Education & Medical Special Sections INSIDE Education
A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
VOLUME 24, NUMBER 11 Asia
Some Say It’s Time To Face Reality of a Nuclear North Korea As the war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un grows louder and Pyongyang continues its relentless barrage of weapons tests, some say it’s time to face the reality of a nuclear-armed North Korea and shift the focus to containing and deterring the threat. / PAGE 7
Time to Sleep In Benefits of Later School
BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ t’s no secret that a cranky child or a tired teen is exhausting — prone outbursts and, well, to acting up, other behavior that, quite frankly, any sleep-deprived can relate to. adult
Studies have documented the dangers of sleepiness in terms of school start health risks such as obesity times in the U.S.” and ished academic performance, depression, as well as in diminRand researchers used a but a new study suggests macroeconomic modeling sleep for middle and high that more to study the approach economic effects of a policy school students could mean change that would school more than start times healthier, happier human to 8:30 a.m. in 47 states. beings. Currently, the national averomy to the tune of $83 billion It could benefit the U.S. econ- age start time is 8:03 a.m., according to within a decade and $140 the Centers for Disease within 15 years. billion Control and Prevention. The researchers used scenario-based “On average, this corresponds analysis, comparing the to an annual gain of about current status quo of school billion each year, which $9.3 start times is roughly the annual revenue League Baseball,” states of Major a Rand Corp. study aptly titled “Later SEE SLEEP t PAGE 20
Expulsions Sour U.S. Relations With Cuba |
Retired Cuban Ambassador Carlos Alzugaray says the expulsion of two-thirds of the embassy’s staff in Washington — taken after a series of mysterious “sonic attacks” that have left some two dozen Americans posted to Havana with brain injury and other cognitive issues — pretty much devastates the bilateral ties that had finally begun to flourish under Obama after half a century of hostilities. / PAGE 4
While flooding in Houston and hurricanes in the Caribbean have sounded the alarm about climate change, the global rise in sea levels is a quieter, but no less deadly, catastrophe that is set to hit the emerging nations of Southeast Asia the hardest. / PAGE 10
The Phillips Collection steps into Renoir’s world by examining his iconic “Luncheon of the Boating Party.” / PAGE 32
PeopleI of World Influence New Study Shows Economic
Rise in Sea Levels Threatens to Swamp Southeast Asia
Renoir’s Impressive Circle of Friends
Long before talk of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election surfaced, Estonians knew all about fake news and the dangers posed by Russian hackers. After suffering a massive cyber attack in 2007, the tiny, high-tech Baltic country became a leader in preparing for cyber warfare, while also turning to NATO to fortify its physical borders against a Russian threat that has plagued the country for nearly a century. / PAGE 15
Special Envoys Not So Special Under Trump As part of its effort to streamline the State Department, the Trump administration wants to eliminate special envoys for issues such as climate change and Burma, saying the work is outdated or overlaps with existing bureaus, but critics worry these issues may now slip through the cracks. / PAGE 13
Director of Operations
Photographer Contributing Writers
Lawrence Ruggeri Sarah Alaoui, Stephanie Kanowitz, Ryan Migeed, Kate Oczypok, Gail Scott, John Shaw, Brendan L. Smith, Aileen Torres-Bennett, Mackenzie Weinger, Teri West Carrie Snurr
address 1921 Florida Ave. NW #53353 • Washington, DC 20009 phone 301.933.3552 • fax 301.949.0065 web www.washdiplomat.com • editorial firstname.lastname@example.org advertising email@example.com The Washington Diplomat is published monthly by The Washington Diplomat, Inc. The newspaper is distributed free of charge at several locations throughout the Washington, D.C. area. We do oﬀer subscriptions for home delivery. Subscription rates are $29 for 12 issues and $49 for 24 issues.
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ON THE COVER Photo taken at the Embassy of Estonia by Lawrence Ruggeri of Ruggeriphoto.com.
2 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
People of World Influence
A retired Cuban diplomat says Trump’s policies play into hands of hardliners in both countries.
7 Facing Facts Some say it’s time to accept that North Korea has nukes and try to slow, not stop, the threat.
A new study shows vast economic benefits to starting school later.
10 Rising Waters
Pollution has been linked to over 9 million deaths worldwide in 2015.
A climate change-fueled rise in sea levels threatens Southeast Asia.
Obesity is associated with 40 percent of all cancers in the United States.
Not so special
Tillerson wants to eliminate special envoys in an effort to streamline the State Department.
15 Cover Profile: Estonia From cyber space to territorial space, Estonia is keeping a wary eye on Russia.
Global Vantage Point
In a world of grim headlines, peacebuilding offers a ray of hope.
Obesity and Cancer
The Phillips brings an iconic masterpiece to life with “Renoir and Friends.”
“Before the 45th” looks at Chicano resistance and resiliency.
The OAS is home to America’s oldest museum of Latin American and Caribbean art.
Designers recycle clothes to rehab the fashion industry’s bad rap for waste.
Early Netherlandish drawings at the National Gallery of Art hold a wealth of secrets.
40 Events Listing 42 Diplomatic Spotlight 46 Classifieds 47 Real Estate Classifieds THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 3
WD | People of World Influence
U.S.- Cuba Deterioration Carlos Alzugaray: Trump’s Policies Play into the Hands of Hardliners by Larry Luxner
AVANA — As pundits on both sides of the Florida Straits debate the State Department’s Oct. 3 decision to kick out two-thirds of the staff at Cuba’s newly revived embassy in Washington, one highly placed cubano isn’t mincing words. Carlos Alzugaray, the island’s former ambassador to the European Union, is a frequent commentator on U.S.Cuban affairs. He says the expulsion of 15 diplomats — taken after a series of mysterious “sonic attacks” that have left some two dozen Americans and their spouses stationed in Havana with mild traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss, balance problems, headaches, speech problems and other cognitive issues — pretty much devastates the bilateral ties that had finally begun to flourish toward the end of the Obama administration after half a century of hostilities. “I don’t see U.S.-Cuba relations going forward as long as Donald Trump is president, unless he suffers such a great defeat in the midterm elections of 2018 that pro-engagement forces in Congress pass laws lifting the embargo or the travel restrictions,” Alzugaray told The Diplomat. That is unlikely to happen given that Republicans have been unwavering in their determination to keep the decades-old trade embargo, which only Congress can lift, until the communist island opens up its political system. And regardless whether it was Trump or Hillary Clinton in office, the bizarre sonic attacks would have likely derailed relations regardless. The U.S. government is still trying to figure out what exactly happened and who was behind the attacks. In the meantime, the State Department has whittled down the embassy staff in Havana to the bare minimum and warned Americans not to travel to Cuba, as several tourists and one FBI agent recently came forward to report similar symptoms. Theories range from poisonous chemicals to a psychosomatic disorder prompted by “mass hysteria” being the culprit. The Cuban government has vehemently denied it had anything to do with the attacks and dismissed the allegations of brain trauma and other symptoms as “science fiction.” Many observers agree that it would be strange for the Cuban government to launch such an attack at a time when it was frantically working to cement bilateral accords before Trump took office. Some have speculated that rogue elements within Cuba’s military or intelligence services who were opposed to the U.S. rapprochement
4 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
Photo: Juan Cuba / Pixabay
Carlos Alzugaray, Cuba’s former ambassador to the European Union, argues that President Trump’s attempts to reverse the Obama administration’s détente with Cuba will backfire and only serve to hurt ordinary Cubans, including those in the small but burgeoning private sector.
Personally, given a choice between the Obama opening and the Trump ‘reversal,’ I prefer the Obama opening, even if it is a policy of regime change through engagement. Carlos Alzugaray former Cuban ambassador to the European Union
might’ve instigated the attacks. Others say it could have been Russia or North Korea or even the result of a surveillance operation gone bad. Whatever the case, the U.S. government has revealed very little information about the “incidents,” as Alzugaray prefers to call them. He says they look more like spy games that go on all over the world — and even Washington has yet to directly blame Cuba for the attacks (although it has said the island is at fault for failing to protect diplomats posted there). “It is highly unlikely that the Cuban government or intelligence service would be doing something like this,” he said. “Remember, these incidents started in November 2016, when Obama was still in the White House and relations between the two governments were good. If there had been some action by Cuba or some rogue Cuban elements or a third party oper-
ating within Cuba, chances are the Cuban government would have resolved it before Trump was inaugurated.” Alzugaray agrees with his government’s assessment that this is really about domestic politics — and not about protecting U.S. citizens in Cuba from danger. “Among the 15 diplomats expelled [from Cuba’s embassy in Washington] are all the officers working on commercial and economic cooperation, and all but one of the consular officers,” he told us. “This aims at two of the most promising spheres in which normalization of relations has had some progress.” He added: “These expulsions were devised to cause as much harm as possible to the normalization process, as the drawdown of the U.S. Embassy in Havana has affected mostly the capacity of the consular office to handle visa applications. As a matter of fact, those
actions hurt normal Cubans and especially the private sector.” Alzugaray also suspects this is less about diplomatic security and more about pandering to the hardline Cuban exiles who helped deliver Florida’s electoral votes to put Trump in office. “Look who’s benefitting,” he said. “First, the president, who has used any possible excuse to reverse everything that Obama did — and that plays very well with his constituency. This ‘acoustic attack’ comes in very handily. Second [are] Marco Rubio and his cohorts in Miami,” Alzugaray charged, referring to the Republican senator who has pushed Trump to crack down on the Castro regime. The president has rolled back what he called his predecessor’s “one-sided deal with Cuba,” clamping down on U.S. travel to the island and business with the Castro regime. But he hasn’t broken the diplomatic relations that Obama restored in 2014 after 55 years of hostility That’s why Alzugaray thinks the Trump doctrine is “more bark than bite.” “He really didn’t reverse or cancel everything,” said the retired diplomat. “Not a single agreement signed between the two governments has been repudiated by Trump. He has not reversed policies on Cuban-American travel or remittances, and he has not really done a complete reversal on See C u ba • page 6
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Cuba Continued • page 4
Obama’s policies on travel to Cuba, although it’s obvious he’s not facilitating things,” Alzugaray told The Washington Diplomat during an hour-long interview at Havana’s Hotel Meliá Cohiba close to the U.S. Embassy, where he’s a frequent visitor. “Every time Obama spoke about Cuba after Dec. 17, 2014, the Treasury, Commerce and State Departments all enacted regulations that facilitated things immediately,” he said. “The Obama administration didn’t lose one minute in enacting new regulations.” Trump, on the other hand, has targeted only two categories: individual travel, “which is quite stupid because that’s the one where more money goes to the casas particulares” — privately owned homes that lodge tourists — and doing business with the Cuban military. “The problem is that the American political system is so gridlocked that issues like this can be detained by small groups and people like Marco Rubio,” said Alzugaray. He pointed out that just a few weeks before Trump’s Miami rally in June when he vowed to end the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement, 55 senators led by Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reintroduced the Freedom of Americans to Travel to Cuba Act, which, if passed, would allow unfettered U.S. travel to the island for the first time since 1963. “The good thing is that now, government officials from both sides are talking directly to each other,” Alzugaray said. “And they are finding that, contrary to what the Miami crowd says, there is an ample field of cooperation possible between the United States and Cuba on a number of issues.” An astute observer of U.S. politics, Alzugaray, 74, comes from a well-to-do family. His grandfather was the prominent attorney Carlos Martín Alzugaray Lavaggi. And in the 1940s, his father Mario Alzugaray Ramos Izquierdo co-founded the revolutionary Partido del Pueblo Cubano, also known as the Orthodox Party. In 1959, Fidel Castro named his father ambassador to Japan, during which time he got the Japanese to sign a contract guaranteeing the purchase of 500,000 tons a year of Cuban sugar. The younger Alzugaray studied at both Tokyo’s Sophia University and the University of Havana. His doctorate dissertation was on the Eisenhower administration’s policy toward Cuba from 1958 to 1961. Alzugaray’s own diplomatic career began at the Cuban Embassy in Tokyo and included later postings in Bulgaria and Argentina, and as adviser for global political affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry. He was also consul-general at the Cuban Embassy in Montreal, counselor at Cuba’s Organization of African Unity mission in Ethiopia and finally Havana’s
Photo: Larry Luxner
Carlos Alzugaray, above, says Donald Trump’s reversal of Barack Obama’s engagement with Cuba is “more bark than bite” because it hasn’t fully canceled any agreement between the two governments. Below, vintage American cars are often seen throughout the Cuban capital of Havana.
top envoy to the EU in Brussels. He then switched careers and became a scholar at Havana’s Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales, later doing a lengthy stint as a visiting professor at New York’s Queens College. These days, Alzugaray is an independent analyst and self-described “old wise guy” who lectures at universities from Mexico City to Madrid. His columns appear in newspapers throughout Europe and Latin America. “Up until 2002, I used to come to the States once or twice a year,” he said, recalling that back in the 1990s, traveling between the two countries was no big deal, even with the lack of full diplomatic relations. “Then the Bush administration cut off almost all academic exchanges, and for some reason or another, I was denied visas in 2003, 2004 and 2005. It was only in 2011 that I got a visa again for the first time.” Since then, Alzugaray has lost count how many times he’s visited the States. “Probably 10 or 12 times,” he said, venturing a guess. “I have a five-year visa now.” There’s no question that the rapid pace of warming bilateral relations has sparked controversy both in Washington and Miami. Even so, President Obama’s dramatic reversal of half a century of hostility has its share of detractors in Havana as well. “The Cuban side has invested a lot in the Obama initiative, but it does not enjoy 100 percent support here in Cuba. I would say the majority of Cubans, especially the younger ones, like it very much. But among older Cubans, there is a prejudice that this is the same old dog. They cannot come to terms with it,” Alzugaray said. While Raúl Castro has presided over an unprecedented economic opening, allowing small private
6 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
Photo: 12019 / Pixabay
businesses to operate, the bulk of Cuba’s 11 million people have not experienced a dramatic change in their lives, either because of Castro’s policies or Obama’s détente. Despite the relative lack of progress on the island and the souring of relations under Trump, many Americans are still hopeful that improving U.S.-Cuba ties is the key to change. “A coalition of security officials, federal officials, businessmen, the agriculture lobby and state governments have the idea that, ‘We want to engage with Cuba, so we have to abandon the old policy of trying to bring about regime change by coercion,’” Alzugaray said. “That coalition is divided into two broad groups. One group that thinks maybe regime engagement will work if force fails. But there’s another train of thought that says, ‘Who cares about regime change? It will come or not come to Cuba eventually one day.’” The bottom line, said Alzugaray, is that common interests such as trade, tourism, counternarcotics, law enforcement, security and environmental issues are far more important than forcing regime change in Havana. This is one reason why, he
observed, the hardliners in Miami “got maybe 10 or 20 percent of what they wanted” from Trump. “I don’t think they’re going to sit on their hands, but it’ll depend very much on opportunities,” he said. “It’s obvious they pushed Trump as far as they could.” For one thing, he said, the U.S. federal bureaucracy including Homeland Security, Defense, Treasury and State see that U.S.-Cuban relations are working. And it’s apparent to him that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “doesn’t care either way” about Cuba. Alzugaray added that Scott Hamilton, second-in-command at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, “wants to keep things as they are, and they’re not sending anyone to replace Jeff.” That would be Jeff DeLaurentis, the departing U.S. deputy chief of mission, whom Alzugaray has known since 1991 and with whom he has a “very good relationship.” Meanwhile, he says “a process has started” in Florida, and one sign of that is the upcoming retirement of 64-year-old Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a hardliner who spoke for the older generation of Cuban exiles, 80 percent of whom are Re-
publicans. In April, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation in Washington announced she would step down in 2018 after 35 years in Congress. “Now you have second- and third-generation Cuban-Americans who are more American than Cuban. Yes, they love Cuba and what they see in Cuba doesn’t fit that horrible narrative that their parents and grandparents had. These people don’t have a lot of political power; they don’t trust either party,” Alzugaray said. And in Cuba itself, “we are going to have a generational change in power.” That’s because in February 2018, Raúl Castro has pledged to step down from power a decade after taking over for his brother Fidel, who died in November 2016. “The new leaders of Cuba are going to be guys like Miguel Díaz-Canel. They will introduce economic reforms toward the creation of a mixed economy,” Alzugaray said of the technocrat who is predicted to be Raúl’s successor. “We are in a brand-new ball game,” he said. “An opening with the United States will have a positive influence on the reform process. A hardline position by the United States will have a negative impact on the reform process.” Alzugaray worries that the expulsion of Cuban diplomats from the embassy in Washington could lead to backsliding — not to the time where there were “interest sections” in each other’s capital cities — but to the previous period between 1961 and 1977, when there was nowhere to go to request a U.S. visa for private visits or educational, cultural and scientific exchanges. “This hurts not only Cubans interested for personal or working reasons to travel to the U.S., but also Cuban-Americans who want to have a better connection with their country of origin, or their families,” he said. Alzugaray warned that it’s possible the Trump administration may very well close the U.S. Embassy altogether — or at least roll back the travel regulations further than what has already been announced. “Personally, given a choice between the Obama opening and the Trump ‘reversal,’ I prefer the Obama opening, even if it is a policy of regime change through engagement,” he said. In the end, Alzugaray insists that Cuba will never dump its socialist system under pressure from Washington — regardless of what Trump says or does. “What’s up for grabs is the pace of reform. There is a struggle. Our economic situation is not very good, and it’s complicated by Venezuela,” he told us. “But Cuba is not going to change anything under pressure, or as part of a deal. Those things are our sovereign decision.” WD Tel Aviv-based freelance journalist Larry Luxner is the former editor and publisher of CubaNews. He spent six days in Havana and Camagüey on a reporting trip in early July.
Asia | WD
Kim’s Fait Accompli Experts Say Focus Should be on Slowing, Not Stopping, Pyongyang’s Nuclear Program by Ryan R. Migeed
war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jongun intensified in September when Trump threatened in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly to “totally destroy North Korea.” Trump also created a nickname for Kim — “Rocket Man” — who in turn called the U.S. president a “mentally deranged dotard.” Experts fear this volley of insults could lead to a more serious miscommunication or miscalculation that inadvertently sparks a major conflict. Trump’s threats led Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to tell The New York Times that Trump was setting the country “on the path to World War III.” But even as Trump tweeted that his secretary of state shouldn’t waste his time negotiating with North Korea and warned that Pyongyang “will be met with fire and fury,” some experts have begun to take a nuclear-armed North Korea as fact and shifted their focus to containing the threat.
Ugly Truths Since 2011, North Korea has carried out dozens of ballistic missile tests, including the recent launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) theoretically capable of striking the U.S. mainland. Since 2006, it has also conducted six nuclear tests — the last one, in September, was reportedly 10 times larger than the Hiroshima blast. And according to an Aug. 8 report in The Washington Post, a confidential U.S. intelligence assessment determined that North Korea has mastered the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead that can fit inside a missile, a benchmark that just recently had seemed years away. U.S. intelligence also estimated that the country possesses about 60 nuclear bombs, though experts say the figure could be higher. The lack of good options to restrain North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear program has almost become a tired refrain. Yet the fact remains that there are only bad options for dealing with the Hermit Kingdom, some uglier than others. A pre-emptive U.S. military strike that could lead to war is not only the worst-case scenario, it is unfathomable to many people — among them, the millions in Seoul and Tokyo who could die in a North Korean retaliatory attack. Experts point out that even more limited surgical strikes to “decapitate” the North Korean leadership would quickly snowball and only strengthen the country’s resolve to keep its nukes as a means of self-preservation. While some believe North Koreans — having endured famine and crippling poverty — would gladly abandon their repressive government in the event of an attack, others say this underestimates how brainwashed the country’s 25 million citizens are. “Far more than when I previously visited, North Korea is galvanizing its people to expect a nuclear war with the United States,” wrote The New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof following a recent visit to the country. “This military mobilization is accompanied by the ubiquitous assumption that North Korea could not only survive a nuclear conflict, but also win it.” That leaves the U.S. with a host of unpalatable options, none of which have worked so far. Over the last 25 years, negotiations, economic aid, sanctions, cyber-sabotage, international isolation and saber-
Credit: DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua B. Bruns
U.S. and South Korean military leaders place flowers at a memorial in Daejeon, South Korea, on March 26, 2013, in honor of 46 South Korean sailors who died after a South Korean vessel was destroyed in a torpedo attack from North Korea in 2010. Tensions have been flaring on the Korean Peninsula again after North Korea recently tested its sixth nuclear weapon.
Coercive diplomacy served the United States well in deterring and then reducing the Soviet threat during the Cold War. This same strategy can also work against a much less formidable North Korean foe. Michael McFaul former U.S. ambassador to Russia
rattling have all failed to persuade the closed-off communist state to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, which the Kim dynasty views as key to its survival. The one country that might alter Kim Jong-un’s calculus, China — the North’s economic lifeline — worries about a fate worse than Kim’s nukes. It fears the collapse of his regime, which would send a flood of destitute refugees across its borders, leave the North’s fissile material vulnerable and put a unified Korea — and staunch U.S. ally — at China’s doorstep. Despite these fears, Chinese leaders aren’t thrilled about a mercurial young dictator building up a nuclear arsenal with the potential for dangerous radioactive leaks next door. Nor are they happy about the prospect of a U.S. military buildup in the region in response to Kim’s provocations, or the South Korean deployment of a controversial U.S. missile defense
system that China adamantly opposes. So Beijing has in recent months agreed to tough new U.N. sanctions that could cut North Korea’s annual earnings by a third and begun limiting some petroleum exports to the country. The issue of how much further China can squeeze North Korea will be front and center during Trump’s Asia trip this month, when he visits five countries, including China, Japan and South Korea (and possibly the demilitarized zone along the Korean border). While Trump tries to convince the Chinese to do more to pressure Kim, the Chinese will be trying to convince Trump to ratchet down tensions and reconsider negotiations. That includes a “freeze-for-freeze” proposal whereby the North suspends further missile testing in exchange for a suspension of joint U.S.South Korea military exercises, which has long been a nonstarter for the U.S. and the South. Such proposals are still widely considered unthinkable by the U.S. foreign establishment, especially in light of Pyongyang’s reckless behavior and the need to prepare for a crisis. Yet they dovetail with the emerging idea that the U.S. needs to accept, at least unofficially, that North Korea is an established nuclear power and shift its policies from prevention to management.
