The Evening CSIS June 18 2015
June 18, 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.
Andrew is out today, so this issue comes to you from the mostly capable hands of Nahmyo Thomas and Colm Quinn, with the always invaluable help of Lexi Cory and James Dunton.
The Senate today passed the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act for FY16 by a sweeping vote of 71 to 25. The veto-proof vote came much sooner than usual in the annual defense budget debate and may go to conference with the House as early as July, Breaking Defense reports. The legislation faces a veto threat from the White House as a result of the $38 billion in war funding that circumvents federal budget caps.
CSIS’s Mark Cancian has this short video explaining how war funding, or OCO, has grown since 9/11.
Dive Deeper: A major part of the defense spending bill that has been up for reform is how DOD manages weapons acquisition. For everything you need to know on the acquisition process, CSIS’s Andrew Hunter has this new five-page primer on the varying Senate and House proposals and the likelihood of final agreement.
And lastly, if you haven’t yet placed your bets on how the defense budget battle will play out, be sure to predict the outcome here. The winner will score a lunch with CSIS experts.
Greece's "Last Opportunity"
As EU finance ministers failed to reach an agreement today, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of Eurogroup, has called it Greece’s “last opportunity” to reach a deal on its crippling debt.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Heather Conley asks the question, “will Greece exit the euro zone?,” in our latest commentary.
In that Number
The number of people who are displaced worldwide by conflict or persecution, according to a new UN report.
Source: UN Refugee Agency.
Asked: Should the United States expect to see retaliation for the killing of al Qaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi?
Answered: Tom Sanderson, senior fellow and director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is widely considered the most capable al Qaeda affiliate and has demonstrated its ability to insert terrorists and explosives into the United States and Saudi Arabia. This, combined with the greater freedom of movement in a lawless country, suggests that AQAP remains a significant threat to the United States at home and overseas. A CIA drone strike that killed its leader will almost certainly result in some effort by AQAP to retaliate. But it is that same widespread chaos in Yemen that may prove distracting to AQAP in the short term. Ultimately, AQAP will not forget the attack and, when ready and able, will seek revenge.
Wuhayshi’s successor, Qassim al Rimi, has demonstrated an ability to threaten the United States with his role in the 2010 printer cartridge bombing plot, but the new emir may have to prioritize the group’s local operations given ongoing instability in Yemen. The United States has maintained a close watch on AQAP and its proven desire to attack the United States. That attention will only increase given the death of Wuhayshi.
One to Watch
Carrie Budoff Brown is the managing editor of Politico Europe and a former White House correspondent. Look to her and her team as they bring Politico’s fast-paced brand of journalism to Europe’s halls of power as the continent’s role in the geopolitical order begins to shift. Photo via Politico.
This photo project in VICE on Ghana’s fishing villages explores a rapidly dwindling profession, highlighting those who rely solely on fishing as their income.
War, Ebola, and the rise of ISIS: Foreign Policy has this dissection of the 2015 Fragile State Index. It includes a breakdown of the global rankings, notable changes and scores, and a section devoted to assessing ISIS as a fragile state, using the same methodology as other state-entities.
Watch live at 5:30 p.m.—Fran Townsend, former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, will join CSIS for its Smart Women, Smart Power initiative and a discussion on fighting terrorism in the age of ISIS .
This Town Tomorrow
The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on “Island-Building in the Spratlys: Challenging the International Order in the South China Sea” that will look at the roots of this territorial dispute and US policy options. To get smart on the issue, be sure to check out the Asia Maritime Security Initiative , which includes high-definition footage of the reclamation process.
CSIS on Demand
Watch last month’s Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Melinda Gates , cochair & trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a fascinating look at the role of women and girls in international development.
Israel’s former minister of foreign affairs Tzipi Livni talks about Israel’s role in the global community on this week’s Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.
I Like It Like That
Twitter could soon reshape the flood disaster response; disaster response agencies like the Red Cross may begin using Twitter as a real-time flood map to fill a growing need for data. The project, Floodtags, uses an algorithm to filter and pull tweets in the area for continually updated information.
There’s not much to smile about today after another national tragedy. So instead we leave you with the innocence of youth and the “7 most adorable moments” of Riley Curry in the course of the Golden State Warriors’ (one-fifth of the Evening CSIS’s favorite team) road to the NBA championship.
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