The Baltics, NATO and Why They Matter to the US

June 21, 2017

Daniel Kochis

Saber StrikeThe Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are more than NATO allies. They are also western democratic nations with innovative economies. They regained their independence from Moscow after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and became members of NATO and the EU in 2004. The U.S. has historically championed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of these three small Baltic nations; but they are once again under threat from a resurgent Kremlin. The ability of the U.S. and NATO to overcome the unique geographic, military, and political difficulties in defending the region has far reaching implications for long term transatlantic security and support for western values.

Daniel KochisDaniel Kochis is a Policy Analyst in European Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. He specializes in trans-Atlantic security issues regularly publishing on US policy in Europe, NATO, US-Russian relations, and Arctic issues. Kochis is also a resident author for the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of US Military Strength and Policy Analyst in European Affairs, the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy.

His writings have been featured in Forbes, Foxnews, RealClearWorld, the National Interest, and the Washington Times. A frequent media contributor, Daniel has provided expert analysis in hundreds of interviews for foreign and domestic outlets including Al-Jezeera English, FoxNews, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, and Voice of America. Daniel has presented at the Transatlantic Think Tank Conference in Brussels, Belgium as well as the US Southern Command, and has provided parliamentary evidence to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic.

Please note: Mr Kochis will also be addressing the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations (ACFR) dinner Tuesday, June 20. SFWAF members may attend at AFCR member prices. For more information please contact ACFR program chair Bob McGuire (remcg@comcast.net) or 505-281-1108.

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

Past Programs

The European Union: From Refugee Crisis To Migration Management

February 28, 2017

Renate Hahlen

Today, 65 million people are forcibly displaced as refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced persons worldwide. This figure, the highest number since the end of World War II, results from an increasing number of complex, large and protracted crises worldwide. In addition, many more people are on the move to escape poverty and seek a better life elsewhere.  The largest movements of migrants take place within and between developing countries, and most of the forcibly displaced end up in camps in developing countries. Such movements of the displaced, traditionally, have garnered little international attention. However, that perception rapidly changed in 2014 when desperate Syrian and other refugees and migrants began to move towards the European Union (EU) in large and unprecedented numbers, by land and sea, and in unsafe conditions. Europe, the destination of choice, a continent of permeable borders, desperately struggled to handle the unparalleled situation. Dr. Renate Hahlen is minister counselor for development of the European Union Delegation in Washington, DC. The EU has moved rapidly to put order into uncontrolled inflows of people. Innovating practices, regulations and instruments in record time, the EU is addressing the internal and external dimensions of its new, desperate people on the move. Minister Counselor Hahlen’s presentation is funded in part by the European Union and the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE) at Denver University and the EU Mission to the US.  She will also speak at the University of New Mexico’s International Studies Institute on February 27 and will address the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations (ACFR) dinner, February 28. SFWAF members may attend at AFCR member prices. For more information please contact ACFR program chair Bob McGuire or 505-281-1108. This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

US Trade in the Trump Administration

January 18, 2017

Stephen Creskoff

Stephen Creskoff, author and leading expert on international trade transactions, trade facilitation and the legal foundation for international trade, has worked as a trade lawyer and senior trade consultant for international businesses, trade associations, the World Bank, the U.S. Government and other organizations in more than 50 countries. In his presentation to the World Affairs Forum, he will highlight actions that the Trump Administration may take to promote US manufacturing and discuss the rapid growth of complex global supply chains and cross-border e-commerce as developments critical to more inclusive trade in the future. Steve is a lawyer and leading expert on international trade transactions, trade facilitation and the legal foundation for international trade. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds graduate degrees from the University of Maryland (J.D., with honors) and Georgetown University (LL.M, international law). He lives in Ashburn, Virginia. His recent book What You Need to Know to Go Global: A Guide to International Trade Transactions is a practical guide to businesses conducting international trade in goods and services. Mr. Creskoff will also be addressing the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations (ACFR) dinner Tuesday, January 17. SFWAF members may attend at AFCR member prices. For more information please contact ACFR program chair Bob McGuire (remcg@comcast.net) or 505-281-1108. This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

