Week in DC: Events

December 1, 2014

Adapting Intelligence for New National Security Challenges
Date: December 1, 5:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Intelligence analysis is pivotal to informing and sustaining all of our national security efforts. In the last few decades, the US intelligence community has helped thwart terrorists and chart out the impacts of key global trends but it has also had its shortfalls, such as projecting the rapid spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). As technology evolves and proliferates, as nonstate actors build more sophisticated, complex networks, and entire regions are reshaped, the work of this community must adapt.

Please join us for the first public on-the-record discussion by Dr. Gregory F. Treverton in his new role as the chairman of the US National Intelligence Council to speak about the above issues and more.

Register here to attend in person or watch online here.

December 2, 2014

Breakthrough or Extension: Implications for US and European Relations with Iran
Date: December 2, 10:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Expectations are rising that Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany will reach an agreement on key elements of a comprehensive nuclear agreement trading long-term curbs on Iran’s nuclear program for phased relief of economic sanctions. A breakthrough could significantly improve the chances for US and European cooperation with Iran in dealing with other regional challenges, particularly the rise of the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and could also motivate Western businesses to sign new deals with Iran. Speakers will discuss the implications of a deal or a possible extension of negotiations for both political and economic relations with Iran. They will also comment on the possible ramifications of the midterm election results for an agreement with Iran and what impact it may have on the easing of sanctions.

The Iran Task Force, chaired by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West. It is supported generously by the Ploughshares Fund.

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: ISIS and the Threat from Foreign Fighters
Date: December 2, 10:00am
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will testimony from scheduled witnesses Robert Bradtke, Senior Advisor for Partner Engagement on Syria Foreign Fighters at the U.S. Department of State and Mr. Tom Warrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Chairman Poe on the hearing: “More foreign fighters have gone to fight with radical Islamists like ISIS in Iraq and Syria in the last 2 years than we saw in the first 10 years of fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. Dozens are Americans and many more hold passports that do not require a visa to get into the United States. This hearing will examine the danger of these foreign fighters and assess the Administration’s efforts to date at countering this threat.”

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “Foreign fighters are joining ISIL by the tens of thousands, some of whom are Westerners, including Americans. These individuals represent an unprecedented threat to U.S. national security and it should not be taken lightly. Foreign fighters are further destabilizing an already fragile Middle East and are using Syria or Iraq as a training ground in order to commit terrorist attacks in their homeland or against U.S. interests. The administration has shown it still lacks a coherent and comprehensive strategy to combat ISIL and this hearing will examine what more needs to be done to address the foreign fighter threat inside and outside our borders and assess what is being done to stop their recruitment into Syria and Iraq.”

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command: Answering the Evolving Threat
Date: December 2, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

While much is in the news about the national mission and U.S. Cyber Command, the military services’ roles in supporting CYBERCOM as well as their own forces is often less understood. Please join us for a discussion with VADM Tighe about the evolution of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command to support strategic and operational missions to overcome the challenges of increasingly advanced cyber threats. The discussion will cover a range of technical and organizational approaches being advanced, and how they aid in 10th Fleet’s broad mission as the Navy’s operational authority for cyber, networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence, information operations, electronic warfare, and space capabilities.

Register here or watch the event live online here.

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex
Date: December 2, 12:15pm
Location: New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC

The future of American warfare is already here.

From the NSA mining the digital data of tech giants such as Facebook and Google to hacker teams playing an integral role in counterinsurgency operations to foreign intelligence agencies launching daily web-based attacks against American corporations and government agencies, cyberspace has, irrefutably, become the “fifth domain” of global warfare.

But just how has the U.S. prepared—and not prepared—for this new global battlefield? And what does this new cybersecurity regime mean for all of us, whose daily lives—from the electric grid to banking to communications—are deeply bound to the Internet?

Join New America in conversation with Shane Harris, author of the new book@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex, and Peter Bergen for a discussion about America’s military-Internet complex and its implications for our security and our privacy.

Follow the discussion online using #MilIntComplex and following @NewAmerica.

RSVP here to attend in person or watch online.

Hacking and Cyber Warfare: North Korea’s Expanding Threat
Date: December 2, 2:00pm
Location: Korea Economic Institute, 1800 K Street NW, Washington DC

North Korea has come a long way in developing credible cyber warfare capabilities which threaten some of the world’s most advanced nations–including the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States. These new developments have made the country capable of building military organizations tasked with cyber warfare missions and training cyber warriors.

What are the potential outcomes of a fully capable North Korea in the cyber sphere? What does North Korea hope to gain from their newly developed capabilities? How will cyber warfare change the face of security on the Korean peninsula?

Please join KEI as it hosts Dr. Alexandre Mansourov, Adjunct Professor of Korean Studies at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, who will present his outline of policy recommendations for the US-ROK alliance on how to deal with the growing threat of North Korea’s cyber warfare capabilities.

Seating is limited, RSVPs are required. To RSVP, please click here.

Countering Violent Extremism Through Social Media
Date: December 2, 3:00pm
Location: American University School of International Service, Beacon Conference Room, SIS 300, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez from the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications will discuss using social media to combat violent extremism, a topic of particular relevance with the rise of ISIS and its use of social media.

The Political and Media Situation in Ukraine: A View from Inside
Date: December 2, 4:00pm
Location: The George Washington University, Elliott School for International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Room 602, Washington DC

Since the beginning of 2014, Ukraine has experienced a popular revolution to overthrow a corrupt leader, held presidential and parliamentary elections, and suffered an invasion by Russia. Yevgeny Kiselev, a leading journalist in Ukraine, will provide an overview of the situation there from his unique perspective. He will also share his observations on the media environment in Ukraine today and explain the challenges that journalists face as the country attempts to break with its Soviet past, while fending off a hostile neighbor.

