July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017

A Message From the President of SDWAC

Dear fellow SDWAC members and friends:

July is a busy organizational month for SDWAC. On Saturday July 8, the Executive Committee will meet to tee up the first meeting in the new fiscal year of the Council’s Board of Directors, to be held on July 15. This will be the first meeting for our new directors: retired Ambassador Leslie Bassett, Ann Ryder Randolph and Mary Abad. We are counting on their energy, experience and ideas, along with the ongoing efforts of our continuing directors, to help drive to completion an ambitious set of goals and objectives for the coming year.  

On July 12 we will host a presentation by Dr. Robert H. Meyer on the Middle East, its traditional trade routes, and how the economy of the region may be reshaped by new initiatives and trade emanating from rising powers China and India. Dr. Meyer, a member of our North County Chapter, comes highly recommended as a speaker by our NCC colleagues. His talk will be held at the offices of our generous in-kind sponsor AMN Healthcare. There is also a full slate of Thursday morning NCC events this month (see below), as per usual.

Many of us are looking forward to SDWAC’s Tijuana Day on Tuesday, July 25. The daylong excursion (by bus) now features a fully fleshed-out agenda, including stops at the Tijuana Cultural Center and Turbotec, San Diego-based Solar Turbines' remanufacturing plant. Probably the highlight for most participants will be lunch at Mision 19, the prime Tijuana restaurant of master chef Javier Plascencia, which has been reviewed by the New York Times and other publications as representing the epitome of the new “Baja-Cali” cuisine. We expect to announce details on how to register within the coming days. Regrettably, the number of seats on our bus will limit the number of travelers. As we grow and become more experienced at mounting this kind of venture, we doubtless will be able to accommodate more members and their guests the next time we do so.

Finally, San Diego is acknowledged around the country as a military town and we probably have not done as much as we could to tap the talents, knowledge and experience that abounds in our local service community. We aim to rectify that situation, at least in part, next month, with talks on August 14 and 28, respectively, by Marine Col. Chris Richie, who will discuss his experiences in the Middle East, in particular the United Arab Emirates; and retired Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, a former Commander, Pacific Fleet, who will address “U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: a Practitioner’s Perspective.”  I would encourage all members to take advantage of the opportunity to hear these outstanding officers explain the vital role the armed forces play in the formulation and execution of our foreign and national security policy.


Tijuana Day: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Interested in crossing the border for an on-the-ground look at U.S.-Mexico relations?

The San Diego World Affairs Council invites you to participate in a day trip to Tijuana to learn how economic and diplomatic relations between the United States and its third-largest trading partner are being conducted in this time of heightened political tensions. While there, we’ll enjoy some some fine Baja-Cali cuisine. Don't miss this unique opportunity!


About the Trip

Our group will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the H Street Trolley Station, 745 H St., Chula Vista. Free parking is available in the Trolley Station lot. We will depart in a chartered bus at approximately 9 a.m. and cross the border at San Ysidro.

After arriving in Tijuana, we will work our way through the Tijuana Cultural Center, including the Museo de las Californias and the Jardin Caracol. Following the Cultural Center, we will to the Casa del Migrante, which offers temporary food, shelter, and psychological services to the neediest members of the migrant community. There, we will hear from Casa del Migrante’s administrative director, Gilberto Martinez. We will then eat lunch at celebrity chef Javier Plascencia’s Mision 19, ranked the 6th best restaurant in all of Mexico. At lunch, we will hear from U.S. Consul General William A. Ostick about the trade relationships between the United States and Mexico, as well as a representative from Tijuana Tourism. Our final stop will be a visit to Turbotec, the San Diego-based Solar Turbines’ remanufacturing facility (maquiladora). We will return to the H Street Trolley Station at approximately 5 p.m.

Cost will be approximately $75 per person, inclusive of lunch and transportation. (The cost has been adjusted upward due to unanticipated expenses.) A valid passport is mandatory for all participants. 

 Please check your email inbox in coming days for registration details. For questions, email us at events@sdwac.org or call (619) 325-8200. Seats are limited and early registration is encouraged.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Trade Routes and the Evolving Geopolitics

of the Middle East" 


Dr. Robert H. Meyer 

About Our Program 

For most of history, the Middle East’s unique and unusual geography placed it at the nexus of dynamic global trade routes connecting Europe, Asia and Africa. But advances in marine technology and the discovery of “New World” riches significantly reduced the region’s strategic importance. Dr. Robert H. Meyer will discuss ways in which robust economic growth in China and India may partly restore the Middle East as a global trade route hub, adding significant strategic and geopolitical importance to the region while boosting its economic fortunes.  

About Our Speaker

Dr. Robert H. Meyer has had a lifelong interest in history, archaeology and world affairs, with a focus on the Middle East. The son of an international aid administrator who moved his family from country to country, Dr. Meyer grew up in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere overseas.

Retired since 2012 as a specialist in imaging remote sensing with the aerospace/defense industry, he holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and an M.S. in computer vision, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Meyer has worked at Texas Instruments, Hughes Aircraft and BAE Systems.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

6:00-6:30 p.m. Registration & Reception

6:30-8:00 p.m. Presentation


AMN Healthcare Boardroom

12400 High Bluff Drive

San Diego CA, 92130

Save the Date: August 14, 2017

Col. Chris S. Richie, Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Group 38, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, will discuss the United Arab Emirates. More details to come.

Save the Date: August 28, 2017

Retired Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Jr., former Commander, Pacific Fleet, will speak on "U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific: a Practitioner’s Perspective.” More details to come.


