Tue, 6 June 2017
Is American influence in Asia and around the world set to decline? In the years following the global financial crisis, the US has increasing ceded its leadership in the world, while China has rushed in to fill the gap left behind. Based on the inward-looking economic nationalism of the Trump administration, some say this trend is poised to accelerate.
Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, terms this phenomenon “Easternization” - the tectonic shift of the world’s center of gravity from West to East, and from the US to China. Though obscured by the headlines of the day, in the not-so-distant future we may come to view this, as Rachman does, as the momentous transformation of the young century.
How is the growing wealth of Asian nations transforming the international balance of power? Will Trump’s temperament lead to war or peace with Asian nations? After striving for years to be a part of Europe, is Russia now returning to its Asian roots? How would a shift to the East shape all of our lives? This event is co-organized with the Mechanics Institute.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1714
Wed, 31 May 2017
In November, the international community watched as Americans elected Donald Trump the next President, leaving many with unanswered questions about what lies ahead for international development. The United States government is currently the biggest foreign aid donor in the world. Washington’s actions also influence how much other governments contribute to global efforts to eliminate poverty, reduce hunger, empower women and local actors, and increase access to education and healthcare.
Trump said little about his stance on international aid throughout his campaign. Republicans have supported foreign aid in the past because it contributes to national security at home, which is also one of Trump’s biggest priorities. However, if his nationalist ideologies and “Make America First” rhetoric are any indicators of future actions, foreign aid — despite representing less than 1% of the national budget — may be on the chopping block.
What progress has been made, and what hope is there for the world’s most vulnerable people? Dana Hyde, the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Richard Leach, the President and CEO of World Food Program USA, will share insights about major achievements in recent years and shifting priorities for the future.
Dana Hyde, Chief Executive Director of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Richard Leach, President and CEO of the World Food Program USA, are in conversation.
The discussion is moderated by Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1674
Tue, 23 May 2017
The US Presidential elections were a wake-up call to many that millions of Americans are angry and want drastic change. While our new global economy has benefited many, they feel that they have been left behind – losing their livelihoods and income to companies abroad. As a nation, we need to do something about these issues, although Trump’s promises and actions to pull out of international trade deals may not be the only or best solution.
The problem, according to Council on Foreign Relations’ Edward Alden, is not globalization itself, but the failure of domestic policies to address its associated challenges. US policymakers have long recognized the challenges that Americans would face in the new global economy, but mainly looked the other way.
In his book, Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, Alden explains why support for free trade is disappearing, and how to improve the situation for citizens whose lives have been negatively impacted by it. What can we do to minimize these impacts, and how can we build a workforce that is adaptable and resilient to rapidly changing global markets? What potential federal policies would develop more internationally competitive industries and improve the overall American economy?
Speaker Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The conversation is moderated by Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1713
Thu, 18 May 2017
Theodore Roosevelt once famously said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," in reference to his stance on foreign policy. Today, many Americans - wary of waging another war and maintaining a military presence abroad - question this approach.
But given the threats posed in today’s increasingly dangerous and nuclearized world, can the US afford to shy away from hard power? Can diplomacy be divorced from military power? Would deploying forces and strengthening our naval or military presence to thwart Russian hostilities, irrational regimes and China’s transgressions in the South China Sea serve to weaken America’s interests and security?
Dr. Eliot Cohen, a former senior advisor to George W. Bush, professor at Johns Hopkins University and renowned political commentator, will make the case that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy. Sharing insights from his recent book, "The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force," Dr. Cohen will provide a nuanced argument for the use of force in the service of American security and ideals.
Speaker Eliot Cohen is the Robert E. Osgood Professor of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
The moderator for this discussion is Stephen Krasner, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences at the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1702
Tue, 9 May 2017
North Korea has threatened the United States with a “merciless” nuclear attack. While not a new threat, they may soon be capable of actually making good on that promise. North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, has recently been pushing to develop a missile capable of hitting the US, as witnessed by a series of tests. The likely target? California.
Meanwhile, escalating military tensions in the region have further isolated the nation both politically and economically, setting the stage for long-standing internal human rights abuses to worsen. Situations involving political prison camps, unresolved disappearances and the abduction of Japanese and South Koreans are all cause for concern. Add to that savory list, power struggles within the family itself. According to Malaysian authorities, Kim Jong-un's half-brother was recently murdered with chemical weapons in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, further escalating tensions.
