Week in DC: Events

March 2, 2015

Can the U.S. Have Normal Diplomatic Relations with Cuba?
Date: March 2, 10:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The United States and Cuba will meet for a second round of talks today. The promise of normalized relations between the two countries has given way to the tough diplomatic work of agreeing on the parameters for a new bilateral relationship. While both sides are committed to the process of negotiation, both countries are being asked to sort out age old disagreements and overcome distrust. The size of future diplomatic missions, whether diplomats will be allowed open travel, and if and how Cuba is removed from the State Department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terror” are just a few of the issues that are being discussed.

Join us BY PHONE as three experts in the U.S. and Cuba discuss the results of these crucial talks and what might be done to put relations on a better path.

RSVP here.

Relooking Europe: The Role of Land Forces
Date: March 2, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Please join us for a discussion with COL Foster about the future of land forces in Europe and the role of the 173rd Airborne Brigade going forward. The discussion will cover a range of issues and current events facing USAREUR, the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s mission as part of OPERATION ATLANTIC RESOLVE, joint exercises with European allies, and the brigade’s upcoming training mission in Ukraine.

Register here.

Islam Belongs to Germany?!
Date: March 2, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 462, 37th and O Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Heinrich Kreft is a career diplomat and currently Deputy Chief of Mission of the German Embassy in Madrid. Prior to this he was Ambassador and Director General for International Academic and Educational Relations and Dialogue among Civilizations in the German Foreign Ministry. Prior to this assignment he served as Senior Foreign and Security Policy Advisor in the German Bundestag (2006-2010). As diplomat he was stationed in La Paz (1988-91), in Tokyo (1991- 94) and Washington D.C. (2002-04). In the Foreign Ministry he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff (in charge of the Americas, Asia and Economic Issues 1996-2001); Visiting Fellow at The Henry L Stimson Center (July-December 2001), at the Heritage Foundation (January – March 2002) and the Woodrow Wilson Center (April – June 2002) in Washington, D.C.; Senior Strategic Analyst and Deputy Head of the Policy Planning Staff of the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin (2004-06); Lecturer on International Politics. Numerous publications on major power political and economic relations; International Security; the Arab World; European, American and Asian political and economic affairs. Most recent publications on the Arab Awakening; Islam and German Foreign Policy; Geopolitics and Culture and on German and European Foreign Policy. Dr. Kreft is currently a fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, D.C.

Register here.

The Israeli Elections and a Future Peace Process in the Light of Past Negotiations
Date: March 2, 12:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Middle East Forum of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center presents The Israeli Elections and a Future Peace Process in the Light of Past Negotiations with Galia Golan, Former Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center, and Professor of Government and Chair of the Program on Diplomacy and Conflict Studies at the School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

Galia Golan will discuss the upcoming March 17 Israeli elections and reflect on her latest book Israeli Peacemaking Since 1967: Factors Behind the Breakthroughs and Failures. Examining the Israeli-Arab conflict as an “intractable conflict,” the book seeks to determine just which factors, or combination of factors, impacted on Israel’s position in past peace-making efforts, possibly accounting for breakthroughs or failures to reach agreement.

RSVP here.

The Future of the Fight Against ISIL
Date: March 2, 6:30pm
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 for a special event with General John Allen, USMC (Ret.), the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, to discuss what may lie ahead in the US-led fight against the Islamist group that straddles Iraqi and Syrian territory.

Ever since General Allen’s appointment in September, he has sought to “help build and sustain the coalition so it can operate across multiple lines of effort in order to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.” The coalition of over sixty countries currently contributes in “various capacities…in Iraq, the region, and beyond,” to achieve the stated strategy. How will the Coalition sustain the fight against the terrorist group? What role will the United States play as the Coalition broadens and deepens its efforts? Can the fight be ultimately won? And if so, how does the Coalition define success? To answer these and other questions, General Allen will join Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe on stage. This event will be on the record and open to press.

General John Allen is the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. He was appointed September 16, 2014 by President Barack Obama. Allen is a retired US Marine four-star General and former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and US Forces in Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2013. Upon his retirement from the US Marine Corps, he was appointed as the Senior Adviser to the Secretary of Defense on Middle East Security.

Watch live online here.

March 3, 2015

The Future of Religion and Diplomacy
Date: March 3, 9:30am
Location: Newseum, Knight Conference Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

Recognizing the centrality of religion to the nation’s diplomacy and development objectives, in July 2013, the White House issued the National Strategy on Integrating Religious Leader and Faith Community Engagement into U.S. Foreign Policy. That same month, in order to strengthen the State Department’s capacity to execute on this strategy, Secretary of State John Kerry created the Office of Religion and Global Affairs.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will join experts from the Office of Religion and Global Affairs to discuss the ways the State Department is engaging religious actors and institutions to: 1) promote sustainable development and more effective humanitarian assistance; 2) advance pluralism and human rights; and 3) prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict and contribute to local and regional stability and security.

