The Evening CSIS: Battle Begins, Succession Planning, Day of the Dead & More
May 23, 2016
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 send me an email at email@example.com.
The US announced a complete end to its arms embargo on Vietnam today, a historic step that draws a line under the two countries’ earlier enmity and underscores their shared concerns about China, as McClatchy’s Anita Kumar reports from Hanoi.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Murray Hiebert recently authored a commentary: “Fully Lifting the U.S. Lethal Arms Ban Will Add Momentum to U.S.-Vietnam Relations.”
Plus, CFR’s Joshua Kurlantzick had this recent commentary: “Obama and the Vietnam Arms Embargo.”
The Battle Begins
Iraqi forces backed by airstrikes from the US-led coalition pounded Fallujah from the ground and air on Monday, marking the start of a bid to retake one of Islamic State’s last major urban strongholds in the country, as the Wall Street Journal’s Asa Fitch and Ghassan Adnan report.
Dive Deeper: A new report by CSIS’s Mark Cancian published today examines the Defense Department’s FY 2017 budget proposal for the size and shape of military forces; what that proposal means for cost, strategy, and risk; and challenges the proposal faces in implementation.
Plus, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman recently penned a commentary: “US Strategy and the War in Iraq and Syria.”
And, the Institute for the Study of War has a new report series: “US Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and al Qaeda.”
Further, Chatham House’s Lina Khatib authored a commentary today: “Fallujah Offensive Will Lay Bare Need for Local Support.”
Senior members of the Afghan Taliban met to choose a successor to their former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour today, after his death was confirmed in a drone strike inside Pakistani territory over the weekend, as Reuters Jibran Ahmad and Matt Spetalnick report.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman today authored a new commentary: “Afghanistan: Deciding the Future of the Not Quite ‘Forgotten War.’”
In that Number
The FAA expects drone sales to rise to 7 million in 2020, from about 2.5 million this year. Source: WSJ.
“The President’s decision takes the normalization process between two former battlefield foes one step further and provides Vietnam a hedge against China’s increased assertiveness in the South China Sea. For Americans concerned about human rights, Hanoi still has to jump through more approval hoops before it can buy any military hardware.”
—CSIS’s Murray Hiebert on President Obama’s decision to end the arms embargo on Vietnam.
One to Watch
Denise Zheng is deputy director of CSIS’s Strategic Technologies Program. In today’s Wall Street Journal’s “Journal Reports: Leadership” feature, the WSJ invited advocates on each side of the issue to weigh in on if companies should be required to share information about cyber attacks. Denise says “ YES: Companies Now Are Flying Blind When Closing Security Gaps .”
(Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images.)
Damage at the site of a suicide bombing suspected to have been carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group on May 22, 2016, in the Christian Wusta neighborhood of the divided Syrian northeastern city of Qamishli. Suspected IS bombings killed at least eight people in northeastern Syria hours after a top US commander visited, security forces said.
ICYMI, a Washington Post editorial, “ The liberal international order is under fire . The United States must defend it,” cites an important new report by CNAS that suggests strengthening all elements of US power: diplomacy, economics, military—expensive, but “well within our means.”
CSIS’s Freeman Chair in China Studies hosted “Perfecting China, Inc.: The 13th Five-Year Plan,” with Bob Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of state.
Join CSIS’s America’s Program for a panel that I will be hosting on “Press Freedom in the Americas,” with Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron.
Join CSIS’s Strategic Technologies Program tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. for “Cybersecurity After Information Sharing,” featuring Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
CSIS’s Russia and Eurasia Program is hosting “Russian Higher Education: Trends and Prospects in the Shadow of Economic Crisis” tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
And join CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program at 10:00 a.m. for “Energy in China: Market Dynamics and Policy Development.”
This Town Tomorrow
Join the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for “Opening up to Cuba: Lessons from Canada.”
CSIS on Demand
Last week, CSIS hosted a press briefing on President Obama’s trip to Asia with leading experts on Vietnam, Japan, and Asian economics. A transcript is available here.
Listen to the FT’s “The life and times of Paul Volcker: Part 1,” an interview with former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
First Washington Post column by its new media columnist, Margaret Sullivan: “Now, there’s one more reason to be a journalist—you can help save journalism.”
“Day of the Dead”
A fantastic journey of a new tribute album dropped last week—it’s called “Day of the Dead” and it took 60 artists over 40 years to make. It is of course, a tribute to the Grateful Dead. But it’s not a record of oldsters paying homage to the ultimate old guys.
Curated and produced by the ultimate hipster band, Brooklyn’s indie sensation, The National, this set features music from an array of today’s most intriguing sonic explorers.
For over 5 hours of music (6 CDs if you still know what CDs are) you won’t simply hear a bunch of de rigueur jam bands. Instead, international acts like Australia’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Afropop starts Orchestra Baobob comingle with Yo La Tengo, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Stephen Malkmus, idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy and critically acclaimed Perfume Genius. It’s a fascinatingly eclectic set and not at all what I would have expected.
The National, for instance, turn the Dead classic “Morning Dew” into an intense Leonard Cohenesque soundscape. Stephen Colbert was good enough to ask The National to perform “Morning Dew” on The Late Show. Not exactly a smile at first blush but this is sweet indeed. Turn the volume up LOUD!
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