Global Issues

Venice Friday Series


Providing for National Security in the Second Nuclear Age
Robert Gallucci

The first nuclear age began with Hiroshima and saw five more countries acquire nuclear weapons. The second nuclear age, dating from the collapse of the Soviet Union, saw three more countries acquire these weapons. Dr. Robert Gallucci will identify the implications for Americans in a world of terrorist organizations and hostile states.


Africa’s Challenges and Opportunities and Why Should the United States Care?
Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Africa is a complex continent of 54 countries, over 2000 languages, some of the world’s most abundant natural resources, and the world’s fastest growing and most youthful population. Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will assess the role that Africa will play on the International stage and the policy implications for the U.S.


Britain and Europe: Another Chapter of Accidents
Margaret Jay

After Britain voted to leave the EU an unexpected General Election produced an even more unexpected result. Now Britain is left with a weak government unable to guarantee that it can deliver anything. Prime Minister May promised "Strength and Stability" but the opposite is now true. Baroness Margaret Jay will elaborate.


Europe - A Near-Death Experience?
Martin Walker

Martin Walker will explain that the cardinal principle of U.S. strategy since 1945 has been to foster the emergence of a Europe at peace, whole, free and advancing to a common democratic destiny in the Atlantic partnership. That strategy is now in disarray on both sides of the Atlantic. Can it, should it, be revived?


Current Issues in U.S. Intelligence
Mark Lowenthal

Threats facing U.S. intelligence appear to have grown as cyber attacks and terrorism have increased. U.S. intelligence is a complex structure of seventeen agencies overseen but not controlled by the Director of National Intelligence, who works in a more partisan milieu than in the past. Dr. Mark Lowenthal will discuss future challenges.


How Has President Trump Delivered for His Constituents?
Hedrick Smith

Responses to tough challenges were promised by candidate Trump: Bring back domestic coal jobs and manufacturing jobs from overseas; keep American jobs in the USA; achieve 4-5% annual economic growth; and withdraw from or rewrite various trade agreements putting “America First.” After one year, Hedrick Smith will suggest how he has done.


The Character of Chinese Power and What It Means for America
David Lampton

China's share of global output has risen dramatically. China now represents the second largest economy in the world and the largest in terms of contribution to global growth. Beijing is building infrastructure both domestically and globally, investing in roads, railways, airports, water and energy. Traditional U.S. allies such as Australia and Korea must adapt to new realities. Dr. David Lampton will inform us as to what this means for America and what is to be done?


The Heroin/Opioid Epidemic and Prescription Drug Abuse
Peter Bensinger

Overdose deaths have skyrocketed because of higher purity and increased availability. Peter Bensinger will provide a historical perspective on drug abuse in America. He will focus on the present heroin and opioid epidemic. He will discuss the roles of source countries like Mexico, pharmaceutical manufacturers, drug distributors, pain clinics, hospitals, and the illegal market.


Climate Change and Stability in the Mid East and N. Africa:  Getting Hotter?
Robert Ford

The Middle East and North Africa face projections of temperature rise, diminished rainfall and sea level rise which could trigger domestic instability and wars between states over diminishing water resources. Amb. Robert Ford will discuss how countries in the region are likely to react to climate change pressures and how they might reduce them.


Challenges for U.S. Middle East Policy
Dennis Ross

Amb. Dennis Ross will describe key challenges facing U.S. policy in the Middle East and the prospects for improving regional stability. His talk will draw on his experiences serving in high-level policy making roles in Democratic and Republican administrations.


American Strategy in a Time of Terrorism
Daniel Benjamin

The United States has greatly improved its homeland security and counterterrorism programs and has confronted ISIS on many fronts, yet polling shows Americans are more concerned about terrorism than any other foreign policy or security challenge. Amb. Daniel Benjamin examines what more we could or should do.


Putin, Trump, and Clinton: What Happened and What's Next?
Bob Barylski

Dr. Robert Barylski will present a realistic assessment of Putin’s foreign policy. Was Putin’s meddling in U.S. elections driven by resentment or part of a deliberate scheme to divide the Western alliance? What do we need to know about Russia’s substantial and growing Muslim population and Islamic factors in Russian domestic and foreign policy?