The Evening CSIS: Most Durable, Call Xi, Serpentine Fire & More
February 5, 2016
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. If you want to view this in your browser, click here. To subscribe, please send me an email at email@example.com.
In a news conference at the White House today, President Obama said the US “right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” as Bloomberg’s Toluse Olorunnipa and Justin Sink report.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal’s Leslie Josephs reports that on Wall Street, the S&P 500 posted its biggest weekly decline since the start of the year, with technology shares suffering particularly sharp losses.
And, the Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath reports that today’s news regarding job growth “likely leaves Federal Reserve officials in a ‘watchful waiting’ mode as they consider whether to lift short-term interest rates at their next policy meeting in March.”
Also, the Financial Times reports on “The Small but serious threat of a US recession.”
President Obama called President Xi Jinping of China to coordinate a response to North Korea’s January 6 nuclear test, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
And the Associated Press reports that satellite images showed that Pyongyang is moving closer to another test.
Dive Deeper: The US Korea Institute at SAIS’s blog “38 North” analyzed new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (“Tongchang-dong”) from February 3 and 4, which shows the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, specifically at the old fuel/oxidizer bunkers.
And, CSIS’s Bonnie Glaser and Victor Cha testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, in mid-January on the US response to North Korea’s aggression. Their statements and video of the House hearing can be accessed here.
Running for Their Lives
The New York Times’ Anne Barnard reports that the Syrian government, with assistance from Russia, pressed their most dramatic advance in months today, sending insurgents scrambling and tens of thousands of civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey.
Dive Deeper: The Institute for the Study of War’s Christopher Kozak today authored a must-read commentary: “Assad Regime Gains in Aleppo Alter Balance of Power in Northern Syria.”
Plus, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman yesterday published an extensive graphic overview of “The Human Cost of War in the Middle East.” This is an early look at a work in progress by Dr. Cordesman and a must see.
In that Number
Today is the fifth anniversary of the New START Treaty. The agreement goes into effect on February 5, 2018, and limits both the United States and Russia to an arsenal of 1,550 deployed warheads.
Source: US Department of State.
“Such sudden, unabashed references to Xi’s dominance in the leadership suggest he finally has turned the page on crushing the cabal of senior officials who opposed his ascension.”
—Christopher Johnson, CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, on Chinese president Xi Jinping’s new status as a world leader.
Source: N ew Y ork Times .
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: LinkedIn.)
Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) is the journalist behind the Washington Post’s Checkpoint military blog and was today named a Next Generation National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Before joining WaPo, Dan covered national security for Foreign Policy and Marine Corps Times. For defense coverage, Dan is one to watch.
Colombian photographer Federico Rios was embedded with FARC guerillas, hoping to demystify them as their conflict with the government approaches a negotiated settlement;photographs and article via the New York Times’ Kirk Semple.
ICYMI: “The Imam’s Curse: A family accused of financing terrorists,” by the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos.
Today, CSIS hosted a discussion on what’s next for Taiwan after their presidential elections. To catch the event and insightful panel, click here.
Join us Monday as Andrew Shearer, Australia’s former national security adviser, discusses how Australia views challenges and opportunities through the lens of international development and security. Register or watch live here.
This Town Monday
Join the German Marshal Fund on Monday at noon for a discussion on the shape of US global leadership under the next president. You can also catch the event livestreamed here.
CSIS on Demand
Listen as Tina Kaidanow, ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, joined CSIS to discuss how the US is adapting its approach, partnerships, and tools to address the shifting threat environment of ISIS, specifically the civilian and diplomatic efforts led by State.
On the latest episode of War Is Boring’s War College podcast, journalist Noga Tarnopolsky explains why the Israel Defense Force is cutting back on the size of its officer corps and moving its central headquarters out of Tel Aviv.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
“Kissinger’s Vision for US-Russia Relations,” by Dr. Henry Kissinger for the National Interest.
Such sad news today that Earth, Wind & Fire’s visionary founder Maurice White passed away at 74 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
But I can’t help but smile when I think of Maurice White. Nothing was bigger in the mid to late 1970s in Washington than EWF. They were the soundtrack to my childhood. Kids in my neighborhood brought out boom boxes to line dance in the streets to EWF, we played basketball to the groove of EWF, and my parents had them on the radio in their cars and on the stereo at home. All the time.
Their songs were undeniable masterpieces. And they sold over 100 million albums, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. The songs were a joyful noise indeed, with titles like “Let’s Groove,” “Fantasy” and “Shining Star.”
Most of all, their pop fusion was infectious. The contrasting vocal styles of Maurice White and Phillip Bailey blended perfectly. Maurice’s little brother, Verdeen White, anchored the band on bass and ensured that their rhythm was out of this world.
In 1978, EWF played to a sold out audience at Washington’s Capitol Centre. My parents went to the show. It seemed like everyone I knew wanted to go to the show or was talking about it. I remember it so clearly.
And then something astonishing happened. Through the magic of live television, Soul Train host Don Cornelius took viewers to the Capitol Centre to watch EWF live during his regular broadcast! Who knew that was possible back then? Soul Train was always self-contained in the studio. Live directly to the Capitol Centre—where my mom and dad were boogieing in the sold out arena with EWF!
Here’s what I saw and I highly recommend that you watch this whole clip including the encore. Especially if you want to experience Maurice White’s “Serpentine Fire.”
Maurice White and his music have made so many people smile. His voice “will ring forever as one” across the globe.
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