The Evening CSIS: Gas Attack, Pleased to Meet You, Bad Company & More
September 7, 2016
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.
As rebel negotiators unveiled a new plan today for a political transition in Syria, doctors in the city of Aleppo were still treating people in intensive care after an attack believed to involve the use of chlorine gas, which sickened more than 120 people, including 10 women and 37 children, as Anne Barnard of the New York Times reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Rebecca Hersman authored “Unpacking Syria’s Chemical Weapons Problem,” a CSIS Critical Questions (CSIS’s signature series of asked & answered short papers).
Today, Reuters’ Greg Torode reports, based on new research by the CSIS China Power Project, that increasingly assertive action by China’s coast guard ships in the South China Sea risks destabilizing the region.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked about the CSIS report today and responded that China’s actions are “completely justified” and that they hope CSIS “could stop playing up this issue, sowing discord and creating tension.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Emily Rauhala reports that the Philippines today released photos purporting to show Chinese boats near a shoal in the South China Sea, claiming that the presence of new ships in the area could signal another attempt by Beijing to build in disputed fishing grounds.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s China Power Project’s interactive feature on which the Reuters report is based shows that of the major maritime law enforcement incidents CSIS identified in the South China Sea, China has been involved in roughly 80 percent of incidents.
Pleased to Meet You?
President Obama and controversial Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte bumped into each other while attending a dinner of world leaders in Laos today, exchanging niceties after Obama canceled an earlier sit-down because of vulgar comments Duterte directed toward him in public, as the Los Angeles Times’ Christi Parsons reports.
The latest diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Iran over which country is best representative of Islam takes place as millions of Muslims travel to Mecca to begin the annual Islamic pilgrimage, as the Atlantic’s Yasmeen Serhan reports.
Dive Deeper: The Wilson Center’s Cameron Glenn penned “The Islamist Spectrum” in late August.
In That Number
The gallons of gasoline Americans purchased per day, on average, in June—surpassing the previous record set in July 2007. Source: Wall Street Journal.
“In the span of less than two decades China has gone from being a rule taker to a rule maker.”
—CSIS’s Scott Kennedy on China’s place in global economic governance. Source: CSIS Critical Questions, “The Hangzhou G20 Summit: The Ambiguous Gap Between Aspiration and Action.”
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: radeksikorski.pl)
Radek Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) was named a CSIS distinguished statesman today. Radek previously served as Poland’s defense minister, foreign minister, and speaker of parliament.
(Photo Credit: Army Sgt. James K. McCann, DoD.)
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, right, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of staff of Japan’s Joint Staff, yesterday in Manila.
Via Medium, “Why Journalism” by Politico publisher and editor-in-chief John Harris.
CSIS’s Project on Prosperity and Development hosted “Breaking Silos: Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
CSIS’s Russia and Eurasia Program hosted “Regime Succession in Uzbekistan.”
CSIS’s International Security Program hosted the latest Smart Women, Smart Power Series, “A Conversation with Ellen Kullman.”
Join CSIS’s Project on Prosperity and Development at 1:30 p.m. for “Internet Access Driving Development,” featuring Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).
This Town Tomorrow
Join the Heritage Foundation at 10:00 a.m. for “The Evolving Threat: Islamist Terror 15 Years After 9/11.”
And join the GW Elliott School of International Affairs tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. for the book launch of Bruce Dickson’s The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Survival.
CSIS On Demand
CSIS’s Transnational Threats Project hosted “Counterterrorism Challenges: Improving Information Exchange Between Allies,” featuring H.W.M. Schoof, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, Ministry of Security and Justice in the Netherlands. Watch on demand here.
The latest podcast from On Violent Extremism, “Voice of a Psychologist and Serial Entrepreneur,” discusses how comic book heroes can help fight extremism.
I Like It Like That
RealClearDefense launched a remodeled website today.
I read the coolest piece the other day by music industry insider Bob Lefsetz “Bad Company at the L.A. County Fair.”
Now, I’ll admit, I hadn’t thought about the 70s super-group Bad Company in a long time and I had no idea they were on tour.
But when it comes to rock, Lefsetz has seen quite a bit, and his observations are keen on the music, the industry and on the audience. He called Bad Company’s performance “the best of the year.”
I was skeptical. How old is Paul Rodgers anyway? A very young 66 it turns out. How is his voice? Startlingly good. Can he move on stage? Let’s just say he can move as well or better than Mick, Keith, Jimmy and Robert.
Like many of you, FM radio was once my muse. Bad Company tunes were played hourly on FM. And they always sounded good no matter how many times you heard them. Bad Company’s urgency, grandeur and swagger alone drove most people to tap their feet or drum along on the dashboard.
After Lefsetz’s glowing review I had to check out a recent Bad Company clip. And now I won’t deny that they still have something great. Before you know it, I bet Kanye or Taylor will don a Bad Company t-shirt.
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