PS21 Update: Week Ending September 18

Panelists discuss the future of US-Israel relations after the Iran deal at a PS21 seminar, August 19 2015.
Panelists discuss the future of US-Israel relations after the Iran deal at a PS21 seminar, August 19 2015.
On September 24 we have an especially great event lined up in London. The war in Afghanistan has now lasted three times the length of World War I and cost more than the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. PS21 presents a discussion with America’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, the man tasked with finding where the money went. John F. Sopko is one of America’s most outspoken inspector generals and his team have probed everything from local Afghan corruption to multimillion dollar international fraud.


The moderator will be Katherine Dixon, director of Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme.
Attendance is limited, please sign up here before Wednesday 23rd September.


In DC this Monday 21st September we have what will be a really interesting discussion on the risk on nuclear war. The discussion will be off the record as it is based on PS21’s survey of national security experts, which is yet to be published, so we encourage you to attend in person.
Details and sign up here.

See below for a comprehensive list of our upcoming events.


PS21 is currently seeking volunteers and interns to help support events and research in London, Washington DC and New York. Interested? E-mail
Want to write for PS21? E-mail the same address and we’ll forward to editor Carrie Cuno.


Upcoming events:




September 21: The Dark Web 

PS21 looks beyond the regular internet into the reaches of the ‘dark web’. What is in it, what are the risks, and is it ultimately a tool for good or evil?


Moderator: Metsa Rahimi, Regional head of intelligence, Deutsche Bank
John Bassett, former GCHQ official, now at Oxford University
Tim Hardy, technical writer, commentator and activist
Mike Gillespie, Director of cyber research and strategy, The Security Institute



September 24: Transparency and Accountability in Afghanistan 

As the longest running and one of the most expensive wars in U.S. history winds down, just where did the money go? PS21 is delighted to present a discussion with the man looking into that very question, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko. After a successful PS21 event in DC this July, the Special Inspector General will be speaking in London at a PS21 event hosted by the UK Cabinet Office.


Moderator: Katherine Dixon, Programme Director, Transparency International UK


September 29: Strategic Defence and Security Review 

Join Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) and Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21) for a discussion about the upcoming Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). Our panelists will discuss the international implications of the SDSR, including the UK’s future in NATO.


Confirmed panelists include:


Moderator: Tom Bruxner, former British Army officer, PS21 Global Fellow


James Bergeron, Political Advisor to the Commander, Allied Maritime Command in Northwood.
John Bassett OBE, Associate Fellow for Cyber Security at RUSI.
Gwenn Laine, former French Navy Officer, now documentary filmmaker


Guests are required to wear a jacket and tie and ladies to conform to the same standard.


                   Washington DC

September 21: Is Nuclear War Risk Rising?


Is great power nuclear war back on the agenda? Ahead of the publication of PS21’s landmark survey of national security experts on conventional and nuclear conflict risk, we bring together a panel to discuss just how real the risks might be. This discussion — which comes ahead of the survey’s publication in the first week of October — will where the greatest risk of superpower conflict might lie and how it might be avoided.


Because the survey is not yet published, this discussion will be off the record.


Moderator: Milena Rodban: independent political risk consultant, PS21 global fellow


Elbridge Colby:  former Pentagon nuclear strategist, senior fellow, Center for a New American Security


Scott Cheney-Peters: founder, Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC)


Rachel Rizzo: Program Assistant, Strategy Program, Brett Shawcroft Center, Atlantic Council


September 29: Making it as a Woman in DC 


What does it take to make it in DC as a woman? As part of its “inside DC” series, PS21 pulls together a unique collection of women from both sides of the aisle to discuss what it’s really like.


Moderator: Negar Razavi, Anthropologist, PS21 global fellow


Rachel Hoff: Director of Defense Analysis at the American Action Forum


Sarah Arkin: Senior Policy Adviser to Congresswoman Debbie Wasseman Schultz


Rachel Rizzo: Program Assistant, Strategy Program, Brett Shawcroft Center, Atlantic Council


Other events


Just Security are hosting an event in Washington DC on September 21: “The Going Dark Debate”, a discussion on encryption, technology and the future of privacy. It’s sure to be an interesting discussion. More details and RSVP here.


This week on the blog:

Robert Colvile discussed the neuroscience of Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Barrett wrote a piece on the death of Reyaad Khan and Asha Castleberry assessed Oman’s independent foreign policy as a triumph for global diplomacy.We also produced a PS21 Report based on a discussion with Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer on the future of American foreign policy, as well as a roundup of our top 5 posts on defence and security.

Previous PS21 Reports:
28/08/2015    Making it in DC and beyond 
29/07/2015    Kidnap & Ransom
28/07/2015    Social Media and Politics
01/07/2015    The Future of Drones
29/06/2015    Countering Violent Extremism 
Other Articles
September 2015
August 2015


July 2015   

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