Passport for May 2020

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. 

WAC in the Time of Coronavirus, Part 2

Given California’s continuing shelter-in-place order, we are postponing our May luncheon to a later date. Last month’s Passport updated you on some of the exciting plans from our Program committee. This month, we offer you a collection of websites with lots of free content to entertain and enlighten you as you stay healthy at home.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

The Great Decisions program concluded on March 23. If you missed it, or if you’d like to experience it in a different version, check out these videos from the Foreign Policy Association.

To reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, physical meetings of the WACMB Discussion Groups are temporarily suspended.

Judith Glickman and the MPC Discussion Group team are exploring ways for the group to meet virtually. Check back here on our website for further updates.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


While our mission is to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs, our greatest concern right now is the health of our members. As we explore new ways to accomplish our mission while minimizing our members’ exposure to COVID-19, we welcome your suggestions. Please send them to wacmb@redshift.com – and stay healthy!


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

Passport for April 2020

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. 

WAC in the Time of Coronavirus

As we all shelter in place and hope to flatten the curve, your WACMB board and committee members are focusing on the future and planning some exciting and enlightening programs for you. Here’s what you need to know:

Both the March and April Luncheons have been postponed.

Here’s what Judy Sloan and the program committee have in the works for future luncheons:

  • Professor Craig Whiteside of the Naval War College at NPS, who was to speak at our March luncheon, will speak on ISIS: A Retrospect and Prospects for the Future
  • Professor Anna Grzymala-Busse of Stanford University will speak on the erosion of new democracies in Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on Poland and Hungary
  • Dr. Jonathan Lipman, professor emeritus at Mt. Holyoke College, will speak on Islam and Muslims in China

WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

The Great Decisions program concluded on March 23. If you missed it, or if you’d like to experience it in a different version, check out these videos from the Foreign Policy Association.

To reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, physical meetings of the WACMB Discussion Groups are temporarily suspended.

Judith Glickman and the MPC Discussion Group team are exploring ways for the group to meet virtually. Check back here on our website for further updates.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


While our mission is to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs, our greatest concern right now is the health of our members. As we explore new ways to accomplish our mission while minimizing our members’ exposure to COVID-19, we welcome your suggestions. Please send them to wacmb@redshift.com – and stay healthy!


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

Passport for March 2020

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. 
To reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, the March luncheon is postponed. Check back on this website periodically for updates on future luncheons and other programs.

ISIS: A Retrospect and Prospects for the Future

In his talk to the World Affairs Council, Dr. Craig Whiteside will discuss the rise and staying power of ISIS, as well as why it will continue to impact regional stability for some time to come.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

The annual Great Decisions series continues this month, with its final meeting on March 23. Great Decisions, produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America, is the country’s largest discussion program. WACMB presents this free program at two locations: Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the Ryan Ranch location of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB).

If you’ve enjoyed Great Decisions, you can keep the conversation going after March 23. WACMB offers two ongoing Discussion Groups that meet at the same MPC and OLLI locations. The groups typically meet on either the 2nd or 3rd Monday of each month. Look for more information about our Discussion Groups in the April Passport.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


Program Report: Jeffrey Knopf

For our January luncheon, the World Affairs Council was honored to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Knopf of MIIS, who spoke on “How to Stop a Dictator from Using Chemical Weapons: Lessons from the US Response to Syria.” Knopf noted the prevalence of chemical weapon attacks in the Syrian civil war: there have been more than 300 to date, with 98 percent launched by the Syrian regime, which is led by Bashar al-Asad and is based in Damascus. The policy dilemma for leaders in Washington and elsewhere was between the moral repulsion caused by the use of chemical weapons by a nasty regime, and the aversion to actively intervening in someone else’s civil war. Under such circumstances, what coercive steps can be taken to persuasively discourage a dictator from using chemical weapons without getting too involved in the war?

Unfortunately, the answer is “not much” — at least when the regime feels that its very survival is at stake. This was Knopf’s primary conclusion: that credible threats are more meaningful against a dictator who does not believe that his own survival is in the balance. When that dictator fears for own his survival and that of his regime, then there is very little that outside powers can do to prevent him from taking any manner of draconian and nasty steps. In the case of Syria, Asad knew that the use of chemical weapons might draw a response from the Trump administration, which did happen twice; however, it was still more important to Asad to survive, and chemical weapons were essential to the strategy of survival undertaken by his regime. Therefore, Asad was willing to risk potential US strikes and continued to use chemical weapons. The outcome is that the regime in Damascus has won the Syrian civil war, due, in part, to its use of chemical weapons.


