The Passport for February 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

What will become of the Syrian refugees? Professor Anne Marie Baylouny will update us on this humanitarian crisis, how the host countries are faring, the dimensions of international aid, and policy options for the international community and the United States. She will also address the prospects for an end to the conflict.

Click the headline to read more.


WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


Cover to Cover

Are you interested in books about world affairs? Would you like to hear what the authors of those books have to say, without waiting (and hoping) for them to come to town? Look no further: Cover to Cover is here for you!

Cover to Cover is a free monthly half-hour conference call featuring interviews with some of today’s most prominent writers on world affairs. Speakers during the past year have included Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, discussing his book A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order; Ambassador Rick Barton, currently at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, discussing his book Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World; and Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, former head of the US Diplomatic Mission to Cuba, discussing her book Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba.

Cover to Cover is a free benefit offered to World Affairs Council members by the World Affairs Council of America, our umbrella organization. Preregistration for the conference calls is required. To register, click here to go directly to the Cover to Cover web page or go to the main site: www.worldaffairscouncils.org and click on the Programs menu item and then on Cover to Cover. (The appearance of the menu system depends on the device you use to view it – computer, tablet, or smartphone.) Once on the Cover to Cover page, click on the conference call of interest.

Missed an interesting call? Not to worry: previous Cover to Cover calls become free podcasts, which you can access from that same page. You’ll see Professor Francis Fukuyama and Ambassador Michael McFaul featured there, just in case you might have missed them when they spoke here!

December Program Report

Bill Clifford

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay was honored to host national president and Japan expert Bill Clifford for our December luncheon. Clifford has helped to revitalize the national organization, and has been visiting many local chapters around the country. While here, Clifford met with our Board to discuss new programming and possibilities for growth.

At the luncheon, Clifford spoke on “Japan, America, and the New Nationalism,” touching upon internal Japanese politics, regional issues, and Japan’s important relationship with the United States.

Shinzo Abe, recently re-elected, has become a major leader of the international order, even more so given America’s retreat and Europe’s
problems. The perception is widespread in Japan that the US is abdicating its global role, and that “America First” is a significant break with 70 years of history. There is also a disconnect between 50,000 US troops stationed
in Japan and new US tariffs that hurt Japanese exports.

The US engagement on the Korean peninsula worries Japan, as Tokyo does not have a seat at the table for the nuclear talks. Despite good personal relations with Trump, Abe is hedging his bets politically, for he has seen this administration treat many old allies poorly.

Perhaps Japan’s greatest internal challenge is a “demographic time bomb.” Its fertility rate is 1.2, well below the replacement rate of 2.1, and since Japan allows virtually no immigration, its population is shrinking. This will put Japan’s social safety net under stress, since there are not enough workers to support its aging population.

— by Glenn E. Robinson

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

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Luncheon on February 25, 2019

Topic

The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Speaker

Anne Marie Baylouny

Associate Professor of National Security Affairs

Naval Postgraduate School

Overview

Syria is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time.

Fillipo Grandi, UNHCR

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, over 5.6 million people have fled Syria, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and beyond. Millions more are displaced inside Syria. Most are living in extreme poverty, and humanitarian groups are unable to access many who live in the areas of conflict.

What will become of the Syrian refugees? Professor Anne Marie Baylouny will update us on this humanitarian crisis, how the host countries are faring, the dimensions of international aid, and policy options for the international community and the United States. She will also address the prospects for an end to the conflict.

Anne Marie Baylouny is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, where she specializes in Middle East politics, grassroots organizing, and Islam. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Baylouny has lived in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and has traveled extensively in the Middle East. She speaks Arabic, Italian, French, and Spanish, and has received numerous

Agenda

  • Monday, February 25, 2019
  • 11:30 am: Registration
  • 11:50: Luncheon
  • 12:45 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Caesar Salad
  • Oven Roasted Salmon Filet with Bearnaise Sauce
  • Steamed Rice
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian option: Pasta Primavera tossed with pesto olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests

Registration

Reservations are due by February 20 for this February 25 event.

To register by mail, fax, or phone, click here to view or download the Luncheon Reservation form in PDF file format and follow the instructions.

To register and pay online with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, click here.

Location

Palo Corona Regional Park Headquarters
(formerly Rancho Canada Golf Club)
4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Discussion Groups for Jan-Mar 2019

To see a list of recent Discussion Group events, click here.

WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Great Decisions is free and open to the public.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Refugees and Global Migration
  • The Middle East: Regional Disorder
  • Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future?
  • The Rise of Populism in Europe
  • Decoding US-China Trade
  • Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics
  • The US and Mexico: Partnership Tested
  • State of the State Dept. and Diplomacy.

Click here for more information about these topics on the Great Decisions website.

Briefing Books are available for purchase from the moderators at each site on a first come/first served basis. Or order online on the Great Decisions website or by calling 1-800-477-5836. Ordering by phone or online may be more expensive than buying in person.


MPC

Meetings are 4:00-5:30 pm in Room 101, Social Sciences Building, on Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11, 25, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25. Parking is available for $3 in Lot D.

Click here to get an electronic event notice for all of the above MPC meetings for your online calendar


OLLI/CSUMB

Meetings are 4:00-5:30 at the CSUMB Ryan Ranch Location, on Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar. 4, 11, 18, 25. Parking is free. Preregistration is required for the OLLI program. Register at olli.csumb.edu (do not include a “www” at the beginning of the URL).

Click here to get an electronic event notice for all of the above OLLI/CSUMB meetings for your online calendar.

Luncheon on January 21, 2019

Topic

Financing Terror: ISIS and Antiquities

Speaker

Jason Blazakis

Professor of Practice and Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism
Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey

Overview

For a number of years, ISIS has been engaged in the illegal antiquities trade, generating millions of dollars by looting priceless cultural artifacts. Jason Blazakis, the Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) will address this practice in his talk on January 21. He will discuss the overall ways that ISIS finances itself, and will then delve more specifically into its process of exploiting antiquities for profit. He will also address some of the countermeasures employed by the US government to combat this problem.

Professor Blazakis is a specialist in terrorism and counterterrorism, including the finances, group structures, social media presence, and state sponsorship of organizations that utilize terror. He was employed by the federal government for almost twenty years, working at the State Department, the Congressional Research Service, and the US Congress. Before arriving at MIIS in the Fall of 2018, he was the Director of the Counterterrorism Finance and Designations Office at the State Department. He hold master’s degrees from Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities.

Please note that this program will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey.  Room capacity is limited. Reservations will be accepted in the order they are received until the program is full. Depending on demand, we may be unable to accommodate auditors at this event.

Agenda

  • Monday, January 21, 2019
  • 11:30 am: Registration
  • 11:50: Luncheon
  • 12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • California Field Greens Salad
  • Grilled Salmon Filet with a Lemon Dill Beurre Blanc
  • Rice Pilaf and Seasonal Grilled Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • New York Cheesecake with Mango Coulis and Berries
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian Option: Bell Peppers Stuffed with Roasted Vegetables, Rice and Cheese

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests

Registration

Registration for the luncheon is now closed.  Audience seating for the lecture only may be available, depending on room capacity, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Location

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923

Property and Parking Map

Click here for larger view.

The Passport for January 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

For a number of years, ISIS has been engaged in the illegal antiquities trade, generating millions of dollars by looting priceless cultural artifacts. Jason Blazakis, the Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) will address this practice in his talk on January 21. He will discuss the overall ways that ISIS finances itself, and will then delve more specifically into its process of exploiting antiquities for profit. He will also address some of the countermeasures employed by the US government to combat this problem.

Click the headline to read more.


WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


October Program Report

Dr. Thomas Bruneau

At the October luncheon, WACMB was honored to host Dr. Thomas Bruneau, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Naval Postgraduate School. Bruneau spoke on “Patriots for Profit? America’s Experience with Private Military Contractors,” with a particular focus on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Using private military contractors can be an attractive option for decision makers because there are no long term costs committed to a particular job, just a shorter term contract. In addition, such contractors can be quite effective, as they are often retired special forces and other well trained American military personnel. These sorts of contracts provide significant flexibility to decision makers.

Still, according to Bruneau, the use of private military contractors has gotten out of hand. In 2017, the total Department of Defense budget for contractors was $320 billion, or 55% of the total DoD budget. Some people view contractors as mercenaries, a term Bruneau said is loaded. In reality, contractors are used by the DoD for a wide variety of jobs, from cooks to truck drivers to warriors. This kind of outsourcing is quite legal; indeed, it has been strongly encouraged in US law since the 1980s.

Contractors have become so pervasive in the DoD that most DoD contracting officers who write and oversee various contracts, are contractors themselves. At the end of the day, contractors report to the head of the company that employs them, not to the unit commander in whose office they work. Bruneau argued that significant reform is needed in the DoD contracting model in future American wars abroad.

