August 16, 2018
Cover to Cover summer read transports you to Havana, Cuba...
Wednesday, August 22, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Cover to Cover with Ambassador Vicki Huddleston
Our Woman in Havana
Peeling back the "Sugar Curtain" to examine several decades of stormy relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Vicki Huddleston, the top diplomat in Havana under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, provides an essential memoir.
Huddleston recounts missed opportunities for detente and the myths and misconceptions that have long pervaded the U.S.-Cuban standoff. Her perspectives on the Obama administration's diplomatic opening of 2014, the mysterious "sonic" brain and hearing injuries suffered by American and Canadian diplomats who were serving in Havana, and the Trump administration's reversal of the Obama opening, are nuanced and well presented.
Huddleston also peers into the future, when for the first time in more than six decades no one named Castro will be Cuba's leader.
Join our conference call Wednesday, August 22, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET.
Join our call!
Coming up on September 11:
Cover to Cover on 9/11 will feature a conversation with C.J. Chivers, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for the New York Times, on his new book, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
You are able to contribute to the World Affairs Councils of America at no additional cost to you! If you shop at Amazon through this link or the Amazon Smile logo to the left, a portion of your purchase will be donated to WACA. Bookmark our page today!
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WACA and Councils to Provide 25 Student Scholarships for 2018 National Conference
The National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that WACA will offer 25 scholarships for undergraduate students from the Council network to attend our 2018 National Conference - Braving the New World Order - November 7-9 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
The WACA Board, in partnership with The Gambrinus Company and Mr. Carlos Alvarez, is offering these scholarships in order to fulfill our educational mission and to prepare future leaders for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The Conference -- coming right after the midterm elections -- promises to be a special occasion for our network of Council leaders, members, friends, and students to engage with many leading policy makers and analysts about critical foreign and trade policy issues and America's role in the world.
We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to make the WACA 2018 National Conference available to a very important audience: our promising undergraduate scholars. The scholarship includes registration fees plus $1,000 per student to be used towards travel, lodging, and/or incidentals.
Eligibility & Expectations
· World Affairs Councils must publicize the WACA scholarship opportunity in a substantial manner to their members and local educational institutions in order to attract the best potential candidates.
· Each Council executive may nominate one college undergraduate student, 18 years or older, from their local Council communities.
· High school students, undergraduates studying in Washington, DC, and graduate students are not eligible.
· Each nomination must be submitted with the Nomination Form and must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the Council head explaining why the student has been selected for consideration for this scholarship.
· Students who attend the Conference will be expected to blog and post on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) before, during, and after the WACA Conference. The student's ability to do so should be considered by Councils during the nomination process.
· Students who attend the Conference will be required to submit a two-page report on their experience. The deadline to do so is Monday, December 3, 2018.
· Nominations are due by Friday, September 21, 2018. Send the completed Nomination Form and accompanying nomination letter to Liz Brailsford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Nominated students will be reviewed by the National Office in consultation with the WACA National Board of Directors. Selections will be announced the week of September 24.
· The National Office will confirm the selected undergraduates to their Councils and will register these participants for the 2018 Conference.
· WACA will then provide a scholarship check of $1,000 per selected student, made out to the Council, to help cover travel, lodging, and other expenses for the scholarship recipient. Councils are responsible for making these arrangements with/for the selected students.
· We strongly urge scholarship participants to make every effort to book rooms at WACA's discounted group rate at The Mayflower Hotel.
Council leaders, this is a competitive program and we look forward to receiving nominations of excellent candidates. We also hope that you will encourage your Council members and board members to register now for the 2018 National Conference. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you to our generous sponsor:
WACA 2018 National Conference: Braving the New World Order
The Mayflower Hotel
Our Table of Eight promotion has been extended - be sure to check it out!
Think Tank six-pack
Thomas Wright is director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at Brookings.
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The principals of The Trade Guys, CSIS’s recently launched podcast, will offer a special briefing for a live WACA audience at CSIS headquarters.
