The Evening CSIS March 20 2015
March 20, 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.
Suicide Bomb in Yemen
ISIS’s Yemen branch claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings of two mosques during noon prayer in Sanaa. At least 126 people were killed with over 260 wounded, BBC reports.
Dive Deeper: The Long War Journal has a smart write-up about the ISIS attack in Yemen.
The Economist has an interesting analysis that despite ISIS’s spread of terror, its weaknesses are becoming apparent, in a new article: “The Caliphate Cracks.”
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani visits Washington next week, and the Wall Street Journal’s Nathan Hodge has this report about what to expect from the visit.
Meanwhile, Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times report that the Obama administration is close to announcing (as early as today) that more US troops will stay in Afghanistan next year than previously intended.
Dive Deeper: A new study by CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman, Afghanistan at Transition: The Lessons of the Longest War, covers the civil and military lessons of the war in Afghanistan as of 2015, the trends at the time of transition, and the risks inherent in the current approach to supporting Afghanistan.
Chatham House has a useful resource in “Afghanistan: Opportunity in Crisis,” which includes a short film and an interactive timeline.
New Rules on Fracking
The Obama administration today announced the first major set of federal regulations on fracking, NPR reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’ Sarah Ladislaw published a new Critical Questions (CSIS’ signature series of short Asked & Answered papers) A Busy Week in Energy: Regulatory Outlook, Federal Fracking Regs, and Executive Order
CSIS’s Energy and National Security program released a majorreport in late February Delivering the Goods: Making the Most of North America’s Evolving Oil Infrastructure
Gregory Zuckerman’s book, “The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters” is an important resource for understanding how fracking is transforming the US energy sector.
In that Number
Amount of reward money the FBI is offering for a Russian hacking suspect.
Source : CNET.
Asked: Why has this past year been so tough for Brazil and President Dilma Rousseff?
Answered: CSIS Americas Program director Carl Meacham:
As President Dilma Rousseff begins the third month of her second term in office, Brazil is facing more challenges than ever. Petrobras, the state-owned oil company, is mired in a far-reaching corruption scandal. After 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2010, 2014 saw no growth at all. The economy is in recession, expected to contract by 1 percent this year. Inflation is nearly 8 percent, the country’s highest inflation in a decade, the currency is plunging, water is in shortage, energy rationing may be in the cards, and the fiscal crisis is growing.
Dilma’s governing coalition is increasingly divided. Though Dilma’s vice president is from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the party has reportedly left Dilma’s coalition in its congressional dialogue. And the Progressive Party, key to her coalition, is heavily implicated in the Petrobras corruption scandal. Dilma herself has struggled to remain above the fray, given her years at the helm of the oil company. Brazil’s lackluster economic performance after years of powerful growth has forced Dilma’s administration to implement unpopular economic policies. The potential for high inflation and painful economic recession are powerful specters for Brazilians—but even that fear isn’t enough to stymie the outcry against her increasingly cautious measures to patch up the ailing economy. All of this puts Brazil in a delicate moment, politically and economically.
One to Watch
Amy Studdart (@AmyStuddart) (greeting First Lady of Japan Akie Abe) is deputy director and fellow of the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at CSIS. She is an expert on international economic policy, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining CSIS in 2014, Studdart worked in Brussels at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and, before that, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. While at GMF, she managed the Stockholm China Forum, a biannual trilateral dialogue among US, European, and Chinese officials.
This photo from the Hindustan Times of family members in India’s Bihar district scaling a school’s walls to help children cheat on their exams must be seen to be believed.
The Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson hosts a superb interview program called Uncommon Knowledge produced in partnership with theWall Street Journal’s web program “WSJ Live.” In this episode, Robinson speaks with Jim Hake, founder of Spirit of America, a nonprofit organization created to save lives and support the missions of US soldiers abroad. Hake’s goal was to go beyond what the government could do, with the motive of seeing America succeed. Begun in 2003, the idea gained enormous support, including from General Jim Mattis, commander of some of the first missions in Iraq who also is featured in the interview.
What’s in store at CSIS HQ on Monday.
House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry will discuss his plans for DoD and acquisition reform. Thornberry has spent over a year leading a bipartisan, bicameral reform effort and will unveil the first series of reforms at this event. Join us at 9:00 a.m.
The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event on “Assessing the Economic Impact of U.S. Oil Export Policy in a Low Price Environment.” RSVP or watch live at 1:00 p.m.
Kanda Vajrabhaya, chairperson of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, will join CSIS to share her perspective on women’s empowerment and gender equality as part of the post-2015 development agenda, with a specific focus on Thailand. RSVP or watch live at 2:00 p.m.
This Town Monday
So many important things in this town-so little time. Of note:
The US Institute of Peace will host an event on “Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy: Learning from 2013–2014 & Looking Ahead Post-Israeli Elections.” RSVP or watch live at 3:30 p.m.
CSIS on Demand
Is there a way to improve Brazil’s domestic problems or will civil unrest stop the country’s economic and international growth potential? Hosted yesterday, this discussion gets at the core of what’s in store for Brazil.
This week’s CSIS Podcast looks at South America and the problems facing both Brazil and Venezuela. Carl Meacham has the analysis here.
I Like It Like That
Eye catching things in CSIS’s orbit
Remarkable video and photos from the Washington Post of the rare total solar eclipse that was seen over the North Atlantic today.
A little something extra
Honolulu-based Pacific Forum CSIS celebrated its 40th anniversary this week. The Forum was founded in 1975 by Admiral Lloyd R. “Joe” Vasey and conducts policy-relevant research and dialogues. It merged with CSIS in 1990 and remains the Center’s only independent program. Here is a short video of the Forum’s history, including remarks by Admiral Vasey.
In late February, CSIS lost a dear friend and colleague, the legendary journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave, who served as director of our Transnational Threats Project. In early March, we held a memorial for Arnaud at CSIS to celebrate his life and many achievements. The audience was a who’s who of official Washington and foreign dignitaries, including Secretary of State John Kerry, General Colin Powell, and Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott of Britain. During his remarks about Arnaud, CSIS’s chairman, Senator Sam Nunn, noted his love of a good laugh and retold one of Arnaud’s best bits about the media.
I always welcome and benefit from your feedback. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.