The Nuclear Road Ahead: Challenges for President Donald J Trump

December 05, 2016 

James Doyle, Jesse Guillen, Cheryl Rofer and Arvid Lundy

We’ve heard more than usual about nuclear weapons, both in the campaign and from Russia. The UN has decided to consider a ban on nuclear weapons, like the bans on chemical and biological weapons. Who’s got nuclear weapons and where? We’ll look at the issues and where things may go. Our panelists welcome your questions. Dr. James Doyle – Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialist: From 1997 to July 2014 Dr. Doyle was a specialist in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His professional focus is on systems analysis, strategic planning and policy development. Dr. Doyle holds a PhD in International Security Studies from the University of Virginia. At Los Alamos he managed projects with Russia’s nuclear weapons institutes on the joint development of technologies and procedures for verifying the dismantlement and storage of nuclear warheads and fissile materials. In 2015 Dr. Doyle was awarded the first Paul Olum fellowship from the Ploughshares Fund and was a non-resident fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security at Harvard. His recent works focus on nuclear forces modernization, innovation in the field of nuclear threats and strategic planning for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Cheryl Rofer – Former President of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security: Cheryl Rofer retired more than a decade ago, after 35 years as a chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her work included environmental projects in Estonia and Kazakhstan, managing cleanups at Los Alamos, and projects in fossil fuels, laser development, and the nuclear fuel cycle. She now blogs at Nuclear Diner and contributes posts and op-eds to other web newspapers and magazines, including the Globe and Mail, War On The Rocks, and Physics Today. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Ripon College (Ripon, Wisconsin), past president of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security, and a founding member of SFWAF. She has published in scientific and political science journals and edited a book. She holds an A.B. from Ripon College and an M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been following the progress of the negotiations with Iran closely and has tweeted extensive commentary (@CherylRofer). Jesse Guillen – Founder of Global Zero – Santa Fe Chapter: As the Global Zero representative in northern New Mexico, Jesse has lobbied at the UN and on Capitol Hill in support of the Iran Deal and for reductions in nuclear weapons spending. He earned a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Kent – Brussels School of International Studies, and spent six months in Beijing, China at the China Foreign Affairs University. His Bachelors degree is in Political Science and he has worked for Senator Jeff Bingaman and Governor Bill Richardson. Jesse is currently the Legislative Liaison for the city of Santa Fe where he is responsible for drafting legislation for the Mayor and City Councillors. Arvid Lundy – Moderator, Nuclear Export Controls Specialist, and SFWAF Vice President: Arvid has extensive experience in nuclear export controls, nuclear proliferation intelligence, electronic instrumentation design, and clinical medical physics. Arvid spent thirty one years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as project engineer, group leader, and program manager. His career included over 100 foreign trips for the US government on nuclear issues, especially international nuclear export control. This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

The European Union: Past, Present, Future

October 27, 2016 

 Dr. Joe Jupille

In his talk, Dr. Jupille takes us on a tour of the EU’s inauspicious beginnings, its bold present and conceivable future. At root, the June 24, 2016 British referendum to exit the EU reflects the Union’s fundamental dilemma: an “ever closer union.” An “ever closer union” makes substantial policy sense in a wide range of areas, but domestic politics no longer supports increasing European integration. Jupille will discuss the logic of those three little words–“ever closer union” enshrined in the Union’s 1957 Rome Treaty, use current events to illustrate the strong countervailing forces occurring in European national politics and reflect upon the future of the EU. Dr. Joe Jupille is Associate Professor of Political Science and Faculty Research Associate of the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His teaching and research center on the reciprocal impacts of rules and politics in Europe and internationally. His is currently working on a book called Theories of Institutions and a paper about the spread of EU-style arrangements called “Regional Integration in the World Polity.” Dr. Jupille’s presentation is funded in part by the European Union and the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence (CEUCE) at Denver University and the EU Mission to the US. Dr. Jupille will also be speaking at the University of New Mexico’s International Studies Institute on October 28.