American Enterprise Institute
Center for American Progress New this year!
Center for a New American Security
The McCain Institute New this year!
Additional National Conference speakers and program details will be made in the coming weeks!
The WACA 2018 National Conference will be held November 7-9 at the beautifully renovated
Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Book your rooms under WACA's special group rate of
$259 / night (Single/Double Occupancy) plus tax.
Click here to reserve your room!
See more information
August 15, 2018
Weekly World News Update
U.S.-Turkey Relations in Tailspin; Fragile Alliances; Stronger Sanctions Slam Russia; Space Force; Technology...Making Things Better?; Argentine Senate Rejects Legalizing Abortion; Cuban Governance
Quote of the Week
"Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical...Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies." -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose op-ed appeared in Friday's New York Times.
U.S.-Turkey Relations in Tailspin
“The Real Reasons Why U.S.-Turkey Relations Have Hit an All-Time Low” James Carey -- Geopolitics Alert, August 12, 2018
“Turkey’s Frustration Is Bigger Than U.S.: Foreign Minister” -- Hurriyet Daily News, August 15, 2018
“'Relations with Turkey Are Not Good at This Time' (Trump Tweet)” Krishnadev Calamur -- The Atlantic, August 11, 2018
"Trump Is the First President to Get Turkey Right" Steven Cook -- Foreign Policy, August 13, 2018
“Lira Crisis: Action by Turkey’s Central Bank Fails to Quell Contagion Fears” Julia Kollewe and Martin Farrer -- The Guardian, August 13, 2018
“Allies, Alliances, and the Fourth Strategic Offset” Michael Miklaucic -- Real Clear Defense, August 10, 2018
“Security Woes: Why Europe Must Develop Its Own Security Framework” Cristian Tracci -- Foreign Policy Association Blog, August 13, 2018
“The Case Against a U.S. Retreat from International Development” John R. Allen -- Brookings, August 10, 2018
Stronger Sanctions Slam Russia
“Russia Likens U.S. Sanctions to Economic War – and Threatens Response ‘By Other Means’” Sam Meredith -- CNBC, August 10, 2018
"U.S. Congress Publishes Entire Text of Russia Sanctions 'Bill from Hell’" -- RT, August 14, 2018
"Ruble Tumbles as U.S. Sets Out New Sanctions on Russia" Andrew Kramer -- New York Times, August 9, 2018
“Space Force Is Trump’s Answer to New Russian and Chinese Weapons” Lara Seligman -- Foreign Policy, August 10, 2018
“Trump's Space Force Is About Beating China, as Beijing Is Talking as if It Already Owns Space” Alex Lockie -- Business Insider, August 10, 2018
“U.S. Needs a Cyber Force More Than a Space Force” James Stavridis -- Bloomberg, August 14, 2018
“Opinion: Why a Missile Defense System in Space Is a Bad Idea” Laura Grego and David Wright -- Politico, August 10, 2018
Technology...Making Things Better?
“Elon Musk Says Money to Take Tesla Private Would Come from Saudi Arabia, But He Hasn’t Struck a Deal” James F. Peltz and James Rufus Koren -- LA Times, August 13, 2018
“Update on Taking Tesla Private” Elon Musk -- Tesla, August 13, 2018
“AP Exclusive: Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It or Not” Ryan Nakashima -- AP, August 13, 2018
Argentine Senate Rejects Legalizing Abortion
“Argentina’s Women Have Not Been Beaten on Abortion – Change Will Come” Claudia Piñeiro -- The Guardian, August 10, 2018
“For Abortion Activists in Argentina, a Campaign Waged Online Faces a Disconnect” Jasmine Garsd -- NPR, August 10, 2018
“Pro-Abortion-Rights Activists Won in Ireland, But Not Argentina” Yasmeen Serhan -- The Atlantic, August 10, 2018
"Cuba Begins Public Debate on Modernizing Cold War-era Constitution" Marc Frank -- Reuters, August 13, 2018
“Cuban Opposition Leader Is Accused of Attempted Murder. Activists Dispute the Charge” Nora Gámez Torres -- Miami Herald, August 13, 2018
August 13, 2018
This Week: Announcing a New Council Benefit from Stratfor; Election-year Programming; Cover to Cover on Cuba; Qatar Tour; and Council Highlights
Special subscription discount
for WACA Members!
