North Korea: Where do we go from here?

On December 18, a panel discussed the North Korean regime's recent actions, its impact on Northeast Asian security, and U.S. policy to the region. Victor Cha, Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University and Senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and  Joel S. Wit, Visiting Scholar at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and a Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University. Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson (USMC, Ret.), the Center’s Senior Director for China and the Pacific, moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

Syria's Opposition Groups

On December 13, the Center held a panel discussion on the warring factions in Syria and the region's deep ethnic and sectarian tensions. David Pollock, the Kaufman fellow at the Washington Institute and a
former State Department Senior Advisor for the Middle East, and Elizabeth O'Bagy, Research Analyst for the Institute for the Study of War focusing on Syrian politics and security, spoke. Geoffrey Kemp, Director of Regional Security Programs at the Center for the National Interest, moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

Transatlantic Relations and the Pivot to Asia

On December 11, a panel at the Center discussed Europe’s reaction to the U.S. pivot to Asia and the consequences for transatlantic relations. The speakers were Rainer Stinner, MdB, foreign policy spokesman for the Free Democratic Party in the German Bundestag, and Jim Kolbe, a former Congressman and Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Jacob Heilbrunn, Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Center, moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

Germany's Response to the European Financial Crisis

On November 29, Germany's representative to the United States, Ambassador Peter Ammon, spoke at the Center on his country's response to the European financial crisis and transatlantic economic relations. Ambassador Richard Burt, Managing Director of McLarty Associates and a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, moderated the discussion.

A summary is available here.

 

The Indispensable Germans

On November 20, Germany's role in Europe and German-American relations were the focus of a panel discussion at the Center. Speaking at the event were Jacob Heilbrunn, Senior Editor at The National Interest, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Senior Director for Strategy at The German Marshall Fund, and Malte Lehming, Opinion Editor at Der Tagesspiel. Robert W. Merry, Editor of The National Interest, moderated the discussion.

A summary is available here.

 

The Election, Taxes, and the American Economy

On November 19, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, spoke at the Center about the ongoing budget negotiations, taxes, and the future of the Republican Party. The President of the Center, Dimitri Simes, moderated the discussion.

A summary can be found here. The event was aired on C-SPAN and can be viewed here.

 

War in Syria: What if it Spreads?

On November 16, the Center hosted a panel discussion on the regional consequences of
the conflict in Syria. Aaron David Miller, Vice President at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Hisham Melhem, Washington Bureau Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel, were the speakers. Geoffrey Kemp, Director of the Regional Security Program at the Center, moderated the discussion.

A summary is available here.

 

America's Energy Security

On November 15, the Center hosted Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) for a discussion on America's energy security. The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Paula J. Dobrianksy, former under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs and distinguished national security chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.

A summary is available here.

 

America's Response to Change in Georgia

The Center hosted a discussion with Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State. He spoke at the Center on October 24, just after returning from Georgia for a visit in the wake of the recent parliamentary elections. Center President Dimitri Simes moderated the discussion.

A summary is available here.

 

Consequences of War with Iran

On September 19, the Center hosted a panel discussion on the political, military, and economic consequences of a war with Iran. J. Robinson West, founder of PFC Energy, moderated; Geoffrey Kemp (Director of the Center's Regional Security Program) and ADM Mark Fitzgerald (USN, ret.) spoke.

A summary is available here.

 

 

Maritime Security East of Suez

Geoffrey Kemp has released a new report on U.S. power and the strategic environment in the Indian Ocean and South China Seas entitled Maritime Security East of Suez: Sustaining the U.S. Role as the Key Policeman in Times of Change.

 

Mexico's Drug War

Robert Leiken has released a new report on the situation in Mexico, entitled Mexico's Drug War.

 

China's Coming Leadership Transition

On October 9, leading China experts David Shambaugh and David Lampton spoke about the 18th Party Congress, planned for early November, at which some key personnel decisions at the top of the Chinese hierarchy will be rolled out. They also addressed the potential impact the new personnel and the transition process could have on the U.S.-China relationship.

A summary is available here.

 

All the Ayatollah's Men

On September 20, The National Interest hosted remarks by Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations following his recent major article on Iranian foreign policy. National Interest editor Robert Merry moderated the discussion.

A summary of Takeyh's remarks can be found here.

 

Pakistan's Role in Stabilizing Afghanistan

On September 18, the Center for the National Interest hosted remarks by Gen. Ehsan ul Haq (Ret.), the former Chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence. Gen. Charles G. Boyd (Ret.) moderated.

