January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017
A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear SDWAC members and friends,

The new year is off to a fast start for the San Diego World Affairs Council.  On January 11 more than 60 people gathered to hear impassioned and informed remarks by the Kurdish Regional Government’s representative to the United States, Ms. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman.  This event was important for our organization not only for its up-to-the-minute content but also for the contacts it fostered with San Diego County’s sizeable community of Middle Eastern immigrants. 

On Monday, January 16, we will be following up that success with a presentation on “2017: A Year of Choices, Challenges and Opportunities for America … and the World,” presented by retired Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio.  For those of you who are not familiar with him, Adm. Martoglio (who, along with his wife, Darlene, is a SDWAC member) is an enlightening and entertaining speaker, not to mention one of this country’s ablest strategic thinkers.  He is an ongoing asset to the country and our community and we are pleased that he is making an appearance at an inaugural event for our organization in Imperial Beach. (Please see the announcement on the January 16 event below.)

And the hits just keep on coming  …  We are fortunate to have Richard Feinberg, a professor of international political economy at UCSD’s School of Global Policy & Strategy, deliver remarks on “Cuba Post-Castro: Change and Continuity” on February 1.  Professor Feinberg, who has impressive government, business, think tank and academic credentials, is an acknowledged expert on Latin America and has recently published a book on Cuba: “Open for Business: Building the New Cuban Economy” (Brookings Institution Press, 2016).  When he addresses our group he will be newly returned from Cuba, just weeks after the death of the longest-tenured, non-royal leader of the 20th century.  It should be a fascinating evening.  Professor Feinberg will bring copies of his book for purchase and signing. 

Importantly, I invite you all to mark your calendars for Monday, February 13, when SDWAC will be hosting its annual fundraising dinner at the Royal India Banquet Hall. Our featured speaker will be Jay Solomon, Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Wall Street Journal and author of a recently published book about President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.  In addition, this celebratory event will feature music by noted San Diego pianist Glenn Kramer.  As SDWAC continues to grow, this fundraiser will be an important opportunity for our members and friends to demonstrate their support for SDWAC by turning out and bringing guests. 

A few comments on the current situation:  With the presidential inauguration just days away we stand on the cusp of a new era of American foreign policy.  It is inevitable that our nation will have to confront not only longstanding challenges,  such as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the growing nuclear threat from North Korea, but new, currently unforeseen ones.  As someone who participated in planning processes at the State Department, I can relate that, at the outset of the Clinton presidency in 1993, few if any U.S. Government planners anticipated substantial American involvement in the Balkans.  And yet within a few years, large quantities of diplomatic and, ultimately, military resources were being expended in Bosnia and Kosovo, places previously totally obscure to most Americans.   

It is possible, even probable, that some leader or faction somewhere in the world will assume that the new administration, focused on its own priorities, has taken its eye off the ball and will attempt to take advantage of perceived inattention from Washington.  Moreover, in the past, sudden departures from traditional policies have generated self-manufactured crises.  That said, the confirmation hearings this week of the nominees for key positions – State, Defense and CIA – tend to confirm my own suppositions that continuity likely will mark U.S. policies in critical areas such as the U.S. role in NATO and even our posture toward Russia.  Even so, in an atmosphere of change and uncertainty in world affairs, our work in SDWAC in bringing top-notch international experts to the San Diego community for informative talks and lively discussions has never been more important.  I thank you for your recent participation and patronage and hope you will continue to support the Council throughout 2017.

-- John Schlosser

Upcoming Events
Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

January 16, 2017

Retired Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio

"2017: A Year of Choices, Challenges, and Opportunities – for America . . . and the World"



6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception
6:30-8:00 PM Presentation


Pier South Resort, Boca Rio Ballroom

800 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

The San Diego World Affairs Council welcomes retired Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, former deputy commander of the U.S. European Command and an expert on foreign affairs and national security, for a talk entitled, “2017: A Year of Choices, Challenges, and Opportunities – for America . . . and the World.”
Adm. Martoglio will discuss the global security situation, the potential impact of world events at home and abroad, and how the United States can use its influence to ensure a secure and prosperous future.  He will also discuss why America is likely to remain the world’s preeminent power for decades to come.

Register Here

January 19, 2017

Dr. David G. Shrunk, an aerospace engineer and medical doctor with specialization in nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology, will present “Governance of the Future Moon: Challenges and Opportunities.” Before the end of this century, advances in science and engineering will have enabled permanent human settlements to be established on the moon.  Since a government is necessary for the security and stability of every organized society, a rule of law will be required for the people who live and work on the “Planet Moon.”  This presentation discusses the “Planet Moon Project” and a proposed system of governance for the moon based upon a new science: “The Science of Laws.”  Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

This North County Chapter program will be in the meeting room of the Remington Club 2, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128.

Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

January 26, 2017

 Dr. Dipak Gupta, Professor Emeritus at SDSU, will discuss "Can ISIS Be Defeated?" Dr. Gupta argues that while it seems intuitive that a bold and decisive foreign policy approach toward defeating ISIS is what the United States needs, the complex reality in the region dictates that a policy of “muddling through” is perhaps the only way to approach the problem.  Due to the prevalence of internecine conflicts, defeating ISIS as a group is much easier than defeating the ideas that propelled it. Dr. Gupta's distinguished academic career took him to many parts of the world and involved him in several interesting projects; he is a Founder Director of the International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR) Program at SDSU. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor Cy Chadley at cychad@att.net

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

This North County Chapter program will be in the meeting room of the Remington Club 2, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128.

Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

Save the Date: February 1, 2017

Richard Feinberg

Richard Feinberg, UCSD professor and author of  the newly published book, “Open for Business: Building the New Cuban Economy,” will speak on “Post-Castro Cuba: Continuity and Change.” Just returned from a week in Havana, Feinberg will discuss his most recent impressions of the emergence of an independent private sector, progress on foreign investment and the tourism boom. He will also peer into the future to offer scenarios for a post-Castro Cuba and what the United States can do to promote a more prosperous neighbor. Feinberg is a professor of international political economy at UCSD’s School of Global Policy & Strategy. He has enjoyed a distinguished career as diplomat, policy advisor, corporate consultant, university professor and author. 

February 13, 2017

Reserve your seats now! 

San Diego World Affairs Council’s

2017 Fundraising Dinner Celebration

Keynote Speaker

Jay Solomon

Three-time Pulitzer Prize Nominee and

Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent,

The Wall Street Journal

“US Middle East Policy, the Iran Deal and

the Potential Impact of the Trump Presidency” 


5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.


Royal India Banquet Hall

8990 Miramar Road, San Diego, CA 92126

Dinner and Program $50/person

No Host Bar

- Music by award-winning pianist Glenn Kramer -  

Register Here

Please register early as space is limited.

Academic World Quest 2016 - 2017 

 worldquestlogo copy2

A National Quiz Competition for High School Students

Registration: October 1, 2016 through February 10, 2017

Curious about the world? Love to travel? Want a career in foreign affairs, politics, international trade, or humanitarian work?

Test your knowledge with Academic WorldQuest™ !

The Academic WorldQuest quiz will consist of ten rounds:

Current Events

Great Decisions
Peace and Conflict in Today’s World (USIP)
Combating Infectious Disease
European Union
and more!

 Schedule of Competition

March 4, 2017
San Diego County Competition

April 29, 2017
National Championship, Washington, D.C.

Learn More

 World News Forum

Wednesday, January 11 , 2017

Syria's Road to Peace; Potential for Nuclear Destruction; The New Age of Populism; Containing Russia; 'One China' Policy; Soft or Hard Brexit; Issues in Latin America. 

Syria's Road to Peace

(Andrew Parasiliti, one of the co-authors of the first article was moderator of WACA's 2016 Conference panel on Countering Violent Extremism. The link to that video is here.)

"Preventing State Collapse in Syria: U.S. Options for Dealing with Assad, Islamic State, and Al-Qaeda" Andrew Parasiliti , Kathleen Reedy, and Becca Wasser -- RAND Corporation, January 2017

"How Ceasefires in Syria Became Another Tool of Warfare" Lina Khatib -- Chatham House, January 5, 2017

"Syria's Tangled Trilateral Road to Peace" Fritz Lodge -- The Cipher Brief, January 6, 2017

"After ISIS: How to Win the Peace in Iraq and Libya" Hayder al-Khoei, Ellie Geranmayeh, and Mattia Toaldo -- European Council on Foreign Relations, January 4, 2017

Potential for Nuclear  Destruction

"Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren't You?" John F. Harris and Bryan Bender -- POLITICO Magazine, January 6, 2017

The New Age of Populism 

" Can the EU Survive in an Age of Populism? " Daniel Gros -- CEPS, January 9, 2017

Beware Clashes of Big-power Nationalisms in 2017 - with Europe Stuck in the middle " John Bruton -- Europe's World, January 9, 2017

How Putin Is Using Populist Movements against the West " Ronald Brownstein -- Defense One, January 6, 2017

Containing Russia 

" How We Fool Ourselves on Russia " William J. Burns -- The New York Times, January 7, 2017

Efforts to Contain Russia Are Failing " Lilia Shevtsova -- Chatham House, January 4, 2017

'One China' Policy 

" Taiwan's President and Pro-China Opposition Leader both Plan U.S. Visits " Mark C. Eades -- Foreign Policy Association, January 6, 2017


Trump and a Tricky Relationship " Daniel Fazio -- Policy Forum, January 9, 2017

"Reinvigorating U.S. Economic Strategy in the Asia Pacific" Matthew P. Goodman, Schott Miller, and Amy Searight -- CSIS, January 5, 2017

Soft or Hard Brexit 

" Why a "Soft Brexit" Is in the Interest of Both London and Brussels " Simeon Djankov -- Peterson Institute for International Economics, January 4, 2017

"Sturgeon Reiterates Hard Brexit Threat of Scottish Independence Vote" Severin Carrell -- The Guardian, January 8, 2017

Issues in Latin America 

" China's Investment in Latin America " David Dollar -- BROOKINGS Institution, January 2017

Brazil Worries the "China of South America" Is Eating Its Lunch " Bruce Douglas and Matthew Malinowski -- Bloomberg Markets, January 9, 2017

"Venezuela Crisis: Minimum Wage Increased 50 Percent As Inflation Continues To Soar" Jason Le Miere -- International Business Times, January 9, 2017

  Mission Statement:
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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Contact Us:

Mailing Address:
San Diego World Affairs Council
1010 Second Avenue
Suite 1325, MS 613
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: (619) 325-8200

Email: sdwac@sdwac.org


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