Dear Council Leaders and Supporters:
It's a pleasure to share an exciting opportunity with you. As part of WACA's evolving partnership with Stratfor, the Austin, Texas-based company renowned for its geopolitical intelligence platform, we are pleased to offer a significantly discounted annual subscription to Stratfor Worldview for members of WACA and local Councils.
Your premium digital subscription includes:
· Unlimited access to all Analyses, Articles, Guidances, and Snapshots
· Custom Email Notifications
· My Collections - your library of Stratfor Insights
· Members-only Discussion Forums
· Members-only Newsletters
· Quarterly, Annual, and Decade Forecasts
· Access to Mobile App for iOS and Android
· Text-to-Voice feature to listen to Stratfor WorldView content when on the move
With Stratfor's special WACA discount, you will save 72% off the price of a one-year subscription. Enjoy the wealth of analytical and predictive insights for only $99 - the equivalent of just $1.90 per week!
To redeem this offer, visit Stratfor's World Affairs Councils of America Partnership Page.
And for members of WACA's 1918 Society, you will receive the subscription automatically, for free, as a benefit of your participation! (Hint: join the 1918 Society today!)
With best wishes,
WACA President and CEO
Council of the Month WAC Dallas/Forth Worth:
Striking Programming Balance in an Election Year
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is distinguishing itself by offering programs that feature key politicians while assiduously upholding one of the Council's core values: nonpartisanship.
With less than 100 days until midterm elections, two big Texas races are taking center stage. The 32nd Congressional District is one of the most-watched House races in the country, featuring longtime Republican incumbent Pete Sessions, who chairs the powerful House Rules Committee, and Obama-endorsed first-time candidate Colin Allred. Inside Elections now rates this race a toss-up. The Senate race has also intensified, as recent polls show Senator Ted Cruz with just a slight lead ahead of Texas 16th Congressional District Representative and Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke.
Recently, Allred joined the Council for a discussion; Sessions, Beto, and Cruz have been confirmed for engagements pending availability in their calendars. WACDFW also plans to invite all 2020 Presidential candidates to speak. According to its most recent survey, this open forum approach to programming has served the Council well as members see the organization as politically neutral and unbiased. Read more about WACDFW's programming here.
Cover to Cover with Vicki Huddleston on Cuba
Peeling back the "Sugar Curtain" to examine several decades of stormy relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Vicki Huddleston, the top diplomat in Havana under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, provides an essential memoir. Huddleston also peers into the future, when for the first time in more than six decades no one named Castro will be Cuba's leader.
Register for the conference call Wednesday, Aug 22, at 2-2:30 pm ET.
Coming up in September...
Cover to Cover will feature a conversation with C.J. Chivers, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for the New York Times, on his new book, The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
August 8, 2018
Sanctioning Iran...Again; Canada-Saudi Arabia Row; Israel's Nation-State Law Controversy; Crackdown in Zimbabwe; Human Rights Travesty in Myanmar; Bangladesh Spars With Its People; Assassination Attempt on Maduro; Cuba Crawls Through Reform
"If somebody puts a knife in its opponent or enemy's arm and says we want to negotiate, the answer is that they must first pull out the knife and then come to the negotiation table."
-- Iranian President Rouhani, quoted in an Iranian state television interview on Monday.