A summary of the on the record portion of Gen. ul Haq's remarks can be found here.

 

Japan's Changing Military

On September 14th, Dr. Fumiaki Kubo of the University of Tokyo and Wallace "Chip" Gregson of the Center for the National Interest discussed the recent evolution of the Japan Self Defence Forces' structure, role, and legal status, and implications for the alliance with the United States.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

Georgian Labor Party Leader Shalva Natelashvili

On September 12, the Center for the National Interest hosted Shalva Natelashvili, leader of the Georgian Labor Party. Center President Dimitri Simes moderated.

A summary of his remarks is available here.

 

America's Pacific Strategy and AirSea Battle

On September 11, two prominent experts on the U.S. military discussed the military balance in the Pacific and the new AirSea Battle concept that has garnered significant attention in American strategic circles. T.X. Hammes of the National Defense University and Jim Thomas of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments spoke; Wallace "Chip" Gregson, Director of the China Program at the Center for the National Interest, moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

Understanding Pussy Riot

On August 29, a panel at the Center for the National Interest discussed the controversial actions of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. The two discussants were Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation and an informal advisor to the Putin administration, and Nikolas Gvosdev, Professor of National Security Studies at the Naval War College. Center President Dimitri Simes moderated.

A summary is available here. The event was broadcast on C-SPAN; footage is available here.
 

Realism and U.S.-Pakistan Relations

On August 22, the Center for the National Interest held a discussion with Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011. With the relationship between the two countries at historic lows and given their divergent interests, Haqqani argued that it would be best to move beyond the alliance. Geoffrey Kemp, the Director of the Center's Regional Security Program, moderated.

A full summary of this event can be found here.

 

Taxes and U.S. Foreign Policy

On August 13, the Center for the National Interest hosted Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, for a discussion on the relationship between taxes and America's foreign policy. Robert Merry, editor of The National Interest, moderated.

A summary of Norquist's remarks is available here; Norquist's remarks were broadcast on C-SPAN.

 

America, China, and Energy: Cooperation or Competition?

On July 24th, a panel at the Center for the National Interest discussed the future of Chinese and American energy policy. The two discussants were Myron Brilliant, Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Douglas Paal, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Center Executive Director Paul Saunders moderated.

A summary of the event can be found here.

 

A Discussion with Admiral Giambastiani

On July 17th, the Center for the National Interest hosted a dinner discussion with Admiral (Ret.) Edmund P. Giambastiani as part of the Robert F. Ellsworth Study Group on U.S. Foreign Policy. Admiral Giambastiani was the seventh vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005 to 2007, and the third naval officer to hold that position. Study group director Jacob Heilbrunn and chairman Dov Zakheim moderated.

 

Syria's Military: How Loyal, How Effective?

On July 17, the Center hosted a discussion on the Syrian military. Jeffrey White, a Washington Institute expert with more than three decades of experience watching Middle Eastern militaries for the American intelligence community, suggested that the military will not remain loyal to Assad forever, and that it is facing an increasingly active and armed Free Syrian Army, but that it has not yet used all of its strength. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies cautioned that a Western intervention--whether by provision of arms or actual use of force--would not be as simple as in Libya. Geoffrey Kemp, Director of the Center's Regional Security Program, moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

China's Growing Military

On July 12, the Center hosted a discussion of the implications for America of China's strengthening military. Patrick Cronin of the Center for a New American Security and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey spoke; CFTNI China Program Senior Director Wallace "Chip" Gregson moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

U.S.-Russia Dialogue in Washington

On June 18, the Center for the National Interest hosted meetings with a number of key voices in Russian foreign policy. Russian guests included Konstantin Kosachev, Director of Rossotrudnichestvo; Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation; Alexey Voskressenski, Dean of Political Affairs and World Politics at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations; and Victor Andrianov, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Far East Studies.

 

The Crisis of the Old Order

On June 14, the Center for the National Interest hosted a discussion on the May/June issue of The National Interest, "The Crisis of the Old Order." The panel was composed of former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and National Interest editor Robert Merry. Center President Dimitri Simes moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

Human Rights Legislation and Trade with Russia

On June 13, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion on legislation that links United States-Russia trade to Russian human rights and corruption. The panel included Edward Verona, President of the U.S.-Russia Business Council; Lorne Craner, President of the International Republican Institute; and Dimitri Simes, the Center’s President. Executive Director Paul Saunders moderated the discussion.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

General David Petraeus Honored with Distinguished Service Award in New York

The Center for the National Interest honored General David Petraeus, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, at its first New York Distinguished Service Award Dinner on May 15 at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. The Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, Maurice Greenberg, introduced General Petraeus and Honorary Chairman Henry Kissinger and General Charles Boyd, USAF (Ret.), presented the award. Center President Dimitri Simes also spoke. Guests at the dinner included Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, as well as members of the Center’s Board including Vice Chairman Dov Zakheim, Leslie H. Gelb, Grover Norquist, Paul Saunders, and Brent Scowcroft.

