Luncheon Meeting on November 16, 2018

Topic

Chemical Weapons And Their Horrible, but Also Hopeful, Past, Present, and Future

Speaker

Philipp Bleek, MIISDr. Philipp C. Bleek

Associate Professor; Acting Program Chair, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies;

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Overview

Chemical weapons are back in the news based on their repeated and indiscriminate use in Syria the past few years as well as targeted attacks by both North Korea – to assassinate the leader’s half-brother last year – and most recently Russia, to target a former spy in the UK.  How worrisome are these developments?  And what implications do they have for the future of chemical weapons threats?

Professor Philipp Bleek will discuss the past, present, and potential future of chemical weapons threats.  He will argue that while the use of chemical weapons in the past has been horrifying there is, in key respects, also a good news story as the international community has managed to progressively marginalize them.  He will explore some reasons to be optimistic about the future of chemical weapons, though the progress that has been made may also be more fragile than is widely appreciated.

Philipp Bleek is Associate Professor and Acting Program Chair of the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  His research and teaching focuses on the causes, consequences, and amelioration of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons threats at the intersection of academia, non-governmental organizations, and government.  During 2012-2013 he served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs. In that capacity he staffed the then-secret Syria Chemical Weapons Senior Integration Group, a Pentagon-based, interagency effort to prepare for various chemical weapons-related contingencies.  He previously worked on a study that debriefed the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo terrorists about their chemical and biological weapons programs which culminated in the 1995 sarin nerve agent attacks on the Tokyo subway.  Some of his interviews were with those then on death row, and finally executed just a few weeks ago.  Professor Bleek earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard and his PhD in Government from Georgetown.

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

Friday, November 16, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
Noon: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • TBD
  • Vegetarian Option:

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests

Registration

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

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

 

Property and Parking Map (click map for larger view)

Luncheon Meeting on October 19, 2018

Topic

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

Speaker

Dr. Thomas Bruneau, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Naval Postgraduate SchoolDr. Thomas Bruneau

Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
Naval Postgraduate School

Overview

For decades now, the centrality of contracting in American warfare – both on the battlefield (sometimes called mercenaries) and in support of those on the battlefield – has been growing.  Today’s private military industry is a multi-billion dollar business.  In Fiscal Year 2017 in the U.S. Department of Defense alone contracting out totaled $320 billion, more than 50% of the DOD budget.  Erik Prince, former owner of Blackwater and possibly the world’s best known military contractor, has recently proposed contracting out the war in Afghanistan.  As the U.S increasingly relies on the private sector to wage war, some see this as a strategic liability.  Others consider the trend more efficient and cost effective.

Professor Thomas Bruneau, author of Patriots for Profit: Contractors and the Military in U.S. National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011), will discuss the pros and cons of contracting security support.  Highlighting the American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, he will explore the many dimensions of using private contractors, including effectiveness, cost, accountability, and ethics.  The impact of private contractors on regular U.S. troops and relations with host governments are among the issues he will examine.

Thomas Bruneau is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).  During his career at NPS, he served as Chairman of the Department of National Security Affairs (1989-1995) and Director of the Center for Civil Military Relations (2000-2004).  Prior to joining the faculty of NPS Dr. Bruneau taught in the Department of Political Science at McGill University.  In addition to his long academic career, and ten years of administrative responsibilities at the Naval Postgraduate School, Bruneau is also Vice President of Global Academic Professionals, LLC, a contracting firm.

On this occasion annual World Affairs Council awards will be presented to Peninsula area college students pursuing careers in international relations.

Agenda

Friday, October 19, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:45 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • House Salad of Mixed Greens with Ranch Dressing
  • Panko-Crusted Chicken with Sherry Cream Sauce
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Freshly Baked Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Vegetarian Option: Pasta with Marinara Sauce

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

Luncheon Meeting on September 28, 2018

Topic

From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia

— This Event Is Sold Out —

Speaker

Professor Michael McFaul

United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation 2012 – 2014

Overview

In 2008 when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford University to join an unlikely presidential campaign he had no idea that he would find himself at the center of one of today’s most consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered a new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, he had a front row seat when this hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency.

On this occasion Professor McFaul will share highlights from his new book, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2018), a highly acclaimed account that combines history and memoir to tell the story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of President Putin.

Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He earned his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies at Stanford. As a Rhodes Scholar, Professor McFaul completed his Ph.D. in International Relations at Oxford University.

Books will be available for sale and signing at the program.

Please note that this program will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey.  Reservations will be accepted in the order they are received until the program is full.  We regret that we are unable to accommodate auditors at this event.

Agenda

Friday, September 28, 2018
11:00 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Field Green Salad
  • Grilled Salmon Filet with Lemon Dill Beurre Blanc
  • Rice Pilaf and Grilled Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • NY Cheesecake with Mango Coulis and Berries
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Vegetarian Option: Peppers Stuffed with Vegetables, Rice and Cheese

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests

Registration

This event is sold out and registration is closed.  We regret that we are unable to accommodate auditors at this event.

