Week in DC: Events

June 22, 2015

Report Release: Project Atom
Date: June 22, 9:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, 2nd Floor Conference Center, Washington DC

Project Atom took a competitive strategies approach to its zero-based, “blue sky” review of U.S. nuclear strategy and force posture. Three independent think tank teams – the Stimson Center, the Center for a New American Security, and the National Institute for Public Policy – investigated U.S. nuclear strategy for the new era (2025-2050) and what U.S. nuclear posture is needed to support that strategy. Their analysis, unconstrained by current strategy and policy and conducted within a common framework of assumptions, resulted in competing recommended strategies and postures for 2025-2050.  The panel will discuss their analysis and recommended nuclear strategies and postures. Hard copies of the report will be available in limited number.

Register here or watch live online.

Shared Water Resources in a Warming World: Conflict and Cooperation
Date: June 22, 10:00 am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

Growing populations, rising resource demands, and mounting environmental pressures are putting increasing strains on global water supplies. From the Middle East to the Sahel and South Asia, stresses on the world’s crucial transboundary river basins—those shared by two or more nations—are stoking tensions and stirring conflict. Continuing global climate change will exacerbate the challenges confronting policy makers, altering river flows in every populated basin on Earth by 2050.

Meeting these emerging threats to the planet’s common water resources will require increased dialogue and collaboration among all riparian nations. How can international water diplomacy, multilateral development agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders help build cooperative governance structures, institutions, and practices to ensure global water security in the 21st century? In a panel discussion co-hosted by the Stimson Center and the Wilson Center, water policy experts and practitioners will explore innovations, insights, and impediments to the cooperative management of shared rivers around the world. The conversation will include discussion of a new book onTransboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate by Anders Jägerskog and colleagues, and the findings of a new Stimson Center study of civil society initiatives to promote water cooperation in international river basins.

RSVP here.

A New Foreign Policy for America
Date: June 22, 12:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

In an era of new and emerging global threats, Senator Chris Murphy believes there is an urgent need to refocus the traditional debate between isolationism and military interventionism. Join us as Senator Murphy outlines the eight principles for a new foreign policy vision that seeks to maintain U.S. global leadership but looks beyond our traditional military toolkit for engaging the world.

In discussion with the Wilson Center’s Aaron David Miller, he will set these principles in the context of current international crises, from nuclear negotiations with Iran, to the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

Register here.

India’s Nuclear Command and Control and its Implications for Strategic Stability in South Asia
Date: June 22, 3:30 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Although the US has reconciled itself to accepting India and Pakistan as de facto nuclear weapon powers since 1998, its concerns about the likelihood of a nuclear conflict in the region have increased in recent years. These concerns derive from a recent evolution in Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and associated threats to use nuclear weapons in a tactical role on the conventional battlefield. As during the Cold War, sub-strategic nuclear use is considered highly destabilizing. In this context, Brigadier Arun Sahgal will discuss India’s nuclear command and control and its effects on strategic stability in South Asia.

Register here.

June 23, 2015

Nations in Transit: Democracy on the Defensive
Date: June 23, 12:00 pm
Location: Freedom House, 1850 M Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington DC

Democratization in post-communist Europe and Eurasia is not simply stalled but is actively opposed by forces that are determined to see it fail. The findings of the 2015 edition ofNations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual study of democratic governance in Central Europe to Central Asia, underscore the growing audacity of democracy’s foes in Eurasia, where four of every five people live under authoritarian rule.

Register here.

Financing for Global Health
Date: June 23, 2:00 pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Please join us for the launch of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)’s Financing Global Health 2014 report: Shifts in Funding as the MDG Era Closes.

Dr. Christopher Murray , Director of the IHME at the University of Washington, will lead off with a presentation of findings from IHME’s newest report and a new article in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Murray will highlight how funding patterns have shifted across time and identify where funding gaps persist.

Following Dr. Murray’s presentation, there will be a roundtable discussion, moderated by Talia Dubovi, Deputy Director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center that will feature: Dr. Christopher Murray, Dr. Howard Bauchner, Editor-in-Chief of JAMA and Dr. Jennifer Kates , Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The roundtable discussion will focus on the policy implications of IHME’s report.

Register here.

Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare
Date: June 23, 3:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

In the not-too-distant future, most of humanity will live in megacities. Megacities will serve as economic, cultural, and political hubs of international affairs–but they also will form the complex landscape of rivalry and violent conflict. Recent instances of urban combat–Saigon, Sarajevo, Fallujah–only begin to inform the epic challenge of fighting in our mid-century megacities. To fill in our understanding of that challenge, the Art of Future Warfare project will host a discussion on Envisioning the Future of Urban Warfare at the Atlantic Council on June 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is the capstone of the project’s “war-art challenge” that is eliciting illustrations (as from a graphic novel) that render scenes from urban fights in the 2040s and 2050s.

