Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges
|Date: October 6, 2014|
|Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm|
|Location: American Security Project, 7th Floor West Tower, 1100 New York Ave. NW Washington, DC|
Recent political changes, the steady increase in militancy, and rising threat of ISIS are changing the region. Coupled with the developing hydrocarbon industry in the Bay of Bengal, all these factors have political, security, and economic implications for Bangladesh- and South Asia. The growing Chinese footprint in the region, in Bangladesh in particular, has implications for the US pivot to Asia. As a key maritime nation with major control over the entry into the Indian Ocean through the Bay of Bengal, the US-Bangladesh relationship is vital to the successful execution the policy.
The evolution of these interconnected factors will impact the stability of Bangladesh and South Asia. As a long-time ally of the United States, the evolving landscape and rise in potential threats will directly inform the US-Bangladesh relationship, especially as the US continues to withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Last October, the American Security Project and Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) co-hosted “Bangladesh at a Cross Roads: A Political and Security Outlook.” The events offered an in depth look at Bangladesh’s political climate, impact of terrorism, economic development, and its relationship with regional partners and neighbors.
On October 6, 2014 “Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges” will offer an opportunity to continue these conversations.
The half day conference will include two panels and will facilitate a discussion on the political, security, and economic issues facing Bangladesh and how they can impact the US going forward.
12:00pm – 12:30pm Networking and Lunch Refreshments
12:30pm – 12:50pm
Clinton Brown, Acting DAS for South Asia
12:50pm – 2:00pm Panel One
Bangladesh: Political Climate and Security Challenges
This panel will cover both political and security issues. The political focus will include the recent turmoil and increase in Chinese influence in the region. The panel will examine possible scenarios that could evolve in the coming months and years, and how the United States will engage with Bangladesh as the situation evolves.
The panelists will also address the rise in militancy through extremist madrasas and the threat of ISIL to Bangladesh and South Asia. The implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the new Al Qaeda in the sub-continent, relations with China, and the increasing instability of Pakistan will also be discussed in detail. Panelists will also speak to the reality of climate change and its related security impacts in Bangladesh and across the region.
Chair: Major General Muniruzzam, BIPSS
Panelists: Dr. Piash Karim, Brac University
Dr. Thomas Lynch, NDU
Mr. Shafqat Munir, BIPSS
2:00pm – 3:00pm Panel Two
Bangladesh: Economy, Trade and Opportunities to Invest
The panel will examine current macro-economic trends, particularly bi-lateral trade agreements and economic activity outside and including the garment manufacturing business. It will also discuss recent developments regarding the Bay of Bengal and the potential role of energy as a significant economic force going forward.
Chair: BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, ASP
Panelists: Dr. Piash Karim, Brac University
Mr. Dante Disparte, Clements Worldwide
Clinton S. Brown
Clinton S. “Tad” Brown took up his current position as Director of the Office of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Maldives in August 2014. He had previously been a Senior Watch Officer in the 24-hour Operations Center, where he led a team that managed Secretary Kerry’s communications, provided briefings to the Secretary and other Department Principals, and tracked and responded to crises and breaking events around the world. From 2010-2013, Tad was the Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata, India, which managed a wide variety of U.S. political, economic, and global interests in ten states of East and Northeast India. From 2006-2009, Tad was the Deputy Political Chief in Yaounde, Cameroon, where he worked on human rights, internal politics and elections, corruption and governance challenges, and economic and commercial issues, including in the energy and mining sectors. From 2003-2005, he served as an Economic Officer and subsequently the Ambassador’s Staff Assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. His first diplomatic posting was as a Consular Officer in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tad’s and his wife, a public health professional, have two children. A graduate of Georgetown University, he still considers Buffalo, New York to be his home.
