NCC Programs

The North County Chapter holds Thursday Morning Forums throughout  the year at the Remington Club II in Rancho Bernardo.  Directions to the facility are  here 

These forums promote and encourage public interest in the study of international affairs and foreign policy.  The speakers are international experts from the San Diego & Orange County regions, of whom approximately 1/3 are our own members with specialized international knowledge and expertise. NCC typically produce 45 programs per year and averages about 70 attendees at each event.

 

We begin each program with a coffee social at 9:30 am followed by the speaker at 10:00 am.  After a short break around 11:00 am there is a Q&A period ending at noon.

No reservations are needed and there is no charge to attend the Thursday Morning Forums.  We usually invite members to join in a Round Table Lunch (RTL) whenever we have a guest speaker.  This lunch is usually held within a short walk of the meeting place.

There are currently two exceptions to this standard format. The first is our yearly Annual Luncheon, held this year on June 7, 2018 at the Bernardo Heights Country Club in Rancho Bernardo.  The second exception is that no forums are scheduled during August or on holidays.

Information about the programs is provided below and in a monthly newsletter to our members. Recent editions of the newsletter are available here.

 

North County Chapter Programs for May 2018:

 

May 3: Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, US Navy (ret), will explain how America makes national security decisions, conducts foreign policy, integrates the numerous U.S. departments and agencies involved in security policy, and involves international and non-governmental organizations in protecting America and U.S. interests in “National Security Decision Making in America”.   The backdrop is North Korea’s nuclear program, China and Russia’s strategic alliance against America, and continued instability across the Middle East — simultaneous and global challenges to America’s security. Please contact Farouk Al-Nasser for the limited-seating Round-Table Lunch following the program at farouk1@cox.net

 

May 10Professor Tamar Arieli, (Ph.D.) is the head of the Conflict Management Program at Tel Hai College, Israel, and currently the Israel Institute Visiting Professor and Scholar at the Jewish Studies Program of SDSU.  Dr. Arieli will present “Israel – 1948-2018:  Learning from the Past, Looking Toward the Future”. Israel has faced challenges over its existence as a modern state — political, social-cultural, economic and environmental. While politics and wars have been the focus of most global attention, matters of society and environmental sustainability are increasingly central to the quality of life of Israel’s citizens and its prospects for stability and prosperity. Dr. Arieli’s perspective is from her studies in political geography, regional and urban planning, and conflict resolution.

 

May 17: Hisham Foad (Ph.D.), Associate Professor of Economics (SDSU) will explain “What happens when the Middle East runs out of water?”  Conflict, economic stagnation, and political instability are all key challenges facing the Middle East. However, one major issue confronting the region that does not get nearly the attention it deserves is water. Many of the countries in the region face water shortages so severe that they cannot effectively grow enough food to feed their populations. While climate certainly plays a role, much of the water scarcity in the region is man-made, a result of government policies, conflict, and weak institutions that have encouraged over-use and limited conservation. Dwindling water resources challenge the tenuous stability and limit the growth potential of many of the countries in the region and may even ignite wider cross-border conflicts. In this talk, we will explore the causes of water scarcity in the region, the potential economic and political effects if nothing is done, and what options are out there to reverse this trend.  Please contact Farouk Al-Nasser for the limited seating Round-Table Lunch following the program at farouk1@cox.net

 

May 24: Dr. John Shu (J.D. Pepperdine Law & G.C., Peking Univ.) was a Law Clerk to Judge Paul H. Roney of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and Chief Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.  Dr. Shu will discuss and explain the background, function, standards and procedures of the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court And Its Warrants”.  Sometimes referred to as the “FISA Court,” it hears and rules upon the U.S. Government applications for electronic surveillance, physical search, and certain other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. Please contact Tom Reeve for the limited seating Round-Table Lunch following the program atTPReeve72@gmail.com

 

