Week in DC: Events

March 16, 2015

Global Arms Trade, Recent Trends & Looking Ahead
Date: March 16, 10:00am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

The global arms trade impacts countries and societies in conflict and at peace. Internal security challenges as well as regional and international instability all drive demand for weapons, sometimes with unanticipated consequences. Today’s complex global conflicts and shifting security partnerships underscore the need for examining recent trends in the global arms market.

Each year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) publishes a report on recent trends in international arms transfers. Drawn from the world’s most detailed public database on global arms transfers, these reports identify top exporters and importers of major conventional weapons as well as shifts in the international and regional arms trade. Please join us on March 16, 2015 for the U.S. launch of SIPRI’s most recent report. This event will present major findings from the report, and highlight key trends in global arms transfers from 2010 – 2014.

This event is co-hosted by the Forum on the Arms Trade and the Stimson Center.

RSVP here.

Rebels, Radicals, and the Regime: Finding a Way Forward in Syria
Date: March 16, 12:00pm
Location: Middle East Institute, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

On the fourth anniversary of the devastating Syria conflict, The Middle East Institute is pleased to welcome Michael Eisenstadt (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), Robert Ford (The Middle East Institute, Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria), Mohammed Ghanem (Syrian American Council), and Dafna Rand (Center for a New American Security) for a discussion about how to break the stalemate in Syria and move the country toward a peaceful political transition.

Following the recent collapse of the main U.S.-backed rebel group, Harakat al Hazm, how should the U.S. re-think its strategy toward Syria’s moderate opposition? How might its recently launched train-and-equip program in Turkey affect dynamics inside Syria? How likely is the UN-proposed freeze in Aleppo to succeed, and how viable is Moscow’s renewed push for peace between the regime and its opponents?

The panelists will analyze these questions and assess the likelihood of finding a way forward in Syria in a discussion moderated by Paul Salem (The Middle East Institute).

Register here.

The Pentagon Budget: Prospects for Reform
Date: March 16, 12:00pm
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

During the Cold War, annual Pentagon spending averaged about $458 billion in today’s prices; over the next decade, its projected budget will average over half a trillion dollars per year. Yet, while our spending is consistent with Cold War levels, that money pays for fewer troops; supports less base capacity; and buys fewer ships, aircraft, and tanks. In short, we are getting less bang for our buck. And the situation is only getting worse as personnel costs continue to demand an ever-increasing share of the Pentagon’s budget.

There is broad agreement that reforms are needed. But what reforms? And are they possible? Our panel of experts will seek to answer these questions, highlighting the changes they believe are necessary to cure the Pentagon’s spending ills, and debating whether such reforms are politically viable. Please join us for this important discussion.

Featuring Dov S. Zakheim, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies, American Enterprise Institute; Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, Defense Budget Studies, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; and Christopher A. Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Kate Brannen, Senior Reporter, Foreign Policy.

Register here.

A Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Regional Role and U.S. Relations with the Gulf
Date: March 16, 2:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The Arab nations across the Gulf from Iran are watching with some trepidation as nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany appear to be nearing a conclusion. Speakers will address the validity of these concerns and how they might be addressed by the Obama Administration to reduce sectarian tensions and bolster nuclear non-proliferation.

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.

Register here.

Understanding the Role of Libya’s Religious Actors in Confronting Violent Extremism
Date: March 16, 3:00pm
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

While the international community hopes to reverse Libya’s rising violence and extremism, it has failed to engage a critical constituency—the country’s religious leaders and activists. Zahra’ Langhi of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP), in collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace, has spent recent months researching and mapping this religious sector. Join us on Monday, March 16 as Langhi offers insights on how international actors can build peacemaking strategies with Libyan religious figures. She will focus on types of religious discourse as can be used towards and against peace and justice, along with efforts to combat violent extremism.