To further engage the topic, Max Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of World War Z, will join Jon Chang, the writer of the Black Powder Red Earth series, and Caerus Associates CEO Erin Simpson, plus the winner of the challenge in a panel discussion moderated by August Cole, the project’s Director. The best illustrations will be on display and the panelists will share their own perspectives on urban conflict, the future of warfare, and how creativity and the arts can enhance foresight, preparedness, and understanding of this singularly challenging battleground of the future.

The Art of Future Warfare is a project of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security which aims to give artists, writers, illustrators, directors, videographers, and other creative expressions a recognized voice in the defense establishment’s planning and preparation for the future of warfare and conflict.

Please also join us for a book signing by Max Brooks and Jon Chang following the event.

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

June 24, 2014

Cybersecurity: Managing the Risks of the Digital Frontier
Date: June 24, 8:00 am
Location: Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio, Third Floor, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

American officials say thousands of cyberattacks are aimed at the United States every day. These malicious hacks have been called possibly the biggest systemic risk to the country. The administration declared them a national emergency and has rolled out a slew of financial penalties to respond to the threat.

In Congress, efforts to boost cybersecurity include legislation to ease information sharing between companies and the government. While many businesses support the move on Capitol Hill that offers them a degree of liability protection, civil liberties groups say it would increase cyber-surveillance.

Join National Journal for a forum of key stakeholders and experts to discuss the nation’s cybersecurity policy and strategy: Are efforts by the administration and Congress sufficient to deter and combat cyberattacks? What can companies do to deal with cyber risk and protect their critical infrastructure? What safeguards need to be in place to protect the personal information of consumers?

Register here.

Building Peace in Permanent War: Counterterrorism and Constraints on Peacebuilding Five Years After Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project
Date: June 24, 9:30 am
Location: Charity & Security Network

Five years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project upheld the application of the “material support” prohibition to include key conflict prevention and resolution activities aimed at getting terrorist groups to lay down their arms, making it clear that good faith is no defense. As the report states, the HLP ruling “sent shockwaves through the peacebuilding community.” This is but one in a broad range of counterterrorism policies in numerous countries that are impacting the work of civil society around the world, leading some organizations to scale back or withdraw assistance programs in conflict zones where their services are often most needed.

This webinar will explore these issues, what civil society has done to adapt to this environment and what can be done to make peacebuilding feasible in terrorist-controlled areas.

Register here to attend the webinar.

Defending U.S. Critical Infrastructure
Date: June 24, 11:00 am
Location: Government Executive

Please join Government Business Council, in conjunction with our partners at CDW-G and Palo Alto Networks, for a panel discussion on the evolving threats to U.S. critical infrastructure and the federal government’s role in countering them.

The threat of crippling cyber attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure presents an unprecedented challenge for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and other organizations tasked with securing our nation’s most vital systems. Between 2011 and 2014, the United States witnessed an 82 percent increase in the number of cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure, a trend likely to escalate over the next decade. To address the mounting capabilities gap between sophisticated cyber intruders and the increasingly outdated techniques used to protect U.S. critical infrastructure today, the federal government will need to invest in tools that provide defense in depth.

Tune in to learn more about some of the most pressing questions in cybersecurity today, including:

  • How has the threat to U.S. critical infrastructure evolved over the last two decades?
  • Why has critical infrastructure been slow to adapt to the current threat environment?
  • What is the federal government’s current approach to defending its vital systems, and where is there room for innovation?
  • What strategies and tools can help federal agencies achieve their missions?

Register here to attend the webinar.

Defense Acquisition Reform
Date: June 24, 12:00 pm
Location: Hart Senate Office Building, SH-902, Washington DC

The Lexington Institute is organizing a Capitol Hill forum on Wednesday, June 24th to discuss ways of streamlining management and procurement at the defense department.

The forum will be a series of back-to-back presentations by subject matter experts. It will be held from 12:00 PM until 3:00 PM, and is designed to bring out useful information quickly from experts and policymakers.

This forum will focus on:

—  what the Pentagon can do to make itself a better buyer, increase incentives, and attract a broader spectrum of companies to bid on its work.  DoD’s policies on profit, intellectual property, commerciality, long time to contract, constantly changing and burdensome regulations are widely cited as contributing factors to reluctance of commercial suppliers to do business with the defense department

—  actions the defense department can take unilaterally to weed out duplicative regulations and requirements. Can cost accounting, testing and earned value management be improved in ways that will speed up procurements, and lower costs?

