Week in DC: Events

September 22, 2014

Defeating ISIS: From Strategy to Implementation
Date: September 22, 12:00pm
Location: Washington Institute for Near East Policy

As the Obama administration formulates a strategy for confronting and defeating ISIS, its reluctance to deepen American involvement in Syria and Iraq raises questions about what form U.S. intervention will take going forward. The recent airstrikes near Mosul, Irbil, and elsewhere have been effective in achieving several limited objectives, but broader goals — such as rolling back the group’s large territorial gains and ultimately “destroying” ISIS — will likely require broader action. To discuss what the administration and its allies should do and how to do it, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with Jean-Pierre Filiu, James Jeffrey, and Michael Eisenstadt.

Watch the livestream here.

The Rise of Lashkar-e-Taiba: A Look at One of South Asia’s Largest Terrorist Organizations
Date: September 22, 12:15pm
Location: New America Foundation , 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC

Although they are some of the world’s foremost terrorist groups, not much is widely known about Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), one of the largest terrorist organizations in South Asia that operates out of Pakistan and was responsible for the three day siege of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 165 people. But now, former New York Times contributor Arif Jamal has documented the history, ideology, and global operations of LET and other groups in South Asia, bringing little-known facts about the dangers they pose to global security to light. In his book, Call for a Transnational Jihad: Lashkar-e-Taiba 1985-2014, Jamal shows through primary sources the links between the terrorist organizations in South Asia and those operating in other regions, demonstrating that the groups have a presence in more than 100 countries and are more inter-connected than many first believed.

By examining the rise of Lashkar-e-Taiba over the past three decades, Jamal makes it clear that the United States has treated the groups as a regional threat — not a global one. But as they have grown and become more deadly over the years, that policy is becoming more and more questionable.

New America is pleased to welcome Jamal for a discussion about his book, his thoughts on the future of LeT, and what the terrorist organizations history can tell us about their future.

RSVP here.

The Ukraine Crisis: The View from Odessa
Date: September 22, 1:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Odessa has seen some of the worst violence and clashes outside of the war-torn eastern provinces of Ukraine but has received relatively little coverage. Join us for a discussion of Odessa’s perspective on the ongoing crisis with Volodymyr Dubovyk, Director, Center for International Studies, I. Mechnikov National University in Odessa.

RSVP here.

Schieffer Series: Jihad 3.0
Date: September 22, 4:45pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communication and CSIS cosponsor a monthly series of dialogues hosted by award-winning journalist Bob Schieffer to discuss the most pressing foreign and domestic issues of the day.

Panelists for Jihad 3.0 include The Honorable Juan C. Zarate, Former Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism, Senior Adviser for CSIS, and Author, “Treasury’s War”; Dr. Jon Alterman, Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy and Director, Middle East Program, CSIS; and Julianna Goldman, Washington Correspondent for CBS News.

Register here.

September 23, 2014

A Symposium on The Ebola Crisis
Date: September 23, 8:00am
Location: Georgetown University, ICC Auditorum, 2nd Floor, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC

This half-day symposium features experts from government and academia and includes special remarks from Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia. RSVP and see the full schedule of speakers here.

Eastern Europe’s Most Difficult Transition: Public Health and Demographic Policy, Two Decades after the Cold War
Date: September 23, 9:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Dr. Murray Feshbach was one of the first scholars to point out the devastating political and socio-economic effects of state communism’s failure to seriously address decaying public health and environmental conditions. His pioneering work remains relevant. More than two decades after the close of the Cold War, many health and demographic indicators in the former Warsaw-Pact states (including Russia) remain surprisingly inferior to those of the neighboring states of Western and Southern Europe.

In honor of Dr. Feshbach, this panel presents recent research that revisits the region’s health and demographic challenges and opportunities, in the context of today’s Europe. Richard Cincotta will present an analysis of mortality risk in the former Warsaw Pact states. Jack Goldstone will discuss the effects of Russian fertility policies. Ligia Paina will discuss Romania’s policy approach to ensure access to medical services for rural and underserved populations, in the context of ongoing migration of health professionals.

This event is being co-hosted by the Environmental Change and Security Program and the Kennan Institute.
RSVP here.

Jihadist Terrorism: A New Threat Assessment Report Release
Date: September 23, 10:00am
Location: Bipartisan Policy Center, 1225 I Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC 20005

With ISIS and international extremists dominating the international news coverage, the threat of terrorism is at the forefront of Americans’ minds. In light of these developments, the Bipartisan Policy Center will release a new threat assessment on September 23, authored by Peter Bergen, a member of BPC’s Homeland Security Project.

The report will examine threats from ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups, cybersecurity concerns, and drone strikes and drone proliferation. It is the second report in an annual series by BPC’s Homeland Security Project, which is led by former 9/11 Commission co-chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton.

