Week in DC: Events

May 26, 2015

Europe and the Iran Nuclear Deal
Date: May 26, 10:00 am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force invites you to a discussion with the Ambassadors of Britain, France and Germany about the role of the “E-3” in negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran, and the implications of a comprehensive long-term deal for European relations with Iran.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) appear to be on track to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement by a June 30 deadline. If negotiations succeed, they will reflect the role of three European countries – Britain, France and Germany – which began engaging Iran about its nuclear program more than a decade ago. The E-3 ambassadors in Washington will discuss the history of the talks, the role their countries played, and the outlook beyond June 30.

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.

Next Generation Dialogue on Industry and Defense: Rethinking Research and Development for the Department of Defense
Date: May 26, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2nd Floor Conference Center, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at CSIS is leading a series – the Next Generation Dialogue on Industry and Defense – to reinvigorate the dialogue between the DoD and industry on significant shifts underway in the defense sector.

This event will focus on the major challenges and opportunities that confront the research and development enterprise serving DoD.

Register here.

The Consequences of the Emerging American-Iranian Nuclear Deal
Date: May 26, 12:00 pm
Location: Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

Since the Obama administration’s announcement of a nuclear framework with Iran, America’s allies in the Middle East have voiced concerns that the deal offers far-reaching economic concessions to Tehran while doing little to reduce that regime’s basic nuclear infrastructure and capabilities. Israel and Saudi Arabia, in particular, question the wisdom of providing billions of dollars in near-term sanctions relief to an expansionist neighbor that already exerts effective control over four Arab capitals. And third-party governments throughout the region are obviously nervous about a plan whose best-case scenario involves the removal of all nuclear sanctions against Iran within 15 years — at most. What will be the consequences should such a plan take effect?

Will Middle Eastern powers like Saudi Arabia and Turkey feel impelled to initiate nuclear weapons programs of their own? With the borders of this turbulent region already in flux, how might the accord reconfigure the strategic map and domestic political dynamics of the Middle East? Will a further-empowered Iran improve — or restrict — America’s effectiveness as an honest regional broker and security guarantor in the future?

On Tuesday, May 26th, Hudson Institute and the Rabin Chair Forum of George Washington University will host a lunchtime discussion about these and related questions surrounding the U.S.-Iranian “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) — which the White House is expected to sign in late June — with Senior Fellow Lee Smith and Efraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Register here.

Pakistan: The Citizens’ Fight for a Voice
Date: May 26, 12:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

From school children to rights activists, individuals from all walks of life have become targets of violence in Pakistan. With the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar to most recently the murder of leading human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, Director of The Second Floor (T2F) in Karachi, those trying to give a voice to the voiceless are being silenced. Despite facing Taliban threats and potential arrest, Mohammad Jibran Nasir is leading a citizen’s movement against terrorism. He believes growing religious strife in Pakistan is part of a global phenomenon, and can be countered through a persistent and shared effort. Nasir will discuss the roles and responsibilities of government, non-state actors, and citizens in countering religious intolerance, sectarian violence, and terrorism, and how finding solutions in Pakistan could lead the way for a global citizen’s movement against the violent extremist narrative for the twenty-first century.

Register here.

May 28, 2015

What a Conservative Victory Means for Economic Policy in the United Kingdom
Date: May 28, 11:00 am
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

The recent Conservative Party victory in the United Kingdom’s General Election could have major implications for economic policy across the Atlantic. No longer in coalition, how will the Tories change their legislative economic program? Which policy priorities will expand and which will be scrapped? What does the future hold for UK-EU relations? Has austerity helped or hurt Britain’s economic recovery? Is London’s financial industry waxing or waning?

Join us as we discuss the implications of a new government for Europe’s second-largest economy.

Register here.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine and Boris Nemtsov’s Putin. War.
Date: May 28, 2:00 pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Russia is at war with Ukraine. The war’s toll—more than 6,000 dead, tens of thousands wounded, and nearly 1.3 million displaced persons—is the direct result of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to establish control over Ukraine. Putin continues to deny Russia’s military involvement, though the evidence that the Kremlin is directing the war is overwhelming.

Please join the Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation for the release of two independently produced reports: Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine and the English language release of Boris Nemtsov’s, Putin. War., onThursday, May 28, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council (1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC, 20005).

The Atlantic Council report, Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine, provides irrefutable evidence exposing the breadth and depth of Russian military involvement in Ukraine’s east. Drawing upon publicly available information, the report documents the movement of Russian troops from training camps into Ukraine. It also demonstrates that many artillery strikes on Ukraine originate in Russia and examines the wide array of Russian military equipment in the hands of so-called separatist forces.

Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader murdered in view of the Kremlin in Moscow on February 27, 2015, reached the same conclusion: Putin’s war is being fought in Ukraine at the cost of Russian lives. Published posthumously in Russian, Nemtsov’s report, Putin. War., will be released for the first time in English by the Free Russia Foundation.

Citizen journalism has been vital in documenting Putin’s illegal actions in Ukraine. The Atlantic Council encourages anyone that may have found their own evidence hiding in plain sight to post it on Twitter under #PutinAtWar.

A panel discussion will follow the report presentations.

Register here.

May 29, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Leadership Changes: Implications for Stability and Energy Markets
Date: May 29, 10:00 am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a new line of succession in a major reorganization of the top echelons of power in the kingdom. Following the announcement, reports indicated that the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, would be restructured to operate independently from the Saudi oil industry. Coupled with low oil prices, geopolitical instability in the region, and distrust over Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions, the kingdom’s new geopolitical reality raises several important questions: What impacts will the recent leadership changes in Saudi Arabia have on the global energy order and regional stability and security? Is the restructuring of Saudi Aramco indicative of future changes within Saudi Arabia’s energy sector? How will the outcomes of the Camp David meeting between President Obama and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders and a potential June P5+1 agreement with Iran influence Saudi actions in the region?

Please join us on Friday, May 29, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for a discussion on these critical issues. Panelists include Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Hon. Francis Ricciardone, Vice President and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and Dr. Jean-François Seznec, Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. David Goldwyn, President of Goldwyn Global Strategies and Chair of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Board, will moderate the discussion and The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will deliver welcome remarks.

Register here.

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.

Week in DC: Events

April 27, 2015

Insurgency in the Middle East and Its Threat to the United States
Date: April 27, 9:00 am
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Event Schedule:
9:00-9:15: Welcome
9:15-10:30: “Understanding Civil War, Insurgency and Terrorism in Today’s Middle East”

  • Jon B. Alterman, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Associate Professor, University of Maryland
  • Dafna H. Rand, Deputy Director of Studies, Center for a New American Security
  • Joseph K. Young, Associate Professor, American University

10:45-12:00: “Understanding the Threat to the United States and Europe from Returning Jihadists”

  • Tricia Bacon, Professorial Lecturer, American University
  • Dorle Hellmuth, Assistant Professor, Catholic University
  • Christopher A. Kojm, Visiting Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, GWU
  • Thomas M. Sanderson, Codirector, Transnational Threats Project, CSIS (invited)

RSVP here.

The Future Postponed
Date: April 27, 9:00 am
Location: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, AAAS Auditorium, 1200 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

MIT, led by VP for Research Maria Zuber and former Science Dean Marc Kastner and four faculty, will come to Washington for an event hosted by AAAS (and cohosted by AAU, APLU, The Science Coalition and ITIF) to present a major new MIT report called “The Future Postponed” on April 27th.

Register here.

Ebola Outbreak and Response: Assessment of Initial U.S. Actions
Date: April 27, 12:00 pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

The 2013-2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa ravaged the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, shocked the international community and claimed over 10,000 lives. As an aggressive and extremely lethal disease, Ebola spread quickly and demonstrated that there is no such thing as “just in time preparedness,” once again reminding the international community vulnerable regions remain highly susceptible to pandemics and other various public health crises.

The United States is not immune. We were reminded of this reality once cases of Ebola were detected domestically. In the aftermath of the West African outbreak and international spread, The Heritage Foundation established a task force to identify observations and findings and offer recommendations for how the U.S. can better respond to future crises. This report examines the U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa as well as domestically and offers recommendations aimed at improving the quality, speed and efficiency of future American-led responses to natural disasters, pandemics and acts of bioterrorism.

Join our panelists for a discussion on the report’s findings and specifically how to improve the United States’ ability to respond to future public health crises.

Click here to attend in person or watch live online.

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon
Date: April 27, 6:00 pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 602, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs invite you to an event titled “Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon,” with Kim Zetter, an award-winning journalist for Wired, who has been covering cybersecurity for more than a decade.

In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency noticed that centrifuges at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery. Six months later, a computer security firm in Belarus stumbled upon a virus infecting computers in Iran. It took four months of analysis, but eventually researchers realized they had discovered the world’s first digital weapon. Stuxnet, the weapon, was unlike any other virus or worm built before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment controlled by computers — in this case, centrifuges at a nuclear facility in Iran that were being used to enrich uranium.

At this event, Zetter will tell the story behind the cyber virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear efforts and explain how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare.

RSVP here.

April 28, 2015

U.S. Civil Drone Policy
Date: April 28, 10:00 am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The development of new technologies for unmanned flight and microelectronics in the last two decades has led to an explosion in civil unmanned aerial systems (UAS, commonly known as drones) activity in the U.S. From a few hobbyists flying small, technically limited model aircraft in the 1990s, the field has grown to thousands of individuals and corporations looking to employ a variety of UAS models for security awareness, disaster response, logistics and delivery, agriculture, communications, spectral and thermal analysis, and aerial photography, among many other functions.

CSIS will hold a public event focusing on practical policy strategies to manage commercial, public and private UAS in U.S. airspace, while supporting innovation, and protecting privacy and personal freedom.

Register here.

Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation
Date: April 28, 11:00 am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Since August 2014, the US-led coalition air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has successfully inflicted casualties on ISIS and weakened its oil revenues. In a new Atlantic Council report, “Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation,” Faysal Itani acknowledges these positive yet limited results, but also presents the unintended consequences of this air campaign and US policy options given local Syrian realities.

Itani details how coalition efforts accelerated the rise of the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and the near-collapse of nationalist rebel forces. He proposes a US strategy to assist nationalist insurgents to defeat ISIS and the Nusra Front–by enabling them to compete with and contain jihadist groups, and ultimately confront them. Please join us for a conversation about the author’s findings with expert commentators.

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

Personal Stories from the Frontlines of War and Peace
Date: April 28, 2:00 pm
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

From Iraq to Burma, from Peru to Yemen, from Nicaragua to Nepal, the personal stories of widows, children, workers, and soldiers often are lost in the cacophony of war.  Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, April 28, for a discussion and launch of “Speaking Their Peace: Personal Stories from the Frontlines of War and Peace,” a book that tells the extraordinary stories of “ordinary” people from eleven conflict zones. NPR’s Michel Martin moderates a discussion with the book’s author, Colette Rausch, and two members of the team that captured these memorable interviews.

With a foreword by the Dalai Lama, the book collects interviews with 80 ordinary citizens – a taxi driver, a nun, a machinery worker, a mother — from conflict zones all over the world. Their accounts illuminate the intensely personal experience of war, the uncertain transition to peace, and the aspirations that survive despite it all.

National Public Radio’s Michel Martin will moderate a discussion with Rausch, the acting vice president for Governance, Law and Society at USIP, and Najla Elmangoush and Khitam Al-Khaghani, who have lived and worked in conflict zones and were a part of the team that conducted interviews. A photo exhibit will feature images taken during Rausch’s travels and her meetings with interviewees.

Audience members also will have an opportunity to record their own 30-second messages of what peace means to them for a “Speak Your Peace” video. The event will be followed by a reception and book-signing session. Learn more about “Speaking Their Peace” and read excerpts from the book. Join the conversation on Twitter with #SpeakPeace.

Register here to attend this event.

Govern Like Us: U.S. Expectations of Poor Governments
Date: April 28, 4:30 pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Thirteen years after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the project to transform the way Afghanistan is governed has largely failed. Some think the U.S. and its partners did not try hard enough. Some blame Afghan elites for their corruption and lack of political will. Some continue to press for reforms to build a government that provides public goods and services to everyone, under the rule of law, and subject to democratic accountability. But is this a possibility for the poorest governments? Dr. Thomas will discuss her new book.

For more information or to RSVP email here.

April 29, 2015

Deterrence Instability and Nuclear Weapons in South Asia
Date: April 29, 12:30 pm
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

Deterrence in South Asia is becoming less stable with the passage of time and an increase in nuclear weapon capabilities. India and Pakistan have not addressed basic issues in dispute, nor have they agreed to set them aside. In 2015, the two countries are no closer to resolving their differences than they were seven years ago, after members of Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out attacks against Mumbai landmarks.

The Stimson Center is publishing a collection of essays, “Deterrence Instability and Nuclear Weapons in South Asia,” edited by Michael Krepon, Joshua T. White, Julia Thompson, and Shane Mason. These essays by Manoj Joshi, Shashank Joshi, Michael Krepon, Jeffrey D. McCausland, Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Sarang Shidore, and Joshua T. White and Kyle Deming clarify how doctrinal, strategic, and technological developments contribute to growing deterrence instability in South Asia. Taken together, these chapters point to serious challenges associated with increased nuclear dangers unless leaders in India and Pakistan work to resolve their grievances, or consider measures to mitigate their costly and risky strategic competition.

RSVP here.

Subcommittee Hearing: ISIS: Defining the Enemy
Date: April 29, 2:00 pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will host two panels to discuss ISIS. Panel I will include the Honorable Robert Ford, Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute and Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria; and Walid Phares, Ph.D., Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counterterrorism.