 

A Discussion with Robert Zoellick

On the evening of May 8, the Center for the National Interest hosted an off-the-record discussion with outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick as part of the Robert F. Ellsworth Study Group on U.S. Foreign Policy. Study group director Jacob Heilbrunn and chairman Dov Zakheim moderated.

 

U.S.-Russia Dialogue in Moscow

On April 9-10, the Center organized U.S.-Russia dialogue meetings in Moscow in cooperation with the Institute for Contemporary Development. Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev is the chairman of the Institute. American participants in the meetings included Center President Dimitri K. Simes, Center Starr Distinguished National Security Fellow Gen. Charles Boyd, Center Executive Director Paul Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Stephen Rademaker, and Georgetown University Professor and terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman, who is also a Contributing Editor of The National Interest. The group discussed missile defense, Syria, and U.S.-Russian relations after Vladimir Putin's re-election as President in discussions with Russian experts as well as in meetings with senior Russian officials.

 

Greenberg on China

On April 19, Maurice Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr and Chairman of the Center for the National Interest, spoke at length about his impressions of China's direction. He offered an optimistic vision in which the United States and China have enormous opportunities for mutually beneficial interaction, especially in the area of trade, and suggested that there is far less risk of a military conflict than many think. Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft moderated.

A summary is available here.

 

A Conversation with Governor Jon Huntsman

On April 16, the Center for the National Interest hosted a dinner discussion with Jon Huntsman, who has been a presidential contender, governor of Utah, and ambassador to China and Singapore. Board member Ambassador Richard Burt moderated.

The event was off-the-record.

 

America: New Energy Superpower?

Energy experts argued that energy innovation is dramatically reshaping the American energy sector and international markets in an April 13 luncheon panel at the Center for the National Interest.  J. Robinson West, Chairman and Founder of PFC Energy, compared the impact of new technologies to that of the fall of the Berlin Wall in their power and scope.  West moderated the discussion, which Center Executive Director Paul J. Saunders introduced as the first meeting in a series on energy innovation through a joint project with the Clean Air Task Force.  Other speakers were Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and Director of Energy and National Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies; David Garman, a principal at Decker Garman Sullivan and a former Under Secretary of Energy in the George W. Bush Administration; and Geoffrey Kemp, the Center’s Director of Regional Strategic Programs and a 2011-2012 Transatlantic Academy Fellow.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

The Future of the U.S.-China Economic Relationship

Center Chairman Maurice Greenberg and a group of prominent experts, including David Denoon of NYU, Amitai Etzioni of George Washington University, and Leland Miller of Avascent International, discussed the future of the U.S.-China economic relationship on April 3. Lt. Gen. Wallace "Chip" Gregson, the director of the Center's China programs, moderated the session.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

Ellsworth Study Group: China's Role

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell spoke to the Robert F. Ellsworth Study Group on American Foreign Policy. The April 2 event was moderated by Center Vice Chairman Dov Zakheim and by the group's director, Jacob Heilbrunn.

The event was off the record.

 

Russia's New Politics

On March 26, a top non-governmental advisor to Russia’s President-Elect, Vladimir Putin, dismissed what he described as “myths” of widespread opposition to Putin and a lack of media freedom in the country.  Valery Fadeev, chairman of one of Russia’s most influential media holdings, the Expert Group, and an official presidential debate surrogate for Putin, also assessed Russia’s economic policy and predicted continuity in its relations with the United States.  He also defended Moscow’s position toward growing violence in Syria.  Center President Dimitri K. Simes moderated the event.

Click here for a full summary of the event.

 

Future Threats and Opportunities

On March 15, the Center hosted a luncheon discussion with former Obama Administration National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones (USMC-Retired) on future threats and opportunities for the United States. This was a continuation of a series of talks on America's strategic environment by former senior officials. Gen. Charles Boyd (USAF-Retired) moderated.

 

Russia's Presidential Election

The 2012 Russian presidential election was seriously flawed, but broadly reflected the will of the Russian people, said three experts speaking at the Center for the National Interest on March 13.  Moreover, they agreed, while Russia’s opposition movement has become increasingly influential, the country’s political system remains generally stable.  Despite this, the U.S.-Russian relationship is likely to come under increasing strains as Vladimir Putin returns to the Kremlin.

