Next WACC regular meeting

On Monday, Dec. 11, the reception will begin at 5:15 p.m. and speaker at 6 p.m. at The Citadel Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave.

Topic: "Russia and the Baltic countries: Anxieties mount as Putin steps up pressure and NATO and the U.S. deploy military forces"

Description: Beyond Russia's annexation of the Crimea and subversion in Ukraine, its pressure on Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is growing steadily with dangerous air tactics over the Baltic Sea and large-scale maneuvers close to their borders. Also, very concerned are Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Poland. NATO has responded with deployments to the Baltic countries, including U.S. troops now stationed in Poland and Estonia. Moscow's strategy and intentions are opaque. What is it up to? Where all this will lead is very uncertain.

Speaker: WACC member and former Acting U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine, Estonia, Iceland, and Norway Jon Gundersen will review these developments, drawing on a historical and policy perspective reflecting many years’ experience as a diplomat in the Nordic region, as an arms control negotiator, and policy planner in the State Department.

Jon Gundersen was an Army officer in Vietnam. He opened the U.S. Embassy in Kiev; served in Moscow; was Political Adviser to the Special Operations Command; and Senior Adviser for Iraqi Reconstruction in Baghdad. He is currently Chair of Nordic Studies at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington and teaches at the Joint Special Operations University. Mr. Gundersen has a BA from George Washington University and MAs from Stanford University and the National War College.

Great Decisions sign up

Sign up for 2018 Great Decisions groups. If you want to learn more about some of our most challenging foreign policy issues while getting to know other members better and sharing perspectives in a non-partisan social environment, this program is for you. Dues will be $30 per individual/couple to cover the cost of the book. Sign-up sheets will be available at the December 11th meeting and on our website.

Special dinner meeting on Mexico

There will be a special dinner meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 31 on Mexico's Democracy. The speaker will be Luis Rubio, chairman of the Mexican Council of Foreign Relations. This is not one of our six regular meetings. Registration is required, the fee is $45 a person. Visit the link below to register for the dinner.