Panel II will include Ms. Maryam Rajavi, President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (Appearing via teleconference).

Subcommittee Hearing: Progress and Challenges in the Western Balkans
Date: April 29, 2:00 pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2200 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will hear two panels of testimony related to the Western Balkans. Panel I will include Mr. Hoyt Brian Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and Ms. Susan Fritz, Acting Assistant Administrator in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Panel II will include Mr. Ivan Vejvoda, Senior Vice President of Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and The Honorable Joseph J. DioGuardi, President of the Albanian American Civic League
(Former Member of Congress).

The U.S.-China Relationship in an Evolving Global Economic Order
Date: April 29, 3:00 pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

Recent developments such as the establishment of new institutions like the AIIB have raised broader questions about the U.S. and China’s roles in global economic governance. What are the problems in the global economy that the U.S. and China agree and disagree on? To what extent are existing institutions addressing those problems and where is there a need for new approaches? Can the U.S. and China find a way to work cooperatively on these issues, which will have a major impact on the prosperity of both countries and the rest of the world? Please join us for a stimulating discussion of these issues with top experts from China and the U.S. The event will finish with a keynote address by Under Secretary Nathan Sheets, the senior official at the U.S. Treasury responsible for the S&ED.

RSVP here.

April 30, 2015

In Search of a Syria Strategy
Date: April 30, 12:00 pm
Location: Cato Institute, Hayek Auditorium, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The rise of ISIS and the spread of the Syrian civil war to Iraq have led to renewed discussions of U.S. intervention. Though Washington is regularly bombing ISIS targets, there is little in the way of viable on-the-ground support, and a much-vaunted U.S. training campaign for moderates has had difficulty finding acceptable trainees. Many of America’s allies are complicit in funding extremist groups within Syria, even if they oppose ISIS itself, while the White House continues to equivocate on whether it will negotiate with the Assad regime. America’s goals in Syria are unclear, and there is a broad consensus that the current U.S. approach — loosely defined as ‘degrading and destroying’ ISIS — is murky at best.

What is the United States trying to accomplish in Syria? Are its goals achievable with current strategies? Join our panelists as they discuss how we reached this point, and the extent to which the U.S. should or should not be involved in the ongoing conflict.

Register here.

Subcommittee Hearing: Regional Impact of U.S. Policy Towards Iraq and Syria
Date: April 30, 2:00 pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will hear testimony from Seth G. Jones, Ph.D., Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, General Jack Keane, USA, Retired, Chairman of the Board at the Institute for the Study of War, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.

May 1, 2015

Strengthening Fragile States: Causes and Solutions
Date: May 1, 2:00 pm
Location: Center for International Private Enterprise, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 700, Washington DC

Fragile states drive a disproportionate share of the world’s instability, violence and poverty. People living in these countries suffer from weak or dysfunctional institutions, social divisions, corruption, poor governance, a lack of protection of rights, and large informal sectors. These problems not only cause instability within a country, but create tensions regionally and sometimes globally.

Join us May 1, 2-4pm, as the Center for International Private Enterprise hosts a discussion on Strengthening Fragile States: Causes and Solutions. Our panel will discuss the roots of fragile states and how to strengthen them. Specifically, they will discuss:

  • Lessons learned from the Arab Spring.
  • Root causes of fragile states.
  • How to foster institutions and improve governance through transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors.
  • Comparing fragile states with functional ones.
  • The importance of building democratic institutions.
  • Spillover effects regionally from fragile states.
  • Private sector participation in the democratic process to strengthen states.
  • Corruption and fragile states.

Register here.

Week in DC: Events

April 20, 2015 

Operation United Assistance: The U.S. Military’s Relief Efforts in West Africa
Date: April 20, 8:30am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

The spread of Ebola through West Africa was a vivid demonstration of the outsized threat global health crises pose to international stability and security. The lessons learned from the earliest days of the outbreak point us toward improving our response to the next crisis. High among those lessons must be a clearer understanding of how — and how quickly — assistance could move to the worst stricken regions. The absence of a deliberate planning process for transportation and logistics proved an enormous barrier to effectively deploy essential equipment and personnel where it was most needed.

The ability of the international community, individual governments, private companies, and civil society to rally and stop the spread of the disease was largely due to the deployment of the US military to West Africa to coordinate response logistics, training, and engineering support, in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  Among lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak is that building capacity for a coordinated response to global health emergencies is essential to preventing and combatting these threats.

Please join us at the Stimson Center for a discussion on strengthening global health response with US Army Major General Gary Volesky, the commander of the US military’s efforts to combat Ebola in West Africa.

RSVP here.

Politics of a Nuclear Deal: Former U.S. & Iranian Officials Debate
Date: April 20, 9:30am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

Iran and the world’s six majors powers now face a June 30 deadline for converting a blueprint into a final nuclear deal. A unique panel of former U.S. and Iranian officials will assess the status of the talks and the political dynamics that will determine the fate of any agreement in Washington and Tehran. Join us for the discussion on April 20 at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

This event is the fourth in the Iran Forum series hosted by a coalition of eight think tanks, including USIP, the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, RAND, the Arms Control Association, the Center for a New American Security, the Stimson Center, Partnership for a Secure America, and the Ploughshares Fund. Join the conversation on Twitter with #IranDeal.

Register here.

Implementing Cooperative Threat Reduction: The Private Sector’s Role in CTR
Date: April 20, 12:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Please join Dr. Ighor Uzhinsky of Orbital ATK for a lunchtime discussion of the private sector’s engagement with the implementation of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar Program. CTR was created for the purpose of securing and dismantling weapons of mass destruction and their associated infrastructure in the former states of the Soviet Union. Founded by Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) through the passage of the Soviet Threat Reduction Act in November 1991, the program aimed to address the large nuclear arsenals inherited by former Soviet states Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Dr. Uzhinsky will focus on the experience of the private sector in implementing CTR through examination of several cooperative programs in the areas of defense conversion and dismantlement of strategic missile delivery systems.

This event is part of the Nuclear Policy Talks series. Lunch will be provided.

RSVP here.

Ukrainian Energy Reforms and European Gas Supply
Date: April 20, 2:00pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1st Floor Conference Room, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host Alan Riley, Professor of Law at the City Law School with City University in London, to discuss the status of reforms to the Ukrainian energy sector and to provide an update on the European Union’s antitrust case against Gazprom. Following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, a pro-reform and pro-Western government emerged. Despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, much hope is placed in the new Ukrainian government’s ability to institute wide-ranging domestic reforms, particularly in the energy sector. Nonetheless, concrete, effectual changes have yet to materialize.

Simultaneously, the EU is looking to move ahead with its antitrust case against Russian gas giant Gazprom anti-competitive business practices. A well-known authority on both subjects, Professor Riley will provide an overview of the progress being made and the hurdles undermining energy reform in Ukraine as well as the status of the antitrust proceedings against Gazprom. Following Mr. Riley’s presentation, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, former Ambassador to the European Union and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will provide comments on the issues addressed.Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Register here.

A Special Talks @ Pulitzer: Filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer and ‘The Rise of the Killer Virus’
Date: April 20, 5:00pm
Location: Pulitzer Center, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 615, Washington DC

Ukrainian energy sector and to provide an update on the European Union’s antitrust case against Gazprom. Following the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014, a pro-reform and pro-Western government emerged. Despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine, much hope is placed in the new Ukrainian government’s ability to institute wide-ranging domestic reforms, particularly in the energy sector. Nonetheless, concrete, effectual changes have yet to materialize.

Simultaneously, the EU is looking to move ahead with its antitrust case against Russian gas giant Gazprom anti-competitive business practices. A well-known authority on both subjects, Professor Riley will provide an overview of the progress being made and the hurdles undermining energy reform in Ukraine as well as the status of the antitrust proceedings against Gazprom. Following Mr. Riley’s presentation, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, former Ambassador to the European Union and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will provide comments on the issues addressed. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RSVP here.

April 21, 2015

New Counterterrorism Strategies in Pakistan
Date: April 21, 9:30am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Following the December 2014 terror attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed 150, 132 children among them, the Pakistan government issued a National Action Plan (NAP), its latest counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategy. With extremist violence claiming thousands of lives, cross-border attacks undermining security in neighboring Afghanistan, and the risk of a Pakistan-based terror attack on India simmering discontent, Islamabad’s efforts to combat terrorism are vital for both domestic security and regional stability. Samina Ahmed and Mark Schneider will discuss this latest approach and how NAP’s success or failure could shape Pakistan’s relations with India and Afghanistan, and impact U.S. national security interests in the region. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare will moderate.

Register onsite.

The Syrian Humanitarian Crisis: What Is to Be Done?
Date: April 21, 9:30am
Location: Washington Court Hotel, Springwood Room, 525 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC

The Middle East Policy Council invites you and your colleagues to our 80th Capitol Hill Conference. Live streaming of this event will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21st and conclude at noon. A questions and answers session will be held at the end of the proceedings. Refreshments will be served.

Watch live online here.

Current State of Syrian Refugees in Turkey
Date: April 21, 10:00am
Location: SETA Foundation at Washington DC, 1025 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1106, Washington DC

The civil war has driven 6.5 million Syrians from their country; nearly 2 million now reside in Turkey. While Turkish refugee camps have garnered much attention due to their quality, the majority of Syrian refugees reside outside the camps. In urban areas, the government, aid agencies and NGOs struggle to meet the needs of an-ever growing number of refugees. Please join us for a panel discussion on the refugee crisis in Turkey and its impact on social, political and economic dynamics in the country.

Register here.

Is the American Century Over?
Date: April 21, 10:00am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

Join us for a conversation with the author of Is the American Century Over?, Joseph S. Nye, as he argues that America’s superpower status may be tempered, but is definitely not over.

For more than a century, the United States has been the world’s most powerful state. Now some analysts predict that China will soon take its place. Does this mean that we are living in a post-American world? Will China’s rapid rise spark a new Cold War between the two titans?

In this compelling essay, world renowned foreign policy analyst, Joseph Nye, explains why the American century is far from over and what the U.S. must do to retain its lead in an era of increasingly diffuse power politics.

RSVP here.

Book Launch—Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Future
Date: April 21, 11:30am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC

Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future critically examines the key assumptions and driving forces behind today’s global nuclear nonproliferation activity. Please join author Henry Sokolski, Ambassador Robert Gallucci, and former Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim for a luncheon and panel discussion to review findings from the book and discuss current trends in nuclear security.

RSVP here.

Military Balance 2015 Launch in Washington DC
Date: April 21, 2:00pm
Location: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington DC

The US launch of The Military Balance 2015 will take place at IISS-US on April 21. The Military Balance 2015 contains region-by-region analysis of the major military and economic developments affecting defense and security policies, and the trade in weapons and other military equipment. Detailed entries describe the military capabilities of 171 countries, displaying key equipment inventories and defense economics. Comprehensive tables detail arms orders and deliveries, major training activities and international comparisons of defense expenditure and military personnel.

Register here.

Building Peace in Libya: A Conversation with Wafa Bugaighis
Date: April 21, 3:00pm
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

As the conflict between Libya’s political factions drags on, its humanitarian and economic crisis deepens. Meanwhile, the Islamic State is exploiting the vacuum wrought by the fighting and the absence of coherent, capable institutions. What are the prospects for a ceasefire and the formation of an inclusive, sustainable government? Wafa Bugaighis, the charge d’affaires and highest-ranking diplomat at the Libyan Embassy in Washington, will offer her vision for ending the war and discuss how the international community can help rebuild Libya. Carnegie’s Frederic Wehrey will moderate.

Register onsite.

Does Russian Nationalism Have a Future after Ukraine?
Date: April 21, 3:30pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

Russian nationalism has been the victim of what is the essential tragedy of the Russian people: the Russian state tried to become an empire before the Russian people became a nation, and as a result, at no point has the country been a nation state. And while pro-Kremlin radical nationalists are increasingly important in Russian politics, their nationalist agendas have been largely co-opted by the state. The speakers will discuss the crisis facing Russian nationalists and what the future may hold for them.

RSVP here.

Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback?
Date: April 21, 5:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The past few years have marked the beginning of a tumultuous period for global governance. Across the world, we have seen threats to international order and a disruption of longstanding political norms and values as authoritarians get smarter and persist undeterred. With authoritarianism on the rise in many of the world’s most strategically important regions, new questions emerge regarding the diffusion of power, the rise of sometimes violent nonstate actors, and the future role of the nation-state. Developing an appropriate strategy for the advancement of human rights and the support of nonviolent civil resistance movements is thus proving to be one of the most challenging policy dilemmas for the United States and other democracies.

On April 21, the Atlantic Council will be hosting a public discussion of these challenges in recognition of the release of its forthcoming publication, Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? This discussion will feature multiple leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance and authoritarian states, and will explore the range of issues and case-studies examined within this book of essays.

Atlantic Council CEO and President Mr. Frederick Kempe will begin by moderating a discussion on countering authoritarianism between Dr. Peter Ackerman, Dr. Paula Dobriansky, and Mr. Damon Wilson. This will be followed by a discussion of the issues raised in the book itself, featuring Adm. Dennis Blair (USN, Ret.), Dr. George A. Lopez, and Dr. Regine Spector, moderated by Dr. Mathew Burrows and Dr. Maria J. Stephan.

Register here.

April 22, 2015

Examining U.S.-Israel Relations at a Time of Change in the Middle East
Date: April 22, 10:30am
Location: Center for American Progress, 1333 H St NW, 10th Floor, Washington DC

The U.S.-Israel relationship has been a centerpiece of U.S. Middle East strategy and a main pillar of Israel’s national security strategy for decades. But political relations between the two countries during the past six years have seen some turbulence, even as security cooperation deepens and they continue to share common interests and values at a time of change and uncertainty in the Middle East.

