The PSA/USIP Series: Ambassador Johnnie Carson – Why We Can No Longer Ignore Africa

The Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held an off-the-record, bipartisan group discussion with former Ambassador Johnnie Carson, whose appointments include Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs and Ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994).

Following President Obama’s June 27-July 2 visit to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, Ambassador Carson discussed why critical elements – including economic opportunities, national security priorities, and democratic developments – in Sub-Saharan Africa are now drawing renewed interest in the United States. Upcoming Congressional consideration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade pact renewal, new opportunities for security partnerships targeting emerging threats from violent extremism and international terrorism, and rising foreign competition for resources and allies in the region highlight the rising importance of Africa in U.S. foreign policy.


Ambassador Johnnie Carson is Senior Advisor to the President of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs from May 2009 to March 2013.

A retired U.S. ambassador, Johnnie Carson spent 37 years working for the Foreign Service, mostly on assignments throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to serving as Assistant Secretary of the State Department for the Bureau of African Affairs, he was the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the National Intelligence Council, after serving as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

Carson’s Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1971-1974); Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982).

Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.

Ambassador Carson is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Centers for Disease Control presented Ambassador Carson its highest award, “Champion of Prevention Award,” for his leadership in directing the U.S. Government’s HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.

Carson is married and has two daughters and a son.


This was the sixth event of the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff opportunities to engage with leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.

“Syria’s Collapse and How Washington Can Help Stop It” a Discussion with Andrew Tabler

On July 26, two participants in the Congressional Partnership Program hosted Andrew J. Tabler to explore how the U.S. can respond to the crisis in Syria in order to help curb the killing, check the rise of extremists in the opposition, and expedite the downfall of the Assad regime. Mr. Tabler is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute.


Andrew J. Tabler

Andrew J. Tabler is a senior fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute, where he focuses on Syria and U.S. policy in the Levant. The cofounder and former editor-in-chief of Syria Today, Syria’s first private-sector English-language magazine, Mr. Tabler achieved unparalleled long-term access to Bashar al-Asad’s Syria. During fourteen years of residence in the Middle East, Mr. Tabler served, most recently, as a consultant on U.S.-Syria relations for the International Crisis Group (2008) and as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs (2005-2007), writing on Syrian, Lebanese, and Middle Eastern affairs. Mr. Tabler is author of In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle with Syria.

PSA/USIP Host – Former Congressman Jim Kolbe: Reforming US Defense Cooperation with Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia

The PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention continued on May 30th with an off-the-record discussion featuring former Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ). Congressional staffers discussed the findings of a recent Atlantic Council report co-authored by Kolbe and General George Casey, Jr., USA (Ret.) – A New Deal: Reforming US Defense Cooperation with Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

The report can be found at https://www.acus.org/publication/new-deal-reforming-us-defense-cooperation-egypt-libya-and-tunisia.


Jim Kolbe currently serves as a Senior Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He advises on trade matters as well as issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, on U.S.-EU relationships, and on migration and its relationship to development. He is co-chair of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Development with Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation. The Taskforce consists of experts from both sides of the Atlantic from governments, NGOs, foundations and corporations – it will make strategic recommendations on development for the new American administration as well as to European audiences. He also serves as an a strategic consultant with McLarty Associates, as a member of the Board of Directors of Freedom House and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

For 22 years, Jim Kolbe served in the United States House of Representatives, elected for eleven consecutive terms, from 1985 to 2007. He represented the Eighth (previously designated the Fifth) congressional district, comprising the southeastern part of Arizona with Tucson as the main population area.

While in Congress, Jim served for 20 years on the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, responsible for deciding the allocation of the budget and the terms for spending appropriated funds. He was chairman of the Treasury, Post Office and Related Agencies subcommittee for four years, and for the last six years in Congress, he chaired the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Agencies subcommittee.

Education:
Kolbe graduated from Northwestern University with a BA degree in Political Science and then from Stanford University with an MBA and a concentration in economics.

Honors:
He has received numerous awards and tributes, but notable among them is the George Marshall Award for Distinguished Service from the United States Agency for International Development and the Order of the Aztec from the President of Mexico.


This was the fifth event of the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff opportunities to engage with leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.


