chaired by Major General Howard J. ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, USAF (ret.), to examine the impact of a Russian ban on the export of the RD-180 engine.

The independent advisory panel’s final report – now known as the Mitchell study – is classified, but in recent weeks enough has come out to build a worrying picture of U.S. options. A Russian ban of the export of the RD-180 will have a serious impact on the ability of the U.S. to use the Atlas V launch vehicle and the launch manifests assigned to it through 2020. Many of these manifests could be transferred to the Delta IV launch vehicle, but not with out significant delay and cost, and certainly not without the need for a new engine. A replacement for the RD-180 will take many years to develop, and will cost anywhere between $1.5-3 billion. That, at least, is the speculation reported by the media.

On July 23, the Marshall Institute will host a discussion of these issues, featuring:

Mr. Josh Hartman, CEO of Horizon Strategies Group, and a member of the Air Force’s independent advisory panel chaired by Maj. Gen. Mitchell; and

Professor Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University, Washington, DC

To reserve a place, call 571-970-3180 or email

Hearing: Terrorist March in Iraq: The U.S. Response
Date: July 23, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Location: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515

U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, on the hearing: “The terrorist expansion in Iraq is not a surprise.  It has developed steadily over the past two years.  In the past year, the Iraqis have urgently requested additional U.S. counterterrorism assistance in the form of drone or air strikes against terrorist camps, and the Obama Administration declined.  Now this al-Qaeda offshoot has overrun a large part of Iraq, as well as Syria, and threatens to kill and capture even more people than it already has.  Stronger than ever, this terrorist group is also plotting against the U.S. homeland.  This hearing will examine the reasons behind the Administration’s decision not to adequately address this problem months ago and what it plans to do going forward.”

Alliance Challenges in Northeast Asia: Perspectives on U.S.-Japan-South Korea Relations
Date: July 23, 11:00am
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

Given the current strategic challenges in Northeast Asia – North Korea, East China Sea and other disputes with China, and the implementation of the U.S. pivot to Asia – it is more important than ever that the triangle of U.S.-Japan-South Korea relations remain strong. Yet Tokyo-Seoul relations are strained due to a difficult legacy of historical problems. What does this mean for the overall conduct of relations and improving trilateral security cooperation? Please join us for an expert discussion on Japan-Korea relations, and what it means from a U.S. perspective.

Register to attend in person or watch online.

Resisting Extremism through Media: Claiming a Space for Political Cartoons in Pakistan
Date: July 23, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Location: National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington DC 20004

In some schools of Islam, the artistic portrayal of people and animals is often perceived as idolatrous, or at the very least offensive or sacrilegious. Following the 2001 destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban and the 2005 Danish Jyllands-PostenMuhammad cartoon controversy, Pakistan is experiencing a new wave of restrictions on the production of visual arts. This trend is part of a broader agenda by intolerant and extremist elements in Pakistan to limit freedom of expression and curtail cultural activities, including dance, music, and theater, that they believe offend Islam. Moreover, recent attacks on journalists by extremists not only serve to silence moderate voices but reinforce and propel a conservative ideology. The challenge now is to reclaim the power of images and to assert cartoons as a medium through which artists can convey messages across cultural and linguistic divides.

In his presentation, Sabir Nazar will use his widely-acclaimed political cartoons to discuss challenges faced by the media, the struggle for democracy, and the resistance to the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan. He will further expand on ways that visual artists can contribute through different media to reclaim the cultural space that is being lost to religious extremists. His presentation will be followed by comments by Brian Joseph.

Watch the livestream of this event here.

July 24, 2014

Confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Challenges and Options
Date: July 24, 12:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

The Middle East Institute and the Conflict Management Program at SAIS are pleased to a host a discussion about combating the rising influence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Middle East Institute scholars Richard A. Clarke,Omar Al-Nidawi, Steven Simon, and Randa Slimwill examine the current status of the organization and its support network, focusing on the steps that Iraqi political actors and the U.S. administration can take to address the spread of its influence. Daniel Serwer (SAIS, The Middle East Institute) will moderate the event.

Register here.

The Congressional Role in U.S. Military Innovation: Preparing the Pentagon for the Warfighting Regimes of Tomorrow
Date: July 24, 12:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Root Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

While the conventional wisdom holds that the United States Congress can be a hindrance to U.S. military planning and budgeting, history tells a different story. From the acquisition of aircraft carriers and submarines in the 1930s to unmanned vehicles in the 2000s, Congress has played a vital advocacy role in America’s defense innovation process.

Today, in a time of constrained budgets and amidst a refocus to the Asia-Pacific region, many questions remain about the proper force structure and defense strategy for the U.S. military, including:

  • How should the Pentagon prepare for the future under the budget burden of sequestration?
  • What technologies and future warfighting strategies will the United States need to adopt to dominate the battlefields of tomorrow?
  • What opportunities exist for Congress to help prepare the Pentagon for these new warfighting regimes?

On July 24, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings will host a conversation with Reps. J. Randy Forbes and Jim Langevin. Rep. Forbes is the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, where he is responsible for the sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps programs as well as the Air Force bomber and tanker fleets. Rep. Langevin is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities and is widely seen as a leader on national security and cybersecurity issues. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow and director of research for Foreign Policy at Brookings, will moderate the discussion.

Following discussion on stage, the congressmen will take audience questions. Register here. 

July 25, 2014

The Future of Surface Warfare Lethality
Date: July 25, 11:30am
Location: Capitol Visitor Center—HVC 201, East Capitol Street NE and First Street SE, Washington DC 20004

As the U.S. turns its attention westward with the pivot to Asia, there is growing concern about whether the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet possesses sufficient lethality to meet the range of threats posed by a rising China. Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, has openly questioned whether the U.S. Navy is “out-sticked” by Chinese counterparts who field anti-ship missiles with ranges far in excess of those on U.S. ships. The purchase of littoral combat ships, truncated at 32 ships due in part to the Secretary of Defense’s concern about sufficient lethality, demonstrates the increasing attention to surface warfare capacity.

On Friday, July 25th, Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower will host a panel on the state of U.S. Surface Force lethality across several warfighting domains and panelists will reflect on the direction of Surface Force lethality as demonstrated in the Navy’s FY15 budget submission.

Seth Cropsey, former Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, will discuss land attack. Bryan Clark, former Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, will speak on anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. Bryan McGrath, a national security consultant and retired Naval Officer, will comment on integrated air and missile defense.

Lunch will be provided.

Please note that this event will be held at the Capitol Visitor Center in room HVC 201. Register by Tuesday, July 22nd at noon to attend this event.

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