About Deepak Maharjan

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So far Deepak Maharjan has created 32 blog entries.

Israel-Palestine: Are Prospects for a Two-State Solution Dead?

August  12, 2020

Ellen Laipson

Welcome! You are invited to join our August 12 webinar: “Israel-Palestine: Are prospects for a two-state solution dead?” with Ellen Laipson, Director of the International Security program at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

This talk will address current developments and dynamics in the long saga and search for Arab-Israeli peace. While Israel improves its ties to major Arab states, the prospects for a successful resolution of the “Palestine question” remain low. We will discuss Israeli and Palestinian politics, the Trump Administration’s peace plan, and complicated debates over settlements, annexation, and questions of international law.

This is the sixth in our summer series Summer with SFWAF: Hot Weather, Hot Topics. We have been offering two webinars a month normally held on a Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm Mountain Time throughout summer 2020 on a variety of current international affairs topics of concern to SFWAF members and friends.

We are using the Zoom Webinar Format for this and our other programs. If you are interested in this program, please email sfwaforum@outlook.com for additional information.

Israel-Palestine: Are Prospects for a Two-State Solution Dead?2020-08-06T19:01:59-07:00

A Zero-Based Foreign Policy?

July 29, 2020

Robert Hunter

Welcome! You are invited to join our July 29 webinar: “A Zero-Based Foreign Policy?” with US Ambassador (rtd) Robert Hunter.

Following the election in November, we will either continue with more of the same or have in January a new administration committed to doing things “differently” in foreign policy. For some of Biden’s advisors who speak in public, that means recapturing some of the practices that Trump has abandoned, notably a commitment to “liberal internationalism,” institutions, US “leadership,” solid relations with allies, and the like. But with the pandemic and its aftermath the United States (as well as others, of course) will find itself having to rethink and recalibrate at least some important aspects of its foreign policy. The Trump team – unless changed radically – has proven incapable of dealing with even this part of the agenda; but will Biden choose people able to do meet the daunting tasks either?

Perhaps this is a time when we should consider a “zero-based foreign policy,” starting with “things that we have to do for our security and well-being” that include guarding against “things that go bump in the night,” a foreign policy that pays more attention to our domestic situation than previously and one that includes a team capable of the strategic analysis needed to understand what is important to us and what is not and a foreign policy that ultimately faces the difficult, long term questions about America’s future role in the world.

Ambassador Robert Hunter served in the LBJ White House (education) at the time of the Great Society; was Ted Kennedy’s first foreign policy advisor; and was lead official on Europe and the Middle East on the Carter NSC staff. He was US ambassador to NATO (1993-1998) and was a principal architect and the lead negotiator of the post-Cold War transformation of NATO. He served on the Defense Policy Board and State’s International Security Advisory Board. He has taught at 5 universities; written 1200+ publications; taken part in 8 presidential campaigns; and written speeches for more serious candidates for president (12) than anyone else in US history. BA: Wesleyan University; PhD, London School of Economics.

This is the fifth in our summer series Summer with SFWAF: Hot Weather, Hot Topics. We hope to offer two webinars a month normally held on a Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm Mountain Time throughout summer 2020 on a variety of current international affairs topics of concern to SFWAF members and friends.

We are using the Zoom Webinar Format. We will begin this and future webinars with a short orientation. We encourage you to use Hand Raise and Talk function more than Q&A to preserve the discussion format that is the character of the Forum. It will be possible for people to join at 10:50 to familiarize yourselves with the webinar format in advance of the program.

You are invited to a Zoom Webinar.
When: Jul 29, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Topic: A Zero-Based Foreign Policy?

Register in advance for this webinar: Click Here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please keep that email where you can easily access it on  Jul 22.

If you do not receive the confirmation email or are not familiar with Zoom and need technical assistance, please contact Krista Peterson prior to the webinar at krispete@rocketmail.com. She will also monitor this email at the beginning of the webinar in case you are having difficulty connecting, but may not be able to respond right away. President Patricia Kushlis, Board members Krista Peterson and Steve Kerchoff will be co-hosting and moderating the session.

A Zero-Based Foreign Policy?2020-08-04T20:56:53-07:00

US Global Leadership: Where Are We Today?

July  8, 2020

Richard Silver

Since WWII all American Presidents have exercised global leadership. This has largely been welcomed by our friends and allies; it has provided predictability, peace and prosperity. Where we have departed from this tradition, such as with the invasion of Iraq, our reputation has suffered. Now, many of the world’s expectations for U.S. leadership have been met with surprise, from our pandemic response to a threatened withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Germany. This discussion will consider how the world sees America and consider the policy implications for the future.

Richard Silver retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2017 as the U.S Embassy, Bucharest spokesperson after also serving in Japan, Pakistan, Colombia and India) as a public diplomacy officer. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Japan Society of Northern California; Chair, Japan Team, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; and a Senior Attorney, U.S. Treasury Department.

During his time at Treasury, Richard was detailed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a white collar crime prosecutor as well as to the Japanese Finance Ministry as a Mike Mansfield Fellow advising on Japan’s Big Bang legal and financial sector reforms. He currently serves on the Santa Fe Council on International Relations’ Board. His primary foreign language is Japanese although he studied all of the languages in the countries in which he served.