On April 22, please join the Center for American Progress, the Center for a New American Security, and the Israel Institute to take stock of where we are at this crucial stage in U.S.-Israel relations, featuring two expert panels. The first panel will discuss the management of U.S.-Israel relations, and the second will focus on the main issues under discussion between the two states.

RSVP here to attend in person or watch live online.

April 23, 2015

Do Color Revolutions Really Happen?
Date: April 23, 12:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Voesar Conference Room, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Washington DC

The current crisis in Ukraine is firmly rooted in the Orange Revolution and in associated Western beliefs that Ukraine could be wrested from no additional costs Russia and included in Western trade and security structures. The tragic outcome reflects more than the West’s shallow understanding of the dangers involved in pushing Russia into a value-based security order. Even more profoundly, it illustrates how poorly social science has grasped the preconditions for implementing profound institutional change via outside agency. Given the uniformly negative experience of a host of different “color revolutions,” it may be time to rethink the Western agenda of fixing things.

RSVP here.

The Authoritarian Resurgence: China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela
Date: April 23, 12:00pm
Location: National Endowment for Democracy, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington DC

Russia, Venezuela, China, and Saudi Arabia are among the most influential authoritarian states that are seeking to reshape the international order. These regimes may disagree on many things, but they share the objective of obstructing the advance of democracy and weakening the influence of democratic principles in the world. The established democracies have been slow to recognize the increasingly determined challenge from today’s authoritarians, perhaps because they hope that these regimes will be undone by their flaws. But given the resilience that the authoritarians have displayed so far, it would be imprudent for the democracies to underestimate the seriousness of the dangers that they pose. Based on articles that appear in the January 2015 and April 2015 issues of the Journal of Democracy, Javier Corrales, Andrew J. Nathan, Lilia Shevtsova, and Frederic Wehrey will discuss the multifaceted challenges presented by these regimes.

Register here.

Week in DC: Events

April 13, 2015 

Iraq Under Abadi: Bridging Sectarian Divides in the Face of ISIS
Date: April 13, 9:00am
Location: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Twelfth Floor, Washington DC

At the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, US warplanes began airstrikes against ISIS positions in Tikrit on March 25. But ISIS isn’t the only challenge standing in the way of a stable, unified, democratic Iraq. How should the United States approach Iranian influence in Iraq? Can Iraq ever achieve a true power-sharing democracy in spite of the sectarian divides between Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi’ites?

A day before Abadi meets with President Obama in Washington, please join us for a panel discussion on the future of America’s strategic partnership with Iraq. Experts with extensive regional experience will address the ISIS threat, growing Iranian influence, an economy hamstrung by low oil prices, and looming Kurdish separatism.

RSVP here.

Big Data for Defense and National Security: Maintaining the U.S. Technological Edge
Date: April 13, 11:00am
Location: Government Executive

With posting, tweeting, and streaming, the average American knowledge worker creates 1.8 million megabytes of data a year, enough to fill 9 CD-ROMS a day. But the big data revolution has just begun. There will be 44 times as much digital information in 2020 (35 ZB) as there was in 2009 (.8 ZB) according to IDC.

The national security community is a pioneer in the use of big data to achieve mission objectives but the analytics space is growing as quickly as the volume of digital data, itself. This session will focus on using big data analytics to maintain the U.S. technological edge and gaining advantage over adversaries. Join the discussion to learn:

  • What is the future of big data analysis biometrics relating to defense and national security?
  • How do we translate the insights into operational relevance?
  • What can be done to mitigate the risks of false positives?
  • Can we balance data collection for the purpose of national security with privacy concerns?

Share your questions during the live viewcast using: #NatSecData

Register here to watch live online.

The Iran Nuclear Deal
Date: April 13, 11:00am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

What are the short and long-term obstacles to finalizing and sustaining a nuclear deal with Iran, and how would a U.S.-Iran nuclear détente impact ongoing conflicts and long-standing alliances in the Middle East? Join the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for two panels discussing the nuclear deal and its regional implications.

Register here.

The Newburgh Sting and the FBI’s Production of the Domestic Terrorism Threat
Date: April 13, 12:00pm
Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Since 2001 the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led a vigorous hunt for domestic terrorists. The results have been mixed. Several attacks have occurred, though not with the apocalyptic results officials predicted. Authorities have stopped other domestic terrorists and, arguably, manufactured more. Through informants and undercover agents, the FBI has essentially organized fake terrorist plots, some ensnaring individuals so inept that they seemed incapable of succeeding in terrorism without government assistance.

One such case is featured in The Newburgh Sting, a 2014 documentary that aired on HBO. The film uses the FBI’s own secret recordings to show how an undercover informant induced four men to join a plot to blow up a Bronx synagogue and attack a nearby U.S. military base. The presiding judge said the government “came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,” thus making a terrorist out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.”

Please join us for a discussion with The Newburgh Sting’s creator, featuring segments of the film, along with experts from Cato and Amnesty. They will discuss why these sorts of investigations occur and what harm they might cause.

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

Lunch Panel on Iran Deal: Some Answers, More Questions
Date: April 13, 12:00pm
Location: JINSA, 1307 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

The recently announced Iran-P5+1 framework agreement raises as many questions as it answers – both political and technical – when it comes to securing an acceptable final deal that prevents a nuclear-capable Iran. The Iran Task Force at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy will hold a lunch panel event on April 13, 2015, to discuss its report assessing the outcome of negotiations thus far and next steps for the Administration and Congress.

Register here.

Cracking Down on Militancy in Pakistan
Date: April 13, 3:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Pakistan experienced a ‘Pearl Harbor’ moment last December, when militants attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar. Some say the attack caused a key shift in media and government attitude toward militant factions. However, real directional change had already occurred within the Pakistani Army in June 2014, after it reoriented its objectives and dropped the notion of “good” and “bad” Taliban. The internal dynamics of Islamist militant factions have been in flux for some time amid the changing landscape. What paths are militant groups – such as Jammat-al-Ahraar, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and even core Al Qaeda and the resurgent Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham – pondering, given the current climate? Hamid will discuss the militancy challenges facing Pakistan.

April 14, 2015

A Different Route to Countering Violent Extremism: What Works?
Date: April 14, 9:30am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC

From Paris to northeastern Nigeria to Burma, violent extremism has emerged as a critical threat to peace and stability. Military and police responses make headlines, but many governments, civil society organizations and individuals also are doing painstaking work to build resilience, support alternative narratives, reduce underlying divisions and ultimately counter the allure of militant groups. State Department Counselor on Counterterrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism, Eric Rosand, joins the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum on Tuesday, April 14, at the U.S. Institute of Peace for a discussion of the results of these efforts, and how to build on effective approaches.

RSVP here.

A Discussion on the FBI 9/11 Review Commission Report
Date: April 14, 10:00am
Location: Elliott School of International Relations, 1957 E Street NW, City View Room, Washington DC

In 2013 Congress directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to establish a commission to carry out a “comprehensive external review of the implementation of the recommendations related to the FBI” that were proposed by the 9/11 Commission in 2004. That new review commission was convened in late 2013 and released its final report last month, available at this link.

The report examines a range of issues related to the FBI’s counterterrorism and intelligence roles, including such issues as how the FBI addresses emerging threats; the FBI’s relationships with key federal, state, and local partners; and the role of intelligence analysts at the Bureau.

The GW Center for Cyber & Homeland Security (CCHS) is convening a roundtable discussion to assess the findings and recommendations of the report, with participation by Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University, and Ambassador Tim Roemer, two of the three Commissioners who led the Review; John Gannon, the Executive Director of the Review; and Mark Giuliano, the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The discussion will be moderated by Christian Beckner, Deputy Director of CCHS, and the event will include time for participant Q&A.

Register here.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About U.S. Sanctions on Russia * (*but were afraid to ask)
Date: April 14, 12:00pm
Location: Georgetown University, 37th and O Street NW, Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, Washington DC

The BMW Center invites you to “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About U.S. Sanctions on Russia*  (*but were afraid to ask)” with Adam Smith from the United States Treasury.

U.S. sanctions on Russia are among the most complicated and most consequential economic measures the United States has ever imposed – Russia is by far the largest, most connected economy ever targeted, and the sanctions bring with them unique challenges to the U.S., our closest allies, and the global economy. The result has been a sanctions regime unlike any other, requiring the development of innovative economic tools and intensive US-EU and US-G7 diplomacy.

Adam’s lecture will provide an overview of the mechanics of U.S. sanctions, how new sanctions tools have been developed to address Russian aggression, the ways in which these measures have been deployed in coordination with sanctions imposed by other states and the EU, and the impacts we have been seen.

Register here.

Setting the Stage for Peace in Syria
Date: April 14, 12:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St NW, 12th Floor, Washington DC

After four years of conflict, the prospect of a stable Syria continues to be bleak, with a diplomatic solution nowhere in sight and military steps lacking in international support. In their report titled, Setting the Stage for Peace in Syria: The Case for a Syrian National Stabilization Force, authors Hof, Kodmani, and White present a new way forward – one that takes President Obama’s train and equip program to the next level forging a Syrian ground force which could constitute the core of the future Syrian Army. The force would have the military mission of defeating any combination of enemies obstructing the stabilization of the country and the establishment of legitimate, inclusive governance in all of Syria. How can this force change the dynamics of the conflict on the ground and how can the international community help build it? What other elements need to be in place to make this force an effective part of a broader resolution of the conflict? Please join us for a discussion of these and other questions focusing on this new report.

At the Hariri Center, Ambassador Frederic Hof specializes in the conflict in Syria. Bassma Kodmani is Cofounder and Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, a consortium of policy analysis institutes that mobilize research capacity to advance democratic change in Arab countries.  Jeffrey White is a Defense Fellow at the Washington Institute specializing in the military and security affairs of the Levant.

RSVP here.

Subcommittee Hearing: Yemen Under Attack by Iranian-Backed Houthis
Date: April 14, 2:00pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hosts the following witness: The Honorable Gerald M. Feierstein, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

April 15, 2015

Hearing: Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information
Date: April 15, 10:00am
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “For years, Putin has used the Russian media to consolidate power at home and divide societies abroad.  The strategies employed today by the Kremlin are highly sophisticated and well-funded with an estimated annual budget of more than $600 million.  Russia’s media machine has polluted the media environment, the truth is lost, listeners don’t know whom to believe, and fear divides society.  Unfortunately, the U.S. has been slow to respond to this challenge and the agency charged with leading the effort – the Broadcasting Board of Governors – has a well-documented history of dysfunction.  We need to reform the BBG if we are to have a chance against this ‘weaponization’ of information.”

Moving Cybersecurity Innovations from the Research Lab to the Marketplace
Date: April 15, 12:00pm
Location: Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, 1307 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

The Cyber Security Division (CSD) within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate has successfully transitioned over 30 of its research efforts since 2004 into commercial and government use. These results include a number of start-up firms, new products, and open source projects. Established in 2012 with White House support, the Transition to Practice (TTP) Program is tasked with spreading the CSD methodology for tech transition to other federal organizations conducting cybersecurity research. TTP provides a structured process for taking research results, validating them through testing and pilots with partners, and working with an appropriate private sector entity on development and commercialization. The program currently has over 20 technologies in the pipeline for transition. Mr. Michael Pozmantier, manager of the TTP, will speak about the program’s methodology, success stories and lessons learned, and his perspective on technology transfer based on the TTP’s notable track record.

Register here.

Subcommittee Hearing: The Continuing Threat of Neglected Tropical Diseases
Date: April 15, 2:30pm
Location: U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC

The subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations host the following witnesses: Ariel Pablos-Méndez, M.D., Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development; Peter J. Hotez, M.D., President, Sabin Vaccine Institute; and Mr. Nicholas Kourgialis, Vice President, Eye Health, Helen Keller International.

Crime and Counterterrorism in Karachi
Date: April 15, 3:00pm
Location: Project for Study of the 21st Century, 1333 H Street NW, Washington DC

Drawing on his time as a police officer and counterterrorism official in Karachi, Omar Hamid discusses the nexus of crime, militancy and corruption in Pakistan’s most populous city. With ever more people living in ever more crowded metropolises, will it ever be possible to maintain the rule of law? And from half a world away, what hope does Washington ever have of influencing events on the ground?

Register here.

Russia and the West: A New Cold War
Date: April 15, 3:00pm
Location: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2121 K Street NW, Washington DC

Are Russia and the NATO embarking on a new Cold War? Since the Ukraine crisis intensified with Russia’s annexation last year of Crimea, this question has been covered intensively in the IISS journal Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. In the February-March 2015 issue, Georgetown associate professor Matthew Kroenig argued that NATO needed to face reality by preparing for such a struggle, including planning ‘for the development and deployment of a new generation of sub-strategic nuclear weapons to Europe.’ In the April-May issue Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shapiro, in a commentary co-authored with IISS Senior Fellow Samuel Charap, argued on the contrary that a new Cold War ‘would be hugely dangerous and costly,’ and to avoid it the US should be prepared for ‘negotiations on a revised regional order in Europe.’

Please join both authors as they present their arguments in a session chaired by Survival Editor Dana Allin.

Register here.

Russian Media and Ukraine’s Domestic Politics
Date: April 15, 3:30pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The Russian state increasingly uses state-controlled television as a means of propaganda both within its own borders and abroad. Using precinct-level electoral returns and survey data, Leonid Peisakhin will discuss how exposure to Russian television impacted Ukrainian voters in the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Register here.