Langhi co-founded LWPP in 2011 amid the uprising that followed the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. The U.S. Institute of Peace partnered with her in the current project after the Institute found separately, in a 2013 assessment conducted between USIP and the State Department, that governments and international organizations had been unwilling or unable to work effectively with Libyan religious actors. The new research that Langhi will discuss in the March 16 event—from 3:00pm to 4:30pm—is built around 200 interviews that partner researchers have conducted with religious leaders, civil society activists, youth and political leaders from across Libya.

RSVP here.

Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana
Date: March 16, 4:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

Authors William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh will talk about their new book chronicling the untold history of attempts at reconciliation between the United States and Cuba. From John F. Kennedy’s offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger’s top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama’s promise of a “new approach,” LeoGrande and Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive.

Dr. William M. LeoGrande is Professor of Government and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Syracuse University. In the 1980s, he served on staff in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He is the author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992 (1998) and co-author ofBack Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana (2014), among other books. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York TimesWashington PostMiami HeraldLeMonde Diplomatique, among others.

Peter Kornbluh, is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive where he directs the Archive’s Cuba Documentation Projects. From 1990-1999, he taught at Columbia University, as an adjunct assistant professor of international and public affairs. He is the author and editor of a number of National Security Archive books, including Archive document readers, “The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962,” “The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History,” and “Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba.” His most recent book is Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana (UNC Press, 2014), co-authored with William M. LeoGrande, which Foreign Affairs named a “best book of 2014.”

RSVP here.

Managing and Reducing 21st Century Nuclear Security Threats
Date: March 16, 7:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, Bunn ICC, 37th St NW, Washington DC

The Center for Security Studies and the Georgetown International Relations Club invite you to a special event focused on emerging and evolving nuclear security threats facing the United States and its global allies in the 21st century.

We welcome to our campus an unprecedented panel of nuclear security experts, US government and international leaders to discuss these imminent global security challenges.

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Keir Lieber, Associate Professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Security Studies Program

Moderator Remarks:
Ms. Duyeon Kim, Associate in Nuclear Policy Program and Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Senator Sam Nunn, Former Senator (GA), Co-Chairman and CEO, Nuclear Security Initiative
Senator Richard Lugar, Former Senator (IN), President, The Lugar Center
The Right Honorable Desmond Browne, Former United Kingdom Defense Minister and Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, US Representative (NE), Co-Chair Congressional Nuclear Security Caucus

A reception from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM will precede the Panel Discussion beginning at 7:00 PM.  All attendees are invited to join us for this reception in the Intercultural Center Galleria. RSVP here.

March 17, 2015

Redefining the American National Security Team: New Players, Defenses, and Strategies
Date: March 17, 9:15am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The sixth annual military and federal fellow research symposium, hosted by the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, will feature the independent research produced by members of the military services and federal agencies who have spent the last year serving at think tanks and universities across the nation. Organized by the fellows themselves, it is intended to provide a platform for building greater awareness of the cutting-edge work that America’s military and governmental leaders are producing on key policy issues.

This year’s symposium will focus on “Redefining the American National Security Team,” taking into account a host of changes occurring in the defense and intelligence environments. Not only will this include American policymakers and other actors—both adversarial and allied—but also the tools they employ and how they engage with the world. Bruce Jones, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, and Paula G. Thornhill, senior political scientist at RAND, will open proceedings with a discussion of leadership and the future threat environment. Lieutenant General David L. Goldfein, director of the Joint Staff, will deliver keynote remarks on “Providing the ‘best military advice’ as a joint leader.”

After each panel, participants will take audience questions. Dress is business attire or working uniform. Lunch will be provided. Register here to attend.

Cyber Leaders: A Conversation with Chairman Michael McCaul
Date: March 17, 10:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The Honorable Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will speak on his legislative priorities for cybersecurity and homeland security in the new Congress.

Cyber Leaders intends to provide a public platform for policymakers and leaders in the field to provide their views on progress, challenges, and policies for cybersecurity.

