The Evening CSIS: Putin’s Syria, ISIS Finance, Sgt. Pepper & More
December 11, 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.
All Together Now?
Russia has provided air cover to a leading Western-backed opposition group in Syria, Vladimir Putin said today, calling for closer coordination with the US-allied coalition—comments that may reflect Moscow’s desire to narrow its differences with the West over the Syrian crisis, as the AP reports.
And, as Bloomberg reports, Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Putin next week in Moscow to discuss a political transition in Syria.
Plus, the excellent website Syria Deeply provides a daily “Executive Summary” on the latest in Syria.
ISIS's Financial Minister Killed
As the Financial Time’s Geoff Dyer reports, the US says that a November air strike had killed Abu Salah “one of the most senior and experienced members of [ISIS’s] financial network.”
Dyer reports that Adam Szubin, US acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that ISIS had looted between $500m and $1bn from bank vaults it captured in Iraq and Syria and was gaining “many millions more” from extorting local populations.
Suzbin’s remarks can be accessed here.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Juan Zarate’s seminal book, Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare , is a deep read on sanctions and terrorist financing.
Taliban Attacks Spanish Embassy
Taliban militants tonight attempted to storm a Spanish embassy compound in Kabul, killing a Spanish security official and wounding 10 other people in the latest attack by the group following government efforts to revive peace talks aimed at ending the insurgency, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Donati and Habib Khan Totakhil report.
The BBC also filed this report.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman yesterday published “ Afghanistan and Failed State Wars: An Update .”
CFR’s interactive InfoGuide on “ The Taliban” is another excellent resource.
In that Number
The Islamic State has made more than $500 million by selling oil to the Syrian government, with some barrels going as far as Turkey.
“These issues are financial in most cases, but I think the biggest constraint for most countries are political and relate to the current military strategy of the coalition.”
—Simond de Galbert, visiting fellow with the CSIS Europe Program, on the lack of full European participation in the fight against ISIS.
Source: In te rnational B us iness Times .
One to Watch
(Photo Credit: Twitter.)
Joseph Bamat (@josephbamat) is covering the COP 21 talks for France 24. As the Paris climate talks come to an end, Joseph is one to watch.
China’s air pollution problem was on full display as leaders met in Paris for the COP 21 climate talks. Our very own Bonnie Glaser, CSIS senior adviser for Asia and director of the China Power Project, snapped this photo while in Beijing this week.
The FT’s Gary Silverman on “ Bono shows love the answer to terrorism .”
Join us on Monday for a fascinating discussion on a new vision for the 21st century ; various scholars of global history, including former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, will discuss the legacies of the 20th century and the prospects for developing a more stable and prosperous world order in the remainder of the 21st century.
This Town Monday
The Atlantic Council will convene a panel of experts for a discussion on policy options to address international concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
CSIS on Demand
Last night, Jay Winik joined CSIS to discuss his book 1 94 4 : FDR and the Yea r That Changed History ; listen as participants discuss this pivotal moment in history and the lasting impact of World War II.
The wildly popular podcast Serial launched its second season yesterday; it will be covering the case of former Army private Bowe Bergdahl.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Great new video by the CSIS Global Health Policy Center and our iDeas Lab to introduce the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health .
This week we took a smiling glimpse at the Beatles and in particular, John Lennon’s solo career and Paul McCartney’s ongoing vitality. We’ll talk about George and Ringo another time.
Tonight, I want to smile at something that made some of the Beatles themselves smile.
There are a handful of moments in the history of rock that defy description. The fact that many of them have been captured on film or video and are available for viewing is stunning.
On June 4, 1967, Paul McCartney and George Harrison went to London’s Saville Theatre (leased by their manager Brian Epstein) to watch The Jimi Hendrix Experience perform.
June 4, 1967, was a Sunday night. Three days earlier, Thursday, June 1, 1967, the Beatles had released their groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
By Sunday night, Jimi had learned to play the title track. Paul McCartney describes it as “one of the great honors” of his career to have witnessed Jimi performing the song just three days after its release.
The Beatles never performed the song live. But Jimi did. And it made Paul smile. Here’s what he saw.
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