Speakers at the session included Vladimir Averchev, a former State Duma Deputy from the liberal-leaning Yabloko party who attended several of Moscow’s large opposition demonstrations during recent weeks; Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation and an advisor to Russia’s leadership who spent election day at Putin’s campaign headquarters; and Center President Dimitri K. Simes, who was in Russia for several days prior to the March 4 voting to meet with senior officials and politicians.  Center Executive Director Paul J. Saunders moderated.

A full summary of the event is available here.

 

Extended Deterrence and Security in East Asia

On March 6, the Center for the National Interest hosted a day-long off-the-record U.S.-Japan-South Korea dialogue on security in East Asia. Center Executive Director Paul J. Saunders organized the dialogue meetings in collaboration with the Tokyo Foundation and the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and with the support of the Center for Global Partnership. The meeting was the third in a series of four; the Center released a report on the previous two sessions at the event.

The report is available here.

An agenda from the dialogue is available here.

 

Washington and Beijing, 40 Years after Nixon's Trip

On February 16, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion on the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon's historic trip to China and U.S.-China relations today.  National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, a member of the Center's Board of Directors, shared his personal recollections of Nixon's opening to China and moderated the meeting. Panelists included Ambassador Charles "Chas" Freeman, Chairman of Projects International, who was Nixon's principal interpreter during the original trip in 1972; Dr. Nicholas Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute of International Economics; and the Center's own Wallace "Chip" Gregson, Senior Director, China and the Pacific, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and a retired Marine Lieutenant General.

A summary of this event is available here.

Ambassador Charles "Chas" Freeman's remarks are available here.

 

Senator Carl Levin Honored with Distinguished Service Award

On February 15, the Center for the National Interest presented Senator Carl Levin with its Distinguished Service Award, honoring his remarkable contributions to America's foreign and security policy.

In addition to Senator Levin, speakers included Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman of the Center's Board of Directors; Admiral Michael Mullen, USN (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Senator John McCain; General Charles G. Boyd, USAF (Ret.), member of the Center's Board; Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, member of the Center's Board and Center President Dimitri K. Simes.  Ambassador Richard Burt, Managing Director of McLarty Associates and also member of the Center's Board served as master of ceremonies.

To read Senator Levin's remarks, please go here.

Video clips of this event are available on the Center's YouTube Channel.

Senator Levin's speech was also covered by The Washington Post.

 

Ellsworth Study Group: Spending and the Deficit

The U.S. federal deficit is reaching crisis proportions that have direct implications for America’s future and its international role.  This was the theme of a discussion held at the Center for the National Interest on February 8, 2012, inaugurating the Robert F. Ellsworth Study Group on American Foreign Policy.  The speaker was David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Center Vice Chairman Dov S. Zakheim is Chairman of the Study Group and moderated the discussion.  Jacob Heilbrunn, Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Center, is the Director of the Study Group. 

A summary of this event is available here.

 

American Defense Strategy for the 21st Century

Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF-Ret.), former CIA head and the longest-serving Director of the NSA, argued that pressing international challenges like Iran, China, and terrorism reflect deeper dilemmas in America's society and role in the world in a sweeping overview of global threats to the United States. Gen. Charles Boyd (USAF-Ret.), Distinguished National Security Fellow at the Center, moderated the panel. It is the first in a series of meetings intended to conduct a strategic assessment of America's defense needs.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The End of Putin?

On December 20, 2011, the Center for the National Interest hosted “The End of Putin?,” which assessed the implications of Russia’s domestic turmoil.  Center President Dimitri K. Simes argued that the era during which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could rule Russia unchallenged has come to an end. Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs and Ambassador to Germany Richard Burt moderated the discussion, which was broadcast on C-SPAN and can be viewed here.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The New Triangle: China, Russia and the U.S.

On December 14, 2011, the Center for the National Interest hosted “The New Triangle: China, Russia, and the U.S.,” a discussion of China-Russia relations and America’s role in them. Moderated by the Senior Director of the Center’s China and the Pacific program, Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson (USMC-Ret.), the event featured remarks by Kenneth Lieberthal, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Thomas Graham, a Senior Director at Kissinger Associates. Both suggested that the U.S. plays a prominent role in how China and Russia act toward each other, and that the U.S. can take constructive steps that avoid worries of a Sino-Russian bloc.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The End of the American Era

Stephen Walt argued that while the U.S. maintains its status as the most powerful country in the world, the rise of other powers, the changing nature of the world, and our recent financial crisis have put an end to a time when the U.S. could exert influence in almost every corner of the world simultaneously.  On November 30, 2011, the Center for the National Interest hosted Walt, the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, to discuss his cover article, “The End of the American Era,” published in the November/December issue of The National Interest.  Robert Merry, editor of the magazine, moderated the event.

