What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— March 3: President Obama is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington. At the top of the agenda: Obama’s desire to keep alive the potential for a negotiated solution to global concerns about Iran’s nuclear energy program, and Netanyahu’s insistence on keeping options open for a military response if Tehran appears able to weaponize.
— March 3-7: The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency holds a meeting at which its efforts to learn more about Iran’s nuclear program are sure to be under discussion. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors meets in Vienna.
— March 5: The U.S. Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee will take testimony on “Nuclear Forces and Policies.” Witnesses are: M. Elaine Bunn, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for nuclear and missile defense policy; Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who heads Air Force Global Strike Command; Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration; and Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, who leads Navy Strategic Systems Programs.
— March 5: The Fissile Materials Working Group plans a Washington preview of next month’s Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. Expert speakers are to include Kenneth Brill, Kelsey Davenport, Kenneth Luongo and Page Stoutland.
— March 5-7: The U.N. secretary-general’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will meet in its 61st session at United Nations headquarters in New York. The panel meets twice a year, alternating between the Big Apple and Geneva, Switzerland, and offers recommendations on limiting and banning arms.
— March 6: The Center for Strategic and International Studies is inviting participants to have an off-the-record lunch in Washington with Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Dawkins, who oversees military atomic efforts at the Energy Department’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration.
— March 6: Or, head over to the University of Maryland in nearby College Park, where Chen Kane of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies will address “Prospects for Curbing Mideast WMD Proliferation.”
— March 6-7: Former Defense Secretary William Perry and Robert Joseph, a former undersecretary of State, headline a conference on “Nuclear Weapons in a New Century: Facing the Emerging Challenges” at the University of California’s Los Angeles campus. Plenty of other luminaries will be featured, as well, in the U.C.L.A. panel discussions, to include a onetime U.S. presidential candidate, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark; nuclear deterrence theorist Thomas Schelling; and retired Air Force Gen. George “Lee” Butler, who was U.S. Strategic Command’s first leader.
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.