The Evening CSIS July 7 2015
July 7, 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.
It's All Greek
The eurozone has given Greece until Thursday to present new proposals to secure a deal with creditors and has called a full EU summit for Sunday, the BBC reported late this afternoon.
Dive Deeper: CSIS distinguished statesman and former German minster of economics Karl Theodore zu Guttenberg appeared this morning on Fox Business News’s “Mornings with Maria,” telling Maria Bartiromo that Greece should leave the eurozone soon.
President Obama and the head of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party discussed concerns over China’s activities in the South China Sea during a historic White House meeting today, reports Reuters’ Jeff Mason.
Meanwhile, using CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) satellite imagery and analysis of China’s activities in the South China Sea, Eric Niiler of the Washington Post today reported on “What happens to a coral reef when an island is built on top?”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative has all the latest satellite images and analysis of island building and land reclamation in the East and South China Sea. You can dive deeper into the satellite imagery of construction on the Spratly Islands, as well as the latest analysis.
Closer to Home
The eyes of the world are on Greece and its debt crisis, but closer to home, Puerto Rico is dealing with a crisis of its own. Vox.com’s Matthew Yglesias today writes “The Puerto Rico crisis, explained in fewer than 500 words.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS published an important report last year with an update written today by CSIS’s Carl Meacham, which foreshadowed the crisis: Why Puerto Rico’s Economy Matters for U.S. Security.
Keep on Talking
Diplomats missed another deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran and may prolong talks until the end of the week or beyond, as they spar over an arms embargo and what would happen if the accord is breached, report Bloomberg’s Indira Lakshmana, Jonathan Tirone, and Henry Meyer.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman published an analysis last week that sorts through the issues in detail: The Continuing Duel with Iran: Containment, Deterrence, and the Iranian Arms Control Agreement .
In that Number
Greece became the first advanced economy to default on the IMF in its 71-year history.
Source: Financial Times.
Asked: Now that relations with Cuba have changed dramatically, how should the US approach Venezuela?
Answered: Carl Meacham, CSIS Americas Program director:
In the long term, the US government has an interest in peaceful, market friendly democratic governance in both countries—and in stable and constructive bilateral relationships with both.
But in the short and medium term, Washington’s objectives for Venezuela and Cuba are distinct, and the contexts so different. Securing a stable democracy and the respect for human rights in Venezuela is an immediate goal. Washington’s hope for the restoration of robust democracy in Caracas is threatened by the Venezuelan government’s willingness to curtail constitutional rights and prosecute the political opposition—including prominent opposition politicians Leopoldo Lopez, Daniel Ceballos, and Antonio Ledezma.
Besides the obvious objective, which would be the release of all political prisoners, an important move to lower local and bilateral tension would be for Caracas to allow OAS and EU election observers in the parliamentary elections later this year. By ensuring that the electoral outcome is both fair and trusted, the White House and others in the region hope to calm the political waters in the country. Still, the elections carry a risk as well. There’s a real chance that, if the opposition wins, Maduro’s government will double down, hesitant as it can be to accept checks and balances on its power.
And to make matters worse, achieving these goals occurs in an environment in which Venezuelan senior civilian and military personnel are allegedly involved in the production or trafficking of cocaine.
One to Watch
Washington Post White House correspondentDavid Nakamura ( @DavidNakamura) started at the Post as a summer intern in 1992. His excellent coverage of the White House beat makes him one to watch. I always read what David writes, and his coverage the past few days of the Vietnamese Communist Party leader’s visit to Washington has been informative.
ICYMI, Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who announced his resignation after Sunday’s referendum, yesterday left the Ministry of Finance with his wife Danai on the back of a motorcycle. Now that’s an exit.
Off the heels of Secretary Ash Carter’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the fight against the Islamic State, watch CSIS alum and Vox journalist Johnny Harris’s excellent video explainer on what makes ISIS’s propaganda videos so effective.
CSIS hosted a discussion on Japanese–South Korean cooperation on North Korea policy, following the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will join CSIS at 1:00 p.m. for a major policy address on cybersecurity and “Securing the .gov” after the major OPM hack that was revealed last month.
This Town Tomorrow
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on “ Road to Paris: Examining the President’s International Climate Agenda and Implications for Domestic Environmental Policy” with Sarah Ladislaw, director of the CSIS Energy and National Security Program.
On the House side, two Foreign Affairs Subcommittees will hear testimony from experts on the US-China Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement , as the current “123 Agreement” is set to expire at the end of this year. A panel of nuclear experts, including CSIS’s Sharon Squassoni, will testify.
CSIS on Demand
Yesterday, one of President Obama’s key advisers on intellectual property, Under Secretary Michelle K. Lee, addressed what the government is doing to reward innovation, fight “patent trolls,” and improve the US patent system.
Listen to NPR national security correspondent Tom Bowman’s new piece today , “They Survived Training, Now Female Marines Await Word On Ground Combat.”
I Like It Like That
Fascinating piece in the Washington Post’s political science research blog “Monkey Cage” by the Middle East Institute’s Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, “How to interpret Iran’s Islamic rhetoric.”
Encore. So many of you wrote me about our commemorative Grateful Dead edition of The Evening CSIS last night that I owe you one more for the road. (My friend, the brilliant James Rosen - see Lagniappe below - Fox News’s chief Washington correspondent and author of the The Cheney Tapes coming this fall, even coined a new term by telling me that people who follow the Federal Reserve should heretofore be known as “FedHeads.” That’s a smile.)
And so is this extraordinary clip of the Grateful Dead performing at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, 1976. This Dead lineup is my favorite one—which included singer Donna Jean Godchaux and her husband Keith Godchaux on keyboards. The clip is in beautiful black and white and features the band’s classic “St. Stephen/Not Fade Away/St. Stephen/Eyes of the World” groove. Our love will not fade away…
A little something extra
Most of the time journalists work at a frenetic pace. Sometimes, by necessity, they have to sit through insufferable news conferences where the “newsmakers” say nothing that makes news or even makes sense. When this happens, some reporters resort to amazing ways to stay engaged. Today, Fox News’s chief Washington correspondent James Rosen, a Beatles scholar drew this picture of 1966-era Ringo Starr during what he called “a stultifying background briefing in Vienna.” It is, after all, Ringo’s 75th birthday.
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