A summary of this event is available here.

Clips of this event are viewable on the Center's YouTube Channel.

 

China's Growing Naval Power

China's growing naval power is driven by a number of factors, including China's desire to expand and protect its commercial interests abroad.  On Thursday, November 17, the Center for the National Interest hosted the inaugural program under the leadership of the Center's new Senior Director for China and the Pacific, Lt. Gen. Wallace "Chip" Gregson (Ret.), which featured a panel including Richard Solomon, President of the US Institute of Peace; and Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, associate professors at the Naval War College.  Gen. Gregson served as moderator.  The speakers examined China's maritime strategy and capabilities, the problems which China is facing in trying to learn how to operate a navy, and the potential consequences for the U.S. and its allies.

A summary of this event is available here.

Clips of this event are viewable on the Center's YouTube Channel.

 

National Interest Magazine Editors' Reception

     

On Tuesday, November 1, the Center for the National Interest hosted a reception to bid farewell to former National Interest editor Justine Rosenthal and welcome new editor Robert Merry. Magazine Advisory Council Chairman and former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld both spoke briefly, as did Center Board member and magazine Advisory Council member J. Robinson West, and Center President Dimitri K. Simes.
 

Task Force Prescribes Steps to Advance U.S. Interests in Russia

The Task Force on Russia and U.S. National Interests released its final report in Washington and Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 31, 2011. The task force was co-chaired by Graham Allison, director of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Robert D. Blackwill, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. ambassador to India.  The project director was Dimitri K. Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest.  The Center's executive director, Paul J. Saunders, served as editor for the report.

The report assesses Russia from the perspective of American national interests and officers prescriptions for coherent, realistic management of the U.S.-Russia relationship. The Belfer Center and the Center for the National Interest co-sponsored the Task Force and the report is available for download here.

To read the rest of the press release, please go here.

The event was covered by C-SPAN and can be viewed here.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

Enduring Rivalry: American and Russian Perspectives on the Former Soviet Space

U.S.-Russian interaction on Russia's periphery is one of the most complex problems in the relationship between the two countries, combining current political tensions and vast historical legacies.  On September 28, the Center for the National Interest hosted a discussion to launch the Center's new report, Enduring Rivalry: American and Russian Perspectives on the Former Soviet Space and to discuss President Dmitry Medvedev's recent announcement that he would not run for president, but that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would. The event featured Thomas Graham, Senior Director at Kissinger Associates; Samuel Charap, Associate Director for the Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for American Progress; and Paul J. Saunders, Executive Director, Center for the National Interest.  The discussion was moderated by Dimitri K. Simes, President of the Center for the National Interest.

The event was covered by C-SPAN and can be viewed here.

A summary of the event can be read here.

 

Center for the National Interest Names New Staff

WASHINGTON, September 27, 2011—The Center for the National Interest announced today the appointments of Lt. Gen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson, Jr. (Ret.) as Senior Director, China and the Pacific, and Jacob Heilbrunn as Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy.  Gregson will lead the Center’s programs on China and Asia; Heilbrunn will focus on the role of foreign policy during the presidential campaign.  Both will begin their new positions on October 1, 2011. 

To read the rest of the press release, please go here.

For further information, please contact Paul Saunders by telephone at 202-887-1000 or by email at psaunders@cftni.org.

 

The National Interest names new Editor

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2011—The National Interest magazine announced today the appointment of distinguished publishing executive and author Robert W. Merry as the magazine’s new Editor.  Merry, a former President and Editor-in-Chief of Congressional Quarterly, will assume leadership of the prominent foreign policy bimonthly on September 26.  Merry will oversee the print magazine as well as the highly-successful web site www.nationalinterest.org, which was named one of the top five global news sites by Real Clear World after its re-launch in 2010.

To read the rest of the press release, please go here.

For further information, please contact Center Executive Director Paul J. Saunders at psaunders@cftni.org or by telephone at 202-887-1000.