Please RSVP here.

The FY 2016 Budget Request: Assessing U.S. Foreign Assistance Effectiveness
Date: March 17, 10:00am
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

Chairman Royce on the hearing:  “We are facing increasing radicalism in the Middle East and North Africa, grave humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, Russian aggression in Europe, and growing repression of democratic voices across Africa and Latin America.  There are also opportunities to increase our prosperity that we can bolster.  Of course, in today’s environment, resources are limited.  The bar for justifying U.S. foreign assistance must be high.  It is more important than ever that U.S. foreign assistance is efficient, effective, and supports our national security.  This hearing will give Members an opportunity to examine the President’s budget request for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Millennium Challenge Corporation – the agencies charged with promoting democratic values and reducing poverty through economic growth.”

Under Threat: Egypt’s Systematic Campaign Against NGOs
Date: March 17, 12:00pm
Location: The Conference Center at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Despite the repressive environment that existed for Egyptian civil society and NGOs in the Mubarak era, pre-2011 Egypt nonetheless had one of the most vibrant civil societies in the region, which included a variety of professional and respected human rights organizations.  Following Egypt’s 2011 revolution, many hoped to see a more democratic Egypt emerge, with greater political openness and space for civil society to operate.  Unfortunately, the reverse has been true, and Egypt’s civil society in particular has faced an increasingly repressive and hostile environment since 2011.

POMED is pleased to invite you to attend a public panel discussion in conjunction with the release of a new publication, Under Threat: Egypt’s Systematic Campaign against NGOs. This discussion will focus on several key questions: What threats does Egyptian civil society currently face? What are the options for Egypt’s embattled NGO community? What forces have led this ongoing campaign against NGOs? What impact does the ongoing campaign against civil society have on Egypt’s broader political trajectory? And what role may the international community be able to play in supporting Egypt’s threatened civil society?

Join us for a discussion with: Michele Dunne, Senior Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Bahey Eldin Hassan, General Director, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; Kristen McGeeney, Senior Legal Advisor, Middle East and North Africa, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL); Todd Ruffner, Advocacy Associate, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

RSVP here.

MDAA Congressional Roundtable: Missile Defense Sensors
Date: March 17, 12:30am
Location: Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, Capitol Visitor Center, SVC 201, Washington DC

MDAA invites you to an open, roundtable discussion on U.S. Missile Defense Sensors. Sensors in space, air, on land and at sea play the vital role in the tracking, discrimination and providing the firing solutions for our missile defense systems. The sensors provide the essential information that exponentially boosts the confidence and reliability of our nation’s missile defenses.

This event will provide the opportunity to speak directly with recently retired military commanders with expertise on this important but often overlooked topic. These leaders have experience in variety of regions and commands, including U.S. NORAD/NORTHCOM, U.S. STRATCOM, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With decades of direct experience in missile defense, they offer a candid, unbiased, and non-partisan view on the requirements for missile defense sensors.

RSVP here.

How the Next Great War Begins
Date: March 17, 3:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Just over 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, where and when might a 21st Century’s ‘Great Power’ war begin? Who will fight, and why? What will be the decisive technologies of a great power war? What will be the role of narrative both before and during such a conflict?

Answering these questions will be ADM James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Ryan Evans, Editor-in-Chief at War On The Rocks; Nikolas Katsimpras, a former Hellenic Navy officer and lecturer at Columbia University who won the project’s first short story contest; and Siobhan Gorman, former intelligence reporter with The Wall Street Journal and a Director at Brunswick Group. As well, Katsimpras will read from his contest-winning story, “Coffee, Wi-Fi, And The Moon.”

The Art of Future Warfare project’s core mission is to cultivate a community of interest in works and ideas arising from the intersection of creativity and expectations about how emerging antagonists, disruptive technologies, and novel warfighting concepts may animate tomorrow’s armed and social conflicts.