|Major General Muniruzzaman|
Moderator Major General Muniruzzaman (Retd). is the President of Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, which he founded in 2007. He is also the current Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC). GMACCC comprises of serving and retired flag officers from 28 different countries and works closely with EU, NATO, ARF and national governments advising them on the security implications of Climate Change.In a career spanning 37 years in active duty in the Bangladesh Army, General Muniruzzaman has held a variety of command, staff and instructional appointments. General Muniruzzaman also served as the Military Secretary to the President of Bangladesh. He underwent training in various parts of the globe including the United States where he attended the US Naval War College and the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii. General Muniruzzaman is a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for Asian Transnational Threats Research and a founding member of the Non Traditional Security Consortium Asia based in Singapore. He is also the editor of Peace and Security Review,an academic journal published by BIPSS.
|Dr. Piash Karim|
Panelist Dr. Manjur (Piash) Karim is a professor of economics and social science at BRAC University in Bangladesh. He obtained his Ph.D in Sociology from Kansas State University, USA. His specializations include Political Economy, Political Sociology, Nationalism and Social Theory. He had extensive teaching experience in the United States and held faculty positions at University of Nebraska at Kearny and Culver- Stocketon College, Missouri for seventeen years before joining BRAC University in 2007. His present passion focuses on Civil Society and Media Activism. He has published in international and national Journals. Dr. Karim appears frequently on the electronic media in Bangladesh analyzing political issues and is known for his astute commentary. He also writes op-eds for various newspapers and magazines in Bangladesh.
|Mr. Shafqat Munir|
Panelist Mr. Shafqat Munir is currently an Associate Research Fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies [BIPSS]. Prior to this, he has worked as a Senior Analyst with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He subsequently worked with the Singapore Technologies in their Homeland Security Consulting arm as a Security Consultant. At BIPSS, Shafqat is closely associated with Bangladesh Center for Terrorism Research, a constituent unit of BIPSS and also works on research projects on Indian Ocean security issues and electoral violence. He is also closely involved in organising various track 1/5 and track 2 dialogue organised or co-hosted by BIPSS.
|Thomas F. Lynch III, PhD|
Distinguished Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
Panelist Dr. Thomas F. Lynch III is a Distinguished Research Fellow for South Asia and the Near East in the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) at the Institute of National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C. He researches, writes, and lectures for Department of Defense customers on the topics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India & the Subcontinent, the Gulf Arab States, and the past & future trajectory of radical Islam. Dr. Lynch joined NDU in July 2010 after a 28 year career in the active duty U.S. Army, serving in a variety of command and staff positions as an armor/cavalry officer and as a senior level politico-military analyst. Dr. Lynch was a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff & Deputy Director of the Chairman’s Advisory & Initiatives Group; Commander of the U.S. Army War Theater Support Group in Doha, Qatar; Director of the Advisory Group for the Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM); and Military Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He spent 42 of 44 months from 2004-07 on assignment in the Middle East and South Asia supporting OPERATIONS ENDURING & IRAQI FREEDOM.
|BGen. Stephen A. Cheney|
Moderator BGen Stephen Cheney USMC(Ret) is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Security Project (ASP). He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has over 30 years experience as a Marine. His career included a wide variety of command and staff positions with the operating forces and the supporting establishment. His primary specialty was artillery, but he focused extensively on entry-level training, commanding at every echelon at both Marine Corps Recruit Depots, to include being the Commanding General at Parris Island. He served several years in Japan and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia. He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the National War College, and the University of Southern California. He was a military fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, where he is a member. He was appointed to the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board in December, 2013.
He has been on the Board of Directors for ASP since 2006.
|Mr. Dante Disparte|
Managing Director-Clements Insurance
Panelist Dante Disparte is the U.S. Managing Director for Clements Worldwide, a leading risk management firm and insurance brokerage serving customers in more than 180 countries. Mr. Disparte is a specialist in risk reduction through the design and delivery of comprehensive risk solutions of worldwide scope. He is credited with designing the world’s first card-based life insurance program for the United Nations, a plan that has placed more than a half billion USD of risk with the markets in more than 150 countries. He is conversant in 6 languages and has published numerous articles on the subject of risk, strategy and business effectiveness. A graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development, Mr. Disparte holds a degree in International and Intercultural Studies from Goucher College and a MSc. in risk Management from NYU’s Stern School of Business.