April 16, 2015

Next Generation Nuclear Energy: Cooperation Between Korea and the United States
Date: April 16, 8:30am
Location: Capitol Visitor Center, East Capitol Street and 1st Street NE, Washington DC

On Thursday, April 16 the Global America Business Institute (GABI) in collaboration with the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) will host a hill briefting on the ‘Next Generation Nuclear Energy: Cooperation Between Korea and the U.S.’

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Mark Olson here. The venue is subject to change.

RSVP here.

Assessing U.S. Sanctions: Impact, Effectiveness, Consequences
Date: April 16, 8:45am
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has the United States and its European allies struggling to find a way to respond to Russia’s actions and continuing violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. To date, that response is centered on calibrated but escalating sanctions against Russia. Once again, American reliance on sanctions as an essential foreign policy tool is on display.

The deployment of sanctions as the primary response directed at a foreign government has ample precedent in modern American foreign policy. Given the importance and likely duration of the conflict in Ukraine, this is an important moment to examine the impact, effectiveness, and consequences of U.S. and U.S.-led sanctions as a policy tool. Past and current examples of sanctions, including Iran, South Africa, Cuba and others will provide important context for understanding the role that sanctions play in American statecraft.

RSVP here.

The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Critical Issue
Date: April 16, 12:00pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5 plus 1 have entered a crucial phase ahead of the March 30 deadline for a framework agreement. A distinguished panel of experts will examine some of the key issues involved in the negotiations and assess some of the pitfalls that must be avoided if an acceptable agreement is to be reached by the June 30th deadline for a final agreement.

Register here to attend in person.

U.S.-Japan-Australia Security Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges
Date: April 16, 12:00pm
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

In the last several years, the trilateral security relationship among the United States, Japan, and Australia has quickly emerged as one of the most robust “minilateral” cooperative relationships that the United States has with its allies. Much of this is due to the degree to which security relations between the non-US participants – Japan and Australia in this case – have deepened. Today, Japan and Australia are growing to be each nation’s most important security partner following the United States. The US-Japan-Australia trilateral security relationship is also unique in its strong inclination to engage in preserving and buttressing the existing international order in the region. The trilateral relationship has the potential to become a foundation for engagement with other countries in activities that build regional peace and stability. For these reasons, Stimson Center’s latest publication US-Japan-Australia Trilateral Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges dedicates its attention to the US-Japan-Australia trilateral security relationship and seeks to serve as an introduction to the evolving and dynamic trilateral security relations among Washington, Canberra, and Tokyo.

RSVP here.

Reform in Ukraine and What Kyiv Can Learn from the Baltic Experience
Date: April 16, 1:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council for a conversation with the former Prime Minister of Lithuania, Mr. Andrius Kubilius, and Dr. Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, on how the Lithuanian experience can inform Ukraine’s economic reform process.

Continued Kremlin aggression in Ukraine’s east has forced Ukraine into war on two fronts: a military war to secure its borders, and an economic war to secure its future stability. Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $17.5 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine. The IMF package aims to stabilize Ukraine’s finances, restore growth, and support modernization. The new Ukrainian government, under President Petro Poroshenko, is determined to implement IMF reforms, but reformers face challenges left behind by the Soviet legacy and years of mismanagement of the country’s finances. The Baltic States faced similar, seemingly insurmountable, economic challenges in the early 1990s. Today, the Baltics are the emblematic example of successful post-Soviet transformation. Can Ukraine repeat the Baltic economic miracle?

Mr. Kubilius was Prime Minister of Lithuania from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. This year, he will join Ukraine’s International Advisory Council for Reforms. Dr. Aslund, Swedish economist, is a leading thinker on economic transformation in Eastern Europe. In a conversation moderated by Ambassador John Herbst, Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Kubilius and Dr. Aslund will discuss the Ukrainian economy and how the transatlantic alliance can support Ukraine’s reform process. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, will deliver welcoming remarks.

This event is open to press and on the record.

Register here.

Options for Dealing with North Korea: More Patience or Engagement?
Date: April 16, 2:00pm
Location: Korea Economic Institute, 1800 K Street NW, Suite 1010, Washington DC

The United States and South Korea find themselves at a crossroads in managing policy towards North Korea. With the Six Party Talks dormant and a growing concern that North Korea is advancing its nuclear program unchecked, there is much distrust on the peninsula. At the same time, economic engagement has faced challenges with North Korea continuing to make unilateral changes at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Please join KEI for a discussion with the Honorable Stephen Bosworth and Dr. Marcus Noland on economic and diplomatic options for the United States and South Korea in dealing with North Korea.

RSVP here.

The State of Healthcare and Women’s Rights in Libya
Date: April 16, 4:00pm
Location: O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, 550 First Street NW, Washington DC

Working as CEO and Deputy Director General of the Benghazi Medical Center, one of Libya’s two biggest tertiary healthcare centers, for the last four years, Dr. Laila Bugaighis is one of a few women executive leaders working in the public healthcare sector in Libya.  Her achievements have led to her official nomination to minister of health more than once.

She grew up between Libya and Austria, spent a gap year studying political economics in the USA before pursing her medical education in Libya. In 2001 Dr. Bugaighis went on to train and finish her postgraduate studies in the UK to become a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of London. She returned to Libya in 2006 and started working as consultant and Senior Lecturer at the University of Benghazi Medical School. She started her advocacy for reform, ending corruption, and saving women from violence and death. In 2010 she presented results of a four-year Audit, which looked into the failure of reducing maternal deaths in Libya, at an International British Conference, and pushed for the recommendations for reducing maternal mortality in Libya.

Dr. Bugaighis is a member of the Scientific Committee for Reproductive Health of Libya, and a member of the Libyan-EU initiative for healthcare systems reform. In 2012 she reached out to the Global Health arm of Harvard and MGH to link healthcare centers and improve standards and quality in her country. In March 2011 she founded the National Protection Against Violence Committee, which aimed to implement a comprehensive program for gender-based violence in Libya. The Committee, which she chaired, was later incorporated into the Ministry of Health. She also chaired the violence cluster of the United Nations Mission in Libya in 2011, and was invited by the University of Toronto Law School in February 2013 to join a panel of experts on Gender Based Violence in Libya and Syria.

She is co-founder of Al Tawafuk Al Watani, a political NGO working to raise awareness.

Register here.

Unconventional Methods for Assessing Unconventional Threats
Date: April 16, 6:00pm
Location: George Mason University, 1202 Merten Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA

Dr. Gary Ackerman is the Director of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Prior to taking up his current position, he was Research Director and Special Projects Director at START and before that the Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Research Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California.

His research encompasses various areas relating to terrorism and counterterrorism, including terrorist threat assessment, radicalization, terrorist technologies and motivations for using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, and the modeling and simulation of terrorist behavior. He is the co-editor of Jihadists and Weapons of Mass Destruction (CRC Press, 2009), author of several articles on CBRN terrorism and has testified on terrorist motivations for using nuclear weapons before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

Dr. Ackerman received an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University and a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London.

The Future of Global Health
Date: April 16, 6:30pm
Location: The Hamilton, 600 14th Street NW, Washington DC

Hosted by Global Health Council and the Global Health Fellows Program II, The Future of Global Health 2015 is an event for global health unlike any other. It is a unique opportunity to step outside the usual panel discussion format and engage in meaningful conversation with peers and potential mentors.

The goal of TFGH15 is to foster connections and increase knowledge through conversations among new and established members of the global health community. This year’s event will focus on the global health workplace – the challenges, solutions and skills needed to advance progress on the global health issues of our time. The breadth of sectors – private, non-profit, government, academic and donor – will be represented among the event’s discussion group leaders, mentors and attendees.

This unconference features small group discussions and one-on-one conversation opportunities with senior global health professionals.

Tickets are available here for $30.

April 17, 2015

Honeypots and Sticky Fingers: The Electronic Trap to Reveal Iran’s Illicit Cyber Network
Date: April 17, 2:00pm
Location: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street NW, Washington DC

The West has severely underestimated Iran’s cyberwarfare capabilities. Despite sanctions, the Islamic Republic has managed to build a sophisticated information technology (IT) infrastructure, and new intelligence indicates that the Iranian regime may be maintaining front companies in the West to obtain cyber technology. How can the United States and its allies enhance their security and combat Iran in cyberspace?

We invite you to join AEI and the Norse Corporation for a groundbreaking discussion on the Iranian cyber threat and the key findings from their joint report analyzing Iran’s IT infrastructure and malware activity. General Keith Alexander, former commander of US Cyber Command and former director of the National Security Agency, will deliver a keynote address. At the end of the event, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the report’s data firsthand at interactive workstations.

Register here.

Lessons Learned from the Ebola Response Enhancing Global Health Security
Date: April 17, 3:00pm
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

In 2011 the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) review committee warned that, “the world is ill-prepared to respond to a severe influenza pandemic or to any similarly global, sustained and threatening public-health emergency.” Three years later the spread of Ebola in West Africa was a vivid demonstration of shortcomings in global health security.

Stimson and the Government of Finland invite you to join us to discuss the lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola outbreak. We will highlight the activities of Global Health Security Agenda partner countries in the affected West African countries, their efforts to rebuild health systems, and their lessons from the crisis. We will also discuss the role of civil society and private industry to the Ebola response. We will draw lessons learned from international organizations as we consider how the Global Health Security Agenda can best contribute to the strengthening of common capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat of infectious diseases in the future.

RSVP here.

Week in DC: Events

April 6, 2015

The Fate of South Africa’s Nuclear Material
Date: April 6, 9:00am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

South Africa, the only nation ever to build a nuclear arsenal and voluntarily dismantle it, proudly regards itself as a champion of disarmament and nonproliferation. But for almost two decades, the United States and South Africa have struggled over the handling of highly enriched uranium (HEU) stockpiles that have remained after the closure of its bomb program. What is the dispute over South Africa’s stocks of HEU, and how is it playing out? What are its roots? And what are the consequences for global security?

The Center for Public Integrity’s Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith will explain how the two countries have interacted under presidents Obama and Zuma. Harvard University’s Matthew Bunn will discuss South Africa’s HEU in the context of efforts to improve nuclear security around the globe. Former ambassador Thomas Wheeler of South Africa will join by video from Johannesburg to offer his views on the subject. Carnegie’s Togzhan Kassenova will moderate.

Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir with Author Amb. Christopher R. Hill
Date: April 6, 12:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

From Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon to U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, Christopher R. Hill has worked in some of the most dangerous hotspots of the past few decades. In his new book Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir, published by Simon & Schuster, he brings readers inside the rooms where modern history has been made. Hill’s story is a vivid, insightful account of 33 years with the Foreign Service, and a witty, often wry take on life in the Foreign Service – from his childhood in Belgrade and Haiti, where his father was a diplomat, to the Peace Corps, working with credit unions in Cambodia, and after that, to his life in the State Department. Hill’s perspective is crisp and no-nonsense, pulling no punches but not out to settle scores. Instead, it’s a tour of the people, places and events that have been so crucial to world events in recent history. Throughout the book, readers get a sense of what it was like to be in some of the world’s most dangerous areas, attempting to negotiate under the highest pressure.

RSVP here.

U.S. – Russia Relations: What Went Wrong and is There a Way Out of the Current Crisis?
Date: April 6, 6:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Relations, Lindner Commons 601, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

The current crisis in Ukraine, which many see as a geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the United States, underscores the urgent need for developing a new foreign policy agenda that will benefit both American and Russian long-term strategic interests. As the deterioration of conditions in Ukraine continues, the world may face not only the return of the Cold War, but also even more dangerous scenarios. However, the United States and Russia have fundamentally compatible interests on issues such as terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, piracy, illegal cyber activity, drug trafficking, and climate change. It may be worth recalling that even in the most dangerous periods of the Cold War the risks of military confrontation were defused by the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan.

RSVP here.

April 7, 2015

Tracking Arms In Conflict—Lessons from Syria and Iraq
Date: April 7, 11:00am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

For countries in conflict, the unfettered transfer of weapons can pose a significant risk to armed forces and civilian populations, as well as to long-term security and stability. Better understanding of the complex global arms trade can help curb these risks and has the benefit of providing insight on the inner-workings of illicit networks around the world. Identifying and tracking weapons being used in armed conflicts is, therefore, a vital and often dangerous task. At times this is done by investigators on the ground, but often relies on footage and other evidence viewed from afar.

Join us April 7, when Jonah Leff, Director of Operations, Conflict Armament Research, will report on findings of field investigations and the new iTrace system of nearly 40,000 weapons and rounds of ammunition discovered in the Middle East. Leff will discuss the prevalence of U.S. weapons found among Islamic State fighters; findings of newly manufactured Russian, Iranian, and Sudanese ammunition; evidence of supply to Syrian rebels from Saudi Arabia; and large scale industrial production and use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Syria and Iraq. Matt Schroeder, Senior Researcher, Small Arms Survey, will share examples using YouTube and other footage to track the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated shoulder-fired missiles (MANPADS) by fighters in the Middle East.

This event is co-hosted by the Forum on the Arms Trade and the Stimson Center and is the third in a Stimson series on missing and illicit weapons. Previous events were held on missing weapons in Libya and the risk of unauthorized retransfers.

RSVP here.

Next Steps in Missile Defense
Date: April 7, 1:00pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Washington DC

The Center for Strategic and International Studies welcomes experts to discuss both policy and programmatic aspects of the next steps in missile defense.

Register here.

