Week In DC: Events

September 2, 2014

War or Words: The Impact of Russian State Television Propoganda on the Russian Internet

Date: September 2, 4:00pm
Location: Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Voesar Conference Room, Washington DC

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Russian state television has portrayed the government in Kyiv as a “fascist junta” while stoking popular support for President Vladimir Putin among its domestic audience. This presentation will examine the central components of this Kremlin effort, developing a case study of Dmitry Kiselev’s Sunday evening broadcast “News of the Week,” the WWII and Cold War frames he employs, the reaction of the Russian internet audience to the frames, and what this data tells us about the relationship between television and the internet in Russia. It will assess whether Putin is a prisoner of his own propaganda, and how such Kremlin propaganda may be influencing Russian society.

RSVP here.

September 3, 2014

Challenges to India’s Nuclear Doctrine
Date: September 3, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

India’s nuclear policy faces significant challenges from the opacity of Pakistan’s strategic nuclear thinking and its development of tactical nuclear weapons. The combustible mixture of these factors has not only made it prickly for India to find coherence in its long-term policies, but it has also increased the threat of a nuclear standoff between the two countries. The status-quo is unacceptable for India because Pakistan upholds an ambiguous nuclear doctrine that could have perilous effects if India were to retaliate against an attack on Indian soil. Critics of India’s No First Use policy argue that it abrogates the duty of the state to protect its citizens by leaving them vulnerable to a first strike. Can India find a way to strengthen its long-term security without risking nuclear escalation? Please join the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center for a discussion with Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar PVSM on India’s nuclear doctrine and the challenges that it will face in the future.

Register here.

September 4, 2014

Where Defense Dollars Go: Understanding the FY2015 Defense Budget
Date: September 4, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest organizations in the world, managing global security responsibilities with numerous international allies and partners. What does it take to fund DoD? Where does that money go? How is DoD coping in the current fiscal environment? What gaps exist between the strategy outlined in the Quadrennial Defense Review and the capabilities funded by the latest budget request?

CSBA Senior Fellow Todd Harrison will present the report’s findings and take questions from the audience.

The report examines the Pentagon’s most recent budget proposal, including military compensation costs, readiness funding, cost projections for major acquisition programs, and the request for Overseas Contingencies Operations.

The report estimates the gap between the strategy and defense program called for in the QDR and the budget caps currently in effect—a gap that totals into the hundreds of billions over the FYDP.  The report concludes that the Pentagon has not budgeted enough to fully resource its strategy nor has it revised its strategy to fit within the budget constraints set by Congress.  If this strategy-resource gap is not resolved, it will inevitably lead to greater risk in executing an already under-resourced strategy and defense program.

Watch the Live Webcast here.

The European Union at the Crossroads: Completing Integration or Hastening Disintegration
Date: September 4, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Street NW, Edward B Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, ECR, ICC 701, Washington DC

Join us on Thursday, September 4 at noon for a lecture with Stephan Leibfried, University of Bremen, on ‘The European Union at the Crossroads: Completing Integration or Hastening Disintegration’.

During the latter half of the twentieth century, national welfare states in Europe served effectively as a safety net for market integration after 1957 and for global markets after the 1970s. Today, Europe is at a crossroads: Can the national welfare state and national varieties of capitalism remain broadly compatible as the EU system comes under national and transnational stress? Europe has a choice between an American-style exclusive safety net and a European-style inclusive and systematic safety net. When considering the question, it may be helpful to consider what Europe does and what it hopes to do in the future to determine ultimately what form of statehood the EU may take.

Register here.

Ensuring a Strong U.S. Defense for the Future
Date: September 4, 2:00pm
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to host a discussion of the report by the National Defense Panel, “Ensuring a Strong U.S. Defense for the Future,” with the Hon. Michèle Flournoy and LTG (Ret.) Michael Maples.

After more than a decade of active combat, the United States faces an evolving security environment characterized by challenges in Asia, turmoil in the Middle East, and an emboldened Russia that has destabilized Europe. With sequestration budget cuts ahead, the U.S. government also faces new fiscal constraints. Amid these regional and economic dynamics, the rapid global proliferation of technology provides both opportunity for and threats to American security and values. Against this backdrop the Department of Defense released its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) in March. The report, which provides policy planning guidance for the next two decades, was controversially received by Congress.

Following the QDR’s release, the congressionally-mandated National Defense Panel (NDP), co-chaired by Dr. Bill Perry and General John P. Abizaid, was tasked to evaluate the 2014 QDR. The expert panel, per its mandate, assessed the QDR’s findings related to force size, structure, and posture against a rapidly evolving security environment.

The U.S. Institute of Peace, which was tasked by Congress to facilitate the review of the QDR in both 2014 and2010, is pleased to a detailed discussion of the panel’s report, “Ensuring a Strong U.S. Defense for the Future.” The report presents the panel’s findings and recommendations on the QDR and on reforms to planning and policy for both the Department of Defense and Congress. It also comments on the current funding trends and the impact of a return to sequestration in 2016.

RSVP here.

The Global War on Terrorism: Is It Time to Double Down?
Date: September 4, 5:30pm
Location: The Burke Theatre, 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004

Recent gains by extremist groups in Iraq, Syria, and across Africa raise the question of whether extreme Islamist terrorism is making a comeback — and whether the United States should do more to fight back.  But is terrorism indeed worse now than when al Qaeda was at its peak, or has the decimation of al Qaeda leadership left disparate, more localized, and less effective terrorist groups?  Would a renewed, strong effort by the United States to go after global jihadists make us safer from these terrorists — or would this only help stimulate further terrorist recruits and violent acts against U.S. interests?   Hear leading experts debate these questions and more in our next McCain Institute Debate: “The Global War on Terrorism:  Is it Time to Double Down?”

Confirmed panelists include: Fran Townsend, Former Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism; Mike Morrell, Former Acting Director, CIA; Daniel Benjamin, Former Ambassador-at-Large, U.S. State Department; and Philip Mudd, Former Deputy Director, CIA Counterterrorist Center. Juan C. Zarate, Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, will serve as the panel moderator.

Register here.

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