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

Passport for February 2020

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. 

The Climate Crisis: A Major Challenge for the World

In his presentation to the World Affairs Council, Mike Clancy will provide an overview of climate change and its consequences; he will explore the relevant science, review international agreements, and discuss technologies and strategies for mitigation.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

On January 27, both of the WACMB Discussion Groups will begin the annual Great Decisions series, which is produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America and is the country’s largest discussion program. The program, which runs for eight weeks, provides background information and policy options for some of the most critical issues facing us each year. WACMB presents this free program at both of our regular discussion group locations: Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the Ryan Ranch location of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB).

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area Welcomes Our New Members

We are delighted to welcome the new members of the World Affairs Council:
  • Julie Campbell
  • Michael Carbaugh and Suzette Cavanaugh Singer
  • Lorraine Comanor
  • Jack and Marilyn Erickson
  • James Gabbe
  • Susan Hocevar
  • Robert and Rae Janzen
  • Robert Nelson

WACMB in Profile: Gabby Walters

Gabby Walters describes herself as a “news junkie,” and no wonder, given her life’s trajectory. Born in Chicago, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with degrees in English and Speech. After stints teaching high school English in Phoenix and working for The Asia Foundation in San Francisco, she was recruited by the US Information Agency (USIA), and set off to see – and write about – the world.

Gabby was first sent to Washington, DC, for an intensive course in French to prepare for her first assignment at the US embassy in Paris. After two years, she took her French to Geneva, where she worked at the US Mission to the European Headquarters of the United Nations during the Arms Control and Disarmament talks as well as the Kennedy Round of trade negotiations. Gabby was stationed in Geneva for nearly three years, and was then posted back to DC, where she remained for the rest of her career. She first did editorial work in USIA’s book program; then she moved over to the magazine division, where she worked for more than a decade on the Agency’s magazine for sub-Saharan Africa. This gave her the opportunity to travel to Africa to cover stories there and assess the effectiveness of USIA’s magazine program in the region. One memorable trip took her to South Africa during apartheid. Partway through her tenure in DC, she was awarded a fellowship for a year’s study at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

After retiring from USIA in 1992, Gabby focused on the joys of retirement, doing as little as possible except for playing tennis, reading, entertaining, and traveling to visit friends all around the world, including a trip to Burma long before it opened to the West. One particular trip changed Gabby’s life: a 1997 visit to her old friend and colleague Mary Boyken in lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea, just three blocks from the ocean. Trading DC’s cold snowy winters and hot humid summers for the mild climate of the Monterey Peninsula, Gabby moved west to join Mary. They later moved to Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, and are now at the Park Lane in Monterey.

Gabby’s many years of government service gave her a deep interest in both domestic and international politics and issues, so the World Affairs Council was a natural fit for her. She spent twelve years on the board, including six years as secretary. Although she’s now retired from the board, she continues to feed her addiction to international events through various WAC programs. When she’s not attending luncheon talks or traveling around the country to visit family and friends, Gabby can be found reading – she says that she subscribes to more magazines and newspapers than she could ever read – or surfing the internet, and loving every minute of it!


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

Passport for January 2020

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. 

How to Prevent a Dictator from Using Chemical Weapons: Lessons from Syria

In his presentation to the World Affairs Council, Dr. Jeff Knopf will describe how the United States government and its allies, seeking to deter CW attacks and to compel Syria to give up its chemical arsenal, eventually turned to strategies that rely on coercive threats. These efforts continued across the Obama and Trump administrations, eventually leading to two rounds of air strikes against Syria. Dr. Knopf will assess the outcome of US efforts in Syria, and will draw lessons from that case to support the use of coercive strategies more generally to combat the use of CW.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

On January 13, 2020 the topic for the WACMB Discussion Group at MPC will be Global Challenges for Food and Agriculture, addressing issues like: Where do we stand in meeting the fundamental need for food both in the present and future?  How should the international community respond to the challenges of assuring that people have adequate food?

On January 27, both of the WACMB Discussion Groups will begin the annual Great Decisions series, which is produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America and is the country’s largest discussion program. The program, which runs for eight weeks, provides background information and policy options for some of the most critical issues facing us each year. WACMB presents this free program at both of our regular discussion group locations: Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the Ryan Ranch location of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB).

