The Evening CSIS: Pressure on ISIS, Russia's Turkey Talk, the Weight & More
December 1, 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 and if you want to view this in your browser, click here.
This edition of The Evening CSIS is dedicated to former national security adviser Samuel R. Berger who today was awarded the World Food Program USA’s inaugural Global Humanitarian Award in recognition of his decades of leadership helping families in need across the globe.
More Pressure on ISIS
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter today told the House Armed Services Committee that the US military will deploy a specialized expeditionary targeting force to Iraq to launch unilateral raids and “put even more pressure” on ISIS, as the Washington Post’s Missy Ryan reports.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Bradley and Ben Kesling report that ISIS is preventing civilians from fleeing the city of Ramadi with threats of death, after Iraqi forces warned people to leave ahead of an impending offensive.
And, the Financial Times’ Geoff Dyer reports that President Obama has urged Turkey to seal off its border with Syria.
Plus, the Hill’s Jordan Fabian reports that in Paris, Obama said Russia is unlikely to end its support in Syria for Bashar al-Assad.
In addition, the New York Times’s Eric Schmitt reports that a new George Washington University study says that 56 arrests related to ISIS have been made this year—the largest number of terrorism-related arrests in the US in a single year since September 2001.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman had a new analysis published today: “Looking Beyond the Tragedy in Paris: Still No Clear Strategy and No Public Measures of Effectiveness for Dealing with ISIS, Iraq.”
Via the Institute for the Study of War, “ISIS’s Global Strategy: A Wargame.”
And, from Hassan Hassan at Chatham House, a new commentary published today, “Russia Must Reconsider Its Role in the Fight Against ISIS.”
Climate Conference Update
President Obama today in Paris said that some components to a global climate change agreement must carry legal force, as the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw today authored a new commentary: “Setting the Post Paris Agenda.”
Russia to Halt Turkey Talk
Russia is preparing to halt talks with Turkey on a gas link that President Vladimir Putin proposed last year, as part of retaliatory measures for the downing of one of its warplanes near the Syrian border, as Bloomberg’s Elena Mazneva reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Jeffrey Rathke authored a new commentary: “Can NATO Deter Russia in View of the Conventional Military Imbalance in the East?”
In that Number
The number of troops US military officials estimate Russia is able to deploy by air in the span of 72 hours.
“This is a ‘65-country coalition’ of which only about nine are doing something.”
—Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, on allies in the counter-Islamic State coalition.
Source: W ashing ton Times .
One to Watch
Rhys Blakely (@rhysblakely) is the US editor at The Times. Rhys previously served as The Times’s LA correspondent and their Mumbai correspondent. For insightful news coverage, Rhys is one to watch. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
16 Lebanese soldiers and policemen who were being held captive by the Nursa Front were exchanged for 13 Islamists in a Qatari-brokered prisoner swap today. One of the Islamists is ISIS leader al-Baghdadi’s ex-wife. Reuters obtainedphotos of the soldiers’ release, and the Daily Mail has video of the Islamists’ release.
The Atlantic’s Joe Marshall on how “Pop Culture Is Finally Getting Hacking Right.”
CSIS hosted a discussion on prospects for emerging US security partnerships in Southeast Asia. Panelists discussed how Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam are developing closer security ties with the United States and balancing them against relations with China. And later, CSIS hosted an expert discussion on the role of development actors in addressing the drivers and manifestations of violent extremism, including what makes young people in particular vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment.
Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., CSIS will host an independent panel and White House officials to discuss the findings of the final report of the Harvard Global Health Institute and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola. Register or watch live here. Also at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, the CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group will host experts to discuss the implications of the budget caps on the defense base, and what the future of funding and competition will look like. Watch live or register here. And later at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Asia team will host a half-day conference on Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe’s structural reform to lift the Japanese economy; panels will focus specifically on corporate governance. Finally, watch live and register for a discussion on “Development Opportunities in Supply Chain Localization,” as panelists discuss how and why the private sector, NGOs, and US government can employ practices and policies to expand local content in order to create economic opportunity.
This Town Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. join the Nuclear Threat Initiative as they host William J. Perry, former secretary of defense, for a discussion on his new memoirMy Journey at the Nuclear Brink. The event will be hosted by CSIS Chairman Emeritus and Former US Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA). RSVP here.
CSIS on Demand
As lawmakers debate increasing action against ISIS, catch Stephen Kappes, former deputy director of the CIA, and David Ignatius of the Washington Post as they discuss recent developments against ISIS and the struggles ahead in containing and defeating them.
Brookings scholar Shadi Hamid joined the Blogs of War Covert Contact podcast yesterday to discuss the difficult relationship that Islamist movements have with democracy and power at the state level.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Foreign Policy ’s list of “100 Leading Global Thinkers.”
Everyone loves Levon Helm and The Band. So many of you have written the past few nights about them and it’s made me smile.
It’s hard to measure The Band’s influence because what they did was extraordinarily multi-faceted. And their songs were so rich, so stepped in Americana even though everyone in The Band was from Canada except Levon.
Let’s take “The Weight,” a song the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has named among their list of the “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.” The song’s lyrics combine the mysticism of the American South, the Bible, and were told from the perspective of memorable characters that truly existed in Levon’s life at one point or another. It’s a song that no one really knows the meaning of, but means something different to everyone who listens to it.
My favorite version of “The Weight” is the performance Martin Scorsese filmed for “The Last Waltz.” It features Levon and Rick Danko on vocals per usual, but is elevated by the addition of The Staples Singers. I’ll never get over it, and I will never stop smiling about it.
I always welcome and benefit from your feedback. Please drop me a line at email@example.com.