8 April 2021 – On 8 April, NESA hosted an informative one-day Washington Embassy Orientation (WEO) focused on “US Relations with the NESA Region in 2021: Current Status and Issues on the Horizon.” The WEO – intended for audiences from the local Embassy community in Washington, DC – welcomed over 40 for diplomats and military officers from 24 countries. The orientation was chaired by Assistant Professor Brianne Todd, co-moderated by Dr. Richard Russell, and featured distinguished scholar-practitioners from the NESA Center faculty including Director LTG (Ret.) Terry Wolff, Dr. Roger Kangas, and Dr. Hassan Abbas.
The WEO was broken into two distinct sessions – the first covering updated resources for working in Washington, DC and the second delving into a comprehensive status update on U.S. foreign policy prospects and challenges in the NESA region under the new Biden administration. The first session explored information about the DC area, organizations in Washington, and notable websites and newsletters that military attachès and foreign diplomats should stay informed through. Notable insights offered by NESA faculty speakers in the following session hit on broad foreign policy tenets of the Biden administration and outlined some key components of the interim National Security Strategy Guidance. Speakers also provided insightful forward looking analysis on emerging security challenges, particularly focusing on how the Biden administration may approach relations with Russia and China and address rising threats facing the South Asian region.
The WEO was conducted in English and held under the Chatham House Rule (“off-the-record”) to encourage discussion among all participants. At the conclusion of each presentation, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a moderated dialogue with featured speakers. Overall, the WEO presented well-timed and executed sessions to inform and educate the Embassy community in Washington, DC.
Speakers from the Program: from top left, Assistant Professor of Central Asian Studies Brianne Todd, Professor of National Security Affairs Dr. Richard Russell, Director LTG (ret) Terry Wolff, Academic Dean Dr. Roger Kangas, Distinguished Professor of International Relations Dr. Hassan Abbas
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