November 28, 2016 Newsletter

November 28, 2016
A Message From the President of SDWAC

I attended a very successful World Affairs Councils of America annual conference November 16-18 in Washington, D.C.  Attendance was strong, with over 200 participants at the height of the event.  Leaders, members and interns from regional Councils from all over the country, from Maine to Miami, Minnesota to South Texas and Seattle to San Diego, were in attendance.  The San Diego World Affairs Council was also represented by North County Chapter President Tom Reeve and Pat Reeve. 

We listened to many fine speakers and panelists, with their overriding theme inevitably being what changes in foreign policy and international relations we can expect during the Trump administration. Former Senate Majority Leader and U.S. Mideast Special Envoy George Mitchell delivered a powerful keynote address, urging everyone, especially his fellow Democrats, to seek common ground with the new president while at the same time vigorously opposing measures with which they disagree on principle, within the bounds of civility and the law.  In a Great Decisions Keynote, Evans Revere, a former senior State Department official and leading East Asia expert, warned that the president-elect will inherit the most dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula than at any time since the Korean War, given North Korea’s progress on its nuclear weapons program.  In addition, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and UPS CEO David Abney provided insights on the future of international trade in the wake of the apparent collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Thought-provoking panels addressed such pressing global issues as cyber warfare and countering violent extremism.  We will look into attracting several of the conference speakers to share their expertise with SDWAC members.

Of particular usefulness to regional Council reps was the opening day, devoted to leadership training and breakout sessions that enabled leaders and members to share best practices, make contacts and discuss sharing speakers and even pooling resources.  At under 300 members, SDWAC is considered one of the smaller Councils and there was much discussion among such Councils about methods of fundraising, growing membership and attracting corporate support.  There were also sessions for young professionals and students.  SDWAC will endeavor to secure at least one scholarship to allow a student from our area to participate in the next annual WACA conference, which will take place November 8-10, 2017, in Washington, D.C.    

One new benefit for WACA-affiliated Councils that was announced is a joint initiative with the new e-newsletter Daily Chatter, produced by Philip S. Balboni, an experienced news media executive.  Daily Chatter, which is not a stream of headlines but rather a curated product relying on more than 20 international news sources, has the enthusiastic endorsement of the leadership of WACA.  It will arrive on readers’ devices and desktops at 3:30 a.m. PST every weekday.  WACA is paying for free subscriptions for one year to all members of Councils that sign up.   Other programs offered by regional Councils that are potentially available to SDWAC include: Great Decisions, a series of video lectures and discussions that can be adapted for credit courses at local universities; a World Affairs Council “Global Citizenship Certificate” program for high school students; and Travel the World (see 

Finally, WACA Chairman Ambassador Roman Popadiuk announced the formation of an Advisory Group that will assist WACA in a major national fundraising drive to be launched next year.  WACA is asking for assistance from local Councils in identifying sources of support, but has assured attendees that the majority of the funds raised will go to local Councils such as SDWAC.  I had good meetings during the conference with Ambassador Popadiuk and WACA President Bill Clifford.  Both expressed their strong support for SDWAC and its current direction and committed WACA to backing our Council as we move forward.

 - John Schlosser  

Upcoming Events
Click here to see SDWAC events on our website

December 1, 2016 

The North County Chapter in Rancho Bernardo, as part of its Thursday Morning Forum series, presents SDWAC Board member Stan S. Katz, author of the historical novel "The Emperor and the Spy."  He will introduce the intriguing world of an American spy who spent the 1920s and '30s working with members of the Japanese royal family and other leaders of Japan secretly attempting to prevent war. Colonel Sidney Mashbir (1891-1973) pioneered the beginnings of the CIA and engaged in covert diplomacy and dangerous missions to shape world events. Mr. Katz acquired Mashbir’s never-before-revealed intimate letters, secret official documents and photographs, which inspired the novel. When, despite Mashbir's best efforts, World War II erupted, his duty required him to defeat Japan, and he served as General MacArthur’s top adviser on the Japanese.  Mr. Katz will also cite similarities to our current conflicts. You may wish to explore the website,

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, at 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128. 

Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

December 6, 2016

Mexico: Navigating Through a Time of Change

A Panel Discussion Featuring: 

William Ostick, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana
Dr. Emily Edmonds-Poli, USD Associate Professor
Rick Van Schoik, Sustainability Portfolio Director
Enrique Morones, Border Angels Founder

San Diego State University
Student Union: Templo Mayor Room
December 6, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 
(This event is free to students with a student ID)

Register Here

Join our panel of experts for a lively discussion  of Mexico's struggles and challenges during a time of profound change on  political, economic, environmental and sociocultural fronts, with a special look at these issues in the context of the San Diego-Tijuana border region. Presentations and discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A. Read More...

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December 8, 2016

The North County Chapter in Rancho Bernardo, as part of its Thursday Morning Forum series, presents Professor Randy Willoughby (Ph.D., political science), University of San Diego professor of political science and international relations and director of the USD Master of Arts in International Relations program. Dr. Willoughby teaches comparative security including European, Latin American, Asian, and Middle East issues.  He has focused on French issues during his career, as well as recent research on nuclear power futures in Europe and China.  He has recently returned from France.  Dr. Willoughby will present, "A New Reign of Terror in France?" He will discuss the French experience with terrorism and counter-terrorism in the years preceding and including the recent attacks in Paris and Nice and their significance for the upcoming 2017 French elections.  

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, at 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128. 

Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

December 15, 2016

The North County Chapter in Rancho Bernardo, as part of its Thursday Morning Forum series, presents our member, Vojin Joksimovich (Ph.D., nuclear engineering).  He has authored three books and 120 articles on international political issues, as well as 125 papers on nuclear engineering and safety. Born and educated in Europe, he will discuss, "Is There Still a Need for NATO?"  He will present NATO’s historical background from inception through the Cold War with its epicenter in Germany to today’s Cold War II with its epicenter on the Russian/NATO borders to the Ukraine. He will address the Warsaw Summit Communiqué, as well as NATO’s membership growth and military interventions. He will consider whether U.S. and Russia tensions have led to a dangerous Cold War II. He will review Professor Mearsheimer’s Foreign Affairs article The Case for Offshore Balancing as suggesting the basis for a possible resolution of Cold War II, and will discuss the possible impact of President-elect Trump’s administration.

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, at 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128. 

Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.

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, November 23 , 2016

A Shift Towards Moscow in Europe; EU Foreign Policy; Trump in Japan; Future of U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations; Global Militarization; Constitutional Reforms in Italy.

A Shift Towards Moscow in Europe

Eastern Europe's Duplicitous Tango with Moscow and Brussels " James Nadeau -- Foreign Policy Association, November 18, 2016

In Moldova's Vote, the Real Winner Is Plahotniuc " Vladimir Solovyov -- Carnegie Moscow Center, November 18, 2016

The Russian Plot against Europe " Alina Polyakova -- Atlantic Council, November 17, 2016

EU Foreign Policy

The EU's Crisis of Governance and European Foreign Policy " Angelos Chryssogelos -- Chatham House, November 18, 2016

Can Governance Trump Guns? European Security after the U.S. Elections " Mark Galeotti -- European Council on Foreign Relations, November 21, 2016

The EU Is Thinking about Pre-Trump Sanctions on Russia " Jonathan Stearns -- Bloomberg, November 20, 2016

Trump in Japan

Trump and Shinzo Abe to Meet to Discuss Japan Security and Trade " Motoko Rich and Jonathan Soble -- The New York Times, November 17, 2016

"Abe's Trump Test" Sheila A. Smith -- Council on Foreign Relations, November 18, 2016

Future of U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations

Engaging Southeast Asia in a Time of Flux " Amy Searight -- CSIS, November 17, 2016

Southeast Asia Gets Trumped? " Le Hong Hiep -- Bangkok Post, November 21, 2016

Global Militarization

65 Years of Military Spending: Trends in SIPRI's New Data " Sam Perlo-Freeman -- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, November 21, 2016

China's Military Deployments in the Gulf of Aden: Anti-Piracy and Beyond " Jerome Henry -- French Institute of International Relations, November 21, 2016

Constitutional Reforms in Italy

Renzi Is Going All In on the Constitutional Referendum: What are the (Updated) Odds? " Alessio Terzi -- Bruegel, November 17, 2016  

First Brexit, Then Trump. Can Italy Avoid a Populist Uprising in Crucial Referendum? " Silvia Marchetti -- TIME, November 17, 2016

  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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