Peace Picks March 10 – 14
1. Ukraine on the Brink: A Conversation With Yevgeny Kiselyev
Monday, March 10 | 2:15pm – 4pm
Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
The situation in Ukraine remains extremely tense. Each day brings dramatic developments from the region and a marked deterioration in Russia’s relations with the United States and other Western governments.
Renowned television journalist and political analyst Yevgeny Kiselyev will discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Kiselyev has been a preeminent voice in Russian and Ukrainian media and political circles for more than two decades. Carnegie’s Andrew S. Weiss will moderate the discussion.
2. The Colombian Peace Process: A Northern Ireland Perspective
Tuesday, March 11 | 9 – 10am
Washington Office on Latin America; 1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the FARC formally began in Havana in November 2012 after months of secret talks. In the nearly year and a half since their inception, the negotiating parties have reached preliminary agreements on two of the most challenging issues: rural development and political participation of the FARC. As the talks have evolved, it has become increasingly evident that the United States has an important role to play, adjusting both its policies and aid packages to support Colombia’s transition toward peace.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, the British NGO Justice for Colombia connected representatives of the parties to the Northern Ireland conflict with the actors in the Colombian negotiations to share their experiences in conflict resolution and peace building, as well as learn about the reality of the Colombian conflict.
As a result, in November 2012 a delegation of political and social leaders from Northern Ireland, including members of the Good Friday Agreement negotiating teams, former British army soldiers and former IRA combatants visited Colombia to share their experiences with President Santos and his negotiators, as well as with representatives of civil society, victims’ groups, retired military personnel, former FARC hostages, imprisoned guerrilla combatants and the media. Following this visit, in May 2013, a similar group travelled to Havana to meet directly with the FARC negotiators, becoming the first international delegation to meet with the FARC since the talks began.
Their visit to Washington comes as they plan ongoing exchanges with Colombia, and aims to build a transatlantic alliance of influential supporters of the peace process. Recognizing the crucial role played by the U.S. administration, politicians and wider civil society in supporting the achievement of peace in Northern Ireland, the delegation will report on their experiences and look at ways to build similar international support for the Colombian peace process.
Director, Justice for Colombia
Jeffrey Donaldson MP (Member of Parliament)
Democratic Unionist Party, Negotiator on Good Friday Agreement, former British Army Soldier
Mark Durkan MP (Member of Parliament)
SDLP, Former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and Negotiator on Good Friday Agreement
John McAllister MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly)
Deputy Leader of NI21 Unionist Party and former Deputy Leader of Ulster Unionists
Leader, UNISON Public Services Union, Northern Ireland
Leader, UNITE Ireland Leader, UNITE Ireland, UK and Irish Trade Union
General Secretary, NIPSA Public Services Union, Northern Ireland
Senior Associate for the Andes, WOLA
3. A Mixed Picture: The Political and Economic Future of the Arab Transitions
Tuesday, March 11| 12pm
12th Floor, Atlantic Council; 1030 15th St NW
The last few tumultuous years in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen present a complex picture of progress and setbacks. Three years after Egyptians successfully toppled a thirty-year old dictatorship, there are fears of a return to military-backed rule. In contrast to the bleaker picture from Cairo, Tunisians have successfully navigated political deadlock and approved a new constitution. Yemenis have concluded an inclusive National Dialogue process, and Libyans are gearing up to draft a constitution and initiate their own national dialogue. While there are significant challenges ahead and security issues are paramount, citizens of all four countries are unlikely to continue to tolerate the corruption, mismanagement, and exclusion that characterized the pre-revolution era. Given this dynamic, what are we likely to see in the next few years?
Yasser El Shimy will describe key political trends that will shape the next phase of these transitions and Mohsin Khan will discuss the economic state of affairs and how these economies will fare moving forward. Placing the Arab awakening within the global context, Ellen Laipson will compare the Arab transitions to other previous cases of political and social upheaval. This event also marks the release of two major Hariri Center publications: Mohsin Khan’s Issue Brief, “The Economic Consequences of the Arab Spring,” and a report on “The State of the Arab Transitions” by Mirette F. Mabrouk and Stefanie Hausheer.
A light lunch will be served.
A live webcast of the event can be viewed here
4. Japan’s Challenges In East Asia: Views From The Next Generation
Tuesday, March 3 | 12pm – 2pm
Stimson Center, 12th Floor; 1111 19th Street NW
The Stimson Center’s newest publication Japan’s Challenges in East Asia offers a collection of policy briefs on Japan’s key policy challenges in East Asia – its relations with China, South Korea, North Korea and Southeast Asia. These briefs are written by Japanese leading experts, all of whom have participated in various advisory commissions established by the Japanese government.
Join us for the release of this publication as these leading, next-generation experts share their thoughts on Japan’s upcoming foreign policy challenges.
