The Evening CSIS: Secret Talks, Cyber Ninjas, New Basement Tapes & More
October 19, 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. To subscribe, please sign up here.
NOTE: The Evening CSIS will not be published on Thursday, October 20. We will resume publication on Friday, October 21.
The Battle for Mosul
As the battle for Mosul rages on, Reuters reports that abandoned villages on the road to Mosul are rigged with tunnels and bombs.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Jon Alterman authored a new commentary today, “Avoiding Old Traps in Iraq.”
Europe's Active War
Vladimir Putin arrived in Berlin today as European leaders dangle the threat of fresh sanctions over Russia’s role in the bombardment of the Syrian city of Aleppo and raise pressure to revive efforts for peace in eastern Ukraine, as Bloomberg reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS released a new report, The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe, last week.
And, a new commentary by Chatham House’s John Lough, “Sanctions Can Expose Putin’s Foreign Policy Contradictions,” was published yesterday.
Taliban officials and the Afghan government have held new secret talks in Qatar aimed at restarting peace negotiations to end the country’s long war, three officials say, though questions remain over which faction of the insurgency is doing the talking, as the AP reports.
For seasoned cybersecurity professionals, motivation for sticking with their current jobs doesn’t mean big management promotions or higher salaries, a new Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report finds, as Kelly Jackson Higgins of Information Week reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Katrina Timlin and the Center for Internet Security’s Franklin Reeder today released a new report: Recruiting and Retaining Cybersecurity Ninjas.
The Supersonic Digital Revolution
In our latest “Bob Schieffer’s About the News” episode, we spoke with Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, a true digital visionary.
In That Number
Today, Egypt’s high court reversed death sentences imposed on 14 Islamists who attacked a police station after President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013. Source: Reuters.
“Politics are less about being willing to win, than they are about being willing to lose with the hope of winning next time. The flaw baked into Iraqi politics after the US invasion was that they didn’t provide any hope for the losers. The sectarian math was dismal, and it left no place for the Sunnis.”
— CSIS’s Jon B. Alterman on avoiding old traps in Iraq. Source: CSIS Middle East Notes and Comment.
One to Watch
William Todman is a visiting research associate in the CSIS Middle East Program. Today, Will authored a new report, “Gulf States’ Policies on Syria.”
(Photo credit: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images.)
Iraqi forces battle against ISIS in the Bajwaniyah village, about 30 kilometers south of Mosul.
A new video interview with Robert Litwak of the Wilson Center, produced by the Wilson Center out today on “The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism.”
We hosted “Election 2016: How Did We Get To This?,” featuring John Zogby, the author of We Are Many, We Are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics.
Join CSIS’s Global Health Policy Center at 9:30 a.m. for “The Lancet Maternal Health Series and Implications for U.S. Policy.”
This Town Tomorrow
Join the US Institute of Peace at 9:00 a.m. for “Nigeria Beyond Boko Haram.”
And join Johns Hopkins SAIS at 4:30 p.m. for “Combating Terrorist Financing: Advances and Challenges Fifteen Years After 9/11.”
CSIS On Demand
“The Middle East at an Inflection Point, with Gen. Mattis,” hosted by CSIS’s Middle East Program in April, discusses the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, the fifth anniversary of the Arab uprisings, and a potential turning point in the battle against the Islamic State group. You can watch it on demand here.
Meet Antonio Guterres, the next UN secretary general, on Global Dispatches’ new podcast.
I Like It Like That
Have you seen CSIS’s portal on the digital platform Medium? Our Medium web platform elegantly curates our latest commentaries, videos, and podcasts.
Bob Dylan’s work is just as relevant to today’s top musicians as it was to Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds and others.
To name just a few modern artists who have covered Dylan songs: Adele, The White Stripes, Beck, Cat Power, Coldplay and Ke$ha.
My favorite project involving contemporary artists and Dylan’s work is “The New Basement Tapes,” a group made up of Jim James, Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith and Rhiannon Giddens. In 2014 they recorded “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes” which is composed of music based on unrecorded lyrics that were handwritten by Dylan in ’67 during the original “Basement Tapes” era with The Band at Woodstock.
During that time Dylan and The Band composed timeless, organic music in the basement of a house they called “Big Pink.”
The New Basement Tapes turned out to be a swell idea. Take a look, and yes, that is Johnny Depp who stopped in to play guitar with the band.
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