Tag: Foreign Policy

Peace picks February 2-6

  1. Fighting ISIS: News from the Front Lines in Kurdistan | Tuesday February 3 | 10:00-11:30 | The Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS is hosting a discussion with Aziz Reza, senior advisor to the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The talk will also feature Mousa Ahmed Agha, Deputy Head, Barzani Charity Foundation and will be moderated by Sasha Toperich, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations SAIS
  2. Yemen – If this is a policy success, what does failure look like? | Tuesday February 3 | 12:30-1:45 | Georgetown University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Last September, in announcing military operations against ISIS/ISIL, President Obama referred to Yemen as a US policy success, to the bafflement of many within and outside the country at the time. The jury was still out on our drone-dependent security/CT operations, the economy was in disarray and the political transition – a relative bright spot – was dimming. Recent events call the September judgment into even more question. What is really happening, and what does it mean for the US, the region, and the Yemenis? Georgetown University invites to a discussion with Ambassador Barbara K. Bodine, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
  3. Countering Violent Extremism: Improving Our Strategy for the Future | Wednesday February 4 | 14:00-15:00 | Brookings InstituteREGISTER TO ATTEND The recent deadly attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the Jewish market in Paris were sharp reminders of the continuing threat of violent extremism in the West. With similar attacks in Ottawa and Sydney, and a concerning number of Westerners moved to fight in Syria, preventing acts of violence by extremists has become a top priority. To help the United States and its allies move forward, the White House announced that it will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18. Bringing together a panel of experts on counterterrorism and radicalization, the conversation will raise questions about the efficacy of the current U.S. approach, successful practices of counterterrorism programs both domestically and abroad, and strategies for countering violent extremism going forward.
  4. Subcommittee Hearing: The Palestinian Authority’s International Criminal Court Gambit: A True Partner for Peace? | Wednesday February 4 | 2:00-5:00 | Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa | The House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa is holding a hearing on the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s pursuit of membership in the International Criminal Court. Among the witnesses called to speak are Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute and David Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
  5. Why Corruption Threatens Global Security | Wednesday February 4th | 16:00-17:30 | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND The world seems to be on fire—the spread of the Islamic State in Iraq; the endurance of Boko Haram in Nigeria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine. Is there a common thread tying these events together? Sarah Cheyes, who spent a decade living and working in Kandahar Afghanistan, and serves as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will demonstrate how governments that resemble criminal organizations drive their indignant constituents to extremes. Drawing on her personal experience in some of the most venal environments on earth, Chayes will present examples of what emerges where kleptocracy prevails: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government (but also rebuilding Al-Qaeda), and Nigerians embracing both radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror group Boko Haram.
  6. Advancing U.S-Afghan Ties: A discussion with Senator Tom Cotton| February 5 |9:oo -9:45| USIP  | REGISTER TO ATTEND |The election of a reformist national unity government in Afghanistan and the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States have restored bilateral relations that had badly deteriorated under President Karzai. The Afghan government, facing huge economic and security challenges, has requested significant and sustained assistance from the United States and the international community over the next decade. The United States has committed to provide civilian and military support up to the end of 2016. Several weeks before an anticipated visit by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, the question of future of U.S.-Afghan relations becomes more critical. USIP and the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People is pleased to host Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), a U.S. Army veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and a newly elected member of the U.S. Senate, to provide his views on the shape of future U.S.-Afghan relations. Senator Cotton serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence.


