Week in DC: Events

May 11, 2015

The Future of Iraq: A Conversation with Sunni Leaders
Date: May 11, 9:00 am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Wahsington DC

A significant victory against ISIS in Iraq will require meaningful reconciliation between Iraq’s warring communities. The greatest unknown is Iraq’s Sunni population. Their isolation from the Iraqi political system, stemming from the divisive policies of the previous Iraqi government, opened the door to ISIS’s return to Iraq and lies at the heart of this new Iraqi civil war. If Iraq is to achieve peace again and remain a unified state, one of the most important questions is how to bring Iraq’s Sunnis back into the fold.

On Monday, May 11, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution will host a conversation with two key Sunni leaders from Iraq. Rafe al-Issawi served as deputy prime minister and minister of finance under former Prime Minister Maliki, and is one of the most prominent Sunni leaders from Anbar province; Atheel al-Nujayfi is the governor of Ninewah Province and one of the most prominent Sunni leaders from Mosul. These leading Sunni officials will discuss the future of Iraq with moderator and Brookings Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack. They will explore the Sunni role in leading Iraq going forward, Sunni concerns about marginalization, and what role the United States might play in this delicate but vital process.

Register here.

U.S. Strategy for Civil and Military Space
Date: May 11, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Sean O’Keefe, former Administrator of NASA, and General James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will have an easy chair discussion moderated by Dr. John Hamre, President and CEO of CSIS, on U.S. strategy for civil and military space. The discussion will focus on new challenges the U.S. faces in maintaining its strategic advantage in space, and the implications of privatization for the future of U.S. leadership and innovation in civil space.

Register here.

State of the Cybersecurity Union: A Discussion with Admiral Michael Rogers
Date: May 11, 10:30 am
Location: Homeland Security Policy Institute, Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st Street NW, Washington DC

The Center for Cyber & Homeland Security (CCHS) at the George Washington University invites you to a discussion on the “State of the Cybersecurity Union” with Admiral Michael S. Rogers, U.S. Navy; Commander, U.S. Cyber Command; Director, National Security Agency; Chief, Central Security Service.

At the event, Admiral Rogers will provide an overview of the current state of cybersecurity threats to the United States, and will discuss what U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency are doing to address them, in light of the new Department of Defense cybersecurity strategy released earlier this month.  Admiral Rogers’ initial remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with CCHS Director Frank Cilluffo and Q&A with members of the audience.

Register here.

Russia’s Thorn in Europe’s Side: Kaliningrad, NATO, and the EU
Date: May 11, 11:00 am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the West’s introduction of economic sanctions, the Kaliningrad region has become a source of tension between Russia, NATO, and the EU. The region has staged tit-for-tat military displays by both Russia and neighboring EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania. But while Russia is eager to project the image of Kaliningrad as a military stronghold and buffer against NATO expansionism, Kaliningrad’s real threat to European stability stems from its vulnerable exclave status and unclear economic relationship with the EU. This talk will outline the region’s curious history, focusing on recent years when Kaliningrad has served both as a military outpost and a cultural bridge between Russia and Europe.

RSVP here.

May 12, 2015

After a Nuclear Agreement: Whither Arab-Iranian and U.S.-GCC Relations?
Date: May 12, 8:30 am
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369, 45 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC

On May 12, 2015, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the West Asia Council, and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee are hosting a public affairs briefing titled “After a Nuclear Agreement: Whither Arab-Iranian and U.S.-GCC Relations?” Featured specialists include:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; Member, U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and Subcommittee on Sanctions; Author, “Strategic Dynamics of Iran-GCC Relations”;
  • Dr. Christian Koch, Director, Gulf Research Center Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland); former Director of International Studies, Gulf Research Center (Dubai, UAE);
  • Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, President, SVB Energy International; Author, The Marketing and Sale of Iranian Export Crude Oil Since the Islamic Revolution;
  • Dr. Thomas Mattair, Executive Director, Middle East Policy Council; Author,The Three Occupied UAE Islands: The Tunbs and Abu Musa and Global Security Watch – Iran: A Reference Handbook;
  • Dr. Alidad Mafinezam, President, West Asia Council; Author, Iran and Its Place Among Nations; and
  • Dr. Imad Harb, Distinguished International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; former Senior Researcher in Strategic Studies, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mr. John Pratt, Member, Board of Directors, and Distinguished International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and former Chairman, Middle East Council of the American Chambers of Commerce, will serve as moderator.

