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Archive for the 'SFSGraduateStudents' Category

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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SFS alumna Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg was recently included in President Obama's announcement of intent to appoint several individuals to key administration posts. Amb. Soderberg will be appointed for Chairperson of the Public Interest Declassification Board.

Read more about Amb. Soderberg's background and the other appointees from the White House.

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SFS Professor and Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding John Esposito wrote about Tunisia post-free elections for the Washington Post's On Faith blog.

Amidst reports of a 70-80 percent voter turnout of young and old, women and men, moderate Islamists and secularists, the election symbolized a restoration of their dignity and freedom and the hope for a better future. At the same time, many in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world and the West watched the first fruits of the Arab Spring unfold. Early reports indicate that among the 80-plus political parties and independents, Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) Party, already has won 45 to 50 percent of the seats.

Ennahda’s emergence as a major political player has been enhanced by its history as the primary opposition movement and victim of the Ben Ali regime’s police state, by its strong organization, national appeal and platform, as well as the absence of strong alternative political parties. The legacy of Ben Ali’s Tunisia as that of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt is a history and culture of authoritarianism which precluded the development of a strong multi-party system. The RCD like its Egyptian counterpart the NDP flourished in what was an essentially a one party state. 

If the question in the past had been: Is Arab culture or Islam compatible with democracy? Today the key question is: “Are the old political and bureaucratic guard and “liberal” secularist elites as well Islamists ready for the transition to Arab democracies and political pluralism?”

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

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SFS Professor Daniel Byman urged readers not to dismiss the failed assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States with incredulity that Iran is responsible.

The incredulity takes three forms:  the Iranians would never conduct such an operation because it goes against their interests; the Iranians are too competent for such a cartoonish plot; and if Iran did do such a thing, it must have been a rogue operation by junior intelligence officers. All these arguments are plausible -- and all are probably wrong.

The suspected Iranian agent, Mansour Arbabsiar, allegedly met with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) source whom he tried to hire for murder. "They want that guy done," he reportedly told the agent, referring to the Saudi ambassador. "If the hundred [of collateral victims] go with him, [expletive] them," according to the U.S. government complaint. Arbabsiar also "met several times in Iran" with Ali Gholam Shakuri, a senior member of Iran's paramilitary Quds Force, a special unit of the country's Revolutionary Guards that has carried out many terrorist attacks. Shakuri in turn informed the head of the Quds Force, who reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader. There are also intercepted phone calls between Arbabsiar and Shakuri, which is hard evidence to dismiss. And then there is the money -- $100,000 -- transferred for the plot. Together this is pretty damning evidence.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.

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This October marks the eighth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. As the month comes to a close, the School of Foreign Service is proud to announce the release of a special issue of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, entitled “International Engagement on Cyber.” The issue features the work of distinguished members of the intelligence community, with articles on a range of timely and important topics, such as China’s developing cyber policy, counterinsurgency in cyberspace, Russian geo-political strategy in social network investments, and an implementation plan for the Obama Administration’s International Strategy for Cyberspace. The issue also includes transcripts of the International Engagement on Cyber conference that was held at Georgetown University in March 2011, sponsored by the Institute for Law, Science, and Global Security and the Atlantic Council. To order a copy, contact gjia@georgetown.edu or visit http://journal.georgetown.edu.

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Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA) kicked off the fall semester with a well attended wine-and-cheese introductory mixer followed a few days later by an intimate talk with Ana Palacio, who was the first woman to serve as Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain.

The mixer saw record attendance with students mingling and learning about how to get more involved with the group after listening to Dean Lancaster wish them a good year and encourage them to help each other and work hard. The students got a chance to chat with Dean Lancaster and Associate Dean Jennifer Windsor and ask for some advice – something they will continue to do through GWIA as the year progresses.

A week later, GWIA sponsored the talk by Palacio. A lawyer by profession, specializing in international and European Union law, arbitration and mediation, Palacio has held senior positions in the government, business and academic worlds. She has been appointed senior fellow and lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Palacio spoke about the necessity of jumping into the unknown and dealing with life’s “trump cards,” such as her cancer diagnosis. “I was told in a quite a brutal way: You are dying,” Palacio told the group, but she said she decided to live with cancer not because of cancer and didn’t hide it. “This period is where I realized there is much more generosity than you think,” she said.

“One has to be ready to adapt to new circumstances,” Palacio told about 30 people in McGhee Library on September 20. “Had I just thrown in the towel then can you imagine what I would have missed?”

Palacio said she’s always had jobs and has jumped from job to job when the opportunities presented themselves.“When you jump and accept risk, you are rewarded,” she said. But now she’s living what she calls a “composite” life, doing different things that interest her like consulting, writing and teaching. She said that the best way to deal with life’s transitions or when it comes time to reinvent oneself, to do it enthusiastically and to stop wishing for an old life.

From there, students started asking Palacio for advice.

“In order to get anywhere, we have to work much harder than men,” she candidly told the group of mostly women. She followed by saying that women should make sure to pick something they’re passionate about as careers since they’re going to have to work very hard.

Palacio reiterated the importance of networking, urging the students to attend as many events, speeches, gallery openings – all different kinds of events – as possible because they never know who they will meet or what they will learn. She stressed the importance of relationships and generosity. “Helping people without expecting anything in return is the best investment you can make in your future,” Palacio said.

