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Archive for January 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on December 17th, 2011, leaving his youngest son, Kim Jong-un in power. About a month later, on January 18th, 2012, the Asian Studies Department, along with the Mortara Center for International Studies and the Center for Peace and Security Studies hosted an event in the ICC Auditorium where Georgetown professors Victor Cha, Michael Green and Paul Pillar and American University's Ji-Young Lee came together to discuss the intelligence, security, and geopolitical situation surrounding North Korea. In this podcast, the Asian Studies Wire brings you some highlights of the event.

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Another exciting announcement about a SFS alumna comes from the President's office! BSFS alumna Erin C. Conaton has been announced the nominee for Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Department of Defense.

Erin C. Conaton is currently the Under Secretary of the Air Force.  Prior to her confirmation in 2010, she served on the House Committee on Armed Services as Staff Director (2007-2010), Minority Staff Director (2005-2007), and Professional Staff Member (2001-2005).  From 1998 to 2001, she worked on the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission.  She holds B.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Read more about Erin and other White House nominations.

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A reminder to students that all summer courses taken away from GU for academic credit must be pre-approved. Please visit our website for the official policy http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/policies/academics/.  Non-GU Summer Course approval form is attached and can be found in the SFS Deans office.

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Professor David Steinberg discusses the recent announcement that the United States would again exchange ambassadors with Myanmar, also known as Burma. (Music, Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV)

Correction: In this podcast we incorrectly call Sen. Mitch McConnell the Majority Leader, he is the Minority Leader.

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The Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Research (GOFAR) is now accepting applications for the spring 2012 Undergraduate Research Ambassadors program from students who have participated in academic research and are interested in sharing their expertise with other students, promoting academic research, and implementing student-centered research opportunities and programs.

Please visit the URA web page to download your application:http://gervaseprograms.georgetown.edu/research/URAprogram/

Submit complete applications to les58@georgetown.edu no later than FRIDAY, JANUARY, 27, 2012. If you have questions about the URA program, please e-mail Lauren Tuckley, Research Resources Coordinator, at les58@georgetown.edu.

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Hannah Rosenthal is Special Envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the Obama Administration. Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Rosenthal had been engaged in advocacy and social justice issues as Executive Director of the Chicago Foundation for Women, leading one of the largest women’s funds in the world, and as Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, where she worked on domestic and international policy. She will talk about her role as Special Envoy and the trends she is seeing as she travels around the world. A light reception will follow the event.

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Colin H. Kahl, associate professor for the SSP program, recently wrote a rebuttal to an article in Foreign Affairs arguing that it was time to attack Iran saying that Washington should not choose war when there are still other options. He went on to say that Washington should not base decisions off of best-case scenarios of how it hopes the situation would turn out.

In "Time to Attack Iran" (January/February 2012), Matthew Kroenig takes a page out of the decade-old playbook used by advocates of the Iraq war. He portrays the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran as both grave and imminent, arguing that the United States has little choice but to attack Iran now before it is too late. Then, after offering the caveat that "attacking Iran is hardly an attractive prospect," he goes on to portray military action as preferable to other available alternatives and concludes that the United States can manage all the associated risks. Preventive war, according to Kroenig, is "the least bad option."

But the lesson of Iraq, the last preventive war launched by the United States, is that Washington should not choose war when there are still other options, and it should not base its decision to attack on best-case analyses of how it hopes the conflict will turn out. A realistic assessment of Iran's nuclear progress and how a conflict would likely unfold leads one to a conclusion that is the opposite of Kroenig's: now is not the time to attack Iran.

Click here to read Kahl's whole piece in Foreign Affairs on why it's "Not Time to Attack Iran".

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Major and Certificate Fair

Come to the SFS Major/Certificate Fair Tuesday, January 31st from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the ICC Galleria!

  • Learn about the school's 7 majors
  • Think about how a certificate program may complement your SFS major
  • Hear how you can utilize the Career Center's resources starting now
  • Gather information about your study abroad opportunities

Talk to deans, faculty, staff and fellow students about your academic options and what would be a good fit for you.

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Professor Elizabeth Arsenault has joined the Bachelor of School of Foreign Service program as interim assistant dean.

As visiting assistant professor, Dean Arsenault has taught GOVT 006 International Relations, GOVT 315 Terrorism and Insurgency, GOVT 317 U.S. National Security Policy and Process and GOVT 370 International Security. She has a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown.

Dean Arsenault takes over for Dean Bryan Kasper (curricular dean for the International Politics major), who is moving to the State Department.

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CPASS Associate Director David Maxwell wrote two articles last month for Small Wars Journal. The first was about the death of Kim Jong Il and the challenges and opportunities the US, the international community and for the Republic of Korea.

The real opportunity is not to exploit the current events to cause a regime change for which no one is prepared, but to exploit the opportunity over the next two or more years to conduct the effective preparations necessary to deal with regime collapse on terms that the ROK and US desire. 

The second article focused on professional military education and how a better system could look.

A core curriculum is key to ensuring that the joint military has a common basis for understanding joint and combined military operations and strategy.  A common, foundational educational experience can provide the basis for career long interoperability in the joint force, the ability to have a common understanding for the American Way of War and most importantly provide the basis for development of successful campaign plans and strategies.  Ideally, such a common educational experience should be provided to national security professionals, military and civilian alike; however, the civilian aspect is beyond the immediate scope of this paper but should be considered.

In addition to a common core curriculum there may be value in a common educational framework for career military personnel.  The US military has been known as an institution that provides excellent educational and training opportunities to allow military and civilian personnel to develop to their full potential.  This should be sustained and built upon.

For a more in-depth analysis on military education read the full article at the Small Wars Journal.

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