The Evening: Intel Assessment, Venezuela, Moonlight Mile and More
January 29, 2019
U.S. Intel Assessment: Intelligence Chiefs Contradict President Trump on NK and Iran
A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity” needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy. In addition, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, also challenged President Trump’s insistence that ISIS had been defeated, a key rationale for his decision to exit from Syria. The terror group, the annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report to Congress concluded, “still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,” and maintain eight branches and a dozen networks around the world, as the New York Times’ Julian Barnes and David Sanger report.
And, as the WSJ’s Dustin Volz and Warren Strobel report, threats to U.S. national security are expected to grow in the coming year as China and Russia align strategically and seek to compete with the United States and its allies, U.S. intelligence officials said today in testimony before the Senate Intel Committee.
Dive Deeper : “The Evolution of the Salafi-Jihadist Threat,” by CSIS’s Seth Jones.
“The Trends in Islamic Extremism: Factors Affecting the Future Threat,” by CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman.
U.S. Warns Venezuela of “Serious Consequences”
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor asked the pro-government Supreme Court today to prohibit opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó from leaving the country and to freeze his bank accounts, prompting the United States to say there would be “serious consequences” if Guaidó is harmed, as the Washington Post’s Andreina Aponte, Rachelle Krygier and Anthony Faiola report.
Meanwhile, as Reuters reports, White House national security adviser John Bolton raised questions about the United States’ intentions in Venezuela after he appeared at a briefing on Monday with a notepad containing the words “5,000 troops to Colombia,” which neighbors Venezuela.
Dive Deeper : “Can Venezuela Have a Peaceful Transition?” by The Dialogue’s Michael Shifter
Also see Shifter’s “What Lies Ahead for Juan Guaidó?”
Huawei and Trade Talks
Speaking on Fox Business Network today Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Huawei charges — which were announced by the justice department on Monday — should not be “confused” with the high-level trade negotiations, which are due to kick off on Wednesday. Mnuchin predicted “significant progress” despite Beijing’s anger over the Huawei indictments, as the FT’s James Politi reports.
Do you have any questions about trade and how a changing U.S. trade policy may affect your life? If you do, please email me your question(s) to email@example.com.We’ll publish some of the best questions and get our experts to answer them on an upcoming CSIS podcast.
By The Numbers
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In That Number
Two separate indictments unsealed on Monday lay out 23 criminal charges alleging that Huawei violated sanctions and stole intellectual property.
“We continue to assess that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities,even as it seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization steps to obtain key U.S. and international concessions.”
— Dan Coats, U.S. Director of National Intelligence
More than 50 countries did not recognize the results of Venezuela's presidential election last year. This graphic illustrates which nations recognize Juan Guaido or Nicolas Maduro as the lawful president of Venezuela.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images). FBI director Christopher Wray (L), CIA director Gina Haspel (2nd L), director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats (2nd R), and DIA director General Robert Ashley (R), arrive to testify on Worldwide Threats during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing today on Capitol Hill.
“The Changing Role of Energy in the U.S. Economy,” via CSIS Energy and National Security Program.
This Town Tomorrow
At 10:00 a.m., join CSIS, government officials, and other experts on Capitol Hill for a discussion of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
Later, at 1:00 p.m., head over to CSIS for a discussion with Carl LeVan on his new book Contemporary Nigerian Politics: Competition in a Time of Transition and Terror, and his thoughts on the upcoming 2019 elections.
And, at 5:30 p.m., CSIS’s Smart Women, Smart Power program will host Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, former President of Kosovo. She will discuss gendered violence used during the war in Kosovo, and current efforts to combat gendered violence and extremism.
Today, the CSIS hosted a panel discussion on software development for national security purposes. The conversation focused creating beneficial partnerships between government and industry, and potential avenues for innovation in national security software development. Watch the full video here.
Overdosing on opioid is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing car accidents. Take As Directed host Steve Morrison dives into its origins of the crisis in the first episode of a special miniseries on the American opioid epidemic.
Listen on SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts.
Yesterday, we featured Keith Richards. Today let’s spotlight Mick. How about this performance from the Fonda Theatre in LA a few years ago where the lucky audience was treated to the Stones performing all of “Sticky Fingers.” I love one track more than the next on that album but perhaps the most unsung cut is “Moonlight Mile.”