Upcoming Brookings Events

By Ritika Singh
Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 3:13 PM

I want to highlight these upcoming events at Brookings of potential interest to our readers in the D.C. area:

Is there a Widening Sunni-Shia Schism?

February 22, 2013, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST, Saul/Zilkha Rooms

An upswing in sectarian violence in Pakistan, Bahrain and elsewhere in recent months highlights the historic tensions, and contemporary political importance of schisms between Sunni and Shia communities across the Muslim world. Why is the level of violence rising and what regional and internal factors are influencing it? What are the implications for these countries should the relationship between the two sects continue to deteriorate? What role does the U.S. or other external actors play in shaping these developments and what could they do to alleviate tensions?

On February 22, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings will host a discussion to explore the factors behind this apparently worsening conflict between Sunni and Shia communities. Panelists will include Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, and Geneive Abdo, fellow at the Middle East program at the Stimson Center and author of a forthcoming Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings paper examining sectarianism in the context of the Arab Awakening. Durriya Badani, deputy director of the Project, will offer welcoming remarks. Brookings Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney will moderate the discussion.

After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.

The State of Homeland Security Address with Secretary Janet Napolitano

February 26, 2013, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST, Falk Auditorium

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 to protect the nation against another terrorist attack. The approach of DHS’ tenth anniversary provides an opportunity to assess its progress, and discuss how America’s homeland security environment has changed over the decade. How has the department responded to evolving threats, both international and domestic? How has DHS addressed emergency response efforts since Hurricane Katrina? How does DHS work with its domestic and international partners, including state and local law enforcement, to achieve shared security goals?

On February 26, as part of the Leadership and Management Initiative at Brookings, Governance Studies will host a keynote address by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Following her remarks, Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck will moderate a brief discussion with the audience.

This event will be live webcast. Participants can follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #BIDHS.

The United States, India and Pakistan: To the Brink and Back

February 26, 2013, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST, Saul/Zilkha Rooms

India and Pakistan are among the most important countries in the 21st century. The two nations share a common heritage, but their relationship remains tenuous. The nuclear rivals have waged four wars against each other and have gone to the brink of war several times. While India is already the world’s largest democracy and will soon become the planet’s most populous nation, Pakistan has a troubled history of military coups and dictators, and has harbored terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. In his new book, Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back (Brookings, 2013), Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, director of Brookings Intelligence Project, clearly explains the challenge and importance of successfully managing America’s affairs with these two emerging powers while navigating their toxic relationship.

Based on extensive research and his experience advising four U.S. presidents on the region, Riedel reviews the history of American diplomacy in South Asia, the conflicts that have flared in recent years and the prospects for future crisis. Riedel provides an in-depth look at the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008—the worst terrorist outrage since 9/11—and concludes with authoritative analysis on what the future is likely to hold for the United States and South Asia, offering concrete recommendations for Washington’s policymakers.

On February 26, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will host an event marking the release of Avoiding Armageddon. Bruce Riedel will discuss the history and future of U.S. relations with India and Pakistan and options for avoiding future conflagration in the region. Senior Fellow Tamara Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, will provide introductory remarks, and Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, will lead the discussion.

Following the discussion, the author will take audience questions.