Peace picks February 23-27

  1. Authorizing Military Action Against ISIL: Geography, Strategy and Unanswered Questions | Monday February 23 | 2:00 – 3:00 | POMED / Wilson Center | REGISTER TO ATTEND | For the first time in his Administration, President Barack Obama has submitted to Congress a formal request for additional authority to use military force. Is his draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against ISIL “alarmingly broad,” as The New York Times worries, or a narrow set of handcuffs? Does it empower the Presidency or create—as Senator John McCain put it—“535 Commanders-in-Chief”? From different angles, many ask: Does the proposed AUMF reflect sound law and sound strategy? Join experts from the worlds of war, law, and Congress to discuss how legislators can shape national security strategy while guarding their constitutional authority to declare war. Speakers include Lt. General David Barno, former First Commander for Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan and currently Senior Fellow, New American Security, Hon. Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO, The Wilson Center and former U.S Representative , and Jeffrey H. Smith, former General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency. The event will be moderated by Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent, CNN.
  2. Turkey’s Asian Agenda | Tuesday February 24 | 12:00 – 1:30 | German Marshall Fund | Since its inception, the Republic of Turkey has been an Asian country with European aspirations. In the face of global trends that have shifted geopolitics from West to East, Turkey is perfectly positioned to capitalize on its central location as the G-20 chair and host in 2015. In recent years Turkey has transformed itself into a globally ambitious player with relationships with Asian giants such as China, India, and Japan. Balancing these relatively new relationships with its historic allies in the West along with regional rivals such as Iran and Russia has become an area of increasing interest, bringing several questions into focus: Is it possible to talk about a Turkish “pivot” to Asia? To what extent does Turkey have the capabilities to turn ambitions into results? Does this shift necessarily imply or result from Ankara’s distancing itself from the European project? Join the German Marshall Fund for a timely discussion on Turkey’s Asian agenda in 2015 and beyond. The discussion features Altay Atlı, Lecturer, Boğaziçi University and Dr. Joshua Walker, Non-Resident Transatlantic Fellow, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States. Introductions by Barry Lowenkron, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, German Marshall Fund of the United States.
  3. What Works? Promoting Gender Equality and the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in Military Operations | Wednesday February 25 | 10:00 – 12:00 | Elliot School, George Washington University | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The year 2015, marks the 15th Anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which established the women in peace and security agenda. One of the most challenging areas to advance implementation is where it is most needed – within military institutions. With a view to the 2015 anniversary and planned high-level review of the implementation of Resolution 1325, this event convenes experts who will discuss gaps in implementation, what works, and what should be done going forward. The panel discussion will include Commandant Jayne Lawlor, Gender, Equality and Diversity Officer, Irish Defence Forces, Charlotte Isaksson, Gender Adviser, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, NATO, Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, Women in International Security, Robert C. Egnell, Visiting Associate Professor and Director of Teaching, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University and Aisling Swaine, Professor of Practice of International Affairs, GW. Continental breakfast will be served at 9:30.
  4. Unpacking the ISIS War Game: Preparing for Escalation | Thursday February 26 | 12:30 – 2:00 | Atlantic Council | REGISTER TO ATTEND | The current US strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS has achieved important tactical successes, but Washington is still far from achieving its stated goals. Even more, the strategy has not yet been fully tested by ISIS. However, events on the ground over the past few months suggest that the likelihood of escalation on the part of ISIS is increasing. Conventional as well as terrorist attacks by ISIS in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon suggest that it may be only a matter of time before the movement attacks core US strategic interests in the region. An off-the-record, high-level war game recently conducted at the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative challenged US strategy by analyzing two hypothetical scenarios in which ISIS resorted to escalation. How can Washington and its allies and partners in the coalition better prepare for these contingencies? The Atlantic Council invites to a discussion with Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Chairman, Atlantic Council, James E. Cartwright, Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bilal Y. Saab, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, Atlantic Council and Julianne Smith, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for a New American Security. The event will be moderated by Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs.
