The 21st Century Defense Initiative hosted the Washington premiere of The Whistleblower, a new movie based on actual events in post-war Bosnia. Starring Rachel Weisz, the movie focuses on the web of international sex trafficking and corruption uncovered by Kathryn Bolkovac, an American contract peacekeeper. Bolkovac fights against the criminality, human rights abuses, and cover-ups carried out by private military contractors, non-governmental organizations, and Bosnia’s post-war police and government. Kathryn Bolkovac and the movie’s director Larysa Kondracki joined Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative, for a panel discussion following the screening.
The post-screening panel addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from Larysa’s artistic inspirations to Kathryn’s thoughts on whether the film was true to reality. In particular, Peter Singer addressed the evolution of military privatization and of distorted accountability within international organizations and military contractors. Cindy Dyer, vice president of Vital Voices, a nonprofit organization that promotes women’s leadership and economic empowerment, addressed changes to human rights law and its impact on the sex trade.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.