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


Program Report: Covell Meyskens

At our November luncheon, Professor Covell Meyskens of the Naval Postgraduate School spoke on “The Rise of China: Past, Present, and Future.” Covell covered the basic formula for China’s rise to prominence – economic development but without concomitant democratic development – and how its rise and muscular foreign policy have impacted its neighbors. On average, China experienced 10 percent annual growth from 1990 to 2010. But Covell also argued that today, China’s ambitions are rivaled by its challenges. While China remains committed to its Belt and Road Initiative to connect it to Europe across Asia, and has a growing high tech sector, it also has a massive government debt born of its extensive infrastructural projects. It also has debt from increasing its defense expenditures 10-fold over the past 20 years.

Through its economic growth, China has created a middle class nearly as large as the entire population of the United States. It is an open question whether this middle class will begin to demand democratic rights, particularly as the economy slows. There is already evidence that China’s middle class is demanding action to ease choking pollution in Beijing and other cities.

China remains dependent on foreign trade, on which 20 percent of its GDP depends, which is a high level for a large country. It is keen to limit the ongoing trade war, if possible.


Members’ Luncheon Price to Increase in the New Year

Wedgewood Catering, the food-service provider at Palo Corona Park HQ, has increased its luncheon prices for 2020. Unfortunately, in order to avoid losing money on our luncheons, WACMB must pass that increase along to our members. Therefore, the members’ rate for the luncheon has been increased to $33, effective immediately. The rate for guests will remain at $40. We hope you will agree that the value of our luncheon programs is more than worth the price increase!


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

The Passport for December 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. 

Global Challenges for Food and Agriculture

More than 800 million people around the world do not have sufficient food, while obesity is on the rise in both developed and developing countries. In the next 30 years, world agriculture production will need to double in order to meet the growing demand for food caused by an increasing global population and changing food consumption patterns. Both this increased demand and access to food are challenged by conflict, poverty, climate change, and pressure on productive resources, especially soils and water. How should the international community respond?

In his address to our organization, Boyd Haight, former Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, will discuss the opportunities that are available to address such challenges. These include improved technology, education, trade, access to information, and international cooperation.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


WACMB in Profile: Phil and Maria Morgan

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

Phil and Maria Morgan first came to WAC as liaisons for their respective institutions, MIIS (1997) and NPS (early 2000s). Maria went on to become assistant treasurer twice (both before and after the accounts were computerized), and currently serves as office manager. Phil has put in two two-year terms as president of WAC.

Maria grew up in Hong Kong, the youngest of nine children, with seven sisters and one brother. She earned her BA in economics from Hong Kong University. A Syracuse-in-Asia Fellowship brought her to Syracuse University, where she received an MA in political science (and met a certain fine fellow); she then attended Stanford University on a Southern Fellowship and earned a PhD in political science. She has been an educator for most of her career, teaching at Morehouse College, Earlham College, and NPS, from which she retired in 2009. Her academic work was supported by a number of NEH fellowships. She also did some consulting for a company in Indiana that dealt with political risk in China. Maria derives great joy from the wonderful relationships she has with her former students.

Phil grew up in Pennsylvania and Georgia, the youngest of two. His degrees include a BA in economics from Southern Methodist University, and an MA in political science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before earning a PhD in politics and economic development at Syracuse University (where he met a certain lovely lady), Phil spent two and a half years in Malawi with the Peace Corps; he later returned to Africa on a Fulbright Fellowship to Botswana. Like Maria, Phil’s career has been largely in higher education; he taught at Emory University and Indiana University, Bloomington, before being hired away to be the Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy Studies at MIIS. He has traveled to many countries in Africa to conduct research on the effectiveness of development assistance, gaining great satisfaction in translating academic theory into applied work and then bringing the results of that work back into the classroom.

Phil and Maria met in 1966 outside the office of their academic advisor, Dr. Julian Friedman. When they married the next year, Professor Friedman walked Maria down the aisle. Although Maria’s parents approved of her marriage to Phil, they did not attend the wedding (nor any of Maria’s siblings’ weddings) because her father did not like to fly. Since Phil and Maria will celebrate 53 years of marriage in January, it seems like things worked out quite well in spite of her parents’ absence from the ceremony.

In retirement, Maria enjoys her cats, her book club, cooking, opera, and gardening. Phil has taken up golf, and serves as a Hearing Officer in their community of Pacific Grove. Both enjoy music and study the piano; Maria loves classical music, while Phil is more a fan of jazz. They travel extensively, participate in lots of OLLI classes, and have, of course, served on the WAC board in various important capacities, for which we are all grateful!