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

Dealing with Ukraine’s Critical Financial and Economic Challenges
Date: March 17, 4:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Most attention on Ukraine over the past six months has focused on the conflict that the Ukrainian military has fought with separatists and Russian forces in the eastern part of the country.  But Kyiv faces other equally critical problems:  managing a financial crunch and moving forward with badly needed economic reforms.  The Ukrainian government received good news on March 11, when the International Monetary Fund approved a $17.5 billion extended fund facility.  But Kyiv still faces tough financial and economic challenges.

On March 17, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will host a talk by Natalie Jaresko, Minister of Finance of Ukraine, on how Kyiv intends to meet these challenges.  Acting Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones will introduce the minister. Following her opening remarks, Steven Pifer, a senior fellow in Foreign Policy, will moderate a discussion with questions from the audience.

Register here to attend.

March 18, 2015

Cyber Risk Wednesday: The Healthcare Internet of Things: Rewards and Risks
Date: March 18, 9:30am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Connecting personal medical devices or hospital machines to the larger Internet offers incredible benefits, not least better care for patients and more control over their care, but also possibly lower healthcare costs. One study has estimated savings of over $60 billion over fifteen years.

Yet these benefits come with risks as the networked medical devices will be at least as open to misuse as any other technology.  The security and healthcare industries will have to focus on technologies that are “secure-by-design” to avoid the worst from accidental failures, privacy breaches, and intentional or even widespread disruption.

The report, launched at the event, is a collaboration between Intel Security and the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative. It explores these issues with practical recommendations for governments and the health care and security industries.

Register here to attend or watch live online here.

Libya in Turmoil: A TNT Terrorism Roundtable Discussion
Date: March 18, 9:30am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Concourse Level, Room 114, Washington DC

Libya is experiencing extreme levels of insecurity and is contributing to instability and violence from the African Sahel to the battlefield in Syria. A once promising country is now deeply chaotic, with its own future and integrity in doubt. Political confrontation, countless militias, and the emergence of local ISIS activity are some of the key challenges for Libya. Please join Hunter Keith, Najla Mangoush, and Tom Sanderson for an engaging and critical discussion on Libya’s internal conflicts and its impact on Africa and the Middle East.

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere
Date: March 18, 10:15am
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

Chairman Duncan on the hearing: “Given the impending deadline for nuclear negotiations over Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, I believe it is critical for the U.S. to re-examine Iran and Hezbollah’s activities in our own neighborhood. Congress has conducted sustained, rigorous oversight on this issue with multiple Committee hearings, classified briefings, and the passage of legislation I authored, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act, into law in 2012. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration continues to ignore this threat even while Iran and Hezbollah expand their reach. Following a September 2014 Government Accountability Office report that found the State Department failed to follow this law, the Administration has taken no concrete action to address these problems. This hearing will consider the implications of continued inaction by the U.S. and regional governments even while Iran has been implicated in recent attempted terrorist attacks in Peru (2014) and Uruguay (2015) and embroiled in a controversy with Argentina concerning allegations of a political cover-up and the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman. I look forward to hearing the regional perspectives the witnesses will share.”

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “Iran and Hezbollah’s history of involvement in the Western Hemisphere has long been a source of concern for the United States. Given the nature of transnational criminal networks existing in Latin America and the rise of terrorism ideology being exported worldwide from Middle East, it is disturbing that the State Department has failed to fully allocate necessary resources and attention to properly address this potential threat to our nation. It is well known that Iran poses a security threat to regional affairs and has expanded its ties in countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Ecuador. The United States needs a comprehensive understanding of Tehran’s efforts in Latin America in order to thwart any potential risk to our allies and U.S. national security.”

