Tag: Greece/Turkey

Peace picks June 16-20

1. Fifth Annual Conference on Turkey Monday, June 16 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm National Press Club 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. REGISTER TO ATTEND The Center for Turkish Studies at The Middle East Institute presents its Fifth Annual Conference on Turkey. This year the conference will assemble three exceptional panels to discuss the country’s tumultuous domestic politics following recent elections, the future of democracy in the country, and Turkish foreign policy. The event will feature a keynote speech by Efkan Ala, Turkey’s Minister of the Interior. SPEAKERS Amb. Robert Ford, Ibrahim Kalın, Amb. Robert Pearson, Judith Yaphe, Gönül Tol, and more.

2. What to Expect from the Al-Sisi PresidencyMonday, June 16 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Woodrow Wilson Center 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND  President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in on June 8. In his inauguration speech, al-Sisi spoke of his intent to lead Egypt in an inclusive manner. Following the resignation of the interim cabinet, al-Sisi will form a new cabinet. Marina Ottaway of the American University in Cairo and Emad Shahin of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will share their opinions of what the future of Egypt will hold.

3. U.S. Middle East Policy and the Region’s Ongoing Battle over the Muslim Brotherhood Monday, June 16 | 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Center for American Progress 10th floor, 1333 H St. NW, Washington, DC.
 REGISTER TO ATTEND In the three years since popular uprisings swept across the Middle East, the status of the Muslim Brotherhood has become a deep point of contention among regional states. Key countries in the Middle East and North Africa are sharply divided over the status of the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam. During this time, U.S. policy has been hesitant as the United States has sought to define its position in reaction to both the uprisings themselves and the new era of competition among regional states they produced. The uneven U.S. responses to the Arab uprisings and the regional competition that has been sparked offers several important lessons learned for U.S. policy in the future. SPEAKERS Peter Mandaville, Professor, George Mason University, Haroon Ullah, State Department Policy Planning Staff, and Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress.

4. Transparency, Oversight and Accountability in the UN System: Problems and How to Fix Them Monday, June 16 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Heritage Foundation; 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C.
 REGISTER TO ATTEND The Associated Press reported this year that that the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services failed to pursue a number of cases of corruption over the last five years. How emblematic are these incidents of the UN system? What has changed, what still needs doing, and what levers are effective in pushing reform? SPEAKERS Robert Appleton, former Chairman of the United Nations Procurement Task Force, and Special Counsel to the UN Iraqi Oil for Food investigation, Edward Patrick Flaherty,
Senior Partner, Schwab Flaherty & Associates, and James Wasserstrom, Senior Advisor on Anticorruption, U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

5. How to Unwind Iran Nuclear Sanctions Monday, June 16 | 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Atlantic Council; 1030 15th St NW, Washington, DC.
 REGISTER TO ATTEND With the deadline for an Iran deal fast approaching, a key element will be how to coordinate US and European sanctions relief with Iranian confidence building measures. The Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force invites you to the launch of two papers outlining options for unwinding nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. Authors Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service and Cornelius Adebahr of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will explore US and EU sanctions, respectively, looking at the evolution of sanctions over the past decade and the most feasible path to providing meaningful relief in the event that Iran agrees to significant curbs on its nuclear program.

6. Whistleblowers: A Critical Anti-Corruption Tool & Challenge Tuesday, June 17 | 11:45 am – 2:15 pm AU Washington College of Law; 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND Whistleblower laws, incentives and protections are critical to fighting corruption, but implementation in practice is a challenge. Professor Robert Vaughn, noted scholar and author of “The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws” and James Wasserstrom, Anti-corruption Advisor, US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan and a whistleblower on corruption in Kosovo, will discuss best practices and pitfalls.

7. Is the US AWOL in the ‘war on drugs’ in Latin America? Tuesday, June 17 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm AEI; 1150 17th Street, NW Washington, DC. REGISTER TO ATTEND Mexico and Central America are struggling with rampant organized crime, fueled by US demand for illegal drugs. Central American nations are too weak or too complicit in criminality to confront the powerful, multibillion-dollar criminal enterprises that collaborate with Colombian cocaine smugglers, a Venezuelan narcostate, illegal arms smugglers, and Hezbollah to threaten the security and well-being of the Americas. 

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, will assess the threat to US interests and recommend policy options, and a panel of experts will discuss. SPEAKERS Jerry Brewer Sr., Criminal Justice International Associates LLC, Richard J. Douglas, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics, Counterproliferation, and Global Threats, and
 Iñigo Guevara, CENTRA Global Access.

8. 2014 Global Peace Index: Measuring Country Risk and Opportunity Wednesday, June 18 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am Center for Strategic and International Studies; 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC. REGISTER TO ATTEND What is the state of global peace in 2014? What are the risks that threaten the peacefulness of nations and communities? How can our foreign policy and aid interventions better prioritize the mitigation of risk? The 2014 Global Peace Index discussion will explore these questions, detailing recent trends in militarization, safety and security, and ongoing conflict. It will also include a presentation of a new country risk framework, which quantifies current knowledge around the structural drivers of peace and conflict to identify countries most at risk today of falls in peacefulness. SPEAKERS Gary J. Milante, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Paul B. Stares, Council on Foreign Relations, Alexandra I. Toma, Peace and Security Funders Group, Daniel Hyslop, Institute for Economics and Peace. Moderated by Robert Lamb, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

9. Assessing Threats Facing the U.S.-Korea Alliance Wednesday, June 18 | 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Woodrow Wilson Center; 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND  Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel will deliver the keynote address of the second annual U.S.-Korea dialogue hosted jointly by the Wilson Center and the East Asia Foundation of Seoul. Register for this half-day conference, where opinion leaders from Korea and the United States will discuss their concerns for the future and seek ways to increase cooperation and mutual political, economic, diplomatic, and security benefits. SPEAKERS Daniel Russel, Jane Harman, Ro-Myung Gong, Thomas Fingar, Cheol-hee Park, and more.

10. Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War Thursday, June 19 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am Heritage Foundation; 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND Pakistan’s army has dominated the state for most of its 66 years, locking the country in an enduring rivalry with India over Kashmir. To prosecute these dangerous policies, the army employs non-state actors under the security of its ever-expanding nuclear umbrella. Based on decades of the army’s own defense publications, Christine Fair’s book argues that the Pakistan military is unlikely to shift its strategy anytime soon, and thus the world must prepare for an ever more dangerous future Pakistan. Other speakers include David Sedney, 
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, and 
Michael G. Waltz, 
President of Metis Solutions and former Special Advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney.

11. Mideast Shi’ites Defy Iranian Domination? Thursday, June 19 | 12:00 pm – 2:15 pm American Enterprise Institute; 1150 17th Street NW, Washington D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND Iran’s Islamic Revolution unleashed a wave of sectarianism, which has flooded the Middle East. But while many have characterized Middle Eastern Shi‘ites as under the sway of the Islamic Republic, Shi‘ites from countries like Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, and Azerbaijan have worked to resist Iranian influence.  Join analysts from the United States and across the Middle East to discuss strategies to preserve communal independence and how the United States can successfully work with Shi‘ite communities outside Iran. This event will coincide with the release of a new report based on firsthand fieldwork in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Azerbaijan. SPEAKERS Abbas Kadhim, Brenda Shaffer, Michael Rubin, Ahmed Ali, Ali Alfoneh, Kenneth M. Pollack, and more.

12. How to Bring a Dictator to Justice: The Hissen Habré Trial Thursday, June 19 | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm National Endowment for Democracy; 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND From 1982 to 1990, Chad witnessed thousands of political killings under the regime of its former president, Hissen Habré. Twenty-four years after the end of his rule, litigation against Habré has finally gained critical momentum in Dakar. As a member of the international team of lawyers prosecuting the case, Delphine Djiraibe is well placed to tell the story of how Habré was brought to trial and to explore the potential impact on transitional justice in Chad.  She will reflect on the legal process thus far, discuss where the trial stands today, and consider next steps in Senegal and beyond. Her presentation will be followed by comments by Dave Peterson, of the National Endowment for Democracy; the discussion will be moderated by Sally Blair 
of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

13. The Solution to the Cyprus Problem: Famagusta, Energy, and Public Relations Friday, June 20 | 12:00 pm – 1:45 pm Hudson Institute; 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. REGISTER TO ATTEND 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Following numerous failed attempts to reach a settlement, a Joint Declaration agreed to in February has galvanized new reunification efforts. The Hudson Institute hosts an important conversation on this situation with Alexis Galanos, Mayor of the city of Famagusta and former Speaker of the Cyprus House of Representatives. As the mayor of a city in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of the island, Galanos will share his unique perspective on current and future prospects for the reunification of Cyprus. Hudson Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Seapower, Seth Cropsey, will moderate the discussion.

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A helpful reminder of the Ottoman Empire

Juan Cole helpfully provides a map of the Ottoman Empire, 1798-1923, under the heading “the real background of the modern Middle East.”

Why is this helpful?  Because it illustrates how many of today’s enduring conflicts–not only those termed “Middle Eastern”–are rooted in the Ottoman Empire and its immediate neighborhood:  Bosnia, Kosovo, Greece/Turkey, Armenia/Azerbaijan, Israel/Arabs (Palestine, Syria, Lebanon), Iraq, Iraq/Iran, Shia (Iran)/Sunni (Saudi Arabia, Egypt), North/South Sudan, Yemen.

Ottoman success in managing the many ethnic and sectarian groups inhabiting the Empire, without imposing conformity to a single identity (and without providing equal rights) has left the 21st century with problems it finds hard to understand, never mind resolve.

In much of the former Ottoman Empire, many people refuse to be labeled a “minority” just because their numbers are fewer than other groups, states are regarded as formed by ethnic groups rather than by individuals, individual rights are often less important than group rights and being “outvoted” is undemocratic.

A Croat leader in Bosnia told me 15 years ago that one thing that would never work there was “one man, one vote.”  It just wasn’t their way of doing things.  For a decision to be valid, a majority of each ethnic group was needed , not a majority of the population as a whole.

In a society of this sort, a boycott by one ethnic group is regarded as invalidating a decision made by the majority:  the Serbs thought their boycott of the Bosnia independence referendum should have invalidated it, but the European Union had imposed a 50 per cent plus one standard.  There lie the origins of war.

The question of whether Israel is a Jewish state is rooted in the same thinking that defined Yugoslavia as the kingdom of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, and it bears a family resemblance to the thinking behind “Greater Serbia” and “Greater Albania.”  If it is the ethnic group that forms the state, why should there be more than one state in which that ethnic group lives?

Ours is a state (yes, that is the proper term for what we insist on calling the Federal Government) built on a concept of individual rights, equal for all.  The concept challenges American imaginations from time to time:  certainly it did when Truman overcame strong resistance to integrate the US Army, and it is reaching the limits of John McCain’s imagination in the debate over “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  But the march of American history is clearly in the direction of equal individual rights.

That is a direction many former Ottoman territories find it difficult to take, because some groups have more substantial rights than others; even when the groups’ rights are equal, they can veto each other.  A lot of the state-building challenge in those areas arises from this fundamental difference.

Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,
Tweet