Week in DC: Events

January 13, 2015

Too Damn Muslim to be Trusted: The War on Terror and the Muslim American Response
Date: January 13, 6:30pm
Location: Washington Peace Center, 1525 Newton Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Maha Hilal in her dissertation research examined the relationship between policy design and implementation of War on Terror policies, and Muslim American political participation, alienation, and withdrawal.

Further, the data in this study shows that Muslim Americans across a range of backgrounds question the degree to which they are entitled to equity in both cultural and legal citizenship, including procedural justice.

Dr. Hilal recently earned her doctorate from the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C. The title of her dissertation is “Too damn Muslim to be trusted”: The War on Terror and the Muslim American response. Her expertise and research interests are in the fields of conflict resolution, human rights, and public policy.

For more information, please click here.

January 14, 2015

The Thawing of U.S.-Cuban Relations: What Does it Really Mean for Trade?
Date: January 14, 9:00am
Location: The Washington International Trade Association, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Polaris Suite, Washington DC

Rapprochement with Cuba? Opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana? Lifting the Embargo? Long thought a distant possibility, normal commercial relations with Cuba may be a tangible reality in the near future. U.S. businesses may soon have the possibility of entering and investing into an untapped market with an array of different opportunities. However, policy makers must weigh the benefits of increased economic engagement against concerns about human rights, democracy, as well as consider the desires of the Cuban people and the Cuban-American community.

Join our featured speakers for a panel discussion to set the scene for the trade community on recent U.S.-Cuba developments and shed light on the commercial implications of the United States’ policy shift.

Register here.

Confronting Putin’s Imperial Ambitions: U.S. Policy Towards Russia After Crimea
Date: January 14, 1:00pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

With the collapse of the ruble and the Russian economy in dire straits, how has Putin’s position in Ukraine changed? At what inflection point will Russia decide that machinations against Ukraine have become too costly to pursue further? What energy policy should the United States be pursuing to provide Ukraine and her friends increased stability? What role should the new U.S. Congress play in bolstering transatlantic security? Has NATO fulfilled the pledges of the Wales Summit in bolstering defense? Join us as our panelists address these and other critical questions facing the U.S. relationship with Russia after Crimea.

Register here.

January 15, 2015

Examining the Crisis in Syria
Date: January 15, 8:30am
Location: FHI 360 Conference Center, 8th Floor, 1825 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC

Over the past three years, popular political protests in Syria led to mass state repression and the country’s descent into a devastating civil war. Over 190,000 people have been killed, countless more injured, and entire towns demolished. Nearly half of Syria’s 22 million people had fled their homes, either as refugees or internally displaced persons. The human cost of this conflict is extraordinary and the world’s great powers remain divided on coordinated international action, even as the situation has expanded to become a major regional conflict.

For some time, public U.S. debate and discussion on the Syrian crisis has been limited and presented in a binary fashion, as a choice between robust military action or marked disengagement. Then, in mid-2014, as the conflict significantly impacted Iraqi national security, the U.S. and a collection of allies began a series of focused military activities. The situation remains uncertain and there is a lack of consensus regarding U.S. policy objectives and strategy regarding the crisis in Syria.

This conference brings together experts on international law, the documentation of atrocities in Syria, reporting on the conflict, engaging social media, assessing the humanitarian and psychosocial impact of the war, and imagining more comprehensive solutions.

RSVP here.

The Future of USG Advising Missions
Date: January 15, 8:30am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

From Afghanistan to Iraq, Ukraine to Honduras, advising is a key U.S. strategy to address weak government capacity in sectors including finance, policing, education, agriculture, transportation, justice, and many others. Yet advising missions too often are hindered by challenges common across all U.S. government agencies. Please join us for a policy-level discussion about mission mandates for long-term, locally-owned solutions, the first in a series of conversations on advising as a means to provide foreign assistance and capacity building to partner countries.

Advising is increasingly understood to be the prevalent instrument for building long-term peace and stability. As U.S. government agencies deploy advisors to help build institutions and solve problems, mission plans become the foundation for effective capacity building.

USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding has been at the forefront of the preparation of advisors for multifaceted missions in complex contexts. In early 2014 The Academy convened the Integrated Training for Advisors (ITAP) working group with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of USG advising missions . The working group has recently launched an initiative to discuss the future of USG advising missions in post-conflict environments. This event offers opportunities to U.S. agencies that deploy advisors to partner countries to reflect together with interagency colleagues on this very important and timely capability.

Register here.

Strategic Deterrence in the Twenty-First Century
Date: January 15, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security on January 15, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. for a Commanders Series event with Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of US Strategic Command, to discuss the role of strategic deterrence in an era of rapidly emerging threats and an increasingly tumultuous world.

Watch the event here or register to attend in person.

Top Priorities for Africa in 2015
Date: January 15, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The year 2015 will be an eventful one for the more than one billion people living in Africa. China, Africa’s largest trading partner, will hold the Sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation; the Post-2015 Development Agenda will chart a new course for global responses to poverty; West Africa will begin its recovery from the devastating Ebola crisis; and the continent’s largest economy, Nigeria, will face a defining presidential election (along with more than 15 other countries). Many of these milestones will bring opportunities for Africa to redefine its relationships with global partners and strengthen its voice on the world stage. Others will present obstacles to the continent’s steady march towards peace, security, and economic and human development.

On January 15, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion with leading Africa experts on the most important challenges the continent will face in 2015. The panel of Brookings experts will offer their expertise on these pressing issues as well give recommendations to national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions and civil society on how to approach them in order to create a peaceful and prosperous 2015 for Africa.

Register here to attend or watch live online here.

Marshall Plan for the Mind: The CIA Covert Book Program During the Cold War
Date: January 15, 3:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The information monopoly of Communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was weakened by a covert CIA program to send books and other printed material behind the Iron Curtain.  The “book program” arranged for publication in the West of the first Russian-language edition of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago. It distributed a wide range of Western literature, much non-political, to Soviet and East European elites —  both those identified with the regimes and dissidents — who were cut off from the intellectual and cultural life of the West. The book program aimed to keep a critical mass of intellectuals in Soviet bloc countries informed about the values and culture of the free world.   Books and periodicals were mailed to Eastern Europe under the cover of various sponsoring organizations, including publishing houses and universities. They were smuggled in by travelers.  Between 1958 and 1991, some 10 million books and periodicals were distributed to East European and Soviet citizens.

Watch live online here.

Syria: Should the United States Do More?
Date: January 15, 5:00pm
Location: U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

In January 2013, the McCain Institute for International Leadership launched its Debate and Decision Series with an inaugural event entitled “Should the United States Save Syria?” A distinguished group of debaters tackled the topic during a live debate moderated by CNN’s Elise Labott at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington.

Two years later, the McCain Institute will revisit this issue – examining the current situation in Syria, the rise of ISIS and the expansion of the conflict into Iraq.

We look forward to a lively debate, as leading U.S. and Syria experts tackle the question: “Syria: Should the United States Do More?” the latest in our Debate and Decision Series events at the McCain Institute.

Watch live online here or register to attend in person here.

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