The Evening CSIS April 2 2015
April 2, 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.
Deadly Al-Shabab Attack
At least 147 are dead and scores of others were wounded in an Al-Shabaab terror attack on Garissa University College in Kenya. CNN has the latest developments.
Dive Deeper: CNN also has an excellent primer on Al-Shabaab, “What is Al-Shabaab, and what does it want?”
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) provides additional background on the terrorist group.
And, CFR has more, plus an interactive timeline, in their “backgrounder” series on Al-Shabbab.
The CSIS Africa Program’s The Reinvention of Al-Shabaab examines the evolution of Al-Shabaab’s leadership, ideological outlook, and military strategy.
In late October, the CSIS Africa Program hosted a discussion on Kenya’s longstanding threat from the Somali terrorist group—a threat that was underscored on September 23, 2013, when Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and wounding 175.
“Iran and the world powers said here Thursday that they had reached a surprisingly specific and comprehensive general understanding about the next steps in limiting Tehran’s nuclear program, though Western officials said many details needed to be resolved before a final agreement in June,” reported David Sanger and Michael Gordon of the New York Times.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Jon Alterman today published a short commentary, “The Iranian Game Plan,” which is essential reading. See Dr. Alterman’s Asked & Answered on the Iran deal below as well.
And, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman issued a short commentary today: “The Parameters for the Proposed Joint Compensative Plan: Verify and Trust May Come.”
Vox.com has the full transcript of the international statement on the Iranian nuclear deal.
The White House has posted a press statement on the deal: “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program.”
In that Number
The total number of national leaders in sub-Saharan Africa that have been defeated by democratic election.
Source : Mail & Guardian Africa.
A daily shortened sampling of our signature "Asked & Answered" series.
Asked: How would you grade the nuclear agreement reached in Lausanne today?
Answered: Jon Alterman, Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program: More than an agreement, the announcement today was an interim check-in, for which the powers could report “satisfactory progress.” As a course grade, it still merits an “incomplete.” There are several promising aspects to the framework, including restrictions on centrifuges, the retention of fissile materials, and the production of plutonium. In all of these matters, the details will be hugely significant, and we don’t yet know what the details will be. On the “potential military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. fact sheet states “Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns,” but it’s not clear what those measures are or what effect a partial implementation would have. The decision not to have an agreement text makes this stage easier, but it may well make getting to a final agreement harder. The goal all along seems to have been to produce something specific enough to forestall congressional action while vague enough to not make it look like the Iranian government had caved. The announcement today, with all its imperfections, probably threaded that needle. We remain far from an agreement, however, and if the drama and uncertainly of this week’s negotiations in Lausanne seemed perilous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
One to Watch
A veteran of Capitol Hill, Talia Dubovi ( @taliadubovi), is deputy director and senior fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. Prior to joining CSIS, she spent six years on Capitol Hill, most recently as appropriations associate/counsel for Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), where she covered a wide range of foreign affairs issues and supported the representative in her work as ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Today, Talia moderated an extraordinary event at CSIS with Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, “Culture Change at the Peace Corps,” which can be viewed On Demand.
Chinese dredgers get to work on Mischief Reef, above, as China’s land reclamation continues in the South China Sea. This photo comes to us from issue 11 of the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.
CSIS’s CogitAsia Blog has a smart post today by Akiko Imai, executive director of the Tokyo Foundation, “US-Japan Efforts in Girls Education Can Serve as Basis for Cross-Sector Collaboration.”
Watch video of today’s events at our HQ.
Watch live at 5:30 p.m.: Joe Nye, CSIS trustee and former dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, launches his new book Is the American Century Over?
Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet joined CSIS for a powerful speech in which she shared her own experience overcoming sexual assault in the Peace Corps and how she is changing the culture to empower their volunteers.
The CSIS energy team hosted an informative conference on the latest developments in the crude oil export and refining debate and implications for the future energy landscape.
This Town Tomorrow
So many important things in this town—so little time. Of note:
The Atlantic Council will host a timely discussion on the framework of the nuclear agreement with Iran at 10:00 a.m. Click here for more.
CSIS on Demand
Watch the NSC’s cyber coordinator Michael Daniel discuss information sharing for cybersecurity at yesterday’s expert panel.
Listen to the “Africa Today” podcast from the BBC as their reporters on the ground report on today’s tragic events in Garissa.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
Business Insider ’s “15 must-read books by tech CEOs that will give you a peek inside their brilliant minds.”
The April Fools pranks keep on coming! Last night The Evening CSIS presented a BBC classic from 1989. So we couldn’t resist showing you this soon to be classic prank Katie Couric pulled on The Late Late Show. Watch here.
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