Ambassador Lukman Faily on the Future of Iraq
Date: April 7, 3:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Room 806, Washington DC

As Iraq tries to re-take territory from ISIS, what are the challenges it faces? How are efforts to re-integrate Sunni fighting forces proceeding, and what steps have been taken toward a more inclusive government? Baghdad’s relations with Iraqi Kurdistan are still fraught. Oil prices are dramatically lower than once expected. The country’s most important friends – the United States and Iran – are trying to reach a nuclear deal even as they support opposing forces in Syria and Yemen. How will lraq manage in this turbulent and challenging environment?

The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Conflict Management Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) are pleased to host the Ambassador of Iraq, His Excellency Lukman Faily, and Abbas Kadhim (SAIS) in a discussion about Iraq and its future.

Register here.

Islam and the Dynamics of Ethno-Confessional Regimes in Russia, 1990-2012
Date: April 7, 4:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Voesar Conference Room, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Washington DC

Why would a secular state change its policies toward religion? Research on secularism and state policies toward religion suggests several models of interaction. However, these models are often better at describing static relationships than they are at explaining change. This study advances a framework for the conditions that presage the transformation of state-religion relations by examining significant differences between Russian state attitudes toward Islam in the early 1990s and the 2000s. In particular, it focuses on notable changes in the licensing of Imams, the building permissions granted for mosques, and registration requirements for religious organizations. The study largely explains the dynamics of Russian state attitudes toward the largest minority religion in the country during the first two decades after the collapse of the Soviet state and offers predictive insights on the dynamic nature of state-Islam relations in other secular states with considerable Muslim populations.

Bulat Akhmetkarimov is a Ph.D. candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His publications appeared in Religion, State & Society, SAISPHERE, Rivista, and Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations. His research interests include ethnic conflict, federalism, and secularism in Russia.

RSVP here.

WIIS-GWU Mentoring Roundtable featuring Tara Sonenshine
Date: April 7, 7:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 805 21st Street NW, MPA 411, Washington DC

Tara D. Sonenshine is a former Shapiro Fellow and Distinguished Fellow at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. She is the former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the Department of State and previously served as the Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  Prior to joining USIP, she was a strategic communications adviser to many international organizations including USIP, the International Crisis Group, Internews, CARE, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Ms. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton Administration, including Transition Director, Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications.   Prior to serving in the Clinton Administration, Ms. Sonenshine was an Editorial Producer of ABC News’ Nightline, where she worked for more than a decade.  She was also an off-air reporter at the Pentagon for ABC’s World News Tonight and is the recipient of 10 News Emmy Awards for coverage of international affairs.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University.

RSVP here.

April 8, 2015

Morocco’s Contribution to Countering Violent Extremism in Africa and the Middle East
Date: April 8, 10:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The recent terrorist attack on the Bardo National Museum in Tunis underscores the growing danger extremist ideologies and violence pose to the North African region and beyond. Countries still unsettled by the tumult of the Arab Spring are now confronting the radicalizing influence of ISIS and other extremist organizations as thousands of North Africans flock to join the militants.

The Kingdom of Morocco has not been spared the challenge of radicalization as more than one thousand of its citizens have joined terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria in recent years. However, Morocco’s innovative counter-radicalization program, launched after terrorist attacks in the early 2000s, continues to expand and offers hope to the entire region. Its comprehensive approach provides social services and economic opportunities specifically targeted at young people. It also focuses on combatting radical ideologies on the religious level by training students and imams in the moderate Maliki rite of Sunni Islam and Sufi traditions for service in Morocco as well as elsewhere in Africa and even in Europe.

Register here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Today
Date: April 8, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul Room/ Zilkha Lounge, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

With more than 60,000 employees, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations, is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. And as the world’s first full-service border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

On April 8, the Governance Studies program at Brookings will host an event to discuss the agency’s mission, accomplishments, challenges, and future goals. CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske will discuss insights from his first year leading the agency. Commissioner Kerlikowske will also share highlights of his vision for the future for CBP, offering new details from his “Vision and Strategy 2020.” The CBP Vision and Strategy 2020 recommits the agency to countering terrorism and transnational crime; advancing comprehensive border security and management; and enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness by enabling lawful trade and travel.

After the program, there will be audience Q&A. Register here.

The Conservative Case for Surveillance Reform (Lunch Briefing)
Date: April 8, 12:00pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B354, Washington DC

Two years ago, major revelations about the NSA’s massive invasion into the lives of all Americans jumpstarted a heated national debate about the Fourth Amendment government intrusion into our personal lives.

With key sections of the Patriot Act set to expire on May 31st, Congress must address the constitutionality and effectiveness of the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.

Our panel will feature a dynamic discussion addressing concerns of gun owners, harm to the U.S. economy, and runaway executive power. Panelists will include: R Street’s Mike Godwin, Cato’s Patrick Eddington, Wayne Brough of FreedomWorks, Golden Frog’s Sunday Yokubaitis, and others.

RSVP here.

Cyber Risk Wednesday: The Future of Iranian Cyber Threat
Date: April 8, 4:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Few other events have so far dominated 2015 as the P5+1 negotiations to limit Iranian nuclear capabilities. Against the backdrop of the negotiations, it is likely that Iran, Israel, and the United States are gathering their strength for a renewal of cyber conflict of the past several years.

The confrontations include attacks both from Iran, such as disruption of the US banking sector and against Gulf energy companies, and against Iran, such as Stuxnet and the Wiper worm.

Should the talks fail, what are the chances of an escalating cyber conflict?

The moderated panel discussion will analyze the latest developments in Iranian cyber capabilities and discuss the chances of larger cyber conflict.

Register here.

Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective
Date: April 8, 4:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Professor Hale’s new book proposes an innovative way of understanding events throughout the world that are usually interpreted as democratization, rising authoritarianism, or revolution. Where the rule of law is weak and corruption pervasive, what may appear to be democratic or authoritarian breakthroughs are often just regular, predictable phases in longer-term cyclic dynamics – patronal politics. This is shown through in-depth narratives of the post-1991 political history of all post-Soviet polities that are not in the European Union. Professor Hale’s book also includes chapters on czarist and Soviet history and on global patterns.

Professor Timothy Colton is Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies and Chair of the Government Department at Harvard University. His main area of interest is Russian and post-Soviet government and politics. He is the author of Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military Politics (1979), The Dilemma of Reform in the Soviet Union (1986); Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis (1995), Transitional Citizens: Voters and What Influences Them in the New Russia (2000); Popular Choice and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (with Michael McFaul, 2003), and Yeltsin: A Life (Basic Books, 2008).

RSVP here.

DPE Presents: The Role of New Technologies in Disaster Resilience and Response Panel
Date: April 8, 7:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Room 213, Washington DC

Nearly half of the world’s 7 billion people are exposed to at least one natural disaster. Disasters, in the face of climate change and rapid development, continue to pose an overarching threat to societies across the globe. In today’s modern era, technology is playing a vital role in reducing risk and enhancing policy-makers abilities to manage natural and man-made disasters.

Join Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority and experts from the World Bank, American Red Cross, USAID, and the George Washington University for a panel discussion on the salient role of new technology in building resilience, engaging local communities, and reducing risk from disasters, both natural and man-made.

Register here.

April 9, 2015

The Search for International Consensus on Syria and Beyond
Date: April 9, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

In 2013, the international community came together to protect the Syrian population by committing to the elimination of Syria’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons, a feat achieved the following year. Together, the United Nations and the Nobel-Prize winning Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are credited with achieving one of the few breakthroughs in containing the ongoing crisis in Syria. What lessons can be learned for application in other conflict areas, especially as OPCW continues its work destroying chemical weapons facilities in Syria this year?

On April 9, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and The Hague Institute for Global Justice will host OPCW Director General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü for a discussion about the process of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and implications for peace, security, and accountability. This event marks the second annual Justice Stephen Breyer International Law Lecture, which addresses critical issues of international law and policy. Brookings Executive Vice President Martin Indyk will introduce Ambassador Üzümcü. Deputy Mayor of The Hague Ingrid van Engelshoven will provide brief opening remarks, and Abiodun Williams, president of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, will moderate the discussion. Senior fellow at the Middle East Institute Robert S. Ford (U.S. Ambassador to Syria, 2010-2014) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mallory Stewart will join the discussion with Ambassador Üzümcü, following his keynote address. After the program, the speakers will take audience questions.

Register here.

Grave New World: Global Challenges in the 21st Century
Date: April 9, 6:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Commons, Room 602, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Join the Elliott School for it’s Leadership in International Affairs: Lessons Learned series, featuring Dean Michael Brown. This session is moderated by Diana Henriques, Contributing Writer for The New York Times.

Michael E. Brown is the Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He has held these positions since August 2005. Before coming to GW, he held senior positions at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He was Co-Editor of International Security, the leading academic journal in the security studies field, for twelve years.

Dean Brown is the author of Flying Blind: The Politics of the U.S. Strategic Bomber Program, which won the Edgar Furniss National Security Book Award. He is the editor or co-editor of 22 books, including: Grave New World: Security Challenges in the 21st CenturyEthnic Conflict and International Security; and Going Nuclear: Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century. Dean Brown received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. He has traveled to more than 70 countries.

The goal of the Leadership in International Affairs: Lessons Learned series is to draw on the insights and experiences of prominent individuals who have participated in major international developments, to learn more about key events as well as the broader leadership lessons that individuals, organizations, and countries should derive for the future.

Register here.

April 10, 2015

U.S. Cyber and Space Security—Challenges and Opportunities
Date: April 10, 9:00am
Location: TechAmerica Offices, 1525 Wilson Boulevard, 2nd Floor Conference Center, Arlington, VA

The issues surrounding both cyber and space security are becoming increasingly intertwined. As such, the U.S. national security community has been hard at work, examining the challenges and opportunities that are impacting both sectors.

The evolution and increased complexity of information technology capabilities, which are a key component of space systems architectures, have made the systems more vulnerable to cyber attacks. The growing concern over cyber threats has made us focus more intently on mission resilience.

The George C. Marshall Institute and the TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council have brought together a panel of top national security experts to discuss the latest on how industry and government are addressing emerging cyber threats that threaten information assurance and mission resilience.

Register here.

Germany in Europe: The Cautious Leader
Date: April 10, 12:00pm
Location: The Wilderness Society, 1615 M Street NW, Washington DC

Dr. Karen Donfried assumed the leadership of the German Marshall Fund as president in April 2014. Donfried most recently was the special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. In this capacity, she was the president’s principal advisor on Europe and led the interagency process on the development and implementation of the president’s European policies.

Prior to the White House, Donfried served as the national intelligence officer (NIO) for Europe on the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community’s center for strategic thinking. As NIO, she directed and drafted strategic analysis to advance senior policymakers’ understanding of Europe. Donfried first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. From 2003 to 2005, she was responsible for the Europe portfolio on the Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff. Her second term of service at GMF was 2005 to 2010, first as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president.

Donfried has written extensively on German foreign and defense policy, European integration, and transatlantic relations. She received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German Government in 2011, became an officer of the Order of the Crown of Belgium in 2010, and received a Superior Honor Award from the Department of State in 2005 for her contribution to revitalizing the transatlantic partnership. She has a PhD and MALD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Magister from the University of Munich, and a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University. Donfried is fluent in German.

Register here, $25 for members, $40 for non-members.

Israel and the EU: Perceptions in a Complex Relationship
Date: April 10, 12:00pm
Location: Middle East Institute, 1761 N Street NW, Washington DC

The Middle East Institute is pleased to host Professor Sharon Pardo for a presentation on Israel’s vital relationship with the European Union (EU). With over half a billion people in its 28 member states, the EU is Israel’s largest trade partner. EU countries and Israel enjoy rich cultural exchanges as well as close security cooperation treating the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, the EU is a significant donor to the Palestinian Authority, and public sentiment in Europe regarding Israel’s settlement and occupation policies is broadly negative.

Pardo and co-author Neve Gordon recently examined the complexities of the relationship in an article published by MEI in The Middle East Journal. He will discuss Israeli perceptions of the EU and paths the relationship may take in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new term.

Register here.

Japan’s Foreign Policy Debates and China-Japan Relations
Date: April 10, 4:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, The Rome Building, Room 806, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

This lecture examines significant shift of Japanese foreign policy focusing on its China policy. It first reviews the two major previous crossroads and related decisions which Japanese foreign policy faced in recent history. In conducting a case study on Japan’s China policy, it puts the debates on Japan’s policy choices in the context of ongoing dynamic of Asia Pacific international relations, including the Tokyo-Washington-Beijing triangle. Note: This event is off the record.

RSVP here.

April 11, 2015

Rising Tides: A Simulation of Geopolitical Conflict and Competition in the South China Sea
Date: April 11, 11:00am
Location: George Washington University Crisis Simulations, Washington DC

The South China Sea has been one of the most sought after regions in the world since the turn of the 21st century. A relatively small body of water that comprises barely 1% of the world’s oceans, the South China Sea is hotly contested by several regional actors including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei. Though the exact territorial claims vary from state to state, all of the actors have held firm in their demands, and none are eager to lose even an inch of their claim. This tension is fueled by the tremendous strategic and economic value of the waterway; the South China Sea is home to an abundance of marine life and rich fishing grounds, in addition to a number of vast oil and gas fields suspected to be hidden beneath the waves. If natural resources did not raise tensions enough, nearly half of the world’s oil tanker and merchant fleet traffic sail through the South China Sea every year, making it one of the busiest and oceanic regions in the world.