This is the fourth in our summer series Summer with SFWAF: Hot Weather, Hot Topics. We hope to offer two webinars a month normally held on a Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm throughout summer 2020 on a variety of current international affairs topics to SFWAF members and friends.

We are using the Zoom Webinar Format. We will begin this and future webinars with a short orientation. We encourage you to use Hand Raise and Talk function more than Q&A to preserve the discussion format that is the character of the Forum. It will be possible for people to join at 10:50 to familiarize yourselves with the webinar format in advance of the program.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 8, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Topic: US Global Leadership: Where Are We Today?

Register in advance for this webinar: Click Here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please keep that email where you can easily access it on July 8.

If you do not receive the confirmation email or are not familiar with Zoom and need technical assistance, please contact Krista Peterson prior to the webinar at krispete@rocketmail.com. She will also monitor this email at the beginning of the webinar in case you are having difficulty connecting, but may not be able to respond right away. President Patricia Kushlis, Board members Krista Peterson and Steve Kerchoff will be co-hosting and moderating the session.

US Global Leadership: Where Are We Today?2020-07-10T05:30:59-07:00

Russia and Ukraine’s Tangled Relationship

March 2, 2020

Dr. James West and Krista Peterson

The Russia-Ukraine relationship begins in the 9th century with the establishment of Kievan-Rus, a trading center established on the banks of the Dnipro River as a loose confederation of Slavic, Nordic and Finnish tribes under the leadership of the Viking King Rurik.  It lasted until the 13th century. Kievan-Rus adopted Christian Orthodoxy in 988 AD and over time became dominated by Slavs, in particular Russians.  Over the intervening centuries, multiple myths and stories bolstering territorial claims and counter-claims arose, the capital was moved to Moscow after the 13th century Mongol invasions and a single Christian Orthodox church divided along linguistic lines.  Although the Russians long claimed Ukraine its own and still consider Ukrainians their “little brothers,” in reality much of the territory was later ruled by a succession of European powers.Ukraine first established a short-lived independent state in 1917 but was then incorporated into the Soviet Union.  The Republic became independent in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union but its sovereignty continues to be challenged time and again by Moscow.  What are the myths that haunt this entangled relationship, why is Ukraine still so important to Moscow and what role does the US play in protecting Ukrainian independence?

Please note:  this program will be divided into two parts with buffet lunch served between.  It will begin with a 40 minute talk by Professor and Russian historian James West on the history and myths which envelope the Russian view of Ukraine. Post-lunch will consist of a panel and discussion with Dr. West and Krista Peterson on the weight of history on Ukraine today, its geopolitical significance and Ukraine’s importance not just to Russia but also the US and Europe.

Dr. James L. West, a specialist in pre-revolutionary Russian society, holds a PhD in history from Princeton University. He taught at the European University in St Petersburg, Russia from 2015-17, the sole remaining private university in the Russian Federation which was closed in 2017 by the Russian government in its drive to eliminate western liberal thought in the country.

He was a professor of history and humanities at Middlebury College (1995-2011) and professor of history at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut (1971-1995). During his academic career, he was the recipient of several prestigious US government grants to conduct and publish research in and on the Soviet Union which resulted in: Between Tsar and People (1991) and, Merchant Moscow, (1998) Princeton University Press and republished in Russia in 2008 which he edited.

In addition to Russian history, West has taught courses on the interplay of culture, society, intellectual thought and politics in Russia and Central Europe. He spoke at SFWAF’s first symposium “A Window on Russia” in 2006 on “Old Merchants and New Modernism: Moscow, Modern and Post-Modern 1905-2005 and at our 2019 symposium on “The Fascist Temptation” and our 2018 symposium on “Up Off Our Knees:  The Search for a Usable Past for Russia’s Resurgence.”

Krista Peterson received a degree in radio/television/film from Northwestern University in 1993 but it was a presentation by the US Department of State during her college years that led her to join the Foreign Service. She arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras—her first foreign country other than Canada and Mexico—in September 1998 to live and work. Hurricane Mitch devasted Honduras two weeks later, which made for a very interesting two years in the consular section.

After Russian language training she arrived in Ukraine about one month before the terrorist attack in the US on September 11, 2001. Not long after that she consolidated many US agencies spread out across Kyiv and administrative functions housed in shipping containers on the Embassy grounds into two floors of a leased building. She has been an administrative specialist ever since and has worked for several different for profit businesses and nonprofit and educational organizations in Española and Santa Fe.

The SFWAF Program will be in the:  The SFCC Board Room (#223) which is in the West Wing (Administration building) of the Santa Fe Community College.

