February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear SDWAC members and friends,

SDWAC’s February 13 fundraising dinner and celebration was a resounding success.  More than 100 members, guests and volunteers attended.  Keynote speaker Jay Solomon, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, kept the audience spellbound with a masterful presentation on the Iran nuclear deal and its ramifications in the wider Middle East.  Jay’s argument, as expounded in his book “The Iran Wars,” is that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, having masterfully set the stage for negotiations with Iran by building international support for crippling sanctions that had brought Iran virtually to its knees by 2013, failed to achieve a good deal by being over-eager to come to an agreement.  There were many probing questions from the audience, skillfully moderated by Immediate Past President David Edick, and Jay handled them in a way that may not have persuaded everyone present of the correctness of his thesis but undeniably demonstrated his deep area expertise.   

Jay Solomon, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal,

speaks at the SDWAC Annual Fundraising Dinner and Celebration

My sincere thanks and appreciation go out to the many Council officers, volunteers and others who helped make the event such a success.   Special thanks must go to restaurateur and in-kind partner Sam Kambo, who furnished the delicious Indian food and opened his bar for the festivities.  Pianist Glenn Kramer added a sparkling musical touch. Vice President Lulu Hsu and her team of volunteers, too numerous to mention here, worked intensively on logistics and preparations to make the event go smoothly.  Ambassador Reno Harnish, our program committee chair, played a key role.  And perhaps most of all, kudos are due to our fabulous Mistress of Ceremonies, Development Committee Chair Rewa Colette Soltan, who worked tirelessly to coordinate all the activities related to the event and to ensure that all of our hopes for it were realized. 

SDWAC continues in expansion mode, with a number of new members signing on at the time of the dinner and other members of the community expressing newfound interest.  To those reading this newsletter who have not yet joined the Council, an added benefit of membership is that, if you join by March 2, you will be eligible for a free, one-year subscription to DailyChatter, a new e-newsletter about international affairs, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America, that will hit your inbox first thing every weekday morning with a roundup of original stories on important world developments. 

I’d also like to announce the addition to the Council of two new corporate members: San Diego-based law firms Procopio; and Seltzer, Caplan, McMahon Vitek.  We are looking forward to working with these two top-line firms on initiatives that will support the Council and enhance our outreach to the wider community.

Finally, let me welcome two new members to the SDWAC Board of Directors whom we are thrilled to have as colleagues.  Both have distinguished backgrounds and bring much relevant experience and insight to the Council.  Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive in charge of U.S. and International Business Strategy at General Atomics, has had an illustrious career in the aerospace industry.  Dr. Joel Day is Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission and International Affairs Board.  In this capacity he advises the Mayor and City Council on issues of human rights, inclusion and global engagement.  Again, we heartily welcome both Vivek and Joel to the Board and look forward to sustained and active collaboration with them to advance the goals of the Council.  

-- John Schlosser

Upcoming Events
Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

February 23, 2017

The Rev. Daren Erisman: An expert in Christian-Muslim relations, the Rev. Erisman earned a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology, and an M.A. in Islamic Studies. His talk, “The One and the Many: The Challenge of Unity and Diversity Within Islam,” will explore how a diverse religion, spanning the world with 1.6 billion adherents, addresses the challenges of modern globalization and modern extremism. He will explain how the heart of the Islamic religion, tawhid, asserting the unity of God, guides and challenges contemporary Muslims to make sense of a quickly changing world involving multiple cultures and contexts. The Rev. Erisman will address the real diversity within Islam and the fundamental desire by Muslims to live out tawhid both personally and communally. Learn some of the key concepts that are often ignored or misunderstood by the media and by some forms of modern Islamic extremism. The Rev. Erisman will intersperse his talk with stories and photos of his missions into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor, Joe McElroyjmcelroy2013@gmail.com

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

Location: House of Prayer Lutheran Church, 795 N. Rose St., Escondido, CA, 92027, (760) 743-9178.


1. Take 15 North

2. Take exit 32 (stay in the right lane) to Route 78, east to Ramona

3. After 1.5 miles you will come to a stop light, go straight onto Lincoln Parkway, which will become E. Lincoln Parkway

4. After 1.5 miles turn right onto North Rose Street at the stop light

5. Drive .25 miles and the church is on the right

6. Parking is in the lot behind the church.

This venue has no steps. Everything is on one level

For further information about this event, please e-mail pmurchland@san.rr.com or visit www.sdwac.org.

