Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 03/11 – 03/15

Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 03/11 – 03/15

Monday, March 11th

Roundtable on Indian Investment

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: This event, hosted by the Wilson Center in partnership with NASSCOM, will mark the release of new research produced by IHS Markit, on the impact of the India-centric global services industry across the American economy. Global services information technology companies with significant operations in India play an important role in the U.S. innovation ecosystem. They have created economic opportunity and growth for American businesses, and jobs for American citizens. However, the role of this sector in the American economy has often generated concerns in the United States. Are these concerns valid, or are they misplaced? This new research, the first-ever exhaustive study of its kind, examines the true economic impact of global services IT companies in the United States.

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How Pakistan Navigates the Saudi Arabia-Iran Rivalry

Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, Asia Center – 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

Information: Soon after taking office last summer, the new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan confronted mounting economic challenges and the prospect of a balance of payments crisis. The government has delayed accepting an International Monetary Fund bailout and sought additional sources of financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman recently visited Pakistan to finalize agreements on new projects in the energy sector and other areas, which solidified a $20 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan’s economy to match the scale of China, Islamabad’s principal ally. Pakistani military cooperation with Saudi Arabia has also remained strong, with the former Pakistani chief of army staff Raheel Sharif now heading a Saudi-sponsored military coalition.

The deepening relationship between Pakistan and the Gulf states comes at a period of high tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose border with Pakistan has also been the site of periodic clashes and whose past efforts to launch a gas pipeline project linking the two countries remains stalled. A February 13th terrorist attacked, which killed 27 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and was linked to Pakistani-based militants, only further escalated tensions between the two countries. While Prime Minister Khan has professed a desire to serve as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan faces an increasingly challenging diplomatic balancing act. Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Monday, March 11th from 1:00pm – 2:30pm for a conversation analyzing the current Pakistani government’s relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Gulf States, and implications for regional security in South Asia and the greater Middle East. Take part in the discussion on Twitter with #USIPPakistan.

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How Russia is Surviving Western Sanctions

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Despite uncertainty in the world economy and sanctions, Russia’s economy is set for a broad-based economic recovery. Policies to boost public spending, notably investment, should contribute. Martin Gilman will explore why the Russian authorities have been able to marginalize the impact of the US-instigated sanctions. Gilman will underscore how the most recent legal case involving Baring Vostok could have a much more chilling effect on economic prospects.

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The Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Major studies of American foreign relations treat US failures in Vietnam as the end of both a short-lived American empire and western imperialism in Southeast Asia. Ngoei argues that Vietnam was an exception to the region’s overall pro-US trajectory after 1945, that British neo-colonialism and Southeast Asian anticommunism melded with pre-existing local antipathy toward China and the Chinese diaspora to usher the region from formal colonialism to US hegemony. By the 1970s, Southeast Asia’s anti-communist nationalists had established, with US support, a geostrategic arc of states that contained Vietnam and China. Wen-Qing Ngoei is assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University. He completed his PhD at Northwestern University and did postdoctoral stints at Northwestern and Yale University. Ngoei’s book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell UP, May 2019), argues that British decolonization intertwined with Southeast Asian anticommunism to shape US policy in the wider region. He has published in Diplomatic History (2017) and his prize-winning essay on the domino theory appears in the Journal of American-East Asian Relations (2014).

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Schieffer Series: The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Please join us for the next installment of the Schieffer Series, The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers. The CSIS Europe Program, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Democracy, is releasing The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers. It builds on the first Kremlin Playbook, which described the patterns of Russian economic influence in five Central and Eastern European countries. This new report, with six new case studies, exposes how countries can either be targets or enablers of Russian malign economic influence by allowing their financial systems to shelter profits for Russian companies and facilitate tax avoidance or illicit financial activity in Europe. The Kremlin Playbook 2 highlights the nexus between illicit finance and national security, describes the adaption of Russian tactics and underscores the democratic imperative of greater institutional transparency against complex illicit schemes. The panel will discuss the ongoing challenge of Russian economic influence in Europe and what the transatlantic community must do to counter these tactics, from new legislation and organizational structures to better governmental prioritization and targeted action.