Containment and Deterrence A growing number of policy analysts and former U.S. officials argue that denuclearization, or coercing North Korea into giving up its nuclear arsenal, is not realistic. Instead, they make the case for containing the nuclear threat and deterring Kim from unleashing his weapons. See N ort h Kor ea • page 8 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 7
Limitation Talks pursued during the Cold War to slow the arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. “Coercive diplomacy served the United States well in deterring and then reducing the Soviet threat during the Cold War. This same strategy can also work against a much less formidable North Korean foe,” he wrote. “Like Stalin, Kim Jongun is a ruthless dictator, capable of unspeakable crimes against his citizens. But he is not irrational. Like his grandfather and father, he can be deterred. And he might be capable of doing a deal.” The alternative, according to McFaul, is an arms race in Northeast Asia. “If Kim Jong-un continues to develop North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs unabated, South Korean leaders will feel compelled to acquire their own nuclear weapons. If South Korea moves in this direction, Japan will follow,” McFaul warned.
North Korea Continued • page 7
In a report for the Brookings Institution, Robert Einhorn, former State Department special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, wrote in August that two realities stand in the way of forcing North Korea to fully disarm. “First, although Beijing can probably be persuaded or pressured to do significantly more than it is currently doing to rein in Pyongyang, it will balk at measures that could destabilize the regime,” he wrote. “Second, even if Washington somehow managed to mobilize devastating international pressures against the North, Kim Jong-un would be unwilling to abandon altogether the nuclear deterrent that he considers essential to the survival of his regime.” Einhorn also argues that regime change is unrealistic. “U.S. military leaders acknowledge that initiating the use of force to deal with the North Korea threat entails intolerable risks, including the prospect of a major war on the Korean Peninsula that could escalate to the nuclear level,” he wrote. In light of this impasse, Einhorn advocates “a phased approach to denuclearization, starting with an interim freeze on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities.” He admits that the North is unlikely to unilaterally cease its nuclear and missile testing for an unspecified period as a precondition to any talks — as the U.S. has demanded. Likewise, the U.S. and South Korea won’t cancel routine defense drills, particularly in light of the growing threat North Korea poses. But Einhorn says both sides can take baby steps to provide a “diplomatic off-ramp” to the current standoff. For North Korea, this would include refraining from nuclear test explosions and long-range missile launches in order for talks to begin. For the U.S., it would mean scaling back some exercises with South Korea. Meanwhile, alongside this phased approach, the U.S. would pursue a long-term strategy of pressure, deterrence and containment. This would entail building on current policy measures, including stronger sanctions and enforcement; reducing Pyongyang’s hard currency earnings (by expanding restrictions on imports from North Korea, for example); interdicting the North’s acquisition of nuclear materials, equipment and technology; encouraging China, including with the threat of sanctions against Chinese entities, to stop facilitating North Korea’s illicit activities; and working with South Korea and Japan to bolster their conventional defense capabilities. “The main difference with the current approach is that these efforts would be aimed not at compelling Pyongyang to agree to abandon its strategic programs in the short run but at deterring and containing North Korea over the longer term,
Credit: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay
The war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has escalated fears of a nuclear conflict erupting in the region. To cool the tensions, some experts have suggested that Washington consider China’s longstanding “freeze-for-freeze” proposal, whereby Pyongyang suspends its nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea suspending their annual military exercises, seen below, although the idea has been a nonstarter among U.S. government officials.
Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson / www.dvidshub.net
while waiting for, and perhaps more actively promoting, a change of heart or change of regime in Pyongyang,” Einhorn wrote. The challenge with even beginning any kind of phased approach, however, is finding an agreement acceptable to both North Korea and the U.S. Trust is a huge issue. North Korea cheated under two previous “freezes” during the Clinton and Obama administrations. The U.S. and others in any potential six-party talks — China, Japan, Russia and South Korea — would demand an inspections regime with enough access to verify that the North had indeed halted its uranium enrichment and missile testing programs. This would likely require North Korea to divulge the locations of secret facilities, akin to the concessions Iran made in the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement. Although Einhorn played a lead-
8 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
ing role in the policy that led to the Iran deal, he rejected the idea that this model would apply to North Korea. “It’s a very different situation,” he told The Diplomat, noting that Iran accepted restrictions on fissile material for 10 years — a “much better deal than what we could hope for” with North Korea. Iran was pressured to the bargaining table in large part because of coordinated U.S.-European Union sanctions that choked off Tehran’s access to global banking and trade. In return for curtailing its nuclear program, Iran was allowed to resume oil sales on the international market and had billions of dollars in frozen assets unlocked. Economically, North Korea is far more insulated, making it harder to influence. “The key parallel is in accepting reality,” Einhorn said. “We did not
have the leverage to compel Iran to give up its nuclear program so we had to compromise…. The reality we will be forced to accept is that we will not be able to compel North Korea to give up its weapons and capability.”
Facing Up to Reality Michael McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, made much the same case when he argued that, “While Kim Jong-un and his regime remain in power, denuclearization is not a realistic goal.” “Our singular focus for the short term must be to freeze the North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programs,” McFaul wrote in an Aug. 16 article for Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute. He argued that a freeze could follow along the lines of Strategic Arms
Too Soon But Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, thinks it is too soon to consider negotiations on this scale. “I’m not really sure there’s something new to bring to the table,” Glaser told The Diplomat. It is “premature” to say that sanctions are not working and too soon to start engaging in negotiations until the sanctions have “inflicted more pain” on North Korea, Glaser said. The latest round of sanctions adopted by the international community are the toughest ever imposed on the regime, and have only recently gone into effect. In September, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted another round of economic sanctions in response to an underground nuclear test on Sept. 3 that North Korea claimed was a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. The sanctions ban North Korean textile exports and prevent the country from sending its citizens to work abroad, where they could send remittances back home. These bans were added on top of an August embargo on North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood — some of the country’s most profitable exports, according to a Sept. 14 Voice of America article by Ham Jiha and Jenny Lee. But the toughest measure yet placed on the North is the limit on imports of refined petroleum products. “The oil sanction [is] important because it marks the first time that restrictions have been placed on exports of oil to North Korea,” Glaser told Voice of America. While China and Russia, North Korea’s two main oil suppliers, refused to accept a complete ban on oil imports, this is the first time China has agreed to such a strict sanctions package.
China’s Role “China is, and always has been,
critical to any solution to the North Korea problem,” Einhorn told The Diplomat. China’s influence over North Korea is a function of the two countries’ trade relationship, Glaser said. China accounts for over 90 percent of the North’s economic activity. “The fact is that [North Korea has] long traded more with China than the rest of the world.” The economic partnership has kept the North Korean regime afloat and provided a market for China’s processed raw materials. But this reliance goes beyond money. North Korea is a critical geostrategic buffer state for China, which will not take measures so extreme that they risk the collapse of the regime, according to Einhorn. The North’s collapse could lead to reunification of the Korean Peninsula under the control of Seoul, a U.S. ally. It could also put the North’s “loose nukes” in the hands of nonstate actors such as terrorist groups. “China is not prepared to bring North Korea to its knees,” Einhorn said. But China will use its leverage to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, he added.
Strength in Numbers In addition to China, Russia and U.S. allies in the region are pivotal to any long-term negotiating strategy. Michael D. Swaine, a China security expert who is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, agrees with Einhorn that policymakers should abandon hopes of “ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons” and argues that the U.S. should instead work with Japan, South Korea, China and Russia to build a “crisis management” architecture. This long-term strategy should be “designed to minimize North Korea’s capacity and willingness to utilize those weapons … while also continuing to work toward eventual denuclearization,” Swaine wrote in a Sept. 11 Carnegie report. Among other measures, Swaine advocates for direct communication channels among the U.S., China and South Korea; procedures for detecting and preventing any attempt by Pyongyang to transfer nuclear weapons materials; and “military-to-military dialogue about how to de-conflict Chinese, South Korean and U.S. special forces in the event of a loose-nukes scenario in North Korea.” He also argues that the U.S. and China should reach a separate agreement that, in any potential crisis, neither would seek to benefit at the expense of the other or “change the situation on the ground over the long term.” This echoes arguments that the Chinese and U.S. militaries should put aside their mutual mistrust and work together to plan for the potential collapse of Kim’s regime. Others have
Photo: By Roman Harak - North Korea - China friendship, CC BY-SA 2.0
The Chinese-North Korea relationship is celebrated during the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. China accounts for over 90 percent of the North’s economic activity and is considered integral to pressuring Kim Jong-un to curb his pursuit of nuclear weapons.
suggested that the U.S. offer China certain concessions — such as decreasing the roughly 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea in the event of reunification — to secure Chinese cooperation, which will be essential for any containment strategy to work. Swaine wrote that efforts to address “Beijing’s long-term concerns by expressing a clear willingness to discuss the future political and security status of a unified Korean Peninsula, including the size and presence of any U.S. forces … could significantly increase China’s willingness to cooperate in a deterrence and containment regime.” Yet such an agreement could raise concerns in Seoul and Tokyo that the pact would be a way for the U.S. to abdicate responsibility for its allies. Offering China too many security guarantees could also preclude South Korea’s hope for a reunited Korean Peninsula, putting Washington at odds with Seoul.
office, including a meeting at Mar-a-Lago that established a good working relationship. Abe has also avoided bringing up trade issues — such as the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that could be a “wedge” in the relationship, Glaser said. Likewise, Korean trade officials have agreed to amend the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement following criticism from Trump that it has widened America’s trade deficit with South Korea. The trade deal was a signature achievement of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” that former officials have lauded for
strengthening economic ties between the two countries. At a time of heightened tension in the region, Japan and South Korea are both trying to create as little friction as possible. But growing speculation about the fate of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is adding to the uncertainty. Trump took to Twitter on Oct. 1 to rebuke Tillerson’s statement, made after he had met with Chinese officials about toughening sanctions on North Korea, that the U.S. was trying to engage Pyongyang in an “incremental process” to abandon its nuclear weapons program. “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted. Following this public spat, the embattled Tillerson has had to combat rumors that he considered resigning and even had to call a press conference to explain his alleged reference to Trump as a “moron” in an official meeting, as originally reported by NBC News. The resulting articles on Tillerson’s potential departure from the administration “must make [U.S. allies] nervous,” Glaser said. “It’s not surprising that they’re a little uneasy.” WD Ryan R. Migeed (@RyanMigeed) is a freelance writer based in Boston.
Your Source for Diplomatic News www.washdiplomat.com
Trump’s Asia Trip While none of this is publicly up for discussion, Trump’s trip to the region in November could explore some of these questions. “Trump’s upcoming trip to the region is going to be very important” in shoring up regional alliances, Glaser said. Allies want predictability in their bilateral relations with the U.S., and those in Northeast Asia have made notable moves to paper over areas of strain in their relationships with the U.S., Glaser said. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made early overtures to Trump shortly after he took
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 9
WD | Asia
Rising Waters Climate Change-Fueled Rise in Sea Levels Set to Hit Asia Hard by Aileen Torres-Bennett
n recent months, biblical flooding in Houston, a devastating string of hurricanes in the Caribbean and deadly wildfires in California have thrust the discussion of climate change, once largely relegated to academic circles and political debates, into our daily consciousness. Meteorologists are always careful not to attribute single weather events to climate change. But the overwhelming majority of scientists agree that the warming of our planet caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions is fueling stronger, more frequent storms, historic spikes in seasonal temperatures and other disruptive weather patterns. While record-breaking heatwaves and Category 5 hurricanes often garner headlines, climate change is a slowmoving train-wreck. Perhaps nowhere is this gradual but alarming phenomenon more evident than in the rise in global sea levels, as higher temperatures trigger more, and faster, polar ice melt and expanding warmer water. According to NASA’s satellite data, since 1993, global sea levels have been rising at a rate of 3.4 millimeters per year. That may not seem like much, but this steady rise means big trouble for coastal populations as encroaching waters swamp habitats, homes, businesses infrastructure and the economy. Climate change has the potential to cut global GDP by more than 20 percent by 2100, according to a study publicized by the Brookings Institution. This is up to 10 times greater than previous estimates. And while rising sea levels and natural disasters that strike parts of the developed world such as U.S. East Coast tend to attract the most attention, it is developing nations that will be hit hardest by the effects of climate change. Perhaps nowhere is this creeping catastrophe more insidious than in Southeast Asia, which has among the highest levels of sea rise in the world and is emblematic of the struggles that emerging countries face between the push for economic growth and the new realities of a warming world. “Sea-level rise and other climate change impacts could be devastating for emerging economies in the region,” Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, head of climate change adaptation for the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Green Climate Fund, wrote in an email to The Diplomat. “It’s not just economic development we are talking about. It’s also about human development. The impact of sea-level rise will worsen inequalities (already a serious issue in many countries), increase food insecurity (by increasing
Photo: Mittmac / Pixabay
No country is immune. We’ll need to come together to work on this. This is the most significant challenge that we as a collective community face in the coming decades. Stephen Groff
vice president of operations at the Asian Development Bank
food prices), worsen gender equality and other goals outlined in the [U.N.] 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] and Paris Agreement.”
Population Displacement According to the April 26, 2017, report “Asia’s Creeping Catastrophe” by Jonathan Hillman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Asia is the world’s most vulnerable region to a one-meter sea level rise, given its exposure in terms of population, economic activity, and landmass.” Rising sea levels directly affect coastal populations by decreasing the amount of habitable land. About 8.7 million people will be displaced by 2050 due to rising sea levels, according to a study cited by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its January 2017 report “Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Economic Growth in Developing Asia.” An earlier 2010 report by USAID cited even direr predictions — with a one-meter rise in sea levels displac-
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ing roughly 24 million in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines alone. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites the following numbers of people who will be affected by rising sea levels in the region: 5.5 million in Bangladesh; 7.1 million in India; 2 million in Indonesia; 2.9 million in Japan; and 17.1 million in Vietnam.
Far-Reaching Economic Impact Southeast Asia is one of the fastestgrowing, most dynamic regions in the world. Together, the nations of the 10-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) boast the planet’s fifth-largest economy, with a combined GDP of $2.4 trillion, and the world’s third-largest population. Yet there will be an 11 percent decline in Southeast Asia’s GDP by 2100 due to climate change, the ADB predicts. Increasing global temperatures will trigger not just sea-level rise but also
Given their low-lying coastline, the emerging nations of Southeast Asia are particularly vulnerable to a global rise in sea levels spurred by climate change.
more heat stress for coastal populations, which will decrease a country’s productivity. By 2045, Singapore and Malaysia will take the biggest regional hit in terms of climate change-related decreases in productivity — up to 25 percent, Global Risk Insights reported. Productivity decreases are predicted to be 21 percent in Indonesia; 16 percent in Cambodia and the Philippines; and 12 percent in Thailand and Vietnam. Rising sea levels and shifting weather patterns associated with climate change have far-reaching economic effects, beyond the direct costs of coping with flooding and more intense storms. For example, rising sea levels cause ocean acidification that kills off marine populations, which in turn threatens the fishing industry. It also affects agriculture. Vietnam is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “The key is you have two major river deltas, the Red River Delta and the Mekong Delta, that would both be subject to saltwater intrusion and flooding that comes with storm surges exacerbated by sea-level rise, and the question of saltwater intrusion is already affecting Vietnam and will probably diminish their agricultural productivity,” Linda Yarr, the director of Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia at the George Washington University, told The Diplomat. “The River Delta and Mekong Delta are two of the major See S ea Levels • page 12
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Sea Levels Continued • page 10
rice baskets of the world, particularly in Vietnam. Vietnam is the second-leading exporter of rice. When you have diminished productivity in rice for Asia — you have 90 percent of the world’s rice production and consumption there — you can have major disruptions in food security for the region and the world.” UNDP has been supporting Vietnam’s efforts to adapt to climate change. “Given that agriculture employs 47 percent of the total population (as of 2013), climate change could have a direct impact on Vietnam’s labor market, as well as the nation’s ability to achieve development goals,” Kurukulasuriya wrote to The Diplomat. The impact of climate change on crop yields, however, is unpredictable at the moment. “With rainy and dry seasons’ rainfall patterns changing, both as a result of increased temperatures but also as a result of higher sea levels and higher sea temperatures, this could actually mean increased productivity on the farm in the dry season, but potential decreases in the rainy season,” Kurukulasuriya explained. “It’s this unpredictability that is really concerning. If farmers, international exporters and commodities traders can’t accurately predict agricultural yields, then markets will face increased uncertainty. And in the end, uncertainty, higher risks and more unpredictability have negative consequences on all, especially the poor and vulnerable and those who are forced back into poverty, as important previous gains in opportunities are eroded.” The amount of freshwater available for both agriculture and human consumption will decrease as saltwater moves further inland with rising sea levels. Vietnam and Myanmar, in particular, have large areas of low-elevation delta that can be affected by salinity intrusion, David Raitzer, an economist at ADB, told The Diplomat in an email. “Salinity intrusion happens when saline seawater covers greater land areas and intermixes with freshwater aquifers…. This poses a risk for both agricultural production and drinking water,” he wrote. Tourism will be another heavily affected part of the economy. “Tourism will be adversely impacted not only as beaches are inundated, but because temperatures become too hot to be attractive, coral reefs die out as the oceans warm and acidify, and the frequency of disaster events rises,” wrote Raitzer. Warming temperatures affect coral reefs, which are already undergoing bleaching events that are killing off coral as warmer temperatures and a more acidic ocean take their toll on these fragile and essential coastal ecosystems. The World Bank reports that there is a 50 percent probability of annual coral bleaching events occurring as early as 2030, and estimates predict that all coral reefs in Southeast Asia are likely to experience severe stress by 2050. These reefs provide a critical source of food, protection from natural disasters and livelihood (through tourism and fishing) for coastal populations.
Adaptation, Resiliency: Challenges and Strategies Infrastructure is one of the primary challenges that must be addressed when it comes to climate adaptation. Southeast Asia already needs to invest heavily just to keep up with growth; throwing in expensive climate-adaptation measures ratchets up the costs. In general, developing countries in Asia need to invest $1.7 trillion a year in infrastructure until 2030 to maintain growth, tackle pov-
Photo: rami yoon / Pixabay
nance of land and water resources should be ramped up.”
Investing in Change
Photo: thailandlover123 / Pixabay
Rising sea levels could jeopardize critical economic drivers in Southeast Asia, including agriculture, the fishing industry and tourism, as more beaches are inundated and temperatures become too hot.
erty and respond to climate change, according to the ADB. That adds up to a staggering $26 trillion between 2016 and 2030 — double what these countries are currently spending on infrastructure. Port infrastructure, for example, will be affected as sea level rises. “There are different ways of climate-proofing ports,” Jonathan Hillman, the director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Diplomat. “Indonesia is building a large sea wall, and that’s a pretty extreme example. That’s going to be tens of billions of dollars. Often, places have to make decisions like: Should we raise the level of our terminals? It doesn’t always make economic sense to do that. They’d be better off building a new port in a different area,” he explained, noting that new projects can benefit from climate change prediction data to select better building sites. Oftentimes, however, the need to deliver economic growth clashes with the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions. A prime example of this development dichotomy is electricity, a pathway to opportunity in emerging nations. “Balancing the need to provide electrification with the imperative of reducing emissions is a real challenge,” Stephen Groff, vice president of operations at ADB, told The Diplomat.
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More broadly, climate mitigation, adaptation and resiliency strategies must be integrated into national development strategies, said Groff. All of this comes with a hefty price tag. Take roads, for instance. Increased flooding associated with climate change means roads must be built to withstand the new normal. Roads might need to be raised, and the construction material must be more durable to brave the elements. Deciding how much money to invest means weighing immediate needs with long-term concerns. “You want to think not just from a shortterm cost perspective but life-of-investment perspective,” Groff said. “How do you build something that’s fully resilient to climate impacts and being mindful of the cost? What’s the best balance of cost versus resiliency?” Striking this balance is essential for governments of developing countries, which are likely going into debt to finance these projects. Climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries should also get more attention, said Raitzer. These sectors typically employ impoverished people. “As these sectors decline as a share of overall economies when economic growth is rapid, policymakers are often prone to ignore investments in their long-term productivity,” he wrote to The Diplomat. “This should change, and investment in agricultural research, water-efficient irrigation, detailed weather forecasting, and gover-
The ADB is a major player in climate changerelated financing, with a goal of increasing such financing in developing Asia to $6 billion annually by 2020, of which $2 billion is for adaptation. Last year, it committed more than $1 billion for adaptation. The bank is also leveraging private investment for climate resilience. The Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, is another significant source of financing. As of September 2017, it has disbursed $10.3 million for readiness and mobilized $10.3 billion in resources. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, with investment funding possibly in the trillions of dollars, is an additional vehicle for financing climate change-related projects. Societal investments, such as improving education so that young people can broaden their employment options, can also help developing countries deal with the challenges of climate change, Yarr suggested. “Another place of investment is working out processes of early warning and on a regional cooperative basis so there’s sharing of disaster risk and response capabilities,” she said. “That’s an investment in diplomacy, an investment in countries using international organizations in a way that’s effective.” Climate change experts agree that the challenge must be a shared load. “The main challenge we face here is one, ultimately, of full awareness and making sure we are going into these challenges with our eyes wide open, that we are ready to make the investments necessary to protect populations from the worst impacts of climate change,” said Groff. “That will happen through investments in infrastructure, flexible financial products that can help countries adapt when disaster strikes and cooperation among countries.” He added: “No country is immune. We’ll need to come together to work on this. This is the most significant challenge that we as a collective community face in the coming decades.” WD Aileen Torres-Bennett is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.
United States | WD
Streamlining State Tillerson Wants to Whittle Down Number of Special Envoys by Aileen Torres-Bennett
pecial envoys don’t seem so special under the Trump administration, which wants to significantly trim down the State Department and eliminate representatives for specific issues such as the Arctic, climate change, Burma, Syria and Sudan. Supporters of the move say there’s been a proliferation of special envoys in recent years whose portfolios are either outdated or overlap with existing bureaus. Critics say special envoys can highlight particular issues that might otherwise slip through the cracks. Special envoy positions are currently under review by both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, although this type of scrutiny is not new. Each secretary of state comes into the job with his or her own take on how to utilize special envoys and whether they’re even necessary. Secretary Colin Powell minimized the use of special envoys, while Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry saw them as useful tools. Clinton created the role of special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Kerry created the position of special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI Persons, for example. But Tillerson’s review has attracted added attention given his tumultuous reign at Foggy Bottom. The former ExxonMobil CEO has been widely criticized for being aloof and insulated from his rank and file. Morale is reportedly abysmal at the State Department, which faces a 31 percent cut under President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget and an 8 percent reduction in staff. The bulk of the budget cuts, however, are unlikely to pass muster in Congress, where lawmakers have also expressed reservations about plans to reorganize the State Department and USAID. Still, Tillerson has set about downsizing the organization as part of a major restructuring, leaving dozens of key posts vacant — along with the impression that America’s Foreign Service is adrift and dysfunctional. Questions about Tillerson’s competence have been coupled with pervasive speculation about his strained relationship with the president. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) recently lamented that Trump has “castrated” his secretary of state, undercutting his quiet diplomacy to get China to cooperate on the North Korea nuclear crisis, among other matters. Reports by NBC News that Tillerson called Trump a “moron” for suggesting a 10-fold buildup of the nation’s nuclear stockpile further cast doubt on whether he can remain an effective
Photo: U.S. State Department
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson approaches the podium at the State Department on Oct. 4 during a press conference in which he dismissed an NBC News report that claimed he called President Trump a “moron.” Still, speculation about Tillerson’s relationship with Trump has brought added attention to his efforts to streamline the State Department, including eliminating many special envoy positions.
