What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— Feb. 3: Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies headlines a talk on “Assessing the Iranian Nuclear Deal” in London. “The mood is optimistic in Iran and in most other concerned countries — with two notable exceptions among Iran’s most skeptical antagonists,” according to a description of the upcoming Arundel House discussion.
— Feb. 4: If Iran is your focus but you’re in D.C., a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nuclear negotiations might be of interest. Testimony is expected from Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of State for political affairs; David Cohen, undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financing; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. This is also to be live-streamed on the committee website.
— Feb. 4: Also in Washington, head over to the Capitol Visitor Center for a House Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Though witnesses had not yet been announced at press time, those who can’t make it over to the session can view it webcast on the panel’s website.
— Feb. 4: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to meet for a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Robert Wood to represent the United States at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It’s also to be webcast online.
— Feb. 5: This week’s winner for innovative event titling: “Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?” It’s based on a recent remark by President Obama about the level of threat posed by the loosely affiliated terrorist groups: “If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies discussion will feature issue experts Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer.
— Feb. 5: The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is sponsoring a talk by Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. acting undersecretary of State for arms control and international security. The event in the Austrian capital is titled, “Previewing the 2014 NPT PrepCom” — a reference to Preparatory Committee meeting to be held in New York as plans coalesce for a major 2015 Review Conference on implementation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Expect discussion of global calls to convene a gathering in Finland to discuss a proposed ban on weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, an initiative that stems from the most recent five-year NPT Review Conference in 2010 but has yet to come to fruition.
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The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.
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