“The Return of U.S. Sanctions on Iran: What to Know” CFR Editors -- Council of Foreign Relations, August 6, 2018
"American Sanctions Bring More Agony to Iran’s Dysfunctional Economy" Editorial Board -- The Economist, August 8, 2018
“Iran’s Economy Is Struggling Even Without U.S. Sanctions” Krishnadev Calamur -- The Atlantic, August 8, 2018
"China Rejects U.S. Request to Cut Iran Oil Imports" Rachel Adams-Heard and Nick Wadhams -- Bloomberg, August 3, 2018
“The Preeminent Challenge” Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh -- The Weekly Standard, August 3, 2018
Canada-Saudi Arabia Row
"Saudi Arabia Freezes New Trade, Investment with Canada" Canadian Press -- CBC, August 5, 2018
"Saudi Arabia-Canada Spat: What We Know" Wire Services and Globe Staff -- The Globe and Mail, August 7, 2018
"Canada Won't Look Away on Saudi Arabia, and Neither Should U.S." Editorial Board -- The Washington Post, August 7, 2018
Israel's Nation-State Law Controversy
"The Biggest Issue in Israel's Nation-State Law" Ronald Tiersky -- RealClearWorld, August 6, 2018
"Basic Law or Basically a Disaster? Israel’s Nation-State Law Controversy Explained" Allison Kaplan Sommer -- Haaretz, August 6, 2018
"Why Are Israel's Druze Protesting?" Seth Frantzman -- Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2018
Crackdown in Zimbabwe
"Zimbabwe Enters a New Era, but Struggles to Escape Its Past" -- BBC News, August 4, 2018
"Zimbabwe Activists Go Into Hiding as Security Crackdown Intensifies" Jason Burke -- The Guardian, August 8, 2018
"What’s Next for Zimbabwe?" Alexander Noyes -- Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 7, 2018
Human Rights Travesty in Myanmar
"UNHCR Head Asks Asia-Pacific Leaders to Show ‘Solidarity’ with Rohingyas" PTI -- The Indian Express, August 8, 2018
"Rohingya Muslims Who Remain in Myanmar Struggle to Survive" Jon Emont and Myo Myo -- The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2018
"Special Report: Dangerous News - How Two Young Reporters Shook Myanmar" -- Channel News Asia, August 8, 2018
Bangladesh Spars With Its People
“Bangladesh Protests: How a Traffic Accident Stopped a City of 18 Million” Editorial Board -- BBC News, August 6, 2018
“Looking Deeper Into Bangladesh’s Teen Revolution” Shafquat Rabbee -- Asia Times, August 6, 2018
“Bangladesh Spars With U.S. Embassy Over Students’ Road Safety Protests” Azad Majumder and Vidhi Doshi -- The Washington Post, August 7, 2018
“Global Rights Group Slams Bangladesh Government for Attacks” Julhas Alam -- ABC News, August 7, 2018
Assassination Attempt on Maduro
“Venezuela Is in Crisis But Its President Might be Stronger for It” Nicholas Casey -- The New York Times, August 6, 2018
“After Failed Assassination Attempt, Expect Maduro to Lash Out in Venezuela” Ashish Kumar Sen -- Atlantic Council, August 5, 2018
"Assassination Attempt By Drone? Just the Latest Chaos in Venezuela" Jon Lee Anderson -- New Yorker, August 6, 2018
"A State of Deep Suffering in Venezuela's Hospitals" Jens Glüsing -- Der Spiegel, August 8, 2018
Cuba Crawls Through Reform
“Cuba’s Faithful Seek More Rights in an Era of Slow Reform” Kevin Douglas Grant -- The Groundtruth Project, July 31, 2018
“A Revolution Within the Revolution: Cuba Opens to Same-Sex Marriages” Ruben Gallo -- New York Times, August 3, 2018
“Cuba Sweetens Land Grant Program for Farmers” Marc Frank -- Yahoo News, August 7, 2018
August 6, 2018
This Week: WAC Dallas Survey; Cover to Cover Wednesday; Qatar Tour; New Conference Speakers & Council Highlights
Council of the Month Calls for Survey Participation
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is working on an initiative to bring together education programs from World Affairs Councils across our network to collect global competence data based on a survey for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
They would appreciate participation from those World Affairs Councils that run education programs. If your Council is interested in participating in the survey, please contact Amy Miller at email@example.com.