RSVP here.

Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations
Date: May 12, 9:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

In January 2014 the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program launched the Eurasia Initiative. The first fruits of this project include a series of reports on Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia. The decision to initiate these activities with Central Asia stemmed from a concern that the drawdown of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan would augur declining U.S. interest. For U.S. policymakers, turning away from Central Asia now would be a serious miscalculation. The five states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are located at the heart of the Eurasian landmass, in close proximity to four of Washington’s biggest foreign policy challenges: Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and China. For that reason alone, the United States has a strong interest in developing economic and security ties with the states of Central Asia, and doing so in a way that is no longer driven by the exigencies of the war in Afghanistan, but is responsive to the needs and interests of the region itself, as well as enduring U.S. interests.

Register here.

Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging U.S.-China Rivalry
Date: May 12, 10:00 am
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The prospect of a lasting U.S.-China security rivalry preoccupies policy makers and scholars alike.  In a major new volume, “Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging U.S.-China Rivalry” (Georgetown University Press, 2015),  Lyle Goldstein of the U.S. Naval War College contends that both countries have failed to pursue creative approaches that could limit the potential for such rivalry and enable a more cooperative global and regional future.  Drawing on a wide array of Chinese sources and on the history of Sino-American relations over the past two centuries, Professor Goldstein proposes ten “cooperation spirals” that would enable lasting accommodation between both countries.

By exploring the possibilities of defusing long-standing geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, Professor Goldstein contends that future Sino-American relations can diverge significantly from widely held assessments in international relations theory and in foreign policy circles. His remarks will be followed by commentaries from two prominent U.S. policy practitioners and questions from the audience.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

Register here.

Clear and Present Danger: Confronting the Cyber Threat from Russia and China
Date: May 12, 10:30 am
Location: Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

In early April, Russian cyber hackers penetrated unclassified networks at the White House and seized the Secret Service’s daily schedule for the president. Less than a week later, U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye revealed that Chinese hackers have waged a decade-long cyber espionage campaign across South East Asia. Current and former FBIdirectors have expressed certainty that all large companies have been hacked by the Chinese and all of the White House networks have been infiltrated by Russian and Chinese hackers.

Every month brings alarming evidence that Russia and China are expanding their cyberattacks in the U.S. and throughout the world, particularly in Asia. On May 12th, former Congressman Mike Rogers, past chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and current Hudson distinguished fellow, will join Senior Fellow Arthur Herman for a conversation on the scope of the threat and how the U.S. should respond.

As member and then chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Mike Rogers has followed America’s cyberwar with China and Russia for more than a decade. Arthur Herman, author of Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, has written several articles on cyberwarfare and cyber strategy.

Register here.

Economic Interdependence and War
Date: May 12, 12:00 pm
Location: CATO Institute, Hayek Auditorium, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Debates over economic interdependence and war are centuries old. Liberals have argued that interdependence creates interests on both sides of dyads that help prevent war. Realists have argued that the “high politics” of war and peace are rarely driven by the “low politics” of commerce. Dale Copeland’s new book offers a more supple, less categorical judgment. According to Copeland, leaders’ expectations of the future trade environment determine how economic interdependence influences the prospects of war and peace. Please join us for a discussion with other leading scholars on the subject—one that carries heavy implications for the future of U.S.-China relations, in particular.

Register here.

