The Passport for July 2018

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.

Luncheon Meeting – Thursday, 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

  • Romaine Salad with Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Lasagna
  • Roasted Red Potatoes and Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • Coffee
  • Vegetarian Option: Grilled Portobello Mushroom

Location

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

Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


June Program Report

Summary of The Demise of the Arab Spring and the Deep State

Presented by Dr. Robert Springborg

The World Affairs Council was honored to host Dr. Robert Springborg for its June luncheon, when he spoke on The Demise of the Arab Spring and the Deep State.  Recently retired from the Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Springborg is currently a non-resident fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs, and is widely recognized as one of America’s premier scholars of the Middle East.

Decades before the term “deep state” entered the American political lexicon, it was most frequently used in analyses of Turkey to explain how the military kept tight reins on the exercise of power while allowing elections to occur and democracy to ostensibly function. Dr. Springborg elaborated on how deep states have come to rule most Arab republics (less so in monarchies) by centering real power, which has been enabled by coercion, in military intelligence, security forces, police, and the office of the presidency.  Typically, these institutions are “off budget,” meaning that the true extent of their resources is not publicly known.  As well, these resources are autonomous from the usual tax collection system, often being generated by smuggling and similar illicit activities controlled by these deep state institutions.

Dr. Springborg’s main argument was that the pervasive deep state arrangements in much of the Arab world successfully worked against any real democratic transition during the Arab Spring.  While Egypt may have been the most famous case of Arab Spring change, it now represents the clearest victory of the deep state in reversing those democratic steps that were initiated in 2011.  In addition to fighting deep state interests, the democrats of the Arab Spring faced long odds when it came to other social variables, such as income levels, median age, and the size of the middle class.

Wading briefly into current American discussions, Springborg noted that in comparison to the Middle East, the United States has no equivalent of a deep state —”yet.”

By Glenn Robinson


Welcome to Our New Members
Fall 2017

Erik and Robin Eidsmo
Carol Bergere
Dr. Cary Mrozowski
Donna Pribble
Linda Foley
Elizabeth Gianola and James Cook
Michelle Amirkhanian
K. Haller
Joe and Cynthia Hertlein
Cheryl Gillette
John and Nell Blankfort
Mark and Bettina Schwartz

The Passport for June 2018

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.

Luncheon Meeting – Friday, 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

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

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
Cost:
  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


Did You Know?

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America

Our parent organization has had a long and distinguished history. Here’s what WACA’s website has to say about it:

“The World Affairs Councils of America traces its earliest roots to 1918, when the League of Free Nations Association was formed by 141 distinguished Americans, including the social reformer Paul Kellogg, to support President Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to achieve a just peace.  At the end of World War I, the Association’s founders were concerned that Americans would choose isolationism over a foreign policy based on international engagement.  They worked to promote and nurture public awareness of critical international issues affecting the U.S., and in 1923 reconstituted the organization as the Foreign Policy Association.  John Foster Dulles and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the FPA’s incorporators.

“Citizen discussion groups and FPA branches began to form and spread in the 1920s,1930s, and after World War II – forerunners of the independent World Affairs Councils of subsequent decades.  In 1954, the Great Decisions program was launched in Oregon.

Based on the annual briefing book prepared by FPA’s editors, Great Decisions has become the largest nonpartisan public education program on international affairs in the world.  The FPA consolidated its operations into its New York City headquarters in the 1980s while the network of independent councils on world affairs continued to flourish.

“In 1986, the National Council of World Affairs Organizations office was established in Washington, DC.  The organization was renamed the World Affairs Councils of America, and today WACA serves more than 90 World Affairs Councils nationwide, in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

“In an age of globalization and a rapidly shifting international order, we believe that our mission – engaging the public and leaders to better understand global affairs and America’s role in the world – is more vital than ever.”

To learn more about our umbrella organization, as well as to access much valuable information about current world affairs, visit the World Affairs Councils of America’s website at https://www.worldaffairscouncils.org/

The Passport for May 2018

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.

