What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— April 22: Could there be “light of the end of the tunnel” toward a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty? That’s the question for an event at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Senior Fellow Olli Heinonen will present off-the-record reflections at the Cambridge, Mass., campus following a meeting of governmental experts on the stalled international talks.
— April 22: With the Russia-Ukraine fallout continuing to dominate the news, the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington is offering a discussion, titled “Russia and the West in Crisis: Conflict and Competition in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.” German scholar on Russian affairs Hannes Adomeit is the guest speaker.
— April 22: A similar topic is on tap across town at the National Defense University. Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution will discuss the “Crisis in Ukraine, the Budapest Memorandum and Extended Deterrence.”
— April 23: The issue of cybersecurity as it pertains to government organizations in the energy arena is the topic of a breakfast discussion organized by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association in Washington. Officials from the Energy Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are scheduled to speak.
— April 23: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh will deliver remarks about the future of the Air Force at a National Press Club breakfast event. The service commands two legs of the nuclear triad: long-range bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Issues surrounding the latter have caused some controversy of late.
— April 23: The Middle East Policy Council holds its annual Capitol Hill Conference, titled “U.S. Security Commitments to the Gulf Arab States.” Various ex-government insiders participate, including Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s former point man on Middle Eastern affairs.
— April 24: An Atlantic Council discussion aims to illuminate the “opportunity cost” of conflict between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan. With a new government in place in Islamabad and another soon to be voted into office in New Delhi, speakers at the Washington event will discuss the possibility of changing the “narrative of conflict,” according to the event announcement.
— April 24: A Washington conference at the United States Institute of Peace will feature faith, science, diplomatic and policy leaders for talks about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. Anita Friedt, the State Department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for nuclear and strategic policy, is scheduled to give an update on the vision laid out in President Obama’s famous 2009 Prague speech on nuclear weapons.
— April 24-25: The Energy Department’s Office of Science holds a meeting in Bethesda, Md., covering various nuclear science-related topics. On the agenda is the semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration’s charge to develop a domestic supply of molybdenum-99, which is used in the medical field. The Obama administration aims to produce such radioisotopes without using weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.
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Given the Senate's inaction on the continuing budget resolution (so far), the White House "said it has begun to work with agencies to prepare for the possibility of a large swath of the federal workforce being furloughed without pay beginning at midnight." Even if a shutdown occurs, however, "Senate procedures will allow the chamber to approve the CR with only a handful of Democrats in support by Sunday morning. Of the roughly 900,000 federal employees who were subject to furloughs in agencies’ most recent calculations, most would not be materially impacted as they do not work on weekends."
President Obama has called for a "full review" of the hacking that took place during the 2016 election cycle, according to Obama counterterrorism and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco. Intelligence officials say it is highly likely that Russia was behind the hacking. The results are not necessarily going to be made public, but will be shared with members of Congress.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are threatening to block the spending bill—and prevent the Senate from leaving town—"because it would not extend benefits for retired coal miners for a year or pay for their pension plans. The current version of the bill would extend health benefits for four months. ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday afternoon moved to end debate on the continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28. But unless Senate Democrats relent, that vote cannot be held until Saturday at 1 a.m. at the earliest, one hour after the current funding measure expires."
The South Korean parliament voted on Friday morning to impeach President Park Geun-hye over charges of corruption, claiming she allowed undue influence to a close confidante of hers. Ms. Park is now suspended as president for 180 days. South Korea's Constitutional Court will hear the case and decide whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.