The Evening CSIS March 12 2015
March 12, 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.
Since the conflict in Syria began, more than 220,000 people have been killed, 1 million wounded, 4 million have fled, 7.6 million have been displaced inside Syria, and an estimated 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance according to the UN. Today, over 20 international aid organizations criticized the UN Security Council for failing to act, as Ryan Lucas of the Associated Press reports.
Dive Deeper: The New York Times today launched an excellent interactive report, “Syria After Four Years of Mayhem,” which includes satellite photos showing the country is 83% darker at night than before the war.
Last July, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center examined the catastrophic situation surrounding health care and human suffering in Syria and the long-term consequences for the region and the world, in this short animated video.
In mid-June, CSIS hosted an important conference on the human rights crisis in Syria.
Anthony Cordesman’s late February report Syria and the Least Bad Option: Dealing with Governance, Economics, and the Human Dimension points out that “about one-third of Syria’s population are children, many of whom have lost access to education or normal social development for the past three years, and with no end in sight.”
Excellent resource: The website Syria Deeply. The website is “an independent digital media project led by journalists and technologists that explores a new model of storytelling around a global crisis.”
Khamenei: US Known for "Backstabbing"
Lashing out at the US for the letter sent to Iran by 47 Republican senators, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the letter “was a sign of collapse in political ethics in the US,” the nonofficial Iranian Mehr News Agency reports.
Reuters reports that Khamenei is worried about the negotiations “because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and backstabbing.” Khamenei also remarked that whenever progress with the negotiations “is in sight, the tone of the other side, specifically the Americans, becomes harsher, coarser and tougher. This is the nature of their tricks and deceptions.”
Dive Deeper: In a new CSIS Critical Questions (our signature series of short Asked & Answered papers), “Iran: A Deal by Any Other Name,” Sharon Squassoni writes that “recent media frenzy over the Republican senators’ open letter to Iran is notable for the questions it raises about the kind of agreement Westerners are seeking from Iran. Will the deal be sealed with an executive kiss? By a Senate-ratified treaty? By a UN Security Council resolution? Does it matter?"
CSIS and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) today released a report, A New Approach to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Among other key policy dilemmas the report raises the question: given the current proliferation crises in North Korea and Iran is the current approach on the fuel cycle—leaving uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities in the hands of national governments—too risky on proliferation grounds?
CSIS and NTI launched the report today at CSIS HQ. The event can be viewed ON DEMAND.
In that Number
The number of cyber professionals the Pentagon plans to hire for US Cyber Command.
Source : Security Affairs.
Our signature "Asked & Answered" series
Asked: Does a nuclear agreement with Iran require a treaty?
Answered: Sharon Squassoni, senior fellow and director of the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program: No. The agreement under discussion by the P5+1 (the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and Germany) with Iran is fundamentally to provide assurances that Iran’s nuclear program has purely civilian, peaceful uses. This is not an arms control treaty because it will not address weapons. While there is evidence to suggest that Iran engaged in nuclear weaponization activities, there is no evidence that Iran now has nuclear weapons. As a nonnuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Iran is obligated not to manufacture, acquire, or otherwise obtain nuclear weapons. The agreement under discussion will impose requirements on Iran in addition to those it has (e.g., safeguards inspections and reporting) as an NPT party.
According to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will not be a U.S. bilateral agreement, but include the P-5 of the UN Security Council, Germany, and Iran. Zarif has told the press that it will be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.
Read the full analysis: "Iran: A Deal by Any Other Name"
One to Watch
CSIS’s Heather Conley is senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of our Europe Program. Wednesday she convened a Statesmen’s Forum with British secretary of state for defence Michael Fallon; today she hosted another Statesmen’s Forum with German minister of foreign affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
BuzzFeed provides “A Look At Some Of The Ancient Sites Destroyed By ISIS And The Syrian Civil War.”
The Pew Research Center has created a World Wide Web Timeline that highlights the “major milestones and small moments” that have shaped the Internet since its founding in 1989. For instance, do you know who coined the phrase “surfing the internet”? Pew does.
Watch video of today’s events at our HQ.
German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier joined CSIS for a timely discussion on the importance of transatlantic unity during a time of heightened geopolitical uncertainty, stating “Only in a strong united Europe will the United States find its most important partner.”
What’s in store at CSIS HQ on Wednesday.
CSIS will host a Maritime Security Dialogue for the launch of “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready.” Admirals Jonathan Greenert and Paul Zukunft and General Joseph Dunford will discuss how this new strategy will determine how the maritime services think, plan, and act. Click here to RSVP or watch live at 11:30 a.m.
This Town Tomorrow
So many important things in this town-so little time. Of note:
The Atlantic Council will launch a new Strategy Initiative as part of its Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. The kickoff will examine “America’s Role in the World,” featuring Ambassador Jon Huntsman, General Brent Scowcroft, General James Jones, and the Honorable Stephen Hadley. Click here to RSVP or watch live at 9:30 a.m.
CSIS on Demand
Yesterday, CSIS launched an important new report, The State of African Resilience: Understanding Dimensions of Vulnerability and Adaptation, which identifies major dimensions of resilience from the perspective of more than a dozen vulnerable communities across sub-Saharan Africa. For a discussion on some of the major findings click here.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
The website icrunchdata news provides a good list: “Our Top 10 Big Data Tweeters We Love to Follow.”
A little something extra.
Ok, it’s been almost a week since we changed the clocks to Daylight Savings Time. Are you still annoyed? Do you think there should be a law that changes what many call an antiquated practice? The HBO hit series “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” offers its take on what time it is.
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