—  the role Congress plays in mandating cost increases on weapons programs.  By some calculations half of the mandates the defense department must follow are generated by the legislative branch

—  the trade spaces, if any, between the McCain and Thornberry approaches to acquisition reform.  Should the defense department welcome the McCain effort to decentralize power back to the military services?

Clearly, there is tremendous potential to achieve significant savings within defense management and acquisition. Unquestionably such changes would be difficult, but we need to keep exploring additional reforms for functions and processes that do not contribute to defense readiness at a time of tremendous fiscal pressures, and growing overseas threats.

RSVP to Constance Baroudos at baroudos@lexingtoninstitute.org or via telephone 703.522.5828

Pirates, Islam, and U.S. Hostage Policy
Date: June 24, 12:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

Michael Scott Moore, Freelance journalist, Spiegel Online and Author, will discuss his two and a half year ordeal as a captive of Somali pirates, with a focus on certain myths about hostage-taking.

RSVP here.

Eradicating Boko Haram Sustainably: An Integrated Regional Approach
Date: June 24, 2:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

In recent months, Boko Haram has expanded its raids from Northern Nigeria across the border into Northern Cameroon. The attacks, including attacks in March and April which killed numerous Cameroonian villagers, have mainly been attempts to obtain more supplies for the group. The spread of Boko Haram across borders highlights the need for regional cooperation to halt the group. This week, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria announced plans to conduct talks with Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin to form a regional military force to combat Boko Haram.

Join the Wilson Center Africa Program on June 24th at 2:00 p.m. in the 6th floor board room for a meaningful discussion on ways to combat Boko Haram, both from the perspective of a U.S. official and a prominent Cameroonian activist who has traveled to the Far North of Cameroon, where Boko Haram attacks have been taking place.

RSVP here.

Coming to America: Global Suppliers for Defense and Security
Date: June 24, 4:30 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The United States relies on global sources of supply to meet a growing share of the materiel requirements for its defense and security. The upstream end of this supply chain is replete with imported components, assemblies, and even sub-systems. In addition, the preponderance of Europe’s preeminent defense/security companies have invested in the establishment of indigenous businesses in this country both to facilitate these imports and to manage US operating companies. The panel will address the business strategies underlying their companies’ respective participation in this market and the public policies administered to shape their engagement.

The Atlantic Council Captains of Industry Series is a platform for senior executives in aerospace and defense to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that shape these markets. By engaging the perspective of business leaders about issues at the interface of defense ministries and industries, the series is cultivating a constituency for practical solutions to these problems.

Register here.

Should the U.S. Put Boots on the Ground to Fight ISIS?
Date: June 24, 5:30 pm
Location: Brookings Institution

The question at hand: Should the U.S. put boots on the ground to fight ISIS?  Do you have a strong opinion? Can a well-informed debate change your mind?

On Wednesday evening, June 24, three policy experts and one U.S. senator will go head-to-head in the first Brookings debate.

Arguing in favor of intervention will be Michael Doran and Michael O’Hanlon. Arguing against will be Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Jeremy Shapiro.

Watch the live webcast here.

June 25, 2015

Annual Global Missile Defense Conference
Date: June 25, 8:30 am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Missile Defense is a critical element for the United States’ strategy to defend its homeland and its collaborative efforts to secure the territories of its allies and partners in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  In each of these regions, the combination of increased volatility, if not conflict, and new deployments by potential adversaries of increasingly capable ballistic missiles has made missile defense collaboration all the more challenging and urgent.

The Atlantic Council’s annual missile defense conference convenes leading missile defense and regional security experts to analyze the future trajectory of global missile defense issues. The conference focuses on how current and prospective geopolitical developments are shaping the requirements and opportunities for missile defense collaboration in Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific and will include a panel addressing the programmatic and technological challenges that define success and failure in missile defense programs. The conference will also feature an opening address by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E. Cartwright.

Register here.

Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World
Date: June 25, 9:00 am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

What, really, was the Cold War? No declarations nor explosions. Hostility was in the air, but where was the battlefront? What made millions of people worldwide willingly embrace the existence of an invisible war?

Masuda Hajimu’s pathbreaking Cold War Crucible is an inquiry into this peculiar nature of the Cold War. It examines not only centers of policymaking, but apparent aftereffects of Cold War politics: social suppressions across the world during the Korean War. Such purges were not merely end results of the Cold War, as Masuda shows, but forces that drove Cold War reality in attempts at restoring tranquility at home. Revealing social construction and popular participation, Cold War Crucible elucidates how a mere discourse turned into an irrefutable reality, how and why ordinary people shaped such a Cold War world, and what the Cold War really was.