This simulation will examine the complex maze that actors must negotiate when dealing with the tense social, political, and military dilemmas currently occurring in the South China Sea. Participants will assume the roles of policymakers and must work with both state and non-state regional actors to execute comprehensive and multilateral government responses to issues ranging from great power politics, piracy, and natural resource conflicts, to state bargaining dilemmas, humanitarian assistance, and collective action problems. Participants will have the unique opportunity to grapple with serious questions of national interest through the eyes of either the government of the United States of America or the People’s Republic of China. Participants will need to develop policies in line with their team’s objectives in order to manage a variety of crises and react to actions from the opposing team.

Whether through the Politburo or the National Security Council, the Pentagon or the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of State Security or the Central Intelligence Agency, participants will be challenged to work together to develop policy solutions for the complex myriad of issues that will determine the fate of the South China Sea.

Register here.

Demystifying Syria
Date: April 11, 7:00pm
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, 100 Welsh Park Drive, Rockville, MD

Come learn more about the bitter and largely misunderstood situation on the ground in Iraq and Syria, including the U.S. military and political responses and alternative solutions to the crisis, as we hear from some of the most well-informed analysts in the U.S. You will have an opportunity to ask questions following their presentations and discuss options we can take to curtail the violence.

Following the speaker presentations and Q&A, refreshments will be served providing you an opportunity to talk informally with the speakers and the other members of the audience. Don’t miss this exciting forum!

Week in DC: Events

March 30, 2015

Central Asia: What’s Next?
Date: March 30, 9:30am
Location: Georgetown University, Copley Formal Lounge, 3700 O Street NW, Washington DC

Hosted by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, this one-day conference aims to discuss political, economic and security developments in Central Asia following the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Full schedule available here. Register here.

Islam in the Turkish Republic: The Discourse and Praxis of Islamic Modernism
Date: March 30, 12:15pm
Location: Georgetown University, CCAS Boardroom, ICC 241, 3700 O Street NW, Washington DC

Islam in modern Turkey is usually discussed in the context of a supposed cultural dichotomy between Islam and social progressivism (frequently glossed as a never-ending struggle between “Islamists” and “Secularists”). This presentation, however, will discuss how this dichotomous characterization of Islam in Turkey obscures the close interaction of social progressivism and Islamic thought since the beginning of the Turkish Republic. This talk will shed light on the history of Islamic Modernism in modern Turkey, an Islamic theological movement that since the late 19th century has argued for progressive social change and reform. It will discuss how some of the basic tenets of Islamic theological modernism have helped shape Islamic praxis in the Turkish Republic, and how the discursive framework of Islamic modernism has helped lay the groundwork for a wide variety of Islamic discourses since the early 1920s.

Register here.

General Wesley Clark: Exclusive Briefing from Ukraine’s Front Lines
Date: March 30, 4:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Despite the Minsk II ceasefire agreement, Russia continues to supply weapons, equipment and troops to support separatists in Ukraine’s east. In February, the key city of Debaltseve fell to Russian separatists. The port city of Mariupol is the likely next target and tensions spread further to the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. As Ukraine prepares for another assault from Russian-backed separatists, what steps should the United States and NATO take to help Ukraine withstand Russian aggression?

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

March 31, 2015

Salafists and Sectarianism: Twitter and Communal Conflict in the Middle East
Date: March 31, 9:30am
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

The Stimson Center invites you to join a discussion on the role of social media in spreading sectarian sentiment in the Middle East.

Social media has a powerful effect on much of what happens in the world today. From inciting people to join protests on the streets of Cairo to recruiting young girls to join ISIS, social media can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. In fact, radical groups, such as the Islamic State, have social media to thank for much of their success. While these groups dominate much of the headlines, other non-violent radicals, such as Sunni Salafists, are also using these platforms to disseminate sectarian ideologies. A close analysis of their Twitter accounts opens a window into their universe and the strategies they are using to increase animosity toward the Shi’a, who they believe are not real Muslims.

RSVP here.

To Vote or Not to Vote: Egypt’s Diverse Electorate
Date: March 31, 12:00pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Islamic religious education in Europe and the United States has become a subject of intense debate after Muslims raised in the West carried out attacks against their fellow citizens. People worry their states are doing too little or too much to shape the spiritual beliefs of private citizens.

In her new Brookings paper, Jenny Berglund explains the differences in publicly-funded Islamic education in Europe and the United States. Her report details existing religious education programs, teacher training, and ongoing political debates, grounded in the historical and religious norms of the countries. Berglund also recommends good practices for governments to further their citizens’ knowledge about Islam and promote inclusive citizenship and respect.

On April 2, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World will host Berglund and an American expert on Islamic religious education to discuss current programs and best practices in Europe and the United States. After the discussion, the panelists will take audience questions.

Register here and join the conversation on Twitter using #IslamicEd.

Kazakhstan’s Challenging Geopolitical Environment or the Rubik’s Cube of Kazakhstan’s Geopolitics
Date: March 31, 5:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Rome Auditorium, Washington DC

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy, faces daunting geopolitical challenges. How will Kazakhstan address developments in Ukraine, the Eurasia Economic Union, and Afghanistan?  Three experts from Kazakhstan share their thoughts on these and related issues.

Register here.

Europe and the Iran Negotiations: EES Seminar Series with Valerie Lincy
Date: March 31, 6:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Rome 806, Washington DC

Ms. Valerie Lincy is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Project. She oversees the Project’s two principal projects, the Risk Report database and the Iran Watch website. She provides training as head of the Risk Report team that visits foreign countries. As the editor and principal investigator for Iran Watch, she bears the main responsibility for building, populating and maintaining the site, as well as writing articles for publication, organizing and presiding at roundtables, and conducting associated research. Ms. Lincy graduated from Smith College, cum laude, and received an M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University. Before coming to the Project, she worked as a researcher in the Paris bureau of the New York Times and as a researcher in Washington-based non-profit institutes.

Register here.

April 1, 2015

American Diplomacy at Risk
Date: April 1, 10:00am
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC

Please join us as American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) Chairman Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Vice Chairman Ambassador Marc Grossman present an overview of the new AAD report, which aims to stimulate changes necessary to prepare American diplomacy for the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.

The report looks in two directions: first, at the politicization of the State Department and the reduction of the role of the Foreign Service, which weakens the State Department and American diplomacy and must be resisted; and second, at potential reforms for both the Civil and Foreign Service to improve professional education, formation and quality.

RSVP here.

Deal of No Deal? Negotiating with Iran
Date: April 1, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Falk Auditorium, Washington DC

Talks aimed at producing a political framework to resolve the Iran nuclear issue are likely to come down to the wire before the  deadline at the end of March, but already leaders in the United States and Iran are facing an intense debate among key constituencies at home. Iranian hardliners have criticized potential regime concessions, while opponents of a deal in the U.S. Congress are advancing legislation that could undermine the Obama administration’s ability to implement an agreement.

On April 1, the Center for Middle East Policy and the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion examining diplomatic progress to date, the components of a credible deal, Iran’s objectives and concerns, and the politics in the United States.  After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

Register here.

Tomorrow’s Army: The Future of Landpower and Army Innovation
Date: April 1, 10:30am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Room 212-A, Washington DC

Please join us for a conversation with Under Secretary Carson to discuss the Army’s vision for the role of landpower in future operations. Secretary Carson will also discuss the Army’s approach to innovation, technological and otherwise.

Register here.

Making Sense of Chaos in the Middle East: Multiple Wars, Multiple Alliances
Date: April 1, 12:00pm
Location: Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Volcanic changes in the region are under way, with the outbreak of Sunni-Shiite wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, unprecedented tension between Washington and Israel, and U.S.-Iranian nuclear talks that appear on the verge of breakthrough.

To discuss the urgent and longer-term implications of this unfolding chaos, The Washington Institute will host a Policy Forum with senior fellows James Jeffrey, Dennis Ross, and Robert Satloff, moderated by Michael Singh.

Watch live online here.

Information Sharing for Cybersecurity
Date: April 1, 12:30pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Information sharing to improve cybersecurity has been a goal for the U.S. since the 1990s. After almost two decades of experience, some successful models have emerged, but obstacles and uncertainties continue to slow information exchanges. One major challenge is defining the role of government.

Should government participate, facilitate or control the sharing of cyber threat intelligence by and between government and commercial critical infrastructure? Is it possible for the government to take an active role in cybersecurity without creating the perception of risk to privacy and civil liberties of US persons? Are existing US privacy protections, written decades before the advent of the Internet, adaptable to the internet environment?

CSIS will assemble leading experts to discuss these challenges. The event will begin with a keynote speech on the larger issues pertaining to information sharing. Next, a panel will look through the prism of the Department of Energy’s Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP). CRISP started as a small pilot funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, but on August 14, 2014, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) agreed to manage CRISP for the Electricity Subsector, with each new company funding its own participation. The panel will discuss how CRISP might serve as a model for future information sharing and critical infrastructure protection programs.

Register here.

Food Court: The Role of Litigation in Safeguarding Food in the U.S.
Date: April 1, 1:30pm
Location: O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, McDonough Hall, Room 437, Washington DC

Aliza Y. Glasner, J.D., is an Associate at the O’Neill Institutefor National and Global Health Law.Her area of expertise is in food and drug law. Aliza’s research at O’Neill has focused on the role of voluntary data sharing in stimulating development and innovation of medical products, tobacco control, and preventing antimicrobial resistance. Aliza’s work also focuses on domestic healthcare law and the Affordable Care Act. Before joining Georgetown, she was the Manager of Product Development at the Food and Drug Law Institute in Washington, DC. There, she worked in collaboration with industry and government experts to develop programs and publications addressing legal, policy and regulatory issues in the food and drug sector. Aliza previously practiced law at Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft in New York. Aliza holds a law degree from Fordham University and a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University. This event is open to all students, faculty, staff, and interested members of the public.

For more information on O’Neill Institute events, please visit www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/index.cfm

Politburo 2.0: Can Putin’s Inner Circle Survive the Crisis?
Date: April 1, 5:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins University SAIS, 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, Rome 806, Washington DC

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprising moves throughout the Ukrainian crisis have highlighted the opaque nature of the decision-making process at the highest levels of the Kremlin. Who are the individuals who most influence Putin’s decisions? What does the changing balance of power within Putin’s inner circle suggest about Russia’s future trajectory? And can Western sanctions eventually turn Putin’s ‘politburo’ against him?

Please join CGI for a discussion with Evgeny Minchenko, a leading Russian political consultant who was rated first among political analysts consulted by Russian journalists in 2013, on the findings of his breakout study, “Politburo 2.0,” that maps the changing dynamics of Putin’s inner circle.

A wine reception will follow. Space is limited: please RSVP to reserve your spot.

Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy
Date: April 1, 5:30pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Room 602, Washington DC

The United States, Barry R. Posen argues in Restraint, has grown incapable of moderating its ambitions in international politics. Since the collapse of Soviet power, it has pursued a grand strategy that he calls “liberal hegemony,” one that Dr. Posen sees as unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful. Written for policymakers and observers alike, Restraint explains precisely why this grand strategy works poorly and then provides a carefully designed alternative grand strategy and an associated military strategy and force structure. In contrast to the failures and unexpected problems that have stemmed from America’s consistent overreaching, Dr. Posen makes an urgent argument for restraint in the future use of U.S. military strength.

After setting out the political implications of restraint as a guiding principle, Dr. Posen sketches the appropriate military forces and posture that would support such a strategy. He works with a deliberately constrained notion of grand strategy and, even more important, of national security (which he defines as including sovereignty, territorial integrity, power position, and safety). His alternative for military strategy, which Dr. Posen calls “command of the commons,” focuses on protecting U.S. global access through naval, air, and space power, while freeing the United States from most of the relationships that require the permanent stationing of U.S. forces overseas.

Copies of this book will be available for sale at the event.

RSVP here.

Framework to Agreement: Hope or Disappointment for Iran Nuclear Deal?
Date: April 1, 6:30pm
Location: Offices of KPMG, 1801 K Street NW, Washington DC

Secretary of State John Kerry has spent much of the last month in Lausanne, Switzerland in talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to negotiate a conceptual framework by a March 31st deadline.   This framework would lay the foundation for a future nuclear deal with Iran. Join us as we welcome back Amb. John Limbert and Dr. Trita Parsi for an update on a process which began in October 2013 and a look ahead to the potential outcomes of the talks. What can we expect after March 31st? What impact, if any, did the open letter to Ayatollah Khomeini from 46 United States Senators have on negotiations? With Saudi Arabia calling to receive the same deal as Iran, what is at stake for the United States and the world?

Barbara Slavin will moderate the discussion.

Register here.

April 2, 2015

Iraq: Now and After ISIS
Date: April 2, 12:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a conversation with Samir Sumaida’ie, Diplomat in Residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center and former Iraqi Ambassador to the United States.

Ambassador Sumaida’ie, who recently returned from Iraq, will discuss the evolution of the struggle in Iraq is both complex and consequential. The outcome is going to be a major factor in determining the future shape of the region, and will have a significant impact on global geopolitics. The United States as well as other players should have a clear eyed assessment of where things are heading, and what needs to be done if the direction of events is not palatable.

RSVP here.

America’s Future Role in Afghanistan
Date: April 2, 12:30pm
Location: SEIU Conference Center, 1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

The Middle East Institute is pleased to host former American Ambassadors to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad (service in Kabul 2003-2005), Ronald Neumann (2005-2007), and Ryan Crocker (2011-2012) for a panel discussion about the ongoing U.S. role in Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani has promised a decade of transformation, but to succeed he must face down growing security concerns and political and economic uncertainty. The panelists will examine the current situation in the country and the future of the U.S. role there in light of resurgent threats from al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.  Marvin Weinbaum, director of the Center for Pakistan Studies at The Middle East Institute, will moderate.

