Week in DC: Events

May 18, 2015

Former CIA Deputy Director to Discuss Agency’s Counterterrorism Success and Failures
Date: May 18, 10:00 am
Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell will offer his assessment of the agency’s counterterrorism successes and failures of the last 20 years at a National Press Club Newsmaker on Monday, May 18 at 10 a.m. in the club’s Bloomberg Room.

Morrell will argue that the threat of terrorism did not die with bin Laden and will illuminate new and growing threats from terrorist groups that could leave this country vulnerable to attacks much larger than 9/11 if not addressed. These insights are discussed in his new book, The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism From al Qa’ida to ISIS.

Morell is one of this country’s most prominent national security professionals, with extensive experience in intelligence and foreign policy. Mr. Morell was a top CIA officer for over 30 years who played a critical role in the most important counterterrorism events of the past two decades.

Like all Newsmaker events, this news conference is open to credentialed press and NPC club members, free of charge. No advance registration is required.

Contact Keith Hill, Newsmaker Host, khill@bna.com.

From Cooperation to Competition—The Future of U.S.-Russian Relations
Date: May 18, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Russian aggression in 2014 caught U.S. policy and strategy off guard, forcing reactive measures and reevaluation of U.S. policies towards Russia. Russia used nonlinear approaches and operated just beneath traditional thresholds of conflict to take full advantage of U.S. and NATO policy limitations. In light of this strategic problem, members of the Carlisle Scholars Program at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) conducted a wargame which revealed four key considerations for future policy and strategy.  This panel presentation will present the findings from that wargame.  The views presented by the panelist are their own and should not be implied to be those of their sponsoring service, the U.S. Army or the U.S. Army War College.

Register here.

Fighting for the Final Frontier? Conflict in Space During the Late 21st Century
Date: May 18, 1:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Discussions about the future of warfare are often limited by necessity to the next two or three decades. Not on May 18, when the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security Art of Future Warfare project will travel the farthest yet into the future to consider conflict in space during the final decade of the 21st Century. Join best-selling science fiction writer David Brin and other experts to discuss whether the struggles over power and resources on Earth will extend off world, and how they might play out.

This event will also feature the winner of the project’s latest short story creative challenge that focused on conflict in space during the last decade of the 21st Century. As part of its mission to explore the role that artists can have in the national security community, the project works to showcase not only particular visions of the future but also the methodologies employed by the creative community in order to help better prepare for, and prevent, future conflict.

Like the recent Art of Future Warfare “Great War” creative challenge, this contest will showcase the value of creative thinking in the national security realm.

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

Bursting the Plutonium Bubble: How Utopian Communities Made Dystopian Nuclear Landscapes
Date: May 18, 4:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

Historian Kate Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia – the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias – communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Brown shows that the plants’ segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted. Drawing plutonium curtain around production sites and promoting ‘nuclear villages’ with healthy nuclear families has left a lasting legacy.

Kate Brown lives in Washington, DC and is Professor of History at UMBC.  Brown, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, is the author of two award-winning books: Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford 2013) and A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004). Brown’s most recent book Dispatches from Dystopia: History of Places Not Yet Forgotten will appear in 2015 with the University of Chicago Press.

This final meeting in the Washington History Seminar Spring 2015 series is co-sponsored by the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs Nuclear Policy Talks.

RSVP here.

Xi to Pakistan, Modi to China: What it Means for the West
Date: May 18, 5:30 pm
Location: German Marshall Fund, 1744 R Street NW, Washington DC

The geopolitics of Asia are on full display thanks to visits by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China. What do these trips tell us about diplomatic relations in Asia and why should it matter to the West? Experts Tanvi Madan, Daniel Markey, and Andrew Small will address these and other questions during this timely event. Following the discussion, there will be a drinks reception to celebrate the release of Small’s new book The China-Pakistan Axis.

RSVP here.

Crafting a National Security Strategy
Date: May 18, 6:30 pm
Location: Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC

On Monday, May 18th, join the NxGen International Security Network (NxGen ISN) for an exclusive opportunity to engage with the National Security Council Director for Strategic Planning, Colonel Troy Thomas, on the U.S. National Security Strategy at the French Embassy. Following the off-the-record discussion, a cocktail reception featuring French wine and cheese will be served.

NxGen ISN is a peer-based network that curates and empowers emerging leaders by linking them with influential practitioners through thematic cycles and public and private events.

Register here.

May 19, 2015

Renewing the Section 123 Nuclear Agreement with China: Implications for U.S.-China Relations
Date: May 19, 9:00 am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

As China moves to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet its 2030 climate change targets, nuclear energy is likely to play a major role in China’s future energy mix. Nearly 30 years ago, the United States and China developed a Section 123 agreement, which has allowed China to use U.S. technology to build up its nuclear fleet. This agreement has provided a strong foundation for Sino-U.S. cooperation and has significantly benefited the United States’ economy by allowing U.S. firms to export nuclear technology worth billions of dollars, which has generated tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. As the current Section 123 agreement is set to expire on December 30, 2015, the United States needs to decide this year whether or not to extend its terms.

