World Affairs

As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, political and economic analysts attempt to dissect the last ten years in hopes of predicting the next twenty. But what does the recent rise of China and the East really mean for the aging democracies of the West? Taking a much longer view of history Ian Morris, Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University, looks back more than 12,000 years to the beginning of agriculture and the birth of large-scale organized societies in order to predict what the future holds. Drawing on the millennial ebb and flow of the East and West, Morris suggests that the West’s dominance is both recent and temporary. According to the social development patterns of the last few millennia, the West’s “rule” is scheduled to end early in the next century, but Morris proposes that in an increasingly global world, propelled by quantum leaps in computing power and bioscience, the old distinctions between East and West may seem outdated and unfit to answer our new questions. In a world where the dichotomy between “us and them” is becoming increasingly insufficient, what does the future hold for the West, and the rest?

Direct download: 11_22_10_Ian_Morris.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Haifa is a unique model for co-existence, with Jewish, Arab and Christian communities intermingling and residing side by side, in Israel's third largest city of over 250,000 people. The Council pleased to welcome the city’s mayor, Yona Yahav to discuss Haifa as a stronghold of coexistence in the Middle East. Yona Yahav, visiting San Francisco in honor of the San Francisco-Haifa sister city relationship, has served as Mayor of Haifa since 2003, and brings extensive experience in culture and government to the Haifa municipality. Previously a Member of the 14th Knesset, Mayor Yahav was awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Parliament in 2008 for his contribution in strengthening relations with France and its institutes, and for his devoted leadership of Haifa’s diverse population during the Second War in Lebanon.

Direct download: 11-19-10_Yona_Yahav.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

In the post-Cold War world, American policymakers are increasingly turning to “discrete military operations (DMOs)” to resolve problems abroad. Such operations—assassination attempts on dictators, or drone strikes inside Pakistan, for example—are meant to minimize soldier and civilian deaths and limit collateral damage. How successful has the application of limited military force been in achieving American objectives? Micah Zenko will discuss the shortcomings of US military tactics, such as drone attacks and special operations raids, in addressing the challenges posed by today’s global conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Direct download: 11_17_10_Simon_Allin.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

In the post-Cold War world, American policymakers are increasingly turning to “discrete military operations (DMOs)” to resolve problems abroad. Such operations—assassination attempts on dictators, or drone strikes inside Pakistan, for example—are meant to minimize soldier and civilian deaths and limit collateral damage. How successful has the application of limited military force been in achieving American objectives? Micah Zenko will discuss the shortcomings of US military tactics, such as drone attacks and special operations raids, in addressing the challenges posed by today’s global conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Direct download: 11_16_10_Micah_Zenko.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

The world’s fourth-most populous nation spread across a chain of thousands of islands, Indonesia is a highly diverse collection of cultures, ethnicities and religions. In terms of faith, six of the world’s religions are formally recognized in Indonesia: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism. But with approximately 85 percent of the population adherent to Islam, what is the relationship between the Muslim majority and significant Catholic minority? And, how are other religions and traditions tolerated in Indonesia? The World Affairs Council and Indonesian Consulate General of San Francisco are pleased to host a group of Indonesian religious experts, one Catholic and two Muslim scholars, to discuss Indonesia’s promotion of moderate Islam and tolerant interfaith coexistence.

Direct download: 11-11-10_Qubad_Talabani.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

The world’s fourth-most populous nation spread across a chain of thousands of islands, Indonesia is a highly diverse collection of cultures, ethnicities and religions. In terms of faith, six of the world’s religions are formally recognized in Indonesia: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism. But with approximately 85 percent of the population adherent to Islam, what is the relationship between the Muslim majority and significant Catholic minority? And, how are other religions and traditions tolerated in Indonesia? The World Affairs Council and Indonesian Consulate General of San Francisco are pleased to host a group of Indonesian religious experts, one Catholic and two Muslim scholars, to discuss Indonesia’s promotion of moderate Islam and tolerant interfaith coexistence.

Direct download: 11-09-10_Indonesia_Interfaith.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

A rise in radicalism? Sectarian violence? Civil war? What are the local impacts of American military efforts in the Middle East? Taking us from Iraq to Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and finally to Afghanistan, journalist Nir Rosen has visited the alleys, deserts, refugee camps, mosques and battlefields in predominantly Muslim nations to show how the US military has influenced the region and how it has been influenced by its new theater of operations.

Direct download: NirRosen.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:02pm PDT

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