Career diplomats tend to be less than enthusiastic about special envoys…. There are a number of problems. If you have a special envoy to a region or purpose, there can be confusion as to lines of authority, who’s in charge of what and where. former U.S. Ambassador John Campbell senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations
voice for the president. It also fanned the perpetual rumors of an impending “Rexit” whereby U.S. Representative to the U.N. Nikki Haley might replace him. Tillerson has not denied the moron reference, though he insists he’s not leaving the job and that his relationship with Trump remains solid. In the meantime, he’s plodding along with plans to streamline the bureaucracy — and that includes eliminating many special envoy positions, either outright or subsuming their duties and staff into already existing offices at the State Department. He spelled out his plans in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The letter acknowledged the previous effectiveness of special envoys while downplaying the current need for a lot of them: “Over the past
four decades of U.S. diplomacy, Congress and the President have utilized these positions to assert U.S. leadership abroad and address emerging challenges. A few examples include mediating peace in Northern Ireland, restoring full diplomatic relations with Burma, addressing threats to global health, and serving as representatives to international organizations. Today, nearly seventy such positions exist within the State Department, even after many of the underlying policy challenges these positions were created to address have been resolved.”
Tension Between Special Envoys and Career Officers Tillerson sees special envoys as more
of a hindrance to U.S. diplomacy than a help. “I believe that the Department will be able to better execute its mission by integrating certain envoys and special representative offices within the regional and functional bureaus, and eliminating those that have accomplished or outlived their original purpose,” he wrote in his letter. He added that this would address concerns that special envoys can “circumvent the regional and functional bureaus that make up the core of the State Department.” He also noted that budgets, staff members and responsibilities would be reallocated to the appropriate bureau, and senior bureau officials would be empowered to interact with high-level officials on certain issues. See En voys • page 14 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 13
would be cut and subsumed into the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. The special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo and the special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan would be cut and subsumed into the Bureau of African Affairs. The special representative and policy coordinator for Burma would be cut and subsumed into the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. And special coordinators for Libya, MEK resettlement and Syria would be cut and subsumed into the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Envoys Continued • page 13
In other words, Tillerson does not like the idea of special envoys being a workaround in relation to the existing State Department structure. This view aligns with the general view of career foreign service officers at State. “Career diplomats tend to be less than enthusiastic about special envoys,” former U.S. Ambassador John Campbell, a senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a foreign service officer from 1975 to 2007, told The Diplomat. “There are a number of problems. If you have a special envoy to a region or purpose, there can be confusion as to lines of authority, who’s in charge of what and where.” Special envoys have become a contentious issue at State for the last 25 to 30 years, said Campbell. “The question really is: Under what circumstances can a special envoy add value to the search for a solution to whatever the particular issue is? For career diplomats, the value added is pretty obscure.” Career foreign service officers tend to see special envoys as not especially helpful because their tenures are often very short. They also require a considerable amount of resource support, such as a staff. Then there is the basic question of authority: How does a special envoy work in relation to the U.S. ambassador of a country? In the ideal scenario, the special envoy works hand in hand with the ambassador so that the messaging and lines of effort of both roles are clear and agreed upon. In a problematic scenario,
Congressional Oversight Photo: U.S. State Department
Secretary of State John Kerry is joined by Bernard Aronson, special envoy for the Colombian peace process, during a meeting with FARC rebel leaders on March 21, 2016, in Havana, Cuba. Under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s restructuring, the special envoy position for the Colombian peace talks would be folded into the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau.
the special envoy’s work is at odds with what the ambassador and the U.S. mission in general are doing in a country.
Special Envoys: A Rundown In his letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson listed which special envoy positions would stay, go and change (for the complete list, see related sidebar). Among the positions retained would be: ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, special envoy to monitor and combat antiSemitism and the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. The positions retained and expanded include the ambassador-at-large for internation-
al religious freedom, which would assume the functions and staff of the special representative for religion and global affairs, special representative to Muslim communities, special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and special advisor for religious minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia. Other retained and expanded positions would be: ambassador-at-large to combat HIV/AIDS globally and the special envoy for Holocaust issues. Other prominent positions would be folded into existing bureaus. The Office of Global Food Security would be moved to USAID, for example. The special envoy for climate change and the special representative for the Arctic region
Breakdown: Who’s In and Who’s Out A
s part of a larger structural reorganization of the State Department, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to whittle down the number of special envoys and fold many of their portfolios into existing bureaus. Special envoy positions for the Arctic, climate change, Burma, Libya, the Great Lakes region in Africa, Sudan and South Sudan would be folded into their respective bureaus (see main story). Here’s a breakdown of some of the other proposed changes. Tillerson named several roles that would be “dual-hatted” with existing positions. The assistant secretary for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs would be dual hatted as the special representative for environment and water resources. The special coordinator for Tibetan issues would be dualhatted with the undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights. This undersecretary would also be dual-hatted with the special envoy for North Korean human rights issues. The positions of special advisor for international disabilities rights and the special representative for international labor affairs would be removed and their functions and staff assumed by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The coordinator for international communications and information policy; the senior coordinator for international information technology diplomacy; the coordinator for cyber issues; and the special advisor for conflict diamonds would be cut and subsumed into the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. The senior representative to the Minsk Group would be removed and the functions transferred to a deputy assistant secretary in the European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau. The special coordinator for Haiti would be
removed and subsumed into the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. The Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff would assume the functions and staff of the coordinator for sanctions policy. The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs would assume the functions and staff of the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The senior advisor for partner engagement on Syria foreign fighters would be removed and subsumed into the Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism. The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation would assume the functions and staff of the lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, which would be removed. The special representative for global partnerships would be cut and subsumed into the Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation. The assistant secretary for energy resources would continue to perform the responsibilities of the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs. The special envoy for the six-party talks, which deals with security concerns regarding North Korea, would be cut and folded into the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. The transparency coordinator position would be removed and duties transferred to the undersecretary for management. The special advisor for global youth issues would be removed and duties transferred to the undersecretary of public diplomacy and public affairs. The special envoy for the Colombian peace process would be cut and folded into the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau. The personal representative for Northern Ireland issues position would be retired, and
legacy and future responsibilities would be assigned to the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review special representative position would be cut. The special envoy for the closure of Guantanamo Detention Facility position would be removed, and any legacy and future responsibilities would be assigned to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. The special adviser for secretary initiatives and the senior advisor to the secretary positions would be removed. Meanwhile, no organizational changes are planned for the following positions: special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism; ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice; ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat trafficking in persons; special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons; coordinator for threat reduction programs; special negotiator for plutonium disposition; special representative of the president for nuclear nonproliferation; coordinator for U.S. assistance to Europe and Eurasia; special representative to the OSCE; permanent representative for the Conference on Disarmament; special representative for biological and Toxin Weapons Convention issues; chief economist, science and technology adviser; security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority; special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS; special representative for North Korea policy; special advisor for children’s issues; special envoy and coordinator of the Global Engagement Center; and special representative for commercial and business affairs. — Aileen Torres-Bennett
It’s the job of Congress to pass a budget for the government, so Tillerson’s plans are subject to lawmaker approval. Congress mandates 11 special envoy positions. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had a hearing in July during which senators asked Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan to discuss the administration’s plans for reorganizing the State Department. Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that he supports cutting the number of special envoys. “These positions are duplicative, they waste money, they have huge staffs,” he argued. “They do more harm than good. I think they hurt the culture of our professional foreign service officers because they see them in many cases as a workaround. It hurts those professionals that are doing their jobs well. I hope we’ll do away with all of them that are unnecessary, and I think most of them are unnecessary.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the committee, echoed Corker’s opinion that there are too many special envoys, but he advised caution with cuts. “There are areas where I want to have special attention where I don’t think you get it unless there’s a point person in the State Department to deal with it,” he said. Other members of the committee brought up specific envoy examples. Sen. Chris Coons (DDel.) pointed out that there is no point person at State for the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said that while prevailing opinion is that the Good Friday peace accords have made the Northern Ireland representative moot, the issues have “matured” into other areas that could still warrant a special envoy. “In the area of Brexit, there’s likely to be an exacerbation of tensions we haven’t seen in a long, long time,” he said. Markey defended special envoys in general. “Each one of these areas has a reason why they have a special envoy. If they’re moved into larger parts of the agency that don’t have any squarely aligned responsibility with a senior person inside of the department, it just would run the risk of … not getting the attention it needed.” At the end of the hearing, Corker, emphasizing congressional oversight for special envoys, brought up the newly created special envoy to Ukraine, which he believes should be subject to Senate confirmation.
Sidelining State President Trump’s budget proposed a 31 percent cut to the State Department’s funding, which Congress is unlikely to permit. Even many Republicans say that drastically slashing the agency’s funds would hamper the ability of U.S. diplomats to carry out foreign policy around the world. Tillerson plans to cut expenses at State by relying on attrition in the ranks, which means counting on retiring officers to save money. Cutting special envoys, and the staffs and other resources that come with them, is another costsaving measure. He sent details about the first See En voys • page 46
14 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
Cover Profile | WD
Estonia: 100 Years On From Digital Realm to Physical Terrain, Baltic State Keeps Wary Eye on Russia by Larry Luxner
n Feb. 24, 2018, the Republic of Estonia will celebrate its 100th anniversary of independence from the Russian Empire. Yet for more than half that time, this tiny Baltic nation about twice the size of New Jersey wasn’t independent at all. Occupied by Soviet troops in 1940, it was captured by Nazi Germany a year later, retaken by the U.S.S.R. in 1944 — and promptly turned, against its will, into a Soviet republic ruled by Moscow. It was only in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union itself, that Estonia regained its independence and began the long path to prosperity. By all accounts, Estonia has succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination. A member of both the European Union and NATO since 2004 (and the eurozone since 2011), its 1.3 million people today enjoy one of Europe’s fast-growing economies, almost zero public debt and near-universal internet access. Estonia, the birthplace of Skype, ranks sixth on the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (after Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia). And now Estonia, for the first time ever, occupies the rotating six-month presidency of the EU until Dec. 31. But the Russian threat has never gone away — as Estonia’s new ambassador to the United States, Lauri Lepik, made clear in a recent interview. He said that threat was laid bare by the massive Zapad exercises that Russia staged along with Belarus in midSeptember — one of the biggest such drills since the end of the Cold War. The ambassador called the drills aggressive and noted that they took place only 70 miles from Russia’s border with Estonia. Russia claimed the exercises were standard practice and only involved roughly 13,000 troops, but military observers believe the number was far higher (initial estimates put the figure at 100,000, though it appears about 70,000 troops participated). The war games envisioned a fictitious region of Belarus being overtaken by insurgents trying to topple the proMoscow regime. Russia stressed that the games were defensive in nature and designed to help the country’s counterterrorism operations. U.S. officials counter that the true intention of Zapad might have been to covertly leave behind a Russian military presence in Belarus and simulate an attack on NATO countries (a view bolstered by the fact that “Zapad” is Russian for “west”). “While we admit that every nation has the right to exercise on its own territory, they haven’t been transparent. The size of Zapad and the lack of transparency is what really concerns us,” Lepik told
us. “It’s very obvious if the country next to yours organizes large-scale military exercises with a scenario that it’s a counterterrorism operation — then deploys more than 100,000 air, naval and land forces plus a nuclear triad — it doesn’t seem very credible. You don’t find terrorists with 100,000 troops.” Russia further threatens Estonia, he said, with an array of non-military tactics ranging from cyber warfare to disinformation campaigns. In fact, long before accusations swirled of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, Estonians were well acquainted with fake news and the dangers posed by Russian hackers.
e-Stonia Girds for Cyber Warfare In 2007, Estonia was hit by a massive, weeks-long cyber attack that crippled banks, media outlets and government offices following riots over the relocation of a controversial Russian World War II monument. The unprecedented cyber attack on one of the world’s most wired nations ominously became known as “Web War One.” Distributed denial of service attacks flooded the internet with traffic, crashing websites and sending officials on a hunt to find the culprits and get the country back online. “This was the first time that a botnet threatened the national security of an entire nation,” Jaak Aaviksoo, Estonia’s defense minister at the time, told
Photo: Lawrence Ruggeri
The aim of Russian propaganda is to divide the Baltics and the West, and to spread the idea that NATO is not politically united…. But we are the West. Lauri Lepik ambassador of Estonia to the United States
Wired’s Joshua Davis for an Aug. 21, 2007, article. While no one could prove that the Kremlin was behind the attacks, they did originate from Russian IP addresses and online instructions were given in the Russian language. But one thing is clear: After that, Estonia quickly transformed itself into e-Stonia. The country was already a tech trailblazer, allowing citizens to vote and file taxes online. But such digital reliance also made it vulnerable, so after the 2007 attack, its people became experts in the burgeoning field of cyber security. Top IT consultants now receive training from the Ministry of Defense, practicing what to do in the
event hackers target Estonia again, and the government has set up a Cyber Defense Unit. Likewise, NATO set up its own cyber defense center — based in the Estonian capital of Tallinn — a year after the attack. Estonia is so prepared for a cyber shutdown that it claims to have become the first country able to function without physical land by setting up “digital embassies” around the world to back up all of its critical data. Estonia recently created the first such “data embassy” in Luxembourg — a heavily guarded server room that will contain vital e-government data that can be accessed even if systems are down at home.
Deterrence and Defense Having served in various defense-related postings throughout his diplomatic career, Lepik argues that his country has to take strong measures to protect itself against Russia, both in the digital and physical realm. Before taking up his current posting, Lepik — who presented his credentials to President Trump on Sept. 8 — spent the previous five years in Brussels as his nation’s permanent representative to NATO. Prior to that, he was Estonia’s envoy to Ukraine and Moldova, and from 1996 to 2000, he was deputy chief of mission at Estonia’s embassy in Washington (the first ambassador under whom Lepik served, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, went on to become president of Estonia from 2006 until 2016). Interestingly, Lepik’s wife is also a diplomat. During the four years she served as Estonia’s ambassador to Germany, he took a leave of absence — earning a master’s degree in political science from Berlin’s Humboldt University and See est oni a • page 16 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 15
Danish soldiers participate in a ceremony hosted by the Estonian Defense Force to officially welcome NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group at the TAPA Army Base in Estonia on April 20, 2017. In response to Russian aggression, NATO agreed to deploy a rotating contingent of four major battle groups to Poland and the Baltic states.
Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Steven M. Colvin
Above, U.S. Army soldiers suppress the enemy with an assault attack during a live fire exercise at Tapa Training Area in Estonia in March 2016. Below, Estonian soldiers stand in formation during a ceremony to welcome U.S. Army paratroopers to Estonia on June 19, 2014. Europebased U.S. Army units are frequently deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to conduct bilateral military exercises and reinforce NATO security commitments.
Estonia Continued • page 15
writing his dissertation on Nordic-Baltic defense cooperation. By coincidence, Lepik presented his credentials the same day as 10 other new arrivals including Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s new ambassador to the United States. “I’ve been here for two months, and it has been extremely busy, so physically I haven’t had time to pay a courtesy call to my Russian colleague,” Lepik, 57, told The Diplomat. “But we were both together at the credentialing ceremony, and I had a quick chat with him in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. I would describe it as professional.” In the meantime, Lepik is becoming reacquainted with Washington, where he served in the late ’90s. “I’m glad to be back in Washington, since my first posting was here,” the ambassador said. “There’s always work to be done on security, deterrence and defense. Our relationship with the United States is strong and productive, and I’m glad there’s very strong bipartisan support in Washington for that.” Lepik declined to comment on Trump’s ambiguous warning last year that once he became president, the United States might not automatically defend NATO allies under attack. That kind of rhetoric was music to the ears of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it put countries like Estonia — already nervous over Trump’s dismissal of NATO as “obsolete” — on edge. Nevertheless, during a July 2017 speech in Warsaw, the president offered explicit support for Article 5, the collective defense component of NATO’s charter.
Credit: U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston
Credit: DoD photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, U.S. Army National Guard
“I don’t want to go back onto the campaign trail. That’s far behind us,” the ambassador said. “A campaign is a campaign, and after the inauguration, the administration sets its policies. In that sense, NATO plays a very important role for the administration, and of course for the president. Also, Vice President [Mike] Pence was in Tallinn this summer and gave a very strong speech. The budget Congress has adopted shows very clearly what the priorities are. Trump is clearly committed to Article 5, as his latest statements show.” Pence isn’t the only highprofile American to visit Estonia lately. As Politico reporter Andrew Hanna pointed out in late July, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led a congressional delegation there in December, as did Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) in June. In March, the Pentagon’s top NATO general stopped in, followed the next month by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ill.). President Obama came to Tallinn in September 2014 to speak directly to Estonians.
Next Ukraine? The reason: Military strategists worry that Estonia may be the next Georgia or Ukraine — both former
16 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
Photo: avva / Pixabay
Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is a medieval tourist destination, although the country is also a high-tech trailblazer, having invented Skype and pioneered online voting.
Photo: NakNakNak / Pixabay
Soviet republics that know what it’s like to fight Russian forces. After all, an October 2016 study by the Rand Corp. found that a surprise Russian offensive could reach Tallinn within 36 to 60 hours. “As presently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,” the think tank concluded, warning that the alliance’s military assets in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were so mismatched with Russia as to be “inviting a devastating war, rather than deterring it.” While most experts doubt Russia would directly invade the Baltics, knowing it would invite a NATO counterattack, Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine clearly rattled the transatlantic security bloc. In 2016, NATO agreed to de-
ploy four major battle groups to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The plan involves a rotating contingent of several thousand multinational troops in each country, backed by armored infantry, drones and an additional 40,000-soldier rapid reaction force to protect Europe’s eastern flank. The Baltics cheered the move, and despite initial doubts over whether Trump would commit to the plan, the U.S. military has been steadily shifting resources and manpower to reassure nervous Eastern European allies. “[T]he United States and its NATO allies recently completed positioning about 4,500 soldiers in the three Baltic States and Poland, and are preparing to keep several thousand armored troops on the Continent as a deterrent
to Russian aggression,” Eric Schmitt of The New York Times wrote in an Aug. 6 article. “These tensions are part of an expanding rivalry and military buildup, with echoes of the Cold War, between Washington and Moscow.” But not everyone is thrilled about a Cold War revival, and Trump is not alone in his skepticism of NATO. Foreign policy realists such as Harvard University’s Stephen Walt point out that NATO has steadily encroached on Moscow’s doorstep and provoked a predictable backlash by courting nations such as Ukraine, where Moscow — not Washington or Brussels — has deep ties and vital strategic interests. Some also argue that NATO went too far by accepting (and thereby agreeing to defend) a wave of former Soviet states, questioning the wisdom of the U.S. ever going to war with Russia over a nation like Estonia. That kind of talk has the small but politically savvy Baltics playing offense. Estonia’s clout in Washington, for example, is partly the result of
a “sustained influence campaign,” according to Politico’s Hanna. “The country’s defense minister visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill in June, while its foreign minister scored face time with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in March,” he wrote. “Current and former Estonian government officials are some of Europe’s most visible at think tank events, skillfully schmoozing Washington politicians and journalists.” And despite Trump’s oftrepeated complaint that Europeans aren’t paying their fair share of defense expenditures, Estonia is quick to remind Americans that it is one of only five NATO member states to have achieved the 2 percent of GDP threshold the alliance set at its 2014 summit in Warsaw. Lepik said Estonia’s commitment to NATO is driven by very real security concerns, with its territorial integrity and sovereignty constantly being threatened by Russia. “In 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea and started
to wage war against Ukraine, NATO immediately reacted. The U.S. deployed its troops to Estonian soil as a first step of deterrence,” he told us. “We had this kind of arrangement until the NATO summit in Warsaw, when it was decided to deploy the Enhanced Forward Presence — which is a fully manned and equipped battle group — to the Baltic states and Poland. “More importantly, and this speaks for the credibility of all 29 allies — is that this mission has been very successful,” Lepik added. “We have a British battle group in Estonia supported by French troops, and then Danish troops will rotate the French out. That is clearly the sort of symbolic message to everyone, including the Russians, that Estonia doesn’t stand alone — and that any possible threat or aggression will be met by all NATO allies.” He noted that the Kremlin’s anger over roughly 1,000 troops under NATO control in Estonia is “really laughable.” “Our Russian colleagues really don’t understand the nature of NATO,” Lepik said. “There are 29 ambassadors sitting around the table at the North Atlantic Council, taking decisions based on consensus. Everyone has to agree to take an action. That kind of unity and symbolism is much more powerful than a battle group on the ground. This signal is extremely important — not only to the Russians but also to our own public — that NATO is the organization that defends everyone.” Baltic expert Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said, “Estonia matters tremendously, precisely because of Russia’s resurgence and because Estonia is perceived as a potential Russian target of destabilization. And for the U.S., it matters because Estonia is a NATO member country, and an ally.” Grigas, author of “Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire,” said that “if you look at the ambassador’s background, it’s very telling that he was former ambassador to NATO. It signals that this is the security agenda he’s coming with.” “Since the U.S. is also a NATO member, if Russia were to do something, NATO and the U.S. would have to respond. This would potentially, at least in theory, mean there could be a conflict between Russia and NATO. So this is why since 2014 all eyes have been on the three Baltic states.” The Lithuanian-born Grigas emphasized that none of the three like being called exSoviet republics. “They were never regarded as regular Soviet republics because they were occupied during World War II, and Washington never recognized their occupation,” she said. “All throughout the Cold War, Estonian diplomats in Washington and New York were running their missions in exile.” And even though Trump has reassured Estonians that the United States has its back, “I think they’re still nervous,” Grigas said. “Certainly, verbal reassurances are nice, but they live on the border, on the frontlines, and see a hostile Russia,” she told us. “At the end of the day, they will have to rely on NATO for support to defend themselves.”
