PS21 Update Week Ending May 27

Dear all,

Firstly, apologies for PS21 missing its weekly email. Until the middle of the week, I was still slogging my way across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2.

Came ashore straight into three days with the British Army who, in their infinite wisdom, have just commissioned me as a reservist. A fascinating experience, as well as a great way to explore the changing – and unchanging – natures of conflict. It’s also, of course, an opportunity to give something back for the money the British welfare state has spent on me and my disability over the last decade.

We have some really fantastic events in June. In Whitehall on June 7, we have what should be a great discussion with former UK and UN counterterrorism specialist Richard Barrett. The following day in DC, we have the latest in our series of discussions on foreign policy and the US election with an all-star panel which I am of one, I’m certainly really looking forward to watching online.

On the PS21 website, our latest in the Imagining 2030 series saw Scott Cheney Peters and collaborators from the Center for International Maritime Security casting their eyes forward. Meanwhile on Reuters, I took a look at the sudden and dramatic furore this month around Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes and the White House bubble.

As always, many thanks for being part of the PS21 family. Many interesting developments and discussions to come, both in terms of the subject matter we will be looking at and the evolution of the institution itself.


Peter Apps

Executive Director, PS21

Reuters global affairs columnist




Tuesday, June 7, 6 PM. Whitehall, London, exact location to be confirmed to attendees

From ISIS to the various Al Qaeda franchises, the battle against Islamist extremism has changed constantly since the attacks of September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of the Brussels and Paris attacks, how is the nature of the threat evolving? What is the best way of countering violent extremism in vulnerable populations at home – and could some of the steps currently being taken prove counterproductive? Just how worried should we be – and how much weight should really be put on the fight against terrorism in an era which also has so many other challenges?

 PS21 talks to Richard Barrett, former senior British intelligence official, head of the United Nations Al Qaeda and Taliban monitoring team 2004-13 and one of the world’s leading experts on the changing jihadist threat.

Moderated by Peter Apps, Reuters global affairs columnist and executive director of the Project for Study of the 21st Century.

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Wednesday, June 8, 6 PM. Thomson Reuters, 1333 H St. NW., Washington DC

With the  rise of  isolationist rhetoric with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders — and, of course, the more conservative foreign policy stature of Hillary Clinton — the 2016 election is shaping up to offer a foreign policy range rarely seen in recent American history. As it faces the rise of rival powers and budget constraints the US faces some difficult decisions. What do the politics and geopolitics of this year’s face-off tell us about policymaking in the years and decades to come?

Ali Wyne [moderator] – PS21 Global Fellow. Nonresident Fellow, Atlantic Council

Nikolas Gvosdev – Prof. of National Security Studies, mouseUnited States Naval war College

Rachel Rizzo – Research Associate, Center for a New American Security

Alexander Ward – Associate Director, Scowcroft Center, Atlantic Council

Chris Jackson – Pollster, Ipsos

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