The Evening CSIS February 9 2015
February 10, 2015
"Our 10 cents on today's top stories..."
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Sometimes I miss the days when news was consumed just a couple of times a day—morning & night instead of "BREAKING," 24-7. Back then, ink-stained newspapers like Washington's Evening Star were important. Washingtonians would end their busy days unwinding with The Star, discussing the news and the substantive issues surrounding the news.
It is in this spirit that CSIS presents The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus information that helps you DIVE DEEPER along with HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world.
It’s not “THE NEWS” —our journalist friends do that so well and we will link you to some of their best work. I’ve always respected the useful daily emails issued by Politico’s Mike Allen, WSJ’s Gerard Baker and Gordon Lubold’s Defense One DBrief. So I decided to take a crack at what they do and apply it to what CSIS does. I hope you find The Evening CSIS a good read and I hope you find it helpful…
In a joint news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Obama said he has not made a decision about providing military aid to Ukraine.
The New York Times’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis & Andrew Higgins reported on the news conference.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Russia & Eurasia Program director Andrew Kuchins today published a CSIS Critical Questions (CSIS’s signature Asked & Answered series of short papers), “Ukraine’s Future Hanging in the Balance.”
And, CSIS has one of the most comprehensive tools around in the “ Ukraine Crisis Timeline,” an interactive timeline updated daily.
Nigeria has delayed its tightly contested presidential election for six weeks, drawing criticism from many quarters, as the Wall Street Journal’s Drew Hinshaw reports.
Dive Deeper: In late January, CSIS’s Africa Program released an excellent primer, “Background to Nigeria’s 2015 Elections,” which underscores the tremendous stakes this election presents for Africa’s most populous country, with an estimated 170 million inhabitants, and its largest economy, with a 2013 GDP of $509 billion.
In That Number
The number of Jordanian airstrikes against ISIS this weekend according to Major General Mansour al-Jabour, commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Our signature “Asked & Answered” series.
Kathleen Hicks, CSIS senior vice president, took part in the Munich Security Conference (MSC) this weekend, traveling with a CODEL of high-ranking US government officials. Be sure to check out the official highlight reels.
Asked: In your view, what was the key takeaway from the MSC, and are you hopeful the West can find a common strategy on the Ukraine crisis?
Answered: Dr. Hicks, “The stars of the international political stage came together this weekend in Munich, Germany. From China and Russia to Iran and Iraq to Europe and the United States, leaders from around the world took on a wide range of issues shaping today’s environment. Ukraine was the clear agenda topper for the meeting. The key takeaway: the NATO Alliance is internally divided over whether to provide defensive military assistance to Ukraine.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was clear in her view that supplying weapons would not achieve progress for Ukraine. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry hinted toward a more open US viewpoint on this issue, arguing that the West must be able to raise the costs on Russia in order to create time and space for diplomacy to succeed. Senator John McCain leaned fully forward, saying “ we must provide defensive arms to Ukraine.”
After a subsequent meeting in Washington today, where Chancellor Merkel and President Obama essentially replayed the weekend’s German-US divide over whether defensive arms should be on the table, all eyes now turn to another round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks scheduled to conclude on Wednesday. Those talks are unlikely to result in a lasting peace agreement, but such lack of progress will not substantially move Germany or others toward supporting the provision of arms to Ukraine.
Instead, the United States and perhaps a few of its NATO allies may go it alone to provide defensive military assistance. Although alliance members may divide over this matter, it will not fundamentally threaten NATO’s cohesion.”
One To Watch
Sarah Sewall is undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights. She is a champion in the fight against human trafficking and outspoken about the connection between escalating terrorism and trafficking. Watch for her testimony this Wednesday in front of the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the role of US leadership in ending modern-day slavery.
CSIS On Demand
In January, Undersecretary Sewall spoke at CSIS on the heinous acts of mass trafficking committed by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram over the past year, a reminder that the global fight against terror is also one for human rights.
In this image, two fans from Egypt’s Al-Ahly and White Knights soccer teams pray for the victims of yesterday’s riot outside a Cairo soccer stadium that killed more than 20 people. Read the full story and watch raw video here .
The Financial Times superb macroeconomic blog by Gavyn Davies (@gavyndavies) , includes this latest post: “ Global growth report card: Eurozone and Japan recovering.”
What’s in store at CSIS HQ tomorrow.
John Chen-Chung Deng, China’s minister of economic affairs, joins CSIS for a conversation on the US-Taiwan economic relationship. Click here to RSVP or watch live at 10:00 a.m.
This Town Tomorrow
So many important events in this town—so little time. Of note:
As the Houthis advance in Yemen’s capital, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a unique discussion with Yemeni civil society leaders and journalists on “Making Sense of Yemen’s Power Crisis.” Click here for more information or to register from 12:00–1:30 p.m.
It’s a lot harder to fret about a second Chinese aircraft carrier when they are still figuring out how to use their first. CSIS’s Bonnie Glaser talks about this and other issues affecting the US-China military relationship in this week’s CogitAsia podcast.
After October’s hysteria, has the world stopped Ebola in its tracks? Our own Steve Morrison has just returned from Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the fight against the virus is most heated. His insights make for an excellent CSIS podcast this week.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit.
Overdrive Interactive updated their “Social Media Map: A snapshot of the evolving social media landscape,” which I find to be an excellent resource. You can download it for free.
One of the perks of living and working in Washington is that you frequently get to meet interesting people and participate in exciting events. I hit the jackpot last Friday evening thanks to my great friend DeDe Lea at an “insiders only” screening of “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of water.” And, I met one of my longtime heroes.
I always welcome and benefit from your feedback. Please drop me a line at email@example.com .