Steven Pifer, former Ambassador to Ukraine, now serves as Director of the Brookings Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Ambassador Pifer used his in-depth knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. foreign policy to examine what lies ahead in the U.S.’s relationship with Putin and the role of non-proliferation and arms control in this complicated relationship.
A former Iranian diplomat, Dr. Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a Research Scholar at the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University and his research focuses on the Iranian nuclear program and U.S. diplomacy efforts with Tehran. Mousavian explored details of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the impact of reduced sanctions, and what lies ahead for future U.S.-Iran relations.
As the U.S. and Cuba forge a new path of diplomacy and cooperation, Ambassador (Ret.) Vicki Huddleston, Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 1999-2002 and a leading U.S. expert on U.S.-Cuban relations, explored what is next for this historically turbulent relationship. Examining the economic, social, and political implications, Huddleston spoke to what challenges await the U.S. as the doors to Cuba finally re-open.
Several years after the Arab Spring began, democracy remains elusive in the Middle East. The Arab Spring that resides in the popular imagination is one in which a wave of mass mobilization swept the broader Middle East, toppled dictators, and cleared the way for democracy. The reality is that few Arab countries have experienced anything of the sort. Dr. Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations at Harvard University, explored why regime change took place in only four Arab countries and why democratic change has proved so elusive in the countries that made attempts.
Amb. Marc Grossman examines what the intertwined future of Afghanistan and Pakistan looks like after American withdrawal from Afghanistan, and shares his experiences from his time as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2011-2012). Amb. Grossman is former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2001-2005), and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (1994-1997).
President Obama recently announced the most sweeping change in U.S. policy toward Cuba since the 1961 embargo was imposed. Ted Piccone discusses the events that led to this historic change in U.S.-Cuban relations and the changes that have been taking place in Cuba over the recent years. Mr. Piccone is a senior fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy and Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.
CCWA kicks off our 2014-15 season with a timely examination of the situation in the Middle East. Until recently, ISIS (the Islamic State) was an unknown entity. Now ISIS is headline news and a greater threat to the world than Al-Qaida. ISIS’ ambition is to establish an Islamic caliphate. Can they be stopped? What can the U.S. and our NATO allies do to stop these extremists? Dr. James Zogby will discuss conditions in the region and prospects for success in destroying ISIS.