The Evening CSIS: Climate Conf, DoD Budget, Levon's Waltz & More
November 30, 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.
The UN Climate Change Conference began today in Paris, featuring the largest gathering ever of world leaders for talks aimed at producing the most far-reaching pact yet to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. And, as the Washington Post’s Steve Mufson reports, President Obama delivered an ominous warning that “no nation large or small, wealthy or poor, is immune” to ravages of global warming.
And, as the AP reports, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the House of Representatives will not go along if President Obama tries to commit taxpayer money to support a climate accord reached in Paris.
Plus, NPR today published an article: “10 Things To Know About The U.N. Climate Talks In Paris.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw today authored a new Critical Questions (CSIS’s signature asked & answered series of short policy papers): “The Road to Paris and Beyond.”
Plus, in a recent podcast, CSIS’s Jane Nakano and Michelle Melton discussed what is at stake for states in Asia as the international community attempts to address climate change.
Kabul Attack Warning
US officials warned Americans in Afghanistan today about “credible reports of an imminent attack” on the country’s capital in the next 48 hours, as theWashington Post’s Sarah Larimer reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman’s major report Afghanistan at Transition: The Lessons of the Longest War is a must read.
Word from the Comptroller
Pentagon comptroller Mike McCord appeared today at CSIS for a discussion with CSIS’s Todd Harrison: “Beyond the Budget Deal.” Among the highlights of the discussion, McCord said:
The White House decision to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through 2016 will add about $3 billion to FY17 war budget;
The FY17 budget will contain a “pretty significant increase in the European Reassurance Initiative;
The FY17 budget likely will include “slowdowns” in programs to meet the $17 billion cut mandated by budget deal;
The Pentagon is near the end of FY17 budget preparation, and the White House is expected to give DOD the final FY17 number in the next 2 weeks;
And, the FY17 budget likely to be released on time in February.
Join the Club
The IMF today designated the Chinese renminbi as one of the world’s elite currencies, a major milestone that underscores the country’s rising financial and economic heft and a move that will integrate the country into a global financial system dominated for decades by the US, Europe, and Japan, as theNew York Times’ Keith Bradsher reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Scott Kennedy today authored a new Critical Questions (CSIS’s signature asked & answered series of short policy papers): “The RMB Joins the SDR: Historic Inch-stone in Global Financial System.”
Plus, CFR’s Robert Kahn today authored a new commentary: “China’s Symbolic Currency Win.”
In that Number
More than 900 women are running for office in the December 12 municipal election in Saudi Arabia, a first in the kingdom’s history.
“Paris will only be as successful as the actions it is able to catalyze after the negotiations are over.”
—Sarah Ladislaw, director of the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, on pivotal climate talks in Paris during the Conference of Parties (COP).
One to Watch
Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) will be joining CNN as a general assignment correspondent in January. Phil previously served as Bloomberg’s White House correspondent and national political correspondent, after covering economics and finance for CQ. Phil is one to watch as he heads to CNN’s New York bureau. (Photo Credit: Bloomberg.)
While attending the climate talks in Paris, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority shook hands for the first time since 2010. Turn to the T i m es of Israel for a look at this rare encounter.
The Financial Times’ Erika Solomon in Gaziantep and Ahmed Mhidi in southern Turkey write about how ISIS gets its guns in “Isis: The munitions trail.”
Today, CSIS hosted DOD comptroller Mike McCord for a discussion on the long-term challenges that remain unresolved in the Department of Defense’s budget. Catch the conversation here. And later, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosted Dr. Fatih Birol for a presentation of IEA’s 2015 World Energy Outlook.
Join us at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow as CSIS hosts a discussion on prospects for emerging US security partnerships in Southeast Asia. Panelists will discuss how Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam are developing closer security ties with the United States and balancing them against relations with China. And later join us at 11:00 a.m. for an expert discussion on the role of development actors in addressing the drivers and manifestations of violent extremism, including what makes young people in particular vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment.
This Town Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the future of American airpower, with General Mark A. Welsh III; General Welsh will discuss the current and future state of US airpower in a rapidly changing global security environment and changing political dynamic. Register or watch live here.
CSIS on Demand
As the Chinese renminbi is added to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights today, brush up on what this means as top China experts discuss the country’s rise, US-China relations, and the regional balance.
How is ISIS funded, and what measures can be taken to squeeze the group financially? CSIS senior adviser Juan Zarate explains in Part 2 of “Tracking ISIS” on the CSIS Podcast.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Amazon says it has figured out a place for its drones to land.
It’s always kind of hard to shake off that Thanksgiving lethargy. I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a wonderful and reflective time surrounded by family and friends.
Last week before the holiday I left you with a classic smile from The Band’s “Last Waltz” which took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976.
But what happened to the individual members of The Band after they parted ways? It wasn’t all smiles, but that’s a long story.
Levon Helm, The Band’s great drummer and vocalist had some ups and downs but passed away at peace, at home, surrounded by music, family and friends in April of 2012. Bob Dylan, a longtime Helm collaborator said "He was my bosom buddy friend to the end.”
Before that end and after The Band delivered their famous last performance, Levon still had a lot of music and a lot of smiles left in him. I’ll never forget standing in my kitchen grinning ear-to-ear while on the phone with him one evening asking him question after question for an interview—it was really that extraordinary, unmistakable voice on the other end of the line. Boy did I ever get lucky to talk with Levon Helm! And I got to talk with him because he kept on making great music until the very end.
Here’s an amazing clip of Levon performing The Band’s classic “Up on Cripple Creek” with Ringo Starr’s and His All-Star Band in 1989. Check out who else is on stage: Ringo, Joe Walsh, Dr. John, Billy Preston, Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons, Jim Keltner and Rick Danko. What a great smile.
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