The Evening CSIS: Special Ops and Diplomacy, Hearing at the Hague, 461 Ocean Blvd & More
October 30, 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 US senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), John Warner (R-VA), J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA). and William Brock (R-TN). Just because.
Special Ops and Diplomacy
The US announced it will deploy a small number of Special Operations forces to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria to help local forces fight ISIS. NPR reports that fewer than 50 Special Operations Forces will be sent.
In Vienna, the Wall Street Journal’s Valentina Pop reports that the US, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia today offered broad backing to a UN-led diplomatic process that will seek to set the conditions to end the brutal civil war in the country, even though there was no agreement regarding the future of Syrian president Assad. But as for Iran, who had not been invited to previous talks, the Journal reported that as the Vienna talks began, Iranian deputy foreign minister Amir Abdollahian told press in Tehran, “Iran does not insist on keeping Assad in power forever.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman today authored a new commentary: “Negotiating a “Peace” in Syria: Between Whom and for What?”
The superb website Syria Deeply goes in depth on the latest developments on the war in Syria. Among them, “The Syria Files,” a collection of text and interactive materials designed to provide more background on Syria’s war.
Hearing on South China Sea Dispute
As Reuters reports, in a legal setback for Beijing, an arbitration court in the Netherlands ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear territorial claims the Philippines has filed against China over disputed areas in the South China Sea.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has published a new feature: “The Evolution of Asia’s Contested Waters.” In addition, AMTI’s “Island Tracker” has all the latest satellite images of continuing construction in the South China Sea, and the digital publication provides key analysis regarding the regions’ maritime disputes.
Any Given Turkish Sunday
The New York Times’s Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu report, “Ahead of Turkish Elections, Polls Show Little Hope for Change.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Bulent Aliriza today authored a new commentary: "The November 1 Election: Erdogan's Roll of the Dice."
The Financial Times today reports that businesses around the world are braced for a bout of regulation on cybersecurity as governments scramble to introduce rules forcing corporate groups, especially those that work in critical infrastructure, to build stronger defenses against catastrophic hacks.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Michael Assante, Tim Roxey, and Andy Bochman have a brief new report out today, “The Case for Simplicity in Energy Infrastructure,” in which they argue that “to disrupt today’s nation state adversaries and tomorrow’s cyber terrorists and hacktivists, we must reengineer selected last-mile and endpoint elements of the U.S. power grid.”
Plus, CSIS’s Strategic Technologies Program has compiled a list of Significant Cyber Incidents Since 2006 in a useful interactive timeline.
In that Number
White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced today that fewer than 50 US Special Forces troops will be deployed to Syria.
“What is even more unclear, is what the future shape of Syria will be, and how it can recover from the present conflict.”
—Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy
One to Watch
Mona Chalabi (@MonaChalabi) is the soon-to-be data editor at the Guardian US. Mona was previously lead writer at FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation website owned by ESPN that covers sports, economics, and politics. (Photo Credit: Andreas Eymannsberger.)
Secretary of State John Kerry with foreign ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, ahead of the quadrilateral meeting in Vienna. The ministers met to discuss the conflict in Syria and pursue diplomatic solutions. Photo credit: US Dept. of State Twitter.
Understanding the future of food is increasingly a national security concern. CSIS’s Scott Aughenbaugh lays out the impending dangers and cutting-edge solutions to this looming problem in a slick, three-minute video. It’s well worth a watch.
Register or watch live tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. as CSIS hosts Ambassador Valentin Zellweger and other panelists for a discussion on the challenges posed by modern technology, and how to address those within the existing laws of armed conflict. Additionally, CSIS will host policymakers for a discussion on the launch of the 2016 Doing Business Report and ways to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the regulatory environment for business around the world.
Join us Monday at 9:30 a.m. as the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a roundtable discussion on the implications of emerging market demand for the near- and longer-term global energy outlook. Register to join, or watch live here.
This Town Monday
As Turkey prepares for its highly contested elections on November 1, join the Brookings Institution Monday at 3:00 p.m. for a discussion on the Turkish elections. Panelists will address how recent events might influence the voters, as well as what the election results mean for Turkey’s strategic orientation. Watch live or register here.
CSIS on Demand
China will host this year’s G20 Summit; get a primer on the event with “Preparing for the G20 Summit.” Listen as Caroline Atkinson, deputy national security adviser for international economics, White House, and Nathan Sheets, under secretary for international affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, joined CSIS to discuss the strategic role of economics in foreign policy and explore the making of international economic policy.
Catch Bonnie Glaser on the latest CSIS CogitAsia podcast discussing the US Navy’s freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, as well as Ernie Bower addressing the US visit of Indonesian president Joko Widodo.
I Like It Like That
Eye-catching things in CSIS's orbit
Good read: “ Can young women save old media? ” by Fortune’s Kristen Bellstrom, author of The Broadsheet (one of The Evening CSIS’s favorite daily e-mails).
Eric Clapton began his solo career in earnest in 1974 after a well-documented lengthy battle with substance abuse. Friends like the Who’s Pete Townsend were instrumental in getting Clapton back on track. And, man has the world been smiling and enjoying Clapton’s music ever since.
In 1974 he recorded his second solo album, “461 Ocean Boulevard” (his first was a 1970 eponymous release).
“461 Ocean Boulevard” refers to the address of the rental house Clapton was living in during his stay in the town of Golden Beach, Florida in North Miami. I’ve spent a lot of time in that area of Miami—it’s one of my favorite places on earth and I can see why Clapton was inspired to make such a golden album while living there. Golden Beach is a quiet, beautiful spot and the houses there have backyards consisting of white sand and the crystal jade waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The actual recording of the album took place in Miami’s Criteria studios—one of the great recording studios in the history of rock and accordingly, “461 Ocean Boulevard” contains some of the best music Clapton ever made.
But one song on the record stands alone in its power. Clapton’s cover version of Bob Marley’s "I Shot the Sheriff" was Clapton's first number one hit.
Here’s a big smile to kick off this Halloween weekend. Eric Clapton performing “I Shot the Sheriff” in 1977 on the BBC’s “Old Grey Whistle Test”.
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