The Evening CSIS: Mideast Tensions, Iran Shows Off, ELO & More
January 5, 2016
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Saudi Arabia said today that its feud with Iran would not interfere with Syrian peace talks scheduled to begin later this month, signaling an easing of the tensions that erupted after the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, as the Washington Post’s Liz Sly and Karen DeYoung report.
But, as the Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov writes, Saudi Arabia’s escalating crisis with Iran, sparked by the execution of a leading Shiite Saudi cleric, is as much about domestic politics in both nations as it is about their regional tussle for domination of the Middle East.
And, Israel’s former head of military intelligence says the reverberations from the diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran will be felt around the region, as the Jerusalem Post reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman published a new commentary today, “ The [New-Old] Crises and Instability in the Middle East and North Africa in 2016 ”
Iran Shows Off
Iran unveiled a new underground missile depot today, with state television showing weapons in store that the United States says are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, as Vice News’s Avi Asher-Schapiro reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman published a commentary on Iran’s strong signals about its missile program in early December, “ Iran, Missiles, and Nuclear Weapons .”
Even deeper reading by Dr. Cordesman about Iran’s missile program can be accessed by downloading his seminal report “ Iran’s Rocket and Missile Forces and Strategic Options .”
China's Wild Ride
US stocks steadied today after turmoil in China’s market as the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Scott Kennedy published a new essay for China File saying the overall picture for the economy and economic policy for China in 2016 looks as hazy as Beijing’s air.
In that Number
Saudi Arabia will run out of cash in five years if oil stays below $50 a barrel.
“When the sectarian flag goes up in the eastern province [of Saudi Arabia], people on both the Sunni side and the Shiite side pay attention.”
—Jon Alterman, director of the CSIS Middle East Program, on the recent tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Source: I n tern ational Bus i ness Times .
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Instagram.)
Mitchell Prothero (@mitchprothero) is Buzzfeed’s new Michael Hastings National Security Fellow. Mitchell has earned a fantastic reputation for his Middle East work, most recently reporting for McClatchy from Iraq’s Kurdish region. For the latest news on the Middle East, Mitchell is one to watch.
Reuters has compiled a photo essay from the embattled streets of Ramadi, where civilians have been caught up in the government’s fight to retake the city from ISIS.
James Rosen’s Foxhole interview: William McCants on ISIS, the Koran, and the future of the caliphate.
This Town Tomorrow
Join the Wilson Center tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for a discussion with US trade representative Michael Froman to hear his perspectives on the benefits of the TPP to the US economy. You can RSVP here.
CSIS on Demand
As 2016 begins, watch leading scholars of global history discuss the legacies of the last century and how to build a more stable and prosperous order in future years.
Catch the latest on the CSIS podcast as the global powers—the United States, Russia, and China—vie for supremacy in one of the last frontiers of foreign policy: space.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Over the next few days, CFR will count down the top five developments in cyber policy of 2015 .
Encore for the fantastic Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra. ELO is revived, relevant (released a new record in November), and is breathing new life into their classics. Like this one, “
Livin’ Thing ,” captured live in November at London’s Porchester Hall. The audience is singing along with every word. I love it, what a smile.
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