Day: February 5, 2018

Peace picks, February 5-11

  1. Stabilizing Raqqa: Connecting Current Operations to U.S. Policy Objectives | Monday, February 5 | 9:30am – 11:00am | CSIS | Register here |

CSIS invites you to join a panel discussion on local Syrian and Coalition stabilization efforts in Raqqa. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Coalition forces drove ISIS from its self-proclaimed caliphate capital in Raqqa in 2017. Enduring security in ISIS-cleared areas now depends on local governance and restoration of services. Following a recent visit to Raqqa, Syria by Ambassador Mark Green, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and General Joseph Votel, Commander of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), panel speakers will discuss the importance of stabilization efforts in Raqqa and the challenges of connecting current operations with U.S. policy objectives. Featuring Karen Decker (U.S. Department of State), Maria Longi (USAID), Mark Swayne (U.S. Department of Defense), Robert Jenkins (USAID), Melissa Dalton (CSIS), and Erol Yayboke (CSIS).


  1. Taking Stock of Mexico’s Security Landscape | Monday, February 5 | 8:30am – 1:00pm | Wilson Center | Register here |

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute invites you to attend its fifth annual Mexican security review. The forum will provide a careful examination of security challenges in Mexico. Of particular interest will be a review of 2017 and a discussion of trends in 2018, including establishing new bonds in U.S.-Mexico military-to-military relations and strengthening the rule of law in Mexico. We will also be launching a new book The Missing Reform: Strengthening the Rule of Law in Mexico, which analyzes the concrete obstacles that Mexico faces to implement the rule of law. Featuring presentations from leading policy analysts, including Iñigo Guevara Moyano (Director at Jane’s Aerospace, Defense and Security), David Shirk (University of San Diego), Viridiana Rios (David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University), Matthew Ingram (University of Albany, SUNY), and others.


  1. Russia’s Influence in the Balkans: Methods and Results | Tuesday, February 6 | 12:30pm – 2:00pm | Johns Hopkins University SAIS | Register here |

Moscow is increasingly active politically, militarily and economically in the Balkans. What are its goals and methods? What has it achieved thus far? What will it do in the future? The Center for Transatlantic Relations and the Conflict Management Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will convene a panel of experts to examine these key questions, featuring Reuf Bajrovic (Former Minister of Energy of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Metodija A. Koloski (President, United Macedonian Diaspora), Jelena Milic (Director and Chair of the Board, Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, Belgrade), Steve Rukavina (President, National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation), Sinisa Vukovic (Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University SAIS). SAIS Director of Conflict Management Daniel Serwer will moderate the conversation.


  1. UNRWA’s Role in Promoting Israeli-Palestinian Stability | Wednesday, February 7 | 2:00pm – 3:15pm | Middle East Institute | Register here |

In the wake of his announcement to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, President Trump has also vowed to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) by 83 percent, in a stated effort to bring the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table. International governments and NGOs swiftly condemned these funding cuts by the United States, citing the critical role UNRWA plays in promoting security and stability in the region through health, education, and assistance programs for Palestinian refugees. The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host UNRWA’s West Bank Director, U.S. Army Maj. (ret.) Scott Anderson, and the director of UNRWA’s Representative Office in Washington, Elizabeth Campbell, who will discuss the regional impact of this decision and UNRWA’s global funding push to support its critical work. MEI’s Director for Gulf Studies and Government Relations, Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein, will moderate the discussion.


  1. Threats to Democracy in the Trump Era | Wednesday, February 7 | 10:00am – 11:30am | Brookings Institution | Register here |

From Russia to South Africa, from Turkey to the Philippines, from Venezuela to Hungary, authoritarian leaders have smashed restraints on their power. The freedom of the media and the judiciary have eroded. The right to vote may remain, but the right to have one’s vote counted does not. Until the U.S. presidential election of 2016, the global decline of democracy seemed a concern for other peoples in other lands. However, some see the political rise of Donald Trump as the end to that optimism here at home. In his new book, “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” David Frum outlines how Trump could push America toward illiberalism, what the consequences could be for America and the world, and what we can do to prevent it. On Wednesday, February 7, Frum will join a panel of experts at Brookings to discuss the burgeoning threats to democratic institutions in the Trump era.


  1. How to Interpret Nuclear Crises: From Kargil to North Korea | Wednesday, February 7 | 12:15pm – 2:00pm | Stimson Center | Register here |

With tensions mounting between the United States and North Korea, what has been clear is the wide disagreement among scholars about what constitutes a nuclear crisis, how dangerous it is, and what dynamics dictate how it plays out. The Stimson Center is pleased to host Mark Bell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, to discuss his co-authored paper on the subject in which he and Julia MacDonald, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver, argue that nuclear crisis dynamics depend on incentives to use nuclear weapons first and the extent to which escalation can be controlled by leaders involved. Rebecca Hersman, Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues at CSIS, and Austin Long, senior political scientist at RAND, will offer comments. Sameer Lalwani, Co-Director of Stimson’s South Asia Program, will moderate the discussion.


  1. Cyber Mercenaries: States and Hackers | Thursday, February 8 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Register here |

As cyberspace has emerged as a new frontier for geopolitics, states have become entrepreneurial in their sponsorship, deployment, and exploitation of hackers as proxies to project power. Such modern-day mercenaries and privateers can impose significant harm undermining global security, stability, and human rights. In a new book, Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power, Tim Maurer examines these state-hacker relationships and the important questions they raise about the control, authority, and use of offensive cyber capabilities. Drawing on case studies in the United States, Iran, Syria, Russia, and China, the book establishes a framework to better understand and manage the impact and risks of cyber proxies on global politics. Maurer will be joined in conversation by Eric Rosenbach (Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School), and Ellen Nakashima (Washington Post) will moderate.


  1. War Powers and Military Force | Thursday, February 8 | 4:00pm – 5:15pm | Atlantic Council | Register here |

In an age of unprecedented disruption and escalating inter- and intrastate conflict, we have seen a surge in the need for nations to resort to military force. As one of the most consequential decisions for a nation to undertake—with enormous consequences to a country’s security, prosperity, and global standing—the gravity of such decisions cannot be understated. Please join Nuchhi Currier (former President of Woman’s National Democratic Club), Bruce Fein (former Associate Deputy Attorney General), and John Yoo (University of California, Berkeley), three of the world’s most renowned experts on the issue of war powers, as they dissect this topic of immense geopolitical importance.


  1. Securing a Place for Taiwan in International Organizations | Thursday, February 8 | 10:00am– 11:00am | Heritage Foundation | Register here |

Taiwan increasingly finds its efforts to obtain meaningful participation in international bodies such as the WHO, INTERPOL, and ICAO checked by external forces. Setting aside political issues, there are valid reasons of health, safety, and livelihood for Taiwan to be included, even if only as an observer, in these organizations. Join us as our panel of experts discusses how to increase Taiwan’s role in international organizations and expand its international operating space, while addressing the swift and strong reaction from China that invariably results from such efforts. Featuring Jacques deLisle (Professor of Law & Political Science, Director, Center for East Asian Studies, UPENN), Valérie Niquet (Director, Asia Program, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), Paris), and Theodore R. Bromund (Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American Relations), hosted by Walter Lohman (Director, Asian Studies Center, Heritage Foundation).

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