The Evening CSIS: Absent the Taliban, H-Bomb, Instant Karma & More
December 10, 2015
Welcome to The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world. To subscribe, please click here and if you want to view this in your browser, click here.
Absent the Taliban
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the US have agreed to restart peace talks with the Taliban, but without the Taliban themselves, as Mujib Mahsal and Rod Norland of the New York Times report.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman authored a commentary today: “Afghanistan and Failed State Wars: An Update.”
CFR’s interactive InfoGuide on “The Taliban” is another excellent resource.
Also, duly noted by the New Yorker’s Sarah Larson, “‘Serial’ Season Two is Here,” and it’s a season-long exploration of the case of former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl. Wow.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un said today that his country has developed a hydrogen bomb, a step up from the atomic bomb, but the US and outside experts are skeptical, as Reuters reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Victor Cha testified in October before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, on “Assessing the North Korea Threat and U.S. Policy: Strategic Patience or Effective Deterrence?” Dr. Cha’s statement can be accessed here.
And, “38 North,” a blog at the US-Korea Institute at SAIS, is another excellent resource on North Korea’s nuclear program.
Searching for Suspects in Geneva
Geneva was on high alert today while police searched for suspects related to the terror attacks in Paris, as CNN reports.
And, the BBC has an updated feature on “Who were the attackers?”
In that Number
The air quality index in Beijing, more than 10 times higher than the levels recommended by the World Health Organization.
“It has built up what amounts to a durable and resilient financial portfolio.”
—Tom Sanderson, director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project, on how the Islamic State has become the wealthiest militant group of its kind in history.
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Twitter)
Dan Hirschhorn (@DanH_TIME) has been promoted to Time’s director of news. Dan previously served as Time’s senior editor for news and covered national politics for POLITICO.
Today the Atlantic released the final phase of their photo essay, 2015: The Year in Photos. This portion of the essay covers the tumultuous fall season.
The New York Times’ “Lens” photo essay: “Photographing the Refugee Trail by Drone.”
The CSIS Global Food Security Project hosted a discussion on urban hunger, as the international community pursues a “zero hunger goal.” And tonight, CSIS hosts “1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History,” a book event with author Jay Winik.
This Town Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., join the Center for a New American Security as they host a discussion on climate security and migration with a fantastic lineup of experts. For more details and to register, click here.
CSIS on Demand
As the year draws to a close, what are the implications of emerging market demand for next year’s global energy outlook? CSIS hosted a roundtable discussion with energy experts to examine the headwinds and tailwinds facing large emerging markets—especially China—and the implications for global energy demand.
The latest Smart Women, Smart Power podcast discusses the physical and mental health issues military women face during their service years and afterward as veterans.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
CFR’s Adam Segal has what looks like areally cool book coming out: The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age. I’m pre-ordering.
While Paul McCartney is simply amazing as a solo artist with a brilliant band (now and with Wings), let’s not forget about John Lennon’s solo career. How could we?
I think John Lennon is the most difficult artist to write about in the history of rock and roll—I’m certainly not qualified to write about him in a substantive way. But I’ve read a lot about Lennon, including this week of course. Lennon is endlessly fascinating. And there is so much going on in his music.
Take for instance, the impact, sound, structure, and uniqueness of his single “Instant Karma!” It will be discussed for generations to come.
This performance of “Instant Karma!” on Britain’s “Top of the Pops” in February of 1970 is one of the Lennon’s critical public moments. While the other musicians in the band faked playing their instruments, Lennon sang a live vocal over a mix of the song's instrumental track. It’s so intense, and so much more than a great haircut on display for peace. Now you’re smiling, right?
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