How serious is the risk of a North Korean nuclear attack? How will Trump’s reaction and willingness to work with our allies in the region influence the situation? And what obligation, if any, does the international community have to intervene on any and all fronts? Experts Philip Yun, Director of the Ploughshares Fund, and Daniel Sneider, Associate Director for Research at Stanford’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, will share their insights.
Philip W. Yun
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1708
Mon, 1 May 2017
Tension in US-Russia relations is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s 2012 invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s military intervention in support of the Assad regime in Syria — along with the unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 US election — have fanned these flames.
The conversation is moderated by Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs at World Affairs.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1716
Tue, 25 April 2017
The United States is a leader in environmental policy, with California at the forefront as a global hub for clean energy technology and investments. With Trump as President, many environmentalists fear this will change. Trump has vowed to bring back coal jobs, withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and reduce clean energy spending — not to mention calling climate change a “hoax” and selecting climate change deniers to head the EPA and Energy Department.
Californian officials and other international leaders have spoken out and pledged for continued environmental progress, regardless of what happens in Washington. What specific protections can state governments such as California put in place? Are market forces and technology strong enough that current trends towards clean energy will continue despite any potential policy decisions? If the US were to pull out of the Paris Agreement, would other countries continue to hold up their end of the bargain?
Hal Harvey, the CEO of Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC, and Severin Borenstein, E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, will evaluate the ramifications of potential policy decisions that Trump could make.
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1681
Tue, 11 April 2017
The Syrian war has left an estimated 470,000 dead, with 4.8 million international refugees and 6.6 million people internally displaced. As peace efforts falter, the world cries out for the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law, seeking accountability for their infringement.
Recent attention has focused on the siege of Aleppo, where intense aerial bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces destroyed all medical care infrastructure, wiped out marketplaces and bakeries and led to thousands of civilian deaths. Unlawful killings remain a hallmark of this blood-soaked conflict. Humanitarian access is blocked. What can be done?
This panel discussion will examine the findings of the the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic special report examining the violations that took place in Aleppo city since late 2015, and debate its impact on any future accountability for victims of the conflict's many crimes.
This event is co-organized by World Affairs and the Center for Justice and Accountability
Beth Van Schaack
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1685
Tue, 4 April 2017
Join Asia Society, The Asia Foundation, Commonwealth Club, and World Affairs for a unique dialogue featuring the leaders of four of the Bay Area’s most prestigious public affairs and non-profit organizations, who will look at the presidency of Donald J. Trump and what it will mean for America’s relationship with Asia and the world.
Held within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, the dialogue will examine more closely a persistent divide between California and the Bay Area, and the rest of the country, on the future direction of this nation. The dialogue will examine how the Bay Area, and the state more broadly, views America’s relationship with Asia, as well its place in the world on global issues such as trade, security and climate change.
What are some of the primary issues of importance to the Bay Area—politically, economically, culturally—as it relates to US-Asia relations and are they similar or different from the rest of the country? Has the state and the region evolved differently from the rest of the country in how they perceive America’s relationship with Asia and the world, and if so, why?
World Affairs seeks to explore problems and expand opportunities at the intersection of international policy, philanthropy and enterprise — where solutions to hard problems lie. Every day, we convene thought leaders, change makers and engaged citizens to share ideas, learn from each other and engage in conversations that matter. Founded in 1947, following the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations, World Affairs remains one of the most vibrant global affairs organizations in the United States.
David D. Arnold
Dr. Gloria C. Duffy
N. Bruce Pickering
For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1691
Wed, 29 March 2017
General Michael Hayden is the only person ever to lead both the CIA and NSA. For 10 years, he was a key player in some of the most important events in the history of American national security. Now, at a time of ominous new threats and political change, General Hayden will share an insider’s perspective of America's intelligence wars.
What role did US intelligence play in the wake of terrorist threats, a major war and the technological revolution? What was the transformation of the NSA after 9/11? Why did the NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the collection of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?
General Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general, former director of the NSA, principal deputy director of National Intelligence, and director of the CIA. His recent book, "Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror," is a behind-the-scenes account of his experiences within our national intelligence operations. His goals for writing it are simple: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened.
Speaker General Michael Hayden is the Former Director of the NSA and CIA.
Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum, and Vice President, The Aspen Institute, moderates the discussion.
For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1692