iDENTiTy AND iNFORMATiON WARs Donald Jensen, who closely follows the Baltics as an adjunct senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), says Estonia “has built a multi-ethnic country which the Russians are trying to undermine,” even though they haven’t been very successful at it. “Estonia has a high-tech economy, it has integrated itself into the EU and NATO, it has so far successfully resisted Russian aggression, and has made the transition from being
estonia at a Glance Independence Day Feb. 24 (1918) Location Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic sea and gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia Capital Tallinn Population 1.25 million (July 2017 estimate)
Unemployment 6.8 percent (2016 estimate)
Ethnic groups Estonian 68.7 percent, Russian 24.8 percent, ukrainian 1.7 percent, Belarusian 1 percent, Finn 0.6 percent, other 1.6 percent, unspecified 1.6 percent (2011 estimate)
Population below poverty line 21.3 percent
GDP (purchasing power parity) $38.5 billion
Industries Food, engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
GDP per-capita (PPP) $29,300 (2016 estimate) GDP growth 1.6 percent (2016 estimate)
Flag of Estonia
well-established democracy. Quite frankly, this campaign hasn’t had any traction because people know better.” Nevertheless, in 2015, the Estonian government launched a Russian-language public broadcasting channel to counter propaganda by pro-Moscow outlets. One striking example of this disinformation campaign was a recent Kremlin attempt to portray Estonians as Nazi sympathizers, even though, as Lepik said, “fascist and Nazi symbols of the Third Reich, and also communist symbols, are prohibited by law. We regard them as more or less equal evils.” For now, said Lepik, Estonia has been “on the backburner” because Kremlin disinformation efforts have been focused on much larger targets: elections in France and Germany, and more recently the Catalonia independence referendum in Spain.
sOuRCE: CiA WORLD FACTBOOK
CENTuRy OF CHANgE
PHOTO: CiA WORLD FACTBOOK
Toompea Castle in Tallinn is the home of Estonia’s parliament. The government recently proclaimed Estonia the first country able to function without physical land by setting up “digital embassies” around the world to back up all of its critical data.
part of the U.S.S.R. to becoming a very vital, positive contributor to European and Western society. They deserve immense credit for creating a Western society despite all the problems,” said Jensen, a former U.S. diplomat posted to Moscow. “Like Poland, Estonia is a model for aspiring countries that want to make that same transition, especially Georgia, Ukraine and parts of the former Yugoslavia.” He added: “The lessons for those countries looking at Estonia are still there. They had great individual leadership. The whole package was there. In 1991, Poland and Ukraine had about the same income levels. Since then, Estonia and Poland have gone forward, and Ukraine has regressed because of corruption and a lack of national identity.” Yet Russia has seized on the issue of identity to infiltrate nations with sizable Russian minorities, such as Estonia. Western experts say Moscow is increasingly targeting such states with a campaign of “hybrid warfare,” using a combination of cyber attacks, propaganda and proxy forces. Baltic airspace, for instance, has been repeatedly breached by Russian aircraft, cyber shutdowns recently affected Latvia and Finland has seen a wave of fake news stories about how the country mistreats its ethnic Russians. Lepik said the Kremlin targets his country with disinformation aimed at convincing Estonia’s sizeable Russian ethnic minority that the country is a fascist, neo-Nazi state that would
not survive on its own without massive help from the EU and the United States. Ethnic Russians make up about a quarter of Estonia’s population, with Russian-speaking minorities concentrated in the city of Tallinn. Many ethnic Russians are not well integrated into Estonian society, watching only Russian TV, for example, and complaining that they are discriminated against by a government that makes it difficult for them to be full-fledged citizens. In fact, as many as 90,000 of these ethnic Russians are essentially stateless citizens. According to a recent article in Slate, “while a good number of ethnic Russians have successfully become Estonian citizens or acquired Russian citizenship, many have not. While the advantages of citizenship in an EU member state might seem obvious, the naturalization process is long and difficult, and it requires fluency in Estonian, a complex language with 14 cases, which many people living along the Russian border do not speak at all.” As a result, many of these people end up with “alien’s passports,” which allow them to vote in local elections but not in national ones; nor can they join a political party or work in public offices. But Lepik denies that his government treats ethnic Russians as second-class citizens. “The aim of Russian propaganda is to divide the Baltics and the West, and to spread the idea that NATO is not politically united,” he said. “But we are the West. We are a very liberal,
To mark Estonia’s 100th anniversary of independence, the embassy is helping coordinate a whole series of events throughout 2018. These include an exhibition of Estonian medieval painter Michel Sittow at the National Gallery of Art from Jan. 28 to May 13; seven U.S. performances of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and California) from Jan. 25 to Feb. 7; three April performances of the Heinavanker vocal ensemble; and a June 1-3 conference of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies at Stanford University. Asked if countries trying to make the transition to democracy and a free-market economy can learn anything from Estonia’s experiences, Lepik said “there is nothing to take away from the legacy of the Soviet system — absolutely nothing worth saving. Everything had to be built from scratch. This is a very important lesson.” Secondly, he said, countries must make necessary but painful structural reforms, no matter what. “I’m saying this because these reforms, by their nature, are unpopular with voters — like land ownership, institutional reforms, health care, agriculture and privatization,” he said. “People initially hate the changes. They resist them and vote politicians who are reformers out of government. But in our case, although the governments changed quite rapidly, the course was the same. We didn’t change our policies.” After enjoying double-digit economic growth in the late 1990s, the economy tanked following the 2008 global financial crisis and has only recently begun bouncing back. It’s now at a healthy 4.7 percent a year, while unemployment hovers around 4 percent. Annual per-capita GDP, meanwhile, is around $17,600 — about on par with Greece or Slovakia, slightly less than Portugal and considerably higher than its two Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania. But how does Estonia stack up against the rest of the ex-U.S.S.R.? “I don’t care,” Lepik replied. “I don’t compare us with the other former Soviet republics. That was 25 years ago, so I don’t see any need to make that kind of comparison. We are in a different world now.” WD Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.
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THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017 | 17
WD | Global Vantage Point
From the Ground Up Op-ed: In World of Grim News, Peacebuilding Offers Ray of Hope by Shamil Idriss and Mike Jobbins
s 2017 draws to a close, humanity’s capacity to deal with crisis and conflict appears to be at a breaking point. New conflicts erupted in chronically fragile places, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic. Global standoffs persist on the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East. Despite military victories over the Islamic State, crises in Iraq and Syria seem likely to linger for years to come. Armed conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Northeast Nigeria threatened famines and 80 percent of humanitarian aid is now directed toward coping with the consequences of war. Here in the United States, killings from Charlottesville to Las Vegas demonstrated the fragility of social cohesion nationwide. While academics assure us that we are living in one of the safest eras of human history, life does not feel safe for most of us. Images of suffering and horror ricochet throughout the world on social media and 24-hour news. The inability of diplomats, security agencies and political leaders to end these manmade crises is on full display, while surveys tell us that trust in institutions is plummeting across the world. Yet beneath the framework of a world in crisis, there are plenty of reasons to be thankful. As leaders with Search for Common Ground, one of the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organizations, we’ve seen ordinary citizens and civil society groups step in to fill the void left by governments and international organizations that struggle to ensure peace and stability. While we may be accustomed to great leaders providing moral clarity and inspiration — the Martin Luther Kings and Nelson Mandelas of the world — the face of modern peacemaking is much more local: a schoolteacher in Niger working to prevent gang recruitment; a Lebanese mother who opened a school for Syrian refugees; and a young Kyrgyz student reaching out to his peers to reduce recruitment by terrorist groups. These local heroes can have a real impact, beneath the headlines of some of the world’s gravest crises. Over the last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, old grievances boiled over in Tanganyika province between Pygmies from the ethnic Twa group and the Luba, a Bantu ethnic group. Villages were burned. Women, men and children were tortured and killed. More than 500,000 people fled their homes. Humanitarian agencies are warning of a cholera outbreak. Yet, as negotiations broke
18 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMBER 2017
Photo: Search for Common Ground
Search for Common Ground runs grassroots programs in South Sudan to curb interethnic tensions across the country.
Global stability seems to be buckling under the weight of today’s crises, but hundreds of thousands of committed local peace-builders are succeeding at keeping humanity afloat.
down and the government and United Nations struggled to keep the peace, Pygmy and Bantu youth stepped forward. Village by village, they are setting up committees with members from both ethnic groups, meeting with militia commanders and local leaders to prevent attacks and clear a way for displaced people to return home. Reading media reports of the bombs and mortars falling on Yemen as part of a Saudi-led offensive to oust Houthi rebels that has deepened the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, it is easy to see ordinary Yemeni women and men as passive and hopeless victims. Yet the actions of ordinary people are in many ways some of the biggest reasons for hope. Local mediators fanning out throughout the country are helping humanitarian workers negotiate access to communities in need, working across dividing lines to prevent people from having to flee and stabilizing communities within the context of the wider crisis.
This summer, armed groups attacked the city of Bangassou in the Central African Republic, where tensions between Christian and Muslim communities had already been high. Dozens of civilians were killed, along with U.N. peacekeepers who tried to respond. Yet, despite the violence and insecurity, both Christian and Muslim leaders worked to restore peace, the local radio station launched an intensive media campaign to promote harmony and local actors initiated street theater conversations about how the town can recover. The situation in Bangassou — and across the CAR — remains precarious, but great hope for stabilizing the country lies in its people. Tragedies like the recent bombing in Mogadishu or the shooting massacre in Las Vegas have shined a light on the horrors that can be wrought by just a few people dedicated to destruction. It is easy to lose sight of the opposite: dedicated individuals mobilizing for peace. Yet, in an era when govern-
ments’ capacities are overstretched, citizens and civil society groups may be our best hope. Citizen-led peace efforts cannot succeed alone. In some parts of the world, peacebuilding groups face new legal restrictions from governments unaccustomed to working with civil society. In desperately poor places, peace-builders are among the most under-resourced actors compared to armed groups, governments and relief agencies. Out of every $20 spent by the global community to assist fragile countries, less than $1 goes to building peace or mitigating conflict, even if that is the cause of the fragility. Global stability seems to be buckling under the weight of today’s crises, but hundreds of thousands of committed local peace-builders are succeeding at keeping humanity afloat. Let us be thankful for their work, celebrate their achievements and support them with policies that magnify the impact they are able to make. WD Shamil Idriss is president and CEO of Search for Common Ground. Mike Jobbins is director of global affairs and partnerships at Search for Common Ground, an international nonprofit that operates in over 30 countries and seeks sustainable, cooperative solutions to conflict through dialogue, media and community outreach.
Education A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
Time to Sleep In New Study Shows Economic Benefits of Later School Start Times •
pHoto: stock snap / pixaBay
By stepHanie kanoWitZ
t’s no secret that a cranky child or a tired teen is exhausting — prone to acting up, outbursts and, well, other behavior that, quite frankly, any sleep-deprived adult can relate to.
Studies have documented the dangers of sleepiness in terms of health risks such as obesity and depression, as well as in diminished academic performance, but a new study suggests that more sleep for middle and high school students could mean more than healthier, happier human beings. It could benefit the U.S. economy to the tune of $83 billion within a decade and $140 billion within 15 years. “On average, this corresponds to an annual gain of about $9.3 billion each year, which is roughly the annual revenue of Major League Baseball,” states a Rand Corp. study aptly titled “Later
school start times in the U.S.” Rand researchers used a macroeconomic modeling approach to study the economic effects of a policy change that would school start times to 8:30 a.m. in 47 states. Currently, the national average start time is 8:03 a.m., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers used scenario-based analysis, comparing the current status quo of school start times see S l e e p • page 20
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 19
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to a counterfactual scenario in which all middle and high schools nationwide would start at 8:30 a.m. They focused on two main effects: improved academic performance and decreased fatal car crashes among teenagers. Enabling teens, who should get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, to get one more hour of sleep had profound results, the study found.
One, it increases studentsâ€™ probability of graduating high school by 13.3 percent and attending college by 9.6 percent, on average. More high school and college grads would mean a better-educated workforce, which â€œhas a direct effect on how much a particular person contributes toward the economy in future financial earnings,â€? the report states. Second, more sleep would reduce car crash rates, the study adds, because â€œinadequate sleep among adolescents has been associated with motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death of adolescents in the United States,â€? according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. That, too, would mean economic gains.
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The most surprising finding of the study is that even if we take into account a relative large cost per student ($150 per year) to fulfill the policy shift to later school start times, the benefit would outweigh the cost already after a very short period of time after the policy change. Marco Hafner, lead researcher at Rand Europe
“The reduction in car crash fatalities leads to an increase in the future labor supply … and the improvement in graduation rates and college attendance improves the jobs individuals may get in the future and hence their earnings improve,” Marco Hafner, the study’s lead researcher, wrote in an email. In fact, the estimated gains could be even higher had the study considered other factors. It looked only at effects for which robust estimates from previous research were available, but “it is also well documented that insufficient sleep affects students’ mental and physical health, which could lead to increased levels of depression and obesity. We didn’t quantify those, so the potential benefits would highly likely be larger if we could have had taken into account these effects as well,” Hafner added.
Quick Results It wouldn’t take long to see results from a policy change. In just two years,
the economy could see gains of $8.6 billion, which would outweigh the cost per student for transportation rescheduling — a major reason preventing policy change. “Previous estimates say that it would cost somewhere around $150 per year per student to alter bus schedules to transport more children at the same time,” Hafner wrote. “Also, it is often mentioned that if schools start later, after-school activities such as athletics may suffer. But a quick fix there would be to adjust lighting on the outdoor fields, which has been estimated to cost around $110,000 per school. Interestingly, even when we take those costs into account, the benefits would outweigh the costs relatively soon after the policy change. Last but not least, often parents oppose later school start times because they think it’s an impact on their daily family routine. “The most surprising finding of the See S l e e p • page 22
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Sleep continued • page 21
study is that even if we take into account a relative large cost per student ($150 per year) to fulfil the policy shift to later school start times, the benefit would outweigh the cost already after a very short period of time after the policy change,” he added. For instance, even in a “very high” cost scenario in which annual costs per student are assumed to be $500 and upfront costs are $330,00, the predicted benefits would outweigh the estimated costs 16 to 18 years after the policy change. The study predicted that California, Texas and New York stand to make the most economic gains within two years. Specifically, California’s gross state product would be about $1.4 billion larger, Texas’s would be $851 million bigger and New York would gain $493 million. Over 20 years, those numbers become $24.5 billion, $18.3 billion and $13.1 billion, respectively. The states with the lowest predicted cumulative economic gain are Alabama and Vermont, which stand to gain $11 million and $17 million, respectively, within two years. In Alabama, that number jumps over time, however, reaching about $1.3
billion in 20 years, while Vermont would reach $385 million. “The economic gains are different across states due to two reasons,” Hafner wrote. “First, the current school start times in middle and high schools vary across states (even on the very local district or even school level). In those states which have very early school start times (e.g., 7:30 a.m.), a shift to 8:30 a.m. would give students more additional sleep than in states with relative late school start times (e.g., 8:15 a.m.). Second, the current underlying economic structure of a state and the general productivity level play a role, taking into account for instance the underlying industrial structure. For instance, every additional unit of labor (e.g., student that may not have died in a car accident) would produce more in states like New York than in a state like Alabama. So the model basically takes into account regional heterogeneity in the overall productivity levels of each state.”
WHat’s BeHind sleep sHoRtages? Up to 60 percent of teenagers report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep, the report states. Several factors contribute to this. One is beyond teens’ control: “Adolescents experience major changes in their circadian rhythm, resulting in a roughly three-hour
Center for Language Education and Development
Photo: Stock Snap / Pixabay
shift toward later bed and wake-up times compared to adults,” the study states. That makes it hard for teens to fall asleep before 11 p.m. and wake before 8 a.m., Hafner wrote. Additionally, homework, socializing, extracurricular activities and, as Hafner mentioned, screen time in the bedroom result in lost sleep time. “Sending them to bed at 9 p.m. and even taking away the smartphones, they would struggle to fall asleep, because their melatonin levels (sleepinducing hormone) are low before 11 p.m.,” he said. “If school starts at 7:30 a.m., many have to get up even before 6 a.m., which is the equivalent
of waking up an adult at 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.”
Bottom Line: We All Need More Sleep Almost half of American teenagers get less than seven hours of sleep nightly, and adults don’t fare much better. Nearly 30 percent say they get an average of six or less hours, according to the National Health Interview Survey, prompting the CDC and other health organizations to call sleep deprivation a public health epidemic. See s l e e p • page 24
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Fork Fo rk Union Military Academy Milita Acad Ac ademy ad
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Grades: 6â€“12 coed
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8617 Chateau Drive, Potomac, MD 20854
FRIDAY, NOV. 10 9 am â€“ 12 pm Grades: PreK â€“ 12th coed
4744 James Madison Highway Fork Union, VA 23055 USA
8224 Lochinver Lane, Potomac, MD 20854 Grades: Kâ€“12 coed
Representing more than 20 nationalities, our student body is united by a shared interest in McLean School invites you to join us for an German language and culture. Visit us to learn open house and experience our support for more about our programs from PreK â€“ 12th www.rma.edu a studentsâ€™ individual learning strengths and 540-636-5484 grade. Knowledge of German is not required challenges. Schedule a tour anytime and for admission to the Pre-K and K programs. register for an open house by contacting us at Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240.395.0698 or email@example.com. 301.767.3807. www.giswashington.org.
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2001 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Grades: Pre-K - 12 coed
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8 Session 1: 9 am - 10:30 am Session 2: 1 pm - 2:30 pm British International School of Washington would like to give you the opportunity to see our teaching and learning, meet our principal and our teachers and give you a true insight into what life is like here. Learn more at BISWashington.org or contact us at 202.882.1911 or assistant@BISWashington.org.
Bradley and Rollingwood campuses 4920 Strathmore Ave, Kensington, MD 20895
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SUNDAY, NOV. 5 10 am - 1 pm We look forward to meeting you and guiding you through the campus as you discover Holy Cross! Come explore our facilities and learn about our traditions. Contact our admissions office at 301.929.6442 or email@example.com.
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Saturday, Nov. 4: 10 am - noon Friday, Nov. 3: 9 - 11 am Friday, Dec. 8: 9:15 -11 am Friday, Dec. 1: 9 - 11am Friday, Jan. 19, 2018: 9:15 -11 am Friday, Jan. 26, 2018: 9 -11am
Attend an in-depth presentation on the benefits of our programs, take a guided tour of our campuses and meet with our admissions team. Please RSVP at: rochambeau.org/openhouse.
Education OPEN HOUSES Sleep continued â€˘ page 23
Thatâ€™s because countless studies have shown that not getting enough sleep, whether as a teenager or as an adult, increases the chances of a litany of health problems, from heart disease to diabetes to weakened immunity. It also makes us less, not more, productive. The effects on the economy are also farreaching. The most recent Rand study follows a previous piece of research from Rand Europe in November 2016 that showed that the U.S. sustains economic losses of up to $411 24 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017
billion a year (2.28 percent of its GDP) due to insufficient sleep among its workforce. Hafner plans to continue studying the effects of sleep by incorporating more variables such as the physical and mental health consequences of later school start times and by going more granular â€” to conduct analysis on the school district, rather than state, level. â€œSpeaking as a father of two young children â€” 2 and 4, and the lack of sleep due to caring of newborns led me to sleep research â€” I think itâ€™s very important to understand the importance of sleep, not only for children but also for adults,â€? Hafner wrote. WD Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
pHoto: aRtistic opeRations / pixaBay
Medical A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
Human Toll of Pollution Air, Water, Other Types of Pollution Tied to 9 Million Deaths Worldwide in 2015 •
By HealtHday neWs
ollution led to more than 9 million deaths worldwide in 2015, or 1 in 6 deaths that year, a new report reveals. Air pollution, the worst culprit, was linked to 6.5 million heartand lung-related deaths, The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health said.
Water pollution was tied to 1.8 million deaths, mostly from gastrointestinal and parasitic infections. And workplace-related pollution and lead pollution also played a role, contributing to 800,000 deaths and 500,000 deaths, respectively. “Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge — it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and well-being,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, colead of the commission. “It deserves the full attention of international leaders, civil society, health professionals and people around the world,” added
Landrigan, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The report is published in the Oct. 20 online issue of The Lancet. Two years in the making, it involved more than 40 international health and environmental authors. Air pollution-related deaths were attributed to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
pHoto: alZeniR feRReiRa de souZa / pixaBay
Pollution from a dump is seen in the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil.
Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge — it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and well-being. dR. pHilip landRigan
see p O l l U T I O N • page 26
professor at Mount Sinai in New York City
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 25
Pollution Continued • page 25
(COPD), the report said. Occupational pollution led to deadly diseases such as pneumoconiosis (a lung disease caused by inhaling irritants) in coal workers; bladder cancer in dye workers; and asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers in workers exposed to asbestos, according to the report. Meanwhile, high blood pressure, kidney failure and heart disease contributed to deaths related to lead pollution. “Our goal is to raise global awareness of the importance of pollution, and mobilize the political will needed to tackle it, by providing the most indepth estimates of pollution and health available,” Landrigan said in a journal news release.
Photo: Foto-RaBe / Pixabay
A new study found that pollution led to more than 9 million deaths worldwide in 2015, with air pollution being the worst culprit, linked to 6.5 million heart- and lung-related deaths, followed by water pollution at 1.8 million deaths.
LEARN MORE: The World Health Organization has more on the environment and health at www.euro.who.int/en/ health-topics/environment-and-health. Nearly all pollution-linked deaths (92 percent) were in low- and middle-income countries. In rapidly industrializing countries — such as Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, Kenya and Madagascar — pollution-linked deaths accounted for up to 1 in 4 of all fatalities, the report said. China and India suffered the most pollutionlinked deaths — 4.3 million between them.