Wednesday, August 8, at 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Cover to Cover with Jeffrey Lilley on Kyrgyzstan
Jeffrey Lilley, in his new book, Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, traces the lives of two Kyrgyz intellectuals who confronted the full threat and legacy of the Soviet empire. Through penetrating narratives of a homeland forever changed, a clearer picture emerges of the struggle for freedom inside Kyrgyzstan during the Cold War.
Register for the conference call Wednesday, Aug 8, at 2-2:30 pm ET.
Coming up on August 22...
Cover to Cover brings you a double feature this month: Vicki Huddleston, the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will discuss her memoir, Our Women in Havana.
WACA 2018 Leadership Mission to Qatar
The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce that the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC will sponsor a WACA Leadership Mission to Qatar, this October.
Note: Flights will depart from United States airports on Friday, October 12, and arrive in Doha on Saturday, October 13. Return flights will depart Qatar on Friday, October 19.
This WACA Leadership Mission will be comprised of a Qatar Embassy representative, WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford, and a minimum of 10 delegates from the Council network. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with top government officials, business leaders, journalists, and other experts to gain a better understanding of the political, national security, economic, social, and cultural landscape of the host country. See more details.
This Leadership Mission is open to Council CEOs, Board directors and other key supporters of local Councils and the WACA network, and affiliate members based in DC. Applicants should be actively involved in Council operations and activities, and must be supported by their Councils.
The generous sponsorship of the Embassy of Qatar will cover international airfare and in-country expenses for the delegation, including hotel accommodation, most meals, and local transportation. An administrative fee of $2000, made payable to the World Affairs Councils of America, is required from each selected participant. Delegates are responsible for making any travel insurance arrangements at their discretion. Delegates are also responsible for any souvenirs and incidentals.
Applicants should review this announcement, understand expectations, and submit the following to the WACA National Office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the close of business on Monday, August 24, 2018:
· Application Form (Download Here) and Release of Liability Form (Download Here)
· A color copy of the photo page of your passport
· A letter of reference from your local Council CEO. If you are a Council CEO, please submit a letter of reference from the Chair of your Board of Directors
Delegates will be selected based on their demonstrated involvement with their local Councils and WACA, as well as their commitment to public engagement following the WACA Leadership Mission.
Global Careers for Women
Global Careers is hosting an online career fair exclusively for women who have 7+ years of relevant job experience.
The campaign will feature job opportunities, editorial, interviews, and webinars from diverse international organizations to engage with staff on October 4, 2018.
August 3, 2018
Cover to Cover summer reads - and conversations - will transport you to Kyrgyzstan and Cuba...
Cover to Cover with author Jeffrey Lilley
Have the Mountains Fallen?
After surviving the blitzkrieg of World War II and escaping from three Nazi prison camps, Soviet soldier Azamat Altay fled to the West and was charged as a traitor in his homeland of Kyrgyzstan in Soviet Central Asia.
Meanwhile, Chingiz Aitmatov became a hero of Kyrgyzstan, propelled by family loss to write novels about the everyday lives of his fellow citizens.
Altay became the voice of democracy on Radio Liberty, broadcasting back into his shuttered homeland, while Aitmatov rose through the ranks of Soviet society, a quiet rebel whose prose masked ugly truths about Soviet communism. Yet just as they seemed to be pulled apart by the divisions of the Cold War, they found their lives intersecting in compelling ways, joined by a common mission to save their people.
Jeffrey Lilley, in his new book, Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, traces the lives of these two men as they confronted the full threat and legacy of the Soviet empire. Through penetrating narratives of a homeland forever changed, a clearer picture emerges of the struggle for freedom inside the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Join our conference call Wednesday, August 8, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET.
August 1, 2018
Pakistan’s Future with Imran Khan; Trump, Rouhani Go Round and Round; Zimbabwe’s First Post-Mugabe Election; NATO’s Struggles; Iraqi Crises; U.S.-Mexico Relations Under Strain
"I think Trump and Imran Khan would get along fine if they get the chance…Each country resents its ongoing dependence on the other, but ultimately, the U.S. and Pakistan need to find ways to cooperate despite deep mistrust.”
