The Evening CSIS: Defense Spending Spike, Face to Face, Joni Mitchell and More
February 27, 2017
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 sign up here.
Defense Spending Spike
President Trump will propose a federal budget that would significantly increase defense-related spending by $54 billion while cutting other federal agencies by the same amount, as the Washington Post’s Abby Phillip and Kelsey Snell report.
And, as CNBC’s Jeff Daniels reports, defense stocks staged a rally today as Trump discussed an increase in defense spending.
Dive Deeper: See the results of CSIS’s Defense Budget Survey and expert predictions.
See CSBA’s “Strategic Choices Tool” for defense strategy and budget planning.
Face to Face
President Trump held his first face-to-face meeting with a member of China’s leadership today at a time of tensions between Washington and Beijing, and the White House said the Chinese visit was a chance to discuss shared security interests, as Reuters’ David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick report.
South Korean intelligence agencies have branded the killing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s half-brother as an act of state terrorism perpetrated by the North, a lawmaker with close ties to intelligence told NBC News today.
Dive Deeper: The Wilson Center’s Robert Litwak has a new book: Preventing North Korea’s Nuclear Breakout.
In That Number
The number of South Sudanese refugees—fleeing famine and conflict—who have entered Sudan in the first two months of 2017. Source: Reuters.
“We cannot be fooled into thinking that the quantity of deportations equates to an effective immigration policy. It is the quality of our enforcement efforts that makes America safer, and that is where our focus should rightfully be.”
—CSIS’s Rick “Ozzie” Nelson coauthored a new commentary in Fortune today, “How Trump Is Taking a Huge Risk With Public Safety.”
In the latest episode of the Russian Roulette podcast, CSIS’s Olga Oliker and Jeff Mankoff explore the dynamics of extremism in Russia and Russia’s military capabilities.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, audio, and video.
(Photo Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Iraqi army's 9th Division fire a multiple rocket launcher from a hill in Talul al-Atshana, on the southwestern outskirts of Mosul, on February 27, 2017, during an offensive to retake the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters.
“Can The White House Pick Its Press?” by the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos.
This Town Tomorrow
Join the Heritage Foundation at 11:00 a.m. for a book discussion of Michael Auslin’s The End of the Asian Century. Auslin is a resident scholar at AEI.
Join the East-West Center at 12:30 p.m. for “Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era: Ambitions and Uncertainties.”
And join GW’s Elliot School of International Affairs at 5:15 p.m. for “Two States, One State; Whatever the Parties Prefer: Israeli Policy, Public Opinion and the Peace Process in The Trump Era.”
CSIS On Demand
Today, CSIS hosted, “The U.S.-Mexico Border: The Way Forward,” “Womenomics: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining,” and “Aligning Partnerships for Security: A Human Rights Based Approach to Security and Economic Cooperation.”
This week, the CSIS Energy and Geopolitics series discusses Canada's energy landscape and US-Canadian cross-border relations. The podcast delves into pipeline politics, Trump-Trudeau relations, new oil and natural gas resources, and speculation on what a renegotiation of NAFTA might entail.
HBO’s Girls did it to me again. It blew me away with its excellent soundtrack. I don’t think we will recall much from last night’s Academy Awards except for the botched envelope.
I doubt I’ll be thinking about the Oscars very long. But the second episode of Girls from its final season is highly memorable.
In this episode, Lena Dunham and her music director Manish Raval broke out a Joni Mitchell standard, “Free Man in Paris,” from Mitchell’s essential 1974 record “Cork and Spark.” Incredibly, Girls breathed new life into Mitchell’s song and it sounded contemporary, not like music from four decades ago.
I think it worked because Mitchell’s voice is unique despite thousands of imitators and derivatives of it. And, I think it worked because Dunham’s Girls is timeless in the way it allows viewers get to know the characters of the show—their layers get peeled away, they evolve, regress, stumble, succeed, and so on.
This clip of Mitchell performing “Free Man in Paris” features the late Jaco Pastorius on bass and the late Michael Brecker on tenor sax. Dunham and Raval are right, this is the music soundtracks should be made of.
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