Peace picks October 27-31

  1. Ebola: U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy Options | Monday, October 27th | 12:00 – 1:00 | Heritage Foundation | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Months after the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the news of two American nurses becoming infected has sparked fear amongst the general U.S. population. With Ebola victims now in the United States, concerns are growing over the ability of the administration, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and hospitals to control the spread of disease. The speakers will discuss the very real risks of the Ebola virus, but without the fear brought on by speculation and hype. Through clear communication of the nature of the threat and what policy options are available in the U.S. and in West Africa, the U.S. can make clear, rational decisions as to how to best deal with the current situation. The speakers are Dr. Robert Kadlec the Managing Director of RPK Consulting LLC, Charlotte Florance, a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East at The Heritage Foundation and. Tevi Troy, President of the American Health Policy Institute.
  2. The New Threat in Town: Iraq, ISIS, and Managing the Crisis | Monday, October 27th | 6:30 – 8:00 | American University School of International Service | A panel discussion on the current security situation in Iraq regarding ISIS, the implications it has on the regional security of the Middle East, and how the United States can engage with the region in order to mitigate the situation from spiraling out of control. Panel speakers will include Dr. Tricia Bacon, Ambassador James F. Jeffrey from the Washington Insitute, and Dr. Paul Salem from the Middle East Institute.
  3. Ukraine Update: Elections, Conflict, and the Future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership | Wednesday, October 29th | 2:00 – 5:15 | Brookings Institution | REGISTER TO ATTEND |  In 2009, the European Union established its Eastern Partnership to advance political association and economic integration with six neighboring nations to its east. However, in November 2013, Ukrainian President Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the EU, triggering mass protests in Ukraine that ultimately led to his departure and accusations that the EU “sleepwalked” into a conflict in Ukraine. Although the EU long asserted that the framework was never directed against Russia, the agreement with Ukraine was perceived in Moscow as a step too far. In the wake of the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia, some are questioning whether the EU’s Eastern Partnership should be fundamentally altered—and, if so, how? Against the backdrop of simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian people will go to the polls on October 26 to elect a new parliament. The new parliament members will then have to form a majority coalition and begin to tackle the pressing challenges facing the country. The herculean tasks include not just the violent conflict in the east and the troubled relationship with Russia, but needed economic and political reforms as well as measures to curb corruption. Questions remain about Ukrainian public expectations and potential tensions in the immediate aftermath of the vote. A panel discussion assessing next steps for Ukraine and the EU’s Eastern Partnership. The first panel will explore the Ukrainian election and what it means for politics within Ukraine, the Ukrainian economy, and Ukraine’s relations with Russia and the West. The second panel will focus on international perspectives on the EU’s Eastern Partnership and the EU’s role in supporting Ukraine in this time of turmoil.
  4. A Nuclear Deal with Iran? Weighing the Possibilities | Thursday, October 30th | 2:00 – 3:00 | American Enterprise Institute | REGISTER TO ATTEND | As global crises unfold, President Barack Obama appears to see one silver lining in the clouds on the foreign policy horizon: a nuclear deal with Iran. However, it appears increasingly likely that the November 24 deadline will come and go without a comprehensive agreement, and the stakes could not be higher. A bad deal that leaves too much of Tehran’s nuclear capabilities intact or enables Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the months or years to come could set off a nuclear arms race across the Middle East. Alternatively, a good deal could solve a problem at the heart of much of the turmoil in the region. Are the United States and European powers prepared to renew sanctions if Iran refuses to comply with demands from the international community and International Atomic Energy Agency? Will the Iranians refuse to concede on any of their own red lines? Will the Obama administration sidestep Congress to achieve a nuclear deal? The speakers are David Albright, George Perkovich and Danielle Pletka.
  5. Public Opinion in the Arab World: What do the latest surveys tell us? | Friday, October 31st | 10:00 – 12:00 | United States Institute of Peace | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The Arab uprisings were a vivid demonstration of the importance of public opinion in the Middle East. Frustrated by poor governance and the lack of economic opportunity, citizens demonstrated in mass protests on the streets, and online, throughout the region. As autocrats fell, instability and extremism rose. Although democracy appears to be succeeding in Tunisia, in most of the Arab Spring countries the future is far from secure. To learn how citizens in these countries view government, religion and economic opportunities, please join the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP), the Arab Barometer, the Arab Reform Initiative, the Project on Middle East Democracy, and the Project on Middle East Political Science for discussion on how publics view the situations in their respective countries.  The event will highlight new findings from the third wave of surveys (late 2012-2014) of the Arab Barometer across 12 Arab countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, and more. The speakers are Amaney Jamal a Professor of Politics at Princeton University, Michael Robbins the Project Director of the Arab Barometer, Khalil Shikaki, the Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, Mark Tessler a Professor of Political Science from the University of Michigan and Steven Riskin a Senior Program Officer for Grants at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
  6. Challenges in Nuclear Verification: The IAEA’s Role on the Iranian Nuclear Issue | Friday, October 31st | 10:30 – 12:00 | Brookings Institution | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has for almost 60 years been at the forefront of international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Its safeguards system is indispensable in providing credible assurance that states are honoring their international obligations, including under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and ensuring that any misuse of nuclear material or technology by a state can be quickly detected. The IAEA has been addressing the Iran nuclear issue for over 10 years. More recently, it has played a critical role in verifying and monitoring the implementation of nuclear-related measures agreed by Iran under the Joint Plan of Action negotiated by Iran and the P5+1 countries.  It is likely to play a central role in monitoring and verifying nuclear-related measures under any comprehensive agreement that may be reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries. The Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at Brookings will host IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, who will discuss the IAEA’s role in nuclear verification, including in monitoring the November 2013 interim agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Einhorn will moderate the question and answer session
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