The Evening CSIS: Charged, Mapped, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, Understanding & More
December 17, 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.
Late this afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported that Enrique Marquez, the friend of terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, was arrested and charged with conspiring to give material support to a terrorist plot.
The LA Times’s coverage is excellent and includes this scan of the criminal complaint .
And, as the Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe reports, President Obama said today at the National Counterterrorism Center that U.S. intelligence agencies have detected no "specific and credible information" of any immediate terror plots aimed at the United States
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman today published a new commentary “ Fear versus Fact: Getting the Facts on Terrorism .”
Chatham House’s has published an essay by the ICC’s Jean-Marie Guéhenno, “ Europe’s terror challenge.”
And, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Matthew Levitt today published “ Two Steps to Crack Down on Islamic State Financing Options .”
Responding to Iran
As Reuters’s Patricia Zengerle reports, the Obama adminstration is considering how to respond to an Iranian ballistic missile launch that violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman has published one of the definitive reports on Iran’s missile capabilities with his analysis: “ Iran’s Rocket and Missile Forces and Strategic Options .”
Plus, Dr. Cordesman published an essay for CSIS’s 2016 Global Forecast, “ Iran after the Agreement.”
And, CSIS’s Sharon Squassoni has created a new interactive timeline which depicts the complicated process which is the Iran nuclear deal implantation plan. This timeline extends to all the way to 2026 and shows the key deadlines that the agreement specifies. This is a must see for anyone interested in understanding how the Iran deal is intended to work.
China Cracks Down (on Maps)
The Atlantic’s Linda Poon today reports in a smart blog post “ China Cracks Down on Politcally Incorrect Maps ” that getting caught with the “wrong” maps can result in a hefty fine of up to $31,000—or criminal charges.
And, the International Business Times reports that “Australia Will Not Stop Surveillance Flights Over Contested Chinese Islands.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), an interactive micro-website featuring regularly-updated information, analysis, and policy exchange on maritime security issues in Asia, today launched a trove of new material which explores the ongoing case between China and the Philippines at the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
The Philippines argued the merits of its case against China’s claims in the South China Sea before an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague from November 24 to 30. As it has since the case was filed in early 2013, China refused to recognize or take part in the proceedings.
A ruling on the merits of the case is now widely expected sometime in mid-2016. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the tribunal’s award will be final and legally binding despite China’s nonparticipation. For further insights on the importance of the arbitration, AMTI spoke to Jose Cuisia, Philippine ambassador to the United States, John Norton Moore, director of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia Law School, and Paul Reichler, partner at Foley Hoag LLP and the Philippines’ lead counsel in the case.
AMTI has also produced a unique series of maps detailing possible outcomes from the court case and how they impact the South China Sea.
New Edition of CSIS Middle East Notes and Comment
CSIS’s Jon Alterman today published the the December edition of Middle East Notes and Comment , the monthly newsletter of the CSIS Middle East Program. Included in this month's issue:
Choosing Battles Wisely: For the next U.S. president, it is important not only to act, but also to minimize the cost of not acting.
Performing Hajj: Mecca’s annual pilgrimage has become a major social media event—and many are now asking whether social media helps pilgrims glorify their faith or themselves.
Plus, links to new publications: Developing the Middle East's Human Capital: The CSIS Middle East Program recently published two reports on human capital and workforce development in the region by Carolyn Barnett.
In that Number
The number of leads that the Treasury Department provided to their French and European counterparts immediately after the terror attacks in Paris in January and November. Source: US Department of the Treasury
“The US can’t do everything, and the next president needs to minimize the cost of US inaction.”
—Jon Alterman, Senior VP, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and director of CSIS’ Middle East Program, on setting foreign policy priorities for the next president.
Source: CSIS, Choosing Battles Wisely
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Twitter)
Kevin Whitelaw (@KevinWhitelaw1) is heading over to Bloomberg’s DC bureau to edit congressional news. Kevin previously served as CQ Weekly’s editor after serving as their appropriations editor and defense and national security editor. Kevin is one to watch for news from the hill.
Reuters has a great photo roundup of US tourists visiting Cuba. According to Reuters, US tourism to Cuba is up 71% this year.
When Melinda Gates tweets about something and recommends reading it, I do. Such as “ The Invisible Work That Women Do Around the World ” via the Atlantic.
Today, CSIS hosted a discussion on the results of a new study that broke ground in deriving contract outcomes from publically available data. Catch the recap here.
Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will host a discussion with Marina Kaljurand, Estonian minister of foreign affairs, on international norms in cyberspace. The event will also feature a broad range of panelists who will offer recommendations for government officials, academia, and the private sector on stability and security in cyberspace. And also at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies will host panelists for a moderated discussion on “India’s Security Interests in Southeast Asia.”
This Town Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Council on Foreign Relations will host “Homeland Security Implications of ISIS Attacks,” as experts discuss the vetting of refugees, the implications for immigration policy, and the role of the NSA in the aftermath of ISIS attacks around the world.
CSIS on Demand
How has homeland security evolved over the years? CSIS hosted experts to discuss the key findings of the study Unmanned Systems in Homeland Security and how unmanned systems in security have evolved, along with their inherent limitations.
Listen to some of the FT’s best minds discuss France’s political climate in the wake of the National Front’s performance in last weekend’s elections, via the Financial Times ’s World Weekly With Gideon Rachman podcast .
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Star Wars comes out tomorrow—everyone on planet earth seems to know this. Coolest thing I’ve read today is Motherboard’s “ Why the US Military’s Plans for a Death Star Collapsed .”
I had a poster in my room when I was growing up that said “Trust” in which Elvis Costello was peering at me through his ultra-hip Wayfarers.
When I was an undergrad at Tulane I had a poster of Elvis Costello in a crown peering down at me through his ultra-hip John Lennonesque spectacles.
“Trust” was an album by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, his fifth studio recording (1981). The poster with Elvis in the crown was from “King of America” his tenth studio record (1986).
I can’t underscore the influence that these two records, and everything Elvis recorded in between them, had on me. It just made sense to have Elvis in my room watching over.
Elvis’s visage alone, the style, the attitude, intelligence, and the “take no prisoners” posture he assumed…was like nothing I had ever seen before or identified so much with. Or aspired to.
Sure, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix were all colossal to me. But they were from another era. Elvis, the new Elvis, was now (then and now). And he was monstrous, sarcastic, powerful, weak, detached, attached, cool, a geek, plugged in, unplugged, confident, vulnerable, literate, illiterate, surreal and real all at the same time. Confusing yes, but also endlessly interesting.
And his music, well, his music, just bent about every genre you can think of and continues to. His expertise spans punk, new wave, country, funk, folk, gospel, jazz, and blues. The very DNA of modern music.
Nothing, nothing, makes me smile and understand more about musical passion than his intense performance on the David Letterman Show in 2003 of “What’s so Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?”
“Peace, Love and Understanding” is a song his friend and producer Nick Lowe wrote but that Elvis made all his own. With his superb band The Imposters on Letterman that night (actually hosting the entire show on Letterman’s behalf) Elvis indeed proved so many of the titles of his catch phrase songs: that he wrote the book, his aim was true, and that we should trust him. It still gives me the chills.
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