A Step Towards Justice: Current Accountability Options for Crimes Under International Law Committed in Syria
Date: May 12, 2:00 pm
Location: American Bar Association, 1050 Connecticut Ave #400, Washington DC

As the Syrian conflict continues with no end in sight, both Syrians and the international community have called for the establishment of mechanisms tohold perpetrators of atrocities accountable, deter war crimes and human rights abuses, and achieve justice for victims. However, while certain mechanisms may be available in theory, they may not be feasible or desirable options in the current context due to the potentially harmful impacts they may have on long term prospects for Syria’s transitional justice and accountability process.

To examine such options, the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) and the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights have collaborated on a report that explores the current feasibility and potential impacts of international, hybrid, and foreign accountability options for Syria. The report also outlines ethical and practical challenges of pursuing these options prior to the end of the conflict. The analysis is particularly relevant regarding jurisdictions that are seeking to use their domestic law or international legal principles to prosecute alleged perpetrators located in Syria and abroad.

The report, A Step towards Justice: Current Accountability Options for Crimes Under International Law Committed in Syria, provides valuable perspectives for Syrians, justice practitioners, and the policy community. A panel discussion, hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights, will delve into practical implications and considerations of pursuing justice options now.

Register here.

Human Rights and North Korea’s Overseas Laborers: Dilemmas and Policy Changes
Date: May 12, 2:00 pm
Location: Korea Economic Institute, 1800 K Street NW, Washington DC

For more than 70 years, the North Korean state has been exporting its laborers overseas in an effort to secure ample amounts of foreign currency for its nuclear and missile development programs. As a result, thousands of North Korean laborers work excessive hours, in dangerous conditions, and only receive a fraction of their legal salaries. Therefore it is imperative that this issue is brought to the attention of the international community in order to bring more light to the issue by providing new facts and professional analysis.

With this goal in mind, the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) and the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) are co-hosting a conference on the human rights conditions of North Korean laborers. NKDB researchers, KEI staff and other prominent North Korean and human rights specialists will gather together for presentation and discussion of the severe labor rights and basic human rights violations faced by North Korean laborers overseas. Additional information will be provided by a North Korean defector, who worked for about 2 years overseas, and will share his witness testimony with the audience.

RSVP here.

Minsk: Between East and West
Date: May 12, 6:00 pm
Location: German Marshall Fund, 1744 R Street NW, Washington DC

Situated to the North of Ukraine and sandwiched between the EU and Russia, Belarus has long felt pressures from Moscow. The survival of Alexander Lukashenko’s dictatorship and questions surrounding Belarus’ relative political independence are central to government actions and civil society efforts over the coming years. After the failure of the first Minsk Protocol in September, Belarus once again hosted a four-way peace summit in which the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany agreed to a package of measures in order to alleviate fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine. As a result of the Minsk peace summit, Belarus has experienced a modest increase in international recognition. However, Belarus continues to face internal challenges including political suppression and growing economic inequality, as a product of an ever repressive political regime. How will Minsk reconcile its new international attention with continuing social, economic, and political threats? How will Minsk’s relationship with the European Union affect its historical relationship with Moscow?  What does the Ukrainian crisis mean for Belarus’ security priorities?

May 13, 2015

Peacebuilding and Democracy in a Turbulent World
Date: May 13, 9:00 am
Location: United States Institute of Peace

iFarm Pakistan: Food Security, Innovation, and Commercialization
Date: May 13, 9:30 am
Location: Atlantic Council

Before and After Dayton: Bosnia’s Past and Its European Future
Date: May 13, 10:00 am
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

May 14, 2015

Putin’s Russia: How it Rose, How it is Maintained, and How it Might End
Date: May 14, 9:15 am
Location: American Enterprise Institute

Workshop on Intersection of Radiological Security and Public Health
Date: May 14, 1:30 pm
Location: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and Stanley Foundation

Wake Up, Pakistan
Date: May 14, 3:00 pm
Location: The Century Foundation

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses II
Date: May 14, 4:00 pm
Location: Washington Network Group

May 15, 2015

Internal Displacement in Ukraine: Assessing the National Response
Date: May 15, 10:00 am
Location: Brookings Institution

Threats to the U.S. Energy Renaissance
Date: May 15, 12:00 pm
Location: Cato Institute

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