The complicated world we live in is illuminated a bit more every week at the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum in Rancho Bernardo. Unless otherwise indicated, the Thursday Morning Forum begins at 9:30 a.m. with a coffee social and registration, followed at 10 a.m. with a one-hour program and one hour of polite, but freewheeling, Q&A.

 Thursday Morning Forums are held at The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

July 13, 2017

Retired diplomat and North County Chapter member Irving Tragen, age 95, will discuss his book “Two Lifetimes as One -- Ele and Me and Foreign Service," about experiences shared with his wife from 1947 to 1998 while serving in eight Latin American countries and Washington, D.C., with the U.S. State Department and the Organization of American States. 


July 20, 2017

SDWAC member Mary McKenzie, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the University of San Diego and past President of the United Nations Association of San Diego, will address multiple aspects of U.N. Peacekeeping, explaining the evolution of peacekeeping from its first small missions of lightly armed forces to the current 16 missions deploying roughly 100,000 soldiers across the globe. Dr. McKenzie will focus on missions in Sierra Leone and Rwanda to highlight the characteristics of both successes and failures and discuss a number of current challenges facing peacekeeping and peacekeepers: funding and pay, allegations of rape and sexual exploitation, and the thin line between state sovereignty and protection of human rights embodied in the doctrine of "responsibility to protect." (This will be a continuous meeting finishing at 11.30 a.m., followed by an NCC Board of Directors meeting.)

July 27, 2017

North County Chapter member Mehdi Sarram, Ph.D., a nuclear scientist, will present “Iran Deal Update -- JCPOA/ICBM Threat.” Dr. Sarram will: provide an update on the progress of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement reached July 14, 2015, among Iran and the P5+1; Iran's performance under the JCPOA; and the JCPOA's prospects for survival. Dr. Sarram also will discuss Iran and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the context of the JCPOA and a U.N. Security Council resolution. For more information, email pmurchland@san.rr.com 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

North Korea Raises the Stakes; Trump's First Face-to-Face with Putin; U.S. Leadership and Global Equity in Focus at G20 Summit; 'Winning' Afghanistan; Qatar-Gulf Crisis; and Demanding Justice for Turkey

Quote of the Week:

"Self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war."

-- General Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Combined Forces Command, and the United Nations Command, in remarks following North Korea's ICBM launch on July 4.


North Korea Raises the Stakes


"Experts: North Korea's Missile Was a 'Real ICBM' - and a Grave Milestone" Joby Warrick -- The Washington Post, July 4, 2017 

 "North Korea's ICBM Test Isn't a Game Changer" Robert E. Kelley -- The National Interest, July 5, 2017

 "Breaking the Impasse with North Korea" Hitoshi Tanaka -- East Asia Forum, July 4, 2017

 "President Trump Needs to Explore a Diplomatic Resolution with North Korea" -- Independent, July 4, 2017


Trump's First Face-to-Face with Putin


"Despite High Tensions, Trump, Putin Seek to Reestablish a Broken Dialogue" Mike Eckel and Robert Coalson -- Radio Free Europe, July 5, 2017

 "Trump-Putin Talks Raise Anxiety Ex-Spymaster Will Get Upper Hand" -- Bloomberg, July 5, 2017

 "Aides' Biggest Worry on Trump's Europe Trip: A Meeting With Putin" Julie Hirschfield Davis and Glenn Thrush -- The New York Times, July 5, 2017


U.S. Leadership and Global Equity in Focus at G20 Summit


"Trump Wants a Do-Over in Europe" Thomas Wright -- Politico, July 4, 2017

 "What's at Stake at the G20 Summit" -- Council on Foreign Relations, July 3, 2017

 "Could the G20 Summit Usher in a New Globalization Order?" Henrik Bohme -- Deutsche Welle, July 4, 2017

 "Strategic Moment: Why China's Xi Visited Russia Right Ahead of the G20 Summit" -- Sputnik International, July 5, 2017

 "It's Time for G20 Leaders to Embrace Civil Society" Cathal Gilbert -- Al Jazeera, July 3, 2017

"A G20 Refugee Agenda" Syed Munir Khasru -- Project Syndicate, July 5, 2017


'Winning' Afghanistan


"On July 4 Visit to Kabul, GOP Senators Say U.S. Needs to Win in Afghanistan" Pamela Constable -- The Washington Post, July 4, 2017

 "Four Ways America Can Fix Afghanistan" James P. Farwell -- The National Interest, July 4, 2017

"U.S. Senators: Military Surge Alone Will Not Win Afghan War" Ayaz Gul -- Voice of America, July 4, 2017 

Qatar-Gulf Crisis


"Saudi-Led Group: Qatar Not Serious About Demands" -- Al Jazeera, July 5, 2017

 "Qatar's Diplomatic Crisis" Stephen A. Cook; James M. Lindsay; Robert McMahon -- The Council on Foreign Relations, June 30, 2017 [Podcast]


 Demanding Justice for Turkey


"The Death of Democracy in Turkey" Soner Cagaptay -- The Washington Institute, June 29, 2017

"March for 'Justice' by Erdogan Opponents Gains Momentum and Alarms Government" Karim Faheem -- The Washington Post, July 3, 2017

Office: (619) 325-82000

Address: 113 Street, West G Street #601 San Diego, CA 92101 

Email: sdwac@sdwac.org




Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council

113 West G Street #601

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: (619) 325-8200



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