-- Vikram Singh, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former top State and Defense Department official in the Obama administration, quoted in a New York Times article Tuesday.
Pakistan’s Future with Imran Khan
“After a Volatile Election Season, What Now for Pakistan?” Moeed Yusuf and Colin Cookman -- United States Institute of Peace, July 26, 2018
“What Does Imran Khan’s Victory Mean?” Michael Kugelman -- Wilson Center, July 27, 2018
“A Glimpse of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Under Imran Khan?” Alyssa Ayres -- Asia Unbound, July 26, 2018
“Imran Khan Can’t Fix Pakistan’s Foreign Policy” Mehreen Zahra-Malik -- Foreign Policy, July 24, 2018
“Real Power Over Pakistan’s Regional Policies Will Continue to Rest With the Military” Farzana Shaikh -- Chatham House, July 27, 2018
Trump, Rouhani Go Round and Round
“What Exactly Is the U.S. Policy Toward Iran?” Faysal Itani -- Atlantic Council, July 25, 2018
“Trump Says He Would Meet with Iranian Leader, but Iran Rules It Out” Michael Shear and Rick Gladstone -- New York Times, July 30, 2018
“Iranian Interior Minister Says Trump Is Not Trustworthy Enough for Talks” Bozorgmehr Sharafedin -- CNBC, July 31, 2018
“How Can We Stop Iran’s Space Program Threatening the West?” Michael Elleman -- International Institute for Strategic Studies, July 31, 2018
Zimbabwe’s First Post-Mugabe Election
“The Zimbabwe Election Isn’t Just About Who Wins, But How It’s Won” Wilf Mbanga -- The Guardian, July 29, 2018
“Robert Mugabe Has Added Some Uncertainty to Zimbabwe’s First Election Without Him” Tawanda Karombo -- Quartz Media, July 30, 2018
“What Is at Stake in Zimbabwe’s Election?” J.M. Harare -- The Economist, July 30, 2018
“The Zimbabwe Election and Mnangagwa’s Charm Offensive” John Campbell -- Council on Foreign Relations, July 31, 2018
“5 Things About NATO People Too Often Misunderstand” Stephen M. Walt -- Business Insider, July 28, 2018
"How Trump Can Defend U.S., NATO, and Ukraine from Russian Aggression” Michael B. Mukasey -- Atlantic Council, July 30, 2018
“NATO’s Purpose Is to Ensure We Don’t Have to Defend Montenegro” Marc A. Thiessen -- Washington Post, July 31, 2018
“Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups: The Challenge of Rebuilding a Functioning State” Editorial Board -- International Crisis Group, July 30, 2018
“Shias in Southern Iraq Are Fed Up With the Government” Editorial Board -- The Economist, July 26, 2018
“After Protests, Iraq’s Leader Suspends Electricity Minister Over Blackouts” -- Associated Press and Reuters (NYT), July 29, 2018
U.S.-Mexico Ties Under Pressure
“The Coming U.S.-Mexico Blow-Up” Shannon K. O’Neil -- Council on Foreign Relations, July 30, 2018
“The U.S. Should Work With Mexico to Stem Central American Migration” Dan Crenshaw -- National Review, July 30, 2018
July 30, 2018
Council of the Month: WAC Dallas/FW; Qatar Leadership Mission; CSIS's Trade Guys at WACA Conference; Spotlights on Kyrgyzstan and Oman; Job Openings; Councils in the News; and more
Dear Council Leaders, Friends, and Supporters:
WACA is pleased to present Council of the Month honors for August to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Council President and CEO Jim Falk, who also serves on the WACA Board of Directors, shared this very recent letter to the Council's members:
Recently I researched a widely-used quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson that I planned to include in an upcoming speech. To my surprise, I found that doing so would have perpetuated an historical inaccuracy - about the founder of my university (UVA) no less! Jefferson is often said to have written: "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation - which maintains an exhaustive database on all things Jefferson - while the quote may have reflected his views, he neither said nor wrote it. That was a reminder to me about how careful one needs to be in checking sources.
