Peace picks August 5-9

Summer doldrums, but some good pickings:

1. Dissecting the Pentagon’s Strategic Choices and Management Review, Brookings Institution, Tuesday, August 6, 2013 / 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Venue: Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Speakers: Marvin Kalb, Michael E. O’hanlon, Mackenzie Eaglen

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently summarized the results of his Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), an internal Pentagon process designed to assist the Department of Defense as it plans for a future period of uncertain and significantly constrained defense spending. Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter also provided Congressional testimony on the subject. The review explored how the Pentagon might deal with at least two possible budget scenarios: the president’s own long-term plan, which calls for another $150 billion in ten-year defense savings beyond those mandated initially in the 2011 Budget Control Act, and the possibility that sequestration will stay in effect for a decade, requiring a full $500 billion in additional defense cuts relative to the same baseline.

On August 6, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings will host a discussion on the usefulness of the SCMR as an analytical product which clarifies the kinds of changes that will be needed in the future, while also examining plans within it that may not be prudent. Panelists, among others, will include Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, author of Healing the Wounded Giant: Maintaining Military Preeminence While Cutting the Defense Budget (Brookings, 2013). Marvin Kalb, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, will moderate the event.

After discussion, the panelists will take audience questions.

Register for the event here:

2. Military Strategy Forum with Major General Steven L. Kwast, Director, U.S. Air Force Quadrennial Defense Review, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Tuesday, August 6, 2013 / 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Venue: Center for Strategic and International Studies, B1AB

Conference Room

1800 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

Speakers: Steven L. Kwast, David J. Berteau

The Center for Strategic and International Studies presents the latest in the special QDR Discussion Series of the Military Strategy Forum The Quadrennial Defense Review: United States Air Force a discussion with Major General Steven L. Kwast Director, U.S. Air Force Quadrennial Defense Review and David J. Berteau, CSIS Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program.

The past week has brought renewed focus to the QDR. Please join us for a discussion with Major General Kwast, followed by a Q&A.

Register for the event here:


3. A New Political Generation in Japan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Wednesday, August 7, 2013 / 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Venue: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Speakers: Hiroaki Kuwajima, James L. Schoff

The upcoming House of Councillors elections will hold significant consequences for the shape of reform and legislation in Japan. In addition to being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his majority Liberal Democratic Party, it also completes an election cycle that has seen an influx of new policymakers to the Japanese Diet.

Hiroaki Kuwajima will provide post-election analysis with an emphasis on generational changes in Japanese politics and their potential impact on Japan’s political economy. James L. Schoff will moderate.

Register for the event here:


4. Peace and Stability Operations Colloquium Series: Countering the Lord’s Resistance Army, George Mason University School of Public Policy, Wednesday, August 7, 2013 / 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Venue: George Mason University – Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, Room 111

3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201

Speakers: Scott Duncan, Charlene Brown, Robert W. Farrand

The Peace Operations Policy Program of the School of Public Policy, George Mason University is proud to present the following in its “Peace and Stability Operations Colloquium Series” of events: Countering the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Scott Duncan is a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) where he supports strategy development for engagements in Africa and leads efforts to integrate new technologies and innovative approaches into conflict prevention efforts. Duncan has deployed to Africa twice with CSO, serving as the State Department Field Representative for Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) issues in 2012 and as a Political Officer in Juba, South Sudan in late 2010 and early 2011. Other assignments include rotations as Somalia Desk Officer and India Desk Officer. Prior to joining the State Department, Duncan worked on nuclear nonproliferation and arms control issues for the Department of Defense. He has also worked at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva and the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels. Duncan holds an M.A. International Relations from Princeton University and a B.A. History from Dartmouth College.

Charlene Brown is a Stabilization Operations Specialist in the Africa Operations team at CSO, where she currently covers Great Lakes and counter-LRA issues. She recently returned from deployments in Africa, where she was first seconded to the UN Stabilization Support Unit in Goma, DRC during the M23 uprising, and later worked in Central African Republic and Uganda as a State Department Field Representative for LRA issues. Past work includes design of integrated planning tools and products and teaching planning and facilitation techniques to interagency Civilian Response Corps members with the CSO Office of Learning and Training, and deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 as a Civ-Mil Planner to support the civilian uplift at Embassy Kabul in the Office of Interagency Provincial Affairs. Prior to CSO, Brown worked at the National Democratic Institute, at a financial advisory firm, and in the State Department’s Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs and the Consular Section at Embassy Paris. She holds a bilingual double master’s degree in Conflicts and Security from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques and International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. Brown earned her B.A. International Politics and Transatlantic Affairs from Georgetown University.

Register for the event through email to:


5. Islamic Feminism: Politics and Paradoxes In Kuwait and the Region, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, Friday, August 9, 2013 / 12:00 PM

Venue: Wilderness Society

1615 M Street, NW Washington, DC

Speaker: Alessandra González

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Islamic states continue to struggle with balancing the demands for women’s rights with religious and cultural traditions, as well as defining what “women’s rights” means in their society. Dr. Alessandra González will share insights from her recent book Islamic Feminism in Kuwait: The Politics and Paradoxes, which examines the case of the cultural elites in oil-rich Kuwait—a country where women were only given the right to vote in 2005. Dr. González will discuss the new brand of feminism, which has grown out of a traditional and culturally conservative climate, how it is perceived, and what it means for Kuwait and the region.

Dr. Alessandra González, a post-doctoral research associate at John Jay College, CUNY, will be continuing her work on Islamic Feminism in the Arab Spring at Princeton University next year as a James Madison Fellow. In 2011, she also became a research fellow at the Institute for the Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Texas. She is the principal investigator of the Islamic Social Attitudes Survey Project, a study in conjunction with Baylor’s Institute for the Studies of Religion on Islamic Religiosity and Social Attitudes, including Women’s Rights Attitudes in the Arab Gulf Region. Dr. González has presented her work at numerous conferences and has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, and the Dallas Morning News, where she published an op-ed on Islamic Feminism. She is currently working on book chapters for “Women’s Encounter with Globalization” and “Islam and International Relations: Mutual Perceptions”. She received her PhD and MA degrees in Sociology from Baylor University and received a BA in Sociology and Policy Studies from Rice University.

Register for the event here:

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