Save the Date: March 22, 2017

Juan F. Roche

Juan F. Roche, Adjunct Professor at University of San Diego School of Leadership and Educational Sciences and former Nabisco president for Latin America, speaks to SDWAC about the legacy of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and the tumultuous state of affairs in present-day Venezuela.

Save the Date: March 29, 2017

Nico Ravanilla

Nico Ravanilla, Assistant Professor at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, speaks to SDWAC about current affairs in the Philippines. Professor Ravanilla, who received his BS and MA from the University of the Philippines, researches ways to improve governance in developing democracies.

75th Anniversary Celebration
of the Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs

                              Chukuka S. Enwemeka
Provost and Senior Vice President
San Diego State University

cordially invites you to the

75th Anniversary Celebration
of the Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs

dedicated to bringing the world to San Diego since 1942.

Featuring forums on some of today's most compelling issues and regions with

Ambassador Nicholas Burns

Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and former U.S. Ambassador to Greece
Professor, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
Ambassador John Bass
Current U.S. Ambassador to Turkey
Former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia
special guest speaker
Ms. Mary Eisenhower
President and CEO, People to People International

Friday, February 24, 2017
Ambassador Burns Forum: 1:30 PM
Ambassador Bass Forum 3:15 PM
Light reception to follow

Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center
Fowler Family Ballroom

(Directions Provided upon RSVP)

The event is free and open to the public. Please register by February 17th


Wednesday, February 15 , 2017

Government, Military, and Economic Outlook on Asia; NAFTA; U.S. Relations with the Middle East; Economics in Venezuela; Politics and Military in Africa.

Government, Military, and Economic Outlook on Asia 

" Southeast Asia - Guidelines for the New Administration " Amy Searight, Murray Hiebert, and Geoffrey Hartman -- CSIS, February 10, 2017

By Testing a Missile, North Korea Was Probably Also Testing Trump, Experts Say " Matt Stiles -- Los Angeles Times, February 12, 2017

Nuclear Weapon States and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone " Tong Zhao -- Carnegie-Tsinghua, February 10, 2017

Turkmenistan: Election Spectacle Hides Disturbing Economic Decline " Eurasianet.org, February 8, 2017

"Markets Hit New Highs over Trump's Change of Tone on Japan and China" Nick Fletcher and Dominic Rushe -- The Guardian, February 13, 2017

Canada's Trudeau Arrives in Washington to Meet with Trump " Catherine Lucey and Rob Gillies -- The Washington Post, February 13, 2017

The Pitfalls of Renegotiating NAFTA " The Economist, February 11, 2017

Is Trump's Plan to Revive U.S. Steel a Pipe Dream? " Annie Linskey -- The Boston Globe, February, 13, 2017

Trump and Trudeau Talk Trade, Working Women " Andrew Soergel -- U.S. News, February 13, 2017

U.S. Relations with the Middle East

" How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran " Karim Sadjadpour --  Carnegie Endowment, February 9, 2017

Why are U.S. Forces in Yemen at All? " Andrew J. Bacevich -- Defense One, February 8, 2017

Can Trump and Netanyahu Make Progress toward the "Ultimate Deal"? " Ofer Zalzberg -- International Crisis Group, February 13, 2017

"EU Seeks to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal" Ashish Kumar Sen -- Atlantic Council, February 10, 2017

Economics in Venezuela

How to Solve the Riddle of Venezuela's Economy " Mac Margolis -- Bloomberg, February 13, 2017

"Donald Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Venezuela's Vice President for 'Significant Role' in Illegal Drug Trade" Ben Kentish -- Independent, February 14, 2017

Politics and Military in Africa

" Can Barrow Deliver on the Promise of a 'New Gambia'? " Louise Hunt -- IRIN, February 8, 2017

South Sudan General Quits over 'Ethnic Cleansing' Regime " Philipp Sandner -- Deutsche Welle , February 13, 2017

"'Blackwater Air' Is Back, and Flying for U.S. Special Forces" David Axe -- The Daily Beast, February 13, 2017


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The San Diego World Affairs Council is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to educating and engaging San Diegans in global issues, international relations, and cultural understanding

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