The Evening CSIS March 13 2015
March 13, 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.
ISIS has accepted Boko Haram’s “pledge of allegiance” the Christian Science Monitor reports. “Our caliph, God save him, has accepted the pledge of loyalty of our brothers of Boko Haram so we congratulate Muslims and our jihadi brothers in West Africa,” Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani said in an audio message.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Juan Zarate and Richard Downie spoke to CBS News on the question, “Has ISIS become the leader of the global jihadi movement?”
CFR’s “Nigeria Security Tracker” is an excellent resource that documents and maps violence in Nigeria, including Boko Haram’s activities.
Brookings’ Cole Bunzel has a new analysis, “From paper state to caliphate: The ideology of the Islamic State.”
The German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet and Steven Keil published a new commentary, “Europe’s Fight against ISIS: A New Security Leadership?”
Prepping for 3-Way Summit in Asia
The foreign ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea are preparing to meet in late March for their first trilateral talks in nearly three years—and they have a lot to talk about, including maritime territorial disputes, Reuters reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Michael Green and Mira Rapp-Hooper published anop-ed in today’s Washington Post, “Push China toward diplomacy.”
CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) is an interactive, regularly updated source for information, analysis, and policy exchange on maritime security issues in Asia. Visit the AMTI microsite.
In India's Defense
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is attempting to expand New Delhi’s regional influence, as evidenced by his visit to Sri Lanka—the first by any Indian PM in over 28 years and an attempt to counter advances made by China in the Indian Ocean region, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dive Deeper: In late February Indian prime minister Modi proposed a budget allocation of 2.49 trillion rupees for defense, up from 2.22 trillion rupees this fiscal year. According to Gurmeet Kanwal, a former brigadier in the Indian Army and Delhi-based adjunct fellow with the CSIS Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, the increase is inadequate for military modernization. In a new commentary, Kanwal writes that India’s per capita expenditure on defense is less than US$10, while the average expenditure of the top 10 spenders in Asia is approximately US$800.
In that Number
The number of sessions at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, TX (where most of The Evening CSIS staff are now ensconced—look for updates from Austin next week!)
Source : SXSW.
Our signature "Asked & Answered" series
Asked: What kind of limitations are likely to be included in an Iran and P5+1 agreement?
Answered: Sharon Squassoni, director and senior fellow, CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program: Briefly, Iran’s nuclear program spans almost the entire nuclear fuel cycle except for reprocessing (separation of irradiated nuclear fuel) and waste disposal. The most sensitive elements of this are the enrichment facilities (Natanz, Fordow), which are supported by research and development and manufacturing sites, and the research reactor under construction at Arak. The enrichment facilities and the Arak reactor are sensitive because of their ability to produce fissile material that could be used either for peaceful purposes or for a nuclear weapon. Limitations under discussion include how many centrifuges Iran will be allowed to run and how advanced they might be. One of the bigger issues is how long the agreement will keep restrictions in place on Iran’s nuclear program. In November 2014, negotiators set two deadlines for a framework agreement: March 1 for agreement in principle, with July 1, 2015, as the deadline for detailed annexes. The detailed annexes are likely to cover monitoring and other requirements. Read more here.
One to Watch
CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies Rick Rossow ( @RichardRossow) helps frame and shape policies to promote greater business and economic engagement between the two countries. He joined CSIS in 2014, having spent the previous 16 years working in a variety of capacities to strengthen the partnership between the United States and India.
AFP deputy Iraq bureau chief W.G. Dunlop (@wgdunlop) tweets “’Welcome to Tikrit’—now featuring a picture of Hadi al-Ameri and the name of his Badr militia."
In the March 16 issue of the New Yorker, Patrick Radden Keefe’s “Letter from Belfast: Where the Bodies Are Buried” explores Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams’s possible links to the I.R.A. and the 1972 disappearance of Jean McConville.
Watch video of today’s events at our HQ.
Admirals Jonathan Greenert and Paul Zukunft (above) and General Joseph Dunford joined CSIS for the launch of a new maritime strategy, ”A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready.” Click here to view their discussion on how this new strategy will determine how the maritime services think, plan, and act.
What’s in store at CSIS HQ on Monday.
CSIS will host a China Reality Check Series on China’s annual legislative session. Veteran China watcher Dali Yang will join CSIS’s Scott Kennedy, who will be fresh back from overseeing the proceedings in Beijing. Together they will analyze the major developments of the National People’s Congress and the upcoming policy agenda for China’s top leaders. Watch live or RSVP here.
This Town Monday
So many important things in this town- so little time. Of note:
The Atlantic Council will host a discussion on what a nuclear agreement with Iran means for US relations with the Gulf. Speakers will address how the Obama administration can respond to reduce sectarian tensions and bolster nuclear nonproliferation. Watch live at 2 p.m. or RSVP here.
CSIS on Demand
Yesterday CSIS hosted Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German minister of foreign affairs, who shared his thoughts on the importance of transatlantic unity during this time of heightened geopolitical uncertainty. From the Islamic State to nuclear negotiations with Iran, FM Steinmeier noted that “History has shown we are strongest when we are bound together by our shared values.”
This week’s CogitAsia Podcast speaks to Victor Cha about the aftermath of the attack on Ambassador Mark Lippert in South Korea. The attack has led to a rise in support for the US but also exposed the domestic divisions that are at play in South Korea.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
I sent this great interactive to The Evening CSIS staff who have taken time off to learn the latest media trends at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. It’s a useful way to navigate the more than 2,000 sessions happening in Austin. No, really, I’m not jealous…
President Obama appeared
on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show last night and agreed to read “Mean Tweets” about himself. The president was a good sport about it—even when the tweets got mean about his jeans.
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