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Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Quebec: Documentary Film Screening and Expert Panel

Time: 6:0pm – 8:00pm

Location: Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Information: Johns Hopkins SAIS will host a special screening of the 2018 documentary film, La Maison des Syriens by Canadian filmmakers Christian Mathieu Fournier and Nadine Beaudet that follows Syrian refugee families who are resettled to a small town in Quebec. Following the film there will be a panel discussion on Canadian refugee policy and the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis featuring Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Tamara Woroby and Johns Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Maureen White, moderated by Christopher Sands, Director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The 80-minute film is in French with English subtitles.

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Tuesday, March 12th

A city-based strategy for rebuilding Libya

Time: 9:00am – 11:00am

Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room,1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 unleashed a long period of instability in Libya. Although elements of governance and a functional economy remain, Libya’s central institutions are weak, with militias and other non-state actors competing for state spoils, such as oil. This internal crisis has significant security ramifications for Libya and beyond: Besides presenting a potential source of terrorism, Libya’s ungoverned spaces have contributed to the unregulated flows of people from the Middle East and Africa to Europe. However, in recent years, the United States has been largely absent from international–including U.N.-led–efforts to restore governance in Libya. 

On March 12, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings will host an event to highlight a new collaborative report which outlines recommendations for the United States and other outside actors on a new policy in Libya. The crux of these recommendations is to focus the country’s economic, political, and security activity on its major cities, with the United States reinstating its embassy and ambassador. Questions from the audience will follow the panelists’ discussion.

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Rebooting the Innovation Economy

Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: In partnership with RTI International, the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will publish a report titled  Rebooting the Innovation Agenda: The Need for Resilient Institutions. The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and technological changes will disrupt economic systems, displace workers, concentrate power and wealth, and erode trust in public institutions and the democratic political process. A lot of studies and conversations have focused on how technology itself will impact society, but little attention has been paid to the role that institutions will have to play in the new environment. The relationship between societies and their institutions is changing, and countries will have to strengthen their capacities to avoid heightened social divisions. Public institutions will have to enable the private sector and innovation-led economic growth to make way for technological disruptions, but also mitigate the potential negative impacts of change. They must build resilience through gradual and intentional interventions designed for long-term, sustainable development. It is also essential that institutions work hard to build credibility and use available development tools, such as development finance institutions and foreign aid, to mitigate the risks of disruption. Countries and other stakeholders must pioneer these initiatives to successfully navigate the disruptions stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. The revision of existing models of education, skill development and investment and the integration of different stakeholders into the conversation will be critical in helping institutions play a productive role in rebooting the innovation agenda. In this context, the Project on Prosperity and Development launches a new report analyzing the role that institutions will play in the fourth industrial revolution and identifying concrete, sustainable development models and policies that institutions must implement to build trust, credibility, and prosperity.

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How China and the U.S. are advancing artificial intelligence

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Location: The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: Artificial intelligence is emerging as one of the most transformative technologies of our time. It powers autonomous vehicles, enables algorithms to operate, and is being applied in areas from health care and retail to finance and national defense. As AI begins to reshape entire industries and economies, the United States and China have emerged as pioneers at the leading frontier of this technological revolution. These two nations alone are expected to capture the bulk of the $15.7 trillion windfall that AI is projected to add to the global economy by 2030. On March 12, The Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution will host a discussion on the potential impact of AI on U.S.-China relations, with an eye toward new developments, opportunities, and risks. Panelists will examine where each country stands in its AI developments, how the two nations are cooperating and competing, and what lies ahead. After the session, speakers will take audience questions. This event will be webcast live.

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China’s 21st Century Rise in Historical Perspective

Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters 1st Floor – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Many commentators claim that China’s ongoing global rise refects a restoration of its earlier international prominence, while others highlight that China’s emergence reflects distinctive characteristics of the country’s current political leadership. In his new book, Making China Modern, Klaus Mühlhahn of the Free University of Berlin provides a panoramic survey of China’s rise and resilience through war and rebellion, disease and famine. At this event Professor Mühlhahn will focus on the lessons from history that provide insight into China’s evolving international position and how the United States and others should respond. Following his initial presentation, we will hear commentary from two eminent analysts of modern China: Stephen Platt of UMass Amherst, author of Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age (2018) and Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (2012); and Paul Heer, author of Mr. X and the Pacific: George F. Kennan and American Policy in East Asia (2018). This event is free, open to the public and will be streamed live from this website. Following the program, Professor Mühlhahn will be available to sign copies of his book.

