This Week in DC: Events

August 25, 2014 

Turkey, Iraq, and the Kurdistan Regional Government
Date: August 25, 2:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

The advances of ISIS have reheated the debate on the future of Iraq. The country is threatened by a new wave of violence and destruction, as a large swath of territory has turned into a conflict zone and an uprising has shaken the political order. The relative stability of Northern Iraq appeared to be strengthened, as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) initially managed to keep the conflict at bay in the territories it controls. However the recent advances of ISIS have also underscored the fragile security environment in the country to which the KRG is also subject. The developments also highlighted the delicate position of many ethnic and religious groups most notably Turkmen, Yazidis and Christians. Turkey has both opportunities and challenges in Iraq, and keeps a close eye on the situation there. In this discussion, experts will address the future of Iraq and the KRG in the context of the current crisis, and will shed light on Turkey’s perspectives on the KRG, energy issues, minorities, and Iraq in general.

This event is co-organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM).

RSVP here.

August 26, 2014

What About Jordan: Does Regional Crisis Threaten the Security of a Longstanding American Ally?
Date: August 26, 12:00pm
Location: Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC 20005

A U.S. ally for more than half a century, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the pillars of American Middle East policy. But this longtime bulwark of stability in an otherwise dangerous and volatile region is now being buffeted by powerful—and unwelcome—winds of change. Two of its bordering neighbors, Syria and Iraq, are engulfed in civil wars featuring both active Iranian involvement and well-resourced Sunni extremists like the Islamic State. Moreover, the role of Hamas in West Bank politics remains an unsettled question. Domestically, Jordan has been suffering a severe refugee crisis for more than a decade, to which the Syrian conflict alone has recently added another million-plus civilian exiles. Can Jordan continue to manage the various emergencies on its doorstep? What can the American government do to help one of its key Middle East partners?

On August 26th, Hudson Institute will host an expert panel—Senior Fellow and moderator Lee Smith joined by Faysal Itani, Salameh Nematt, and David Schenker—for a discussion about the present state and future prospects of Jordan and its central role in American Middle East policy.

Event will be streamed live online here.

August 27, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: Return of the Caliphate?
Date: August 27, 2:00pm
Location: Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave NE, Washington DC

In June, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also called ISIL) — a former al-Qaeda affiliate fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad — declared itself simply the “Islamic State” (the IS).  Claiming to have reestablished the Caliphate (in Arabic: Khilafah) that existed from 632 AD until it was abolished in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, the IS controls large parts of Iraq including the city of Mosul and the predominantly Sunni areas abutting Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.  In addition, the IS has reportedly seized over $400 million looted from Mosul’s central bank, as well as gold bullion, in addition to potential oil revenues from fields in Syria and Iraq.  IS has applied a ruthless set of policies, seemingly designed both to demonstrate its ideological bona fides and to terrify its enemies: crucifixions and beheadings, forced conversion of Christians, and destruction of Islamic shrines.

To register, email William Selig.

August 28, 2014

Public Opinion and War
Date: August 28, 2:00pm
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Hayek Auditorium, Washington DC

Featuring Adam Berinsky, Professor of Political Science, MIT; John Mueller, Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Jason Reifler, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Exeter; and Trevor Thrall, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University; moderated by Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

When and why does the American public support war? Washington politicians and pundits often puzzle over these questions as they try to win support for their policies, but there is a large body of academic research on public opinion and war. Do events, such as casualties or the prospect of victory, affect support more, or do partisan identities or other attachments play a larger role? What sorts of arguments should hawks and doves make if they hope to win support for their views? Please join four leading political scientists as they examine the causes of public support for war.

Register here or watch online.

Fatal Assistance
Date: August 28, 5:00pm
Location: Center for Global Development, 2055 L Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20036

CGD is pleased to announce a screening of Fatal Assistance, part of our film series, Global Development Matters.

Haitian born filmmaker Raoul Peck takes us on a 2-year journey inside the challenging, contradictory and colossal rebuilding efforts in post-earthquake Haiti. Through its provocative and radical point of view, Fatal Assistance offers a devastating indictment of the international community’s post-disaster idealism. The film dives headlong into the complexity of the reconstruction process and the practices and impact of worldwide humanitarian and development aid, revealing the disturbing extent of a general failure. We learn that a major portion of the money pledged to Haiti was never disbursed, nor made it into the actual reconstruction. Fatal Assistance leads us to one clear conclusion: current aid policies and practice in Haiti need to stop immediately.

Following the screening of the film, CGD Senior Fellows Vijaya Ramachandran and Michael Clemens will provide commentary, before opening the floor to questions from the audience.

Register here.

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