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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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."