Palacio wrapped up by saying that there are no recipes for a successful career and life, but to not be timid.

“Be bold. Just go for it,” Palacio said.

Jen Lennon | October 2011

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The Center for International and Regional Studies at SFS-Q hosted the first of a monthly dialogue series with a presentation by post-doctoral fellow Mari Luomi who shared her research on environmental sustainability in the region.

“The regional governments’ dependence on fossil fuels, fossil fuel revenues, and the social contracts based on these revenues produces unsustainability,” she argued. The ‘business-as-usual’ of Gulf economies and societies is increasingly challenged by a number of environmental and natural resource-related pressures, she said. “The most urgent ones originate from within the states: fossil fuel dependence, soaring population, economic growth, high per capita consumption and waste of natural resources, and social contracts that include abundant fuel and utility price subsidies,” Luomi said, adding: “We live in a constructed illusion of plentiful and limitless natural resources.”

Read more about Luomi's presentation at Gulf Times.

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SFS' Victor Cha, director of the Asian Studies program, recently wrote a piece about how the Free Trade Agreement could spoil South Korea's upcoming state visit for Foreign Affairs.

Both the United States and South Korea are hard at work on just such preparations at the moment, ahead of a trip to Washington by President Lee Myung-bak next week. Lee and President Barack Obama will go to great lengths to celebrate the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance. As they should: by all accounts, both in terms of personal chemistry between leaders and actual accomplishments, the 58-year-old relationship between the two countries has never been stronger.

There's just one problem -- well, two, actually. The issues of North Korea and of implementing the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement still require a lot of hard work by Seoul and Washington to get this meeting right. Without some clear progress on either issue before Lee arrives at the South Portico on October 13th, all the pomp and circumstance could lead to naught. 

Yet a considerable amount of work remains to be done. For starters, many Asian countries, especially in Japan, Korea, Australia, and several more southeast Asian states, worry about the staying power of the United States, given its financial difficulties. Obama thus needs to use next week's meeting to reassure Lee that he has no intention of allowing a power vacuum to arise in Asia. 

The challenge from North Korea is more complicated. Publicly, both leaders will recite the familiar line that Pyongyang needs to commit to denuclearization and to the promises it made in the 2005 Six Party agreement to give up all of its nuclear weapons programs. Behind the scenes, however, both sides need to coordinate their game plans as they try to coax Pyongyang back to the Six Party talks. Moreover, Lee must prepare for what seems an increasing possibility: that the Obama administration will engage in direct negotiations with the North.


Read the full article The Free Trade Agreement Could Spoil South Korea's State Visit on Foreign Affairs.

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Flory Jagoda (born Flora Kabilio in 1925 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a Jewish American and Bosnian guitarist, composer and singer. She is known for her interpretation of Ladino songs.

Biography Flory Jagoda arrived in America as a war bride in 1946. She grew up in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica and in Sarajevo. She grew up in the Sephardic tradition in the musical Altaras family.

The Sephardic community of Sarajevo and its surrounding communities were nearly obliterated during World War II. During the war Jagoda was interned on the island of Korcula on the Dalmatian Coast. Her family escaped to Italy where she met and soon married Harry Jagoda, then in the U.S. military after which she immigrated to the United States.

Jagoda's recording Kantikas Di Mi Nona (Songs of My Grandmother) consists of songs her grandmother, a Sephardic folksinger, taught her as a young girl. Following the release of her second recording, Memories of Sarajevo, she recorded La Nona Kanta (The Grandmother Songs), songs she herself wrote for her grandchildren.

Now in her 80’s Flory has stated that Arvoliko: The Little Tree, released in 2006, will be her final solo recording. The tree, located in Bosnia, is said to be the only marker of the mass grave of 42 massacred members of the Altaras family. She refers to her four recordings as representing the four musical stages of her life. In 2006 she also released a series of duets with Ramón Tasat, Kantikas de amor i vida: Sephardic Duets.

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Jason Whitely (JD/MSFS '09) will be signing his book Father of Money: Buying Peace in Baghdad at Barnes and Noble in Georgetown this Friday, October 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Whiteley reveals the dark details of his time spent on the streets of Baghdad as a soldier rebuilding the Iraqi political system from the ground-up. He would discover that it would take more than American ideals to complete the task.

Reviewing the book for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Jim Drury said it's a compelling read.

Part memoir and part military history, Jason Whiteley’s Father of Money is more of a Heart of Darkness-tale of personal introspection than a full, comprehensive description of the American occupation of Iraq. And while the author deftly describes his experiences in the Al Dora district of Baghdad from 2004 to early 2005, the book is most valuable for its disturbing revelations of how unprepared the United States Army was for the job entrusted to it. The American Armed Forces completed their mission in a matter of weeks when they destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It was a complete and unequivocal success, traditionally speaking. Unfortunately, the Iraq War is inherently untraditional. For Whiteley, the problem lay not in the Army’s execution, which was top notch, but in the mission after the mission. As governance officer of Al Dora, Whiteley is at the tip of the spear in the Army’s second battle, which is rebuilding Iraq. His position in Baghdad allows him to explain the confusing struggle between Shi’ites, Sunnis and Americans with considerable authority.

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