 

The Case for a Palestinian State

As the Palestinian leadership prepares for its bid for statehood at the United Nations later this month, many questions circulate concerning the motivations, goals, and possible impacts of this decision. On September 8, 2011 the Center for the National Interest hosted a seminar with a high-powered Palestinian delegation to discuss this intricate issue. The delegation included Hiba Husseini, Managing Partner of Husseini and Husseini, Chairperson on the Legal Committee to Final Status Negotiations, and legal advisor to the Peace-Process Negotiations since 1994; Hind Khoury, former Ambassador of Palestine in France; Zahi Khouri, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Palestinian National Beverage Company, Chairman of the Palestinian Tourism and Investment Company, and Member of the Palestine Business Committee for Peace and Reform; Wassim Khazmo, Senior Policy Advisor for the Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit; Nafez Husseini, Chief Technology Officer for Consolidated Contractors Company; and Reverend Mitri Raheb, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. Center Board member Ambassador Richard Burt, Managing Director of McLarty Associates, moderated the discussion.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The Economic Consequences of a War with Iran

On September 7, 2011, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion on the economic consequences of a war with Iran, featuring Patrick Clawson, Director of Research, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Amy Jaffe, Director of Energy Forum, Rice University; and Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.  Geoffrey Kemp moderated the session  The panelists agreed that the economic consequences of a war with Iran could be serious, not only for oil markets but also in global financial markets.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

Justine Rosenthal Moves from The National Interest to Newsweek; TNI to Announce New Editor

Washington, August 22, 2011—The publisher of the foreign policy bimonthly The National Interest announced today that editor Justine A. Rosenthal will step down from her post in late August to join Newsweek as a Senior Editor.  “Justine took over The National Interest three years ago and has done a truly exceptional job,” said Dimitri K. Simes, President and CEO of the Center for the National Interest.  “Her work revamping National Interest Online has won wide praise and she enhanced the magazine’s traditionally high intellectual quality.  We are grateful to Justine, we will miss her, and we wish her well in her new role.”

Rosenthal said, “Running The National Interest has been a terrific journey.  I am grateful to my colleagues and our authors for helping to make the magazine provocative and influential.”

The National Interest’s November/December issue will be the final issue under Rosenthal’s editorship.  The Center for the National Interest will announce her successor as editor in the fall.

For further information, contact Kevin Karp by telephone at 202-887-1000 or by email at kkarp@cfnti.org. A copy of this press release is available here.

 

China's Military Modernization

On July 27, the Center for the National Interest hosted Michael Schiffer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, for a discussion of China’s military modernization.  Schiffer argued that the U.S. does not view China as an adversary and realizes that even peacefully rising powers will naturally need to carry out expansion of their military capabilities.  Yet, he continued, with expanded power comes expanded responsibility, and a greater need for military-to-military ties between the U.S. and China.

A summary of this event is available here.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Schiffer's remarks are available here.

 

Haunting Legacy: From Vietnam to Libya

On July 13, 2011, the Center for the National Interest hosted a luncheon meeting with journalist Marvin Kalb on his new book Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama. Kalb focuses on the impact, explicit or subtle, of the Vietnam War on American presidents, including Obama, pointing out that each has been affected, but they have all dealt with it differently. Former Reagan advisor Robert "Bud" McFarlane also spoke, going into detail about the impact of Vietnam on the military and civil-military relations. Center President Dimitri K. Simes moderated.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The U.S.-Japan Alliance after March 11, 2011

Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador from Japan to the United States, spoke at the Center for the National Interest on July 11 on the status of the U.S.-Japan alliance after the March 11 earthquake.  The Ambassador discussed in detail the progress of recovery efforts in Japan and his hopes for the continued success of the U.S.-Japan alliance.  Lionel H. Olmer, Of Counsel for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, moderated the event.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan

The Center for the National Interest hosted a book reception for Dov S. Zakheim in honor of his new book, A Vulcan's Tale: How the Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, on June 22.  Zakheim, currently Vice Chairman of the Center's Board of Directors, was Under Secretary for Defense (Comptroller) during the Bush Administration. General Charles G. Boyd (USAF, Ret.) introduced Dr. Zakheim and moderated the discussion.

From the book jacket:

"In A Vulcan's Tale, Zakheim draws on his own participation and intimate knowledge to analyze how the United States missed critical opportunities while it struggled to manage two wars, particularly the seemingly endless endeavor in Afghanistan. In his view, the Bush administration's disappointing results in Afghanistan were partly attributable to the enormity of the challenges, certainly. But flawed leadership and deficiencies of management, understanding, and forethought all played their parts as well. The book is an authoritative, candid but fair account of how a wise and admirable goal can be waylaid by insufficient funding and ineffective coordination, with the result of faulty—or, at best, incomplete—implementation."

For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, please go here.

