Forum for discussing national security issues.


The Year of Living Dangerously: National Security Uncertainty and Upheaval in 2024

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Click here to view the presentation slides from the February forum (PDF)

NSF Hybrid Event
In-Person at our NEW VENUE!
Tamarack Casino
13101 S. Virginia St, Reno, NV

(Park and enter using Banquet Hall door on the north side of the building)
Breakfast served 8:15-9:00, Forum 9:00-10:00am

Expert Panel:
Keith Hansen and Rae Huffstutler
(NSF Contributor and former Intelligence Community leaders)
John Woodworth
(Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy)

Welcome back to an exciting year of NSF events and expeditions! We have a lot in store to help you keep up with the rapidly changing national and global security situations in 2024. We will do our best to keep you informed about issues beyond the headlines and from multiple perspectives. Stay up to date on NSF programs by subscribing to our mailing list at: NSF Mailing List or better yet become a member at: Become a Member.

Before we get to the program description, we have some very exciting news! In response to lots of feedback from many forum participants, we undertook an exploration to find a new venue for to hold our regular NSF hybrid forum events. We are very grateful to Reno-Elks for hosting us last year and we expect we will return there for larger evening events in the future. We wanted to find a venue with easy access, good parking, no ambient noise during program hours, and a modern audio-visual system that works well for both in-person and Zoom attendees.

We believe we have found an excellent solution at Tamarack Casino in South Reno. They have a newly renovated banquet hall with a separate entrance and excellent parking on the north side of the building. When you turn into the parking lot turn right and follow the signs for the “Banquet Room.” Park anywhere on the northside of the building and enter via the walkway into the reception hall for the banquet room. We will see you there!!! You can always email Kimberly at: [email protected] or me at: [email protected] if you have questions or need more information about the location.

And now for the details about our breakfast forum on 21 February…

Take a deep breath and hold on tight, this is going to be a challenging year for the United States and the world. With deference to the 1982 film of the same name, our program is aptly named “The Year of Living Dangerously.” Precarious and perilous security situations are abundant across the globe. The US is deeply involved militarily and diplomatically in many of these already and may be drawn in to more as the year progresses. Following the head spinning headlines of national security uncertainties and upheavals is a daunting task for all of us.

To help us navigate through the landmines, rocket launches, and political rhetoric, we have engaged an excellent panel of national security experts. Keith Hansen and Rae Huffstutler, regular NSF contributors, will be joined by John Woodworth, former chairman and program director for the Council of Foreign Relations in Charlottesville, VA. In “normal times” Keith and Rae would be presenting their annual update on the Administration’s national security strategies and policies, but as we all know these are not normal times. So, I asked them to undertake a stocktake of the national and global security landscape and provide us with a roadmap for navigating through the breathless headlines and incessant news alerts to better understand how US policies and military actions are shaping, reshaping, and responding to a tumultuous world.

Recognizing that a lot will likely happen between my drafting this announcement and when we arrive for breakfast on Feb 21st, our panel plans to explore the national security landscape in three categories: 1) Immediate “hot” issues that currently involve US political, diplomatic, and military actions; 2) Festering issues that demand US policy attention and may become hot issues at any time; 3) Back burner issues that are likely to become hot topics in the next couple of years.

A challenge for all of us this year will be keeping multiple, often contradictory, thoughts in our heads at the same time and not succumbing to rhetoric that claims easy solutions to conflicts that have been simmering or raging for years, decades and even millennia. These are challenging times that tug at our heartstrings and clamor for our attention. NSF will do our best to provide you with resources, opportunities to engage with experts, friends and colleagues, and creative ways to avoid information overload without unplugging from all news and the world.

Other programs and events on our 2024 calendar include;

  • Wed 20 Mar – Hybrid breakfast forum at Tamarack Casino, “Renewable Energy Resources: Nevada holds the key” panel discussion with Caleb Cage and colleagues from the Nevada Battery Coalition.
  • Late April (date TBD) – MSTS hosted tour of NNSS and hopefully Creech AFB. Details and signup coming soon.
  • May 21-22 – NSF/WCSD Youth Security Forum at TMCC, “Civil discourse in times of division” Volunteers and sponsors needed!
  • July (TBD) – Joint NSF/MOAA program at the Chateau in Incline Village.
  • Other programs and tours are in the works. We welcome your ideas, input and requests. Email me anytime at: [email protected]

Please join us for a very important and timely program and be ready to share your thoughts and questions with our speakers.

Keith Hansen has extensive experience in the defense and intelligence communities as a US Navy officer for 30 years and as a National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Strategic Programs and Nuclear Proliferation. Hansen was deeply involved in negotiations on the disarmament of nuclear weapons, as well as on a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing. He and his wife live in Incline Village. He is the author of The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider’s Perspective; coauthor of Spy Satellites and Other Intelligence Technologies that Changed History; and coauthor of Preventing Catastrophe: The Use and Misuse of Intelligence in Efforts to Halt the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Professor Hansen has a BA in History from Stanford University; an MA in International Affairs/Soviet Studies from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; an MA in Russian History from Stanford University; and an MS in Management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business—Sloan Program.

Rae Huffstutler has a distinguished career in the Intelligence Community. He served as the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Director of the National Photographic Interpretation Center, and as the Director of Soviet Research at the Agency. Among his many accolades are twice being awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and in April 2003 he was inducted into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Hall of Fame for his contributions to imagery collection and intelligence. Rae received a BA in economics and an MA in international economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Rae is an active member and regular contributor and presenter of the National Security Forum. He lives during the snowless months, in lovely Incline Village.

John Woodworth’s career in international affairs and national security policy has involved work in government, education, consulting, and civic organizations. He held various senior positions in government, including Ambassador and Deputy Negotiator for INF in the US-Soviet Nuclear and Space Talks, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, Secretary of Defense Representative on the US Delegations to the UN Committee on Disarmament and the CSCE Stockholm Conference on Security in Europe, and principal nuclear policy advisor at the US Mission to NATO. Following government service, moved to Charlottesville in 1994 as a Senior Faculty Member and Special Advisor for International Studies at the Federal Executive Institute, where he developed and taught courses on global trends, coordinated leadership programs, and facilitated professional development teams. Among activities in civic organizations, he was Chairman and Director for Programs of the Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations, served on the International Council of the University of Virginia, and was a member of the Community Advisory Committee of the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville. He has served on numerous overseas election observation missions for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe including in Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Montenegro, and Moldova.  He has been a Visiting Fellow at the National Defense University, and a Fellow in Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. John received a Bachelor of Science from Duke University in history and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

The National Security Forum is a non-partisan, educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering civil discourse and informed discussion about timely and important national security topics. We bring expert speakers from around the U.S. to talk about national and international security, domestic and foreign terrorism, economic and financial threats, the safety of our food and water supply, energy policy, electrical grid stability, and a variety of other topics that affect all Americans. The National Security Forum partners with the Washoe County School District to host an annual Youth Security Forum to encourage future generations national security leaders.

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