What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— March 31: Discussion panelists Robert Einhorn, Frank von Hippel and Dennis Ross converge on the Brookings Institution in Washington for an event examining “The Iran Negotiations: Requirements for a Final Deal.”
— March 31: The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the “humanitarian consequences” of nuclear arms will be the focus of a panel discussion sponsored in Washington by the Arms Control Association, in cooperation with the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Speakers include Ambassador Desra Percaya, who represents Indonesia at the United Nations, and four arms-control issue experts.
— March 31: Thomas Countryman is off to Tennessee. The assistant secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation will discuss “Global Security and U.S. Foreign Policy” at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. It’s not Countryman’s alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis — Go Battling Bears! But, hey, not every institution of higher learning has an Institute for Nuclear Security like UT’s, in the backyard of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
— April 1: No April Fools allowed at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to discuss Energy and Defense department proliferation-prevention programs, first in open and then in closed session. Senior officials involved in combating weapons of mass destruction, representing both agencies, will testify.
— April 2: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, fresh off of accompanying President Obama to the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, appears before the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee to discuss his agency’s fiscal 2015 budget request. His department includes the semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the U.S. atomic-weapons complex and engages in global efforts to stanch proliferation.
— April 2: What happens after the estimated 3,000 members of the press, 53 world leaders and untold numbers of issues experts and support staff all return home after spending March 24 and 25 in The Hague? They focus on “Creating a Legacy for the Nuclear Security Summit” — the topic of a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Sharon Squassoni, who directs the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program, will discuss the matter alongside Kenneth Luongo and Sarah Williams, both with the Partnership for Global Security.
— April 2: The U.S. House Armed Services Committee hears testimony from three top combatant commanders: Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, who leads U.S. European Command; Adm. Cecil Haney, who heads U.S. Strategic Command; and Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who commands U.S. Forces Korea. Anticipate the brass, respectively, to discuss indications that Russia’s recent incursion into Crimea will expand further into eastern Ukraine, the cheating and other scandals that have plagued the Air Force’s nuclear-missile sector, and the spate of missiles recently test-launched by North Korea in apparent violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions.
— April 2: Two Pentagon civilians, a pair of three-star general officers, and a congressional watchdog: It adds up to five noteworthy witnesses testifying about U.S. ballistic missile defense policies and programs at the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
— April 3: Back at the House Armed Services Committee, lawmakers will hold a hearing on the results of the Pentagon’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, which recently indicated a renewed Defense Department focus on combatting terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Witnesses are Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Christine Wormuth, the deputy undersecretary of Defense for strategy, plans and force development.
— April 3: Speaking at a discussion sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Air Force Undersecretary Eric Fanning will almost certainly take on some tough questions about his service’s struggles with ethics scandals in the nuclear-missile cadre. The off-the-record session is titled, “Leadership in the Air Force: Understanding Future Challenges and Managing Change.”
— April 3: The House Homeland Security Committee’s panel on counterterrorism and intelligence will hold a hearing to assess “Terrorism in the Caucasus and the Threat to the Homeland.” Witnesses were not yet announced by press time.
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Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."