Summary of the Presentation on The Global Ebola Crisis

Dr. Jim Wilson gave a riveting presentation on the Ebola crisis. The Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa is three times larger than any outbreak previously recorded for this devastating disease, leading global health experts to declare the outbreak to be a “global health emergency”. At least 2,615 have contracted Ebola, killing more than 1,427 in West Africa alone. This is the first time this has occurred in urban areas and to have crossed national boundaries. Ebola has been controlled in the past, but this outbreak is the most serious, potentially impacting 11 countries in the region.

Experts fear further international spread in view of the virulence of the virus, partially due to weak health systems in the currently affected regions, compounded by fear and misinformation in West Africa. The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organs in the body.

Dr. Wilson is now on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno and also heads up the Ascel Bio National Infectious Disease Forecast Center, which is actively tracking the Ebola disaster in West Africa.  It is the worst infectious disease-triggered disaster due to the geographic scale.  The center assess that both local and international capacities are strained to the limits with signs of imminent collapse.  Neither the event signature patterns nor epidemic curves show any sign of improvement in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Both of these countries have exhibited worse response profiles than Guinea, which profited from the immediate presence of Doctors Without Borders.  In this presentation Wilson reviews the basics of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the associated event signature patterns, and how the United States is or is not connected to the disaster region via the international air traffic grid.

Dr. Wilson is one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases. He led the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System following the 2010 earthquake and has been deeply involved in bio-terror prevention. He was instrumental in providing warning of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and has held positions with NASA, NOAA, and Homeland Security relating to bio-terrorism.

We are sure you will profit from a close look at the very extensive information on the Ebola crisis provided in his attached PowerPoint.

Why not an independent Kurdistan?

Colleagues:

Following our presentation on ISIS/The Islamic State, many of you showed considerable interest in knowing more about the Kurdish people and prospects for an independent Kurdistan.

William Galston at the Council on Foreign Relations has advocated for U.S. recognization of an independent Kurdistan, arguing that, “The Middle East is being remade, and the U.S. needs all of the friends it can get”. Galston argues that multi-ethnic democracy is a noble idea, but it doesn’t seem feasible in current circumstances. For the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, he argues that having large multi-ethnic countries inevitably will lead to dictatorship or anarchy. He said there is nothing sacred about the post Ottoman State system in the Middle East, “and no good reason why the U.S. should be worshiping at it’s alter”.

Of course constructing an independent Kurdistan would be extremely difficult, as the Kurdish people live in four major countries and have a presence in several others. Still, the Kurds are clearly one of our few friends in the Middle East, and maybe it is time to look more closely at what an independent or semi-autonomous Kurdistan might look like. This is more feasible considering the improved relationship between Turkey, where the majority of the Kurds live, and various Kurdish political entities.

We asked Larry Martines, our resident expert on the Kurds, to prepare a background paper on the Kurdish situation in view of the changing relationship with Turkey, driven largely by the ISIS advances. Click Here to Download

I think that you will find the attached paper on the Kurds to be of great interest and worth a serious look.

Ty

August 19th Forum Reminder

This is the final reminder about the upcoming breakfast forum…

THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC

SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

Coming soon to a community near you?

With Dr. Jim Wilson, MD

The Ramada, 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 19

The Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa is three times larger than any outbreak previously recorded for this devastating disease, leading global health experts to declare the outbreak to be a “global health emergency”. At least 1,800 have contracted Ebola, killing more than 1,000. This is the first time this has occurred in urban areas and to have crossed national boundaries. Ebola has been controlled in the past, but this outbreak is the most serious, potentially impacting 11 countries in the region.

Experts fear further international spread in view of the virulence of the virus, partially due to weak health systems in the currently affected regions, compounded by fear and misinformation in West Africa. The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organs in the body.

We are fortunate to have one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases to address this issue. Dr. Jim Wilson led the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System following the 2010 earthquake, which helped to identify the source of the cholera disaster there, and has been deeply involved in bio-terrorism prevention. Wilson was instrumental in providing warning of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and has held positions with NASA, NOAA and Homeland Security relating to bioterrorism. Wilson earned his MD from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and has been deeply involved with pediatric care for underserved communities. And Dr. Wilson has just joined the faculty at UNR!

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.

You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking here.  You may also RSVP e-mailing RJ@nationalsecurityforum.org. Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking here. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.