Examining historical experiences of the Cold War, Masuda’s book ultimately raises questions that are still relevant today: How and for whom are images of threats formed and circulated? How real are the rubrics used to understand global situations? In short, what is reality?

Join the Wilson Center as Masuda Hajimu (National University of Singapore) discusses these questions and introduces Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar WorldAndrew Rotter (Colgate University) and Ryan Irwin (University at Albany-SUNY) will provide commentary on Masuda’s presentation.

RSVP here.

Rouhani at Two Years: An Assessment on the Cusp of a Nuclear Deal
Date: June 25, 12:00 pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

During President Rouhani’s first two years in office, attention has understandably been focused on Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. Yet these two years have also witnessed important developments—and conflicts—in the sphere of politics, the economy, human rights and social policy. Our panel will examine this broad spectrum of issues.

RSVP here.

Ukraine, Minsk II, and Deadlock: A Conversation with Tim Judah
Date: June 25, 12:00 pm
Location: German Marshall Fund, 1744 R Street NW, Washington DC

With reports of additional Russian troops amassing along Ukraine’s Eastern border captivating headlines, the fragile deadlock in Ukraine remains in place. In Kyiv, political leadership is trying to manage an untenable economic situation, as the country teeters on the brink of financial ruin. All the while, conflict simmers in the East and as with the Minsk II barely hanging on, transatlantic leaders are considering levying additional sanctions against Russia following the most recent G-7 meeting in Germany. Yet gains made by Russian backed rebels appear intractable and an end to the conflict elusive. Tim Judah is among the most informed and fearless observers of the Ukraine crisis, having reported extensively from Eastern Ukraine and Kyiv since the beginning of the conflict for the New York Review of Books and other publications. GMF is honored to host Judah for a conversation based on his unique experience on developments and deadlock inside Ukraine. The conversation will be moderated by GMF’s Counselor and Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Derek Chollet.

RSVP here.

Beyond Centrifuges: The Geopolitical Implications of an Iran Deal
Date: June 25, 2:00 pm
Location: National Iranian American Council, Stimson Center Conference Room, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

As negotiators work towards a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran by the June 30th deadline, there is much more at stake for the U.S. than just centrifuges and sanctions. While a deal has been contested by U.S. allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen says a deal could “rebalance American influence” and that “Detente with Iran might better balance our efforts across the sectarian divide.”

How can a deal provide new options for the U.S. to resolve some of the most important challenges in the region? Join us for a timely discussion with Peter Beinart, contributing editor for The Atlantic and National Journal; Fred Kaplan, War Stories columnist for Slate; Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council; and moderator Barbara Slavin, South Asia Center Senior Fellow for the Atlantic Council.

RSVP here.

The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power
Date: June 25, 4:00 pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Many see China as a rival superpower to the United States and imagine the country’s rise to be a threat to U.S. leadership in Asia and beyond. In his new book, “The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power” (W.W. Norton 2015), Nonresident Senior Fellow Thomas J. Christensen argues against this zero-sum vision. Instead, he describes a new paradigm in which the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while encouraging the country to contribute to the global order.

On June 25, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings will host Christensen for a discussion on the challenges in U.S. policy toward China. Drawing on decades of scholarship and his experience as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2006 to 2008, Christensen shows that although China is nowhere near powerful enough to be considered a global “peer competitor” of the United States, the country is already strong enough to destabilize East Asia and to influence economic and political affairs worldwide. Following his remarks, Christensen will be followed by Senior Fellow David Dollar and Alan Romberg, distinguished fellow and director of the East Asia program at The Stimson Center.

Register here.

One Year Since Caliphate Declared: Combating ISIL
Date: June 25, 6:30 pm
Location: World Affairs Council—Washington DC, 1608 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Nearly a full year after it declared itself a caliphate, ISIL has greatly expanded its territory in Iraq and Syria, in addition to gaining the allegiance of terror networks around the globe. In the territory under their control they have effectively implemented a strict form of Sharia law, heavily utilizing corporal punishment as a means of enforcement, and they have been accused of committing genocide against ethnic and religious groups.  The question remains of how the United States’ and Coalition allies’ strategy will change to more effectively address the spread of ISIL’s ideology and their expansion of territory. Join World Affairs Council- Washington, DC as we welcome back Dr. Shadi Hamid and Thomas Sanderson for a discussion about ISIL; one of the most momentous and imposing insurgent groups facing America today.

Our speaker panel includes the knowledgeable and versed voices of Dr. Shadi Hamid; a current fellow at the Brookings Institution – Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy. Thomas Sanderson is the co-director and senior fellow in the Center for Strategic International Studies Transnational Threats Project.  Bryan Bender, defense editor for Politico, will moderate the discussion.

Register here.

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