World Affairs Council audiences frequently have the privilege to hear and question key policymakers, and other original sources, without external filters. This has certainly been true this summer, with appearances by current and former key players in our national security apparatus including James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Ben Rhodes. Sometimes speaker appearances at our podium prompt emails and calls of pleasure and displeasure from our members. My response is this: The Council provides a safe - and I hope balanced - venue for different points of view, giving our members and the public the chance to listen to varying perspectives and, in many cases, to hear why a decision that in hindsight may seem flawed at the time was the best of several challenging options.
Since the dawn of this century, partisanship has become increasingly bitter, with the margins moving farther apart. I think you will agree that today this rancor has spread more broadly, touching our neighborhoods, families, and yes, even our World Affairs Council.
Several members have mentioned to me that they are tired, if not weary, of the hyperbolic rhetoric and that they are “checking-out” and ignoring the news. While that is tempting, it is not why you and I support the World Affairs Council. It is interesting to refer to the Council’s original establishment statement from 1951: "In the belief that better community education in world affairs is necessary for sound democratic citizenship, and in order to present facts and realistic appraisals, and to foster free and informed discussions on world problems, including economic, political and social problems, the Dallas Council on World Affairs is established."
With the midterm elections just a few months away, we hope to include in our program a number of the candidates. In this vein, you will note that Beto O’Rourke will be speaking on August 15. Senator Ted Cruz has accepted our invitation although a date is yet to be confirmed. We will also welcome Colin Allred on August 8 and hope that Rep. Pete Sessions will accept our invitation. Soon we will begin inviting likely candidates in the 2020 presidential race (as we did before the 2016 election). The recent survey that many of you completed confirms once again that our members view the Council as politically neutral and unbiased. As you might imagine, this is a measurement that we monitor especially carefully.
In just a few days, we join our friends at the Dallas Museum of Art to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and so it seems appropriate to close with this quotation: "A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that in the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger."
I look forward to continuing the conversation with you.
Jim Falk, President and CEO
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Grateful for your leadership, Jim, and wishing all of you a pleasant August!
Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO
More Think Tank Off-sites
Kelly Magsamen is Vice President for National Security and International Policy at CAP. Previously, she was the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.
Ambassador Kurt Volker is Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University based in Washington, DC. In July, 2017, he was appointed U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
CNAS is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies.
Dambisa Moyo, international economist, author of Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth - and How to Fix It, and WACA's July Cover to Cover guest.
Ray Rothrock, Chairman and CEO of RedSeal, a Sunnyvale, CA-based provider of network security solutions, and author of Digital Resilience.
Dr. Nina Ansary, Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Women, Peace and Security, and one of six UN Women Champions for Innovation.
The World Affairs Councils of America 2018 National Conference will be held November 7-9 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
We have secured a special group rate for 1 Deluxe Room: $259 per night (Single/Double Occupancy) plus tax.
August Cover to Cover: Author Lilley Explores an Unusual Cold War Theater
Join our Cover to Cover conference call with Jeffrey Lilley on Wednesday, August 8, at 2:00-2:30 pm ET.
After surviving the blitzkrieg of World War II and escaping from three Nazi prison camps, Soviet soldier Azamat Altay fled to the West and was charged as a traitor in his homeland of Kyrgyzstan in Soviet Central Asia. Chingiz Aitmatov became a hero of Kyrgyzstan, propelled by family loss to write novels about the everyday lives of his fellow citizens. Altay became the voice of democracy on Radio Liberty, broadcasting back into his shuttered homeland, while Aitmatov rose through the ranks of Soviet society, a quiet rebel whose prose masked ugly truths about Soviet communism. Yet just as they seemed to be pulled apart by the divisions of the Cold War, they found their lives intersecting in compelling ways, joined by a common mission to save their people.
