Our 51st Year

Global Issues
Sarasota Wednesday Series

Germany and Its Future Challenges
Jeffrey Gedmin

Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin will discuss how Germany will need to confront regional and global challenges. How will Berlin face Beijing, Moscow, and a range of growing foreign policy challenges? With less America, can Europe remain stable, secure and prosperous?


Biological Weapons: The Unseen Casts a Shadow
John Sinnott

Nothing is certain about biological weapons. China, Iran, India, Russia, and North Korea are thought to be continuing efforts with infectious pathogens. War games of a bioweapons attack show the U.S. in chaos by day 40. Dr. John Sinnott will explore how this might happen and how to prevent it.

Richard Jones

Political Implications of Energy Transition
Richard Jones

Momentum is building for fundamental changes in the way we produce and consume energy, which may become an impetus for significant political change. Traditional energy producers could face domestic challenges with winners and losers. Amb. Richard Jones will explain how the United States can best protect its global interests in such an environment?


Rivers of Iron: High-Speed Railroads and Chinese Power in Southeast Asia
David Lampton

At the turn of this Millennium, China had no high-speed railway industry or network at home.By 2020, China had developed an advanced domestic high-speed rail industry, laid 30,000 miles of track at home, and began to export systems abroad, targeting Southeast Asia. Is this "debt-trap diplomacy? Dr. David Lampton will discuss: What are the implications of China's infrastructure push abroad?


U.S. Policy Towards the Middle East
Dennis Ross

Amb. Dennis Ross sketches the contours of the Middle East facing the Biden administration, from the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program, regional ambitions, and missile development to the opportunities presented by the burgeoning relations between Israel and many Sunni Arab states, symbolized by the Abraham Accords.


2022 Elections: Perspectives on National and Florida Races
Susan MacManus

Control of the U.S. House and Senate, Florida’s Governor, Cabinet, and all 40 State Senate and 120 House seats are at stake in 2022, again making the state the epicenter of politics. Dr. Susan A. MacManus will focus on the most partisan-competitive races and the state’s diverse electorate.


US Military Presence in Africa: The Limits of Engagement
Charles Ray

Violent extremism and terrorism is on the rise in Africa. Amb. Charles Ray will discuss the appropriate limits on US military engagement on the continent to deal with this issue. While some kinetic military operations might be necessary, the emphasis should be on capacity building and training of local forces.


Aftermath of the January 6 Capitol Attack
Russel Honoré

In the wake of the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré was called on by Congress to lead a review of the Capitol's security deficiencies. He will speak of his wide-ranging findings which include common-sense responses to safeguard against future threats of domestic terrorism.


The Tigray Conflict and Ethiopia's Contested Federation
William Davison

William Davison will look at the path to conflict in Tigray and how it fits into broader dispute over Ethiopia’s controversial constitutional order, where an imperial legacy casts a long shadow over a diverse polity. He will suggest how consultation could produce stability for this long troubled region.


The Paper Dragon
Mark Lowenthal

China presents some serious challenges for U.S. national security. But China also has a series of inherent weaknesses that we tend to overlook and that may actually present a more threatening scenario. Dr. Mark Lowenthal will discuss how the US will address these issues.


The Future of U.S. - China Relations
Stephen Biegun

Over the past five years, there has been a sharp decline in U.S. China relations. Based on his extensive experience with the leadership of China, Stephen Biegun will share his insights into the agenda of Beijing and what the United States should do in response.


The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Knowledge and Why It’s a Threat to Democracy
Thomas Nichols

Increasing levels of information and education have, paradoxically, created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Today, everyone knows everything, and all voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness. Thomas Nichols argues that these attacks on knowledge are undermining the future of democratic institutions