Photo: Efes Kitap / Pixabay
The report authors said many emerging chemical pollutants remain unidentified, so the report likely underestimates the true extent of pollutionrelated disease and death. Richard Fuller, who also led the commission, said the way to tackle pollution is to make it a pri-
ority in terms of planning, research and finding. He is a founder of Pure Earth, a nonprofit group involved in pollution cleanup and prevention. “Pollution can be eliminated, and pollution prevention can be highly cost-effective, helping to improve health and extend life span, while boosting the economy,” said Fuller. This has been seen in richer countries where legislation has helped to curb the most flagrant forms of pollution, he added. The result has been cleaner air and water, lower blood lead concentrations, removal of hazardous waste sites, and less polluted and more livable cities, Fuller said. WD Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
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WD | Medical | Obesity
Cancer and Weight Obesity Linked to 13 Types of Cancer; Losing Weight May Lower Risk •
by HealthDay News
here’s a link between obesity and 40 percent of all the cancers diagnosed in the United States, health officials reported Tuesday. That doesn’t mean too much weight is causing all these cancer cases — just that there’s some kind of still-to-be explained association, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Still, the study findings suggest that being obese or overweight was associated with cancer cases involving more than 630,000 Americans in 2014, and this includes 13 types of cancer. “That obesity and overweight are affecting cancers may be surprising to many Americans. The awareness of some cancers being associated with obesity and overweight is not yet widespread,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC deputy director, said during a midday media briefing. The 13 cancers include: brain cancer; multiple myeloma; cancer of the esophagus; postmenopausal breast cancer; as well as cancers of the thyroid, gallbladder, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovaries, uterus and colon, the researchers said. Speaking at the news conference, Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said early evidence indicates that losing weight can lower the risk for some cancers. According to the new report from the CDC and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, these 13 obesity-related cancers made up about 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2014. Although the rate of new cancer cases has decreased since the 1990s, increases in overweight- and obesity-related cancers are likely slowing this progress, the researchers said. Of the 630,000 Americans diagnosed with a cancer associated with overweight or obesity in 2014, about two out of three occurred in adults aged 50 to 74, the researchers found. Excluding colon cancer, the rate of obesity-related cancer increased by 7 percent between 2005 and 2014. During the same time, rates of non-obesity-related cancers dropped, the findings showed. In 2013-2014, about two out of three American adults were overweight or obese, according to the report. For the study, researchers analyzed 2014 cancer data from the United States Cancer Statistics report and data from 2005 to 2014.
Health officials recently reported that 40 percent of all cancers in the U.S. are associated with obesity.
The awareness of some cancers being associated with obesity and overweight is not yet widespread. Dr. Anne Schuchat
• Black men and American Indian/ Alaska Native men had higher rates of cancer than white men. • Cancers linked to obesity increased 7 percent between 2005 and 2014, but colon cancer decreased 23 percent. Screening for colon cancer is most likely the reason for that cancer’s continued decline, Schuchat said.
principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Cancers not linked to obesity dropped 13 percent.
Key findings include:
• Except for colon cancer, cancers tied to overweight and obesity increased among those younger than 75.
• Of all cancers, 55 percent in women and 24 percent in men were associated with overweight and obesity. • Blacks and whites had higher rates of weight-related cancer than other racial or ethnic groups.
28 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017
Dr. Farhad Islami is strategic director of cancer surveillance research for the American Cancer Society. He said it’s “important to note that only a fraction of the cancers
Photo: Michal Jarmoluk / Pixabay
included in the calculation in this report are actually caused by excess body weight.” According to Islami, “many are attributable to other known risk factors, like smoking, while for many others, the cause is unknown. Obesity is more strongly associated with some cancers than others.” Islami noted that the World Cancer Research Fund estimates that “20 percent of all cancers in the United States are caused by a combination of excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol, and poor nutrition. The American Cancer Society is currently doing its own extensive calculation of the numbers and proportions of cancer cases attributable to excess body weight, the results of which will be published soon.” WD Copyright (c) 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
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Culture arts & entertainment art
Chicano Resistance “Before the 45th,” a reference to President Trump’s immigration policies, is a compelling exhibition at the Mexican Cultural Institute that explores the enduring traditions and bloody tragedies of Chicanos in California from the 1970s to 2016. / PAGE 33
The Washington Diplomat
RENOIR’S RICH WORLD ART
A new exhibition built around the Phillips Collection’s iconic impressionist masterpiece “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” below, takes visitors behind the scenes of the rich world that Pierre-Auguste Renoir inhabited — both in life and on the canvas. / PAGE 32
Right Next Door America’s oldest museum of Latin American and Caribbean art is steps away from the National Mall, hosts traveling exhibitions and boasts a permanent collection of more than 2,000 works. Yet somehow, it’s still flown under the radar. But now, the Art Museum of the Americas wants to be more than just a hidden gem. / PAGE 34
Fashionable ‘Scraps’ In an age of “fast fashion” brands, clothing has become disposable, and the mere idea of sewing a button back on is now an archaic concept. But those cheap T-shirts and bargain-basement jeans come at a high cost, as seen in a new exhibition that reveals the environmental impact of the global fashion industry and offers creative solutions. / PAGE 36
Art / Dance / Discussions Music / Theater / PAGE 40
Ambassador Insider Series - Pakistan Saudi National Day / PAGE 42 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 31
WD | Culture | Art
Impressive Friends Phillips Steps into Renoir’s World with ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’ •
BY MACKENZIE WEINGER
Renoir and Friends THROUGH JANUARY 7 PHILLIPS COLLECTION 1600 21ST ST., NW
(202) 387-2151 | WWW.PHILLIPSCOLLECTION.ORG
new exhibition built around the Phillips Collection’s iconic impressionist masterpiece “Luncheon of the Boating Party” takes visitors behind the scenes of the rich world that PierreAuguste Renoir created in his painting. “Renoir and Friends” serves as a lush exploration of the larger sphere the French artist inhabited, highlighting his family life, interest in costuming and, most critically, the people who modeled for the famous 19th-century painting. More than 40 works are on display — including paintings, drawings, pastels, prints and photographs — and it all comes together for a lovely exhibition that pays tribute to and shines a new light on the museum’s iconic work. Many of the pieces play off the theme of the central image, depicting summer days filled with boating, dancing, drinking and lounging. The show leaves the impression of wandering on a hazy summer day, permanently blissful — it’s an ideal day at the museum, especially as D.C. heads for colder months that feel far removed from the warmth of PHOTO: THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION Renoir’s luncheon. Eliza Rathbone, the Phillips’s chief curator emerita, told The Washington Diplomat that the idea behind the exhibition was to take this well-known work from Renoir’s career and “see it anew, in a fresh way.” “How did he get there? How did he come to paint this? Obviously, it is a figure composition more than anything else,” she said. “The point was therefore to look at it as a figure composition and ask, ‘What can we learn about the origins of this work from the point of view of who were the models?’” The exhibit delves especially into the fascinating figures of Renoir’s future wife and regular model, Aline Charigot, PHOTO: WALLRAF-RICHARTZ-MUSEUM & FONDATION CORBOUD, COLOGNE artist Gustave Caillebotte, and art critic and collector Charles Ephrussi, all of whom make an appearance in “Luncheon.” When it was first displayed in 1882, people saw the plein-air masterpiece “just as a genre scene, with young women, jolly boaters, a mixed crowd of people having a lovely time,” Rathbone said. But look a bit deeper at the process of the PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART painting and it is clear “it was not a simple undertaking,” she said, “given that the composition Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” top, anchors a Phillips is extraordinarily complex.” Collection exhibition on the artist’s circle of friends, which includes other well“What I was intrigued by was who were the known works such as Renoir’s “Oarsmen at Chatou,” above, Édouard Manet’s “A Bunch of Asparagus” and Gustave Caillebotte’s “A Man Docking His Skiff.” models, and I felt if one found out who they were, you would find out the backstory and why and how he came to do the painting,” Rathbone said. a weird perspective, so watery — it’s just kind of perfect for this That’s the crux of the exhibition, this exploexhibition,” she said. PHOTO: KATHERINE WETZEL © VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS ration of the “remarkable group of people who As for Renoir, a highlight can be found in his painting “Young were Renoir’s friends,” according to the curator. Woman Sewing,” which bursts with incredible colors behind the simple depiction of Seeing the artist through the context of his friends — many of whom often served the title. The blue background dances with pinks, purples and greens. as models for his work — makes for a fascinating show and offers museumgoers a The exhibition also features aspects of the material culture of the time, like hats newfound appreciation of his famous luncheon scene. and contemporary books, which fill out Renoir’s world and that of his famous boating “One of the things we discover in looking closely at Renoir’s friendships is what a party. The show is a comprehensive and affecting look at the people that mattered to diplomat he could be,” Rathbone said. “He moved in all kinds of circles, and he came his life and work. from a very simple background. It’s kind of amazing he succeeded as well as he did in “Renoir and Friends” is masterful in the way it builds anticipation to its inevitable becoming a very good friend of people of very different backgrounds.” finale — the celebrated painting itself. It concludes with a behind-the-scenes look at The show is filled with memorable works from Renoir and other artists of his era, the painting, including a technical study of the picture and the ways Renoir altered such as Édouard Manet and his asparagus paintings. Manet sold Ephrussi his painting the image in the course of his work. While fascinating, what ultimately stays with “A Bunch of Asparagus” for just 800 francs, but the art critic sent back 1,000. Manet viewers is the sumptuous world the brilliant artist created both in his life and on then sent Ephrussi a painting of a single asparagus — along with a note that said the canvas. WD “there was one missing from your bunch.” It “really encapsulates this wonderful sense of support” that Ephrussi provided to artists, most notably Renoir, Rathbone said. Mackenzie Weinger (@mweinger) is a contributing writer One of Rathbone’s favorite pieces is Caillebotte’s “A Man Docking His Skiff.” “It’s for The Washington Diplomat.
32 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017
Art | Culture | WD
Chicano Identity ‘Before the 45’ Tackles Traditions and Tragedies of Chicano Culture •
BY BRENDAN L. SMITH
Before the 45th | Action/Reaction in Chicano and Latino Art THROUGH DEC. 29 MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE 2829 16TH ST., NW
(202) 728-1628 WWW.INSTITUTEOFMEXICODC.ORG
hicanos in Southern California have faced an identity crisis seeking to assimilate in America while maintaining their Mexican roots in the face of racism, menial jobs and police brutality. A compelling exhibition at the Mexican Cultural Institute explores their enduring traditions and bloody tragedies through artwork by Chicano and Latino artists from the 1970s to 2016. “Before the 45th | Action/Reaction in Chicano and Latino Art” is especially timely and relevant in our current political climate of xenophobia and President Trump’s pointless demands to build a border wall that could cost taxpayers up to $70 billion. The exhibition’s title refers to his role as the 45th president and how artists may respond to his actions in the future. In the first gallery, two silkscreens and an oil painting by revered Chicano artist Frank Romero start the conversation in Romero’s finely honed style that deftly spotlights social injustice through humor and biting satire. In “The Arrest of the Palateros,” Los Angeles police clad in riot gear train their guns on a “menacing” foe, a group of Chicano ice cream street vendors armed only with cool treats. The men, women and children are blinded in the light of the squad cars’ headlights with their hands raised while a cop toting a billy club chases a cotton-candy vendor down the sidewalk. Romero’s protest of pointless police crackdowns on street vendors is rendered in brightly hued pastel tones that make the subject matter even more ridiculous and surreal. In “The Closing of Whittier Boulevard,” an oil painting created in 1984, Romero again mocks the police for heavyhanded tactics in shutting down Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles to enforce a city ordinance banning cruising, an issue that has resurfaced today. A bunch of classic cars is blocked by a row of identical cops standing next to an officer on horseback armed with a giant spear, resembling a grandiose statue in a park that has somehow galloped onto the street for petty law enforcement duty. Several pieces in the exhibition highlight the Chicano Movement that began in the 1960s when the term Chicano, once a derogatory name for the offspring of Mexican migrants, was adopted as a badge of ethnic pride and focus for social action against injustices on multiple fronts. A graphite sketch by Carlos Almaraz titled “UFW (United Farm Workers) Study” shows a group of nonviolent Chicano protesters being attacked by Teamsters and farmers who opposed their demands for collective bargaining and humane working conditions in the fields. Wearing simple blue jeans and a jean jacket, charismatic UFW leader Cesar Chavez is depicted standing next to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Eloy Torrez’s oil painting titled “Unidos.” King and Chavez, who shared nonviolent protest tactics against police brutality, have traded buttons, with King’s button stating “unidos” while Chavez’s says “united.” The two historic figures gaze directly at the viewer, with King’s hand extended for a handshake, uniting common struggles across racial and
PHOTOS: ALTAMED ART COLLECTION, COURTESY OF CÁSTULO DE LA ROCHA AND ZOILA D. ESCOBAR
“Before the 45th” at the Mexican Cultural Institute features well-known Chicano artwork such as, from clockwise top: Frank Romero’s “The Closing of Whittier Boulevard”; Man One’s “ALIENATION”; Patssi Valdez’s “Little Girl with Yellow Dress”; and Carlos Almaraz’s “L.A. Memo.”
ethnic divides. Graffiti artist Man One directly tackles the politics and harsh realities of the border wall in “ALIENATION,” a spray-paint and acrylic painting showing a giant supernatural figure leaning on a border wall that extends into the sea. The creature is adorned both with a devil’s horns and spiked tail and an angel’s wings and halo. It has plucked up or cast aside small white figures with bulbous alien heads and snake tails, erasing the humanity of migrants and literally depicting them as “aliens” whose lives depend on arbitrary judgments beyond their control. The work exposes how the political debate over the border wall has cast all immigrants together as a faceless mass, stoking fear and anger against people who seek a better life for themselves and their families. All of the artwork was loaned from the impressive collection of AltaMed Health Services, a community health care system in Southern California that has celebrated Chicano culture since its founding as the East Los Angeles Barrio Free Clinic in 1969. The safety sign posted on Southern California highways depicting a fleeing immigrant family was meant to reduce pedestrian traffic deaths, but it is effectively reworked in the exhibition’s only mixed-media installation by Viviana (Viva) Paredes. Titled “Bendicion Para Un Mojado (A Blessing for a Wetback),” that iconic family image has been etched into five blown glass cylinders filled with medicinal herbs that are mounted in a Tibetan prayer wheel frame of rough timber. The work instills a feeling of hope, hope for safe passage, hope for mutual respect and hope that love might ultimately trump fear. WD Brendan L. Smith is a mixed-media artist (dcmixedmedia.wordpress.com) and contributing writer (www.brendanlsmith.com) for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 33
WD | Culture | Museums
Hometown Pioneer America’s Oldest Museum of Latin American, Caribbean Art Raises Its Profile •
merica’s oldest museum of Latin American and Caribbean art is one block down from DAR Constitution Hall and steps away from the National Mall. It has free admission like its Smithsonian neighbors, hosts traveling exhibitions, collaborates with embassies and features rotating displays of its permanent collection of more than 2,000 works. Yet somehow, it’s still flown under the radar of the D.C. museum scene. But now, the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) wants to be more than just a hidden gem. In September, AMA released its first book in more than 30 years. The book catalogs 100 pieces in the museum’s permanent collection and is the centerpiece of AMA’s sustainability plan, an effort to expand the museum’s audience and public knowledge about the collection. That collection started with one piece in 1949, a donated painting by Brazilian artist Candido Portinari, that kicked off an effort by the Organization of American States (OAS) to acquire a collection that reflected the contemporary art of its member states. The OAS opened the museum in 1976 to serve as a venue for cultural exchange among the nations of the Americas. Since then, it has hosted countless exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from a range of countries, such as Belize, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and many others. Its current exhibit, “Human Landscapes,” highlights the varied and idiosyncratic aspects of Argentina’s geography through contemporary photography and video works. Canada is also in the mix. Last month, AMA announced the donation of 150 pieces of art to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, making it the first large body of Canadian artwork to join the constantly expanding collection. The first book to document pieces in the AMA collection was created under the leadership of art critic Marta Traba and published in 1985. Four years ago, Adriana Ospina, the current curator of the AMA’s permanent collection, set out to update it. “The Latin American art field has grown so much since ,” Ospina said. “There’s programs teaching Latin American art history all over the world, all over the country. Our archives are getting more popular.” Ospina gathered a group of curators and scholars who had experience working with the permanent collection to tackle the project. She created a voting system among the group to select the pieces that would be included, and then participants chose particular works to research and write about. They dove into the archives, mining through old clippings and documents to compile the stories behind the pieces. They reached out to artist estates and families and even discovered that they had mistitled a couple of the pieces in their records. In honor of the publication of the book, the museum exhibited 72 of the documented pieces in a month-long exhibition this fall. For decades, Cuban-born art critic José Gómez-Sicre was the driving force behind
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BY TERI WEST
building up the AMA collection and bringing in fresh talent. He invited an array of young Latin American artists to host exhibitions at the museum, many of whom went on to have well-known careers throughout the region. Pablo Zúñiga, director of the Art Museum of the Americas, recalled how Colombian artist Alejandro Obregón, then an unknown artist, held an exhibition at the AMA “and according to The Washington Post, it was a feeding frenzy,” he told us. “People were jumping over each other trying to buy his art. So because of Gómez-Sicre, people from Latin America who had studied fine arts in Europe and then come to Latin America to become major artists, they had their first opportunity in the United States,” Zúñiga said. Gómez-Sicre gradually began purchasing pieces and accumulating a collection, and the OAS provided him funding to do so beginning in 1957. The OAS continued to acquire art even after Gómez-Sicre retired but today does so through donations due to budget constraints. The museum is a homey white building that was originally the home of the OAS secretary-general, with two floors of exhibitions. The top floor is now dedicated entirely to displays of the permanent collection. Walking through a single room, one might find both a photograph from PHOTOS: COLLECTION OAS ART MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAS Brazil and a lithograph from Mexico The Art Museum of the Americas, seen below, among an assortment of other artis home to a collection of 2,000 pieces of Latin work from around the hemisphere. American and Caribbean art, including works such The artistic styles may differ drastias, from top: Candido Portinari’s “Return from the cally, but they all feel complemenFair”; Alejandro Obregon’s Estudiante Muerto tary in the small space. (The Dead Student)”; and Emilio Pettoruti’s “La Ultima Serenata (The Last Serenade).” Another hidden treasure that many Washingtonians don’t know about is the basement tunnel that connects the OAS headquarters with its administrative building two blocks away. Here, art is front and center as well, with the tunnel walls decorated by a 200-yard long mural titled “Roots of Peace,” painted by PHOTO: TERI WEST the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. The mural, which depicts various themes of peace and development in the Americas, is thought to be one of the longest murals in the world. Zúñiga says the AMA is working to connect more with the local Latin community. Ospina does outreach to schools, and the museum is partnering with the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs to host events for young people. They are also seeking a grant to digitize the new book and hope to publish more in the future. Ospina said Latin American art is establishing a foothold across the world, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Hirshhorn in D.C. to London’s Tate museum. “The Tate just hired a young Latin American art curator, so the field is growing and is getting stronger and we in a way had the lead of what is happening,” Ospina said. “This book is really important to keep us visible in the field and to create some awareness of what we have.” WD Teri West is an editorial assistant for The Washington Diplomat.
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THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017 | 35
WD | Culture | Fashion
Clothes with Conscience Designers Look to Rehab Fashion Industry’s Bad Rap for Waste Through Recycling •
BY SARAH ALAOUI
Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse THROUGH JAN. 7 GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY MUSEUM AND THE TEXTILE MUSEUM 701 21ST ST., NW
(202) 994-5200 | WWW.MUSEUM.GWU.EDU
n an age of “fast fashion” brands like Zara and H&M, clothing has become disposable, and the mere idea of sewing a button back on or stitching up a ripped blouse is now an archaic concept. But those cheap T-shirts and bargain-basement jeans apparently aren’t a good look for the environment. Today’s overconsumption has contributed to making the $2 trillion clothing industry the world’s second-largest industrial polluter — right behind big oil. D.C. is shining a spotlight on recent strides to make the apparel industry more sustainable with several events this fall, including the “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse” at the Textile Museum. “‘Scraps’ reveals the environmental impact of the global fashion industry and offers creative solutions by leading PHOTO: BY YOKO TAKAHASHI FOR KU:NEL MAGAZINE designers who are dedicated to reducing waste,” said John Wetenhall, director of the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum. The exhibition, which takes up roughly one floor of the museum, is easily accessible with a little more than 40 works on display, featuring three designers: Luisa Cevese, founder of the Milan-based design studio Riedizioni; Christina Kim, founder of the Los Angeles-based brand Dosa; and Reiko Sudo, co-founder of the Tokyo textile design firm Nuno. The artists zero in on different points of waste in the production chain, using scraps and cast-offs to create one-of-akind textiles in an effort to make the industry eco-friendlier. PHOTO: © RHIZOMATIKS “Textiles used to be precious. You didn’t just toss away a piece of cloth — you would “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse” explores how designmend it,” said Camille Ann Brewer, curator of ers recycle textiles, as seen in, from clockwise top: appliqué artisans contemporary art at the museum. laying out jamdani scraps on a panel in Gujarat, India; waraji (sandals) woven by Shonai Tagawa; a rectangular basket manufactured Today, however, many people treat clothes as by Italian designer Luisa Cevese; and a basket bag by Cevese. a disposable luxury. Roughly 20 pieces of clothPHOTO: © LUISA CEVESE RIEDIZIONI ing are manufactured per person each United States alone — from yarn to dying to quality control — year, according to the World Resources nearly all textiles and clothing are recyclable. But most Americans don’t Institute (WRI). In fact, the average conrecycle their clothing, even though the benefits to the environment are sumer bought 60 percent more clothing tremendous. The recycling of 2 million tons of clothing per year would in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garbe equivalent to taking 1 million cars off U.S. streets, according to Rick ment half as long. LeBlanc, who wrote about textile facts and figures for The Balance webThe result is greater water stress and site on Jan. 31. pollution caused in part by the cultivation The necessity and beauty of recycled textiles is exactly what the deof cotton, the most common natural fiber signers in “Scraps” set out to prove in a variety of creative ways. used in clothes. As Deborah Drew and When one looks at Reiko Sudo’s work, the soft periwinkles and grays Genevieve Yehounme point out in a July of her silk panels bring hygge — the Danish word for coziness and 5 WRI blog post, “Cotton is also a very comfort — to mind. She works with the city of Tsuruoka in northern thirsty crop, requiring 2,700 liters of waJapan to explore possible uses for discarded silk. Her focus is on kibiso, ter — what one person drinks in two and PHOTO: © 2016 CHRISTOPHER PAYNE the rough outermost layer of the silk cocoon protecting the precious a half years — to make one cotton shirt.” Cotton farming, for instance, has almost completely drained the Aral Sea in delicate silk underneath, and ogarami choshi, the silk thread that remains on the production machine and must usually be cut away. Sudo reworks the kibiso into Central Asia. Meanwhile, even the production of synthetic fibers like polyester carries a heavy finer yarn for machine weaving. The exhibit has several trays of cocoons on display that museum-goers can excarbon footprint because of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the production process. Synthetic clothing also takes hundreds of years to decompose. This amine. It’s worth visualizing that it takes 1,700 to 2,000 silkworm cocoons to proproblem is only set to grow as the world’s middle class continues to expand and the duce just one silk dress, and Sudo’s work uses every last thread of each cocoon. demand for clothes increases. While more than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated per year in the SEE FASHION • PAGE 39
36 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017
Art | Culture | WD
Intricate Secrets Early Netherlandish Drawings Demand Closer Inspection •
BY MACKENZIE WEINGER
Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam THROUGH JAN. 7 NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART BETWEEN 3RD AND 9TH STREETS ALONG CONSTITUTION AVENUE, NW
(202) 737-4215 | WWW.NGA.GOV
ou’ll want to pick up one of the National Gallery of Art’s provided magnifying glasses to study the mysterious, intricate details found in its exhibition on early Netherlandish
drawings. At “Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam,” it is the unknown aspects of the images that stay with viewers, from the artists’ use of hidden meanings to the fables depicted that are lost to history. The drawings are full of fascinating minutiae and different styles to pore over, with subjects as varied as fantasy worlds and rolling farmlands. Featuring works from Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen — home to one of the world’s finest collections of 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish drawings — this show offers an “amazing opportunity” for those in the United States to see such a comprehensive display, said Stacey Sell, associate curator of old master drawings at the National Gallery of Art (NGA). “There are not many good collections of Netherlandish drawings in this country, and it’s not as widely collected,” Sell told The Washington Diplomat. In particular, 15th-century Netherlandish drawings are “so rare,” she said, and the NGA does not have many in its permanent collection. The Boijmans approached the NGA about the exhibition, which was shown there and in Paris before coming to D.C. The drawings — depicting landscapes, portraits, biblical scenes, mythology and other themes — were varied in their purpose, with some serving as studies for paintings, prints or glass design, and others seen simply as works of art in their own right. Don’t miss the gems from Hieronymus Bosch at the start of the exhibition, beginning with the double-sided “Spinster and Old Woman” — likely the earliest surviving drawing by him — and “Fox and Rooster” drawn years later on the back of the page. His “The Owl’s Nest,” a pen-and-brown-ink drawing, absolutely demands the magnifying glass for the owls of the title and the countless intriguing details of spider webs, leaves, birds and the broad landscape behind them. Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s pen-and-ink “Fortitude” also makes a splash as a depiction of frenzied violence and strange creatures. A design for his “Seven Virtues” suite of prints, the artist takes inspiration from Bosch’s famous fantastical figures in his wild scene. Its companion in the exhibition, “Charity,” is Sell’s single favorite drawing in the show — “but it keeps changing,” she noted. Hans Bol’s series “The Twelve Months” is also a delight, featuring seasonal, pastoral activities in the round with each drawing topped, somewhat oddly, by a zodiac sign. The exhibition traces shifts in time and style, with rooms dedicated to Bruegel
PHOTOS: MUSEUM BOIJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN, ROTTERDAM
An exhibition of early Netherlandish Drawings at the National Gallery of Art includes works such as, from clockwise top: Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Owl’s Nest”; Pieter Bruegel’s “Fortitude”; Hans Bol’s series “The Twelve Months”; and Bosch’s “Fox and Rooster.”