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Peace picks January 26-30

  1. Expanding Counterterrorism Partnerships: US Efforts to Tackle the Evolving Terrorist Threat | Monday January 26 | 12:00-14:00 | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Washington Institute for Near East Policy | The attacks in Paris were a stark illustration of the serious terrorist threat confronting the United States and its allies, not only in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa, but far closer to home as well. In his May 2014 West Point address, President Obama emphasized that a successful long-term counterterrorism approach will revolve around strong partnerships with key actors overseas. What steps is the United States taking to bolster its counterterrorism partnerships with other governments and with nongovernmental actors? How should the U.S. strategy evolve in light of the Paris attacks and the continuing challenge posed by foreign terrorist fighters and the conflict in Syria and Iraq? What is the role of the State Department in this effort? To address these timely issues, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with Ambassador Tina Kaidanow. Tina Kaidanow is the ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department. She has also served in high-ranking positions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Note that this event will be off the record.
  2. Where is Turkey Headed? Culture Battles in Turkey | Monday January 26 | 12:00-13:30 | Rumi Forum | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Turkey is a pivotal country: It is one of the few countries with a functioning democracy, it links the West with the turbulent Middle East, and it has been a reliable partner in NATO in difficult times. But Turkey is also a pivotal country in crisis: Under President Tayyip Erdogan it is drifting towards authoritarian rule, being neither a good partner for the West nor having leverage in the Middle East. Inside it becomes less democratic, internationally it becomes more isolated. Rainer Hermann, an international expert on the Middle East and long time correspondent for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, will present his analysis of the current affairs in Turkey with prospects for change and the challenges before the West. He has recently published a new book, Where is Turkey Headed, Blue Dome Press: New York, 2014, which is a comprehensive examination of the changes the last decades of Turkish politics have witnessed. He will be available to sign books at the end of the event.
  3. The Awakening of Muslim Democracy | Tuesday January 27 | 12:00-14:00 | George Washington University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Jocelyne Cesari is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and visiting associate professor in the department of government at Georgetown University. She will discuss her recent release, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity, and the State (Cambridge University Press, 2014). The discussion also features Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University and Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University.
  4. US Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East: Priorities and Problems | Tuesday January 27 | 13:00 | School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) | REGISTER TO ATTEND | SAIS’ Foreign Policy Institute invites to a discussion with Ambassador Anne Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs on the priorities and problems of U.S. Middle East policy. The discussion is moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute. This event is off the record. No audio, video, transcription or digital recording is allowed.
  5. Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide | Wednesday January 28 | 12:15-14:00 | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915–1916 was the greatest atrocity of World War I. Around one million Armenians were killed and survivors were scattered across the world. Although the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is now a century old, it is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years. In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal, senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, looks at the aftermath and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era. Please join us for a conversation with the book’s author, moderated by Charles King. Great Catastrophe will be available to purchase, and the event will conclude with a book signing. De Waal will be joined by Jessica T. Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Charles King, professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University. Lunch will be served.
  6. Ethnic “Homelands”: Imagining a New Middle East, 1919 – 1948 | Wednesday January 28 | 15:30 | George Washington University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | After 1919, as much of the Middle East was absorbed into the beleaguered but still powerful European empires, a new ideology took hold in the region: the concept of physical separation as a “solution” to a newly identified “problem” of ethnic and religious pluralism. Across Europe and the United States, Armenian, Assyrian, and Jewish diaspora groups proved anxious to demonstrate their belonging in the ingathering of civilized nation-states by supporting the project of a homogenous national “homeland,” however remote it might be from their actual lived experiences. Diaspora lobbying, fundraising, and vocal support for creating ethnically based political entities through strategies of transfer and partition also found a reflection in some Arab discourse, as Palestinian, Syrian, and Iraqi Arab nationalists sought to make claims to independent statehood within a global framework that demanded national homogeneity as a corollary to sovereignty. This talk will explore how diaspora communities shaped the emerging political landscape of the modern Middle East as they declared that the only path to legitimate, recognized political status in the new global order was through identification, however distant, with an ethnic “homeland.” Laura Robson is a historian of the modern Middle East. Her current research and teaching focus on the history of religious and ethnic minorities in the twentieth century Arab world. She received her PhD from Yale University in 2009 and is now Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
  7. Global Security and Gender – A Forum with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström | Wednesday January 28 | 16:00-17:15 | United States Institute of Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The new Swedish government has pledged to increase its focus on global women’s issues with what it describes as a feminist foreign policy. The U.S. Institute of Peace, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden, will host a forum with new Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on diplomacy and gender equality in a challenging global security environment. Following her remarks, Minister Wallström will be joined by former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Ambassador Johnnie Carson, a USIP senior advisor, who will moderate a discussion with the Minister, as well as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, and U.S. Ambassador Donald Steinberg (retired), a former deputy administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development who now serves as President and CEO of World Learning.
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