Location

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

 

Property and Parking Map (click map for larger view)

Luncheon Meeting on August 23, 2018

Topic

Cyber Strategy: Russia, Putin and Political Warfare

Speaker

Ryan Maness

Naval Postgraduate School

Overview

Russia’s continued interference in U.S. and other Western electoral processes and political discourse via cyber and information warfare tactics has left these societies divided and discontent.  As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues to uncover Russia’s involvement in the 2016 campaign, the question that remains for many is whether members of the Trump campaign were involved and, if so, at what level.

Ryan Maness will examine why Russia does what it does in the cyber domain, and what the United States can do about it.  He will describe how cyber coercion complements, rather than replaces, traditional instruments of statecraft and power.  He will offer the empirically-grounded theory that cyber strategies function more as political warfare and covert action than decisive instruments of war, and seem most useful in the manipulation of information between geopolitical rivals.  He also will discuss the emerging art of cyber strategy as part of a larger approach to coercion by states in the
international system since the turn of the century.

Ryan Maness is the primary data collector and coder of the Dyadic Cyber Incident and Dispute (DCID) dataset, which records all state-attributed cyber incidents between rivals.  He has published in outlets such as Oxford University Press, Journal of Peace Research, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Forces and Society.  His most recent book is Cyber Strategy: The Changing Character of Power and Coercion (Oxford University Press, 2018). Professor Maness earned his PhD in Political Science at the University of Illinois.

Agenda

Thursday, August 23, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Caesar Salad
  • Chicken Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce
  • Rice Pilaf and Vegetable Medley
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian Option: Fettucini Alfredo

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 (formerly Rancho Canada)
4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Luncheon Meeting on July 19, 2018

Topic

Xi in Command

Speaker

Michael Ipson

International Banker

 

 

Overview

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, has introduced new and far reaching political and economic policies since assuming leadership in 2012.  He has also become increasingly powerful.  Xi now holds the top offices of the party (Secretary General), the state (President) and the military (Chairman, Central Military Commission) and in March, China’s National People’s Congress amended its constitution eliminating presidential term limits.  Xi Jinping is officially referred to as the Paramount Leader of the PRC.

Our guest, Michael Ipson, will review how Xi has centralized his personal power over China and look forward as he embarks upon his second term as supreme leader.  In his presentation he will discuss China’s growing global role and analyze the major challenges that China and President Xi face including the economy and environmental quality.

Michael Ipson began his engagement with China in 1966 as an exchange student in Hong Kong.  After pursuing graduate studies in Chinese and Vietnamese history, , he began a career in banking, spending 28 years in Hong Kong and China.  During the last five years he spent his second sojourn in Beijing, including two-and-a-half years as Country Manager for International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank.  He continues to travel to China working with financial institutions.

Agenda

Thursday, July 19, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • TBD

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person
  • Lecture is open to the public at no charge, beginning at 12:50pm

Registration

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.

Location

4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Luncheon Meeting on June 8, 2018

Topic

The Demise of the Arab Spring and the Deep State

Speaker

Dr. Robert Springborg

Italian Institute of
International Affairs

and
Naval Postgraduate School (ret.)

 

 

Overview

The term “deep state” came into American parlance in the early months of the Trump administration on both sides of the political spectrum. Few Americans are aware, however, that the concept of the deep state can be traced to the Middle East and North Africa. Indeed, many specialists on the region believe that the existence of deep states helps to explain the rise and fall of the Arab Spring.

In his remarks, Dr. Springborg will suggest that applying the term “deep state” to U.S. institutions is stretching the concept too far. Unlike in the Middle East, American coercive institutions are under civilian control and subject to the rule of law, and they have not penetrated and subordinated other governmental bodies or civil society as they have in the Middle East. The negative consequences Arab deep states had for both political and economic development undermined the ability of their people to successfully organize nationally and to convert their Arab Spring movements into democratic transitions. More recently, deep states that survived in the Arab republics have been reinforced, as have those in Turkey and Iran; attempts to build or rebuild them from the bottom up are underway in Libya, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, and from the top down in some of the Arab monarchies. In most of the Middle East, “real” politics that determine who gets what, when and how, are the preserve of deep states, leaving only a largely meaningless “pseudopolitics” for normal citizens.

Robert Springborg is a specialist on Middle East governance and politics, with a special focus on Egypt and U.S. policy toward the region. His books include Mubarak’s Egypt; Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East; and Egypt. He has worked as a consultant on the Middle East for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Program, and various British government departments. Dr. Springborg is currently a non-resident research fellow of the Italian Institute of International Affairs.

Agenda

Friday, June 8, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
11:50 am: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Wedgewood Salad with Italian Dressing
  • Chicken in a Pesto Cream Sauce
  • Roasted Red Potatoes and Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian Option: Tortellini in Pesto Cream Sauce with Parmesan

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person
  • Lecture is open to the public at no charge, beginning at 12:50pm

Registration

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.