Luncheon Meeting – Thursday, 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
Cost:
  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests
  • Credit card charge: $2 each person

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


March Program Report

Summary of “North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction”

Speaker: Melissa Hanham, MIIS
Date: March 27, 2018

The World Affairs Council was treated to a real-life Sherlock Holmes detective story during our March luncheon. Melissa Hanham from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) spoke about North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and particularly about the missile program designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Melissa and her colleagues at MIIS have gained an international reputation for using publicly available tools to shed light on WMD programs in various countries around the world.

When it came to tracking down the building in which North Korea houses its large missiles, Melissa’s tools included Google Earth, architectural programs, a keen eye for details in pictures published by Pyongyang, and a robust knowledge of the history of North Korea’s actions on the WMD front, all mixed together with a dash of intuition and some advice from a trucker cousin. Using photographs of the new generation of missiles as they were carried on Chinese trucks, and knowing the measurements of those trucks, Melissa was able to carefully estimate the exact length of the missile, and thus know how tall a building would need to be to house such a missile if it were raised on the back of the launch truck. Based on these calculations and some other pictures, Melissa was able to (we know now) accurately determine the architectural design of the building that houses these missiles, including the use of casters (thanks to that trucker cousin) to maximize the storage capacity for the trucks and missiles within the building.

Sure enough, when a close inspection using Google Earth revealed just such a unique building in an area known for being a closed military zone, Melissa and her team at MIIS knew they had solved the mystery. That such a tightly held state secret could be revealed by researchers using only publicly available sources is remarkable, and a true testament to the power of the information revolution.

Melissa’s actions have earned the wrath of the North Korean regime, which routinely tries to hack into her accounts and others at MIIS. Sherlock Holmes would be proud!

Report by Glenn Robinson

For more information about Ms. Hanham’s work, click here to read the research paper that she co-wrote, and click here to see a related article published on BBC News.


Did You Know?

The World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization) has a worldwide travel program.

Run by WAC of Philadelphia, the program offers a plethora of opportunities for you to travel to all the corners of the world, learn from experts, meet people who are making a difference in their communities, and see some truly amazing sights.

There are still some spaces available for trips in 2018, including to Ireland, the south of France, Botswana, and Cuba.  In addition, the 2019 schedule is up and offers some absolutely incredible tours.  Here’s just a taste: Antarctica, Hamilton’s Caribbean, southern Africa by rail, Mongolia during the Naadam Festival, Vietnam, Morocco, and a private jet tour that will take you to 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The world is waiting!  Want to learn more?  Visit the travel site at https://www.wacphila.org/travel/

The Passport for April 2018

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.

Luncheon Meeting – Friday, 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

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:30 am: Registration begins
11:50 am: Luncheon
1:00 – 2:00 pm: Program

Location

Rancho Canada
4860 Carmel Valley Road

Luncheon Menu

  • Apple cider salad with
    grilled chicken pecans,
    dried cranberries,
    and bleu cheese crumbles
  • Fresh rolls and butter
  • Chef’s choice dessert
  • Vegetarian option: apple cider salad
Cost:
  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


February Program Report

Summary of “Challenges to Democracy in South Africa”

Speaker: Professor E. Philip Morgan, MIIS
Date: February 27, 2018

South Africa is important as a bellwether of how African governments can maintain legitimacy as they deal with the challenges of population growth, climate change, economic development, and employment. Failure to do so has consequences beyond the African continent.

Over the 25 years of its dominance in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) party has lost much of its moral authority because of corruption and extreme inequality. Half of its population lives in poverty; unemployment is between 30% and 36%.