— by Glenn E. Robinson

A Polite Request

Things become complicated when luncheon reservations reach the office after the deadline, and also when people arrive at the luncheons without making reservations beforehand. The luncheon venues charge WACMB a higher rate for meals that are ordered past the deadline. We don’t want to pass those extra costs on to our members, and so we ask that you please respect the deadlines for registration that are listed on the reservation form.

Did you forget to mail your reservation in time to meet the deadline? Don’t worry: you can now register online! Just go to www.wacmb.org and find the News and Events list on the right sidebar. Click on the link to the next luncheon, then scroll down to Registration. The first paragraph contains options to register by phone or fax, and the second contains a link to register online. Check it out: it’s easy and efficient!

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

Luncheon Meeting on December 6, 2018

Overview

The alliance between the U.S. and Japan has long been the cornerstone of  American security interests in Asia, and is fundamental to regional stability and prosperity.  But while the partnership is based on shared vital interests and values, it now faces major challenges.  How will the administrations of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump chart the next phase of the relationship?

Bill Clifford, who was a Tokyo-based journalist for more than a decade, will discuss how recent political, economic, and social trends in our two countries are changing the dynamics of U.S.-Japan relations.  He will highlight how North Korea’s nuclear and cyber threats and China’s growing military might have profoundly affected Japan’s foreign policy.

Bill Clifford is President and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) in Washington, D.C., where he leads our national office and represents its network of more than 90 World Affairs Councils across the United States. In March 2017, he was appointed a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also serves on the editorial board of the SAIS Review.

Before joining WACA five years ago, Clifford was president of WorldBoston, a WACA member council known for its innovative programming. Previously, he served as Asia Bureau Chief for the pioneering multimedia venture CBS MarketWatch, where he launched and directed news bureaus in Japan and Hong Kong. He holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS, a B.A. summa cum laude in International Relations and French Literature from Tufts University, and a C.E.P. from Sciences Po in Paris.

 

Agenda

Thursday, December 6, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
1:00 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Hearts of Romaine Salad
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Roasted Red Potatoes
  • Vegetable Medley
  • Rolls and Butter
  • Coffee and Decaf
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Vegetarian Option: Tortellini in Pesto Cream Sauce
  • Special Holiday Treat: Champagne or Sparkling Cider

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Lecture is open to the public at no charge, beginning at 12:50pm

Registration

Registration for the luncheon is now closed.  Audience seating for the lecture only may be available, depending on room capacity, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Location

Palo Corona Regional Park Headquarters
(formerly Rancho Canada Golf Club)
4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Discussion Groups for December 2018

To see a list of recent Discussion Group events, click here.

MPC

America’s Role and Responsibility in the War in Yemen

The war in Yemen is shaping up to be one of the greatest humanitarian disasters since World War II. What is America’s responsibility in backing Saudi Arabia is in this war?

The MPC Discussion Group is free to the public and will meet on Monday, December 10 at 4:00 pm in the Social Science Building, Room 101, Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont Street, Monterey.  Parking is available in Lot D for $3.00.

Click the calendar icon to get an electronic event notice for your calendar.
Interactive Map of MPC Location


OLLI

The OLLI Discussion Group will meet on Monday, December 17 at 4:00 on the second floor of the CSUMB building at Ryan Ranch, 8 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey. Free parking is available in front of the building.

For maps and more detailed directions, follow this link or see the map below.

Click the calendar icon to get an electronic event notice for your calendar.

Interactive Map of OLLI-CSUMB Location

Discussion Groups for November 2018

To see a list of recent Discussion Group events, click here.

MPC

Patriots for Profit?  America’s Experience with Private Military Contractors

Is the practice of relying on the private sector to wage war a strategic liability or a trend toward efficiency and cost effectiveness?  What is the impact of private contractors on U.S. troops and relations with host governments?

The MPC Discussion Group will meet on Monday, November 5 at 4:00 pm in the Social Science Building, Room 101, Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont Street, Monterey.  Parking is available in Lot D for $3.00.  (Note: this meeting will be on the first Monday of the month to avoid a conflict with Veteran’s Day.)

Click the calendar icon to get an electronic event notice for your calendar.
Interactive Map of MPC Location


OLLI

The Effect of the National Mid-Term Elections

The OLLI Discussion Group will meet on Monday, November 19 at 4:00 on the second floor of the CSUMB building at Ryan Ranch, 8 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey. Free parking is available in front of the building.

For maps and more detailed directions, follow this link or see the map below.

Click the calendar icon to get an electronic event notice for your calendar.

Interactive Map of OLLI-CSUMB Location