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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

This Tuesday the Council will host Larry Rohter, longtime Rio di Janeiro bureau chief for The New York Times and Newsweek. He will provide insight into Brazil’s transformation into the world’s eighth biggest economy, discuss this month’s presidential elections and explore the future of the country. Find out more about the program and register here.

After last weekend’s presidential election failed to produce a clear winner, Brazilians will have to wait until October 31st to vote in a run-off election between ruling-party candidate Dilma Rousseff and opposition-party candidate Jose Serra. To learn more about the candidates and the election, read this article from The Economist.

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Tomorrow night the Council will host a preview screening from this year’s United Nations Association Film Festival. Climate Refugees features interviews with Al Gore, John Kerry, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and others, speaking about the impact climate-related migration has had on national security and other foreign policy issues.

Register for the program here. Watch the trailer for the film below:

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In a live address from the Oval Office last night President Barack Obama declared the end of the US combat mission in Iraq. The president thanked American military personnel for their dedicated service, while also restating his firm belief that the entering the conflict was a mistake. “We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home,” Mr. Obama said. Watch the president’s entire speech here.

Some of those sacrifices are chronicled in The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel. He will be speaking at the Council on Thursday, September 9 about the eight months he was embedded with the 2-16 infantry battalion deployed on the outskirts of Baghdad. Finkel, a reporter for The Washington Post, will also discuss the cognitive dissonance between the violent reality of the ground war and the abstract policy debates back in Washington. Register for the program here.  While another perspective of the war will be provided by Georgetown professor Derek Leebaert on Thursday, September 16. Examining the missteps of wartime foreign policy,  Leebaert argues that the cause of many of America’s foreign policy mistakes lies in “magical thinking” – the idea that the US can manage the world through well-intentioned force. Register for the program here.

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Last night”s guest on the Colbert Report, author David Finkel, will be speaking at the Council on Thursday, September 9. Finkel spent eight months embedded with the 2-16 infantry battalion deployed on the outskirts of Baghdad and his newest book, The Good Soldiers, details the successes, struggles and psychological traumas of those soldiers serving on the front lines. Register for the program here.

Watch his conversation with Stephen Colbert here:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
David Finkel, posted with vodpod

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Just days after announcing a series of substantial budget cuts, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will be speaking at an event co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council and Marines’ Memorial Association. The program will take place Thursday evening at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel. For more information, click here.

In a press conference yesterday, Secretary Gates said that he has ordered the closing of the Joint Forces Command; a 10 percent reduction in spending on defense department contractors; and a freeze on the number of employees at his office, defense agencies and combatant commands for three years. As an additional cost-reduction measure, he also proposed cutting 50 general and admiral posts and 150 senior civilian positions during the next two years. Read more about Secretary Gates’s budget cuts in this article from The New York Times.

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As the war in Afghanistan approaches its tenth year, women and girls worry that the peace they want will come at the price of the few freedoms they have gained since the Taliban was overthrown in 2001. From school closures to increased threats against working women, the rights women want seem to be slipping away. Read more about the difficult situations women are facing in Afghanistan in this article from the New York Times.

This month the Council will present two programs about strong women who are working to empower women. On August 11, the Asia Foundation will co-sponsor a program with Samar Minallah, the Asia Foundation Chang Lin Tien Visiting Fellow at the Global Fund for Women and the founder of Ethnomedia. Minallah is an anthropologist, writer, human rights activist and one of Pakistan’s few documentary filmmakers. She will share excerpts from her documentaries and discuss using video as an advocacy tool for women’s rights in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Asha Hagi, the co-founder and chairperson of Save Somali Women and Children, will speak on August 27 in a co-sponsored program at the Commonwealth Club. Hagi will describe the innovative creation of a women’s network, The Sixth Clan, to facilitate full participation in national politics and the peace process.

To register for either program, please visit the Council’s online calendar.

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The Council is pleased to host Ambassador Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS Coordinator, tonight at 6 PM. His visit comes only days after the conclusion of the biennial International AIDS Conference, at which he led the US delegation. The biggest news at the conference was the announcement of the development of a successful, new microbicide for HIV/AIDS prevention. While this was heralded as a huge advance in the fight against HIV/AIDS, many are now wondering whether it can be produced inexpensively enough for it to gain wide use and whether or not it will even be approved by regulators.

Join us tonight to learn about the conference and what the Obama Administration is doing to fight HIV/AIDS around the world. Register for the program here.

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