Previous ANC-led governments have tried a number of programs to improve the livelihood of the majority of black citizens, but they were often ineffective because of corruption at local levels. Popular dissatisfaction came to a head as the Public Protector (PP) disclosed evidence of then-President Jacob Zuma’s involvement in malfeasance and corruption. The PP is an independent body created by the constitution to protect South African democracy. It is vested with the authority to order other state institutions to take appropriate remedial action against any government impropriety. Two PP reports in particular have fueled public anger: one concerning the improper use of US$21.4 million in state funds to upgrade Zuma’s private home, and the other concerning “State Capture” by the Gupta brothers, immigrants from India who, with the collusion of Zuma, built a fortune in South Africa through the acquisition of media companies, leveraging influence via bribes of employees in state corporations, mines, and other businesses under contract to the government. They persuaded Zuma to sack the very competent Minister of Finance and replace him with an unqualified crony!

As a result, at the December 2017 ANC Party Conference, the delegates chose Cyril Ramaphosa as the party’s next presidential candidate. Although Zuma’s term did not end until the 2019 general election, he was pressured to resign early so as not to com-promise the ANC’s chances at the next election.

Ramaphosa’s reputation was tainted in 2012, when more than 30 striking mine-workers were killed at a site where he was a company board member. However, he is probably the best person to lead South Africa at this critical time. He is a genuine “hero of the anti-apartheid struggle.” In addition, he was Nelson Mandela’s Deputy President, a trade union leader, a corporate executive in mining and other conglomerates, and Zuma’s deputy. Thus, Cyril Ramaphosa is best positioned to promote economic development and restore integrity to the national leadership.

by Philip Morgan

The Passport for March 2018

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.

Luncheon Meeting – Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Topic: North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

Speaker: Melissa Hanham

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS)

Overview

North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests are grabbing headlines and sending shockwaves throughout the world. The Olympics yielded an opportunity for détente, but tensions remain high.

Our guest, Melissa Hanham, will discuss how analysts right here in Monterey gather information about North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and make assessments of their true capabilities. Prepare to see satellite imagery and ground photos of North Korea in a whole new light.

Melissa Hanham is a Senior Research Associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, as well as the Mixed-Methods, Evaluation, Training and Analysis Lab. She studies East Asian security and the proliferation of 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 South-east Asian export control systems and proliferation finance activities. Ms. Hanham teaches “Geospatial Tools for Nonproliferation Analysis” at the Middlebury Institute and is a regular contributor to Arms Control Wonk.

Hanham earned her MA in International Security Policy and East Asia at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and her BA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She has been teaching at the Middlebury Institute since 2012.

Agenda

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
11:30 am: Registration begins
11:50 am: Luncheon
1:00 – 2:00 pm: Program

Location

Rancho Canada, Carmel Valley Road

Luncheon Menu
  • Hearts of Romaine salad with walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette
  • Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
  • Fresh rolls and butter
  • Chef’s choice dessert
  • Vegetarian option: pasta with Marinara sauce
Special Notice
Luncheon Price Increase

Due to rising labor and food costs, the price of our luncheons at Rancho
Canada increased to $29 for members and stays at $35 for guests.

This is the first increase in many years.

The new payment deadline is 7 days in advance.

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.


January Program Report

Summary of “Worlds Fall Apart: The Implosion of the Middle East”

Speaker: Prof. James Russell, Naval Postgraduate School
Date: January 25, 2018

Russell describes the gradual disintegration of a regional political order of family elites, sustained for a generation by military and security services. Four failed states – Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen – have been plagued for years by violent armed struggles involving outside proxies trying to influence the outcomes. The traditional outside powers exercising dominance in the 20th century are giving way to regional rivalries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and the Gulf States. As the Arab Spring fades, all of these are now autocracies dependent on security sector arrangements.

What are the wars about? Struggle for political authority in states previously ruled by authoritarians where dissent was stifled by force and intimidation. There was no way to peacefully settle arguments about individual identity, state identity, relationship of the individual to the state, role of religion in the above matters, and over basic governing authority.

The results? Displaced populations, death and hardship, shattered economies and infrastructure add to the humanitarian catastrophe that will shape the landscape indefinitely. Whatever the eventual outcomes of these tragic conflicts, the Middle East will lag behind in human, economic social and political development.