On May 19, the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a discussion on the future of the Section 123 agreement with China. Panelists will present an overview of the Section 123 agreement, including a discussion of how it has been implemented, its broader geopolitical context, its implications on the U.S. economy, and its importance in achieving U.S.-China climate emission reductions. Speakers will also address the implications of China’s program on nuclear nonproliferation and Sino-U.S. relations. ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

Register here.

Missile Defense and U.S. National Strategy
Date: May 19, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Please join us for a discussion with Admiral Winnefeld on the past, present, and future of missile defense.

Featuring:Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Introduction by: Dr. John J. Hamre, President and CEO, Pritzker Chair, and Director, Brzezinski Institute, CSIS

Moderated by: Dr. Thomas Karako, Senior Fellow, International Security Program, CSIS

Register here.

The Future of U.S. Defense Cooperation in Latin America
Date: May 19, 4:30 pm
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 Commanders Series event with General John F. Kelly, Commander of US Southern Command, to discuss the future of US defense cooperation in Latin America.

Latin America is of increasing strategic importance to the United States. In an age of the rebalance to Asia, continued engagement in the Middle East, and the emergence of an aggressive Russia, Latin America has received comparatively little attention from the US national security community. Slowly, this is starting to change, especially with the recent crisis of unaccompanied children migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. How will these and other developments affect US defense strategy and cooperation in the region, and how will this strategy help the United States best deal with this important region? General Kelly will come to the Atlantic Council to discuss these and other questions.

Since 2012, General Kelly has been the Commander of US Southern Command, which is responsible for all Department of Defense security cooperation in the forty-five nations and territories of Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea, an area of 16 million square miles. Before his current position he served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from March 2011 to October 2012. Kelly also commanded Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North in Iraq from October 2009 to March 2011.

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

May 20, 2015

Crisis in Libya: European and Libyan Views
Date: May 20, 12:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Since the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s transition to democracy has been severely derailed, culminating over the course of the last twelve months in political and armed clashes between two main factions. The United Nations and Western states support a negotiated solution, but hardliners increasingly call the shots. With regional states lending support to the rival sides, options for breaking the impasse are few.

Meanwhile, security threats to neighboring states and Europe are on the rise as the political vacuum in Libya provides a haven for extremist militants, including the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Please join the Atlantic Council for a discussion exploring how Libyans view the devolution of their country, the current debate among European policymakers, and viable options for the international community to bolster chances for successful peace talks.

Register here.

Efficient Cybersecurity Regulation: Ensuring the Cure Isn’t Worse than the Disease
Date: May 20, 12:00 pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Lehrman Auditorium, Washington DC

A wave of data breaches at American companies has once again highlighted just how insecure consumer data is. Apple, Target, Sony, and recently Anthem (a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company) are some high profile examples. In response, various consumer advocates and regulatory agencies have begun to explore ways to encourage data-sharing between businesses, as well as with the government, and to encourage the development of data security standards. Can and should industry self-regulate? Is there a government agency equipped to regulate? What should data security standards look like, and could those standards open the door to unscrupulous tort litigation? Join us as our panelists discuss the competing risks of cyber-attack and overregulation.

Register here.

U.S.-Russia Relations Beyond Ukraine: Realities and Recommendations
Date: May 20, 12:00 pm
Location: George Washington University, Lindner Commons (6th Floor), 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

The Russian-American relationship has reached its lowest point since the end of the Cold War. While the Ukrainian crisis has been the catalyst for pushing tensions over the edge, a number of more pervasive issues, such as disagreements over bilateral arms control, European security, and crises in the Middle East continue to drive Moscow and Washington apart.

What role have domestic factors played in shaping the present situation, and how has each side crafted its respective policies toward the other? What channels of cooperation remain, and where are U.S-Russia relations moving beyond Ukraine?

Please join CGI and the Institute for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at GWU for a discussion with Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute, on the future of the U.S.-Russian relationship. The event will mark the release of Dr. Weitz’s forthcoming report for CGI, “The United States and Russia: Realities and Recommendations Moving Forward.” Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution will join as the discussant. Konstantin Avramov, Program Director at CGI, will moderate the Q&A.

RSVP here.

Cyber Risk Wednesday: How Will Our Cyber Future Be Different from Today?
Date: May 20, 4:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The Internet and related technologies have been safe, secure, and resilient enough for the past three decades of their existence to reshape nearly every industry, create a hyper-connected world, and transform the global economy. Perhaps this will continue indefinitely, with the future holding yet more wonders. However, the increasingly pervasive Internet brings with it growing dependence on a shared, stunningly complex system-of-systems. This has critically exposed companies and governments to systemic cyber risks, where a series of local failures might turn into a global shock similar to the 2008 financial crisis.