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Oil Policy in Saudi Araba and Status of Domestic Reforms

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Location: Room 500, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Information: Energy, Resources, and Environment’s Global Leaders Forum and the Middle East Studies program present: Oil Policy in Saudi Arabia and Status of Domestic Reforms Speakers: Jean-François Seznec, Johns Hopkins SAIS Adjunct Professor and Fareed Mohamedi, Managing Director of SIA-Energy International, formerly PFC Energy and Saudi Aramco OPEC led by Saudi Arabia, and its allies including Russia, agreed in December to reduce oil production by 1.2 mbd in an effort to stabilize oil prices. But surging US shale oil output could effectively eat up OPEC’s cuts by later this year as the US has become the world’s largest crude oil producer. These developments will be discussed by our speakers along with the status of domestic reforms in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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The U.S.-U.K. Relationship, Beyond Brexit – An EES Calleo Seminar w/ Ambassador Alexandra Hall Hall, British Embassy

Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Room 806, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Information: The SAIS European and Eurasian Studies (EES) Program cordially invites you to a discussion with Ambassador Alexandra Hall Hall from the British Embassy on “The U.S.- U.K. Relationship, Beyond Brexit.” The session will be moderated by Professor Alice Pannier.

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Wednesday, March 13th

Estonia in an evolving Europe

Time: 10:00am – 11:15am

Location: The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: On March 13, Foreign Policy at Brookings will host Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid for an Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum. President Kaljulaid has been in office since October 2016 and oversaw the Republic of Estonia’s centenary this past year. As a member of the European Union and NATO since 2004, Estonia has been committed to strong European and trans-Atlantic cooperation. Over the past decade, it has emerged as a global leader in digital innovation and cybersecurity, spearheading concepts like e-Residency, digital identification cards, and Internet voting. In a keynote address, President Kaljulaid will discuss challenges facing Europe today and Estonia’s evolving role in the trans-Atlantic community. Following these remarks, Brookings President John R. Allen will join the President on stage for a conversation on these themes. Questions from the audience will follow the discussion. This discussion is part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.

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The United States and Political Islam: Dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Revolutions

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Location: Intercultural Center (ICC), 37th & O Streets NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA. Room ICC 270

Information: Speaker’s Bio: Dr. Mohamed-Ali Adraoui is a French Political Scientist working on contemporary International Relations and contemporary Islam. Dr. Adraoui holds a Ph.D. from Sciences Po in Paris for his work on contemporary Salafism. Currently, he is a Research-Professor at the Christian-Muslim Understanding Center at Georgetown University. His research deals with the history of the US foreign policy towards the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Adraoui held academic positions at the European University Institute in Florence and the National University of Singapore. His work on Salafism in France is under contract with Oxford University Press. He has also edited a volume on the Islamist movements’ foreign policies published with Edinburgh University Press. 

Event’s Description: This presentation deals with the historical and contemporary aspects of the US policy towards the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. How the main world State power has been dealing with the principal Islamist movement, from its rise to the aftermath of the Arab upheavals? What is the intellectual approach to political Islam, from the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood to the most recent period, specifically among the Obama Administration over the Arab Spring? How the anti-US potential has been tamed or not? What is the role of the Cold War context in how the Muslim Brotherhood has been used (or not) to fight Communism? In the light of the discourses held by the US leaders and diplomats, Dr. Adraoui will highlight the difficulty to address the Muslim Brotherhood. He will specifically shed light on the way the US policy of engagement of the Islamist movement has been conducted by using the US State Department archives over the last century.

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Book Launch: Secret Wars: Covert Conflict in International Politics

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: From Syria to Yemen to Ukraine, the practice of great powers covertly meddling in local wars is alive and well. To mark the launch of his new book, Austin Carson will trace the emergence of such practices in the 20th century. He will analyze what governments choose to keep secret during wars and how leaders use this method to cope with distinctly modern war escalation problems. Carson will also explore how rival states both collude and compete while attempting to manipulate the optics of war to keep military confrontations under control.

