The Evening: Arming the Kurds, Troops to Afghanistan, Cornell ’77 and more
May 9, 2017
It's Tuesday, May 9th.
Arming the Kurds
President Trump approved plans to directly arm Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State in Syria, U.S. officials said today, paving the way for an offensive against the extremist group’s de facto capital but angering Turkish allies who view the Kurdish fighters as terrorists, as the Wall Street Journal’s Dion Nissenbaum, Gordon Lubold and Julian Barnes report.
Dive Deeper: CSIS's Bulent Aliriza authored a new commentary today, "Trump Decides to Arm the Syrian Kurds Over Erdogan’s Objections."
And see RAND’s “Beating the Islamic State: Selecting a New Strategy for Iraq and Syria.”
Troops to Afghanistan
President Trump’s top military advisers are recommending deploying 3,000 to 5,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to improve security that has been deteriorating since the United States and its NATO allies officially concluded their combat mission in 2014, a White House official said. The president hasn’t yet decided on expanding the U.S. presence, as Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Jennifer Jacobs report.
Dive Deeper: See Anthony Cordesman’s May report, The Afghan War: Creating An Afghan Capability to Win.
South Korea elected Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer who favors dialogue with North Korea, as president today, returning the nation’s liberals to power after nearly a decade in the political wilderness and setting up a potential rift with the United States over the North’s nuclear weapons program, as the New York Times’ Choe Sang-Hun reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Victor Cha and Lisa Collins have a new commentary: “What Are Challenges for the New South Korean President?”
And see CFR’s Shelia Smith on “Uncertainty Among U.S. Allies in Northeast Asia.”
In That Number
Apple’s market value rose above $800 billion today, a first for a U.S. company. Source: WSJ.
“If history is a guide, rising populism presents a clear risk that national policies will shift away from global engagement and toward isolation.”
—CSIS’s John Schaus and Jake Stephens authored a new commentary today, “Populism Rising.”
CSIS’s ChinaPower interactive micro-website recently released a new feature, “How well-off is China's middle class?” China’s growing middle class presents an array of new economic opportunities, but also poses significant political and demographic challenges.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) holds up a copy of a CSIS report by Heather Conley, The Kremlin Playbook, while delivering remarks with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (left) at the conclusion of a hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election yesterday on Capitol Hill.
This Town Tomorrow
Join the CSIS Missile Defense Project at 3:00 p.m. to mark the one-year anniversary of operations of the Aegis Ashore missile defense site in Deveselu, Romania. The event will feature opening remarks from George Cristian Maior, ambassador of Romania to the United States.
And join the German Marshall Fund at 1:00 p.m. for “Turkey and Transatlantic Relations After the Constitutional Referendum.”
In January, CSIS hosted “Afghanistan Reconstruction: Enduring Challenges for the New Administration and Congress,” featuring Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko.
“Of Tensions in the South Caucasus” from Russian Roulette dives into the increasing tensions between Armenia and Arzerbaijan and the role of Russia, Turkey, and the United States in the region.
The Grateful Dead’s seminal 1977 performance at Cornell, now available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Dead.net, or wherever you get your music, is something every fan of the band is relishing. Just released a few days ago in full, it’s exciting to listen to and sounds shockingly fresh even for fans who thought they had heard and seen the best of the band for more than 50 years—believe me, I have been hearing from some of these fans!
In the weeks leading up to the Cornell show on May 8, 1977, the Dead were hitting their notes in grand fashion all over the Northeast. This performance at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey in late April of ‘77 foreshadowed the Cornell masterpiece that would come only days later.