Dialogues on American Strategy and Statesmanship: Sen. Tom Cotton and Walter Russell Mead
Date: March 18, 11:30am
Location: Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

Walter Russell Mead, Hudson Institute Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship, hosts Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas for a one-on-one discussion of U.S. national security challenges. Mead will explore Senator Cotton’s perspective on America’s role in the world and recommendations for handling global hot spots, including the rapid rise of the Islamic State, the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks, Russian aggression against Ukraine, and other challenges facing American policymakers today and in the years ahead.

Senator Cotton, who serves on the Banking, Intelligence and Armed Services committees, is a prominent voice in Washington on national security and international affairs. Cotton served two combat tours, one in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and the other in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. His military decorations include the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

With this event, Hudson Institute is pleased to inaugurate its Dialogues on American Strategy and Statesmanship, a major new initiative moderated by Distinguished Scholar Walter Russell Mead, one of America’s leading analysts of international affairs.

These dialogues are guided by the belief that global prosperity, the defense of human rights, and the establishment of a secure and peaceful world order require a new foreign policy, one that places a robust America at the heart of a broad and vigorous network of allies. This series will feature leading American and global policymakers and opinion leaders in candid conversation on timely questions of international affairs, national security, economics, and civil society.

Register here.

Cartoons in the Times of Authoritarianism
Date: March 18, 12:00pm
Location: Freedom House, Mark Palmer Conference Room, 1850 M Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington DC

Freedom of expression is under threat in Ecuador and Venezuela. In Ecuador, President Rafael Correa has used restrictive laws, defamation lawsuits, and politicized institutions to silence his media critics and punish those who publish opinions with which he disagrees. In Venezuela, previously independent news outlets have faced government restrictions and been bought up by government cronies, greatly limiting coverage of government repression of street protests and all but eliminating traditional independent media.

In the face of these challenging circumstances, many journalists have continued their work, often at significant personal and professional risk. Ecuadorian cartoonist Bonil has come under attack from the authorities for his satirical depictions of President Rafael Correa and other government leaders, most recently being accused of “socioeconomic discrimination” for a cartoon published in August 2014. Bonil has repeatedly indicated that he has many more cartoons up his sleeve.

Rayma, who published cartoons for the newspaper El Universal for nearly 20 years, was fired in September 2014 for a cartoon satirizing the Venezuelan health care system, which included the signature of the late President Hugo Chavez. She, too, has insisted that she will continue to share her political critiques freely.

Following the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, there is increased attention to cartoonists and freedom of expression. Please join us for a discussion with Bonil and Rayma on their creative methods for challenging growing restrictions on political speech, and using humor to contest power and the status quo.
Click here to register.

Communicating the Strategic Value of Technology Transfer
Date: March 18, 12:00pm
Location: Technology Transfer Society DC Chapter, 1307 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

With a new Congress in place and continuing fiscal constraints, federal R&D agencies and research universities face increasing uncertainty. Technology transfer and commercialization support activities will be among the many functions required to justify their continuation and demonstrate that they advance the goals for their respective institutions. By traditional measures of “return on investment,” technology transfer often takes many years to generate a payoff, and many of its benefits are intangible in nature. Given this situation, how can technology transfer professionals better explain the value of their activities to top executives and elected officials, and capture how these activities contribute to the strategic mission of research organizations? A panel of representatives from industry and academia will address this topic, exploring approaches to communicating the value of technology to senior leadership and making the business case for supporting research commercialization.

Register here.

Searching for a Strategy in the Ukraine Crisis
Date: March 18, 12:00pm
Location: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, 1755 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 700, Washington DC

The West faces a dilemma in the Ukraine crisis. On the one hand, Russian president Vladimir Putin is known to react to political pressure with counter pressure, so a tough policy on Russia is likely to escalate. On the other hand, an appeasement policy entails the risk of ongoing Russian aggressions, too. The previous Western step-by-step approach has not yet been successful in solving the conflict.