and the rise of landscape as a genre; the growing interest in Mannerism and the use of classical literature and mythology; and the rise of naturalism, among other changes. In the pieces themselves, there’s a feeling of movement from precision to freer lines, with pen and ink with wash and some color entering the show as museumgoers head to the next century. The theme of internationalism runs through the exhibition, with the key artists of the period beginning to travel more and more to Italy and the imperial courts of Prague and Vienna, Sell said. Take Hendrick Goltzius, for instance, who introduces more overt color into the drawings late in the exhibition and made drawings that were widely prized by collectors. From the influence of the classical and Renaissance works he saw during his journey through Italy to the impact of his fellow artists bringing back styles from their sojourns abroad, he created Mannerist engravings that made him internationally acclaimed in his time. At the NGA, visitors can see his drawings made with chalk in shades of only black, red and white. The show concludes, as the name suggests, with Abraham Bloemaert and his chalk studies of figures, revealing a look at the process of an artist testing out different poses and body parts for future works. As Sell noted, the inclusion of small magnifying glasses for visitors really “worked out” for a show that revels in such intricacies. Whether getting lost in the crosshatching and dots and dashes of Hieronymus Wierix or trying to decipher the lost meanings in Bosch’s works, the exhibition offers a multitude of rewards for those who take a closer look. “The drawings are just so beautiful, and they are finished designs rather than rough compositional sketches,” Sell said. “They’re full of interesting details. As long as people take their time and really look, it’ll be rewarding, whether or not they know a lot about the time period.” WD Mackenzie Weinger (@mweinger) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 37
WD | Culture | Film
Cinema Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema West End Cinema
Directed by Ai Weiwei (Germany, 2017, 145 min.) Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. “Human Flow,” a documentary journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico and Turkey. Landmark’s E Street Cinema
The Breadwinner Directed by Nora Twomey (Ireland/Canada/Luxembourg, 2017, 93 min.) This animated film tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the harsh rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. With her family facing starvation, Parvana cuts her hair and dresses as a boy to go out and look for work, risking discovery to try to find out if her father is still alive. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Nov. 24
Breathe Directed by Andy Serkis (U.K., 2017, 117 min.) When Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, he is confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana’s twin brothers and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall, Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Chavela Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi (U.S./Mexico/Spain, 2017, 93 min.) This documentary showcases legendary performer Chavela Vargas, who led a life of passion, scandal, despair and triumph. Born in Costa Rica in 1919, she refused to conform to her family’s idea of gender norms and ran away from home at 14 to Mexico City to sing in the streets. She soon became a singing sensation of ranchera-style ballads, famed for raw passion and a unique voice, dressing in men’s clothes (English and Spanish). West End Cinema
God’s Own Country Directed by Francis Lee (U.K., 2017, 104 min.) In rural Yorkshire, isolated young sheep farmer Johnny numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Nov. 10
Goodbye Christopher Robin Directed by Simon Curtis (U.K., 2017, 107 min.) “Goodbye Christopher Robin” offers a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh.
Jane Directed by Brett Morgen (U.S., 2017, 90 min.) Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of British primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. Landmark’s E Street Cinema
The Killing of a Sacred Deer Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (U.K./Ireland, 2017, 116 min.) Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife and their two exemplary children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Last Flag Flying Directed by Richard Linklater (U.S., 2017, 124 min.) Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry “Doc” Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Angelika Mosaic Opens Fri., Nov. 10
The Man Who Invented Christmas Directed by Bharat Nalluri (Ireland/Canada, 2017) This film shows how Charles Dickens mixed real-life inspirations with his vivid
38 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017
imagination to conjure up the timeless tale of “A Christmas Carol.” Angelika Mosaic Opens Wed., Nov. 22
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House Directed by Peter Landesman (U.S., 2017, 103 min.) Liam Neeson stars as “Deep Throat,” the pseudonym given to the notorious whistleblower for one of the greatest scandals of all time: Watergate. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema West End Cinema
Murder on the Orient Express Directed by Kenneth Branagh (Malta/U.S., 2017) A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery in this story based on the Agatha Christie novel that follows 13 stranded strangers and one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again. Angelika Mosaic Opens Fri., Nov. 10
The Nine Muses Directed by John Akomfrah (Ghana/U.K., 2011, 94 min.) Part documentary, part personal essay, this experimental film combines archive imagery with the striking wintry landscapes of Alaska to tell the story of immigrant experience coming into the U.K. from 1960 onwards. National Gallery of Art Sun., Nov. 5, 4:30 p.m.
Novitiate Directed by Margaret Betts (U.S., 2017, 123 min.) Spanning over a decade from the early 1950s through to the mid-1960s, “Novitiate” is about a young girl’s first initiation with love, in this case with God. As she progresses from the postulant to the novitiate stage of training, she finds her faith repeatedly confronted and challenged by the harsh, often inhumane realities of being a servant of God. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Nov. 3
Okja Directed by Bong Jooh-ho (South Korea/U.S., 2017, 120 min.) In the guise of a family movie, this madcap anti-corporate satire follows a young girl and her “super-pig,” Okja, as they fight against a villainous corporation — led by the ever-superb Tilda Swinton, who plays both a hypocrite CEO and her scheming twin sister (English and Korean). AFI Silver Theatre Nov. 11 to 16 Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | November 2017 The Square Directed by Ruben Östlund (Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark, 2017, 142 min.) Christian is the handsome, sophisticated and somewhat smug curator of a contemporary art museum. His next show is “The Square,” an installation that invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes it is difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian’s foolish over-reaction to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations (English, Swedish and Danish). Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Nov. 3
The Stuart Hall Project Directed by John Akomfrah (U.K., 2013, 103 min.) Combining archival imagery, home movies, and found footage with new material and a uniquely crafted soundtrack, this film spotlights Jamaica-born sociologist and theorist Stuart Hall (1932-2014), the founding father of cultural studies, the popular interdisciplinary field that has reworked the way in which cultural patterns are studied within societies. National Gallery of Art Sat., Nov. 18, 4 p.m.
French BPM (Beats Per Minute) Directed by Robin Campillo (France, 2017, 144 min.) In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Nov. 17
Django Directed by Etienne Comar (France, 2017, 117 min.) In 1943, guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt delights Parisian audiences with his witty, life-affirming “gypsy swing” music. While many other Romani people find themselves the target of racist persecution, Django believes himself to be safe due to his popularity — until agents of the Nazi propaganda machine demand that he goes on tour to Germany in order to counteract the influence of “negro music” from the U.S. (French, German, English and Romani). The Avalon Theatre Wed., Nov. 15, 8 p.m.
Directed by Martin McDonagh (U.K./U.S., 2017, 115 min.) In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit. Angelika Mosaic Opens Fri., Nov. 17
Directed by JR and Agnès Varda (France, 2017, 90 min.) Part documentary and part road movie, this enchanting film teams 89-year old Agnès Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33-year-old French photographer and muralist JR. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories and producing epic-size portraits of them. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Victoria and Abdul
Fanfan la Tulipe
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Directed by Stephen Frears (U.K./U.S., 2017, 112 min.) Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Welcome Directed by Philippe Lioret (France, 2009, 110 min.) Kurdish teen Bilal has traveled all the way to the north of France in the hope of reuniting with his girlfriend in England. To get around a legal technicality, he decides to swim across the English Channel — even though he’s unable to swim. Simon Calmat, the local swimming instructor who is struggling with his own impending divorce, agrees to train Bilal for his grueling journey (part of “Films Across Borders: Stories of Migration”). Embassy of France Tue., Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
Directed by Christian-Jaque (Italy/France, 1953, 102 min.) “Fanfan la Tulipe” features the fabled Gérard Philipe playing a warrior figure and rogue who meets his match in Gina Lollobrigida’s gypsy. National Gallery of Art Sat., Nov. 25, 3:30 p.m.
Farewell, My Queen Directed by Benoît Jacquot (France/Spain, 2012, 100 min.) In July 1789, the French Revolution is rumbling. At Versailles, panic sets in and most of the aristocrats and servants desert the sinking ship, leaving the royal family, including Queen MarieAntoinette, practically alone. But the queen’s reader, a young woman entirely devoted to her mistress, will not give her up under any circumstances (French, English, German and Italian). National Gallery of Art Sun., Nov. 26, 4 p.m.
Hope Directed by Boris Lojkine (France, 2014, 86 min.)
Deep in the Sahara Desert, as they try to get to Europe, a young man from Cameroon rescues Hope, a Nigerian woman. In a fiercely hostile world where safety requires staying with one’s own people, these two try to find their way together, and to love each other (part of “Films Across Borders: Stories of Migration”). Embassy of France Tue., Nov. 14, 7 p.m.
The Paris Opera Directed by Jean-Stéphane Bron (Switzerland/France, 2017, 110 min.) Autumn 2015, at the Paris Opera, Stéphane Lissner is putting the finishing touches to his first press conference as director. Backstage, artists and crew prepare to raise the curtain on a new season. But the announcement of a strike and arrival of a bull in a supporting role complicate matters. As the season progresses, more and more characters appear, playing out the human comedy in the manner of a documentary, but this comedy is set against a tragic backdrop when terrorist attacks plunge Paris into mourning. Landmark’s E Street Cinema
La Pirogue Directed by Moussa Touré (France/Senegal/Germany, 2012, 87 min.) Family man and expert seafarer Baye Laye is the captain of a pirogue — a brightly painted, wooden fishing vessel. Like many of his Senegalese compatriots, he sometimes dreams of new horizons, where he can earn a better living for his family. When he is offered the chance to lead one of the many pirogues that head to Europe via the Canary Islands, he reluctantly accepts, knowing the dangers that lie ahead (French, Wolof and Spanish). AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Nov. 13, 7:15 p.m.
German Beuys Directed Andres Veiel (Germany, 2017, 107 min.) Another world, mostly in rough black-and-white esthetics, captivates the viewer with the vividness of its protagonist: Joseph Beuys, who proves to be one of the most remarkable and visionary German artists and still seems — today, 31 years after his death — as ahead of our time as he was before (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Fri., Nov. 3, 9:15 p.m.
The Divine Order Directed by Petra Volpe (Switzerland, 2017, 96 min.) Doing laundry, vacuuming, cooking and caring for her husband and two sons. That’s the submissive routine that Nora, a 45-year-old housewife from a Swiss village in the early ’70s, is stuck in. But when her husband refuses to allow her to work — a privilege granted to him by Swiss law — the quiet and
Film | Culture | WD well-liked Nora starts campaigning for equality and the right to vote (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sun., Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Hanna’s Sleeping Dogs (Hannas schlafende Hunde) Directed by Andreas Gruber (Austria/Germany, 2016, 120 min.) Living with her mother and grandmother in the provincial Austrian town of Wels in the late 1960s, Johanna discovers a family secret: They are Jewish. This simple fact — in a time during which Nazi sympathy may have disappeared from the streets but not from peoples’ minds — throws her life into turmoil (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sun., Nov. 5, 12 p.m.
LOMO – The Language of Many Others Directed by Julia Langhof (Germany, 2017, 101 min.) (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Simply put, Karl is the black sheep in his family. About to finish high school, he is already disillusioned and couldn’t differ more from his ambitious sister and his liberal parents. When he falls in love with Doro, he becomes convinced that everything is random and starts playing a dangerous game by uploading a sensitive video of Doro and himself online and letting his blog followers decide on his actions (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Fri., Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Marija Directed by Michael Koch (Germany, 2016, 100 min.) (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Marija is a young Ukrainian woman who has a simple dream: to one day have her own hair salon. Earning her living as a cleaning woman, she carefully puts away money each month to build her future life. But when she gets fired without notice, she is forced to look for alternatives (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sun., Nov. 5, 4:45 p.m.
Night of a 1000 Hours (Die Nacht der 1000 Stunden) Directed by Virgil Widrich (Austria/Luxembourg/Netherlands, 2016, 92 min.) Philip, the ambitious heir of the Ullich family business, is confronted with very peculiar incidents when the family members gather at their palace in Vienna: His deceased ancestors suddenly re-appear from the dead and entrap Philip in a series of unforeseen events (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sat., Nov. 4, 9 p.m.
In Times of Fading Light (In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts) Directed by Matti Geschonneck (Germany, 2017, 100 min.) In the early fall of 1989, the days of communist Germany are numbered, but in the living room of the Powileits, time stands still: It’s Wilhelm’s 90th birthday, and the former resistance fighter and exile is an unapologetically hardline communist veteran (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sun., Nov. 5, 2:30 p.m.
The Young Karl Marx (Der junge Karl Marx) Directed by Raoul Peck (France/Germany/Belgium, 2017, 112 min.) In 1844, 26-year-old Karl Marx and his wife Jenny are living in exile in Paris. Indebted and troubled by an existential crisis, he meets the slightly younger Friedrich Engels, son of a factory owner, and the two inspire each other to write texts that lay the theoretical foundation for a revolution which, in their eyes, is inevitable (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Thu., Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
Welcome to Germany (Willkommen bei den Hartmanns) Directed by Simon Verhoeven (Germany, 2016, 116 min.) Angela and Richard Hartmann and their two adult children are a well-off Munich family with everything in
Fashion CONTINUED • PAGe 36
Also on display are sandals woven out of the rough kibiso and accompanying videos to illustrate the process of salvaging silk waste and transforming it into innovative new creations. “I love waste” is the mantra of designer Luisa Cevese, who previously headed research at an Italian silk-weaving center in Como. Beyond the simple utility of waste, Cevese is also attracted to the visual appeal of certain leftovers from the textile industry. Her work — which features everything from handbags that can be found on sale at the museum’s gift shop
its proper order. Or so it seems. Until Angelika, a retired teacher, decides — against the will of her skeptical husband — to take in a young Nigerian refugee (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sat., Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m.
Western Directed by Valeska Grisebach (Germany/Bulgaria/Austria, 2017, 120 min.) In Bulgaria near the Greek border, a group of German construction workers arrives in the remote, mountainous and almost desert-like hinterland to install a water supply works for the local village. The foreign countryside awakens the sense of adventure in the German workers, but they are also forced to confront their own prejudices and mistrust as they deal with language barriers and cultural differences (part of the “Film|Neu” festival). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Sat., Nov. 4, 4 p.m.
Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno Directed by Jung Yoon-suk (South Korea, 2017, 120 min.) Jung Yoon-suk’s appropriately irreverent documentary follows the anarchic exploits of the Bamseom Pirates, a politically outspoken, gleefully nonconformist two-man punk band. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Nov. 10, 7 p.m.
Bluebeard Directed by Lee Soo-yeon (South Korea, 2017, 117 min.) When a doctor hears a convincing murder confession from a sedated patient, he finds himself in the middle of an unsolved serial killer case in which dismembered bodies start appearing close to home. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Nov. 19, 9:20 p.m., Wed., Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no junin) Directed by Takashi Miike (Japan/U.K., 2017, 141 min.) Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen, in a mission that will change Manji in ways he could never imagine. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Nov. 3
KOrEan Asura: The City of Madness Directed by Kim Sung-su (South Korea, 2016, 136 min.) Bold, bloody, and chock-full of riveting performances and thrilling action scenes “Asura: The City of Madness” was inspired by several corruption cases that have made headlines in South Korea recently.
to gold and silver placemats — stands out for its use of tufted colorful scraps embedded into polyurethane. Each product in Cevese’s line is different because of the diversity of scraps she collects. The clothing industry has also received a lot of criticism for its dubious labor practices abroad, especially with more than 99 percent of clothing and footwear sold in the U.S. produced overseas. South Korean-born Christina Kim believes in cherishing the old-fashioned craftsmanship used to create clothes and developing long-term relationships with local artisans in India to produce her collections. “It’s not just thinking about the natural resources, but the human resources,” Kim said in a 2009 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “That’s probably the biggest thing you give … that you’re not just
Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Nov. 5, 2 p.m.
Directed by Shin Dong-il (South Korea, 2016, 122 min.) Shin Dong-il’s engaging, passionate film illustrates the toll Korea’s hyper-competitive society can take on an ordinary family. When middle manager Beom-gu is summarily fired from his job after 18 years, it throws his family into turmoil thanks to his increasingly violent rages, while his wife, now the sole breadwinner, starts cutting ethical corners in her job selling credit cards. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
The Merciless Directed by Byun Sung-hyun (South Korea, 2017, 117 min.) This sleek, noir-tinged crime thriller tells the story of a seasoned gangster who meets an ambitious newbie in prison. After being released, the pair team up in a bid to take over an organized crime ring, but their relationship is shaken when they begin to discover what lies beneath their trust. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Nov. 20, 9:20 p.m., Tue., Nov. 21, 9:20 p.m.
The Truth Beneath Directed by Lee Kyoung-mi (South Korea, 2016, 102 min.) When the young daughter of a news anchor-turned-politician goes missing on the eve of a close election, he decides to wait to report it to the police — mainly because his campaign promise is to “protect our children.” His wife has other ideas and launches her own desperate investigation, in the process unearthing a web of corruption and deceit that upends her formerly placid life. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Nov. 12, 2 p.m.
The Villainess Directed by Jung Byung-gil (South Korea, 2017, 129 min.) Honed from childhood into a merciless killing machine by a criminal organization, assassin Sook-hee is recruited as a sleeper agent with the promise of freedom after 10 years of service — and she jumps at the chance for a normal life. But soon, secrets from her past threaten to destroy everything she’s worked for. AFI Silver Theatre Fri., Nov. 17, 9:45 p.m., Sat., Nov. 18, 10 p.m., Wed., Nov. 22, 9:25 p.m.
rUssian Battleship Potemkin Directed by Sergei Eisenstein (U.S.S.R., 1925, 75 min.) Focusing on one episode of the country’s revolutionary years, this agitprop spectacular is the story of a mutiny on a military ship anchored off the port of Odessa. Mistreated by the officers, sailors of “Potemkin” decide to fight, supported by sympathizers ashore. AFI Silver Theatre Wed., Nov. 8, 7:45 p.m.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West Directed by Lev Kuleshov (U.S.S.R., 1924, 94 min.) Mr. John West comes to Soviet Moscow on a mission, accompanied by his loyal sidekick, cowboy Jeddie. Right off the train, the clueless duo are warmly welcomed by a local gang of petty
thieves, and hilarity ensues. Jokes targeting American ignorance about the young Bolshevik state comingle with the unintentional humor of the filmmaker’s own stereotypical ideas of Americans. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
Outskirts Directed by Boris Barnet (U.S.S.R., 1933, 98 min.) The unhurried life of a remote worker town in the Russian Empire is spun off its axis when the First World War breaks out. Men are drafted to fight, and soon, German prisoners of war are brought in. While considered arch-foes by many locals, others are able to see the enemy soldiers as fellow victims of war. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Nov. 20, 7:15 p.m.
sPanish Brimstone & Glory Directed by Viktor Jakovleski (U.S./Mexico, 2017, 67 min.) The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is a site of festivity unlike any other in the world. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers, conflagrant revelry engulfs the town for ten days. Plunging headlong into the fire with spectacularly beautiful cinematography, “Brimstone & Glory” honors the spirit of Tultepec’s community and celebrates celebration itself. West End Cinema Opens Fri., Nov. 10
sWEDish Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle erobreren) Directed by Bille August (Denmark/Sweden, 1987, 157 min.) This Oscar-winning drama follows a Swedish father and son escaping their impoverished life to make a new start in Denmark, where their loving relationship that sustains them through a difficult year on a new farm (Swedish and Danish). AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Nov. 11, 12 p.m.
looking at them as tools, you’re looking at them on a human level.” Kim’s ethereal collection includes dainty peasant blouses and dresses all recycled from jamdani saris traditionally worn in India, and Bangladesh. Each collection of clothing featured in a season by her fashion line gets recycled into the next season’s designs and scraps are used to make things like traditional healing amulets — tricks of the trade she learned during her travels to Oaxaca, Mexico. “Scraps” will also feature various programs, including a film and panel discussion on fashion and sustainability; workshops on mending and scraps patchwork; and conversations with designers Sudo and Kim. WD Sarah Alaoui is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
Photo: © LUISA CeveSe RIeDIZIoNI
Designer Luisa Cevese is seen working on her “Spread threats” mat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017 | 39
WD | Culture | Events
Events Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the venue for times. Venue locations are subject to change.
