World Affairs (news & politics)

Join Asia Society Northern California and World Affairs for a dialogue with The Honorable Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Prime Minister of Australia, who will look at some of the critical issues facing the Asia-Pacific region today and the challenges likely to emerge in the coming years.

While Asia is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and a young, dynamic population, the region is also confronted with a number of issues that threaten to stymie the region’s rise. Growing nationalism, enduring security flashpoints in the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea, an ascendant China, and climate change are just some of the factors that will demand attention and action in the coming years. The election of Donald Trump as the new U.S. President adds unpredictability to the region given his campaign promises to upend America’s role in the alliance infrastructure that underpins security, economic, and political relationships in the region and the world.

Co-Chairman of the ASNC Advisory Board and Chairman Emeritus of Silicon Valley Bank Ken Wilcox will moderate the dialogue.

Direct download: 02_08_17_Kevin_Rudd.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:27pm PDT

There is a new world order. This isn't the 20th century anymore: shifting coalitions, changing spheres of influence, evolving economic and political powers. A friend one minute; a foe another. To address these challenges, the next US president must reconsider our statecraft and diplomacy. Career Ambassador and renowned expert on US-China and Middle East relations, Chas W. Freeman, will call upon his decades of experience to discuss how US foreign policy must change to suit today’s increasingly competitive and disorderly world.

How can the US better navigate its complex relationship with China? What lessons can be learned from our failed interventions in the Middle East, and what steps can be taken to remedy those diplomatic and military errors? How should the US respond to the Arab uprisings and the deteriorating order in the Middle East? Is Israel a strategic asset or liability for the US?

Ambassador Chas Freeman is well-positioned to respond to these questions. During his three decades as an American diplomat, he has served as the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; negotiated with Fidel Castro and other state leaders; translated for President Nixon during his breakthrough visit to Beijing; and served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Freeman is one of America’s most distinguished diplomats. Providing frank, but graciously rendered observations, he will challenge us to think critically about US foreign policy - how we have erred in the past, and how we might do things differently in the future.

Speaker Chas W. Freeman is Senior Fellow of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and Chairman of the Board, Committee for the Republic

Moderator Jane Wales is CEO of World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum, and Vice President of The Aspen Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1686

Direct download: 02_07_17_Chas_Freeman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:34pm PDT

The news each week is filled with increasingly horrific stories of the effects of violent extremism and ISIL-led and ISIL-inspired attacks in Iraq, Syria and around the world. We will make a a clear-eyed assessment of the challenge of violent extremism, including recruitment and radicalization, and the current state of the conflict and discuss how the US and our partners might respond in 2017 and beyond. How are the US defense, intelligence, diplomatic, and development agencies working to prevent the rise of violent extremism and counter ISIL? What consensus for our strategies and tactics exists among US allies and partners? What role should the multilateral organizations, including the UN, NATO and others play in the year ahead? How is ISIL able to convince young vulnerable populations across the globe to join them? How do we work with our local communities and in communities in Europe and other regions to identify signs of radicalization to violence and prevent it? How is the US and our partners working to leverage the technology sector, social media platforms and counter-messaging efforts to counter ISIL’s use of the internet for self-promotion and recruitment?

Rukmini Callimachi, Foreign Correspondent covering extremism, The New York Times

Michael Ortiz, Deputy Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State

Moderator: Martha Crenshaw, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

For more information please visit: https://www.worldaffairs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=792

Direct download: 10_28_16_Countering_ISIL.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am PDT

Head west. Start up. Get rich.

The Silicon Valley mythos describes a steady stream of young, idealistic startup founders who have made it big. No longer content on joining the next “unicorn” (the unprofitable startup with a billion dollar valuation), entrepreneurs now chase the goal of the “deca-corn” - the 10 billion dollar startup. But what about the rest of those many unknown entrepreneurs battling to make it to the top?

Alexandra Wolfe, staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of Valley of the Gods, takes us on a journey into the unique Silicon Valley culture, turning her relentless gaze and unflinching wit on the life and times of the startup bubble. What makes these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs tick? How do these young up-and-comers balance Silicon Valley’s endless optimism with its lofty expectations? Who are these men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world?

