Thursday, November 29, 2012

From Triad to Dyad: Rationalizing U.S. Nuclear Weapons Delivery Systems

One of the big areas of contention during the presidential election was the issue of military spending. How much should the U.S. be spending on the military? Where does the military fall on the list of priorities for the United States?

Christopher A. Preble, the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and an expert on military spending, writes extensively about this issue and how the government should address it. His publications include The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe.

In an excerpt from his blog, Preble calls for a more in depth and transparent discussion of the costs of the U.S. nuclear weapons program. He asserts that the costs are largely unknown, and because of this, it is difficult to manage spending on the program. Preble’s lecture on December 6th will focus on rationalizing the U.S. nuclear weapons delivery systems.

To read Christopher’s Preble blog about nuclear spending, visit the following link:

For more information about Christopher Preble’s lecture, visit the event page on our website.

Please note that this lecture is at 6:00 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum. You can RSVP by calling us at (907)276-8038 or emailing us at All payment for admission will be at the door is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mikkal Herberg: Asia Energy Expert

Although written a little more than a year ago, in June 2011, Mikkal Herberg’s editorial “China’s Energy Rise and the Future of U.S.-China Energy Relations” couldn’t be more relevant. Herberg points out the capacity that China has to completely reshape the global energy landscape and the challenges that poses to the United States. How should the U.S. approach the situation?

After a very in-depth analysis of the factors surrounding the U.S.-China energy relationship, Herberg concludes, “Stronger cooperation between China and the U.S. on global energy issues is vital to addressing our key global energy challenges, most importantly our common energy security dilemma. ... The issue is not cooperation on better U.S.-China relations for its own sake but cooperation that addresses our vital and common interests in energy security on a global basis.” To achieve this, Herberg suggests that the Obama administration focus on both short and medium term goals, and he encourages the creation of more multilateral institutions to manage energy security.

To read Mikkal Herberg’s full article, visit the New America Foundation.

Mikkal Herberg will speak to the Alaska World Affairs Council on Wednesday, November 28, at noon at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel. To pay in advance, click here.
To RSVP and pay at the door, call us at (907)276-8038 or email us at

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Iranian Politics and Policies

Farideh Farhi is an independent scholar and expert on Iranian politics and comparative revolutions. Currently, she is a graduate faculty member in the political science department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. An engaging and informed speaker, Farhi be speaking to the Alaska World Affairs Council on November 16th, and she is not to be missed.

As we prepare to elect the next President of the United States, foreign policy has moved to the forefront of the national discourse. One of the many questions we must consider is how the next president will confront the issue of Iran's nuclear policy, as Iran's actions will inevitably affect our own nuclear and foreign policy decisions. To make things more complicated, understanding Iran's policies is difficult, particularly because at its heart is a " basic contradiction …  seeking to be a respected member of the international community while also loudly challenging international codes of conduct," as Farhi points out in her blog.

To gain a better understanding of Iranian politics, and its nuclear policies in particular, come hear from Farideh Farhi on November 16th.

To read more of Farhi's blog click here
For more information about Farhi's lecture, visit our website.