Categories: Diplomacy, Europe & Russia|Tags: |

How Russia Views the World

October 14, 2016 

 Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz and Mikhail Alexseev

Twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Kremlin’s view of the world changed dramatically. Suddenly, the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union’s successor state internationally, was surrounded by 14 newly independent nation-states, each with its own interests and relationships with Moscow and the world. All 15 republics dropped the mantra of Communism, but its residue has remained. Since then, history has not ended. Moscow continues to view the world through its unique prism and we need to understand better what shapes the views and aspirations of its leadership in the making of Russia’s foreign policy today. Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz is Director of the Conflict Resolution MA Program at Georgetown University and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 36 years and was US Ambassador to Belarus from 1994-1997 and Georgia from 1998-2001. He also served two tours in Moscow as well as tours in The Hague and at the US Mission to NATO in Brussels. He was chosen for the Ambassador Robert Frasure award for peacemaking and conflict prevention in 2000 for his work in preventing spillover of the Chechen war into Georgia. Mikhail Alexseev, Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University, is a specialist on migration, ethnopolitical conflict and post-Soviet Russia. He is the author of “Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe and the United States” (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and the principal investigator of a multi-year international research project on migration and ethno-religious violence in the Russian Federation. He has published articles in various academic journals and opinion pieces on Soviet and post-Soviet affairs in the New York Times, Newsweek, the Toronto Globe and Mail, USA Today and the Seattle Times. This program is co-sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute in Washington, DC. This event is part of the “Kennan Conversations” program. Mr. Yalowitz and Mr. Alexseev will also be addressing this topic at the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations (ACFR) dinner October 13. Santa Fe World Affair Forum (SFWAF) members may attend at ACFR member prices. For more information please contact ACFR program chair Bob McGuire (rsmcg@comcast.net or 505-281-1108).

Terrorism and the Middle East in 2016: Next Steps

September 12, 2016 

 Dr. Emile Nakhleh

The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) continues to threaten the Middle East region, the United States and the world. What are the ideological and policy factors that drive it, and what lies behind its apparent resiliency? In contrast with its predecessor terror group, al-Qa’ida, the “jihadist” threat from ISIS is more lethal, battle-hardened, and well entrenched. Whereas al-Qa’ida Central moved from the global arena to regional and local areas, ISIS seems to be moving from the local theater(Syria and Iraq) to regional states and expanding globally. Using social media platforms, ISIS is bent on radicalizing and recruiting Muslim youth in the West and elsewhere, including in the United States. ISIS is not larger than life and must and will be contained.  Dr. Nakhleh will address all, including the nature and source of radical Sunni ideology that feeds it, and will highlight US regional policy and the threats and challenges over the next five to ten years. Dr. Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer, a Research Professor and Director of the newly launched Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico. He is a National Intelligence Council/IC Associate and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since retiring from the US Government in 2006, he has consulted on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He has published frequently on the “Arab Spring” in the Financial Times and the LobeLog blog At the CIA, he was a senior analyst and director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program and a regional analyst in the Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. from the American University, Washington, D.C., in International Relations, an M.A. from Georgetown University in Political Science, and a B.A. from Saint John’s University, Minnesota, in Political Science. He is the author of numerous academic books and scholarly articles. He and his wife, Ilonka Lessnau Nakhleh, live in Albuquerque, NM. Cost for this lunch session is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.  This program with Dr. Emile Nakhleh is now SOLD OUT! What Have We Learned About Combating Terrorism After 9/11 Article by Emile Nakhleh Date: September 13, 2016.

Categories: Africa, Economics|Tags: |
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