The Evening: NATO, Paris Climate Agreement, Little Steven and More
May 25, 2017
It's Thursday, May 25th.
NOTE: The Evening will be “gone fishin’” Friday, May 26, thru the Memorial Day weekend. We will resume publication on Tuesday, May 30. Happy Memorial Day, remember our heroes, and Smile.
President Donald Trump today issued tough new spending demands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while withholding public support for a core tenet of the security alliance that an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And, as the Wall Street Journal’s Julian Barnes and Carol Lee report, the absence of an explicit endorsement of NATO’s common defense provision, known as Article 5, left European diplomats dismayed, stoking tensions that had arisen during last year’s presidential campaign.
Dive Deeper: See CSIS’s Jeffrey Rathke on “America’s NATO Problem: We’ve Forgotten Why We’re a Member.”
And, Brooking’s Michael O’Hanlon has this: “On Trump’s Article 5 Omission.”
President Emmanuel Macron of France, who met President Trump for the first time today, said he urged Trump to respect the Paris climate accord. The White House, however, did not mention the issue in its readout on Trump’s working lunch in Brussels with the newly elected French president, as the Los Angeles Times’ Catherine Stupp reports.
Back in Washington, a group of 22 top Republicans senators, including majority leader Mitch McConnell, urged President Trump to pull out of the Paris climate accord, as Fox Business’s Jade Scipioni reports.
Dive Deeper: See CSIS’s “Energy Fact & Opinion: Leave the Paris Climate Accord? Why Leave Money on the Table?”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today approved the most sweeping sanctions against Iran since the United States and five other nations reached an agreement with Tehran in 2015 to sharply limit that nation’s nuclear capability, and the committee warned Russia that it was almost certain to be the next target, as the New York Times’ Matt Flegenheimer and David Sanger report.
Dive Deeper: See “A New Mideast Cold War Intensifies” by CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
Philippine Army Attacks
Violence erupted for a third day in the restive southern province of Mindanao, as the Philippine army sent in tanks and launched airstrikes against members of the Islamic State-linked Maute group in the city of Marawi, as USA Today’s Thomas Maresca reports.
Dive Deeper: “The Latest Unrest in the Southern Philippines, Explained” by the New York Times’ Russell Goldman.
In That Number
Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory. Source: Reuters.
“It will be reassuring for America’s allies to see the resumption of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.”
—CSIS’s Andrew Shearer on yesterday’s freedom of navigation operation near Mischief Reef. Source: Demetri Sevastopulo and Tom Mitchell, Financial Times.
This map from CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative shows Beijing’s detection and defense capabilities in the South China Sea. See the full feature, “China’s Big Three Near Completion,” published in March.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo Credit: Jes Aznar/Getty Images.)
Philippine soldiers take positions while evading sniper fire as they try to clear the city of armed militants one street at a time today in Marawi city, southern Philippines.
“U.S. special operations forces face growing demands and increased risks,” by the Los Angeles Times’ W.J. Hennigan.
This Town Tomorrow
Join the Stimson Center at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the implementation of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the implications for the recipient countries, the region, and U.S.-China relations.
Today, CSIS hosted “The Fat Tech Dragon: Baseline Trends in China’s Innovation Drive.” You can watch the event on demand here.
This week’s CSIS Podcast hears from CSIS’s Alice Hunt Friend on the state of relations between the civil and military branches of government, the dangers of military politicization, as well as the growing disconnect between civilian and military life.
People are always asking me about what music I am listening to currently. Well, I am excited to say that I’m listening to Little Steven Van Zandt’s first new solo album to drop in 18 years “Soulfire.”
Why did it take Little Steven so long to put out a solo record? Give the guy a break, he’s been busy playing sidekick to Springsteen, sidekick to Tony Soprano and hosting the greatest radio show in a generation, “Little Steven’s Underground Garage.”
I’m a huge Little Steven fan. I interviewed him years ago about his “Underground Garage” and it remains one of my favorite interviews.
On “Soulfire,” Little Steven is channeling the Jersey Shore sound he helped construct—that horns meet power guitars groove also known as the “E Street Shuffle.” It’s great stuff to take with you to the beach this Memorial Day.