The Evening CSIS June 29 2015
June 29, 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.
Big Fat Greek Crisis
Eurozone stocks suffered their biggest one-day fall since 2011 today with $33 billion wiped off eurozone bank stocks , Reuters reports.
Reuters published a second quick reference read today: “How much Greece owes to international creditors.” Answer: Over $271 billion.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that US stocks fell today as the Greek crisis worsened.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Heather Conley had a short commentary published today: “Has Greece taken the exit ramp from the European Monetary Union?”
Change Ain't Gonna Come (With Iran Deal)
As the Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor today reports, “Few expect a final agreement to be reached before an artificial June 30 deadline, but the onus is on American diplomats to reach a final deal by July 9.” Tharoor explains why in “Here’s what is in the way of a ‘good’ Iran nuclear deal.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman had a new analysis published today: “The Continuing Duel with Iran: Containment, Deterrence, and the Iranian Arms Control Agreement."
Dr. Cordesman writes, “The time may come when negotiation and diplomacy can end the duel between Iran and the United States and its Arab allies. That time has not come, and it will not come soon—even if Iran does sign a nuclear agreement with the P5+1. There are far too many other areas of tension—both because of Iran’s ambitions and because of its fears, past, and need for deterrence and defense.”
Dilma's Dance (Samba)
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, today in New York meeting with bankers and investors, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that “ We need to reduce the risks of doing business in Brazil.”
And, as the Washington Post’s Dom Phillips reports from Rio de Janeiro, Rousseff is an “ Unpopular Brazilian president to visit US as her country’s economy slides.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Carl Meacham and Hussein Kalout authored a new commentary today: “Does Dilma’s visit even matter?”
Today, CSIS’s International Security Program launched a new online platform for their monthly newsletter “FYSA.” You can find it here. It will be regularly updated to include the latest international security analysis from our experts in the program.
In that Number
Up to 30 British citizens were killed in a terrorist attack last Friday in Tunisia.
Source: Washington Post.
Dive Deeper: The New York Times today published an excellent info-graphic, “Three Attacks in Three Hours,” about last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France, and Kuwait.
Asked: Has Greece taken the exit ramp from the European Monetary Union?
Answered: Heather Conley, CSIS SVP for Europe, Eruasia, and the Arctic:
Over the last 48 hours we have seen a dramatic turn of events in the five-plus-year saga between Greece and its creditors. The last minute compromises and referendum threats made over the past several years have de-sensitized governments, markets, and Europeans to the possibility of an actual Eurozone exit. Most believed until the very last minute that negotiations would ultimately produce a temporary resolution to the Greek debt crisis. But now both sides have greatly reduced the parameters for compromise and the immediate collateral damage has been a complete break-down in trust between Athens and its creditors.
Greek Prime Minister Tsipras’s choice to hold a referendum on July 5th was in essence the “exit ramp” option. Had he decided to hold this referendum a few weeks or even a few months ago, it might have lent some democratic support to Greek’s negotiating position one way or another. But instead the referendum will be held after Greece goes into technical default on Tuesday, and even though the referendum question asks if “…the draft agreement submitted by the EC, ECB, IMF to the eurogroup on June 25…be accepted,” in reality the only thing the Greek people will decide is whether or not to accept their government’s charted course out of the Eurozone. Thus in many ways, this referendum is about the government’s future staying power.
What has been most surprising about the past three days is the relative calm in Greece and among the Greek people. While there have been some demonstrations in support of and against Prime Minister Tsipras’ conduct, it appears as if most Greeks have resigned their fate to others after five years of endless recession. Snap polls suggest that 47.2 percent support additional austerity measures if it means remaining in the Eurozone; 33 percent do not support further austerity measures which means effectively leaving the Eurozone. There are no legal procedures to leave or to temporarily suspend Eurozone membership.
Did it have to end this way? No, it did not. When the new Greek government was elected, European leaders realized that greater accommodation would be required as Greece began to show some promising signs of economic growth. The tactics employed by the Syriza government, however, quickly soured this mood and left Europe with a stark choice: to extend funding to Greece without any pretense of structural reform, or not. Clearly, Europe has decided that it is more important to have a stronger currency union in the long-run, but what it may achieve in the short-run is a failed Greek state.
One to Watch
Joanna Kakissis is the Athens correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), and her work also appears in the New York Times, TIME, and Foreign Policy, as well as a recent appearance on our own CSIS podcast. As the Greek economic crisis continues, look to her for on-the-ground analysis. (Photo credit: Jodi Hilton)
The Greek government today released the ballot paper for Sunday’s referendum, with many pointing out the confusing nature of the question being asked—as well as the fact that “No” appears before “Yes” on the paper. See for yourself.
The New York Times “Times Video” has posted a new and utterly chilling piece called “Flirting With the Islamic State” in which online conversations between a young woman in rural Washington State and a British man with ties to radical Islam may provide clues about how ISIS recruits new members around the world.
One year after the fall of Mosul, CSIS hosted a fascinating discussion on degrading and defeating ISIS with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius and former CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes. Above: Stephen Kappes, former Deputy Director of the CIA.
For our Spanish speakers, CSIS hosted a conversation on “What to expect from Dilma’s Visit to Washington.”
This Town Tomorrow
The Wilson Center will host an event looking at Ukraine’s prospects for success and how much assistance the West is willing to offer.
CSIS on Demand
This presentation illustrates the key findings of an important new report by CSIS’s Defense Industry team on how the Department of Defense can continue to leverage innovation and keep its technological edge. Watch the rollout discussion with defense experts here.
With President Obama signing the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or “fast-track” bill today, get up to date on what’s next on the trade agenda (in plain English) on the CSIS podcast .
I Like It Like That
Last week I showed you a movie-style trailer for a fictional novel—something I had never seen before. Well, this week I’ve got a movie-style trailer about a work of nonfiction that hits stores on July 7 and is going to be big. It’s called The Billion Dollar Spy by Pulitzer Prize winning-author David E. Hoffman. It’s the story of a spy who penetrated the Soviet military establishment. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius (who knows a bit himself about espionage) calls it “one of the best real-life spy stories ever told” and “a breakthrough in intelligence writing.” I like it. Watch the trailer.
A little something extra
Independence Day (July 4) is my favorite holiday. I love America and the American spirit and plan to celebrate it all week with Smiles in The Evening CSIS. The American spirit has always been captured in so many powerful ways—incorporating both traditional and nontraditional expressions of it.
Living in Washington provides many unique opportunities for the traditional. This summer I plan to attend the Marine Barracks Evening Parade, which the Marine Corps holds every Friday night (May 1 through August 28). I’ve never been and am told it is a moving experience.
As I mentioned above, I am also moved by nontraditional expressions of the American spirit. I will never forget the first time I saw Easy Rider, the landmark counterculture film starring Peter Fonda as “Captain America” and Dennis Hopper as “Billy the Kid.” The film was written and produced by Fonda and Hopper and directed by Hopper. It also starred another American icon, a very young Jack Nicholson, who played a small-town American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) lawyer.
The opening scene of the movie is a classic expression of the American spirit, as Fonda and Hopper ride their motorcycles through the American southwest set against Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” as the soundtrack. What a breathtaking smile.
I always welcome and benefit from your feedback. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.