What is more, while cyberspace has been continuously evolving through changes in usage and available technologies, most of the current cybersecurity trends now point to a darker future: every year we face more data breaches, critical vulnerabilities, and nations building and using offensive cyber capabilities. Will the accumulated downside risks of dependence on a sometimes rickety and untrustworthy digital infrastructure soon start outpacing the upside opportunities of global interconnectedness? Or will cyberspace head in a direction that is unlike anything ever experienced or envisioned? What game-changing discontinuities could transform the future of cyber conflict and cooperation?

The moderated panel discussion will assess these tensions between risks and opportunities rooted in cyberspace and discuss potential cyber futures that could take shape over the next decade.

This event is part of the Atlantic Council project with Zurich Insurance Group and the University of Denver’s Pardee Center for International Futures focusing on assessing the balance between risks and opportunities in cyberspace. In the first year, using quantitative and qualitative frameworks, the group is assessing the impact of accumulated downside cyber risks on upside opportunities for economic growth. In the second year, the team will evaluate the impacts of geopolitical and demographic risks.

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

May 21, 2015

The Convergence of Marine Science and Geopolitics in the South China Sea
Date: May 21, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The CSIS Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies is pleased to host a discussion with James Borton, former correspondent for theWashington Times; John McManus, professor of marine biology and fisheries and director of the National Center for Coral Reef Research at the University of Miami; and Kathleen Walsh, associate professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. They will discuss the convergence of marine science and geopolitics in the South China Sea.

Borton teaches writing in the English and Marine Science Departments at Coastal Carolina University. He is a former foreign correspondent for the Washington Timesand has interviewed top leaders throughout Southeast Asia. He recently edited The South China Sea: Challenges and Promises.

McManus chaired the five-year review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. As the former leader of the Aquatic Environments Program of the WorldFish Center in Southeast Asia he was the founder of ReefBase, the Global Coral Reef Database, and the International Coral Reef Action Network.

Walsh teaches policy analysis at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC). She has also co-taught electives on China’s national security and on the history of technology. Walsh is also an affiliate of the China Maritime Studies Institute and participates in the NWC’s Asia Pacific Studies Group.

Register here.

The Federal Budget & Appropriations: Democracy & Human Rights in the Middle East
Date: May 21, 10:00 am
Location: Russell Senate Office Building, Room 485, 2 Constitution Ave NE, Washington DC

POMED and the Heinrich Böll Foundation of North America are pleased to invite you to attend a public panel discussion to release an annual publication, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East. This report, authored by POMED’s Executive Director Stephen McInerney and Advocacy Director Cole Bockenfeld, offers a detailed look at U.S. funding and assistance for democracy and governance in the Middle East, the congressional appropriations process, and implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East during a turbulent time. As the region is mired in multiple conflicts—protracted civil wars in Syria and Libya, the rise of the Islamic State, and surges of conflict and violence in Yemen—why and how should the United States continue to invest in democracy and governance?

This publication focuses on several key questions: How have the Obama administration and Congress responded to dramatic changes in the region since 2011? How have deteriorating political situations and escalating violence affected U.S. policy and funding in the region? How has the United States responded to Tunisia’s relative success in democratization? What are the most significant changes in U.S. funding and appropriations when compared to previous years? And what might we expect from Congress during its ongoing appropriations process?

RSVP required. RSVP here.

Counterterrorism and State-Building in Somalia: Progress of More of the Same?
Date: May 21, 2:00 pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

For years, the war-torn and famine-ravaged Somalia has been a haven for international terrorism, as demonstrated again in the recent horrific attack in Garissa, Kenya. International counterterrorism efforts – ranging from air strikes to proxy wars to the deployment of African Union forces – have provided limited results at best. International efforts to build more inclusive and less corrupt state institutions in Somalia have similarly struggled. While Somalia has set goals to reform its government and revise its constitution by 2016, most of these commitments remain in grave doubt. And as Somalia prepares for national elections in the year ahead, insecurity within the country continues to rise.

On May 21, the Africa Security Initiative, part of Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, will host a discussion on the current state of Somalia, its path to reform and increased stability, and its upcoming elections. Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown, who has recently returned from Somalia, will focus on the political and military developments in the country and region, as well as the latest on extremist activity. Michael O’Hanlon, co-director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence will moderate.

Following discussion, the panelists will take audience questions.

Register here.

May 22, 2015

Implications of Leadership Changes in Saudi Arabia
Date: May 22, 9:00 am
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369, 45 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC

On May 22, 2015, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee are hosting a public affairs briefing titled “Leadership Changes in Saudi Arabia: What Implications for the Kingdom, the Region, and the U.S.?”

The featured specialist will be Mr. Nawaf Obaid, Visiting Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; Lecturer, London Academy of Diplomacy, Stirling University; and Senior Fellow, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. Serving as moderator and facilitator will be Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; and Member, U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and Subcommittee on Sanctions.

RSVP here.

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