 

Japan's Foreign Policy and Foreign Assistance after March 11

In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake of March 11, the people of Japan are struggling to rebuild their lives. Although they have received much-needed aid from the global community, their own government has failed to take on the leadership role necessary to shepherd the nation through these trying times, said one leading Japanese expert. On June 14, Toshihiro Nakayama, a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and Adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs; and Aiichiro Yamamoto, Vice Director-General of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Global Plaza, addressed this issue during a discussion hosted by the Center for the National Interest. Paul J. Saunders, Executive Director of the Center, moderated the discussion.

A summary of this event is available here.

Slides from Mr. Yamamoto's presentation are available here.

 

Discussion with Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Shoukry

On June 13, the Center for the National Interest hosted an off-the-record discussion with His Excellency Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's Ambassador to the United States, on Egypt's domestic situation and U.S.-Egyptian relations.  Geoffrey Kemp moderated the discussion.

 

Robert F. Ellsworth Memorial Service

A memorial service for Ambassador Robert Ellsworth, former Vice Chairman of the Center for the National Interest and President of The National Interest, Inc., was held at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac on Saturday, June 11. Center for the National Interest Board Member James Schlesinger spoke at the service, and Board Member General Charles Boyd gave one of the readings.  During a reception following the service, Center President Dimitri K. Simes also spoke. Statements from several of Ambassador Ellsworth's friends were read during the reception as well.  For the text of the statements, see below.

Statement by former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

Statement by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Statement by former Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole.

Statement by Senator Pat Roberts.

 

You can read the Center's statement here.

 

A Conversation with Russian Political Strategist Gleb Pavlovsky

Escalating competition between Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has weakened the trust between the two leaders as they attempt to decide who will be the next presidential candidate.  Gleb Pavlovsky, a Russian political strategist and former advisor to Medvedev, spoke on this topic at the Center for the National Interest on May 26, 2011.  Pavlovsky argued that the current deadlock is due to Medvedev’s failure to establish security for the elite in Russia, including Putin, who fear that they may be prosecuted and stripped of their assets at some point in the future due to rampant corruption.  This means that not only has a presidential candidate not been announced, but other important issues that the government should be dealing with are falling by the wayside. The event was moderated by Paul Saunders, Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

The Rise of the Liberal Interventionists

At The National Interest's May 4 event, "The Rise of the Liberal Interventionists," panelists disagreed over the roots of President Obama's intervention in Libya, whether it was in fact driven by Obama advisor Samantha Power, as news reports had stated, or instead by the Arab League, France and Britain. They also debated the potential consequences of the return of the alliance between liberal interventionists and neo-conservatives and whether the Libya intervention will be the start of a series of humanitarian interventions.  The panel included Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist; Jacob Heilbrunn, Senior Editor of The National Interest; and Joe Klein, political columnist for TIME Magazine.  It was moderated by Justine Rosenthal, Editor of The National Interest

A summary of this event can be found here.

 

Breaking the Stalemate in Libya

During a May 3 panel discussion organized by The National Interest, three top experts expressed skepticism about the U.S. intervention in Libya.  They also assessed the recent death of Osama bin Laden and its implications for the future.  Panelists included Paul R. Pillar, former National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia and Director of Graduate Studies at Georgetown's Center for Peace and Security Studies; Christopher A. Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute; and Dov S. Zakheim, former Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) in the George W. Bush administration.  Justine A. Rosenthal, Editor of The National Interest moderated the event.

A summary of the event can be found here.

 

Australia and the New Asian Balance of Power

On April 28, the Center for the National Interest hosted an off-the-record discussion with His Excellency Kim Beazley, Australia's Ambassador to the United States, on U.S.-Australian relations and the emerging balance of power in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  Geoffrey Kemp, Director of Regional Security Programs at the Center, moderated.
 

The Muslim Brotherhood

On April 11, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel featuring Nathan Brown, Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington University; Hillel Fradkin, from the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute; and H.A. Hellyer, Fellow at the University of Warwick.  The panel was moderated by Robert Leiken, Director of Immigration and National Security Programs at the Center for the National Interest. The panel focused on the likelihood of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt, agreeing that it was not likely to be overwhelmingly successful in elections; and discussed their current role in Egyptian politics.

A summary of this event is available here.

 

Intervention in Libya: Military, Regional and Global Implications

On March 31, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel featuring Lynn Coleman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Geoffrey Kemp, Director of Regional Strategic Programs at the Center for the National Interest, and moderated by General Charles G. Boyd (USAF, Ret.), Starr Distinguished National Security Fellow at the Center for the National Interest. The panel discussed the military, regional, and global impacts of the Libya invasion, as well as the impacts on the oil and natural gas market.