Location

4860 Carmel Valley Rd
Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Luncheon Meeting on May 17, 2018

Topic

Why Iran Remains a Challenge for U.S. Foreign Policy

Speaker

Professor Afshon Ostovar

Assistant Professor at Naval Postgraduate School

Overview

The United States and Iran have long had an adversarial relationship.  Many observers point to the U.S.’s long history of interventions into Iranian politics as the factor that has most shaped the modern relationship
between the two nations.  More recently, Iran’s expanding foothold across the Middle East has exacerbated U.S.-Iran relations. As of this writing, the most imminent threat emanates from Washington, where the Trump Administration is poised to retreat from the 2015 nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Afshon Ostovar, a popular professor of Middle East politics at the Naval Postgraduate School, will examine the dynamics of the U.S.-Iran relationship and the U.S.’s strategy to combat Iran’s regional influence and nuclear ambitions.

Dr. Ostovar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at NPS. His research and writing focus on conflict and security in the Middle East, with a special focus on Iran and the Persian Gulf. His most recent book, Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (Oxford University Press, 2016) examines the rise of Iran’s most powerful armed force—the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC—and its role in power politics, regional conflicts, and political violence.

Dr. Ostovar earned his B.A., summa cum laude, in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan.

Agenda

Thursday, May 17, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
12:00: Luncheon
12:50: Program

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

Luncheon Menu

  • Asian Salad
  • Teriyaki Salmon
  • Roasted Red Potatoes and Vegetables
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Vegetarian Option: Vegetable Stir Fry
Luncheon Cost:
  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person
  • Lecture is open to the public at no charge, beginning at 12:50pm

Registration

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.

 

Luncheon Meeting on April 20, 2018

Topic

A Global Water Crisis?
The Future of Water is Closer and Better Than You Think

Speaker

Dr. Jeff Langholz

Professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

 

 

 

 

Overview

Experts warn that in the 21st century, water shortages will become increasingly common across the world. Many believe water will become the oil of the 21st century, driving major geopolitical decisions and creating a dividing line between those who have it and those who don’t. Recent water shortages in California and beyond have highlighted our shaky relationship with the world’s most important resource.

Dr. Jeff Langholz, a natural resource policy and management expert at the Middlebury Institute, argues that the potential crisis has, in fact, spurred breakthrough innovations that make water more reliable, affordable, and ecological. In his presentation, he will explore exciting new pathways to a more sustainable approach to water.

Dr. Langholz is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and entrepreneur, with a passion for “triple bottom line” solutions to global challenges. A primary focus of his work has been sustainability of the world’s natural resources. For this, he has drawn on extensive professional experience with the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and consultancies across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. His work has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Geographic, The Economist, and more than 250 other media outlets.

A former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa and Fulbright Scholar in
South Africa, Dr. Langholz earned his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University.

Agenda

  • 11:30 AM – Registration
  • 11:50 AM – Luncheon
  • 12:50 PM – Program

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

Registration

This event has ended.

Luncheon Meeting on March 27, 2018

Topic

North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

Speaker

Melissa Hanham

Senior Research Associate,
James Martin Center for
Nonproliferation Studies
,
Middlebury Institute of
International Studies at Monterey

 

 

 

Overview

Melissa Hanham is a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), as well as the Mixed-Methods, Evaluation, Training & Analysis (META) Lab. She studies East Asian security and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), with particular focus on North Korean WMD procurement and proliferation networks, and China’s nuclear posture. She also studies Chinese, South Korean, and Japanese nuclear exports, as well as East and Southeast Asian export control systems and proliferation finance activities.

Hanham supports MIIS’ research at both CNS and META Lab by investigating new techniques in open source geospatial analysis, incorporating satellite and aerial imagery and other remote sensing data, large data sets, social media, 3D modeling, and GIS mapping. She teaches “Geospatial Tools for Nonproliferation Analysis” at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and is a regular contributor to Arms Control Wonk.

Agenda

  • 11:30 am registration
  • noon luncheon
  • 1-2 pm program

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

Reservations

This event has ended.

 

Luncheon Meeting on February 27, 2018

Topic

Challenges to South Africa’s Democracy

Speaker

E. Philip Morgan

Professor Emeritus,
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

 

 

 

Overview

Professor Morgan is the former Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy Studies at MIIS. While a professor of politics, public administration and development throughout his career, he has also worked with The World Bank, USAID, and UNDP on diagnostic studies, technical assistance and training. He has lived and worked extensively in both the French and English-speaking countries of Sub-Saharan Afri-ca, with a long-term commitment to the countries of Southern Africa. Philip Morgan earned his PhD. in Political Science at Syracuse University.

Hanham supports MIIS’ research at both CNS and META Lab by investigating new techniques in open source geospatial analysis, incorporating satellite and aerial imagery and other remote sensing data, large data sets, social media, 3D modeling, and GIS mapping. She teaches “Geospatial Tools for Nonproliferation Analysis” at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and is a regular contributor to Arms Control Wonk.

Agenda

  • 11:30 am registration
  • noon luncheon
  • 1-2 pm program

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

Reservations

This event has ended.