This seminar seeks to explore elements of a coherent strategy to deal with Russian aggressions in the Ukraine conflict. Dr. Mehlhausen will juxtapose the competing approaches of Germany and Poland, which have until this point shaped the EU’s Eastern policy. Subsequently, he proposes three principles on which Western responses to the Ukraine crisis should be based. The discussion after the presentation will be moderated by Dr. Gale Mattox, Director of the AICGS Foreign & Domestic Policy Program.

Register here.

March 19, 2015

The War in Ukraine: The Roots of Russian Conduct
Date: March 19, 10:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

A year after the annexation of Crimea and the start of hostilities in Eastern Ukraine, the sequence of events leading up to the crisis are well established. Yet these events find their origins in Russia’s recent and distant past, as well as the EU’s image of a modern, post-WWII Europe. Join us for a panel discussion of the origins of war in Ukraine.

RSVP here.

The Impact of the Crimean and Ukrainian Crises on the Central Eurasian Islamic World with Charles Weller
Date: March 19, 12:30pm
Location: Georgetown University, ACMCU, ICC #270, 3700 O Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Weller’s talk will focus on four main, interrelated dimensions of the impact of the Crimean and Ukrainian Crises on the Central Eurasian Islamic World: (1) The response of the Crimean Tatar community and impact on Russo-Tatar relations within the Crimea religiously, socially, and politically; (2) Responses among related Turkic Muslim groups of Central Eurasia, particularly the Turks of Turkey, the Volga Tatars within the Russian Federation, and the Kazakh Muslims of Kazakhstan, with related reflections upon the impact of the crises upon Russo-Turkish relations politically, Russo-Volga Tatar relations socially and politically within Tatarstan, and Russo-Kazakh relations socially and politically within Kazakhstan; (3) the (potential) impact upon Russo-Chinese relations politically in connection with the Uighur independence movement; and (4) Responses from across the broader Muslim world, particularly the Middle Eastern and Western worlds. The presentation will argue that the Crimean and Ukrainian crises have provoked and, if maintained, will continue to provoke a predominantly negative reaction against not only Russia and Russian expatriates living in Central Eurasian states which are significantly populated by Muslims, but will serve to reinforce Muslim views of ‘The (Christian) West’ as imperialist and exploitative world powers, in spite of condemnation of the action by a large number of Western powers internationally, since Western condemnation is concerned primarily with safeguarding Ukraine as a pro-Westernizing force (and not the Crimean Tatar cause). This study will draw primarily from scholarly works on historical and historiographical issues pertaining to Ukraine and the Crimea as well as published newspaper, magazine, and journal articles in Turkish, Tatar, Kazakh, and English which have appeared in response/relation to the issue.

Register here.

The Modern Mercenary Book Launch and Reception
Date: March 19, 6:00pm
Location: The Center for Security Studies, Mortara Center for International Studies, 36th Street NW, Washington DC

You are invited to join us for a special event featuring our distinguished adjunct professor, Dr. Sean McFate, in celebration of his latest book The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean For World Order (Oxford University Press).It was 2004, and Sean McFate had a mission in Burundi: to keep the president alive and prevent the country from spiraling into genocide, without anyone knowing that the United States was involved. The United States was, of course, involved, but only through McFate’s employer, the military contractor DynCorp International. Throughout the world, similar scenarios are playing out daily. The United States can no longer go to war without contractors. Yet we don’t know much about the industry’s structure, its operations, or where it’s heading. Even the U.S. government – the entity that actually pays them – knows relatively little.

In The Modern Mercenary, Sean McFate combines a broad-ranging theory of the phenomenon with an insider’s understanding of what the opaque world of the private military industry is actually like, explaining its economic structure and showing in detail how firms operate on the ground. McFate provides an unparalleled perspective into the nuts and bolts of the industry, as well as a sobering prognosis for the future of war.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 17.   Reception begins at 6:00 PM, with moderated remarks from Dr. McFate to follow.  This event is open to the public and to the press. The Georgetown University Bookstore will be selling copies of The Modern Mercenary for purchase.

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