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Archive for the 'Mortara' Category

On November 17, 2011, the Asian Studies Program, the Office of the Dean of the School of Foreign Service, and the Mortara Center for International Studies welcomed Dr. Sumit Ganguly, Professor of Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, for a lecture on the Sino-Indian rivalry for influence in Asia.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Sumit Ganguly holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations and is a Professor of Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington. He has previously been on the faculty of James Madison College of Michigan State University, Hunter College of the City University of New York and the University of Texas at Austin. He has also been a Fellow and a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. His research and writing, focused primarily on South Asia, has been supported by grants from the Asia Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the United States Institute of Peace. He serves on the editorial boards of Asian Affairs, Asian Survey, Current History, the Journal of Strategic Studies and Security Studies. He is the founding editor of both the India Review and Asian Security, two refereed journals published by Taylor and Francis, London. Professor Ganguly is the author, editor or co-editor of a dozen books on South Asia. His most recent books are Fearful Symmetry: India and Pakistan Under the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons (co-authored with Devin Hagerty) jointly published by Oxford University Press (New Delhi) and the University of Washington Press (Seattle) and More Than Words: U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation Into the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Brian Shoup and Andrew Scobell) published by Routledge, London. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London. His latest book is an edited work (with Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner), The State of India's Democracy, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. He is currently at work on a single authored book, India Since 1980, under contract with Cambridge University Press, New York.

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SFS Professor Andrew Natsios was on Voice of America this week talking about Sudan and his fear that there will be further divisions in the region.

Natsios warned that any military approach by the NCP to address the conflict in Sudan will not bring peace in the areas currently engulfed in fighting. He said President Bashir’s party should call for an inclusive political conference to address issues of a new constitution and press freedom. He also called on Khartoum to resolve the crisis in Blue Nile by reinstating the SPLM Governor, Malik Agar, who was elected last year. Agar was removed from office by Sudan's President on Friday.

Listen to the interview at Voice of America.

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SFS Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy Andrew Natsios writes for Foreign Affairs that the North's invasion of the town of Abyei could derail the peace process in Sudan.

The UN has not yet announced civilian casualty figures, but already the bombing has displaced 15,000 Ngok Dinka inhabitants, who are now moving south for protection. Arab tribes appear to be moving in to occupy the area. For centuries, Abyei had been the homeland of the Dinkas, the dominant tribe in southern Sudan. But in the 1980s and 1990s, local Arab tribes drove them from the region in a campaign of brutal ethnic cleansing directed by the government in Khartoum. The Dinkas make up 40 percent of the south's population and represent a powerful part of both the south's government and its army. They demand the return of Abyei to the south.

Read more at the Foreign Affairs website.

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Student speaker Matthew Shapiro's remarks were a highlight of the BSFS Tropaia awards ceremony Friday afternoon:

As a 2011graduate of the School of Foreign Service (SFS), Matthew Shapiro says he is most grateful for the sense of community he was able to establish while a student at Georgetown.

“The most valuable lessons of the past four years have not come from the classroom, but from everyone in this room and the larger Georgetown community,” Shapiro said at this year’s SFS Tropaia ceremony. “We were here to support each other and to challenge one another to do things we might have thought were impossible before meeting each other.”

Click to read more.

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As the world digests the news that U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in a raid on his compound in Pakistan, faculty across the School of Foreign Service have been tapped by American and international media to lend insight.

We'll update this list throughout the week of May 2.

  • Paul Pillar -- director of graduate studies at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University and a former CIA National Intelligence officer appeared on Monday's Diane Rehm Show, broadcast from WAMU-FM in Washington and heard on NPR stations nationwide.

U.S. and allied counterterrorism efforts must continue, and in the short term perhaps even increase. The risk of revenge attacks should lead to a focus on bolstering defenses. Even more important, aggressive strikes on al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and the global intelligence and policy campaign must not end. Al Qaeda will be in disarray, and arresting or killing remaining leaders, hindering their communications, and foiling their plots can put them on the run.

Bin Laden's death will not immobilize the core. Indeed, it may seek to launch any off-the-shelf or in-process attacks as soon as possible to prove its relevance. However, this is an organization built along personal lines, with a new leader needing to win the loyalty and support of his followers. With Bin Laden's death, his successor—most likely his No. 2, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri—will need to consolidate his power. This is hard to do when he is on the run and cannot communicate freely.

We do not know whether the Taliban are actually popular among Afghans, and we won't know until U.S. forces are out of the equation in Afghanistan. Which leaves Pakistan as the main interest of U.S. policy -- Washington does in fact have strategic interest in Pakistan not going south.  So there is a strong argument for facilitating negotiations for the inevitable power-sharing arrangement, and starting the drawdown of U.S. forces.

  • Bruce Hoffman -- director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, as well as a professor -- wrote on The National Interest that Bin Laden's death shattered conventional wisdom about al-Qaeda's leader:

His presence in an urban hub, presumably with a variety of modes of contact, calls into question the supposedly hands-off, irrelevant role he had been believed to play in al-Qaeda’s strategy and perhaps even day-to-day operations. Indeed, it may have been his active participation in key al-Qaeda decision-making and operational matters that allowed us to track him to his hideout—there must have been an unusual number people coming and going, functioning essentially as couriers. It may thus be that he’s had much more of a role in al-Qaeda than we believed.

  • John Esposito -- director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and professor of religion, international Affairs and Islamic studies -- told Reuters that he hopes that this will take some pressure off of Muslims who are victim to Islamophobia in the US.
  • Esposito also wrote Monday for The Washington Post with colleague John Voll -- associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and professor of Islamic history -- questioning if the death of Bin Laden should be considered an ending or a turning point.

It is clear that the death of bin Laden does not mean an end to the global terrorist threat. Both President Obama and surviving leaders of al-Qaeda affirm that the attacks by terrorists against the whole world, including the United States, will continue. The death of the major leader of al-Qaeda does not mean an end to the organization but it does mean that trends toward a more decentralized network of militants will be strengthened.

  • Esposito commented to the Los Angeles Times that there is no simple answer to how Bin Laden's death will affect Muslims in America.

I think intelligent Muslims will be aware that this is a turning point but only the beginning of a turning point.

  • Hoffman commented to USA Today that though this doesn't mean the end of the movement, that a counterattack could go off half-cocked and allow US officials to learn more about surviving terror networks.
  • Hoffman spoke about Al-Qaida's next leader, the possibility that it might be Ayman al-Zawahiri and how he could be even stronger than Bin Laden to NPR.

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Charles King, on March 16th at 12pm, discussed his newest book, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams.

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