The event will feature a discussion about the contents of the new assessment with the authors and terrorism experts.

Register here.

Antiviral Targets for Human Noroviruses
Date: September 23, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC

Featuring speaker Brent Korba, Ph.D., Research Professor at GUMC in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

September 24, 2014

Pakistan’s Long March: Reflections on the Anti-Government Protests in Islamabad
Date: September 24, 9:30am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

This summer, Pakistan was plunged into crisis as anti-government protestors converged on the capital city of Islamabad to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This protest movement marks the latest in a series of “Long Marches” Pakistan has experienced in recent decades. Anjum Altaf will discuss the primary drivers of this summer’s Long March, and consider whether it should be considered a success or a failure. He will also place the event in the broader context of the politics of agitation, with examples from countries including India, Ukraine, and the United States.

RSVP here.

Energy Security and the Ukraine Crisis
Date: September 24, 10:00am
Location: International Institute for Strategic Studies—US, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington DC

The Ukraine crisis has intensified the debate about the energy relationship between Kiev and Moscow and, more widely, the political implications of the natural gas trade between Europe and Russia and Ukraine’s role as the key transit state. The prevailing narrative is that of an energy weapon used by Russia to blackmail Ukraine into submission and Europe into inaction. This discussion will show that it is Kiev that has blackmailed Moscow for twenty years to extract economic rents, and distorted Ukraine’s political economy in the process; that the security of supply issue in Europe is small, geographically limited, and remains unsolved because of EU rules and government inaction, not Russia’s might; and that the current crisis could have profound energy implications, especially if the Russia-Europe gas relationship is damaged beyond repair.

RSVP here.

Libya’s Civil War
Date: September 24, 12:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Nearly three years after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya is in the throes of a bitter civil war. Its political and security institutions are split along complex fault lines that defy easy categorization. Further complicating the matter, Libya has become a flashpoint for a larger, regional proxy conflict between supporters of Islamist-oriented factions and the patrons of their opponents.

Frederic Wehrey will present the findings of a new Carnegie paper on the institutional roots of Libya’s violence and present options for how the United States and the international community can assist. Wolfram Lacher, Faraj Najem, and Dirk Vandewalle will act as discussants and share their own insights. Michele Dunne will moderate.

Register here.

Turkey: ISIS and the Middle East
Date: September 24, 1:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, McCarthy Hall, McShain Lounge, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC

Opening remarks by Dr. Gonul Tol, Executive Director of the Center for Turkish Studies at the Middle East Institute. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies, and panelists include Dr. Denise Natali of the National Defense University, Dr. Kadir Ustun of the SETA Foundation at Washington, D.C., and Mutlu Civiroglu, Journalist and Kurdish affairs analyst.

Register here.

September 25, 2014

Pakistan: Importing America’s Federalism?
Date: September 25, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower), Washington DC

Pakistan’s state policymaking space is in flux. Between the transition back to democracy in 2008, the devolution of a number of federal powers to the provinces in 2010, the increasing use of social media and connectivity, and a more active judiciary and civil society—the old images of slow-moving bureaucratic structure are no longer valid. However, what is replacing it is unclear. Recent populist social policy initiatives suggests that there is a growing appetite for social policy making which is visible and popular with voters. In this context, the current Pakistani administration has announced the creation of a national health insurance scheme. What level of data-based evidence is being used to both inform the policymaking and implementation process and to measure and evaluate the success of the project? The creation and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents an interesting and instructive American example for the use of data and evidence in policymaking and policy analysis.

Asif Memon will share his perspective gleaned from his work in Pakistan and his United States visit, part of the South Asia Center’s US-Pakistan Program Exchange Fellowship, to conduct research on this issue.

Register here.

September 26, 2014

Is There a Role for Religious Actors in Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism?
Date: September 26, 10:30am
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

Recent events in Iraq and Syria underscore the devastating impact of violent extremism. In fact, it is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, affecting many regions and threatening to destabilize the global community. Efforts to counter violent extremism require strategic and sensitive approaches that take into account its myriad drivers and encourage collaboration across many sectors.  While civil society has an important role to play in countering violent extremism, religious actors are particularly well positioned to address some of its root causes, particularly in areas in which extremism is couched in religious terms.

At the end of September 2014, the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Finn Church Aid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) will host the “Religious Actors Combatting Radicalization and Violent Extremism Symposium,” in Washington, DC and New York City. This symposium is bringing together nearly two dozen selected religious leaders, scholars and actors from around the world, including Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Syria and Libya who have been very involved in combatting violent extremism in their own communities.

On September 26th, 2014, USIP will host a public event featuring three panelists from the Symposium, who will present key insights drawn from the workshop and their own experiences.

RSVP here.

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