Ken Jimbo, Keio University (by video)
Junya Nishino, Keio University
Yasuyo Sakata, Kanda University of International Studies
Chikako Kawakatsu Ueki, Waseda University
Ambassador Rust M. Deming, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate, Stimson’s East Asia program
5. Advancing the Kerry Peace Process
Tuesday, March 11 | 12 – 1:30pm
Human Rights Campaign Building, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW
The Middle East Institute’s George and Rhonda Salem Family Foundation Lecture Series presents a discussion about the current status of the peace process and the challenges faced by Secretary of State John Kerry as he seeks to forge a historic agreement. The talk will feature three veteran peace process experts – Daniel Levy, Aaron David Miller, and Shibley Telhami – who will analyze the obstacles and opportunities and assess the next steps key actors and international players must take to ensure the success of the negotiations.
6. Does the Obama Administration Have a Middle East Policy?
Tuesday, March 11 | 2 – 3:30pm
Hudson Institute, 6th Floor; 1015 15th Street NW
Recent statements by President Obama suggest that he has a coherent strategy for American policy in the Middle East. As he told the New Yorker, he wants to create “geopolitical equilibrium” in the region by balancing Washington’s longtime ally Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has had an adversarial relationship with the United States for 35 years. This balancing act, the president suggests, will bring some stability to an especially volatile part of the world, now engaged in what appears to be a sectarian civil war.
However, the fact that this Sunni-Shiite conflict is only getting more deadly, reaching now from the Iraqi desert to the shores of Lebanon, is evidence that the White House’s efforts at creating a regional stability are failing. Moreover, it suggests that maybe, in spite of the president’s compelling vision for the Middle East, there really is no coherent strategy. The question then is, does the Obama administration have a real Middle East policy, or is it just, as editor of The American Interest Adam Garfinkle recently put it, “distracted ad hocery”?
Senior fellow with Hudson Institute, Director of Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World, co-editor of Current Trends in Islamist Ideology
Editor of The American Interest, speechwriter for both George W. Bush’s secretaries of state
Executive director of The Washington Institute, author of Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands
Tamara Cofman Wittes
Senior fellow and the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012
Senior fellow at Hudson Institute, Senior Editor at the Weekly Standard, columnist for Tablet Magazine
7. Debate and Decision Series Iran Nuclear Deal: Breakthrough or Failure?
Tuesday, March 11 | 5 – 7:30pm
Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University (Media and Public Affairs Building); 805 21st St NW
The interim nuclear agreement with Iran has been hailed by proponents as a major step forward: delaying Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon capacity, and giving time for further negotiations aimed at ratcheting back the program. These advocates see a new kind of leader in President Rouhani, and want to show moderates in Iran that that cooperation with the rest of the world yields benefits — such as sanctions relief. However, skeptics argue that the nuclear deal steps back from five UN Security Council Resolutions demanding that Iran stop nuclear enrichment, and starts to unwind sanctions on Iran, without Iran being obliged to unwind its nuclear program. They see Rouhani buying time for Iran’s program while giving up nothing. What comes next? Is the interim agreement a diplomatic success on the road to further progress, or will it serve only to cement Iran’s nuclear program? Hear leading American experts debate “The Iran Nuclear Deal: Breakthrough or Failure” — the latest in our debate and decision series at the McCain Institute.
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Deputy Editor, The Wall Street Journal;
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Award-winning journalist and former CNN Chief White House Correspondent
8. Securing America’s Future in the New “Interwar Years”
Wednesday, March 12 | 9am – 4pm
Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium; 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
The fifth 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 the members of each military service 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.
The theme of this symposium will be “Securing America’s Future in the New Interwar Years,” reflecting post-Afghanistan security priorities, fiscal austerity and burgeoning challenges. Panel discussions will focus on fellows’ independent research findings in the areas of emerging grand strategy, enduring regional issues, opportunities and challenges for unmanned systems and developing the force for the future. Dr. David Kilcullen, author and president of Caerus Associates, a global strategic design consulting firm, will deliver opening remarks, and Lieutenant General Edward C. Cardon, commander U.S. Army Cyber Command, will give a keynote address.
Lunch will be provided.
9. Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis and the International Response
Wednesday, March 12 | 10am – 12pm
U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave NW
With more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, the sheer scope of the crisis has hampered efforts to curtail the humanitarian emergency and drive forward peace talks. The third anniversary of the war marks an opportunity to explore avenues for progress that have thus far not been a part of the prevailing narratives.
Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace and Oxfam America for this public event to mark the third year of the conflict in Syria, highlighting both the worsening humanitarian crisis and the ongoing efforts to restart the peace process.
