10, 2013, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Hudson Institute and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security are pleased to invite you to a discussion on...
Rise of Radical Islamism in the South Caucasus: The Threat and the Response
Thursday, October 10 9:30am — 2:00pm
Panel 2: Keynote Address
The conference topic is especially timely as the U.S. continues its withdrawal from Afghanistan, instability mounts in North Africa and the Middle East, and Tehran continues to reject international calls for a halt to its enrichment activities. This turmoil also underscores the importance of strong and stable American allies in a region, the South Caucasus, of increasing importance to U.S. interests.
While Iran is using home-grown Shia Islamists to undermine the secular nature of Azerbaijan, the growing influence of Salafi groups in the North Caucasus is now spilling into neighboring countries. At the same time, poorly designed and inadequately executed responses by various governments have contributed to this increase in extremism.
Given this situation, how can South Caucasian governments and the international community prevent the spread of radicalism and promote traditions of tolerant Islam that allow co-existence and cooperation among Christians, Jews, and Sunni and Shia Muslims? What is the U.S. security strategy and vision for the Caucasus region? What is Iran's strategy in the South Caucasus and to what extent should the region shape U.S.-Iran relations?
To explore these challenges—and potential solutions to promote enduring regional security—Joshua Walker, Director of Global Programs, APCO Worldwide, will deliver opening remarks, and two panels of distinguished experts will follow: one moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis Richard Weitz, and a second moderated by Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation.
Please join us for what will be an insightful and much-needed discussion.
Thursday, October 10
9:00-9:30am: Registration and Breakfast
Kenneth R. Weinstein, President and CEO, Hudson Institute
Gal Luft, Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
9:40-10:00am: Opening Remarks
Introduction: Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Joshua Walker, Director of Global Programs, APCO Worldwide
10:00-11:15am: Panel One: "The Threat of the Rise of Radical Islam in the South Caucasus"
Moderator: Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute
Brenda Shaeffer, Visiting Researcher, Center for Eurasian, Russian and Eastern European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University
Alex Vatanka, Middle East Institute
Alexandros Petersen, Advisor to the European Energy Security Initiative (EESI), Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Svante Cornell, Research Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program
11:30am-12:30pm: Panel Two: "Domestic and International Response to the Spread of Extremism and Radicalism in the South Caucasus"