The Evening CSIS July 13 2015
July 13, 2015
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There is still no clear end in sight for nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1, and talks may be extended for a fourth time , The Washington Post reports.
As David Sanger writes for the New York Times, one of the largest obstacles in the deal doesn’t focus on nuclear arms, but on whether or not Iran can again start buying and selling conventional weapons.
Dive Deeper: CSIS's Sharon Squassoni just released this Critical Questions piece on “Understanding the elements of an Iran nuclear deal,” including the four most contentious areas of the negotiation.
And if you want to test your own knowledge, be sure to take The Washington Post’s short new quiz on the Iran nuclear talks.
Wolf's Pack Wins
After weeks of drama German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Chancellor Angela Merkel have led the Eurozone to an agreement on a third bailout for Greece. With big decisions on Greece’s pensions, tax structure, and state assets now made, it’s up to Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras to make the deal stick at home, the Wall Street Journal reports on the tough sell ahead.
Dive Deeper: CSIS Distinguished Statesman and former German minister of economics Karl Theodor zu Gutenberg outlined why the deal “only sees losers” on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning.
Bloomberg’s Leon Mangasarian lays out the damage the crisis has caused to European leadership.
And for a look at the broader fissures that have been exposed, read Heather Conley’s commentary on what’s next for the EU.
In that Number
The factor by which Gulf Cooperation Council states outspend Iran on defense. ($98.5 billion vs. $10.6 billion).
Source: CSIS Report: The Arab-U.S. Strategic Partnership and the Changing Security Balance in the Gulf, page 33.
Asked: How can we tell if the Iran nuclear deal is a good one?
Answered: Sharon Squassoni, director of the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program:
Although observers would like experts to pronounce a deal “good” or “bad” even before they have seen the details of the agreement, the more relevant question is whether it will significantly reduce the risk of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. The answer to that is likely to be “Yes.” This is because without an agreement, Iran could have continued acquiring capabilities even under the auspices of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Critics who contend that a wiser path would have been to continue tightening sanctions until Iran agreed to eliminate its entire nuclear program forget that it has taken almost ten years to put in place sanctions that have actually had a significant impact, and there are few additional sanctions left in the armory. In addition, while sanctions, especially oil-related sanctions, have made Iran’s pursuit of an expansive nuclear program more painful, there are no sanctions that could completely prevent a country from acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities if that country is determined to do so. North Korea is an outstanding example of this kind of determination.
This is not to say that any agreement is better than no agreement, and Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama have made that obvious in their recent remarks. Nonetheless, there are some issues that are more relevant than others and there is no agreement that will be perfect or without compromise.
One to Watch
From the popular CSIS Cogitasia blog, this week’s one to watch is Kundapur Vaman, the first president of the Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB), also known as the BRICS Bank. This puts Vaman at the helm of overseeing infrastructure-investment and crisis-lending functions, of the new bank establishment announced last year by the five “BRICS” countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
For the first time, spacecraft will get an up-close look at the Pluto system. After a journey of more than 3 billion miles, totaling 9 years, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is preparing for the closest approach to Pluto in history, which will settle several decades-long questions. You can watch it live here, or view it picture-by-picture.
Wondering exactly what Greece has to give up if it wants to keep the Euro? Foreign Policy gives this summary of the new reforms Greek lawmakers have to pass “without delay” in order to guarantee a third bailout from its creditors.
The Honorable Christine Wormuth joined CSIS for a discussion on defense policy priorities, including losing younger talent due to budget cuts, and ensuring Iraq and Syria don’t become long-term safe havens for ISIS.
CSIS will host Melanie Kenderdine, director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at DOE for a discussion on energy security in the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review.
Then, Foreign Minister Daniel Militov of Bulgaria will speak on U.S.-Bulgarian cooperation in security and defense.
Lastly, CSIS will host a unique event on Vatican financial reform , and the tools being used in the international financial system to confront terrorism, organized crime, and other criminal activity. Joining will be René Brülhart, president of Financial Information Authority (FIA) of the Holy See and Vatican City State, and Juan Zarate, Board of Directors, FIA and former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism.
This Town Tomorrow
The Center for American Progress will host an important event on “Confronting ISIS One Year On” with retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
On the Hill, a House Homeland Security joint subcommittee hearing will focus on weapons of mass destruction and America’s preparedness to combat these threats.
CSIS on Demand
ICYMI watch as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force William Laplante discusses the Air Force’s acquisition system and how it is posturing for future success.
As reports today point to China’s stock market righting itself following weeks of decline, catch up on The CSIS Podcast outlining what the Chinese government’s intervention says about its strategic style.
I Like It Like That
If only everyone could pitch in and lend a hand like Apple. Apple is promising a free month of iCloud service to the cash-strapped Greeks.
Last week our Smiles section was all about music. Let's kick off this week with a little dance - and yes, this is further proof that the Internet is many things to many people, including a wasteland where videos of Welshmen teaching seagulls to tap dance goes viral. Total smile.
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