The Evening CSIS: Stepping Up, America’s Shadow War, The Thrill is Gone & More
September 6, 2016
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Amid strong language from President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines about President Obama, and Obama’s subsequent cancellation of a meeting with Duterte, the Philippines said new surveillance images showed that Beijing is stepping up its presence in disputed South China Sea waters, raising the specter of a diplomatic clash as Duterte attends his first regional summits, the Wall Street Journal’s Trefor Moss reports.
Dive Deeper: Many are focused on increased US and Chinese naval exercises and the attendant risk of accident in the South China Sea. CSIS’s China Power Project has compiled data on major incidents involving regional coast guards in the South China Sea since 2010, and it is clear that the numbers are growing. The vast majority of the incidents involve Chinese coast guards.
Our latest interactive feature on the China Power micro-website tracks this trend. Of the major maritime law enforcement incidents we identified in the South China Sea, China has been involved in roughly 80 percent.
America’s Shadow War
President Obama, on a historic visit to Laos, today said that it was time to pull America’s secret war in Laos from the shadows, as the New York Times’ Mark Landler reports .
Dive Deeper: CFR published a “Backgrounder” on the ASEAN Summit.
ISIS Rocket Attack & Syrian Government Attack
Late this afternoon the BBC reported that two Turkish soldiers have been killed by ISIS in clashes in northern Syria.
Meanwhile, the AP reports that Syrian activists and rescue workers in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo said that Syrian government warplanes dropped suspected chlorine bombs today on a crowded neighborhood, injuring dozens.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Bulent Aliriza today authored a commentary: “After the Obama-Erdogan Meeting at the G-20.”
Plus, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman penned a commentary today: “Syria and Iraq: What Comes After Mosul and Raqqa?”
In That Number
The number of internally displaced people in Colombia, according to the UN. Source: Washington Post.
“Historians will probably say, if they look closely at the rebalance or ‘pivot,’ that the most significant legacy for the president is going to be engagement with Southeast Asia. This is probably the most deliberate and sustained engagement with Southeast Asia since the Vietnam War.”
—CSIS’s Michael J. Green on the president’s rebalance to Asia. Source: Chicago Tribune.
One to Watch
Amy Searight is senior adviser and director of the Southeast Asia Program at CSIS. Searight joined CSIS earlier this summer after serving as deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia.
(Photo Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.)
President Obama walks through an honor guard upon arrival on Air Force One at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos. This is the first visit to the country by a sitting US president.
“The tide of globalization is turning,” by the Financial Times’ Martin Wolf.
Join CSIS’s Project on Prosperity and Development tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. for “Breaking Silos: Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
And join CSIS’s Russia and Eurasia Program at 1 p.m. for “Regime Succession in Uzbekistan.”
And join CSIS’s International Security Program at 5:30 p.m. for the latest Smart Women, Smart Power Series, “A Conversation with Ellen Kullman.”
This Town Tomorrow
Join the GW Elliott School of International Affairs tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. for the book launch of Marc Lynch’s The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East.
CSIS On Demand
Last week, CSIS hosted the book launch of Jay Solomon’s The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East. Watch it On Demand.
Listen to the latest episode of the CSIS Podcast, “Dilma’s Demise,” featuring Michael Matera, the director of CSIS’s Americas Program.
I Like It Like That
The New Yorker is using video to reach new readers.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer filled with smiles. I always get a little bummed out around this time of year—mostly because my outdoor lap swimming pool closes. I am one of those people who loves the notion of an endless summer if just for the weather.
An Uber ride I took this weekend really lifted my spirits though. I got picked up by an Iranian-American Uber driver who was celebrating because I was his first passenger in a new Chevy Suburban he had purchased that morning.
This guy was smiling ear to ear because he’s living an American dream of sorts. He left Iran in ’79 during the revolution and now has a family of American born children and a thriving Uber business. It was sweet to hear about, and even sweeter when he said that he considered it a good omen for his new Suburban that I knew how to pronounce his Persian name properly.
“You must have Iranian-American friends,” he said.
I do indeed.
While we were talking, my new Uber friend also had some really good music on the car stereo—one of my favorite songs in fact. “The Thrill is Gone” by the late B.B. King who passed way last year.
Yes, summer is over, but it’s moments like this that make me think the thrill is just beginning.
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