ART Nov. 3 to Dec. 17
1883 cyclorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn’s Third Level Inner Circle, “Pickett’s Charge” presents 360 degrees of abstracted historical narrative. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Immigration in Ibero-America at FotoWeekDC
Through Nov. 17
The Iberoamerican Cultural Attachés Association contributes to Fotoweek DC with this exhibition of photographers who depict how Ibero-American countries have opened themselves up to foreign people, celebrating the diversity that led to today’s merged cultures. The exhibit includes “Miguel de Moreno” by Spanish photographer Javier Hirschfeld, who reflects on the contribution of immigration to Spanish society, celebrating the achievements on social rights at the same time. Hillyer Art Space
From the Guerrilla Girls righting the wrongs of the art world to painter Edna Reindel’s tough World War II riveters, to vintage feminist comic books — it’s the celebration of the Wonder Women! Explore images of the powerful woman, real and fictional, in a wide-ranging selection drawn from the special collections and artists’ archives of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center. National Museum of Women in the Arts
Nov. 3 to 26
World Press Photo Exhibition For more than 60 years the World Press Photo Exhibition has been honoring the best in photojournalism, with the winning images viewed by millions of people each year. Last year alone, 4 million people visited the exhibition in 100 cities around the globe. The WPP has made a custom exhibition for D.C. using 22 projectors and large-sized prints to fit the unique Dupont Underground space. Partners such as NPR, National Geographic, The Washington Post and others will hold events throughout the city to tell the stories behind the photographs. And the Inter-American Development Bank will host a partner exhibition by photographers from Latin America and the Caribbean. Dupont Underground
Nov. 8 to 15
After the Face / Borderless Captivity The Delegation of the European Union, in collaboration with Embassy of Sweden and ArtWorks for Freedom, presents three different vantage points on contemporary slavery: Ann-Sofi Sidén is one of Sweden’s foremost contemporary artists, whose work to document the stories of women trafficked along the borders of Western Europe led to a series of video installations and photogravures. Kay Chernush is an award-winning American photographer who captured powerful images of victims on assignment in Africa, Asia and Latin America and was moved to devote her life to raising awareness of this issue. Prum Vannak, a Cambodian survivor of modern day slavery, shares his story in vivid drawings. House of Sweden
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | November 2017 mixed-use urban development. National Building Museum
Through Jan. 15
Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt
Through Nov. 26
Human Landscapes: Paisajes Humanos “Human Landscapes,” organized in conjunction with the Argentine Embassy, presents a multifaceted approach to the diverse and idiosyncratic aspects of Argentina’s geography, through the eyes of contemporary photographers. Images depict the human footprints left on the land from the urban centers of Buenos Aires and Salta as well as islands along the Paraná River, interactions between indigenous and other Argentina people and tourists, as well as the artists’ personal lives. OAS Art Museum of the Americas
Through Nov. 29
Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia Encounter Buddhist art through the lens of spiritual practice and the perspectives of practitioners. Drawing on the Freer|Sackler’s collections from across Asia, this exhibition expands the understanding of Buddhism in Asian art through both beautiful objects and immersive spaces. Freer and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Through Dec. 3
Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures
Nov. 8 to Nov. 12, 2018
Combining art, fashion, science, and conservation, this revelatory exhibition brings together — for the first time — some 14 of the paintings known as the fantasy figures by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806). He is considered among the most characteristic and important French painters of his era, and the fantasy figure series — several rapidly executed, brightly colored paintings of lavishly costumed individuals — are some of his most beloved works. National Gallery of Art
Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge
Through Dec. 10
For his first solo exhibition in D.C., acclaimed artist Mark Bradford debuts a monumental site-specific commission inspired by Paul Philippoteaux’s
Migration is old news. It has helped shape countries and the world. But the
Stories of Migration – Sweden Beyond the Headlines
40 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017
Photo: Steve Johnson
From Nov. 3 to 5, Edwin Aparicio choreographs the world premiere of “Flamenco Extranjero/Foreign Flamenco,” examining foreign influences in flamenco dance, as part of GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Fuego Flamenco XIII festival.
current situation is unprecedented: More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes. Migration is also an integral part of the history of Sweden; in today’s population, one in six was born in another country. Since the 1930s Sweden has been characterized by more immigration than emigration, including offering refuge to people fleeing war and political unrest. This exhibition aims to add new perspectives to the story of Sweden and migration and give insights into the current situation in the country. Beyond headlines of chaos and collapse, beyond politics and public authorities, there are people who try to build a life in a new country. House of Sweden
Through Dec. 10
Witnesses by Anna U Davis Anna U Davis is known for her bold, colorful, graphic mixed-media work, where she explores her fascination with gender relations. This exhibit examines the notion of personality traits that are often classified as either good or bad — from curiosity, passion and jealousy to maturity, independence and insecurity — delving into where these features stem from. House of Sweden
Through Dec. 13
Matthias Mansen: Configurations German-born artist Matthias Mansen creates large-scale woodcuts that explore abstraction and figuration. He advances the tradition of woodblock printing by transforming pieces of scavenged wood—discarded floorboards or fragments of abandoned furniture—into printing blocks, which he progressively carves and recarves. National Gallery of Art
Through Dec. 17
Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea: Arab Modern and Contemporary Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation This exhibit showcases a diverse selection of works, grouped around the theme of technologies in conflict. The works come from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent United Arab Emirates-based initiative established to
manage, preserve and exhibit Arab art. American University Museum
Through Dec. 17
I Am: An East-West Arts Initiative Organized by Caravan “I Am” spotlights the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West. American University Museum
Through Dec. 31
Canadians by Bryan Adams in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Embassy of Canada displays a collection of photographs by Grammy-winning music legend Bryan Adams. The exhibition features 29 portraits of Canadian icons, including: Céline Dion, KD Lang, Michael J. Fox, Margaret Atwood, Robbie Robertson, The Weeknd, Wayne Gretzky, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Embassy of Canada
Through Jan. 1
Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection For centuries, extraordinary gemstones have been the centerpieces of stunning jewelry made to adorn royalty, aristocracy, high society and Hollywood stars. Over 50 pieces that once belonged heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, one of the greatest jewelry collectors of the 20th century, will tell the story behind some of the remarkable stones and the jewelry into which they were transformed. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
Through Jan. 15
Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 Established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths is widely considered a pioneering psychiatric facility. The hospital is a prime example of the “Kirkbride Plan” for mental health hospitals, which promised to help patients with a specialized architecture and landscape. This exhibition traces St. Elizabeths’ evolution over time, reflecting shifting theories about how to care for the mentally ill, as well as the later reconfiguration of the campus as a federal workplace and a
Cats’ personalities have made them internet stars today. In ancient Egypt, cats were associated with divinities, as revealed in “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt.” Cat coffins and representations of the cat-headed goddess Bastet are among the extraordinary objects that reveal felines’ critical role in ancient Egyptian religious, social and political life. Freer and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Through Jan. 21
Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today This landmark exhibition of abstract paintings, sculptures and works on paper by 21 black women artists places the visual vocabularies of these artists in context with one another and within the larger history of abstraction. This exhibition celebrates those under-recognized artists who have been marginalized, and argues for their continuing contribution to the history and iconography of abstraction in the United States. National Museum of Women in the Arts
Through Jan. 21
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry This landmark exhibition examines the artistic exchanges among Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries from 1650 to 1675, when they reached the height of their technical ability and mastery of depictions of domestic life. The exhibition brings together some 65 works by Vermeer and his fellow painters of the Dutch Golden Age, including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, Frans van Mieris, Caspar Netscher and Jan Steen. Juxtaposing paintings related by theme, composition, and technique, the exhibition explores how these artists inspired, rivaled, surpassed and pushed each other to greater artistic achievement. National Gallery of Art
Through Jan. 28
Edvard Munch: Color in Context In the second half of the 19th century, advances in physics, electromagnetic radiation theory and the optical sciences provoked new thought about the physical as well as the spiritual world. Aspects of that thought are revealed in this exhibition of 21 prints that considers the choice, combinations and meaning of color in light of spiritualist principles. National Gallery of Art
Through Jan. 28
Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death This fascinating exhibition explores the
surprising intersection between craft and forensic science. Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) crafted her extraordinary “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” — exquisitely detailed miniature crime scenes — to train homicide investigators to “convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.”These dollhouse-sized dioramas, created in the first half of the 20th century and still used in forensic training today, were the equivalent of virtual reality in their time and helped to revolutionize the emerging field of forensic science. They also tell the story of how a woman co-opted traditionally feminine crafts to advance a male-dominated field and establish herself as one of its leading voices. Renwick Gallery
Through Feb. 17
Painting Shakespeare Discover the paintings collection at the Folger — its stories, its glories and Shakespeare’s power to inspire visual artists. From humble oil sketches to international masterpieces, this exhibition presents kids and adults alike, with a sometimes surprising, and always eye-catching, view of the man and his works. Folger Shakespeare Library
Through March 4
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects Spanning 1985 through present day, this survey comprises more than 20 of the Kabakovs’ maquettes, whimsical models, for projects realized and unrealized, including monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures and commissioned outdoor works. Opening nearly 30 years after the Hirshhorn hosted Ilya Kabakov’s first major U.S. exhibition, these intricate creations invite the viewer into their surreal world in miniature and offer a rare glimpse into the duo’s artistic process. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
DANCE Nov. 3 to 12
Fuego Flamenco XIII GALA Hispanic Theatre continues continues its 42st season with the 13th international Fuego Flamenco Festival that brings leading flamenco artists from Spain and the United States to Washington audiences. Recognized for the presentation of stellar artists in an intimate tablao setting, the festival is an exploration of traditional flamenco and its breadth and diversity through contemporary expressions. This year’s program includes the world premiere of “Flamenco Extranjero/Foreign Flamenco” by Edwin Aparicio and Aleksey Kulikov featuring the Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company and several international guest artists, and the U.S. premiere of “Binomio” choreographed by Francisco Hidalgo. Tickets are $45 to $55. GALA Hispanic Theatre
Events | Culture | WD
Nov. 20 to Dec. 24
The Nutcracker The Washington Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of “The Nutcracker” transports audiences to a historic D.C. era and stars George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, along with waltzing cherry blossoms, dancing sugar plums and other enchanting adaptations by Septime Webre. Tickets start at $33. Warner Theatre
Nov. 22 to 26
Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker From the moment we meet toymaker Drosselmeier in his workshop, elaborate sets, sparkling costumes and impressive choreography grab the audience’s attention. Plenty of inventive twists also abound, from a toy bear that comes to life and a grandfather with hip hop moves to a line of giant Russian nesting dolls. Tickets are $59 to $175. Kennedy Center Opera House
DISCUSSIONS Fri., Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Scott Kelly: A Year in Space The veteran of four space flights, astronaut Scott Kelly discusses the dangers, achievements and physical and emotional challenges he encountered during his record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station. Tickets are $35; for information visit www. smithsonianassociates.org. GW Lisner Auditorium
Sat., Nov. 4, 2 to 5 p.m.
International Forum in Washington Academic and artist partners the Phillips Collection and University of Maryland present the International Forum in Washington, which includes this year’s Duncan Phillips Lecture featuring artist Sanford Biggers, recipient of a 2017 Rome Prize. Following his lecture, Biggers will participate in a conversation with artist-scholar Curlee Holton focusing on the rise, role and impact of “artists of conscience” in society. Tickets are $12. The Phillips Collection
Sat., Nov. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Traditional Roots of Modern China: How an Ancient World View Drives Contemporary Policies In a timely daylong program, China scholar Robert Daly traces China’s 21stcentury drive for wealth, power and status to the beliefs, geographic influences and social and cultural practices rooted in the earliest dynasties. Tickets are $140; for information visit www. smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
Tue., Nov. 7, 3:30 p.m.
The Czech Republic in the World Economy The 18th annual Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture is presented this year by Columbia University professor Jan Svejnar, who researches the effects of government policies on firms, labor and capital markets; corporate,
national and global governance; and entrepreneurship. To RSVP, email wwics@ wilsoncenter.org. Wilson Center
Wed., Nov. 8, 6:45 p.m.
The Fate of Rome: Nature’s Triumph Over Human Ambition The centuries-long dissolution of the Roman Empire was shaped not just by emperors, soldiers and barbarians, but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability and devastating viruses and bacteria. Classicist Kyle Harper traces how a seemingly invincible empire fell victim to forces far stronger than its armies: the environment. Tickets are $30; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
Mon., Nov. 13, 6:45 p.m.
The Norman Invasion: William’s Unlikely Conquest The 1066 invasion and occupation of England led by Duke William II of Normandy changed the course of history. But the Norman Conquest never should have succeeded. Historian Jennifer Paxton sets the scene for this unlikely triumph for France, and how its after-effects echo through the centuries. Tickets are $45; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
Tue., Nov. 14, 6:45 p.m.
The Lafayette Escadrille: Legends with a Cause The brash young Americans who volunteered to fly with French fighter pilots during the early days of World War I became the nucleus of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille. Paul Glenshaw, an aviation expert and filmmaker, tells the story of the “founding fathers of American combat aviation.”Tickets are $45; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
Wed., Nov. 15, 6 p.m.
Cajal’s Neuronal Forest: Science and Art Professor Javier DeFelipe presents his book “Cajal’s Neuronal Forest,” an homage to father-of-modern-neuroscience Santiago Ramón y Cajal that shows the beauty of science as seen through the artist’s eye. Admission is free; to register, visit www.spainculture.us/city/ washington-dc/cajals-neuronal-forestscience-and-art/. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain
Wed., Nov. 15, 6:45 p.m.
Code Girls: The Women Who Decrypted World War II In 1942, more than 10,000 young women were recruited for a top-secret project in which they served as codebreakers for the U.S. Army and Navy. Their wartime achievements saved countless lives and aided the Allied victory — but were nearly erased from history. Tickets are $30; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Wed., Nov. 15, 6:45 p.m.
Nov. 7 to 9
La Cucina vs. La Cuisine: A Gastronomic Faceoff
Second Annual Korean Culture Week
Italian and French food fans seem destined to be at perpetual odds in the “which-is-the best?” argument. Fred Plotkin, author of six books on Italian culinary traditions, examines how la cucina and la cuisine are not so much rivals as great influences and inspirations on one another — followed by a buffet of both cuisines. Tickets are $85; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
The Korean Cultural Center in D.C. presents this three-day event that takes audiences on a journey across the cutting edge of Korean performance art, where ancient folk culture roots intersect with the dynamic energy of modern Korea and infuse Western classics with innovative twists. The week opens on Nov. 7 with the acclaimed Bereishit Dance Company performing “Balance and Imbalance,” which pairs vigorous contemporary dance with drummers and singers of the traditional Korean vocal storytelling genre pansori. An encore performance will be held at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills, Md., on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Sound and harmony dominate Nov. 8 as the World Music Ensemble E-do blends the traditional with the modern, including Korean and Western instruments and rhythms. Finally, the Kim Yong-geol Dance Theater graces the Terrace Theater for a closing performance of their modern reimagining of classical ballet. For information, visit www.KoreaCultureDC.org. Kennedy Center
Tue., Nov. 28, 6:45 p.m.
Secret Selves: Charlotte and Emily Brontë Charlotte and Emily Brontë lived a small, isolated family home in an English village, far from literary circles. Author John Pfordresher examines the forces of creative imagination and personality that nonetheless allowed them to cast a critical eye on the issues of their time through passionate female characters. Tickets are $45; for information visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center
FESTIVALS Sat., Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Czech Christmas Market The Embassy of the Czech Republic presents a traditional Czech Christmas Market featuring stands filled with handcrafted ornaments; Czech crystal and glass products, jewelry and toys; mulled wine eggnog, an assortment of Christmas cookies, baked goods and savory cuisine. Children will adore the array of live animals from the Nativity scene, handled by shepherds. The children’s choir of Sokol Washington will perform Czech Christmas carols at 11:30 am. Admission is free; no RSVP required; for information, visit www.mzv.cz/ washington/en/culture_events/culture/ czech_christmas_market.html. Embassy of the Czech Republic
Sat., Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Slovak Christmas Market The Embassy of Slovakia presents its annual Christmas Market featuring handmade glass ornaments; jewelry with Swarovski crystals; Slovak mulled wine and mead; traditional Christmas cookies and soup; and carols by the children’s choir Sokolik. Free admission; no RSVP required. Embassy of Slovakia
Through Nov. 5
Kids Euro Festival Now in its 10th year, Kids Euro Festival is one of the largest performing arts festivals for children in America, bringing Europe’s most talented children’s entertainers to the DC metro area each fall for two weeks of free performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic and cinema. With programs both for the general public and for school groups, more than 10,000 DC-area children and their families enjoy Kids Euro Festival programs each year. For more information, visit http://events.euintheus.org/ landing_page/kids-euro-fest/. Various locations
Nov. 11 to 19
FotoWeekDC 2017 The Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain and the Mexican Cultural Institute are the central venues for this year’s FotoWeekDC, the largest visual arts festival in Washington. The tenth edition of the FotoWeekDC, presented in partnership with SPAIN arts & culture, hosts two different photo exhibits at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain: “Magnum: 70 at 70,” an exhibition of 70 photographic icons celebrating the 70 years of Magnum Photos, and “CISLANDERUS,” a project by Thenesoya Martín de la Nuez and Aníbal Martel. Other festival highlights include “The White House News Photographers 2017 ‘Eyes of History’Travel Exhibition”; “Finding Home,” which documents three families in the heart of Europe’s refugee crisis; Susan Meiselas’s exhibition on human rights in Latin America; and Michael Nichols’s images of wildlife around the globe at the National Geographic. For information, visit www.fotodc.org/ events-fotoweekdc-2017. Various locations
MUSIC Nov. 4 to 19
Jacques Brel: Songs From His World Known for his devastatingly personal lyrics as well as scathing depiction of society, Jacques Brel and his songs swept the pop music world of the ’50s and ’60s. The In Series offers a unique opportunity for audiences to journey through the Belgian master’s inner world with interpretations of his favorite works in their original French (with English supertitles). Tickets are $20 to $43. Source Theatre
album “Sikame,” produced by acclaimed composer Gil Goldstein. Bello was born in Granada, Spain, and through her work as a songwriter and singer, she investigates the cultural roots of her homeland and its connections with other musical cultures. Tickets are $15; for information, visit https://urevento.com/event/lara-belloen-washington-dc/. Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain
Tue., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Paisajes Sonoros: Paulina Derbez, Violin; Araceli Salazar, Piano This dynamic Mexican duo performs a wide-ranging program of Mexican and European composers from the 20th and 21st centuries, featuring composers such as Revueltas, Cesar Franck, Manuel Ponce and others. Tickets are $90, including Mexican delicacies, wine and beer; for information, visit www.embassyseries. org. Mexican Cultural Institute
Fri., Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Washington Performing Arts: Verona Quartet Winners of the 2015 Concert Artist Guild Competition and fresh off a two-year stint as the Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, these musicians may be young, but they play with a clarity and conviction well beyond their years. Tickets are $40. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Sun., Nov. 12, 7 p.m.
Washington Performing Arts: The Mariinsky Orchestra Washington Performing Arts opens its Concert Hall season with the renowned Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of music director Valery Gergiev. Tickets are $45 to $115. Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Sat., Nov. 18, 3 p.m.
The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers of 1610’ Choral Arts opens its 2017-18 Kennedy Center concert season with a performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s choral masterpiece “Vespers of 1610.”Tickets are $15 to $69. Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Thu., Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Farah Siraj Renowned Jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj balances a career that spans the United States, Europe and the Middle East. In 2014, Farah released her latest album, “Dunya,” meaning “world” in Arabic and Hindi, and she currently leads an ethnically diverse quintet of Arabian Flamenco Jazz. Tickets are $90, including Middle Eastern buffet and drinks; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org. Embassy of Jordan
Tue., Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 to Dec. 2
Lara Bello: Sikame
New York-based singer and composer Lara Bello presents her new
The Keegan Theatre presents Caryl Churchill’s Obie Award-winning play “Top
Girls,” which reveals a world of women’s experience at a pivotal moment in British history: the beginning of the Thatcher years. Tickets are $45. Andrew Keegan Theatre
Nov. 4 to 19
Washington National Opera: Alcina Welcome to the island of illusions, where a sorceress skilled in the art of seduction is about to fall prey to the enchantment of love. This new production is WNO’s first-ever staging of Handel’s masterful baroque opera, with world-class vocal talents impeccably suited to every role. Tickets are $69 to $195. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Nov. 14 to Dec. 20
Twelfth Night Stranded on the coast of Illyria, the quick-witted Viola assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion and gender all threaten to come undone. Please call for ticket information. Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall
Nov. 16 to Dec. 31
A Christmas Carol Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to Ford’s Theatre to play Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”—a production heralded as a “rich visual and vocal treat” (TheaterMania) and “infectiously jolly” (The Washington Post). Please call for ticket information. Ford’s Theatre
Through Nov. 19
Antony and Cleopatra Julius Caesar is no more, and Mark Antony, at the peak of his political power, is ensconced in Egypt at the side of the irresistible Cleopatra. Torn between his military duty toward Rome and his passionate love affair with Cleopatra, Antony finds himself engaged in both war and romance. Shakespeare’s classic encompasses politics and power, love and jealousy, alliance and misalliance. Tickets are $35 to $79. Folger Shakespeare Theatre
Through Nov. 19
The Book of Mormon The nine-time Tony-winning musical follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing-roomonly productions in London, on Broadway and across North America, “The Book of Mormon” has become an international sensation. Tickets are $59 to $229. Kennedy Center Opera House
Through Dec. 24
The Pajama Game Winner of the 1955 Tony Award for Best Musical, “The Pajama Game” follows Sid Sorokin and Babe Williams in a battle of the sexes romance that soars with seductive dance numbers like “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway.” Tickets are $50 to $99. Arena Swtage
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017 | 41
WD | Culture | Spotlight
Pakistan Headlines Ambassador Insider Series
Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led The Washington Diplomat’s seventh Ambassador Insider Series (AIS) program with a wide-ranging discussion on his geostrategic nation of nearly 200 million people that straddles one of the most turbulent regions in the world. Nearly 150 people attended the event, held Oct. 10 at the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel. Chaudhry — a veteran diplomat with a 36-year career who most recently served as foreign secretary of Pakistan — addressed a range of issues, from President Trump’s newly released strategy for Southeast Asia to Pakistan’s relations with neighboring Afghanistan. The Muslim-majority, nuclear-armed nation is key to America’s efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and counter extremism in the region, although Pakistani-U.S. relations have always been complex and difficult. Not only has Pakistan been accused of coddling certain terrorist groups, it has a bitter rivalry with India and a long history of political upheaval. At the same time, Pakistan has undeniably suffered from terrorism itself, it is an emerging economic power with a growing middle class and loud political factions, and — as Chaudhry stressed — it remains committed to working with the U.S. under the new Trump NO INTEREST administration. or 12 Months “This is a very important relationship for us,” he said. “There is no doubt that we have ME AS CASH! With approved credit seen ups and downs in this relationship, and we are passing a similar phase at this time. minimum purchase of $4000 APR 23.97% But we always come out of it.” AIS is an exclusive program hosted by The Diplomat to meet and network with the city’s foreign envoys and learn about the countries they represent in an intimate setting. Previous AIS receptions have featured the ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Barbados, the European Union, Ethiopia, Haiti and Iraq. The next discussion will take place Nov. 14 at the newly opened Darcy hotel with Panamanian Ambassador Emanuel Gonzalez-Revilla.
