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Back from the Brink: Evaluating Progress in Colombia

Dr. Peter DeShazo, director of the CSIS Americas Program, and former deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will join us for a discussion on Colombia’s record in reversing instability and economic distress.  He traces the formulation and approval of Plan Colombia during the administration of President Andrés Pastrana and the subsequent policies …

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Merchant of Death

  Douglas Farah, former West African bureau chief of the Washington Post, and Stephen Braun, Pulitzer-prize winning national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, will join us for a discussion about Victor Bout, the focus of their new book Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes and the Man Who Makes War Possible.  Bout is a …

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Nigeria’s Elections and Its Implications for US Foreign Policy

Dr. Robert A. Pastor, Director, Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University, will join us for a discussion on the outcome and the implications of the 2007 Nigerian Elections. The elections which marked the first democratic transition in Nigeria from one civilian head of state to another, were marred by widespread violence, disruption …

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The Crisis in Zimbabwe

Ambassador Anderbrhan Giorgis, Africa Director for the International Crisis Group,  discusses political developments in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF government has undertaken a violent crackdown against political opposition and civil society. Zimbabwe has the highest rate of inflation in the world, 2,200 percent. The combination of an economic meltdown, rampant corruption, humanitarian crisis and repression, …

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The Challenges of Inter-Agency Cooperation

Larry Wilkerson, U.S. Army Colonel (retired) and former Chief of Staff of the State Department, leads part two of the SNC series on National Security Reform where he discusses his experiences in conducting inter-agency operations within the national security framework.  According to Wilkerson, “Interagency cooperation, let alone interagency effectiveness, in implementing Presidential decisions is virtually …

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Talk by Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi

Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, the Minister of Economy and Planning of the United Arab Emirates, addressed an audience of Washington-based Gulf watchers at The Henry L. Stimson Center on March 12, 2007. The event was moderated by Lincoln Bloomfield, a member of the Center’s Board of Directors and a former Assistant Secretary of State for …

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The End of the War as We Know It?

General Sir Rupert Smith (ret), former Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe, discusses whether we are facing a new age of warfare. He contends that war as we traditionally know it, no longer exists. The ends for which we fight are changing. We fight in populated areas, without a distinct battlefield. Our conflicts tend to …

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US Foreign Assistance and America’s Image Abroad

Dr. Lael Brainard, Vice President, The Brookings Institution, and Director of the Global Economy and Development Program, joined Ken Ballen, President of Terror Free Tomorrow, for a discussion on resolving international security challenges and advancing US national interest through effective foreign aid. Ballen will discuss recent research that highlights the relationship between foreign assistance and …

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A Nuclear Fuel Bank: Risk and Response in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Lawrence Scheinman, Distinguished Professor of the Monterey Institute Center for Non Proliferation Studies, and Laura Holgate, Vice President for Russia/New Independent States Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative, discuss the concept of a nuclear fuel bank to assure the international supply of nuclear fuel. NTI has offered $50 million to help establish a low enriched uranium stockpile …

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Cuba – After Castro?

Dr. Julia Sweig, Senior Fellow, Council of Foreign Relations, discusses the current situation in Cuba and the prospects for the country post Castro. After undergoing surgery for a serious, yet undisclosed medical condition, Fidel Castro temporarily handed power over to his brother Raul. All signs suggest that after five decades, Castro’s tenure in power may …

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Track-Two Diplomacy and the Middle East

Dr. Steven Spiege from the University of California discusses the most recent meetings of the Conference on Regional Security in the Middle East which took place in Athens. A separate military-to-military meeting also took place in Turkey.  These track-two diplomacy meetings were held in the midst of four regional crises-the Israeli-Hezbollah war in Lebanon, the …

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China and Japan National Security: A Japanese Perspective

Dr. Yasuhiro Matsuda, the 2006 Joji Konoshima Distinguished Scholar at the US-Asia Institute, discusses the rise of China as perceived through a Japanese lens.  Japan plays a critical role in the current U.S. security architecture within the Asia Pacific region.  As China’s regional influence increases, the U.S. appears to be increasingly reliant on its relationship …

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Haiti: After the Elections

Tim Carney, former US Ambassador to Haiti and Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President of the International Crisis Group discussed the recent economic and political changes in Haiti, a month after new president Rene Preval took office in May 2006. Speakers discussed the challenges facing the Preval government, as they attempt to recover from decades of …

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Fourth Generation Warfare

William Lind, Free Congress Foundation and Chet Richards author of “Neither Shall the Sword” will join us for a discussion of fourth generation warfare and the implications of the shift away from large-scale state-vs-state conflicts. Both writers have been critical of the Defense Department’s efforts at transformation, as well it’s ability to meet current and …

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German-Iran Relations

Baron Paul von Maltzahn, German Ambassador in Tehran will join us for a discussion of German policy towards Iran. The Ambassador is a mideast expert who has served in Tehran since 2003. Previously he served as German Ambassador in Cairo, he has also served tours in Damascus, Algiers and Beirut. “Security for a New Century” …

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Economic and Social Development in Palestine

Ross Anthony, Associate Director, RAND Corporation and Jim Prince, President of the Democracy Council, discuss economic and social development in Palestine. The recent Palestinian elections highlighted the issues of economic opportunity and corruption. The Palestinian Authority is heavily dependent on foreign donors who make up a substantial part of the budget, including schools, health care …

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Security in Israel and Palestine: After the Rise of Hamas

Ambassador Robert Hunter, Senior Advisor, and Seth Jones, Political Scientist, both with the RAND Corporation and Rob Malley from the International Crisis Group, discuss the current security challenges in Israel and Palestine. After the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections, President Mahmoud Abbas has declared that Hamas cannot form a government unless it renounces violence. …

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Chechnya and the North Caucasus: Radical Islam, Insurgency and Human Rights

Dr. Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Dr. Anatol Lieven, Senior Research Fellow, at the New America Foundation, discuss the political and security outlook for Chechnya and the North Caucasus in the wake of the recent elections. As predicted the pro-Kremlin United party “won” 60% of the vote, in the first elections …

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China and Internet Security

Andrew McLaughlin, Senior Policy Counsel for Google, discusses China’s efforts to control the internet. China has developed one of the most sophisticated efforts to filter and regulate the web, involving multiple agencies and layers of government. It attempts to censor web pages, blogs, online chat, and email. The attempts to filter and control the web …

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The Challenge of Dealing with Syria

The Southwest Asia project hosted a roundtable discussion on Syria on December 19, 2005. David Ignatius of the Washington Post and Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma and Syriacomment.com spoke about Syrian domestic and foreign developments. Landis’ presentation focused on Bashar Assad’s own perception of Syria’s situation and predicament. Landis argued that Bashar, by …

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