Speaker Alexandra Wolfe is an author and Staff Reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

The conversation is moderated by Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor for Technology at Bloomberg News.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1673

Direct download: 01_12_17_Alexandra_Wolfe.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:08am PDT

Take an extraordinary journey through the criminal underworld of the Mexican drug cartels and the dark heart of the US-Mexican drug wars. Los Zetas, the infamous Mexican drug cartel, has taken gang brutality to unprecedented levels. United States and Mexican law enforcement agencies accuse Los Zetas of hundreds of deaths and laundering millions of dollars.

As blood has spilled on both sides of the US-Mexican border, the cartels have increasingly turned to children as their foot soldiers - for trafficking, kidnapping, and even murder. Journalist Dan Slater has spent years researching this phenomena as it has played out in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and just across the border in its sister city, Laredo, Texas - border towns that are a prime battleground for control of lucrative US drug smuggling routes.

Sharing insights from his book, "Wolf Boys", Slater will respond to the questions: Who are the casualties when cartels go to war? Why did the cartels begin this sinister recruitment of children, and how did two American teens get caught up in the violence? What can be done to break this vicious cycle?

Speaker Dan Slater is author of Wolf Boys.

The discussion is moderated by Andrew Becker, Reporter, The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1632

Direct download: 10_05_16_Dan_Slater.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:49pm PDT

Disorder is on the rise: in the Middle East, in Europe, across Asia and even on the home front. It is not merely that the players in the international arena have changed, but the rules of the game itself have changed too. Old approaches to world affairs are now rendered obsolete.

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the upcoming book, A World in Disarray, will provide a compelling diagnosis of the most pressing global challenges today and his prescription for a renewed American foreign policy to address these challenges. In the age of non-state actors re-writing traditional rules of diplomacy, the US, while still an indispensable nation, must also recognize that once-great powers are losing their sway. The old global order has shifted, but the US - through its relationships with China, Russia and in the Middle East - can help forge a new order for this twenty-first century world.

Calling upon his years of experience working as an analyst and in the highest levels of government, Haass will provide a lucid and incisive analysis: what is the state of the world; how did it become a world of disarray; and what can we do about it?

Speaker Richard N. Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The conversation is moderated by Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1678

Direct download: 01_30_17_Richard_Haass.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:51pm PDT

Violent, extremist movements have continued to build around the world, and diplomacy and military power have failed to stem the tide. Why have the past responses to these crises fallen short? Steven Koltai argues that terrorist groups are fueled less by ideology, and more by a lack of attractive economic prospects for the young men who join the fray. If joblessness is an important root cause of extremist movements, then good jobs and economic growth may provide security where past responses have failed. Have traditional approaches to development adequately invested in entrepreneurship as a means of creating economic opportunities in the developing world? What lessons from the US startup culture can be translated to these volatile markets?

Steven Koltai's new book, "Peace through Entrepreneurship" builds a case for a renewed emphasis on entrepreneurship in US foreign policy.

Speaker Steven Koltai is an author and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

The conversation is moderated by Charles Slaughter, Founder and CEO, Living Goods.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1634

Direct download: 09_27_16_Steven_Koltai.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:41pm PDT

Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import bank of the US, makes the case that the US is leading the way in a globalized economy. By focusing 90% of the bank’s attention on small businesses, Hochberg argues that his bank is creating greater opportunity while reducing risk. In contrast, Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor at TIME, sees a murkier future.  According to Foroohar what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system in 2008 have come to infiltrate all American businesses, putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown.

Direct download: 01_23_17_Hochberg_Foroohar.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:44am PDT

This week, World Affairs CEO Jane Wales is in conversation with Senator George Mitchell, former Senate Majority Leader and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace and Alon Sachar, lawyer and former advisor to Senator Mitchell. The two recently co-authored the book, “A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East.”  As a new administration takes over, are there new avenues for diplomatic solutions in the Middle East?

Direct download: 01_16_17_George_Mitchell.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:15pm PDT

In this special episode, we feature two conversations from WorldAffairs 2016.

In the first half of the program, Stanford's Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama discuss whether global democracy is in crisis.

In the second half of the program, Frances Burwell and Holger Stark talk about the rise of Right-leaning populism in Europe and the United States.

For more information on conversations from WorldAffairs 2016, please visit: https://www.worldaffairs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=792

Direct download: 01_09_17_Rise_Right_Diamond_Fukuyama.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:13pm PDT