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52
JULY-AUGUST 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
On April 8 and 9, the Santa
Fe World Afairs Forum’s
annual symposium explored
“Living in Challenging Times:
The U.S. and East Asia” at St.
John’s College in Santa Fe,
N. M.
Two years ago, the Obama
administration announced
a “pivot” or repositioning of
military forces and diplo-
matic resources from the
Middle East to Asia. This
represented a shift of empha-
sis from a troubled region
that has consumed almost
all of America’s attention for
the past decade, to the most
economically dynamic region
in the world.
Of course, the Middle
East will continue to con-
sume American interest and
resources for a variety of rea-
sons for some time to come,
but U.S. neglect of the Far
East, and especially in light of
China’s phenomenal rise, has
begun to change.
This year’s sold-out
event, opened by St. John’s
College President Michael
Peters and Forum President
Patricia Kushlis, began with
an overview of the region by
William Itoh, a former U.S.
ambassador to Thailand. This
was followed by a review of
U.S.-North Asian relations
presented by Chris Nelson,
vice president of Samuels
International and author
of the widely read
Nelson
Report
blog.
Professor Suisheng Zhao,
AFSA and Santa Fe Retirees Co-Sponsor Symposium
BY PATR ICI A KUSHL I S, PRES IDENT, SANTA FE WORLD AFFA I RS FORUM
director of the Center for
U.S.-China Cooperation, part
of the Josef Korbel School
at the University of Denver,
addressed the topic, “A Ris-
ing China Seeking Its Rightful
Place,” analyzing the intense
debate going on within
Chinese foreign policy circles
today.
Dennis Blasko, author
of
“The Chinese Army
Today: Tradition and Trans-
formation for the 21st
Century,”
(Routledge, 2005),
then described the role of,
and funding for, the People’s
Liberation Army. The sympo-
sium concluded with a “last
thoughts” overview by the
speakers.
Now nearly a decade
old, SFWAF is dedicated to
exploring current foreign
policy issues afecting the
U.S. through small-group,
expert-led sessions for mem-
bers. Its annual symposium
is open to anyone interested
in foreign afairs.
In addition to AFSA
members, the nonproft
organization is comprised
of former Fulbright scholars
and professors, Peace Corps
Volunteers, retired military
personnel, university profes-
sors and business people, as
well as other professionals
University of New Mexico scholars (L to R) Joseph Giannoto, Nicholas
Padilla and Noelle Jefrey attend the Santa Fe World Afairs Forum’s
symposium, courtesy of support from AFSA.
concerned about our coun-
try’s direction, activities and
presence abroad.
For the past two years,
the Forum’s programs and
symposia have been held at
St. John’s College in Santa
Fe, N. M.
This year SFWAF
expanded its number of
cosponsoring and partner
organizations for the sympo-
sium, reaching beyond New
Mexico. We are most grateful
to AFSA for becoming a co-
sponsor for the frst time—
helping to cover transporta-
tion for one speaker, and
underwriting the attendance
of three University of New
Mexico students majoring in
economics or international
studies.
For additional information
on the Santa Fe World Afairs
Forum and its programs,
please visit us at www.sfwaf.
org or e-mail waforum@
gmail.com.
n
FSYF Family Welcome Back Picnic
On Sunday, Sept. 15, at
4 p.m. at Nottaway Park,
Vienna, Va. The Foreign
Service Youth Foundation’s
picnic honors FS families
who are returning from
overseas. Make new friends,
connect with old friends and welcome home your
colleagues. ALL U.S. FS families are welcome. RSVP
to
fsyf@fsyf.org
before Sept. 9.