Watch clips from the event on the Center's new YouTube channel here.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

Northeast Asia in Afghanistan - Whose Silk Road?

On March 29, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion on Northeast Asia in Afghanistan - Whose Silk Road?. The discussion marked the launch of a report, "Afghanistan and Northeast Asia: Mutual Interests and Shared Dilemmas," co-published by the Center for the National Interest and the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS . The report was informed by the authors' discussions with foreign policy experts in Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo earlier this month.  Panelists included Karl Jackson, Director of Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); Jae Ku, Director of the US-Korea Institute at SAIS, and Center for the National Interest Director of China Studies, Drew Thompson. In addition, Ambassador Akio Kawato, Japan's former Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan joined the panel and contributed his insights.

The report can be read here.

 

Can Moscow become Cairo or Tripoli? with Maxim Shevchenko

On March 28, the Center for the National Interest hosted Maxim Shevchenko, who discussed, "Can Moscow Become the Next Cairo or Tripoli?" Shevchenko is host of "Judge for Yourself," a political talk show on Russia's Channel One. The discussion was moderated by Center President Dimitri K. Simes.

A summary of the event is available here.

 

Senator Jon Kyl, Julie Nixon Eisenhower Honored at Black-Tie Gala

On March 8, the Center for the National Interest presented Senator Jon Kyl with its Distinguished Service Award and Julie Nixon Eisenhower with a special Legacy & Leadership Award.  The Center also announced its transition from The Nixon Center to its new identity, Center for the National Interest.

In addition to Senator Kyl and Mrs. Eisenhower, speakers included Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman of the Center's Board of Directors; Center President Dimitri K. Simes; Senator John McCain; James R. Schlesinger, Chairman of the Center's Advisory Council; General Charles G. Boyd, USAF (Ret.), member of the Center's Board; Senator John Hoeven; and Dov Zakheim, member of the Center's Board.  Steven C. Clemons, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and former Center Executive Director, served as master of ceremonies.

Senator Kyl's speech can be found here.

The press release about the Center's new name can be found here.

 

U.S. Policy in Mexico: A Conversation with Roberta S. Jacobson


On February 28, the Center’s Mexico Program hosted Roberta S. Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Jacobson offered an assessment of the war against Mexico’s crime syndicates, describing the effect of the Merida Initiative and the challenges ahead. Dr. Robert Leiken, Director of the Center’s Mexico Programs, moderated.  Go here to read a summary of the event.

 

A Conversation with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov



Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov spoke at the 
Center on January 27th about U.S.-Russia relations, Afghanistan, and Iran.  Ryabkov was optimistic about the state of U.S.- Russia relations, and efforts at cooperation on Afghanistan and Iran, though he made clear that Russia does not currently support new sanctions on Iran either through the United Nations or separately by the United States and Europe. The event was moderated by Dimitri Simes, President of the Center for the National Interest.  A summary of the event is available here.  In the Washington Post, Walter Pincus' article, "Russia's Ryabkov on U.S.-Rusisa relations: 'We can offer tangible results, and we will do more in the future,'" discusses the Deputy Foreign Minister's comments.

 

Impacts of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ visit to China?



On Monday, January 10th, the Center hosted a panel featuring Vago Muradian, Editor of Defense News, Phillip Saunders, Director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the National Defense University, and James Mulvenon, President of Defense Group, Inc.’s Intelligence Division.  Panelists agreed that the potential impacts of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ trip to China are limited but that military to military relations are important to preventing a future crisis from escalating out of control. The panel was moderated by Drew Thompson, Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest.  A brief summary of the event can be found here.  Video coverage of the event was provided by CSPAN and can be found here.  

 

National Policy Conference

May 18-19, 2010

 


Center for The National Interest

On March 8, The Nixon Center changed its name to Center for the National Interest. As of March 18, our website will be relocated to www.cftni.org.

 


Afghanistan: Endgame?
December 13, 2010

 


U.S. Policy in Mexico: A Conversation with Roberta S. Jacobson


On February 28, the Center’s Mexico Program hosted Roberta S. Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Jacobson offered an assessment of the war against Mexico’s crime syndicates, describing the effect of the Merida Initiative and the challenges ahead. Dr. Robert Leiken, Director of the Center’s Mexico Programs, moderated.  Click here to watch the meeting on our YouTube sight or go here to read a summary of the event.

 


A Conversation with General James Jones
December 9, 2010

 

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