Ask an Expert Naples Council on World Affairs


The Transformation of our Strategic Foreign Policy Alliances: Continued!

November 2nd: Joseph Cirincione: "The Policy and Politics of the Iran Nuclear Agreement.”   "The goal of the recently enacted nuclear agreement with Iran is to stop that country from ever getting a nuclear weapon. Can it do that? Joe Cirincione is one of the leading nuclear policy experts in the country. He will share his analysis on why this deal became the most contentious foreign policy issue since the decision to invade Iraq 10 years ago.” Mr. Cirincione is President of the Ploughshares Fund.

November 16th: “ Őmer Taşpinar'' The Turkish Predicament: From Strategic Ally to Strategic Challenge" Not too long ago, Turkey was hailed as a strategic ally and a model country for the Middle East, exemplifying the compatibility of Islam, democracy, secularism and western orientation. Today, this model is no more. Turkey's strategic alliance with the United States and its democratic journey has been derailed by a series of challenges ranging from the autocratic tendencies of President Erdogan, to the Kurdish problem at home and regional instability in Syria and Iraq.   

December 7thMike Mochizuki: "Shadows of World War II: Japan's Relations with Its Asian Neighbors" A comparison of Japan's interactions with China, South Korea, and the Southeast Asian countries illuminates the obstacles and opportunities for historical reconciliation in the region and the role that the United States might play.Professor Mochizuki holds the Japan-U.S. Relations Chair at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He is speaking to us on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

January 11th: Philippe Le Corre: Is France Still a Leader ?One year after the Charlie Hebdo bloody attack, the Republic of France is facing a complex mix of issues. From terrorism to migration, not to forget a long-lasting economic slowdown, it is sometimes said that the country is heading towards the unknown. Still, following the somewhat unexpected conclusion of the Greek crisis last June, France has been back at the joint-helm of the Eurozone (with, of course, Germany), and is certainly considered a credible partner by the United States when it comes to security, counter-terrorism and diplomacy. Philippe Le Corre is a visiting fellow in the Center of the United States and Europe at Brookings.

January 25th:  Alireza Nader: “Iran After the Deal” Mr. Nader’s talk willfocus on Iranian internal dynamics, Iranian foreign policy, and U.S.-Iran relations. As an International Policy Analyst at the Rand Corporation, his research has focusedon Iran's politics, Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam, and the rise of the Pasdaran: “Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.” Mr. Nader is a frequent guest on the BBC and Al Jazeera and the major networks, and as a Farsi speaker is often on the Voice of America. He received his M.A. in International Affairs at George Washington University.

February 8th: Khalid Koser: “Solving Europe’s Refugee Crisis”Mr. Koser is Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council onMigration, of the Brookings/London School of Economics Internal Displacement Project.  He is also the Executive Director, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, and Chair, World Bank KNOMAD Thematic Working Group on Migration, Security and Development. He is the Editor of the “Journal on Refugee Studies” and his challenge today is that of the European Continent’s greatest migration since World War II.

February 22nd: Heather Conley: “Mr. Putin’s Land Grabs and More”As this is being written, Russia is moving into Syria: with tents for the refugees?Or is each tent protecting a tank from the weather? Or, could it be, [as suspected] the establishment of a new military base along with her “port on the Mediterranean”. Lest we forget, the Arctic land grab is in high gear and Russia’s presence is not to be missed. To fill in the blanks for these issues and the West’s relationship with this new aggressive Russia, we have invited Heather A. Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to do just that!

March 7th: Graeme Wood: “What Does ISIS Really Want”What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from and what are its intentions? Why is it that we misunderstand the nature of the Islamic State? Following a distinctive variety of Islam, few Western leaders seem to know the answer to the evangelical call of absolute power ISIS wields. Graeme C.A. Wood is a Canadian Journalist and contributing Editor to “The Atlantic”. He lectures in Political Science at Yale.