TO SEE For information, visit www.washdiplomat.com, or MORE: to see more photos, be sure to like us on Facebook.
Ambassador of Malta Pierre Clive Agius; publisher of The Washington Diplomat Victor Shiblie; Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry; managing editor of The Washington Diplomat Anna Gawel; and Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker.
President and CEO of the World Affairs Council-DC Tony Culley-Foster, Press Minister at the Pakistani Embassy Abid Saeed, former Ambassador of Yemen Abdulwahab Alhajjri and publisher of The Washington Diplomat Victor Shiblie.
Kasper Zeuthen of the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S., Mike Shea of GlobeScope and James Barbour, head of press for the EU Delegation.
Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is interviewed by Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.
Barbara Plett Usher, State Department correspondent for BBC News, asks a question.
General manager of the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. Markus Platzer and former U.S. Deputy Chief of Protocol Lawrence Dunham.
Alexis Ortega, Kevin Tassi, Barry Bahrychik, Thomas Guastini and Thomas Coleman of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations.
42 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017
Mary Woldegiorgis of Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and Dave Fils-Aimé of the Embassy of Haiti.
Fox 5 DC producer Chris Smith and Fox 5 DC anchor Erin Como.
Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Laura E. Kennedy; Minister-Counselor at the Indonesian Embassy Siuaji Raja; Sandy Taylor of the Welcome to Washington International Club; Hasan Massah; embassy liaison Jan Du Plain; and Leila Beale of Hollywood Real Estate.
Steve Mukherjee of the State Department Office of Cost Management, Finnish Embassy Press Counselor Sanna Kangasharju and her husband David Von Ongevalle.
Julia Fromholz of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, Tim Myers of the British School of Washington and Elliot Antokas of Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell.
Spotlight | Culture | WD
Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is interviewed by Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.
Andrea Todd of the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute and Polina Levit of the Educational Testing Service.
Vanessa Wilson of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Sahar Khan of the Cato Institute and Colleen Stanley of Ampeer Residences Dupont Circle.
Publisher of The Washington Diplomat Victor Shiblie, Helen Salazar-Fowler of The George Washington University International Patient Program and Dr. Farzad Najam, director of cardiac surgery at The George Washington University Hospital.
Dana Marshall of Transnational Strategy Group LLC asks a question.
Claudia Koerbler and Edona Dervisholli, both from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Publisher of The Washington Diplomat Victor Shiblie, Press Attaché at the Pakistani Embassy Zoobia Masood, Press Minister at the Pakistani Embassy Abid Saeed, Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and managing editor of The Washington Diplomat Anna Gawel.
Deputy Chief of the Embassy of Monaco Karine Médecin-Lemon and Taweel Tawil of Sahouri Insurance.
Laura Slonski and Kevin Rosenbaum.
Mansoor Bhatti of Access National Bank, Polish Embassy First Counselor Mariusz Stus and Hussain Saleem of State Farm Insurance.
Tara Compton Parsan and former Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago Neil Parsan.
Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker listens to the discussion.
Leigh Gilman and Jeff Wheeler.
Nora Tan of the Sofitel Washington DC hotel, Sofitel Director of Marketing and Communications Joe Vincent Janolo and Jacob Comenetz of the German Embassy.
Moin Akhtar, Azeem Khan, Azim Mian, Khurram Shahzad and Amir Ashfaq of Pakistan’s Geo TV.
Amir Alsadek, Nevine Ayoub of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Shaharyar Ali Khan of Hospitality Advance International.
Vanessa Wilson of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Núria Clusella-Fabrés of the OAS Art Museum of the Americas and Anna Gawel of The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017 | 43
WD | Culture | Spotlight
39th Annual Ambassadors Ball
Saudi National Day
the 39th annual Ambassadors Ball welcomed local envoys, members of Congress and business leaders to an evening of dinner, dancing and an international silent auction to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on oct. 12 at the Marriott Marquis. “I am thrilled with the corporate support, the tireless work of those on Capitol hill and the generosity of the international diplomatic corps to help the over 18,000 people in the greater D.C.Maryland region to live their best lives during their journey with multiple sclerosis,” said Chartese Berry, president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
hundreds turned out to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 87th National Day at the National Building Museum on Sept. 23 in a lavish reception featuring the music, traditions, food, color and camaraderie that are the fabric of Saudi heritage. officials lauded the Saudi vision 2030 plan launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which seeks to modernize the kingdom and diversify its economy. “Close friends and longtime allies, now more than ever, our two countries are aligned in shared interests and common purpose,” said Saudi Arabia’s recently appointed ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. “We are expanding trade and investment, increasing cultural exchanges and fighting terrorism side by side. My first priority is to build on the outcomes of the Riyadh Summit to foster closer cooperation on our collective security and to expand our economic partnership. I also want to reintroduce Saudi Arabia to the United States. Under our new leadership, Saudi Arabia is continuing to change and modernize. I want to engage Americans in new ways to introduce and describe the important economic and social reforms now underway.” — Janet Donovan, editor in chief of Hollywood on the Potomac
PhotoS: © toNy PoWeLL
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.), co-chair of the Congressional MS Caucus, and National MS Society President Chartese Berry.
Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates and honorary co-chair Yousef Al Otaiba; National MS Society President Chartese Berry; co-chair Jennifer Kildee, wife of Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.); principal of the Podesta Group Cristina Antelo; WUSA9 anchor Lesli Foster; and Fox News correspondent and MC James Rosen.
Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is greeted by guests.
National MS Society President Chartese Berry and Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.), co-chair of the Congressional MS Caucus.
The evening highlighted four of the many thousands of individuals living with MS in our community: Karen Jackson, Jason Sumner, Edythe Griffin and Darci Brown. Abdullah E.A. Al-Shalwi, David Jones, Thamer A. Al-Mansour and Abdullah Al-Mansour.
Italian Embassy Events on Sept. 12, the Italian embassy celebrated neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, for winning the 2017 Urbino Press Award, the Italian prize awarded annually to an American reporter or columnist. the choice for the 2017 edition honors the passion, courage and unshakable resolution that distinguish Dr. Gupta’s work and his unwavering commitment to reporting the horrors of war and natural disasters,” Italian Ambassador Armando varricchio. And on Sep. 28, the embassy hosted acclaimed Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi for the debut of his installation “Archeology of the Future,” a site-specific sculpture of television monitors aged and reproduced in terracotta. Traditional candies and goods. Sharouk Bukar, Mansour Binlibdah and Abdullah Binlibdah.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Ambassador of Italy Armando Varricchio.
Urbino Press Award recipient Sanjay Gupta talks with Dr. Gabriele Cavalera.
Camila Santander, Morris Jackson and Alejandra Molina.
Waad Ebrahim, Haifa Mohammad and Diana Alsaleh.
PhotoS: eMBASSy oF ItALy
Artist Fabrizio Plessi and Ambassador Guests watch the unveiling of the installation “Archeology of the Future.” of Italy Armando Varricchio.
44 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017
Artist Fabrizio Plessi works on his installation.
PhotoS: DANIeL SWARtZ
Anne Frank Awards In a ceremony at the Library of Congress on Sept. 14 hosted by the Embassy of the Netherlands, Father Leo O’Donovan of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA received the Anne Frank Award and Robert Quinn of Scholars at Risk received the Anne Frank Special Recognition Award for their commitment to advocate for the rights of refugees. Seventy years ago, “The Diary of Anne Frank” introduced the world to an unforgettable voice and illustrated how education engaged and sustained Frank while she lived in hiding as a refugee in the Netherlands during World War II. “Anne Frank teaches us many things about the plight of refugees through her example and writings. She teaches us about refugees’ resilience, their humanity, their hopes and fears — all aspects we recognize as we serve refugees in 51 countries throughout the globe,” said O’Donovan of Jesuit Refugee Service, which was founded in 1980 to ensure that refugees have access to education.
Ambassador of the Netherlands Henne Schuwer, honoree Father Leo O’Donovan of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
Scholars who have been helped by Robert Quinn’s Scholars at Risk group join Quinn, third from right, Father Leo O’Donovan of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Ambassador of the Netherlands Henne Schuwer.
Gabonese Independence Day
Ambassador of Gabon Michael Moussa Adamo, center, and his staff attend a reception marking the 57th anniversary of Gabon’s independence at the Watergate Hotel.
Honoree Robert Quinn of Scholars at Risk. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dances with Father Leo O’Donovan, who worked with Albright when he was president of Georgetown University. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Peter Henry Barlerin.
Photos: Embassy of the Netherlands
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Elham Fanoos, a musician from Afghanistan.
Father Leo O’Donovan of the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Ambassador of the Netherlands Henne Schuwer.
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.).
Nyumbani’s 25th Anniversary Gala Nyumbani, a leader in the care and treatment of HIV+ children in Kenya, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gala at the Watergate Hotel on Sept. 22. Founded in 1992 by the late Father Angelo D’Agostino, an American Jesuit and physician, Nyumbani began as a home for three abandoned children with AIDS. It has since grown into a sophisticated source of holistic care for those impacted by HIV/AIDS, encompassing a children’s home that provides education to 124 children and young adults; the community-based Lea Toto program; a respite center; a high-tech diagnostic laboratory; and Nyumbani Village, a sustainable residential program serving nearly 1,000 children and 100 elderly grandparents left destitute by HIV/AIDS.
U.S. Rear Adm. Jean-Laurent Okeley of the Pentagon, Deputy Undersecretary of Policy for the U.S. Navy Jodi Greene and Ambassador of Gabon Michael Moussa Adamo.
National Geographic Honors Colombia Deborah Dunham, Father Paul Rourke, Rhonda Meegan, emcee Kathleen Matthews and Larry Duncan.
Nyumbani U.S. Board of Directors President Charles DeSantis and Nyumbani Executive Director Sister Mary Owens welcome guests.
Marilyn Foust and Cathy Freehan.
Linda Hadley; Jerrold Epstein; James Meegan of National Institutes of Health; April Guidice of the State Department Protocol Office; Deborah Dunham; managing editor of The Washington Diplomat Anna Gawel; former U.S. Deputy Chief of Protocol Larry Dunham; and Tony Nesky (bottom row).
Andrea Cecchi, Bobbie Jo Cecchi, Mercedes Cecchi and Kristen Cecchi.
Laura Parker, Ned Michalek and Kerry McKenney.
Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball” and John Lawrence.
Mark Dybul, former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and current director of the Georgetown University Center Veronica Sauvain, Carrie Desmond, Cecilia Desmond and for Global Health and Quality. Terry Sauvain.
William Kane, Jackie Mugo and Minneh Kane.
Rose Roberts, Bill Roberts, Vince Garlock and Kristi Garlock.
On Sept. 21, the National Geographic Society honored Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at its D.C. headquarters for his efforts to conserve biodiversity and foster sustainable development. “Colombia is a world treasure of biodiversity. Our duty to current and future generations is to protect it and guarantee the sustainable development of our country,” said Santos. National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell. Photos: Sora DeVore / National Geographic
President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia delivers his acceptance remarks. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017 | 45
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This product may not Jeff Wheeler, MA,limitations CRPC, CFP •Discuss 240-389-0291 similar charges. them with your when distributed and may be subject to ina arepresentative or contact be availableincome in all statesfeatures, and statebenefits, variations may apply. and Subsequent premium may be restricted income when distributed and may be subject to Jackson for more information. Tax deferral offers no additional value ifexcess an annuity is used to fund a some states.10% This contract has limitations and restrictions, including withdrawal charges and additional if withdrawn before age 59!. The guaranteed minimum interest rate will betax declared each calendar year and will fall between 1%-3%. 10% additional tax ifinterest before age interest adjustments (market value inwithdrawn Connecticut). Jackson other annuities with is owned by a “nonqualified plan suchadjustments as a 401(k) or IRA, andnotmay not issues be available if 59!. the annuity Once a contract is issued, the guaranteed minimum rate will change. similar features,natural benefits,person” limitations andascharges. Discussor them with your representative or contact such a corporation certain types of trusts. If the sum of withdrawals in a given Call me for more information today! 1 This rate applies to the 1-Year Interest Rate Guaranteed Period. Call for10% more information today! Jackson for more information. Tax deferral offers value value, if an annuity is used to fundwithdrawn a contract yearme exceeds of no theadditional accumulated the total amount that contract year 2 qualified Interest rate in subsequent years may be less. Jeff CRPC, CFP® plan such 401(k) or IRA, and maycharges. not MA, be available if the annuity is owned by a “non- any subsequent will as beasubject toWheeler, withdrawal Each premium payment, including Jeff Wheeler, MA, CRPC, CFP® natural such as a corporation certain(contract types of trusts. If the sumis of withdrawals a givenLife InsurMAX Oneperson” XL Flexible Premium Deferred FixedorAnnuity form number A730C) issued by JacksoninNational premium, is subject to 240-389-0291 aThis 6-year declining withdrawal charge schedule. An annuity’s earnings contract year exceeds 10%Lansing, of the accumulated value, contract yearmay apply. ance Company® (Home Ofﬁce: Michigan).240-389-0291 product the maytotal not beamount availablewithdrawn in all states that and state variations are taxable as ordinary income when withdrawn and may be subject a 10%charges additional Subsequent premium may be restricted in some states. This contract has limitations and restrictions, including to withdrawal and tax if taken will be subject to withdrawal charges. Each premium payment, including any subsequent excess interest adjustments (market value adjustments in Connecticut). Jackson issues other annuities with similar features, beneﬁts, before age 59 1/2. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of Jackson National The guaranteed minimum interest rate will be declared each calendar year and will fall between premium, is subject to a 6-year declining withdrawal charge schedule. An annuity’s earnings The guaranteed minimum interest will beordeclared each yearTaxand willoffers fall no between Life limitations and charges. DiscussCompany. them with your rate representative contact Jackson for calendar more information. Insurance 1%-3%. Once aa contract is the rate will not change. are taxable as ordinary income when withdrawn and may beminimum subject to ainterest 10% additional taxdeferral if taken 1%-3%. contract is issued, issued, the guaranteed guaranteed minimum interest will not additional Once value if an annuity is used to fund a qualiﬁed plan such as a 401(k) or IRA, and may notrate be available if thechange. annuity is owned before age 59 1/2. Guarantees areInterest backed by thetypes claims-paying ability ofwithdrawals Jackson National 1 This by a “nonnatural person” such1-Year as a corporation or certain of trusts. If the sum of in a givenLife contract year exceeds rate applies to the Rate Guaranteed Period. 1 This rate applies to value, theFinancial 1-Year Interest Rate Guaranteed Period. Insurance Company. 10% of the accumulated the total amount withdrawn that contract will be subject to withdrawal Frontier Group, P.O. Box 39011year Washington, DC 20016charges. Each premium 2 Interest rate in subsequent years may be less. 2 Interest payment, including any subsequent years premium,may is subject to a 6-year declining withdrawal charge schedule. An annuity’s rate in subsequent beoffered less. Securities/Insurance products throughto Voya Financial Advisors, Member SIPC earnings are taxable as ordinary income withdrawn and may be subject tax if taken before age 59 1/2. by Frontier Financial Group, P.O. Boxwhen 39011 Washington, DC 20016 a 10% additional MAX One XL Flexible Premium Deferred Fixed Annuity form number A730C) is issued issued MAX One XL Flexible Premium Deferred Fixed AnnuityLife(contract (contract form number A730C) is by Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability disclosure.] of Jackson National Insurance Company. [Additional broker/dealer ® Securities/InsuranceLife products offeredCompany through Voya Financial Advisors, Member SIPC This product may not Jackson Michigan). Jackson National National Life Insurance Insurance Company® (Home (Home Office: Office: Lansing, Lansing, Michigan). This product may not Jeff Wheeler and Frontier Financial Group are not affiliated with Jackson Frontier Financial Group, P.O.and Box 39011 Washington, DC 20016 be available in premium may be beNational restrictedLife in Distributors [Additional broker/dealer be available in all all states statesdisclosure.] and state state variations variations may may apply. apply. Subsequent Subsequent premium may restricted in LLC. Securities/Insurance products offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Member SIPC some states. This contract has limitations and restrictions, including withdrawal charges and excess Jeff Wheeler and Frontier Financial Group are not affiliated with Jackson National Life Distributors some states. This contract has limitations and restrictions, including withdrawal charges and excess Jeff Wheeler andLicensed Frontier(market Financial Group are not afﬁliated with Jackson National Life Distributors LLC. interest adjustments adjustments Connecticut). Jackson issuesLLC. other annuities annuities with with in DC,value VA, MD, NC, NY, in WV www.FrontierFG.com interest adjustments (market value adjustments in Connecticut). Jackson issues other Licensed ininDC, MD, NC, NY, WVWV www.FrontierFG.com similar features, benefits, limitations and your representative representative or or contact contact Licensed DC,VA, VA, MD, NC, NY, www.FrontierFG.com similar features, benefits, limitations and charges. charges. Discuss Discuss them them with with your Jackson an annuity annuity is is used used to to fund fund aa Jackson for for more more information. information. Tax Tax deferral deferral offers offers no no additional additional value value ifif an qualified the annuity annuity is is owned owned by by aa “non“nonqualified plan plan such such as as aa 401(k) 401(k) or or IRA, IRA, and and may may not not be be available available ifif the natural person” such as a corporation or certain types of trusts. If the sum of withdrawals in a given natural person” such as a corporation or certain types of trusts. If the sum of withdrawals in a given contract withdrawn that that contract contract year year contract year year exceeds exceeds 10% 10% of of the the accumulated accumulated value, value, the the total total amount amount withdrawn will any subsequent subsequent will be be subject subject to to withdrawal withdrawal charges. charges. Each Each premium premium payment, payment, including including any HomeMichigan Office: Lansing, Michigan | www.jackson.com premium, is subject to declining An annuity’s annuity’s earnings earnings Home Ofﬁce: | www.jackson.com Home Office: Lansing, Michigan | www.jackson.com premium, isLansing, subject to aa 6-year 6-year declining withdrawal withdrawal charge charge schedule. schedule. An are taxable as ordinary when to aa 10% 10% additional additional tax tax ifif taken taken JMF7362 09/15 JMF7362 09/15 JMF7362 09/15 are taxable as ordinary income income when withdrawn withdrawn and and may may be be subject subject to before age 59 1/2. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of Jackson National Life before age 59 1/2. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of Jackson National Life Insurance Insurance Company. Company.
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Frontier Frontier Financial Financial Group, Group, P.O. P.O. Box Box 39011 39011 Washington, Washington, DC DC 20016 20016 Securities/Insurance products offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Member SIPC SIPC Securities/Insurance products offered through Voya Financial Advisors, enthusiastic about havingMember a large [Additional broker/dealer disclosure.] [Additional broker/dealer disclosure.] number of people who represent Jeff are not with National Life Distributors Distributors abroad. The slow paceLife Jeff Wheeler Wheeler and and Frontier Frontier Financial Financial Group Grouphis areagenda not affiliated affiliated with Jackson Jackson National LLC. of appointing ambassadors and LLC. CoNtINUeD • PAGe 14 NC, NY, WV www.FrontierFG.com Licensed staffing up the State Department Licensed in in DC, DC, VA, VA, MD, MD, NC, NY, WV www.FrontierFG.com
suggest to me they don’t see an urgency in invigorating the State Dephase of the State Department re- partment.” Critical ambassadorial appointorganization to the Office of Management and Budget in September. ments remain vacant, including a The resources allotted to the U.S. ambassador to South Korea at Home Office: Michigan || www.jackson.com Office: Lansing, Lansing, Michigan www.jackson.com a time when tensions between the StateHome Department in Trump’s budJMF7362 09/15 JMF7362how 09/15 get indicates he values inter- U.S. and North Korea have been national diplomacy, which is to say, escalating as Kim Jong-un becomes increasingly brazen in his nuclear not much. “I haven’t seen a lot of evidence threats and Trump engages in a that the White House sees a lot of potentially lethal war of words with value in the State Department to him (also see story on page 7). “International diplomacy is simbegin with,” Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the ply not getting done,” said CampCenter for Strategic and Interna- bell. “I wonder about the calls for tional Studies and a former mem- a diplomatic approach to North ber of the Policy Planning Staff at Korea. Who’s going to do it? There’s the State Department, told The no secretary for East Asia [the posiDiplomat. “Trump doesn’t seem tion is vacant at State]. If you’re go46 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVEMbEr 2017
Photo: U.S. StAte DePARtMeNt
Russell Feingold, then the newly appointed special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region, boards a U.S. Air Force jet before accompanying Secretary of State John Kerry to U.N. meetings in 2013. Secretary of State Rex tillerson’s proposal to eliminate certain special envoy positions would include the envoy for the Africa’s Great Lakes region, which would be subsumed into the Bureau of African Affairs.
ing to have a diplomatic approach, you have to have the instrument through which to do that.”
To complicate matters, Tillerson’s relationship with Trump has been deteriorating. Although
Trump publicly supported his secretary of state right after the story broke of Tillerson calling the president a moron, the beleaguered secretary of state — who by most accounts did not want the job in the first place — may not be around for long, whether he wants out or the directive comes from Trump. If Tillerson leaves his position early, the State Department faces even more uncertainty about its future. “Envoys can only be effective if they speak for their leadership,” said Alterman. “And if it appears that the envoys can’t speak for the secretary and the secretary can’t speak for the president, it’s extraordinarily difficult to be an effective envoy. The problem is the way the administration thinks about diplomacy.” WD Aileen Torres-Bennett is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.
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48 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | NOVember 2017
The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...
Published on Oct 30, 2017
The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...