António Guterres, Keynote and Q&A
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ray Offenheiser, Moderator
President, Oxfam America
Co-founder and Co-director, Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria (CCSDS)
Dr. Rim Turkmani
President and Founder, Madani
10. Turkey’s Municipal Elections: Act One in the Nation’s Political Drama
Thursday, March 13 | 3:30 – 5pm
The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium; 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW
Turkey is entering into an eight-month long election cycle at a time when the country is undergoing considerable domestic turmoil. In 2013, the nation was rocked by the Gezi Park public protests, an evolving high-level government corruption scandal, and acrimonious fallout between the Gülen movement and Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). Municipal elections on March 30 are the first of three upcoming contests. Their results will set the tone and shape ambitions for the subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections, especially for the AKP.
On March 13, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will host Ali Çarkoğlu of Koç University to discuss his new report, “Turkey Goes to the Ballot Box: 2014 Municipal Elections and Beyond.” In the paper, Çarkoğlu explores the factors that are likely to shape the electorate’s preferences and examines the impact that the recent corruption scandal may have on the local election outcomes. Following opening remarks, Michael Reynolds of Princeton University will offer comments. Brookings TUSIAD Senior Fellow Kemal Kirişci will moderate the discussion and take audience questions after the program.
11. From Enduring Rivalries to Enduring Peace: Enhancing Regional Stability in South Asia
Thursday, March 13 | 3:30 – 5pm
Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
South Asia faces an array of security challenges. The ongoing U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the continuing violence in Pakistan, and the region’s intense militarization are creating a heightened sense of instability and unease among South Asian states. The Pakistan-India and China-India rivalries compound this mix, leaving South Asia in a precarious position and increasingly prone to crises.
Author T.V. Paul will explore three areas that he sees as sources of enduring peace—democracy, institutions, and interdependence. He will also analyze what regional actors, the United States, and China can do to help South Asian states transition from their rivalrous past to a more stable future. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare will moderate.
12. Lebanon’s Neutrality Toward the Syrian Conflict: Hot Air or Realistic Promise?
Friday, March 14 | 10:30am
Atlantic Council, 12th Floor (West Tower); 1030 15th St NW
To prevent the Syrian conflict from completely destabilizing Lebanon, its government has maintained an official policy of disassociation. Yet even if rival factions can agree to maintain this policy of neutrality in the new cabinet formed on February 15, its relevance to reality on the ground would be unclear. In truth, Hezbollah, its domestic rivals, and Lebanon’s security forces have been involved in the Syrian conflict to varying degrees since it began. It is now increasingly clear that the longer the war goes on, the harder it will be for Lebanon’s political factions to keep up the pretense of neutrality. Without an agreement to limit infighting over and involvement in Syria, Lebanon’s government is unlikely to make progress on reforms, economic development, or addressing the country’s other serious challenges.
Vice President for Policy and Research
Middle East Institute
Resident Senior Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
13. Explaining the Latest Developments in Ukraine
Friday, March 14 | 12 – 1pm
Elliott School, Room 505; 1957 E Street NW
After three months of protests kicked off by former President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, Ukraine’s parliament removed him from office and set new presidential elections for May. Shortly afterwards, Russia invaded Crimea, pouring thousands of troops across the international border to gain decisive control of the region. Please join us for a discussion of these issues and their subsequent developments, as well as the economic situation in Ukraine, and an analysis of the international response.
Sergiy Kudelia, Baylor University
Anders Aslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Matthew Rojansky, Kennan Institute
14. Nuclear Security and Japan’s Plutonium Path
Friday, March 14 | 1:30 – 3:30pm
The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium; 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW
At the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, beginning March 24, world leaders will announce new initiatives to secure or eliminate stocks of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, key building blocks of nuclear weapons that could be stolen by terrorists. But some nations are still producing these materials or plan to begin doing so on an industrial scale.
Japan’s government has just announced a Basic Energy Plan that renews the country’s commitment to plutonium as a fuel for nuclear reactors. The centerpiece of that effort, the Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility, is set to open as early as October 2014 as one of the world’s largest plutonium production installations. The size and suitability of the facility have raised concerns, not only within Japan but in the region and in Washington. What is the status of the policy debate over Japan’s nuclear energy policy, including the Rokkasho plant? Why has Japan’s government chosen to proceed with the plant’s construction and operation? How does the Japanese government plan to deal with the plutonium produced in the plant? And how will Japan’s nuclear energy policy, and especially the operation of Rokkasho, impact efforts to secure and eliminate nuclear materials?
On March 14, the Brookings Institution, the Stanley Foundation and the Center for Public Integrity will host a panel to discuss these issues.
Douglas Birch, senior national security reporter for the Center for Public Integrity
R. Jeffrey Smith, managing editor for national security at the Center for Public Integrity
Matthew Bunn, a principal investigator at the Kennedy School’s Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard University
Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, director for the Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and former U.N. undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs.
Robert Einhorn, Brookings Senior Fellow, former special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton