Sunday, October 27, 2019

Monday in Washington October 28, 2019

PROSPECTS OF THE RUSSIAN PROTEST MOVEMENT. 10/28, 2:00pm. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Dr. Olga Khostunova, Author; Ms. Ksenia Kirillova, Author; John Herbst, Ambassador; Dr. Maria Snegovaya.

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THE RED SEA REGION BETWEEN WAR AND RECONCILIATION. 10/28, 4:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: Institute of World Politics (IWP). Speaker: Dr. Col. (Res.) author, Shaul Shay, senior research fellow, International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT), former Director of Research at the Institute for Strategy and Policy (IPS), Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel.

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THE BATTLE FOR PAKISTAN WITH SHUJA NAWAZ AND STEVE INSKEEP. 10/28, 5:30pm,Washington, DC. Sponsor: Atlantic Council. Speakers: Steve Inskeep, NPR; author Shuja Nawaz, Distinguished Fellow, South Asia Center.

THE UN AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN 2019. 10/28, 5:30-7:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: United Nations Association, National Capital Area (UNA-NCA). Speakers: Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General, Human Rights, United Nations; Ambassador Keith Harper, Former U.S. Permanent Representative, UN Human Rights Council; Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, Former U.S. Representative, Economic and Social Council, UN.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Can the Statue of Peace find Peace?

On Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 3:00pm on the front lawn of 7601 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Virginia a Comfort Woman Statue will be unveiled.

Known as the "Statue of Peace," and also called Sonyeo Sang [Statue of a Girl] this is THE Comfort Woman statue. It was designed by the Korean sculptor couple, Kim Seo-Kyung and Kim Un-Sung. The first statue was installed in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul, Korea by the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan on December 14, 2011 in commemoration of the 1000th Wednesday demonstration.

This powerful, interactive artwork has been displayed by Asian American civic groups throughout the United States, despite Japanese rightwing and government opposition. The Annandale memorial is the 5th Statue of Peace and the 14th Comfort Women memorial in the U.S. Only a small number, however, are on public land.

Why are these statues necessary? What is it about the visual image--especially one that is well done with artistic grace--that can persuade where words cannot? Why is not recognized that what happened to the women, girls, and boys who were used for sexual service to the Imperial Japanese military is obviously wrong? Why is taking responsibility even harder?

Recently, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward interviewed the New York Times’s Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey about their best-selling book, She Said, that discusses their investigation of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The exchange highlights how far we still have to go to educate people, not just men, about sexual violence.

Woodward was genuinely puzzled by Weinstein's motivations and pathology. “If you spent all the time on him, you have to ask the question, which you really don’t address in the book, and that is: Why did he behave this way?” Woodward asked. “I know you’re not psychiatrists or psychologists, but share with us the ‘Why?’ … because there’s so many strange things he does.”

"I’ll tell you what we know. It’s that this story is an X-ray into power, and how power works,” Kantor said, as the crowd erupted into loud applause. “It’s also about sex, isn’t it?” Woodward asked. “No!” several attendees yelled at the same time. “It’s not about sex in the romantic sense,” Kantor said, adding that “part of the way it’s about power is that it’s about work.”

Thus, many people in prominent positions are still going through the motions of understanding how sexual violence works. No more is this true than in Japan as you can see in Abe's recent encounter with Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad. This meeting was only reported by JiJi and is NOT recorded on Abe's social media or official daily news. It is odd that it is not.
Abe Meets Nobel Peace Prize Winner Murad. JiJi, 9/25/19.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with Nobel laureate Nadia Murad in New York on Tuesday. Murad, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a human rights activist who drew attention to the use of sexual violence by the Islamic State militant group against members of the Yazidi minority in Iraq. Abe told Murad that Japan will continue to work on efforts to prevent rape in conflict and on support for female victims. [There is no mention of this meeting on the PM's website or MOFA]
Japan [and Korea] will have an opportunity to display its commitment to preventing rape next week, October 29th, at the UN Security Council's annual debate on women, peace and security. You can check up on them at the UNSC news site. They usually publish a good summary of events. You can also watch the debate either live or later. This day is the 19th Anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 and the creation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

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The next day, October 30th, will be a celebration for the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict by Security Council resolution (SCR) 1888 (2009). All are welcome.

Both 1325 and 1888 are part of a 20 year series of UN resolutions recognizing the detrimental impact that sexual violence in conflict has on communities and acknowledging that this crime undermines efforts to ensure peace and security and rebuild societies once a conflict has ended. These resolutions signal a change in the way the international community views and deals with conflict-related sexual violence. It is no longer seen as an inevitable byproduct of war, but rather a crime that is preventable and punishable under International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.

In other words, it was not until 2000 that the UN Security Council began officially to mandate that a gender perspective be integrated throughout all aspects of peace and security. It was not until this century that a political framework was established to recognize that women and sexual violence in warfare are relevant to negotiating peace and reconciliation agreements. There is still much to do to educate that rape is about power. The objections that the Abe government and friends have about recognizing the Comfort Women as sex slaves are products of an antiquated view of women and warfare. Unfortunately, they have not grown with the times.

How Impeachment May Reshape American Foreign Policy

By Daniel Sneider, Lecturer, International Policy at Stanford University and APP member.
Toyo Keizai, October 25, 2019

Japanese are understandably riveted by the procession of deadly storms marching across the Pacific Ocean toward their shores. But there is another catastrophe forming an ocean away that deserves attention too.

The American President is building up into a fury, driven by the prospect of his impeachment. And the winds being generated could bring a different kind of destruction to Japan and Northeast Asia.

The inquiry into the President’s conduct in Ukraine in the Democratic party-controlled House of Representatives is moving rapidly. Increasingly damning testimony by senior officials is confirming that the President and his close allies tried to pressure the Ukrainian government, by withholding Congressionally-authorized military aid, to help build a case of alleged corruption against his likely Democratic presidential opponent, former Vice President Joseph Biden.

If the House votes to impeach Trump, he will be tried in the Senate where a conviction would require at least 20 Republican Senators to cross the line. At this moment, that is unlikely, but that could change as we head deeper into this crisis.

“The likelihood of impeachment has risen quickly from highly unlikely just a few months ago, to highly probable today,” says former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Russel.

“The prospects of conviction by a vote of two thirds in the Senate currently seem very low. But we should bear in mind that this is a dynamic situation and that Trump’s behavior has rapidly become more problematic as the pressure on him has mounted,” Russel, who is Vice President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, told me.

Japanese readers need to grasp that the decision to investigate and impeach a president is incredibly rare in American political history. Congress has only twice passed articles of impeachment—against Andrew Johnson in the 19th century and against Bill Clinton—leading to a trial in the Senate. The Senate voted in both cases not to remove the President from office. A third president, Richard Nixon, resigned when it was clear that he was destined for a similar fate.

All three impeachment cases were deeply divisive moments in American history, led by the party that was not in power in the White House. No matter what the outcome of this situation, it is likely to send the United States to the verge of political civil war.

What is already clear is that the prospect of impeachment is consuming the President’s every waking moment, evident in the flood of Tweets and his recent rambling attempts to defend his record. The crisis is driving foreign policy decisions that are even more impulsive than previously, ones where he relies entirely on his own personal judgment and deeply seated beliefs.

“The political crisis at home means that on foreign policy, Trump acts like Trump...only more so,” comments Russel.

“Decisions with far-reaching consequences, such as green-lighting Turkey’s move against the Kurds in Syria, were made on the fly and entirely without deliberation or input from his national security team. Others, such as the defiant decision to award himself the lucrative contract for the upcoming G-7 meeting site, created strong political blowback from his own party — forcing a rare reversal.”

Does the impeachment crisis make Trump even more likely to take risks? Or less likely, fearful that it will generate resistance from his own party, whose votes he needs to avoid the ignominy of an impeachment conviction? There is no clear answer to this question.

Some observers believe Trump will be too embroiled in his troubles to do much of anything on the foreign policy front. “With impeachment, I think it’s even less likely that he will get anything major done in the next 12 months, either for good (a North Korea deal) or for ill (pulling out of alliance commitments),” former Obama Amb to Moscow Michael McFaul, the head of Stanford’s Institute for International Studies, told me.

While domestic politics may make him risk averse, “his recent actions suggest to me that his decisions are increasingly based more on instinct and impulse than they are on any calculation,” observes John Walcott, a contributing editor for Time magazine and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

While Trump has tended to avoid conflict, such as in the Middle East, he may see war as a way to rally the country if his impeachment troubles deepen, he warns.

Will Donald Trump Go to Pyongyang?
North Korea may be the most unpredictable test of the impact of impeachment and election on Trump’s foreign policy. The North Koreans have drawn a line at the end of this year, threatening to return to unrestrained testing and buildup of their nuclear weapons capability.

The abortive attempt to restart talks at a working level in Stockholm earlier this month suggest that Kim Jong Un still hopes to draw the President back into direct talks, where he can get sanctions lifted without giving much in return.

