The Evening CSIS: Build up in Syria, NK’s 22, Tutti Frutti & More
October 7, 2015
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Russia has built up a battalion-sized ground force inside Syria with rocket artillery and its most advanced tanks, as the Wall Street Journal’s Julian Barnes, Gordon Lubold and James Marson reports.
And this from Vox, “Russia says it’s bombing ISIS in Syria. This map shows it’s lying.”
Dive Deeper: From CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, “ The Background to Putin’s Actions in Syria and the UN: Russia’s New View of the US and Western Strategy .”
The Wall Street Journal last week published an opinion piece by Dr. Cordesman: “ Why Outside Powers Can’t End the Destruction in Syria. ”
ICYMI, in this weekend’s Financial Times, CSIS trustee, counselor, and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski penned one of the most thoughtful pieces you will read on the crisis in Syria, Russia’s involvement, and the need for “strategic boldness” on the part of the United States.
North Korea’s Nukes
North Korea is estimated to be holding up to 22 nuclear weapons worth of fissile material, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, reports South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
The full report, which was just revised by the Institute’s David Albright, can be accessed here.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Victor Cha testified today 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, ICYMI, the US-Korea Institute’s blog “38 North” this week released a new 3D panorama of facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (also referred to as Tongchang-ri). Based on satellite imagery of the site and photos of the facility, this panorama presents a reconstruction of the Sohae Launch Control Center exterior.
Brzezinski On The World
CSIS has produced a new three-part video series called “Brzezinski on the World.” The second part, “On Global Politics,” is a fascinating interview with CSIS counselor and trustee Zbigniew Brzezinski produced by CSIS’s Jon Alterman.
In this interview Dr. Brzezinski remarks that “We have to face the fact that we’re now living in a world that has the United States preeminent but not really dominant. But in the absence of American preeminence, there is a real danger that the world will simply fragment into the kind of conflicts we’re seeing now in the Middle East or potentially with Russia, and we would be missing an opportunity to exploit the fact that a primary interest of the Chinese right now is in becoming established as a successful coleader of the world, eventually perhaps the leader. And that requires a much more sustained diplomatic effort, I think, in addition to some of the things that we’re doing.”
In that Number
The range in miles of North Korea’s medium-range ballistic missiles, within striking range of Japan.
Source: CSIS Korea Chair Victor Cha, in testimony today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“This is an incredibly complex war and those who think there are easy answers lie.”
—Simond de Galbert, visiting fellow in CSIS’s Europe Program, on Putin’s Syria gambit via POLITICO.
One to Watch
Ali M Latifi is a special correspondent with the LA Times in Kabul. As Afghanistan increasingly gains the spotlight in world news, look to Ali to provide the view from the ground. Photo credit: Twitter.
New video shows Russian battleships allegedly launching strikes against the Islamic State from as far afield as the Caspian Sea.
Must watch report from VICE News, “My Escape From Syria: Europe or Die,” in which Ismail, 25, filmed his journey to Germany with 19-year-old Naeem, capturing the most dangerous parts of a perilous trip, including the boat crossing from Turkey to Greece where hundreds of refugees have died this year.
The CSIS Europe Program hosted “Understanding Europe’s Migration Challenge.” Panelists assessed Europe’s ongoing migration crisis and recent decisions taken by European leaders on border control and asylum policies. Watch the recap.
Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will host Prince Sultan bin Khaled Al Faisal, as he outlines a comprehensive Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine; register or watch live here. And, Taras Kuzio joins the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program for a look at domestic and external threats to the Euromaidan Revolutionaries in Ukraine. You can also watch Hugh White discuss the geopolitical challenges in the Asia-Pacific region facing Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government and what they means for rising tensions with Beijing. And finally, the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host several youth experts to take a look at how to best support today’s global youth movement.
This Town Tomorrow
Catch CSIS’s Todd Harrison at The Heritage Foundation tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. as he discusses the modernization and cost of nuclear forces. As the US chooses to decrease the role of nuclear weapons in its security strategy, the trend in other countries is the opposite; register for the fascinating event or watch live.
CSIS on Demand
As Congress seeks to make a number of new changes to the defense acquisition system, how should these changes be implemented? CSIS released a major new report last week on the outcomes of recent defense acquisition reform; watch as a panel of experts discuss the findings of the report, and lessons learned from previous acquisition reform. You can also download the report here.
The Atlantic Council’s Steve Grundman discusses the details of the latest CSIS report on Defense Department acquisition reform. Listen to Steve and Francis Rose go In Depth.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Mashable reports “Gifted athlete Putin scores 7 goals in birthday hockey game.”
Last night you got to watch the great Little Richard (now 82 years-young) introduce a band. And I told you about my pied piper experience with him at the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. That day I got to see him perform solo on piano in the grand foyer of the Rock Hall with just a few people around.
The next night, at the concert in Cleveland Stadium to commemorate the Hall’s opening, I got to see Little Richard bring the house to its feet with this rendition of his incomparable “Tutti Frutti.” He’d recorded the song 40 years prior in New Orleans at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in an historic session that came alive when Richard jumped on top of the studio piano and shouted his now immortal ""A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom!!” Can you imagine the shock and the subsequent smiles all around?
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