WACMB’s Scholarship Program

Did you know that WACMB has a scholarship program to support students who are studying world affairs or related subjects at CSUMB, MIIS, MPC, and Hartnell College? Scholarships are awarded based on a combination of academic merit and financial need. Since the inception of our scholarship program, WACMB has disbursed 123 scholarships totaling $125,000.

We invite our members to support this valuable service of WACMB by making a contribution to the scholarship fund. Your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law under IRS section 501(c)3. Our federal tax ID is 77-0301206. Contributions can be made right here on our website, where you can donate via credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Alternatively, you can send a check payable to “WAC Scholarships” to our office: WACMB, PO Box 83, Monterey, CA 93942.

Thank you for your support!


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

The Passport for November 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. 

The Rise of China: Past, Present, and Future

Professor Covell Meyskens looks at the rise of China through the historian’s lens. “China’s rise is not occurring within a historical vacuum,” he asserts. “It is taking place within an East Asian international order that has been dominated by the United States since World War II.” In his presentation, he will discuss the main pillars of American power in East Asia, how China has challenged them in the last few decades, and how the US and its regional allies have responded. He will further explore China’s current ambitions and its prospects for realizing them.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


Welcome to Our New Members

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

  • Karina Dmitri
  • Colette Erreca-Norris
  • Mary Fisk
  • Lori Sanders
  • Roger Smith

Program Report: Alex Zaragoza

For our September luncheon, the World Affairs Council was honored to have Professor Alex M. Saragoza from UC Berkeley speak on “Relations Between the US and Mexico.” Dr. Saragoza focused on three key issues: trade, immigration, and drugs, noting that for each issue, domestic politics on both sides of the border are really consequential.

Regarding trade, the recently negotiated US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement has not yet been ratified by Congress due to reservations over worker rights and environmental protections. It is another example of the triumph of domestic politics: the Trump administration made a big show over what are only “cosmetic changes” to NAFTA, while the current House of Representatives has no interest in giving Trump a political win.

Immigration of Mexicans to the US has declined overall since the recession of 2008. Today, most people crossing the southern border are from Central America, not Mexico. There are different drivers of this migration; for example, 65 percent of Hondurans live below the poverty line. However, it is important to note that 60 percent of illegal immigrants in the US are people who have overstayed their legal visas, and the lion’s share of those overstays are Canadians. The immigration issue will likely remain a hot button issue as automation increases. It is expected that by 2030, about 73 million US jobs will have been automated.

The problem of illicit drugs coming into the US from Mexico has gotten worse as more countries get a piece of the action. Before, both Mexican and Colombian drugs would enter the US from Mexico. Now, countries around the world ship illegal drugs to Mexico, and those drugs then find their way to the US market. For example, much of the banned drug E phedra that enters the US from Mexico is produced in China.


Calling All World Travelers!

As a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization), you are eligible to participate in Travel the World, an international travel program that has been run by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for more than 35 years. The 2019-2020 program is already underway, and quite a number of trips in the spring and summer of 2020 still have space available. The following examples are just a taste:

  • 12/29/19 to 1/7/20
    Ring in the New Year under Antarctica’s midnight sun aboard the MV Hondius, the world’s first Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened ship.
  • 1/27/20 to 2/9/20
    Explore New Zealand’s spectacular North and South Islands, from Auckland in the north to Stewart Island in the far south, on this trip led by Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary.
  • 4/28/20 to 5/12/20
    Experience the glory of the mighty Himalayan range on this journey to Nepal and Bhutan. You’ll visit temples and monasteries, dine with local families, and go rafting on Bhutan’s Mo Chu River.
  • 6/2/20 to 6/10/20
    Explore the history, culture, and cuisine of southwest France. From your base in Albi, with its Gothic cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, visit the Carcassonne Fortress, cruise the historic Canal du Midi, and sample the region’s wines and cheeses.

Intrigued? Go to https://wacphila.org/travel for the full list of trips and further details!


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

The Passport for October 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. 

