The Evening CSIS: Iran Missile Test, Afghanistan Now, Don’t Let Me Down & More
December 8, 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.
Iran Missile Test
Iran tested a ballistic missile last month, a US official said today, describing the second such test since this summer’s nuclear agreement. The State Department said only that it was conducting a “serious review” of such reports, according to the AP’s Bradley Klapper.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman has authored 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 authored an essay in 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 that 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.
A conference aimed at shoring up support for war-ravaged Afghanistan opened in Pakistan today, with a top Afghan official calling for an urgent, united response to the global menace of militancy, as Reuters Katharine Houreld reports.
Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents today attacked Kandahar Airfield, a major base for US military and intelligence forces as well as the Afghan Army, leaving at least nine dead, according to Afghan officials, as the New York Times’ David Jolly and Taimoor Shah report.
Dive Deeper: Dr. Cordesman’s seminal report Afghanistan at Transition: Lessons of the Longest War is an important read.
CFR’s interactive InfoGuide on “The Taliban” is another excellent resource.
And, the Institute for the Study of War has a new analysis out about ISIS in Afghanistan.
Biden's Message to Ukraine
In a speech to the Ukrainian Parliament today, Vice President Joe Biden warned Ukraine against backsliding in the fight against corruption, as Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Daryna Krasnolutska report.
Plus, the IMF tweaked its lending rules today, paving the way for more emergency cash for Ukraine and undermining Russia’s economic leverage over Ukraine, as the Wall Street Journal’s Ian Talley reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Olya Oliker authored a new commentary today: “ Ukraine’s Success—or Failure—Is Up to Ukraine .”
And, since Russia’s official annexation of Crimea, the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program has been dedicated to creating a record of the conflict from both sides. Using news stories, videos, and analysis, the team created “The Ukraine Crisis Timeline.” You can view it here and stay current on the latest updates in the region.
Plus, Brookings has a smart podcast, “ Ukraine's long Russian entanglement ,” with Marvin Kalb.
In that Number
The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on six individuals and three shipping companies today in an effort to curb North Korea’s global WMD-proliferation network, including individuals stationed in Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.
Source: US Department of the Treasury.
“It’s like people woke up one day and realized ISIS had 20,000 Twitter accounts.”
—James A. Lewis, director of the CSIS Strategic Technologies Program, on the difficulty controlling the Islamic State’s online presence.
Source: LA Times.
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Twitter.)
Isabelle Chapman (@Isa_Chapman) is Mashable’s associate tech editor and curates their work on Snapchat. Isabelle was previously an associate editor at AOL Huffington Post Media Group. Isabelle is one to watch as this new medium develops.
The New York Times has a great look into Nigeria’s standup comedy scene, which has thrived since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in the late 1990s.
“Can Putin Bomb His Way Out of Sanctions?,” by Moisés Naím for the Atlantic.
Tomorrow, CSIS will host Vice Admirals Bill Moran and Peter Daly for a discussion on the particular challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, from national-level maritime policy to naval concept development and program design. And later, at 2 p.m., join us for “Enhancing EU-U.S. Cooperation in Space,” a discussion identifying opportunities to enhance EU-US policy coordination.
This Town Tomorrow
It has been one month since Myanmar’s historic elections and the landslide victory for the National League for Democracy; but with the presidential election and parliament deliberations still ahead, will the transition of power be smooth or even happen at all? The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. addressing the political future of Myanmar.
CSIS on Demand
Last week, experts joined CSIS to discuss key issues affecting the future scope of missile defense efforts, including prospects for countering missiles “left-of-launch,” reengagement decisions, alternate means of engagement, integration with offensive forces, and improving the missile defense cost curve.
As Poland joins other eastern European countries in refusing to accept refugees, NPR’s Steve Inkseep discusses the global debate on the refugee crises as the world grows anxious about outsiders and threats.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
The US Navy’s $4.4 billion futuristic missile destroyer just set out to sea, the USS Zumwalt.
Yesterday, (…”all my troubles seemed so far away”) when I wrote about what a smile Paul McCartney continues to provide as a solo artist with his powerful band behind him. Last week’s 50th anniversary of the “Rubber Soul” album release prompted the Paul smile.
But it was 35 years ago today, in Beatles terms and way beyond, that we remember a solemn anniversary—the violent death of John Lennon.
So, let’s take a sad song and make it better. Instead of lamenting the loss of John Lennon and what might have been, I choose to remember one of his glorious moments—the Beatles’ live performance in January, 1969 on the rooftop of their record label’s HQ in central London.
Imagine…a better final gig. I can’t. The band didn’t know it at the time but the rooftop session, brilliantly filmed by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, would be their final live public performance.
And in the end…they did not disappoint. They left the world with a smile for all time.
Tomorrow never knows, but “Don’t Let Me Down” with John on lead vocals, Paul beside him on backing vocals and the band propelled by Billy Preston’s keyboard groove in this rooftop setting, all so splendidly attired, probably can’t ever be topped.
So today, remember to let him into your heart, and you can start, to make it better.
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