May 31: Dr. Y Pang Tsui (Eng.Sc.D., Columbia Univ.) will discuss “Hong Kong: Re-Integration into China”.  In 1842, China ceded Hong Kong Island “in perpetuity” to Great Britain.  Over the next century and a half, tiny British Hong Kong, with an ethnic Chinese population, has become a global economic powerhouse. Why did Britain return it to China in 1997? Dr. Tsui will discuss Hong Kong’s transition from British Crown Colony to the Peoples Republic of China. He will review historical, cultural, demographic, geopolitical, and economic factors to understand the perspectives of key stakeholders in this transition. Dr. Tsui is an inventor and developer of engineering processes for manufacturing. Please contact Tom Reeve for the limited seating Round-Table Lunch following the program atTPReeve72@gmail.com

 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  please e-mail farouk1@cox.net

 

 

North County Chapter Programs for April 2018:

 

April 5:  Dr. Alexander DeVolpi (Ph.D.) will discuss “Cold War Brinkmanship and Legacies: Evolving Roles of Nuclear Technology.” His presentation was derived from his latest book, “Cold War Brinkmanship: Nuclear Arms, Civil Rights, Government Secrecy” (Amazon, 2017).  His talk will focus on Navy experience, reactor history, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, reactor safety, the Cuban missile crisis, arms control, collapse of the Soviet Union, demilitarization, and current  administration nuclear challenges.  Dr. DeVolpi is a nuclear physicist and a retired Lieutenant Commander (U.S. Navy Reserves). He has authored nine books. Reservations for the RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com. 

 

April 12:  NCC Member Mr. Bill Thayer will provide “A Comparison of the Icelandic and Greek Economic Crashes.”  In 2008, the economy of Iceland imploded.  In 2010, Greece suffered a similar fate.  Both countries got in trouble because of borrowing.  For Iceland, it was the private sector.  For Greece, it was the public sector.  But the subsequent paths of Iceland and Greece were very different.  Iceland, not a member of the Eurozone, received essentially no help.  Greece received three different bailouts from the Eurozone.  Which country is in better shape today?  It is Iceland by a mile.  Why?  Well, that is what the talk will explain.   Bill Thayer has an MBA and spent 10 years in real estate and finance after spending 30 years in aerospace engineering.   This will be a continuous meeting until 11:30.   

After a short break the San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC) President and Vice President will provide a summary overview of the organization and its structure and will discuss how SDWAC has experienced significant change and growth in the last few years putting them in a better position to increase its impact and expand its reach in engaging and educating San Diegans with respect to world affairs, global economic and trade and cultural outreach.  They will also provide a glimpse into the strategic thinking of SDWAC and a preview of what lies ahead for the organization. 

 

April 19:  NCC member Mr. Cyrus Bharucha will discuss “India Minorities and the Modi Government.” The Modi government in India is widely perceived as promoting a caste Hindu agenda at the expense of India’s minorities.  This affects the positions of Muslims, Christians, and Parsis as well as Dalits (Untouchables), and other Backward Castes and Tribal religious groups in varying ways.  Cyrus Bharucha, a Parsi, will address this question in the context of a modernizing and economically expanding India.  He has worked in media organizations in India, Britain, and the U.S. including BBC, CNN, and PBS.  He has also taught media production and analysis in India.  He has produced a widely acclaimed documentary on the history of the Parsis.  Reservations for the RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com.

  

April 26:  Mr. John Schlosser will present “Highlights of a State Department Political Officer’s Career” Mr. Schlosser, President of the San Diego World Affairs Council, served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State from 1983 to 2007. He will discuss some of the substantive issues he grappled with as a political officer during his career. Touching briefly on issues that arose in The Netherlands and the former Dutch colony of Suriname early in his career, his remarks will focus on: changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba in the mid-1990s; Poland’s accession to NATO in the late ’90s; aspects of U.S. policy toward the nonproliferation of WMD in the early 2000s; and U.S. policy toward India and Pakistan in the mid-2000s. Although there is no single overarching theme uniting the presentation, the common thread will be the importance of diplomacy in shaping American foreign and national security policy. Reservations for the RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com.

 

For further information about any of these April programs, please email  pmurchland@san.rr.com

 

 

North County Chapter Programs for March 2018:

 

March 1st: Allen Greb (Ph.D) will present his findings on “The Baltic States and Russia: A New Cold War,” discussing the questions: Do we need to worry about Russian tanks rolling into the Baltic States anytime soon? What is the relationship between Estonia, the Baltic States, and Russia? What are Estonia’s and the Baltic States’ major strategic concerns? And why from the Tallinn’s perspective, “hybrid warfare” is the threat that Estonians think about the most? Dr. Greb is the coordinator of the International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR) Program at SDSU.

