The Evening CSIS March 16 2015
March 16, 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.
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria reacted to statements made Sunday by Secretary of State John Kerry on CBS’s Face the Nation by telling Iranian TV that “talk about the future of the Syrian president is for Syrian people alone.” Kerry’s comments were interpreted by some to be suggesting that the US negotiate directly with Assad—a notion the State Department later disputed. CBS News has this report.
McClatchy’s John Zarocostas reports that the “U.N. foresees millions more displaced by Islamic State conflict.”
The latest videos of US & coalition airstrikes against ISIS, courtesy of Breaking Defense editor Colin Clark ( @ColinDefense).
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman issued a new commentary today: “The Real Strategic Goal in Iraq and Syria: How Do You Bring Lasting Stability?”
President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who hadn’t been seen in public since March 5, laughed off “gossip” about his health, demise, romantic life, and more as he resurfaced just in time for massive Russian military training exercises. The military exercises will last most of the week, during which Russia will celebrate the anniversary of its annexation of Crimea. Reuters has this report.
NBC News has this gallery of images glorifying Putin at celebrations of the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation.
Dive Deeper: For a comprehensive understanding of the Ukrainian situation to date, visit CSIS’s interactive “ Ukraine Crisis Timeline,” updated daily.
Carnegie has posted “The Best of Carnegie Analysis: One Year after the Annexation of Crimea.”
Atlantic Council has a great resource in the “Ukraine Initiative.”
In that Number
Number of US troops currently in Afghanistan.
Source : Associated Press.
A daily shortened sampling of our signature "Asked & Answered" series.
This past weekend, 1.5 million citizens took to the streets all across Brazil, protesting President Dilma Rousseff, her Worker’s Party, the country’s poor economic performance, and the massive corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras that has unfolded during Dilma’s presidency.
Asked: Where does Brazil stand with the United States as Dilma Rousseff starts her second term?
Answered: CSIS Americas Program Director Carl Meacham: Given strong signals early in Dilma’s second term, it appears increasingly likely that, after nearly two years of distance, Brazil and the United States are warming up to one another.
That isn’t to say that the troubles that have weighed on the bilateral relationship have fallen away. Not even two years ago, the relationship was dealt some heavy blows. Edward Snowden’s NSA allegations in the summer of 2013 included revelations of U.S. espionage targeting Brazilian officials—including Dilma herself.
And amidst the social protests that dominated Brazil’s domestic scene, Dilma called off a long-planned state visit to Washington that fall. And just a few months later, the Brazilian government awarded a major military contract to Swedish manufacturer Saab over American-based Boeing.
But as Dilma began her second term earlier this year, her tone toward the United States appeared to change—or at least to start to. Facing increasing pressure from the Brazilian public and from the country’s private sector, Brasilia appears to be ready to work with Washington. And trade may be the first item on the burgeoning agenda.
One to Watch
Scott Kennedy (@KennedyCSIS) is deputy director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at CSIS. A leading authority on China’s economic policy and its global economic relations, specific areas of focus include industrial policy, business lobbying, multinational business challenges in China, Chinese participation in global economic regimes, and philanthropy. Kennedy has been traveling to China for over a quarter century, and he has conducted thousands of interviews across the country with Chinese officials, businesses, lawyers, nonprofit organizations, and scholars.
Frame By Frame , a new documentary, premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival last weekend. During the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan, photography was banned.Frame By Frame follows four Afghan photojournalists adapting to the new media landscape. Watch this visually stunning trailer for the film.
Watch video of today’s events at our HQ.
CSIS hosted a timely China Reality Check Series on China’s annual legislative session led by Scott Kennedy, who just returned from overseeing the proceedings in Beijing. The discussion took a deep dive into the major developments of the National People’s Congress and the upcoming policy agenda for China’s top leaders.
What’s in store at CSIS HQ tomorrow.
Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will speak on the committee's legislative priorities for cyber and homeland security in the 114th Congress. Join us at 10:00am.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will join CSIS for a major public address outlining the department's energy priorities for the next two years. Be sure to watch online or RSVP here.
CSIS will host a Schieffer Series Dialogue on "Foreign Policy Hotspots" looking at everything from ISIS and Iran to Syria, Russia, and North Korea. Moderator Bob Schieffer will be joined by CNN's Jake Tapper, The New York Times' David Sanger, and The Wall Street Journal's Carol Lee. Join us for a reception at 4:45pm followed by discussion at 5:30pm.
This Town Tomorrow
So many important things in this town-so little time. Of note:
CSIS’s Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the national security benefits of free trade agreements with Asia and Europe. Watch live here at 2:00 p.m.
CSIS on Demand
On Friday, CSIS hosted Admirals Greenert and Zukunft and General Dunford for a discussion on new strategies for maritime services, including budget recommendations and potential partnerships with Asia. “We can’t buy our way out of the new and complex security challenges we’re now facing.”—Gen. Dunford
Watch the event here.
With the Iran negotiations back in the spotlight, Danielle Pletka, senior vice president, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) talked with Nina Easton about the negotiations and whether an agreement is likely. Part of CSIS’s Smart Women, Smart Power speaker series, you can listen to the session here: “Iran Nuclear Talks: Deal or No Deal?”
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
The historic newspaper where Mark Twain perfected the art of the western tall tale, the NevadaTerritorial Enterprise is back in business after a three-decade absence.
A little something extra
Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent James Rosen interviews CSIS Advisory Board member Navin Thukkaram for “The Foxhole: Navin Thukkaram, Master of the Universe, on tech startups, Wall Street wizardry, and America’s optimistic future.” Don’t miss this.
March Madness is upon us and bracketologists are busy trying to find out where the upsets are and who has the best chance of ascending to college hoops’ Final Four (condolences to my Dad who can’t pick Temple to go all the way per usual because they weren’t invited to The Dance this year). In Washington, we are preparing for the presidential primary madness that is soon to come. Accordingly, the Washington Post ’s political blog, “The Fix,” has created its own madness.
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