  5. War in Syria and Iraq: Effect on the Kurdish Issue in Turkey | Thursday February 26 | 2:00 – 4:00 | Emerging Democracies Institute | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Conflict in Syria and Iraq has entered a new phase after the latest escalation of violence by the Assad regime and ISIS. More than 200.000 have been killed in Syria and hundreds die in Iraq every month since the emergence of ISIS last year. Turkey remains a critical actor for the future of the Kurdish political entities in Iraq and Syria as both countries have sizeable Kurdish populations on parts of territory bordering Turkey.  The successful defense of the town of Kobane in Northern Syria by joint Kurdish forces against the invading ISIS has once again underlined the importance of Kurds as credible actors in the new Middle East. Turkey on the other hand has acted quiet reluctantly in delivery of military and humanitarian support to the fighting Kurdish forces.  Public protests against Ankara’s passivity shook the towns in Eastern Turkey and forced the Davutoglu Government to allow for the Peshmerga to cross over to Kobane. The on-going secret negotiations between the PKK and Ankara are at a critical junction as they are about to go official. Possible peace deal between Ankara and the PKK could be a big step forward in consolidating democracy in Turkey. This panel discussion features Doga Ulas Eralp, Professorial Lecturer, American University, Mehmet Yuksel, Washington D.C. Representative, Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), Mutlu Civiroglu, Journalist and Kurdish affairs analysts and Nora Fisher Onar, Fellow, Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund. The panel will be moderated by Reuf Bajrovic, President, Emerging Democracies Institute. The participants will discuss the impact of the wars in Syria and Iraq on the Kurdish peace talks in Turkey along with Turkey’s changing calculations in the Middle East.
  6. Inside the Iran Nuclear Negotiations | Thursday February 26 | 6:00 – 8:00 | Washington Institute for Near East Policy | RSVP to by February 23 | On September 27, 2013, Iran and the United States engaged in direct conversation for the first time since 1979. President Obama and President Rouhani agreed there was a basis for a nuclear deal. But, nearly a year and a half later, a final agreement still seems elusive. The deadline for talks has already been extended twice, with the new deadline set for March. Each side has something to lose if a deal is not made — Iran faces further crippling sanctions and the United States risks a nuclear Iran. Can Iran and the P5+1 overcome their differences to arrive at an agreement with one month to spare? Join LINK as Congressman Ted Deutch and Lane-Swig Fellow Michael Singh provide their insights into the Iran nuclear negotiations. Congressman Deutch is a member of the Democratic party, while Mr. Singh served in a Republican administration.
  7. The Arab Spring@4: What Next? | Thursday February 26 | 6:30 – 8:00 | Project for the Study of the 21st Century | REGISTER TO ATTEND | To celebrate the launch of its PS21 MIDEAST blog, the Project for Study of the 21st Century and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy bring you a discussion on a region in flux. Four years after the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the Middle East appears as stable as at any point in recent history. What went wrong, what might happen next and what, if anything, can the United States do to influence events? The discussion will feature Sidney Olinyk, former chief of staff, Mideast policy, Department of Defence and current member of the PS21 International Advisory Group, Ari Ratner, Senior Fellow at New America Foundation and Nancy Okail, Executive director, The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
  8. An Effective P5+1 Nuclear Deal with Iran and the Role of Congress | Friday February 27 | 1:00 – 2:30 | Arms Control Association | REGISTER TO ATTEND | Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran are racing to try to conclude a political framework agreement for a comprehensive, long-term nuclear deal to block Iran’s potential pathways to nuclear weapons by the end of March, with technical details on a final deal to be ironed out by the end of June. Over the past year, Iran and the P5+1 have made significant progress on long-term solutions on several challenging issues. At the same time, key members of Congress are threatening to advance new Iran sanctions legislation and set unrealistic requirements for a nuclear deal. The Arms Control Association will host a special press briefing featuring a former member of the U.S. negotiating team, a former professional staff member of the House intelligence committee, and Arms Control Association experts on the status of the negotiations, the likely outlines of a comprehensive agreement, and the the appropriate role for Congress. Speakers include Richard Nephew, Program Director, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association, and Larry Hanauer, Senior International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation. The discussion will be moderated by Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.
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