Turmoil in Hong Kong: Social Inequality and Political Failures are Rupturing the Community

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 1997, is undergoing unprecedented social and political turmoil. In his presentation to the World Affairs Council, Michael Ipson will examine the underlying issues that have fueled the protests in Hong Kong, including enormous disparities in wealth, a housing crisis, the legacy of colonial rule, hesitant political reform, and the younger generation’s growing estrangement from China. He will also analyze the actions of the various stakeholders in the dispute and sketch out possible outcomes.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


WAC in Profile: Peggy Field

Peggy Field, the co-chair of WACMB’s Office Administration and one of the smiling faces that greet you at our luncheons, has been involved with our organization since 2010. She has made Pacific Grove her home since 2009, after seven years in San Francisco and 40 years in “the Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Living, working, and playing during the Golden Age of Silicon Valley seems to her to be the greatest of historical good fortune.

Psychology presented itself as her life’s calling while a freshman at UCSB, from which she graduated with a dual major in Philosophy and Psychology. Although she planned to go to medical school, a summer job at NASA’s Ames Research Center launched Peggy on a five-year detour into Space Sciences; she worked on the Pioneer Project and “Grand Tour” mission, experiencing exciting launches at Cape Canaveral and celebrations at the Monkey Bar. Those experiences opened doors and set a high bar for life. Peggy’s serpentine trajectory continued when she landed a position as Human Resources Director for Spectra-Physics, again setting a high bar for leadership integrity and best practices management, as well as cutting edge technology. Toss together a few more years in corporate management, add five years in graduate school, and a brilliant mentor; stir and mix, and voila! Peggy became a Psychologist.

Now holding a PhD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology, with a dissertation on Systems Archetypes in a Learning Organization, Peggy began a 30-year psychology practice, with 20 of those years in Cupertino. Her practice attracted business and technical people suffering personal and professional fallout from high performance lives, and ultimately led to the door of Apple Computer, where she worked as Corporate Psychologist. Peggy currently works as a consulting scholar for Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara.

“Always in community” is one of Peggy’s foundational personal philosophies. Her favorite activity is her 36- year-running Saturday night date with her husband, Terry Field.


Program Report: Isebill Gruhn

We were honored to have Dr. Isebill Gruhn from UC Santa Cruz speak on Europe in Turmoil at our August luncheon. From Brexit to Italy’s ongoing government problems to the general rise of nationalist-populist movements, the European project has not seen such disarray since it began in the aftermath of World War II.

Gruhn noted that European integration, from NATO to the European Union, was designed to end the persistent warfare that had plagued Europe through increased interdependence. Integration would also produce economies of scale for the modern world. The US played a critical role in advancing Europe’s integration.

Europe’s current turmoil has two primary causes. First, the EU’s enormous expansion following the end of the Cold War allowed poorer countries of Eastern Europe to join, leading to a shift of large amounts of resources from richer to poorer countries within the EU. Those transfers generated significant resentment and alienation in Britain, Germany, and elsewhere among the original EU countries, creating lots of “unhappy people” who adopted new forms of nationalism out of national resentment. Second, under the Trump administration, the US is no longer committed to an integrated Europe, expediting the turmoil.

While these two causes are primary, other issues have fed into the resentment, including the mass immigration of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, and the overbearing approach by the EU administration based in Brussels. The rise of right-wing populist movements in many European countries does not bode well for the future of an integrated Europe


Click the headline above to read more.


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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The Passport for September 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. 

Relations Between the US and Mexico

In his remarks, Professor Alex Saragoza will examine the three issues that vex the contemporary relationship between the US and Mexico: the revisions of NAFTA, the illegal drug trade, and immigration and border enforcement.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Welcome to our New Members

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

  • Barry and Kim Bedwell
  • Kristen Carlson
  • Luke and Linda Dilger
  • Robert Grant
  • Elsa Haas
  • Jeanne Herrick
  • Carol Johnson and Bill Savage
  • Joanne Kelly
  • Linnea and Michael Kwasny
  • Holly Mikkelson
  • Aziz Popal
  • Coleman Smith
  • Frank and Linda Southers
  • Barry and Kathleen Swift

WACA Announces the 2019 National Conference

The World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization) invites you to attend its annual National Conference, which will be held November 6-8 at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. This year’s topic is “The Eight Forces Shaping the Global Economy.” Speakers include the following:

  • James Baker, former Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and White House Chief of Staff
  • Chuck Hagel, former Senator and Secretary of Defense
  • Molly Kinder, Senior Advisor to the New America National Network
  • Richard Stengel, former Undersecretary of State and editor of Time Magazine.

The WACA National Conference offers unparalleled opportunities for learning, networking, and professional development. There will be keynotes, panel discussions, luncheons, off-site visits to think tanks, and a special reception at the embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

The Mayflower Hotel, which opened in 1925, is one of DC’s landmark spaces. Its downtown location places you right in the center of things. Walk to the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the White House, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and Rock Creek Park. To travel more widely, hop on Metrorail, which you can access at the Farragut North station, less than two blocks away from the Mayflower.