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Putin’s World

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: On March 13, Foreign Policy at Brookings will host Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies; professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University; and nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, for a discussion inspired by her new book “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest.” In this follow-up to “The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century” (2014), Stent examines present-day Russian motives on the world stage. Stent will offer remarks on Russia’s foreign policy under President Vladimir Putin and its ramifications for the United States, Europe, and the world. She will then be joined by Alina Polyakova, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Brookings’s Center on the United States and Europe, and Keir Giles, senior consulting fellow in Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme and the author of “Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West” (Brookings Institution Press, 2019), for a discussion moderated by Strobe Talbott, distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution. This discussion is part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States. Join the conversation on Twitter at #BBTI and #USEurope.

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Thursday, March 14th

The U.S. Approach to Fragile States: A Conversation with Dr. Kiron Skinner

Time: 9:30am – 11:00am

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The Trump administration released its first National Security Strategy (NSS) in 2017 which recognizes the importance of confronting challenges related to conflict and fragility to protect U.S. national security interests. This strategy was complemented by the release of the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) in 2018 which serves as a framework to improve interagency coordination and effectiveness in fragile states. The SAR delineates the roles and responsibilities of the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense in stabilization operations. The Department of State has a critical leadership role in the implementation of the SAR, and as such will need to plan and coordinate how to translate it into an operational strategy across the departments and agencies. Furthermore, the recently passed “Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act” is an essential policy response that places reducing global violence at the forefront of U.S. stability operations. These strategic documents represent a growing consensus among interagency actors for the need to improve the U.S. approach to fragile states. Please join us for a conversation with Dr. Kiron Skinner, Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, to discuss the Trump Administration and State Department’s approach to fragile states and why it matters for diplomacy in the 21st century. 

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Nuclear Power and Energy (In)Security in the Middle East

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW

Information: Promoting energy security is often used as an argument to rally support for expensive, inward-looking and unpopular energy policies across the Middle East region. The pursuit of nuclear power in six countries in the region (Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates) under the pretext of achieving “energy security” and “energy diversification” is a perfect example of such misguided policies. This talk examines the role of nuclear power in promoting energy insecurity in the region. It uses collected data and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders as well as nuclear technology suppliers to highlight the risks of nuclear power deployment in the region.

Please join us for a lecture by Dr. Ali Ahmad, director of the Energy Policy and Security Program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Professor Sharon Squassoni will moderate the discussion.

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The Future of the Army in an era of great power competition

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room,1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: From counterterrorism operations to preparing for the threat of great power conflict, the Army is facing a range of challenges in adjusting its force posture and strategic outlook in this era of great power competition. With six modernization priorities and ongoing concerns about its operational readiness, the Army has had to make substantial decisions on downsizing or eliminating significant legacy platforms in order to deliver on the vision laid out in the National Defense Strategy. On March 14, Michael O’Hanlon—senior fellow and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at Brookings—will engage Undersecretary of the United States Army Ryan McCarthy in a discussion on the Army’s most recent budget request, its operational outlook, and the role it will play in future defense strategy. 

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Friday, March 15th

Implementing Innovation Series: A Perspective from Will Roper, Air Force Acquisition Executive

Time: 9:00am – 10:30am

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: As part of CSIS’s ongoing Implementing Innovation Series, hear perspectives from Air Force Acquisition Executive Dr. William Roper. Dr. Roper has been a moving force in implementing innovation in defense for the last 7 years. His insight on what it takes to deliver innovative capability for confronting peer competitors is changing the acquisition approach for the United States Air Force. It is also being closely watched throughout industry and the defense community. Both his remarks and Q&A provide an opportunity to highlight what is moving the needle for DoD today, and what remains to be done.

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Dialogues on American Foreign Policy and World Affairs: A Conversation with Jake Sullivan

Time: 11:30am – 12:45pm

Location: Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Hudson Institute will host Jake Sullivan, former national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, for a one-on-one discussion with Hudson Institute Distinguished Fellow Walter Russell Mead on U.S. national security threats and opportunities. Mead will explore Mr. Sullivan’s perspective on the future of the Middle East; Russia and Transatlantic relations; the challenge of a rising China; and other concerns facing American policymakers today and in the years ahead.

A prominent voice on national security and foreign affairs, Mr. Sullivan also served as director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State and as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Dialogues on American Foreign Policy and World Affairs is a Hudson discussion series moderated by Walter Russell Mead, one of America’s leading analysts of international affairs and Global View columnist at The Wall Street Journal. The series features influential policymakers and opinion leaders in candid conversation on timely questions of international affairs and national security.

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