In his new book, Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, Jeffrey Lilley traces the lives of these two men as they confronted the full threat and legacy of the Soviet empire. Through narratives of loss, love, and longing for a homeland forever changed, a clearer picture emerges of the struggle for freedom inside the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Did you miss WACA's July Cover to Cover with Dambisa Moyo on her new book, Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth - and How to Fix It? Listen to the podcast here!
Sign up here
July 18, 2018
Applications Due by August 24
The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce that the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC will sponsor a WACA Leadership Mission to Qatar, this October.
This WACA Leadership Mission will be comprised of a Qatar Embassy representative, WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford, and a minimum of 10 delegates from the Council network. With this announcement, we welcome applications including a statement of interest in participating in this unique travel opportunity.
WACA Leadership Mission Details
For more than 20 years, the WACA National Office has arranged in-depth fact-finding trips as a benefit to Council leaders, stakeholders, and members, as well as WACA partners. Through Leadership Missions and Study Tours, WACA has given groups of professionals the opportunity to engage in dialogue with top government officials, business leaders, journalists, and other experts to gain a better understanding of the political, national security, economic, social, and cultural landscape of the host country.
With a focus also on key issues shaping bilateral relations with the United States, this WACA Leadership Mission will allow participants to use their firsthand knowledge of Qatar to design and present Council programs, events, and activities that foster genuine grassroots understanding of and international engagement with Qatar in their local communities.
Itineraries and professional meetings are organized by the Embassy of Qatar. Arrangements will be made for the WACA delegation to interact with senior leadership in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to further enhance delegates' understanding of Qatar.
Leadership Missions involve multiple professional meetings, cultural activities, and extensive walking each day. It is a stimulating and demanding experience, even if one is immune to jet lag. For these reasons, delegates should be in excellent physical condition.
Delegates representing the World Affairs Councils of America are citizen diplomats in every sense of the phrase. Those selected will receive a welcome packet that includes local customs that should be observed. Participation in all aspects of the itinerary is essential, except in the case of unexpected illness.
Briefing materials will be provided to delegates in advance of the trip; however, participants should also be proactive in learning about Qatar’s history, social mores, and current issues in domestic politics and foreign relations.
During the Trip
Delegates should be prepared for a full schedule in Qatar from October 13-19. (Note: Qatar Airways flights will depart the U.S. on October 12 and arrive in Doha on October 13. Arriving later than October 13 and returning earlier than October 19 are not options. Delegates are required to attend all meetings and site visits. Delegates are not required to present gifts to their meeting interlocutors, but those who wish to may do so, as appropriate (the subject of gifts will be covered in more detail ahead of the trip).
Participants are expected to contribute in two ways after this Leadership Mission:
a) Based on the assignments to report on specific meetings of interest to delegates, individual reports will be compiled and published as a WACA Leadership Mission Report. This will be distributed to all Councils in the WACA network, as well as to the trip hosts, and be uploaded to the WACA website.
b) Councils represented by delegates are required to host at least one program on Qatar or U.S.-Qatar relations within 3-6 months of the trip. The program should include a large public forum plus a roundtable, and the public event should strive for media coverage (op-ed and feature articles, broadcast interviews, etc.). Councils should report such program activities and outreach to the WACA National Office.
The generous sponsorship of the Embassy of Qatar will cover international airfare and in-country expenses for the delegation, including hotel accommodation, most meals, and local transportation.
An administrative fee of $2000, made payable to the World Affairs Councils of America, is required from each selected participant.
Delegates are responsible for making any travel insurance arrangements at their discretion. Delegates are also responsible for any souvenirs and incidentals.
Applicants are asked to submit the following to the WACA National Office by email to email@example.com by the close of business on Monday, August 24, 2018:
WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF NHSNHU - 2500 N. River Road - Manchester - NH - firstname.lastname@example.org - (603) 314-7970
WACNH is an independent, non-profit, educational organization located on the campus of SNHU. © 2010-2018