Special Early-Bird registration rates are now available. For further information or to register, go to https://www.wacaconference2019.com.


Help Our Organization Grow!

Did you know that most of our new members find WACMB through our current members? You can help our organization to continue to grow by spreading the word about the advantages and opportunities that membership in WACMB brings. How?

  • Bring a friend to a luncheon
  • Mention our organization at a social gathering
  • Take home a few brochures to pass around.

Have you noticed that we’ve been doing some advertising lately? It’s just another step we’re taking to tell the community about WACMB. We welcome members’ suggestions about other ways to help our organization grow. Send your suggestions to wacmb@redshift.com!


Click the headline above to read more.


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

The Passport for August 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. 

Europe in Turmoil

Immigration.  Brexit.  An unraveling nuclear deal with Iran.  A populist surge.  Trade tensions. Climate change……  The European Union and Europe in general face myriad and sometimes overwhelming challenges.  Many believe the conflict between an old establishment and new challenges will define future European politics. Our guest, Dr. Isebill Gruhn, will examine the current issues, their political and economic consequences, and the prospects for the future.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


WACMB In Profile: Fred Lawson

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is full of interesting people who have done and are doing interesting things. WACMB In Profile will let you get to know some of them better.

If WACMB had an icon, it would be Fred Lawson. He has been involved with our organization for many years, including stints as president, board member, and discussion group facilitator. But there’s a lot more to Fred than WAC. Let’s scroll back to WWII, when he left the little town of Aledo, Illinois, at the tender age of 17 to enlist in the army. Starting as a private, he rose through the ranks in the European Theater of Operations, and went on to serve as an officer during the Korean War. After concluding his active duty service, Fred joined the Army Reserves, and continued his meteoric rise there, retiring as the Commanding General of the 91st Division of the Army Reserves. No surprise: Fred is in Fort Benning’s OCS Hall of Fame.

In the meantime, Fred had quite the civilian career. After earning degrees at the University of Illinois and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (where he was a Stanford Sloan Fellow), Fred went to work in the corporate world, where he – you guessed it – rose through the ranks. He was Corporate VP at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp., and Senior VP at BHP, Ltd., the world’s largest multinational mining company. His work sent him to Jamaica, Sardinia, several sub-Saharan Africa countries, and twice to Australia, where he combined the two strands of his life by serving in the Australian Army Reserves, and where he was honored by being named to Who’s Who in Australia.

After “retiring” from the corporate world, Fred went to work as a private management consultant in organizational restructuring, financial management, strategic planning, management development, and industrial relations. When he’s not working, he’s volunteering with the Ft. Ord Alumni Association, the CSUMB Foundation, and, of course, WACMB.

Fred and his wife, Peggy, live in Carmel. They have two sons and two grandchildren, all of whom they enjoy seeing as often as possible. And we of the World Affairs Council very much enjoy all the time we get to spend with Fred!


Program Report: Larry Diamond

World-renowned Stanford professor Larry Diamond spoke at our July luncheon on the declining state of democracy in the world. The expansion of democracy during the “third wave” of democratization, which began four decades ago, led to a majority of the world’s countries being democratic for the first time in history. The democratic expansion continued until 2006, when it ground to a halt. We have seen a “protracted democratic slump” ever since.

Democracies tend not to die quickly, but rather change over time to illiberal democracies and then to non-democracies. Hungary and Turkey, for example, are well down the path of democratic reversal. Dying democracies tend to turn into “competitive authoritarian regimes,” which share some features of democracy, including elections, but their system is rigged to all but ensure that an opposition cannot win an election. The surprise win of the opposition in the Istanbul city elections so flummoxed President Erdogan that he called for a ‘do-over’ election, which also failed. Even competitive authoritarian regimes can sometime miscalculate.

The “12 Step Program for Autocrats” is similar around the world, and includes declaring media as the ‘enemy of the people,’ constraining the judiciary, intimidating civil society, taming the business community, undermining civil service and the intelligence community as agents of a ‘deep state,’ and taking steps to suppress votes and rig elections.

Diamond concluded his talk by noting the pernicious influence of Russia and China on democracy. Neither country wants liberal democracy to thrive, and both are taking steps to undermine democratic prospects.


Click the headline above to read more.


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