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The Washington Diplomat: Ambassador Insider Series, Ambassador Lukman Faily

  • Westin Georgetown 2350 M Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20037 United States (map)

Ambassador Lukman Faily

How much do you really know about world affairs? Do you relish the idea of meeting people from different cultures, networking with potential business partners and enjoying delicious new cuisines and cultures — all while learning about important global trends?

If so, our new Ambassador Insider Series is for you. Geared toward busy professionals with little free time who nevertheless hope to expand their international horizons, this program brings the experts to you, in a relaxing, informal setting.

Our next event takes place at Dec. 3 at the Westin Hotel Georgetown’s Promenade and features Lukman Faily, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States. The event will be followed by a networking dinner.

The Baghdad-born diplomat has represented his troubled country in Washington since July 2013 — a period that spans two of the most difficult years in Iraq’s history.

With U.S. troops set to return to Iraq for the first time since the United States left in 2011, this Middle Eastern country is once again grabbing headlines as Islamic State terrorists battle the central government for control along with a restive Kurdish minority — threatening once again to rip apart the country along sectarian lines.

Iraq also looms large as an issue in the upcoming 2016 presidential elections. Some 4,500 Americans lost their lives and more than 32,000 were wounded in the Iraq War, a conflict that since 2003 has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $2 trillion. Even though Saddam Hussein was deposed and democracy restored, the country is politically unstable — and tumbling oil prices now threaten Iraq’s economy even as it struggles to diversify away from its dependence on petroleum.

At the same time, Iraq’s neighbor Iran, with which it fought a devastating war nearly 30 years ago, seems determined in the long run to acquire nuclear weapons — and in the short run to step up financial and military support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Will President Obama’s commitment to fighting ISIS lead to American boots on the ground once more? Could Iraq’s Sunni majority view Russia’s intervention in Syria as a threat? Are Iraqi refugees likely to follow their Syrian brethren in a mass exodus to Europe? Will the Kurds continue fighting for their own independent nation? And what about the role of other Middle East states like Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Ambassador Faily will discuss these many challenges in a lively exchange with Larry Luxner, who as news editor of The Washington Diplomat has interviewed more than 300 ambassadors and countless diplomats over the last 20 years.

Join us Dec. 3 as we speak with Ambassador Faily, and learn more about one of the most urgent, and potentially explosive, foreign policy issues facing the United States today.