Off-the-Record with Amb. Fred Hof and Dr. Steven Heydemann

PSA and USIP held a small round-table discussion on recent events in Syria and their effect on global security featuring Fred Hof, senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former Special Representative on Syria, and Steven Heydemann, Senior Adviser for Middle East Initiatives at USIP, on Feb 1st, 2013.

Frederic C. Hof is a senior fellow with the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Amb. Hof the rank of ambassador in connection with his new duties as special advisor for transition in Syria. Amb. Hof was previously the special coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues falling under his purview and focusing on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the Department of State in April 2009 after serving as president and CEO of AALC, limited company, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC.

Steven Heydemann, Ph.D., serves as Senior Adviser for Middle East Initiatives at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an institution created by Congress to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent international conflict through nonviolent means. Since December 2011, Heydemann has directed the USIP-facilitated The Day After Project that brought together some 45 Syrian opposition leaders to develop principles, goals, and recommendations for the transition to a post-Assad Syria.

This was the third event of the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff opportunities to engage with leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.


Click here for Amb. Hof’s full bio from The Atlantic Council.

Click here for Dr. Heydemann’s full bio from the United States Institute of Peace.

Transparency = Security

Nuclear arms control is a critical pillar of America’s national security. Negotiated agreements to reduce the threat posed by the Cold War nuclear arms race have always enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the U.S.

In 1982, President Reagan proposed that the U.S. and the Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals by thousands of warheads each. This proposal became the basis for the 1991 START I treaty. Since that time, every U.S. President, in concert with Russia, has advanced President Reagan’s legacy through steady and prudent reductions of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, including the 2002 Treaty of Moscow, signed by Presidents Bush and Putin.

On April 8, 2010, Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the new START treaty, agreeing to further reduce both sides’ arsenals and bring into force a new regime for inspections and verification. This was a necessary and appropriate step toward safeguarding our national security. Without the new START, the U.S. has no legally binding ability to conduct inspections of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, and would be in a far weaker position to lead the world in stopping nuclear proliferation.

Now is the time for a thorough and balanced national discussion about nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. But we must remember that a world without a binding U.S.-Russian nuclear weapons agreement is a much more dangerous world. We, the undersigned Republicans and Democrats, support the new START treaty because we believe that it:

  • Enhances stability, transparency and predictability between the world’s two largest nuclear powers, which together possess about 95 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons
  • Contains verification and inspection measures essential to U.S. national security and nuclear threat reduction as it relates to Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons
  • Addresses our Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations and therefore assists in gaining cooperation from other countries on key nonproliferation priorities
  • Helps strengthen broader U.S.–Russia cooperation, which is important in responding to proliferation challenges from Iran and North Korea
  • Does not inhibit our ability to maintain an effective and reliable nuclear arsenal
  • Does not constrain our ability to develop and deploy missile defense systems

Signatories

Madeleine Albright Secretary of State 1997-2001
Howard Baker US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger National Security Advisor 1997-2001
Linton Brooks Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration 2002-07
Harold Brown Secretary of Defense 1977-81
Frank Carlucci Secretary of Defense 1987-89
Warren Christopher Secretary of State 1993-97
William Cohen Secretary of Defense 1997-2001
John C. Danforth US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95
Kenneth M. Duberstein White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
Chuck Hagel US Senator (R-NE) 1997-2009
Lee Hamilton US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
Gary Hart US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Rita E. Hauser Chair, International Peace Institute
Carla Hills US Trade Representative 1989-93
Nancy Kassebaum-Baker US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean Governor (R-NJ) 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair
Richard Leone President, The Century Foundation
Donald McHenry US Ambassador to the UN 1979-81
Sam Nunn US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering Under Secretary of State 1997-2000
Colin L. Powell Secretary of State 2001-05
Warren Rudman US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92; Co-Chair, PSA Advisory Board
Alan Simpson US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
George Shultz Secretary of State 1982-89
Theodore Sorensen White House Special Counsel 1961-63
John Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Timothy E. Wirth US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner Under Secretary of State 1992-93

 

 

This project is made possible by the generous support of Ploughshares Fund and The Connect U.S. Fund.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Security

Matthew Rojansky and Daniel Cassman
October 2009

This report, originally published as an article in YaleGlobal, examines the risk of Al Qaeda or the Taliban obtaining nuclear material in Pakistan. The report includes an analysis of which nuclear sites in Pakistan are most at risk, and a map of the sites and their geographic relation to territory controlled by the Taliban versus the Pakistani government.