But impeachment may mean the clock is running out on talks, and a return to tensions, and even the danger of war, is increasingly likely.

“It’s certainly possible that the North Koreans could turn to an ICBM test to pressure Trump, but my concern is that they would misread the situation, decide that negotiations would go nowhere given disarray in Washington and thus they might as well take the opportunity to test and move to the next level in their force,” a former senior North Korean analyst in the U.S. intelligence community told me.

“I think that will set off a very dangerous action-reaction cycle, worse than we’ve ever seen, especially if it unfolds in the midst of a political crisis in DC.”

When it comes to the idea of another summit, this analyst believes the North Korean leadership would approach this with great caution.

“I can’t imagine that Pyongyang would want to have Kim Jong Un in the same room with Trump while this impeachment process is in play,” he told me. “Moreover, one would think the North Koreans would be leery of coming to any sort of deal with the US (especially one where they make irreversible moves on their nuclear program) when the US situation is in such turmoil.”

A Trump visit to Pyongyang, offering dramatic television, may still be possible however.

Officials involved in the administration's East Asia policy say the President continues to think he can negotiate a denuclearization agreement with Kim Jong-un if the two of them sit down together, reports Walcott.

“Having already claimed to have ended the North’s nuclear threat, yet faced with an escalating pattern of provocative North Korean missile tests, Trump is confronting a dilemma,” observes former senior State Department official Russel.

“A return to ‘fire and fury’ would expose the failure of Trump’s approach and present yet another challenge to a president who vowed to end foreign military entanglements but has instead stumbled into crises in Syria and Iran.”

The China Question
While Trump ponders a deal with Kim, he seems ready to embrace one with China’s Xi, even at the cost of his own policies. The months of tough negotiations to force China to adopt to serious structural reform, protect intellectual property, strip away the mercantile policies to promote technological competition, and open the Chinese market to global firms has been set aside. Instead Trump eagerly settled for a so-called Phase One agreement that basically amounts to overinflated claims of Chinese agricultural purchases designed to win votes in farm states like Iowa.

“Senior officials in the U.S. Government believe quite widely that deepening political trouble at home is likely to make the President more anxious to strike deals abroad that he can trumpet as victories,” veteran Washington correspondent Walcott told me. “Facing increasing unrest in the farm states he carried in 2016, for example, he's already tried to do that with a China trade deal, which apparently isn't even a deal yet. If it is, it is a hollow one.”

Host Nation Support Talks
One place where Trump’s impeachment troubles may show up is in the talks with Japan and South Korea on defense cost burden sharing. Talks with South Korea are about to begin and the Host Nation Support agreement will be negotiated with Japan from early next year.

According to senior officials, Trump is demanding that the Koreans and Japanese pay 5 times more than in previous agreements -- $5 billion from Korea and $7.5 billion from Japan.

It is not yet clear how serious those demands will be. “Maybe it is an opening position,” says a former senior State Department official, “maybe it is NOT.”

The demands that U.S. allies shoulder more of the cost of defense is a popular one among many American voters, and certainly for those who back Trump and his America First stance. Nor does Trump seem to care what those allies think about the reliability of the United States as a global power. Increasingly, Trump under fire at home, and isolated within his own administration, is reverting back to his core beliefs.

For Japan, this may be more destructive than the storms now pounding the country.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Monday in Washington October 21, 2019

THE SCIENCE OF BUREAUCRACY. RISK DECISION-MAKING AND THE LEGITIMACY OF THE US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. 10/21, 8:30-1030am. Sponsor: Consortium for Science and Policy Outcomes. Speaker: author, David Demortain, research centre Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés (LISIS), a centre of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

THE TRADE AGENDA: WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES? 10/24. Sponsor: Washington International Trade Association (WITA). Speakers include: Orit Frenkel, Executive Director, American Leadership Initiative; Edward Gresser, Assistant USTR, Trade Policy & Economics, USTR; Katrin Kuhlmann, President & Founder, New Markets Lab, Visiting Professor, Georgetown Law School.

THE WORLD TRADING SYSTEM IS NOT DYING. 10/21, 9:00-10:15am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Ambassador Alan Wolff, Deputy Director-General, WTO; William A. Reinsch, Senior Adviser, Scholl Chair, International Business, CSIS.

ARE THE US AND CHINA IN AN IDEOLOGICAL COMPETITION? 10/21, 9:00-10:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Toshi Yoshihara, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Jessica Chen Weiss, Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University; Dan Tobin, China Studies Faculty, National Intelligence University.

CAMBODIA BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE. 10/21, 9:00-10:30am. Sponsors: US Chamber of Commerce; US-ASEAN Business Council; AmCham Cambodia. Speakers include: Allen Tan, Chairman of the Board of AmCham Cambodia; Steven Path, CEO of Pathmazing; Rithy Sear, Chairman of World Bridge Group Ltd.; William Heidt, Former US Ambassador to Cambodia.

IN THE SHADOW OF IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, DUELING VISIONS FOR THE NATION. 10/21, 10:00-11:45am. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: Robert P. Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute; E.J. Dionne Jr., W. Averell Harriman Chair, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings; William A. Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings; Joy Reid, Host, AM Joy, Political Analyst, MSNBC; Jennifer Rubin, Opinion Writer, Washington Post.


FUEL TO THE FIRE: HOW TRUMP MADE AMERICA’S BROKEN FOREIGN POLICY EVEN WORSE (AND HOW WE CAN RECOVER). 10/21, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: Cato Institute. Speakers: John Glaser, Director, Foreign Policy, Cato Institute; Christopher Preble, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Trevor Thrall, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University; Heather Hurlburt, Director, New Models of Policy Change, New America.

U.S. POLICY PRIORITIES FOR AFGHANISTAN: A CONVERSATION WITH REPRESENTATIVE MIKE WALTZ. 10/21, 3:00-4:00. Sponsor: Middle East Institute (MEI). Speakers: Representative Michael Waltz (R-FL); Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies at MEI. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Monday in Washington October 14 2019

Columbus Day Holiday - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

PROSPECTS FOR A NUCLEAR DEAL WITH NORTH KOREA. 10/14, 3:00-5.00pm, Sponsors: GW Institute for Korean Studies; GW East Asia National Resource Center. Speakers: Amb. Joseph Yun, Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute for Peace; Jisoo M. Kim, Associate Professor, Korea Foundation, Director, Institute for Korean Studies, GW; Yonho Kim, Associate Research Professor, Practice and Associate Director of Institute for Korean Studies, GW.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Monday in Washington October 7, 2019

MORE THAN A WALLET: THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN DEVELOPMENT. 10/7, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Richard Crespin, CEO, CollaborateUp; Melissa Scudo Gasmi, Senior Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Chemonics International; Ky Johnson, Senior Advisor, mClinica; Michael Eddy, Private Sector Engagement Coordinator, USAID.

DEMOCRACY, NATIONALISM AND POPULISM: THE US, ISRAEL, AND BEYOND. 10/7, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: Brookings. Speakers: William A. Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; Shany Mor, Associate Fellow, Hannah Arendt Center, Bard College; Former Director, Foreign Policy, Israeli National Security Council; Yael (Yuli) Tamir, President, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design; Adjunct Professor, University of Oxford; Moderator: Natan Sachs, Fellow, Director, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution.

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF MISSILE DEFENSE. 10/7, 9:30-10:30am. Sponsor: CSIS. Speaker: Vice Admiral Jon Hill, Director, Missile Defense Agency.

PROTECTING AMERICAN INTERESTS IN FRAGILE STATES. 10/7, 10:45am-1:00pm. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: James Richardson, Director, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, U.S. State Department; Raphael Carland, Managing Director for Policy, Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resource, U.S. State Department; Jessica Trisko Darden, Visiting Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Rob Jenkins, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development; Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie; Blaise Misztal, Fellow, Hudson Institute.

AFTER THE MERGER: PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AT STATE. 10/7, Noon. Sponsor: Public Diplomacy Achievement Awards. Speakers include: Ambassador Cynthia Efird; Ambassador Kenton Keith; Ambassador Jean Manes; Dr. Shawn Powers.

RUSSIA AND THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM. 10/7, 2:00-3:00pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speaker: Jeffrey Kahn, Professor, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University.

MELANCHOLY, REMORSE, AND RESIGNATION IN A YEAR OF COMMUNIST ANNIVERSARIES: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION: THE GLOBAL IDEA OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY. 10/7, 4:00-5:30pm. Sponsor: Wilson Center. Speakers: Eric Arnesen, Fellow, Professor of History, The George Washington University; A. James McAdams, William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs at the University of Notre Dame; Christian F. Ostermann, Director, History and Public Policy Program, Cold War International History Project, North Korea Documentation Project, Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. 

DISCUSSION ON WORLD EVENTS WITH GENERAL DAVID H. PETRAEUS. 10/7, 4:45-6:00pm. Sponsor: Johns Hopkins, SAIS. Speakers: General David H. Petraeus, Chairman, KKR Global Institute, Ambassador, Counselor, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Eliot A. Cohen, SAIS, Dean.