 

 March 8thMary McKenzie (Ph.D.), a professor at USD, will talk on “Europe at a Crossroad: A Perfect Storm,” discussing several threats Europe faces in 2018. What had generally been regarded as the successful and historically remarkable institutionalization of the continent is being shaken by both internal and external forces. This lecture will examine the postwar development of Europe, focusing specifically on its key institutions: the EU (and the Euro), NATO, and the OSCE. Current challenges to the unity of Europe, then will be addressed, including Brexit, the continuing migrant crisis, the growth in strength of the far right in several countries, and the remaining economic disparity between eastern and western Europe. Reservations for the RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com.

 

March 15th: Allen Wittenborn (Ph.D.) will discuss “From Burma to Myanmar: Where It’s Been, Where It’s Going,” providing a brief overview of the past 30 years, including the role of Aung San Suu Kyi, her final release from house arrest, and the ensuing problems with the generals, as well as the current Rohingya issue which is getting nastier all the time. He will discuss the current situation ‘on the ground’ in Burma, how the people are doing, and some interesting happenings. Professor Wittenborn teaches at SDSU. Reservations for the RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland at pmurchland@san.rr.com.

 

March 22ndMember Mehdi Sarram Ph.D. will explain “Global Nuclear Waste Disposal” analyzing the global technical and political issues with the nuclear waste produced from commercial nuclear power plants. A brief discussion will be provided on the public perception of nuclear waste, especially on the problems next door to us at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Finally, he will discuss how France has solved its nuclear waste problem by reprocessing. Dr. Mehdi Sarram is a nuclear physicist and the President of Energy Security Consulting Group.


March 29thMember Robert Meyer (Ph.D.) will present a talk entitled “Foreign Aid.” A common perception of foreign aid is that it is selfless charity, directed at helping underdeveloped nations and impoverished or displaced peoples. While there are often very altruistic motives driving non-government providers of foreign aid, government-funded aid is intended to promote national security and related foreign policy initiatives. The presentation will describe the emergence of government-sponsored foreign aid in the 20th century as a powerful, low-cost, but easily-misapplied new tool for furthering these national policy objectives.
 

For further information about any of these March programs, please e-mail pmurchland@san.rr.com

 

 

North County Chapter Programs for February 2018:

 

February  1:Professor Susan Shirk (Ph.D.) will describe “US-China Relations under Xi and Trump.”  As relations between the US and China have grown more competitive and contentious, American policy experts are rethinking past strategies and debating what revisions are needed.   Meanwhile both countries have leaders whose leadership style and foreign policies breaks with past precedent, thereby introducing a high degree of unpredictability into the relationship.    What are the risks and opportunities for the future?  Dr. Shirk is a Research Professor and Chair, 21st Century China Center – School of Global Policy & Strategy at UCSD.  There will not be a RTL after this meeting.

 

February  8:Professor John Reilly (Ph.D.) visiting Fellow Cambridge University/UCSD will discuss “President Trump’s Foreign Policies.” In his first year in office President Trump has repudiated the Paris agreement on climate change, withdrawn from  the Transpacific Partnership, reversed a half century of support for the European Union, threatened to withdraw the US from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, begun a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement and qualified American support for NATO. In one year therefore President Trump has fundamentally eroded America’s leadership role in the world. ” Reservations for a RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Phyllis Murchland atpmurchland@san.rr.com.

 

February 15:  NCC member Toby Westbrook will talk about his experience working in “International Banking and CorporateFinance: Lessons learned and Memories Shared. He will discuss foreign exchange risks, especially how it pertains to individual investors, and why he firmly believes the lessons he learned are just as relevant today. He will focus on three  themes of political risk: Heightened risk of expropriation should current NAFTA negotiations falter and fail, challenges to the U.S. Dollar’s 70+ year reign as the dominant reserve currency as the country’s fiscal situation deteriorates, and the U.S. turning inward and engaging a more protectionist stance with our trading partners.  Finally, Mr. Westbrook will give his observations on understanding Pakistan’s intransigence towards increasing military pressure on their Northwest Frontier Border and why it is important to the U.S.  Bill Thayer will serve as moderator and will offer a brief critique of Toby’s presentation.

