The Evening CSIS: Syria, North Korea’s 4th Shot, Rumble and More
April 5, 2017
It's Wednesday, April 5.
President Trump said today that this week’s devastating chemical weapons attack in Syria had changed his view of the brutal civil war in that country, though he declined to say how the United States would respond, as the New York Times’ Michael Shear and Peter Baker report.
The Times’ Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone report that US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the US may “take our own action” on the Syrian chemical attack.
NPR’s Camila Domonoske reports that following the attack, global outrage is mounting and investigations continue.
Dive Deeper: See Anthony Cordesman’s new report, “Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen: Is Decisive Force an Option?”
And, see Rebecca Hersman’s new commentary published this afternoon by Foreign Policy, “It’s Time for Action on Syria’s Chemical Weapons, Not Pointing Fingers.”
North Korea's 4th Shot
North Korea has made no secret of its desire to build an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, capable of reaching the continental United States, as the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield reports.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Beyond Parallel project has been predicting a spring season full of North Korean activity. March bore that prediction out already with four ballistic missile launches, one failed ballistic missile launch, and two rocket/missile engine tests. In its latest action, on April 5, North Korea fired a liquid-fueled, extended-range SCUD missile from a location near the eastern coastal city of Sinpo, which flew 37 miles into the East Sea. Beyond Parallel datasets and big data analytics powered by Predata indicate we can expect more North Korean activity throughout April. Our newest prediction released this afternoon indicates there is a 55% chance of North Korean missile tests taking place in the next 14 days. In the next 30 days, there is a 78% chance of North Korean missile tests.
Also, Kerry Brown of Chatham House has a new commentary: “Bluster Cannot Strip North Korea of its Trump Card.”
Plus, see Tom Karako’s new commentary published this afternoon by Defense One, “US Missile Defenses Need Better Sensors, and Soon.”
Summit Trade Talk
As President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China meet this week for what White House officials are calling an introductory summit, the Wall Street Journal’s William Mauldin reports there is one issue where the US leader’s position will need no introduction: trade.
Dive Deeper: CSIS has compiled a collection of expert analyses in preparation for this week’s summit.
Also, see the Peterson Institute’s latest PIIE Chart on “Chinese Firms Enter the Ranks of Global Superstars.”
In That Number
The percent increase in defense contract spending between 2015 and 2016—the first increase since 2008. Source: Defense Acquisition Trends, 2016: The End of the Contracting Drawdown by CSIS’s Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG).
Dive Deeper: See CSIS’s new defense acquisition analytics tool, which tracks acquisition trends back to 2000.
“The United States has not developed a clear strategy for bringing lasting stability to any of the countries where it is now fighting.”
—CSIS’s Anthony H. Cordesman released a new report yesterday, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen: Is Decisive Force an Option?
The CSIS Transnational Threats Project today launched “Foreign Fighters,” an interactive website that examines the global threat of volunteer fighters operating in and beyond Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo Credit: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images.)
Queen Rania of Jordan and First Lady Melania Trump walk along the Colonnade of the White House today.
This Town Tomorrow
Join CSIS’s Global Food Security Project at 9:00 a.m. for “The Potential of Biotechnology to Address Food Security in Africa,” a discussion of possible contributions of biotechnology to rural economies, linkages to economic growth, and barriers to adoption.
Join CSIS’s Simon Chair in Political Economy at 10:00 a.m. for “Cross-Border Data Flows and Digital Trade Post-TPP.”
Join CSIS’s Technology Policy Program at 2:00 p.m. for “Foreign Investment and National Security: Does CFIUS Need Expanded Powers?”
Join CSIS’s Global Health Policy Center at 5:00 p.m. for “The Administration's Budget, Congress, and Global Health.”
And join Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at 8:30 a.m. for “Syria’s Trajectory and Challenges for the United States.”
Today, CSIS’s Transnational Threats Project hosted “Foreign Fighter Fallout,” featuring a keynote address by Lt. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, director of the Directorate for Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center. You can read a transcript of Lt. Gen. Nagata’s remarks here or watch the entire event on demand here.
CSIS’s Scott Kennedy joined NPR’s On Point today to discuss what’s at stake for the Trump-Xi summit.
I am a big fan of documentaries. Some, like Davis Guggenheim’s 2008 “It Might Get Loud,” are worth watching again and again over time.
“It Might Get Loud” is a homage to guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White and when I watched it again the other day, one amazing scene that I had forgotten about stood out. The scene features Page talking about how Link Wray had influenced him with his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble.”
“Rumble” is indeed a revelation as Page explains. It’s really the beginning of the “power chord” and modern/heavy rock sound.
And, Link Wray himself is the personification of rock’s primal attitude. “Rumble” is such a provocative, dangerous sounding song that in ’58 it was banned in New York and Boston because authorities thought it might incite teenage gang violence—think the “Jets” and the “Sharks” on steroids, or if you’re of my generation, “The Warriors,” a 1979 cult classic that actually used “Rumble” for its soundtrack.
In watching this vintage clip of Link Wray performing, you can still feel the danger, and visualize the unbridled joy Wray had in his music—I love it as much as Jimmy Page does and am glad I watched “It Might Get Loud Again.”