 

U.S. and Russia: A Window of Opportunity

The U.S. and Russia share a wide range of critical interests, from preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to addressing global energy concerns, to combating international terrorism and the illegal drug trade. Russia’s heavy hand at home and with its neighbors is troubling, but these concerns must be addressed through effective U.S.-Russian dialogue, not an escalating war of words. Two decades after the end of the Cold War, it is time to strengthen and renew U.S.-Russian cooperation. We, the undersigned, agree that to repair the U.S.-Russia relationship, both sides must take steps to restore mutual confidence and trust. The Obama Administration can begin by:

  • Emphasizing the importance of the NATO-Russia Council and inviting Russia to participate fully in a collective security strategy, beginning with peace and stability for Afghanistan;
  • Engaging in discussions aimed at securing Russian cooperation to establish effective defenses against missile attacks for Europe while providing Russia with security assurances;
  • Encouraging Russia to take a leadership role in multilateral negotiations with Iran to stop uranium enrichment;
  • Advancing the US-Russia dialogue on arms control and non-proliferation, and working to extend or replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which could be followed by another stage of verified nuclear disarmament;
  • Reiterating U.S. support for Russia’s WTO candidacy, calling on Congress to repeal the “Jackson-Vanik” trade sanctions, and encouraging other member states to offer Russia a clear path to membership based on its commitment to the WTO Charter; and
  • Expanding the US-Russia dialogue on energy and climate change, to include seeking common ground on environmental concerns and new oil and gas pipelines to guarantee reliable energy supplies for the entire North Atlantic region.

If these steps are met by Russia with similar good faith and pragmatism, Presidents Medvedev and Obama, as new leaders, can seize a unique opportunity to renew cooperation based on mutual trust and shared interests.

 

Signatories

Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor 1997-2001
Harold Brown, Secretary of Defense 1977-81
Frank Carlucci, Secretary of Defense 1987-89
James F. Collins, US Ambassador to Russia 1997-2001
John C. Danforth, US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95
Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc.
Slade Gorton, US Senator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99, PSA Co-Chair
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Arthur Hartman, Ambassador to Soviet Union 1981-87
Rita E. Hauser, Chair, International Peace Institute
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
E. Neville Isdell, Chairman, US-Russia Business Council
Nancy Kassebaum Baker, US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean, Governor, New Jersey 1982-90
Donald M. Kendall, former Chairman and CEO, Pepsico
Eugene K. Lawson, Vice Chairman, U.S. Export-Import Bank 1989-93
John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy 1981-87
Richard Leone, President, The Century Foundation
Jack Matlock, Ambassador to Soviet Union 1987-91
Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor 1983-85
Donald McHenry, Ambassador to UN 1979-81
Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense 1961-68
Sam Nunn, US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State 1997-2000
Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92, PSA Co-Chair
Alan Simpson, US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
Theodore Sorensen, White House Special Counsel 1961-63
James Symington, US Congressman (D-MO) 1969-77
Edward Verona, President, US-Russia Business Council
John Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Timothy E. Wirth, US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93

Darfur Action Now

Now is the time for our President, our country, and the international community to match strong words with decisive action.

Now is the time for the President to work with Russia, China, and members of the Arab League to compel Sudan to accept a UN peacekeeping force.

Now is the time to impose a NATO-led no-fly zone over the Darfur region, expand sanctions on Sudanese government officials, freeze Sudan’s assets abroad, and block its oil exports.

If these measures do not make it possible to quickly deploy a UN force and halt the genocide, a NATO-led intervention must be seriously considered.

Now is the time for leadership and bold action.

The world can no longer stand idly by

 

Signatories

Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99, Vice Chair, 9/11 Commission
Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor 1997-2000
Zbigniew Brzezinksi, National Security Advisor 1977-81
Warren Christopher Secretary of State 1993-97
Slade Gorton, US Senator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001, Commissioner, 9/11 Commission
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
Nancy Kassebaum Baker, US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean, Governor New Jersey 1982-1990, Chairman, 9/11 Commission
Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor 1993-97
John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy 1981-87, Commissioner, 9/11 Commission
Richard C. Leone, President, The Century Foundation 1989-present
Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor 1983-85
Sam Nunn, US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State 1997-2000
John C. Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93

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