Iran and North Korea: A Status Report

Sold Out!

December 4, 2017

Arvid Lundy and Cheryl Rofer

Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have been much in the news lately, with continuing testing of missiles and, in North Korea’s case, a nuclear explosive. President Donald Trump has responded with threatening tweets, stoking fears of nuclear war. The two countries’ histories are very different, but both feel they have reason to fear the United States. One response is to develop nuclear weapons, deliverable by missile. Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons was stopped by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, negotiated in 2015. North Korea currently moves ahead without restriction.

We’ll discuss the motivations of both countries, where they are now, the response from the United States, and what the future might bring.

Cheryl Rofer was a chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. She now writes scientific and political commentary for the web publications Nuclear Diner and Balloon Juice. She has over 9000 followers on Twitter. She regularly provides background information on nuclear topics to reporters and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox. Her work at Los Alamos included projects in fossil fuels, laser development, and the nuclear fuel cycle. She is 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.

Arvid Lundy 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).

Past Programs

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: |

A Special Showing of “America’s Diplomats”

June, 2016

This one hour documentary on June 23 from 12-2 explores the role of diplomacy in shaping American history and focuses on the people who have staffed our embassies, consulates and US Department of State throughout our history, what their lives are like and what they do. This story begins with Benjamin Franklin and his mission to France so crucial in obtaining US independence and then highlights the diplomacy involved throughout this country’s development. The video includes events as recent as the negotiations for the Iran nuclear agreement. Along the way, it portrays sacrifices made by US diplomats – from Nairobi to Benghazi – as well as the triumphs. “America’s Diplomats” is a one hour documentary produced by the Foreign Policy Association for screening on PBS this year.   It summarizes the contribution of diplomacy to the security and wellbeing of the nation providing a portrait of the US Foreign Service illustrating the responsibilities, achievements and challenges of US diplomacy and diplomats in the 21st Century. This showing “America’s Diplomats” will conclude with a moderated discussion led by a special panel of American diplomats.

Categories: Diplomacy|

Doomed to cooperate: How American and Russian nuclear scientists joined forces to avert some of the greatest post-Cold War Dangers

March 18, 2016 

Siegfried. S. Hecker: Professor at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation

Nuclear risks changed dramatically when the Soviet Union collapsed. Suddenly the world was threatened more by Russia’s weakness than its strength. Never before had a country with the capacity to destroy the world experienced such turmoil. The United States and much of the world was concerned about loose nukes, nuclear materials, loose nuclear experts and uncontrolled nuclear exports. Scientists and engineers at Los Alamos and other Dept. of Energy nuclear laboratories joined forces with those at the Russian nuclear weapon institutes for more than 20 years to avoid what looked like the perfect nuclear storm. Today’s strained relations between Washington and Moscow have curtailed that cooperation to the detriment of a safer world. This talk is a preview of the two-volume book to appear this spring.

Categories: Non-Proliferation, Russia|Tags: |
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