The Evening CSIS: At War with ISIS, Just a Drill, Estimated Prophet & More

Good Evening,

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 be “gone fishin’” until Wednesday, August 3. Wishing everyone smiles.

Fearful Corridors

Russia and Syria have said they are opening humanitarian corridors out of besieged, rebel-held areas in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. But NPR has reached civilians in the embattled city who turned back for fear of the ongoing shelling, as NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reports .

The Associated Press has the latest on this story.

At War with ISIS

With Germany stunned by a series of bloody attacks, Chancellor Angela Merkel called today for an “early warning system” to detect radicalization among asylum seekers, even as she insisted that the nation still has a moral duty to offer sanctuary to those fleeing war, as the Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola reports .

Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman authored a new commentary yesterday, “ Terrorism: The Thing We Have to Fear the Most Is Fear Itself .”

It's Just a Drill...

China and Russia will hold joint naval exercises in the South China Sea in September, the Chinese Defense Ministry said today, amid heightened regional tension following an international court’s rejection of Beijing’s maritime claims, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Page reports .

Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has launched an interactive map of the China-Philippines Arbitration, as well as an analysis of the case by CSIS’s Mike Green, Amy Searight, Bonnie Glaser, Greg Polling, and Murray Hiebert.

And, the CSIS China Power project unpacks the complexity of China’s military with this interactive website.

In That Number

4.5 terabytes

The amount of digital intelligence that US-backed Syrian Kurdish and Arab militias have collected in recent weeks while fighting in northern Syria, along with 10,000 documents.
Source: New York Times.

Critical Quote

“We should all be worried that this case is going to go down as nothing more than a footnote because its impact was only as strong as the international community was going to make it. And the international community has voted by not saying anything. The consensus seems to be ‘We don’t care. We don’t want to hold China to these standards.’”

— CSIS’s Gregory Poling on the South China Sea arbitration. Source: Reuters .

One to Watch

Kimberly Flowers ( @kimberlytalksag ) is the director of CSIS’s Global Food Security Project. Read Kimberly’s latest piece, coauthored with CSIS president and CEO John Hamre, “ Food Security’s Ability to Unite, Power to Protect .”


(Photo Credit: TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images.)

Kashmiri protestors clash with Indian security forces in downtown Srinagar today. Indian Kashmir has been tense following the death of popular rebel commander Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces on July 8, and at least 49 people have been killed in clashes as the valley faces its worst unrest since 2010.

Highly Recommended

Published earlier this week, “ The Next European Financial Capital: London ,” by Simeon Djankov of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

CSIS Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., join CSIS’s Missile Defense Project for “ The Missile Defense Agency and the Color of Money ,” featuring Lieutenant General Trey Obering, former director of the Missile Defense Agency.

This Town Tomorrow

At 11:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host “ Stalemate: Response to the Zika Virus ,” featuring Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

And join the Hudson Institute at 12 p.m. for “ South Africa: Growth, Jobs, and the Future of Democracy ,” featuring Ann Bernstein, director of South Africa’s Centre for Development and Enterprise.

CSIS On Demand

Watch Assistant Attorney General John Carlin discuss his article, “ Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats ,” at CSIS in June.


This week, On Violent Extremism discusses public health approaches to violence reduction with Cure Violence CEO Dr. Gary Slutkin.

I Like It Like That

Fascinating discussions going on in Aspen at the Aspen Institute’s annual Security Forum. You can watch them live and on demand .


“Inspiration, move me brightly. Light the song with sense and color; Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask. Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last. Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to terrapin.”

This smile is for my friend Hunter. Filmed brilliantly in Radio City Music Hall in October 1980, this is one of the sweetest clips of the Grateful Dead I have ever seen. There are smiles all around as the band performs “Estimated Prophet” and “Terrapin Station.”


I always welcome and benefit from your feedback. Please drop me a line at