ISIS/The Islamic State

Summary and PowerPoint for presentation ISIS/The Islamic State

NSF Members were treated to an extraordinary overview and analysis, “The New Caliphate (ISIS/IS): Radical Islam at War with the World”.

Colonel/Doctor Richard Hobbs began the presentation with a historic overview of the evolution of radical Muslim movements that have now culminated in the Islamic state. Mr. Larry Martines then directed our attention specifically to the situation facing the Kurds, whose population lies within five separate countries and who do not have their own entity. Dr. John Jandali analyzed the current capabilities of ISIS, emphasizing that it is a para-military organization that has demonstrated extraordinary skill on the battlefield and a ruthless application of terror against all but devoted Sunni brethren.

Al Qaeda in Iraq was created by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.  He was anti-Shia and boasted to undo the Sykes-Picot Agreement by which the British and French had divided up the area (despite promises to the Arabs of independence) during World War I. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over Al Qaeda in 2010 and took it into Syria to join the insurgency against Bashar al-Assad in 2011.  He did not follow al-Qaeda’s orders and he was disavowed by Zawahiri in 2013.  With experience gained in fighting the other anti-Assad groups in Syria, he expanded operations back into Iraq and announced the Islamic State as the Caliphate on June 29 of this year.

Dr. Jandali noted that IS is operating as a state with an army and ended the Sykes-Picot arrangement.  Baghdadi has perhaps 10,000 troops, over half of which are foreigners. IS has weapons, equipment, personnel, leadership, and organization.  It controls territory and has the momentum to maintain control– for now.  It is extremely brutal, has brought the Sunni-Shia hatred to a new level, has imposed its strict Sharia controls (including against women), and has viciously attacked and removed Christians and other minorities.

As Larry Martines noted the situation facing the Kurds is rapidly changing. On the positive side, the Kurds are working with their traditional arch-enemy, Turkey, in common cause against ISIS. On the other hand, the Kurds are badly outnumbered in terms of manpower and especially sophisticated weapons. They urgently need financial and military reinforcements. The U.S., which had reluctantly backed Kurdish aspirations for a separate state, has been noticeably more active in providing the Kurds military equipment and has been supportive of Kurdish ethnic aspirations. The Kurds have demonstrated skills in managing an economy, as well as a military that is badly under equipped. They have been very deft in allocating oil resources, but must remain in control of disputed oil fields, especially near Kirkuk. (A longer analysis on the Kurdish situation by Larry Martines will be posted next week).

Panelists noted that the deterioration of Iraqi military capabilities has shown in the many setbacks they have been handed by ISIS on the battlefield. They also noted the persecution and horrible cruelty dealt to Christians, Jews, and other religions minorities, as well as against the apostates, the Shia. The panelists observed that these challenges arise at a time when the U.S. public has “intervention fatigue”, and is reluctant to support extensive American involvement– particularly boots on the ground. All three panelists supported the bombing campaign against ISIS that has been initiated and called for increased support to the persecuted minorities and especially to the Kurds.

Attached, please find a wonderful PowerPoint that Dr. Hobbs compiled for this presentation. It is well worth serious examination.

August 19th Forum Announcement

The National Security Forum invites you to a special program on …

THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC

SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

Coming soon to a community near you?

With Dr. Jim Wilson, MD

The Ramada, 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 19

The Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa is three times larger than any outbreak previously recorded for this devastating disease, leading global health experts to declare the outbreak to be a “global health emergency”. At least 1,800 have contracted Ebola, killing more than 1,000. This is the first time this has occurred in urban areas and to have crossed national boundaries. Ebola has been controlled in the past, but this outbreak is the most serious, potentially impacting 11 countries in the region.

Experts fear further international spread in view of the virulence of the virus, partially due to weak health systems in the currently affected regions, compounded by fear and misinformation in West Africa. The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organs in the body.

We are fortunate to have one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases to address this issue. Dr. Jim Wilson led the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System following the 2010 earthquake, which helped to identify the source of the cholera disaster there, and has been deeply involved in bio-terrorism prevention. Wilson was instrumental in providing warning of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and has held positions with NASA, NOAA and Homeland Security relating to bioterrorism. Wilson earned his MD from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and has been deeply involved with pediatric care for underserved communities. And Dr. Wilson has just joined the faculty at UNR!

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.

You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking here.  You may also RSVP e-mailing RJ@nationalsecurityforum.org. Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking here. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.