The Evening CSIS April 6 2015
April 6, 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.
Kenya Strikes Back
On Monday, Kenyan fighter jets bombed two al Shabaab bases in Somalia days after militants gunned down scores of students at a university in the Kenyan town of Garissa, Abigail Higgins and William Branigin of the Washington Post report.
Dive Deeper: Former US ambassador to Kenya and CSIS senior adviser William “Mark” Bellamy issued a new CSIS commentary today, “Lessons from Garissa.”
The coverage of the deadly attack in Kenya has of course been quite painful. Today The Star published the names and photos of the students killed in the attack.
Yemeni civilians are facing an increasing humanitarian crisis without much hope in sight, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dive Deeper: In late March, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman wrote about the “Strategic Importance of Yemen.”
An interesting blog called “The Aviationist,” by Rome-based freelance journalist David Cenciotti, has compiled footage of Saudi Arabia’s war planes.
And, Reuters has released a collection of photos of the aftermath of airstrikes in Yemen.
In that Number
Over 210,000 people have been killed in Syria, exceeding the death tolls of Iraqis killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the ISIS incursion.
Source: The Gateway Pundit.
A daily shortened sampling of our signature "Asked & Answered" series.
Asked: What is al Shabaab trying to achieve in its terror campaign
Answered: William (Mark) Bellamy, CSIS Africa Program senior adviser and former US ambassador to Kenya: Al Shabaab’s terror has multiple objectives. It is first of all meant to drive Kenyan forces out of Somalia. There is no sign thus far that this gambit is working. Some Kenyans question the wisdom of the Somali intervention back in 2011, but terror attacks have stiffened public support for President Kenyatta’s determination to stay in Somalia until the job there is done. Another al Shabaab goal is to divide and pit Kenyan religious and ethnic communities against each other. Separating Muslims from Christians, as was done in Garissa, has been an al Shabaab tactic since at least the Westgate Mall siege in 2013. After Westgate, al Shabaab targeted non-Muslims and certain ethnic groups (specifically Kikuyus) in a wave of bus hijackings and attacks on villages and work sites across northeast Kenya. The al Shabaab massacre of 47 people at Mpeketoni near the Kenyan coast in 2014 focused on a Kikuyu community that had been settled generations ago on land taken from local, non-Kikuyu populations. Thus far, this strategy of driving wedges has also largely failed. Following the Garissa massacre, Kenyans of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, to their great credit, again closed ranks to denounce al Shabaab’s terror. A third al Shabaab goal is to provoke harsh overreactions by the Kenyan government and its security services. If Kenya’s marginalized Muslim communities bear the brunt of this overreaction, as al Shabaab no doubt calculates, sympathy and new recruits for the terror group could materialize. Recent trends suggest this initiative may prove more successful.
Read in full here.
One to Watch
Simon Denyer (@simondenyer) is the Washington Post’s China bureau chief. Denyer and his colleagues at the Post have launched a new newsletter devoted to all things China, called “Great Walls of Sand and Fire.” It is an excellent China watcher resource and can be viewed on LinkedIn here.
Cuba’s Fidel Castro was seen in public for the first time in 14 months. Euronews has the recently released photos.
Interesting read by Vox.com, “ISIS is really obsessed with the apocalypse.”
Watch video of today’s events at our HQ.
Watch live at 6:00 p.m.: Carly Fiorina, global chairman of Opportunity International and former chairman & CEO of Hewlett Packard, will join CSIS for its signature Smart Women, Smart Power speaker series moderated by Fortune Magazine’s Nina Easton.
What’s in store at CSIS HQ tomorrow.
World Bank president Dr. Jim Yong Kim will join CSIS for a discussion on ways to end extreme poverty by the year 2030, as well as lessons learned from the last half-century. Click here to RSVP or watch live at 9:30 a.m.
The CSIS International Security Program will host a half-day conference starting at 1:00 p.m. on advancing technology in missile defense, featuring Brigadier General Kenneth Todorov, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Frank Rose, Department of State; and Richard Matlock, Missile Defense Agency; among others. Click here for more.
This Town Tomorrow
So many important things in this town—so little time. Of note:
The Wilson Center’s Africa Program will host an event on “Nigeria in Focus: An Assessment of the 2015 Elections” with remarks from electoral observers and a look at the implications of this historic election. Click here for more.
CSIS on Demand
Every generation or so, experts debate whether we need to do more to control the technologies that can be used to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful nuclear energy. Last month, CSIS hosted this helpful conversation to explain “A New Approach to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.”
CSIS experts Matt Goodman and Scott Miller talk Asian economics in the latest installment of the CogitAsia podcast, along with a roundup of the week’s news from the region.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
Technical innovation is happening throughout the world, not just in Silicon Valley. Here’s a great example of an unlikely place for disruption, “Far From Silicon Valley, A Disruptive Startup Hub.”
For many people, dancing is an expression of happiness, exercise, and creativity. And my experience has been that very few things make children laugh harder than watching their parents dance. The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon underscores this with an ingenious bit and some serious help from America’s “First Mom.” Don’t miss this.
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