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Russia and Ukraine’s Tangled Relationship2020-03-27T12:06:38-07:00

The Critical Importance of Science to US Government Operations and Policy Making: Examples and Current Dangers

February 6, 2020

Karl Braithwaite, Ed Hildebrand, Arvid Lundy and Cheryl Rofer

While it’s true that scientific research has permeated much of what the federal government has done over the years, is it still important? If so, why?  In a recent New York Times article entitled “Science Under Attack: How Trump is Sidelining Scientists and Their Work,” reporters Brad Plumer and Coral Davenport outline the current state of science, scientists and scientific research being conducted at the federal level.  Plumer and Davenport present – at best – a mixed picture.  A few agencies or programs are being allowed to continue as in previous administrations but others are being gutted, severely restricted or redirected in what they can or can’t do and fund or not fund.  What does this mean for America’s scientific cutting edge and for effective policy development and conduct of government programs?

Karl Braithwaite is a specialist in the relationship between science and government; a former Director of Government Relations for Sandia and Senior Manager for Los Alamos National Laboratories having dealt with national security issues, environment and energy topics, and science and technology policy issues over the years retiring from public service after 49 years; and Dean of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Currently a leader in the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, his PhD in political science is from the University of Wisconsin.

Ed Hildebrand has multidisciplinary experience in the biosciences and in national and international science and technology policy analysis. After earning a Ph.D. in biophysics from the Pennsylvania State University, he joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory where his research focused on the international human genome project. While at LANL he also served in postings to the Foreign Service as Science Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in London and to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. More recently, Ed was a science and engineering analyst with a not for profit national and homeland security contractor. He is currently a member of the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum Board.

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. He is Vice President of the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum.

Cheryl Rofer was a chemistat 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 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 and has worked on environmental remediation at Los Alamos and in Estonia and Kazakhstan. 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. She has spoken to SFWAF on several previous occasions, most recently on the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

The SFWAF Program will be in the:  The SFCC Board Room (#223) which is in the West Wing (Administration building) of the Santa Fe Community College.
The Critical Importance of Science to US Government Operations and Policy Making: Examples and Current Dangers2020-01-19T10:02:19-07:00

Greece on the Front Line: The Refugees Keep Coming

December 3, 2019

Jane Abbott

Download Power Point Presentation Here !

Since 2015, desperate refugees mostly from the Middle East and a few from West Africa, have been flooding the Eastern Greek islands of Kos, Samos, Lesbos, Leros, and Chios. The conditions on these islands, especially on Samos, where six times the number that can be accommodated are living in squalor and dangerous conditions, are bleak.

The EU made an agreement with Turkey in March of 2016, offering to pay Turkey to keep refugees in that country. However, few refugees want or are willing to stay in Turkey. Today, refugees try leaving Turkey multiple times, sailing across a three-mile stretch in precarious dinghies, in the hope that they can reach Greece and therefore apply for asylum. A Doctors without Borders spokesperson calls Greece, particularly the Greek islands, a “dumping ground” that has created a refugee emergency. In addition, the more people who try to cross from Turkey to Greece, the more deaths there are in the process.

Jane Abbott’s talk will center on her personal experience with refugees from the Vial Camp on Chios where she spent five weeks working for the NGO CESRT (the Chios Eastern Shore Response Team) which is allied with the German NGO Open Arms. She will explain how volunteers are used there and why Chios, although crowded with refugees and constantly struggling to help them, uses CESRT as a model for how to help those in need. In the past six months, the numbers at Vial have quadrupled, so caring for refugees becomes more and more challenging.

Jane Abbott earned her bachelor’s degree at the American College in Greece (Deree College) in literature and then a master’s degree at the University of Denver in comparative literature while also earning a teacher’s certificate. After teaching at the United States International University for a year, she joined the US Peace Corps teaching in a remote village in Nepal which could only be reached by several days’ walking. The next year, Abbott taught at the University of Nepal in Kathmandu and assisted with writing the Peace Corps Nepali language manual. Abbott lived with her family in Nepal for seven years, working as a teacher and consultant for Peace Corps and USIS.

For the next two years, Abbott lived in Honiara, the Solomon Islands and consulted in Kiribati. She ran training programs in education and business and evaluated posts in the South Pacific for the Peace Corps.

Returning to the US, Abbott taught literature and integrated humanities at various community colleges in Colorado. Simultaneously, she earned her Ph.D. in community college leadership. Subsequently, she worked as a dean in a community college in Colorado with 18,000 students especially with international students.

Abbott has a particular interest in international micro credit projects for women. She was a consultant through Colorado State University for WID (Women In Development) in Nepal and studied a women’s support NGO while on a Mosal Grant. Her project for a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad grant then addressed this topic in Paraguay. Two subsequent Fulbrights in Thailand and Germany supplemented this specialty.

While working at community colleges throughout her career, Abbott developed study abroad cultural programs for adults. She has taken multiple study groups to Nepal, Turkey, and especially to Greece where she has returned many times.

Abbott has worked as a volunteer on many projects. Recently this has included women from Gaza in occupied Palestine. Because of her special interest and experience in working with women in challenging situations, she chose to go to the island of Chios in the spring of 2019. Her presentation today addresses her personal experience while there and how she used her skills and experience to help men, women, and children at the camp. She is an SFWAF Board Member.

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Greece on the Front Line: The Refugees Keep Coming2020-03-17T17:26:37-07:00
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