U.S. policy choices? Ties to authoritarian regimes through arms sales, training, military bases and exercises limit flexibility. These same authoritarian regimes prevent peaceful, inclusive political liberalization that only helps fuel jihadi extremists. We endorse participative, open government; groups supported by the countries of the Gulf states mostly favor sharia law. “We cannot re-engineer the region’s politics.” Moreover, given the transformation of the energy sector and the rise of Asia, the Middle East is of decreasing strategic importance.

by Philip Morgan

The Passport for February 2018

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.

Upcoming Luncheon Meeting

Challenges to South Africa’s Democracy

Speaker: E. Philip Morgan, Emeritus Professor

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS)

Overview

After a short honeymoon, the promise of President Nelson Mandela’s 1990s legacy has suffered many slings and arrows in the intervening twenty years. The remarkably peaceful transition from the minority rule of the apartheid state to open, universal suffrage, competitive elections, and guaranteed human rights was seen as a great achievement the world over and a beacon to the rest of the African continent. However, a combination of global and internal forces challenged the new, liberal government almost immediately upon ratification of a new constitution in 1996.

The ruling African National Congress party has maintained its collective participatory decision making at many levels. It still has legitimacy as the party that delivered majority rule and discouraged ethnic factions from be-coming breakaway parties. But the increasing incidences of unaddressed corruption have been undermining these virtues in recent years. These events have affected confidence in the national economy; growth is barely discernible. The judicial system is robust to this day, but if criminal behavior on the part of people in high places is not prosecuted, the public sees impunity. When this gap is filled it is usually by the media. South Africa has a free press but has been threatened in recent years by the cur-rent government. So the question Professor Morgan will attempt to answer is: “Will South African leadership meet the challenges to democracy?” This is a transition year, national elections occur in 2019.

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 Africa, with a long-term commitment to the countries of Southern Africa. Philip Morgan earned his PhD. in Political Science at Syracuse University.

Agenda

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
11:30 am: Registration begins
11:50 am: Luncheon
1:00 – 2:00 pm: Program

Location

Rancho Canada, Carmel Valley Road

Luncheon Menu
  • Caesar Salad
  • Oven Roasted Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce
  • Rice and Vegetables
  • Fresh Rolls and Butter
  • Chef’s Choice Dessert
  • (Vegetarian option: Pasta Primavera tossed in pesto olive oil with parmesan cheese)

Click here to open or download the luncheon reservation form in PDF format.

Special Notice
Luncheon Price Increase
Starting This Month

Due to rising labor and food costs, the price of our luncheons at Rancho
Canada increased to $29 for members and stays at $35 for guests.

This is the first increase in many years.

The new payment deadline is 7 days in advance.


December Program Report

Meteorology, Oceanography and National Security

Speaker: Dr. Jim Hansen

The World Affairs Council was pleased to host Dr. Jim Hansen, head of the Naval Research Lab (NRL) in Monterey, during our December luncheon. Dr. Hansen spoke on what the NRL and the co-located Fleet Numerical Center do with regard to “Meteorology, Oceanography and National Security.” In a nutshell, Fleet Numerical is in charge of daily forecasting for the US Navy world-wide, while the NRL is the Navy’s “corporate laboratory” concentrating on big picture basic research.

As an example, a warmer future includes numerous outcomes, including more cyclones, so how might the Navy respond? What types of ships and equipment would likely be needed given those changed conditions in the decades ahead?

Dr. Hansen gave numerous examples of the types of problems that researchers at the NRL deal with, including: emergent large dust storms bearing down on the fleet, night time ice flows that can seriously harm ships if not accounted for, tropical cyclones that strike at night and are thus not visible, pirate risk analysis, major drug running patterns and interdiction that the Navy is called on to deal with, and even the proper spacing of submarines for maximum effect and minimum accidents.

Hansen concluded that “science is easy, people are hard.” That is, the NRL’s major task is to make science user friendly, particularly when it comes to uncertainty. There are lots of captains and admirals who have done things a certain way for years and need to be convinced that the NRL’s science often shows a better path forward to solving fleet problems.

by Glenn E. Robinson