Charles C. Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Center, will moderate the panel.

Watch live online here.

Future Trends in the Gulf
Date: March 3, 12:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Amid a region beset by civil wars and terrorism, the Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council are facing growing challenges from an increasingly youthful population, aging rulers, economic pressures, and a new information environment. How well are Gulf regimes responding to these challenges? A panel of Gulf experts will explore the region’s shifting landscape and the imperatives for sustainable political and economic reforms.

Register here.

New Voices from Japan: Changing Economy, Rivalry with China, and Nuclear Policy
Date: March 3, 12:30pm
Location: East-West Center, 1819 L Street NW, 6th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

Open communication and the exchange of ideas is a key component of both US-Japan relationship and the New Voices of Japan Program. Three participants in this SPF-sponsored initiative, designed to provide opportunities for international dialogue to a new generation, will present their research on contemporary Japanese policy.

In his presentation on A Change of Japanese Industry Structure and Objectives of the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE), Dr. Jun Makita will discuss how the Japanese Association of the New Economy (JANE) is aiding representatives of Japan’s new, largely IT service-based economy with forming new business regulation policies to put before the Japanese government. However, JANE must navigate a business climate dominated by the Keidanren, Japan’s biggest economic organization, with which it has certain different characteristics.

Discussing Competition or a Strategic Choice: International Politics over China-led New Investment Bank, Dr. Aki Sakabe-Mori will address the following questions: (1) Why China seeks support from the developed countries for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); (2) Reactions from the US, Japan, Australia and South Korea; and (3) Current discussion in the Japanese government with regard to the AIIB. She will argue that key members of the existing financial institutions will more easily exercise leverage if they participate in the AIIB. Participation will lead to better governance, transparency, and economic sustainability of the AIIB.

Dr. Shin Tomotsugu’s talk, entitled From Hiroshima to Fukushima: The Evolution of Japan’s Nuclear Policy, will focus on the history and current situation of Japan’s policy on nuclear energy, and the impact of the severe accident at Fukushima on nuclear non-proliferation policy.

RSVP here.

The Use of Long-Range Armed Drones: Fact v. Myth
Date: March 3, 1:00pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, B-339, Washington DC

On February 17, the Obama administration announced a new policy setting standards for exporting and using armed drones which will allow for the wider export of armed drones to allied nations.

Join us on March 3rd at 1:00 p.m. when a panel of RAND experts will seek to dispel some of the myths that have arisen with respect to the use of long-range armed drones:

Register here.

Tackling Corruption in the Midst of War: Can Ukraine Change the Equation
Date: March 3, 2:00pm
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

The Ukrainian government has pledged to undertake a major campaign to root out corruption. But a year after the departure of former President Yanukovych, the pace of reform continues to drag.  USIP invites you to join a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 3, that will evaluate the prospects for reducing corruption in Ukraine and how change could be accelerated.

Panelists will examine prospects for reform of the energy, judicial and regulatory sectors, among others, while conflict rages in the country’s East. The discussion will gauge the political will of the Ukrainian leadership and the risks of a public backlash, and explore the role of the media and civil society in the reform effort. The panel also will examine the assistance required from international financial institutions and donors.

This event is part of a larger USIP effort to analyze the impact of the Ukraine conflict for the broader region.

RSVP here.

The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order
Date: March 3, 3:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

Contractors are indispensable to modern war, and yet, little is known about the industry’s structure, operations, and future. Typically led by ex-military men, contractor firms are by their very nature secretive; even the US government—the entity that usually pays them—knows relatively little.

In The Modern Mercenary, Africa Center Senior Fellow Sean McFate lays bare this opaque world, explaining the economic structure of the industry and showing in detail how firms operate on the ground. A former US Army paratrooper and private military contractor, McFate provides perspective into the nuts and bolts of the industry.

McFate’s book looks back to the European Middle Ages, when mercenaries were common and contract warfare the norm. He concludes that international relations in the twenty-first century may have more in common with the twelfth century than the twentieth. This “back to the future” situation, which he calls “neomedievalism,” is not necessarily a negative condition, but it will produce a global system that contains rather than solves problems.

In its review of the book, the Economist called The Modern Mercenary “fascinating and disturbing… The worrying trends [McFate] describes makes this book a powerful call to arms to those who do not want a world awash with mercenaries.” ADM James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, added that “McFate helps us understand this complex world beyond the cartoon criticisms and film-inspired lore to see both the obvious dangers and the potential benefits provided by a shadowy industry.”

