February 15, 2018
We are surrounded by political and military conflict, both domestically and around the world. Robert Malley, the President and CEO of the International Crisis Group (ICG), said that one of his organization’s challenges in compiling its '10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018' was which conflicts to exclude.
February 9, 2018
The US administration appears not to have learned the lessons of Vietnam in its current approach to North Korea, according to Max Boot, the newly-appointed national security columnist for the Washington Post. In 1965 President Johnson launched Operation Rolling Thunder, a strategic bombing campaign that targeted North Vietnamese logistical and military infrastructure with the goal of stopping North Vietnamese troops from infiltrating the south and ultimately forcing Hanoi to negotiate for peace.
January 29, 2018
LAWAC held a screening for some 250 high school students of the recent documentary Jane about the life of the chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall on January 17th.
January 12, 2018
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu defended his country's crackdown on perceived opponents after the July 2016 coup attempt, saying, 'We had to take measures because we didn't feel safe.' The US and others have been critical of the mass arrests and dismissals of some 100,000 Turks after a dissident group of army officers tried to kill President Erdogan and take power.
December 15, 2017
David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, gave a spirited defense for President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while delivering a broader critique of the current administration’s neglect of American diplomacy. Speaking at a LAWAC lunch on December 12th, Harris said he thought every nation should have the right to decide on its own capital: 'Why of the 193 member states of the UN should only Israel be denied the right to decide its own capital?'
December 7, 2017
The US presidency is the most powerful office in the world but it no longer works as it was intended by the Founding Fathers, according to Jeremi Suri. 'The office is an institution that has produced great leaders, but it has not been updated: we are driving the greatest Model T when we don’t need a Model T anymore,' Suri, a professor of history at the University of Texas, told a LAWAC Global Cafe Breakfast on December 6.
November 29, 2017
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA for short – is an innocuous name for a US government agency that has produced the precursor to the Internet, stealth aircraft, drones and the first self-driving cars. It has a three billion dollar budget (at least to public knowledge), 140 employees and is, according to Sharon Weinberger, 'the most successful military research agency ever.'
November 16, 2017
Even after 20 years at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Peter Bouckaert says that the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya minority in northern Myanmar (Burma) represents some of the worst human rights abuses he has ever seen. Bouckaert, who is the Emergency Director for the New York based HRW, had just returned from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border when he addressed a LAWAC Global Café Breakfast meeting on November 14.
November 10, 2017
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, has recently begun to assert his power dramatically on two stages at the same time - domestically and in a new foreign policy - but is risking overreach in both areas, according to James Gelvin. Speaking to a LAWAC Global Cafe breakfast on Nov 10th, Gelvin, who is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at UCLA, said that 'there is an incredible potential for overreach' in the actions of the 32 year-old Crown Prince, whose father King Salman only appointed him as his successor in June of this year.
November 1, 2017
Artificial intelligence is on the brink of permeating every major industry, from healthcare to transportation. AI is also becoming a larger part of everyday life, with virtual assistants such as Apple's Siri already in the hands of millions around the world and the use of self-driving cars on the rise. In a panel discussion hosted by the LAWAC Young Professionals on November 1, four experts in machine learning debated the ethics of AI and what these rapid developments mean for humanity.