What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.

Dec. 9-10: You've heard of wargames -- you know, like the fanciful scenario-driven drills in which military types work through how a conflict might play out, with the hope that warplans might be made a trifle more realistic. Well, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the FP Group are throwing a "PeaceGame" to "bring together the leading minds in national security policy, international affairs, academia, business, and media to 'game' out how we can achieve peace in Syria," according to the event notice. The organizations seek to use two such games -- one in the Middle East and another in the United States -- "to redefine how leaders think about conflict resolution and the possibility of peace." The Washington event will feature more than 40 issue-expert participants.

Dec. 9-13: Illicit bugs: That's the topic du jour at an annual meeting of states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva. Judit Körömi of Hungary will chair the weeklong gathering, which is to focus on three "standing agenda items" -- "cooperation and assistance, with a particular focus on strengthening cooperation and assistance under Article X; review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the convention; and strengthening national implementation," according to the website of the sponsoring United Nations Office in Geneva. A biennial topic will also be discussed, namely "how to enable fuller participation" in confidence-building measures aimed at boosting transparency among member nations, the event description states.

Dec. 10: On the heels of an Energy Department inspector general's report saying the agency is still grappling with security challenges more than a year after activists broke into the Tennessee-based Y-12 National Security Complex last year and walked near a site storing bomb-grade uranium, comes a public hearing in Knoxville to air concerns. At this event, though, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board will focus on safety, specifically in "design, operations and emergency preparedness" at the aging Y-12 facility, according to the Defense panel's website.

Dec. 10: The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize is to be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Oslo, Norway, ceremony will recognize the work of the 190 member states that have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Though OPCW officials have been in the news much lately for their intensive collaboration with the United Nations in disarming Syria's chemical arsenal, the body reportedly has been a runner-up for the Peace Prize in past years when it was less well known.

Dec. 10: Secretary of State John Kerry will testify at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "The Iran Nuclear Deal: Does It Further U.S. National Security?" Watch for discussion of a House GOP leadership bid to craft bipartisan legislation that would seek to threaten new sanctions and limit the terms of a long-term deal on Iran's contested nuclear program, once the recently signed interim agreement expires in six months' time. And watch for Kerry to explain why the Obama team thinks such restrictions are a bad idea. The fireworks take place at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Dec. 11: Nuclear-policy wonks: Return to Rayburn. Some leading members of the House and Senate foreign relations panels are slated to appear at a lunchtime presentation at the Rayburn House Office Building to discuss "Avoiding Future Irans: A New Course for U.S. Nonproliferation Policy. Sponsored by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, the event will feature Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), with a possible appearance by invitee Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Issue experts will also offer remarks.

Dec. 12: Fast-forward a day to same spot, similar topic, different speakers. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments will host Representatives Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) at a Rayburn event titled "Critical Mass: Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East."

Dec. 12: The junction of civil nuclear trade and nonproliferation sometimes makes for strange bedfellows. In Washington, there are both Democrats and Republican on all sides of the question of whether and how to circumscribe civil nuclear cooperation in a way that encourages commerce but discourages proliferation. Come watch the chaos unfold at an Atlantic Council event called "Key Policy Issues for U.S. Nuclear Cooperation." It will feature Rose Gottemoeller, acting under secretary of State for arms control and international security; Daniel Poneman, deputy Energy secretary; Mary Beth Nikitin of the Congressional Research Service; and issue experts including Mark Hibbs, Thomas Moore, Miles Pomper and Steve Rademaker.

Dec. 13: Following the Senate's likely approval of Rose Gottemoeller's nomination to fully assume her post as under secretary of State for arms control and international security the week of Dec. 9, you can see her again by attending a Stimson Center discussion on "Deterrence Stability and Escalation Control in South Asia." She will appear alongside Robert Einhorn, Mansoor Ahmed and Sitakanta Mishra.

December 6, 2013

What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.