The Evening CSIS: Peace Talks Halted, In the Navy, Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World & More
February 3, 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.
Peace Talks Halted
Just two days after declaring an official start to a new round of talks on Syria, the UN mediator said today that he was suspending the process for three weeks because of a lack of progress, as the New York Times’ Nick Cumming-Bruce reports.
And, as the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour reports, world leaders are heading to London for a conference aimed at raising $9 billion for Syrian refugees.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense today reported details of the latest US and coalition strikes against ISIS.
Dive Deeper: A video taken by a drone winding its way through the battered city of Homs, Syria, has captured haunting images of the virtually complete destruction after five years of civil war. The minute-and-a-half video was uploaded to YouTube by Alexander Pushin, a cameraman who runs a drone filming company, Russia Works, and who has taken several videos of Syria’s war-torn landscape. The video looks like a video game (and sounds like one) but has been authenticated.
The website “Syria Deeply” is an excellent resource.
Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim partners signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in a ceremony held late this afternoon in Auckland, New Zealand, as Canada’s CBC News reports.
Meanwhile, Politico reports that “the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is as clear as mud, but the major players in Congress and the administration appear to all be talking with each other about it.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS has produced a vast amount of research and analysis on the TPP.
CSIS’s Michael Green and Matthew Goodman authored “ After TPP: The Geopolitics of Asia and the Pacific ” for the Winter 2016 edition of the Washington Quarterly.
CSIS’s CogitAsia blog contains a great deal of material, including this superb Critical Questions (CSIS’s signature asked & answered series of short papers) by Matthew Goodman and Scott Miller back in October, “ The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Conclude .”
Another important commentary by CSIS’s Ernest Bower, “ Economics Are the Foundation for Security in Asia ,” is a critical read.
Plus, CSIS’s Bower, Goodman, and Miller authored “ Beyond TPP: Shaping an Economic Strategy in Asia ” for CSIS’s 2016 Global Forecast.
In the Navy
CSIS’s Michael Green told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that the US should add a second carrier strike group and increase the number of attack submarines forward deployed in the Western Pacific, as Seapower Magazine reports.
Dive Deeper: Dr. Green’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee and video of the full hearing is available here.
In that Number
The Pentagon’s new budget will contain a request for $2 billion to purchase 4,000 Tomahawk weapons over the next five years.
Source: Defense News.
“Bringing those voices to the table might strengthen the imperative to deal with the humanitarian concerns as well as military and diplomatic concerns.”
—Melissa Dalton, a fellow with the CSIS International Security Program, on including more women in the Syrian peace talks.
Source: New York Times.
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Twitter.)
Christopher Harress (@Charress) is a defense reporter at the International Business Times. Chris served in the British Royal Navy, and his work on human trafficking has appeared in the New York Times. For news at the nexus of business and defense, Chris is one to watch.
Peter Bergen’s new book, United States of Jihad , is out now.
Today, CSIS hosted Tina Kaidanow, ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, for a discussion on 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.
This Town Tomorrow
Join Georgetown University tomorrow for lunch as they host Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh of Vietnam. He will discuss continuing US-Vietnam relations, as well as US relations in Asia. Register here.
CSIS on Demand
On Monday, the CSIS Europe Program hosted Timo Soini, Finnish minister of foreign affairs, for a discussion on Finland’s Arctic policy, as well as the work of the Arctic Council and Finland’s 2017 chairmanship.
CSIS’s Todd Harrison joined Federal News Radio’s Scott Maucione to discuss the DoD’s 2017 budget and his concerns over the absence of a five-year funding plan for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
@Smartwomen is the Twitter account of the CSIS Smart Women, Smart Power initiative. It’s a great follow.
If you still have your hearing intact after last night’s sonic barrage by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, you’re probably up for a bit more.
The 1991 tour clip we showed last night and the 1990 album “Ragged Glory” not only underscored that Neil Young’s career was very much alive during the last decade of the 20th century, it established Young forever as the “Godfather of Grunge.”
Seattle’s hard rocking and soon-to-be superstar bands identified with Young’s “pursuit of passion over precision,” as Rolling Stone magazine’s Kurt Loder called it. And Young’s distorted-melodic extended guitar jams struck the right chord with the likes of grunge’s young royals Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
So as with the 1960s, 70’s and 80s, Young’s presence was squarely in the moment.
And in our current decade, Young still shows up in an “Uncle Neil” role to jam in packed arenas with the guys in Pearl Jam.
Here’s one example of what happens when Uncle Neil shows up. During a 2011 Pearl Jam concert in Toronto the audience was treated to an extra smile when Young appeared on stage as the band covered his anthem “ Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World .”
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