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