Register here.

ISIS and al-Qaeda: Assessing Terrorist Threats to the Homeland and Beyond
Date: April 2, 12:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (also known as ISIS) as a violent extremist group with global aspirations has raised concerns over a potential terrorist attack on US soil. As ISIS pursues its objective of establishing a state in various parts of the Middle East, it continues to recruit foreign fighters from North Africa and Europe in order to plan for attacks against the West. Recently, Belgian and Australian authorities uncovered ISIS-inspired cells on their territories and succeeded in foiling terrorist plots. So could the US homeland be an ISIS target?

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda – the terrorist organization that actually attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 – is still alive and operational in Yemen and other poorly governed spaces in the region, and continues to pose a threat to the US homeland and regional interests. How should we assess the global terrorist threats posed by ISIS and al-Qaeda? Should al-Qaeda continue to be a counterterrorism priority for the United States? Are al-Qaeda and ISIS equally dangerous, but in different ways?

Please join the Atlantic Council on Thursday, April 2, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a discussion of the potential differences between ISIS and al-Qaeda and how the US government should be analyzing and countering both groups simultaneously.

Register here.

Islamic Religious Education in Europe and the United States
Date: April 2, 2:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, Washington DC

Islamic religious education in Europe and the United States has become a subject of intense debate after Muslims raised in the West carried out attacks against their fellow citizens. People worry their states are doing too little or too much to shape the spiritual beliefs of private citizens.

In her upcoming Brookings paper, Jenny Berglund explains the differences in publicly-funded Islamic education in Europe and the United States. Her report details existing religious education programs, teacher training, and ongoing political debates, grounded in the historical and religious norms of the countries. Berglund also recommends good practices for governments to further their citizens’ knowledge about Islam and promote inclusive citizenship and respect.

On April 2, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World will host Berglund and an American expert on Islamic religious education to discuss current programs and best practices in Europe and the United States. After the discussion, the panelists will take audience questions.

Register here to attend.

Stopfake.org: Combatting Kremlin Disinformation about Ukraine
Date: April 2, 4:00pm
Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, Suite 412, Voesar Conference Room, Washington DC

The Stopfake project, an independent Ukrainian website launched by young journalists on March 2, 2014, counters false information about Ukraine, especially in pro-Kremlin media. The website publishes articles, video newscasts, and informational material to educate readers about propaganda and ways in which the news is distorted. The Stopfake team has already verified tens of thousands of articles, photos, and videos and has revealed nearly 400 instances of false reporting.

RSVP here.

April 3, 2015

Russia Today: Evaluating the Media Environment in 2015
Date: April 3, 10:30am
Location: Human Rights Campaign, Equality Forum, 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, the Russian government has increased its editorial and regulatory control over the media. At the same time, the dominant narrative has turned more nationalistic and anti-Western. Recent public opinion polls suggest that a vast majority of the Russian population strongly supports these official positions and the regime. How has the Kremlin achieved this level of domestic cohesion, and what factors of Russia’s media landscape have enabled this trend? What are the long-term consequences of today’s hostile environment, and can independent media still find a voice? How have conditions changed for Western journalists working in Russia?

The Center on Global Interests is pleased to invite you to a conversation with David Satter and Jill Dougherty on evaluating Russia’s current media environment and political culture.

Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited: please RSVP to reserve your spot.

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

Panelists:
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.

Week in DC: Events

March 9, 2015

Ukraine: Public Opinion Amid War
Date: March 9, 11:00am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

The survey of 2,000 Ukrainians, led by political psychologist Dr. Steven Kull at the University of Maryland and administered by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, was conducted Feb. 13-22, beginning one day after the latest ceasefire was to take effect and spanning the fall of Dabaltseve to Russian-backed separatists.  Conducted primarily through face-to-face interviews (telephone was used in some of the conflict areas), the poll also queries Ukrainians on how they think the United States, Russia, Germany, France and the EU are handling the crisis.

Kull is director of the University-affiliated Program for Public Consultation, which develops methods for enhancing the capacity of governments to consult their publics on policy decisions. He also is Senior Research Scholar at the University’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). Dr. Kull plays a central role in the BBC World Service global poll, and regularly briefs members of the U.S. Congress as well as officials of the State Department, the United Nations, and the European Commission.

RSVP here.

The Ukraine Crisis and Japan’s Russia Challenge
Date: March 9, 12:30pm
Location: East-West Center, Sixth Floor Conference Room, 1819 L Street NW, Washington DC

The crisis in Ukraine – Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and its intervention in Eastern Ukraine – has had global implications. Resisting any attempt to change the status quo by force or coercion used to be a challenge mainly in East Asia. However, in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Europe and Japan (and Asia as a whole) are now facing in common the same challenge. Still, the question of how to manage the relationship with Russia remains tricky for Tokyo, particularly in the context of the territorial dispute and peace treaty negotiations between the two countries and the rise of China. The Shinzo Abe government invested a lot in cultivating relations with Moscow – or with Putin personally. It is, therefore, not surprising that Japan has often been seen as among the most reluctant of G7 members along with Germany regarding economic sanctions on Russia, while firmly committed to the process of G7 coordination. Japan, in short, faces its own Russia challenge in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

Dr. Michito Tsuruoka will discuss what considerations and calculations have been at work behind Japan’s response to the crisis in Ukraine. It is much more than just about the bilateral relationship between Japan and Russia. He will also examine (alleged) extended deterrence implications as well as concerns about “hybrid warfare.”

RSVP here.

A Conversation on the Middle East with Stephen Hadley
Date: March 9, 1:00pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Nitze Building, Kenney Herter Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Stephen Hadley served as the National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Hadley served as Deputy National Security Advisor. In addition to covering the full range of national security issues, he had special responsibilities in several areas including a U.S./Russia political dialogue, the Israeli disengagement from Gaza, and developing a strategic relationship with India.

From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Hadley was both a principal in The Scowcroft Group (a strategic consulting firm headed by former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft) and partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Shea & Gardner (now part of Goodwin Proctor). In his consulting practice, he represented U.S. corporate clients investing and doing business overseas, including in China, the United Arab Emirates, and Western and Eastern Europe. At Shea & Gardner, he represented U.S. corporate clients in transactional and international matters—including export controls, foreign investment in U.S. national security companies, and the national security responsibilities of U.S. information technology companies. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Hadley served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy for President George H.W. Bush, and from 1974 to 1977 he served on the National Security Council staff of President Gerald R. Ford.

Mr. Hadley remains engaged on U.S. national security policy, currently serving on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He is also a Director of the Atlantic Council, serving on its Executive Committee and is a member of the Board of Managers of the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, Chairman of RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy Advisory Board, and a member of Yale University’s Kissinger Papers Advisory Board. He previously held positions as co-chair of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, a member of the Department of Defense Policy Board, and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Mr. Hadley also serves as Senior Advisor on International Affairs to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). In this capacity, Mr. Hadley has co-chaired a series of senior bipartisan working groups on topics ranging from Arab-Israeli peace to U.S. political strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan to U.S./Turkey relations. He also contributes to the Institute’s programs in the Middle East and Asia.

Register here.

America’s Strategic Dilemma: A Revisionist Russia in a Complex World
Date: March 9, 2:15pm
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2nd Floor Conference Center, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

The Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is pleased to invite you to a conversation with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser and current CSIS counselor and trustee. On March 18th, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an historic speech to the Russian Assembly which formally annexed Crimea and ushered in a new Russian chauvinistic policy of protecting ethnic Russians beyond Russia’s borders.  As a result, Russia’s relations with its European neighbors and American counterparts have descended to their lowest level since the Cold War. As the one year anniversary of this historic speech nears and as the conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine continues to spread claiming thousands of Ukrainian lives, it is time for the U.S. to re-think its reactive policy response to Russian actions and formulate a more durable and multidimensional policy approach which addresses the Kremlin’s hybrid and comprehensive toolkit of information, economic, political, energy, and military tools.  How significant is the threat Russia poses to the interests of the United States and its allies?  What are the key elements of a new American  policy?  Are the American people prepared for a long-term crisis with Russia?

Register here.

Of Marines, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Guantanamo, and Beyond
Date: March 9, 4:30pm
Location: Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC

This event is sponsored by The Center for Human Rights and International Affairs, a project of Good of All and The Institute of World Politics.

David Iglesias’ 30 year legal career has been exceptionally diverse and global; United States Attorney, U.S. Navy JAG Officer, White House Fellow, college professor, political economy think tank director, state prosecutor, military war crimes/terrorism prosecutor and spokesman, rule of law instructor in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia; civil rights defense attorney, state-wide political candidate, and criminal defense attorney (represented legendary Navy SEAL Team Commanding Officer Dick Marcinko). He also defended a Marine in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that partially inspired the hit movie “A Few Good Men”, was named to Esquire Magazine’s 2009 “Best and Brightest” list and authored the book “In Justice”. He is the son of missionaries and was raised tri-cultural and tri-lingual in Panama and New Mexico. Retired Navy JAG Captain Iglesias is a graduate of a public high school in Santa Fe, Wheaton College and the University of New Mexico School of Law.

RSVP here.

March 10, 2015

The Future of U.N. Peace Operations
Date: March 10, 9:00am
Location: United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon created the High-level Independent Panel on U.N. Peace Operations on October 31, 2014, to undertake a comprehensive review of peace operations. Join the U.S. Institute of Peace on March 10 for a discussion with a delegation from the U.N. panel co-hosted with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs and the Better World Campaign.

The independent panel is charged with reviewing the broad range of issues, including the changing nature of peacekeeping environments, evolving mandates, good offices and peacebuilding challenges, managerial and administrative reforms, planning, partnerships, human rights, and protection of civilians.

Speakers will include:

  • Mr. Anthony Blinken, Keynote Address
    Deputy Secretary of State
  • Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta, Remarks
    Former President of Timor-Leste
  • Ambassador William Taylor, Welcoming Remarks
    Acting Executive Vice President, USIP
  • Ambassador George Moose, Panel Introductory Remarks
    Vice Chair, USIP Board of Directors
  • Ms. Sheba Crocker, Introductory Remarks
    Assistant Secretary of State
  • Mr. Peter Yeo, Closing Remarks
    Vice President of Public Policy, U.N. Foundation
    President of the Better World Campaign

Other members of the High Panel will participate in the Q&A session. Complete agenda. Register here.

Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order
Date: March 10, 12:00pm
Location: Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

The current conflict in Ukraine has spawned the most serious crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. It has undermined European security, raised questions about NATO’s future, and put an end to one of the most ambitious projects of U.S. foreign policy – building a partnership with Russia. It also threatens to undermine U.S. diplomatic efforts on issues ranging from terrorism to nuclear proliferation.

This book puts the conflict in historical perspective by examining the evolution of the crisis and assessing its implications both for the Crimean peninsula and for Russia’s relations with the West more generally. Experts in the international relations of post-Soviet states, political scientists Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer clearly show what is at stake in Ukraine, explaining the key economic, political, and security challenges and prospects for overcoming them. They also discuss historical precedents, sketch likely outcomes, and propose policies for safeguarding U.S.-Russia relations in the future. In doing so, they provide a comprehensive and accessible study of a conflict whose consequences will be felt for many years to come.

RSVP here.

Sharing Secrets: Obstacles and Solutions to International Intelligence Sharing
Date: March 10, 12:00pm
Location: New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC

Newly recruited intelligence officers are taught that there are no friendly intelligence agencies, only intelligence agencies of friendly countries. This old adage still rings true, yet intelligence sharing between these unfriendly agencies is more important and more developed today than ever. Whether it’s about fighting terrorism or WMD proliferation, intelligence agencies are sharing information and cooperating to an unprecedented degree. How effective is this cooperation? What can promote it and increase it? Where does it stop?

New America is pleased to welcome our keynote speaker Gen. (ret.) Michael Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and of the National Security Agency; as well as Dr. David Gioe, a former FBI and CIA officer now Assistant Professor at West Point and an expert on the special intelligence relationship between the US and the UK; and Dr. James Walsh, Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina and author ofThe International Politics of Intelligence Sharing.

RSVP here.

Combatting Terrorism: Looking Over the Horizon
Date: March 10, 12:30pm
Location: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Recognizing that a military approach alone is insufficient for eradicating terrorism, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall will outline the United States government’s broad-based strategy to address violent extremism. Her remarks will explain why non-military foreign policy tools, such as development, stabilization efforts, humanitarian assistance, and peacebuilding are essential to current counterterrorism efforts and to prevent the rise of future threats. Under Secretary Sewall will also discuss the successful White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, convened by President Obama in February 2015, and the vision for a multi-institutional approach – inclusive of governments, civil society, and the private sector – to operationalize the prevention strategy.

RSVP here.

Japan’s Global Diplomacy: Views from the Next Generation
Date: March 10, 2:00pm
Location: The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC

The Stimson Center’s latest publication Japan’s Global Diplomacy offers a collection of policy briefs identifying key relationships that have emerged under Prime Minister Abe’s “diplomacy that takes a panoramic view of the world map” (chikyuugi wo fukan suru gaiko) initiative. The briefs have been written by Japanese leading experts, who have each examined Japan’s relations with India, Russia, Australia, and Europe while addressing Japan’s national interests and policy goals, the background and context of each relationship, the challenges and obstacles to Japan’s policy goals, prospects for US-Japan engagement and policy recommendations for issue areas.

RSVP here.

March 11, 2015

The Islamic State’s Ideology & Propaganda
Date: March 11, 10:00am
Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

While the Islamic State dominates headlines through its brutal tactics and online propaganda, questions persist about its ideology and recruitment techniques. Two new Brookings papers break down ISIS’ ideology and social media methods to trace how the group rose from a “paper state” of little influence to a global jihadi movement.