Please join the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, March 3 for a discussion of this new security landscape, its historical origins, and what it means for the future of war.

Register here.

The Impact of Organized Crime on Governance, Development, and Fragility in Africa
Date: March 3, 5:00pm
Location: Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center, Room 113, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA

TraCCC welcomes the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, in Washington for its 2015 advisory board meeting. The speakers, top specialists on Africa’s organized crime and the crime-terror relationship, will highlight the need to reconceptualize organized crime as an evolving threat to development, and will address the complexities of transnational crime in all  regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Residing in Mali, Kenya and South Africa, the speakers have great personal knowledge and insight of Southern, East, and West Africa.  They will address the complexity and diversity of organized crime, the money flows, and government response. They will address organized crime as an evolving threat and development challenge. They will address conflict in West Africa, wildlife trafficking in Southern Africa, and corruption in East Africa.

Join TraCCC for a lively discussion with these distinguished guests.

The panel will feature experts from throughout Africa:

  • Mark Shaw, Director of the Global Initiative
  • Gladwell Otieno, Director of AfriCog
  • Camino Kavanagh, Independent Expert
  • Peter Gastrow, Senior Advisor, Global Initiative
  • Tuesday Reitano, Head of Secretariat, Global Initiative

RSVP here.

America and Europe: A Conversation with Derek Chollet
Date: March 3, 6:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 806, Washington DC

Join the SAIS European and Eurasian Studies Program as we kick off our Spring 2015 lecture series, hosted by author James Mann. Our first talk will feature Derek Chollet, counselor and senior advisor for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, speaking about the relationship between Europe and the United States.

Derek Chollet joined GMF in February 2015. Previously, he was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, where he oversaw international security strategy and defense policy issues related to the nations and international organizations of Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.

Register here.

Schooling in a Crisis: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Turkey
Date: March 3, 6:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Selin Nielsen will provide insight into the challenges of educating Syrian children living in the refugee camps of Turkey, the conditions in which they live, and the domestic and multilateral policies which shape refugee response in Turkey. Dr. Nielsen will focus on the relationship between education and language learning and the hostilities and mistrust between Syrian refugees and Turkish nationals. ; Through academic research and extensive fieldwork, Dr. Nielsen offers an intimate look into the lives of the individuals living within refugee camps and their struggle to overcome adversity through education.

RSVP here.

March 4, 2015

European and International Security: Countering Violent Extremism and Foreign Policy Aggression
Date: March 4, 9:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is pleased to invite you to a Statesman Laureate Lecture by Felipe González, the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain and chairman of the European Union’s independent Reflection Group, which was established to help the Union anticipate and meet long-term challenges. Mr. González will address the future of Europe in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, the threat of violent extremism, and evolving global power dynamics.

Register here.

Arab Public Opinion on Terrorism: A Ground View from Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, and Libya
Date: March 4, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1st Floor Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Join Dr. Munqith Dagher who will present findings from a major public opinion project on Arab public opinions towards terrorism and terrorist organizations conducted throughout Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, and Libya.

Hosted by Burke Chair in Strategy Anthony Cordesman, the conversation will explore the sudden rise of ISIS, Arab attitudes towards ISIS and other terror groups, shifting public opinion towards terror groups in the region, and support for ongoing counter-terrorist efforts. 

Register here.

New Security Challenges in Georgia and the Caucasus
Date: March 4, 10:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Georgia has produced quite a bit of history since independence. There were the hectic but lasting reforms of the Rose Revolution; the Kremlin’s war of 2008 to change the borders of Georgia; and the landmark elections in 2012 that marked the country’s first constitutional transfer of power.

From Georgia, Moscow has moved on to conducting a hybrid war in Ukraine’s East. Yet in Tbilisi, Georgia’s leadership continues to deal with consequences of the 2008 war as they seek to establish a clear and successful course for the country’s future.

In Georgia’s democracy, Chairman Usupashvili and the Georgian Parliament will play a critical role in implementing that vision. Mr. Usupashvili has chaired the Parliament of Georgia since October 2012 and is the Deputy Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.

He will offer his insights into the security challenges facing Georgia and the Caucasus as well as a strategy for pursuing Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Register here to attend in person or here to watch live online.

Russia/ Eurasia Forum: “Public Opinion in Russia and Ukraine About the Russian Invasion: with Harley D. Balzer
Date: March 4, 12:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 535-The Rome Building, Washington DC

Join the European and Eurasian Studies Program as we host Georgetown Professor Harley D. Balzer as he discusses his newest article on Russian and Ukranian public opinion on current events in Ukraine.

RSVP here.