March 21st: Daniel Markey: “Does Pakistan Still Matter To The United States”?What does our relationship with Pakistan look like after the bin Laden raid? What should we expect from Pakistan as US Forces depart Afghanistan, and the significance that Pakistan is likely to have to Washington in years, even decades to come. Dr. Markey’s long experience includes adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations for India, Pakistan and South Asia. He is now senior research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

April 4th: Senator George J. Mitchell: “Can We Achieve Lasting Peace Through Negotiations”? The Naples Council is delighted to welcome Senator Mitchell to our podium. An American lawyer, businessman and politician, Mitchell served as a United States Senator from Maine from 1980 to 1995 and as Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995. Since retiring from the Senate, Mitchell has taken up a variety of positions in politics and business. He has taken a leading role in negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, being specifically appointed United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995–2001) by President Clinton and as United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009–2011) by President Obama.





2014-2015 Lecture Series
The Transformation of Our Strategic Foreign Policy Alliances

As we begin the 2014-2015 lecture series, I cannot remember another time when the news each day has brought greater concerns and the subjects we have chosen are so prominent in those newscasts that we might well feel that we are viewing a daily screening on one of the major or foreign network presentations as we attend the lectures.

Thus I believe you will agree, as you read through our program schedule, that we are bringing our membership the world “of the minute”, and doing so with the wish that the report will bear good tidings of resolution in the end. We look forward to seeing you on November 3rd!

November 3rd: Andrew J. Tabler, Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mr. Tabler focuses on Syria and U.S. Policy in the Levant. He resided in the Middle East for fourteen years and is a fluent Arab speaker. He will address our issues with Syria, our crisis management with Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah’s patronage of that country, and what, if any, are possible solutions.

November 17th: John Donvan, John Donvan is the host and moderator for the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates and is an author and correspondent for ABC News. He has hosted "Nightline," "World News," “Good Morning America," and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” and WBUR's "On Point."

December 8th: Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the United States and a Latin-American specialist, will discuss U.S. relations with the countries of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela as well as his country of Mexico. What are the vestiges of the Bolivarian Revolution? Can Venezuela survive with Maduro at the helm?

January 5th: Professor Andrew Nathan, a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His research and teaching focuses on Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy, and we have asked him to address the current Chinese leadership and recent “clashes” in the south and east China Sea as well as other acts of aggression.

January 19th: Professor Angela Stent, is the Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and Professor of Government and Foreign Service At Georgetown University. Her Russian expertise will be put to the test as we endeavor to understand President Putin’s “foreign policy planning”.

February 2nd: We will be welcoming Ian Brzezinski, Resident Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and also a member of the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisors Group. He will cover Ukraine, Poland, the Baltics and Central Europe, with an eye towards Putin’s “empire building”. And yes, the name recognition is correct!

February 16th: Admiral James Stavridis, Former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and Commander, United States European Command, he is now Dean of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. A native of South Florida! he will speak to us about NATO today and honoring our treaties in defense of our Allies as the global temperatures heat up and challenge our defense and diplomatic capabilities.

March 9th: Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Following 27 years as a career Foreign Service Officer, he remains deeply involved in international affairs at Harvard, the Aspen Institute and the Cohen Group. We have asked him to address the transformation of our strategic foreign policy alliances; which is also our lecture series title for this next season.

March 23rd: Robin Wright and Barbara Slavin; These two dynamic experts will help us re-draw the map of the Middle East to include the many trouble spots that we are finding as the main focus of our news each day. Robin Wright is a Senior Fellow and Woodrow Wilson International Scholar. Barbara Slavin is a correspondent for Al Monitor and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. We look forward to welcoming them back to Naples.

April 6th: Dr. Victor Cha, Director of Asian Studies and the D.S. Song Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will once again address the current issues in the Korean peninsula as well as the thorny issues arising in the South China Sea between Japan and China. As Senior Adviser and the inaugural holder of the new Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, we look forward to his perspective.

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