Drawing from private correspondence, speeches, and Islamic theology, Cole Bunzel analyzes the Islamic State’s doctrines and development since 2002 in “From Paper State to Caliphate: The Ideology of the Islamic State.” In “The ISIS Twitter Census,” J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan answer fundamental questions about how many Twitter users support ISIS, who and where they are, and how they participate in its highly organized online activities.

On March 11, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World will convene a panel of the papers’ authors and experts on the Islamic State’s propaganda to discuss what the group wants and how to counter it. After the discussion, the panelists will take audience questions.

This event will be webcast here or register here to attend in person.

Update on Security in Nigeria and the Campaign Against Boko Haram
Date: March 11, 10:00am
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

After the Independent National Electoral Commission announced a six-week delay in the scheduled presidential election, the Nigerian military launched a major offensive against Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram with military support from neighboring countries, including Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin.

Please join the Africa Center on Wednesday, March 11, for a discussion with Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Badeh will provide an update on the offensive against Boko Haram and assess the current security situation throughout Nigeria in view of the upcoming elections. The Chief of the Defence Staff will be joined by Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who will address the issue of internally displaced persons in the country.

Register here.

Putin’s Third Term: Assessments Amid Crisis
Date: March 11, 11:00am
Location: Center on Global Interests, Lindner Commons, 1957 E Street NW, Room 602, Washington DC

Russia’s turbulent year has prompted numerous questions on the country’s long-term trajectory under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. Can Russia rebound from its current economic crisis? What, if any, vestiges of cooperation with the West exist for 2015 and beyond? What is the Kremlin’s domestic policy and how is it adjusting to the rapidly evolving world around it?

The Center on Global Interests and The Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University are pleased to invite you to a lunch discussion with Mark Galeotti, Harley D. Balzer, and Robert Orttung on assessing Russia’s challenges and prospects at the mid-point of President Putin’s third term. The event will mark the release of CGI’s latest report, Putin’s Third Term: Assessments Amid Crisis, coauthored by Harley D. Balzer, Mark Galeotti, and Richard Sakwa of the University of Kent. CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov will moderate the discussion.

Lunch will be served. Space is limited: please RSVP here.

Confronting National Security Threats in the Technology Age
Date: March 11, 1:30pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/ Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Cutting-edge technology has led to medical breakthroughs, the information age, and space exploration, among many other innovations. The growing ubiquity of advanced technology, however, means that almost anyone can harness its power to threaten national, international, and individual security. In their new book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting a New Age of Threat (Basic Books, 2015), Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum explore the potential dangers of modern technology when acquired by hostile groups or individuals.

On March 11, Governance Studies at Brookings will host a book event to discuss the new threats to national security and the developing framework for confronting the technology-enabled threats of the 21st century. In order to manage the challenges and risks associated with advanced technology, governments, organizations, and citizens must reconsider the intersection of security, privacy, and liberty. What does this mean for domestic and international surveillance? How will the government protect its citizens in an age of technology proliferation?

After the program, panelists will take audience questions.

Register here.

Creating Kosovo: International Oversight and the Making of Ethical Institutions
Date: March 11, 3:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington DC

In shaping the institutions of a new country, what interventions from international actors lead to success and failure? Elton Skendaj’s investigation into Kosovo based on national survey data, interviews, and focus groups conducted over ten months of fieldwork, leads to some surprising answers. Dr. Skendaj will discuss his book, Creating Kosovo: International Oversight and the Making of Ethical Institutions, which highlights efforts to build the police force, the central government, courts, and a customs service.

RSVP here.

March 12, 2015

A New Approach to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Best Practices for Security, Nonproliferation, and Sustainable Nuclear Energy
Date: March 12, 9:00am
Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC

Every generation or so, experts debate whether we need to do more to control the technologies that can be used to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful nuclear energy. Most recently, concerns about capabilities in Iran and North Korea have raised the question: Is the current approach on the fuel cycle – leaving uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities in the hands of national governments – too risky on proliferation and security grounds?

In early 2011, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program launched the New Approaches to the Fuel Cycle (NAFC) project to develop an integrated approach to nuclear supply and demand that would improve the robustness of the nonproliferation regime without dampening the sustainability of nuclear energy. Drawing from industry, government, and NGO community expertise in the United States and abroad, the NAFC project is the first comprehensive approach to managing nuclear energy that would address “future Irans,” seeking to close gaps in the system that allow the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies and enable states to produce weapons-usable nuclear material.

Register here.

Between the Milestones: The Status of Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul
Date: March 12, 9:00am
Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Conference Center, 1799 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

We are pleased to invite you to attend a public panel in conjunction with the release of a new report, Between the Millstones: The State of Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul. This report, jointly produced by the Institute for International Law and Human Rights, Minority Rights Group International, No Peace Without Justice, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, offers a detailed account of the humanitarian crises and abuses suffered by Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities, women, and children since June 2014. It also provides an analysis of these atrocities within an international legal framework, as well as recommendations to various communities and stakeholders.

This discussion will focus on several key questions: What abuses have been committed in Iraq since June 2014, and what is the current status of affected minorities? What international conventions are applicable to human rights abuses committed in Iraq, and how can they be used to bring justice to perpetrators of violence in Iraq? What actions can international human rights and humanitarian organizations take to ameliorate the conditions in which Iraq’s minorities currently find themselves? And how can the international community work to prevent future abuses in Iraq?

RSVP here.

Crypto Wars 2.0: How Should the U.S. Balance Privacy and National Security?
Date: March 12, 9:00am
Location: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 1101 K Street NW, 610 A, Washington DC

President Barak Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, among other world leaders, have suggested that companies should not create IT products and services so secure that governments cannot gain access. FBI Director James Comey has gone so far as to criticize companies that build consumer devices designed without back doors for law enforcement, and one Justice Department official has labeled devices with strong encryption a “zone of lawlessness.” These statements reflect a deep disconnect between ongoing efforts, including within the federal government, to build ever more secure systems for data and attempts by the intelligence community and law enforcement to circumvent them. The tension also reflects a significant threat to the future economic success of the U.S. tech industry, since foreign competitors are likely to offer more secure alternatives in the global market.

While the Crypto Wars of the 1990’s may be over, there are clearly more battles ahead. Join ITIF for a panel to discuss how these proposed policies will affect consumers’ privacy and security, the implications for the U.S. tech sector, and alternative policy options that might strike a better balance the needs of law enforcement and robust security practices.

Passcode, the privacy and cybersecurity vertical of the Christian Science Monitor, will serve as the events exclusive media sponsor.

Register here.

Israel’s Periphery Doctrine and Search for Middle East Allies
Date: March 12, 2:00pm
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/ Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

Israel’s objectives of national security and stability amidst a complex geopolitical environment led it to pursue, shortly after the founding of the nation in 1948, an overarching foreign policy strategy known as the “periphery doctrine.”

Author Yossi Alpher outlines this doctrine in his new book, Periphery: Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). The strategy sought to develop and maintain relations with non-Arab and non-Muslim countries and minorities in the Middle East, as a means of fortifying Israel from adversarial Arab nationalist elements. Greater recognition of Israel achieved through the Sadat Initiative, the 1991 Madrid Conference, and the 1993 Oslo Accords led to a decrease in periphery strategy thinking and implementation. However, the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East following Arab revolutions, coupled with the threats that Israel perceives from Iran and Turkey, has generated discussion of a possible new periphery strategy and alternative foreign alliances within Israel’s strategic policy community.

On March 12, The Intelligence Project at Brookings will host Alpher, a former Israeli intelligence officer, for a discussion of the components, successes, and failures of the periphery doctrine; the strategy’s recent revitalization; and how the doctrine should be adapted to meet new global challenges. Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, director of The Intelligence Project, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. Following Alpher’s remarks, he and Riedel will take questions from the audience.

Register here.

Intelligence in Flux: From the Cold War to the Present
Date: March 12, 4:30pm
Location: Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th Street NW, Washington DC

About the lecture: Mr. Hunt will discuss select operations from his experiences during six field tours to illustrate the cases faced during the Cold War, including a major 30 year program directed against the United States and American businesses. He will also discuss the motivations that operations officers contend with: greed, deception, revenge, resentment, courage, and risk taking. Finally, he will discuss current issues including a profession in flux, the impact of intelligence leaks, and the growing complexity of technological and cyber capabilities. He will take questions on any aspect of intelligence.

About the speaker: David P. Hunt retired in 1995 as a senior officer from the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served for 32 years, primarily in the Directorate of Operations. His tours included Italy, Vietnam, Somalia, Norway, France, and New York City. He served twice as Deputy Chief of Station (Norway and France) and twice as Chief of Station (Somalia and New York City). Mr. Hunt is an expert in Soviet operations, European affairs, and counterintelligence. Mr. Hunt holds the Donovan Award for Excellence, as well as the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, its highest award. Mr. Hunt is a graduate of St. Paul’s School and holds a B.A. in History/Government from Colby College in Maine. He served in the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps and spent a year in Korea. He now resides in New York City. Mr. Hunt is currently Chairman of both Charles Pratt & Co., LLC in New York City and the Dosoris Trust Company. He serves on the boards of the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and the Sustainable Development Institute in Washington, D.C.

Register here.

Crackdown in the New Russia: LGBT Rights in Russia and Crimea
Date: March 12, 7:00pm
Location: Newsuem, Knight Conference Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center and the Arcus Foundation, presents “Crackdown in the New Russia: LGBT rights in Russia and Crimea” with grantees Nora FitzGerald and Misha Friedman, and special guest Dmitry Chizhevsky, a Russian who was a victim of anti-LGBT violence in St. Petersburg. The program is the second in the series “Faith, Freedom, Sexuality & Silence.”

Journalist Nora FitzGerald discusses her reporting on Russia’s government crackdown on the LGBT community and how it fuels an increase in the AIDS epidemic in Russia. Photojournalist Misha Friedman shares images from “Crimea: The Human Toll” and “Official Homophobia in Russia”, projects documenting the impact on the LGBT community in Crimea of the homophobic rhetoric now legitimized by federal law after Russia’s military annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Dmitry Chizhevsky, 26, now lives in Washington, D.C., and is seeking political asylum. In November 2013, Dmitry was the victim of a hate crime in Saint Petersburg. He was at a community party at the local LGBT center when assailants burst in shouting anti-gay epithets and shooting people randomly with a pellet gun. As a result, he lost the sight in one eye.

Misha Friedman photographed Dmitry in the hospital in Saint Petersburg. There was no arrest at the time of the attack and a rather lackluster investigation, as often happens in Russia with these crimes. The violent attack reflects a disturbing trend of harassment and intimidation of the LGBT community, a trend that has worsened with the government crackdown of the past few years.

RSVP here or watch live online here.

March 13, 2015

Japan-Korea Relations at 50: The Weakest Link in Asia
Date: March 13, 9:00am
Location: American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street NW, Twelfth Floor, Washington DC

This year marks the 50th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea. Unfortunately, the relationship between these two wealthy democracies remains hamstrung by historical resentment and territorial disputes. Although the United States needs to foster cooperation among its Asian partners in the face of growing Chinese aggression, Seoul and Tokyo are incapable of working together on basic issues. What political factors have contributed to current tensions, and what does the future hold for Japan–South Korea relations?

Please join us for a panel discussion on the state of Japan–South Korea affairs and America’s role in fostering cooperation between two of its most important Asian allies.

RSVP here.

“Empire” and “Invitations”: Gier Lundestad’s Impact on Cold War Scholarship in Perspective
Date: March 13, 3:00pm
Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Floor, Washington DC

Geir Lundestad has been the Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo and Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee since 1990, retiring at the end of 2014 as director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Geir has made an enormous scholarly contribution to the field of history and supported many scholarly endeavors in the social sciences through the Nobel Institute fellowship and symposia program inaugurated under his leadership.

Born in 1945 in Sulitjelma, a mining community in Northern Norway, Lundestand received his MA (Cand. philol.) in history from the University of Oslo in 1970 and a PhD from the University of Tromsø¸ in 1976. He held various positions at the University of Tromsø¸ from 1974-1990, including Associate Professor of History, Professor of American Civilization, and Professor of History. He has also been a research fellow at Harvard University (1978-79, 1983) and at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. (1988-89). Concurrent to his position as Director of the Nobel Institute, Lundestad is also Adjunct Professor of International History at the University of Oslo. Lundestad is the author of numerous books and articles in English and Norwegian; covering a broad range of topics including Norwegian history, the European community, the Cold War, and American foreign policy. He is a frequent commentator on Norwegian television and radio.

Please join us for a symposium honoring Professor Geir Lundestad at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

RSVP here.

Week in DC: Events

March 2, 2015

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

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

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

RSVP here.

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

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

Register here.

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

RSVP here.

The Future of the Fight Against ISIL
Date: March 2, 6:30pm
Location: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower, Washington DC

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security for a special event with General John Allen, USMC (Ret.), the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, to discuss what may lie ahead in the US-led fight against the Islamist group that straddles Iraqi and Syrian territory.

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

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

Watch live online here.

March 3, 2015

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

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

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

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

Watch live online here.

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

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

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

RSVP here.

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

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

RSVP here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

Join TraCCC for a lively discussion with these distinguished guests.

The panel will feature experts from throughout Africa:

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

RSVP here.

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

RSVP here.

March 4, 2015

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSVP here.

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

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

Register here.

March 5, 2015

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

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

Register here.

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

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

RSVP here.

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

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

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

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

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

March 6, 2015

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

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

RSVP here.