Defector Empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s Future
Date: March 4, 6:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The U.S.-Korea institute at SAIS, North Korea Strategy Center, and the Sejong Society of Washington, D.C. are pleased to present “Defector empowerment in South Korea: Implications for North Korea’s future.”   Please join us for a discussion with North Korean defectors and activists Kang Cheol Hwan, Se Jun Park and Eunju Kim to talk about some of the programs and projects the defector community has undertaken, and how they hope to affect the future of the DPRK.

Register here.

March 5, 2015

Back to the Future? Battlefield Nuclear Weapons in South Asia
Date: March 5, 9:30am
Location: Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Jeff McCausland is the Founder and CEO of Diamond6 Leadership and Strategy, which provides executive leadership development for both public and private organizations.  For the past several years this has included a particular effort with large urban school districts.  He is the former Distinguished Visiting Professor of Research and Minerva Chair at the United States Army War College and is currently a Visiting Professor of International Security at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  In addition, he serves as a Senior Fellow at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the United States Naval Academy and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York.  Prior to these appointments he was a Visiting Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and Graduate School of International Affairs.

Dr. McCausland is a retired Colonel from the US Army and completed his active duty service in the United States Army in 2002 culminating his career as Dean of Academics, United States Army War College. During his military career Dr. McCausland served in a variety of command and staff positions both in the United States and Europe.  This included Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council Staff during the Kosovo crisis.  He also worked on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) as a member of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, US Army Staff, the Pentagon.  Following this assignment he assumed command of a field artillery battalion stationed in Europe and deployed his unit to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990 and 1991. Dr. McCausland has both published and lectured broadly on military affairs, European security issues, the Gulf War, and leadership throughout the United States and over twenty-five countries.

Register here.

A New Defense Technology Frontier in the U.S.-Japan Alliance
Date: March 5, 11:00am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

In a series of bold steps that could open a new avenue of U.S.-Japan security cooperation, Japan’s government is overhauling the way it develops, procures, and exports defense equipment and technology. This effort coincides with a recent U.S. initiative to address concerns that America’s qualitative advantage in defense technology is eroding. How Japan’s entry into the global arms market will impact the security situation in East Asia depends on how Tokyo implements its new policies, as well as the allies’ ability to capitalize on this opportunity to cooperate.

Carnegie’s James L. Schoff has closely followed Japan’s new defense equipment policies and convened a study group of representatives from the private and public sectors to review the first year of their implementation. At this event, Schoff will explain his findings and moderate a discussion on the potential impact of this new frontier of alliance cooperation.

Register here.

After the Paris and Copenhagen Attacks: Muslim Minorities and the Future of Democracy in Europe
Date: March 5, 4:00pm
Location: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs, Georgetown University, Copley Hall, 37th and O Street NW, Washington DC

The recent terrorist attacks in France and Denmark continue to reverberate. What have we learned about the mix of religious and ideological beliefs that motivated the perpetrators? How will the political response to terrorist attacks affect Muslim minorities and the future of democracy in Europe? Does the United States provide a positive model for Europeans grappling with challenges of religious pluralism and social and political integration? The Berkley Center’s Tom Banchoff and several leading scholars will address these questions.

RSVP here.

Human Rights Abuses in Russian Occupied Crimea
Date: March 5, 4:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Last March, Russian forces illegally annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. As the one year anniversary of Crimean annexation approaches, please join the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Freedom House for a presentation of a monograph Crimea: Human Rights Under Russian Occupation and discussion with the author, Andrii Klymenko.

Since Russian occupation, human rights abuses in Crimea have not received wide media attention. But grave and ordinary abuses of basic political, civil, and human rights are part and parcel of daily life on the peninsula.  The report chronicles how the Russian authorities suppress opposition voices to create an “information ghetto” in Crimea. Today, those perceived as disloyal by the Kremlin run the risk of physical harassment, deportation, or imprisonment. By revealing the mechanisms of repression, Mr. Klymenko, an independent journalist and civil rights crusader, makes an important contribution to our understanding of what has happened in Crimea in the year of Russian occupation.

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center for a panel discussion moderated by Ambassador John Herbst, and featuring Mark Lagon, President of the Freedom House, and David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at McCain.

Register here to attend in person or here to watch live online.

March 6, 2015

The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism—A Conversation with Toby Matthiesen
Date: March 6, 12:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Toby Matthiesen is a research fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He is the author of  Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn’t (Stanford University Press, 2013). POMEPS hosted Matthiesen in 2013 to discuss Sectarian Gulf in POMEPS Conversations 28. On March 6 will discuss his recent release The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent and Sectarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Kristin Smith Diwan will offer comments. Diwan is an assistant professor at American University and a visiting scholar at the George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies.

RSVP here.

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