RSVP here.

December 3, 2014

Russia’s New Course
Date: December 3, 9:30am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

The game-changing events in Ukraine have exposed the fundamental disagreement between the West and Russia on the essential principles underpinning the modern international system. One year after the start of the crisis, is there any hope of a productive partnership with Russia? Nikolai Zlobin and Sergey Aleksashenko will discuss the difficulties facing Russia and its on-again, off-again relationship with the West.

Register here.

The Outcome of the Iran Talks and the Next Steps
Date: December 3, 9:30am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran are racing toward a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program by the November 24 deadline. Many issues, such as establishing a formula that verifiably limits Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity, are still to be solved, but both sides of the negotiating table have stressed the need to reach an agreement.

The Arms Control Association and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace invite you to attend a briefing with George Perkovich, Karim Sadjadpour, Daryl Kimball, and Elizabeth Rosenberg on the outcome of the negotiations and next steps. Kelsey Davenport will moderate.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Iran’s Policy in the South Caucasus: Has Rouhani Changed Anything?
Date: December 3, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, McGhee Library, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC

The purportedly moderate government of Hasan Rouhani has tried to reset the relations with the West and close Iran’s nuclear dossier with maximal advantages for Iran. But Iran is not only a “nuclear dossier“ but also a rising regional power located between the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. This talk examines how Iran’s policy in the South Caucasus represents new techniques in pursuit of an old strategy: to maintain and expand its influence among its neighbors.

Dr. Sevak Sarukhanyan is the deputy director for research at the Noravank Foundation – Armenia. His areas of expertise include energy policy in the Caucasus, Armenia’s energy security, and Iran-Armenia relations. He is also an author of three books: Modernity and Political Change in the Middle East (with V.Sergeev; MGIMO University Press, 2012);TheNuclear Factor in Russian-Iranian Relations (Middle East Institute Press, Moscow, 2007);Russia-Iran: Ten Years of Nuclear Cooperation (Noravank Foundation, 2006) and of 20 articles on energy security and regional cooperation in the South Caucasus.

Since October 2014, he has been a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES) at Georgetown University

Register here.

Ebola: The Intersection of Cultural, Historical, and Political Dynamics in West Africa
Date: December 3, 12:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Bernstein-Offit Building, Room 736, 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

A SAIS African Studies discussion with Michael McGovern of the University of Michigan. This event is open to the public and media.

For information or to RSVP, email saisafrica@jhu.edu.

December 4, 2014

Freedom on the Net 2014
Date: December 4, 9:00am
Location: Google, 25 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 900, Washington DC

Freedom on the Net is Freedom House’s annual assessment of internet access, censorship, and internet user rights in 65 countries around the world. This year’s event will highlight the advances and setbacks in internet freedom over the past year, emerging threats to digital media, and the challenges these trends pose to U.S. foreign policy

RSVP here to attend in person, or Watch the event live.

Jihadism on the Rise in Europe: The Dutch Perspective
Date: December 4, 10:00am
Location: Washington Institute for Near East Policy

As Western countries grow increasingly worried about their citizens becoming radical Islamist militants, the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) recently issued a report titled The Transformation of Jihadism in the Netherlands. Among other findings, the report concluded that Dutch jihadism has undergone a “sudden and explosive renewal” since 2010, spurred in part by the Syrian civil war. To discuss these findings and the wider issue of jihadism in Europe, The Washington Institute is pleased to host an on-the-record Policy Forum with Dutch intelligence chief Rob Bertholee. This event is part of the Institute’s Stein Counterterrorism Lecture Series.

Watch the live webcast here.

Media Matters: How Media, Connectivity, and an Open Internet are Changing the World
Date: December 4, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Conference Room 212-C, Washington DC

Join us for a timely discussion on the power of media, connectivity, and the internet in promoting global advancement.  The panel will bring together experts from government, civil society, and international media to discuss the changing nature of mass communication. The conversation will focus on the growing role of media and information in creating platforms for informed civic debate, and will assess the potential for empowered local media to drive social and economic progress.

December 5, 2014

PeaceGame: Peacemaking in an Era of Violent Extremism
Date: December 5, 8:00am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

The U.S. Institute of Peace and the FP Group, publisher of Foreign Policy magazine and foreignpolicy.com, invite you to the next installment of PeaceGame on December 5, 2014.  This third biannual PeaceGame will examine peace keeping and peace making issues as they relate to the rise in global violent extremism. All attendees are invited to contribute to the conversation throughout the day with live, interactive polling and open mic questioning.

More information and the full schedule of events is available here.

RSVP here or watch the live webcast here.

The Project on Advanced Systems for Countering WMD (PASCC) Semi-Annual Workshop
Date: December 5, 8:30am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Please join us for the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD’s (PASCC) semi-annual workshop on nuclear, chemical, and biological threats. This half-day session will present findings from ongoing and recently completed research projects and workshops in the areas of strategic relations with nuclear-armed states, and countering chemical and biological threats.

Please RSVP here or via email at pascc@nps.edu.

The Russian Far East: A New Arena for Great Power Contests in the Asia Pacific?
Date: December 5, 9:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Russia’s Far East (RFE), Northeast Asia’s geographic and strategic heartland, is crucial to an understanding of Asia-Pacific power games, and is a potential focal point of geopolitical competition. A region two-thirds the size of the United States, the RFE possesses enormous natural wealth and a vital strategic location on the north Pacific, where the interests of several major powers – China, Japan, the Koreas and the United States – intersect and interact. The RFE also fronts on the Arctic Ocean, another key theater of emerging geopolitical competition. The Ukraine crisis and the West’s economic disengagement from Russia seem likely to increase China’s influence in the RFE and in East Asia generally, with important potential consequences for the regional security balance.

RSVP here.

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