 

February 22:  SDWAC member David Edick Jr. will speak on Geopolitics and the Arctic Melt.”  The Arctic is in the midst of profound transformation driven by rapid climate change. Dramatic decreases in the extent and thickness of polar sea ice are opening new routes for commercial shipping and unlocking previously inaccessible resources. He will discuss these changes, their implications, and whether the Arctic Council will succeed as a venue for managing geopolitical competition in the Arctic. David Edick is the Immediate Past President of SDWAC and Managing Director of Core Global Advisory, a financial and management consultancy focused on energy, political risk, real estate, and global financial markets.Reservations for a RTL following this meeting may be made by contacting Cy Chadley at cychad@att.net by Monday February 19.

 

North County Chapter Programs for January 2018 

 

            In January we will focus on “Understanding Abrahamic Religions and Their Role in Global Affairs.”  Rev. Daren Erisman, PhD, our moderator throughout this fascinating and relevant four-part series, is the senior pastor at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Escondido. He has degrees in Physics, Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado, Master of Divinity, and Master of Arts in Islamic Studies from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He received his PhD in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.

Please Note:  A round table luncheon (RTL) will follow each of the programs below. 

Contact  pmurchland@san.rr.com  for reservations.  These luncheons are for members only. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018  9:30 a.m.

Lecture 1:  “Understanding Judaism and its Role in Global Affairs”   Rabbi Nadav Caine will present “The Influence of Judaism in World History and Global Affairs” as part of the Abrahamic Faith series.  The early books of the Hebrew Bible fuse tribal history, politics, divine revelation, and social legislation into something we label “religion” today.   How did Biblical and post-Biblical Judaism shape world affairs?  How do our modern conceptions of “religion” shape how we understand the Bible’s influence on world affairs, pro and con?  Can we better understand current affairs in America, Europe, and Israel by examining Judaism’s influence? Rabbi Nadav Caine, a conservative Jewish Rabbi, has served at Ner Tamid Synagogue, Poway, CA for 11 years. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018  9:30 a.m.

Lecture 2:  “Understanding Christianity and its Role in Global Affairs”     Dr. David Moseley will discuss the origins, main beliefs and practices of Christianity; its relationship with the outside world; and its evolving identity as it transitioned from a sub-group of Judaism during the Roman empire to a legally recognized religion.  Global Christian history especially imperialism/colonialism, militarism, and inter-faith relations will be addressed.  Dr. Moseley will also discuss global contemporary issues concerning Christianity, especially climate change and sustainable development.  Dr. Mosely is the Director of Global Education/Teaches Religious Studies & Philosophy at Bishop’s School in La Jolla. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018  9:30 a.m.

 Lecture 3:  “Understanding Islam and its Role in Global Affairs”  Dr. Khaleel Mohammed  will explain the how Islam both converges with and diverges from the two older Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity.   Dr. Mohammed will analyze the importance of the semantic basis of the term “Islam” and its role as a movement that developed into an empire that ultimately confronted Byzantine, Persia and Europe.  Dr. Mohammed will relate this history to Islam’s decline after the Industrial Revolution and how it was affected by rising European power and colonization.  He will follow Islamic global influence through the two world wars, the founding of Israel, and into the post-9/11 era.  Dr. Khaleel Mohammed is a Professor at SDSU and teaches comparative religions, Islam, and Islamic Law.   **Please note that this program will run without a break and end at 11:30 am to accommodate the speaker’s schedule**

 Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

 Lecture 4:  Panel Discussion “Summarizing Abrahamic Religions and their Role in Global Affairs  Panelists Rabbi Nadav Caine (Judaism), David Moseley Ph.D. (Christianity), and  Khaleel Mohammed Ph.D. (Islam) will discuss questions developed by our moderator during the first half of the program.  The second half of the program will be member Q&A. Please prepare your questions during the series and bring them with you to this session.