The Evening: Putin on Tillerson, Israeli Airstrike, Jeff Baxter and More
September 7, 2017
It's Thursday, September 7th.
President Donald Trump downplayed the possibility of military action against North Korea on Thursday, saying such an event is neither inevitable nor preferable, as CNN’s Kevin Liptak reports.
Dive Deeper : CSIS’s Sharon Squassoni has a new Critical Questions: “The Latest North Korean Nuclear Test.”
Plus, CSIS's James A. Lewis published a new Commentary , “The Likelihood of North Korean Cyber Attacks.”
And, Brookings’ Ryan Hass and Michael O’Hanlon have authored “Despite H-bomb test, negotiate with North Korea—but from a position of strength.”
Putin on Tillerson
President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Thursday joked that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had veered off the path of cooperation and “fallen into bad company,” as the LA Times’ Sabra Ayres reports.
Russia Seeks to Close Ukraine’s Window to the West
In a new blog post for the FT, CSIS’s Jeffrey Mankoff and Jonathan Hillman explain that Russia is utilizing infrastructure projects in an attempt to turn Ukraine into an island.
Dive Deeper : See CSIS’s interactive micro-website, Reconnecting Asia, for more on “Ukraine’s Western Window.”
New Conflict in Syria
As the WSJ’s Yaroslav Tromikov reports, “In Syria, a new conflict looms as ISIS loses ground.”
Syria accused Israel on Thursday of bombing a military site that has been linked to the production of chemical weapons, as well as missiles bound for the Hezbollah militant group, marking an escalation of cross-border incursions by Israeli jets, as the Washington Post’s Louisa Loveluck and Loveday Morris report.
In That Number
The Senate approved $15.25 billion in disaster aid as part of an agreement struck by President Trump and congressional Democrats. Source: Washington Post.
“A serious North Korea strategy will require persistence, resolve and above all discipline. We can no longer afford conflicting diplomatic messages, gratuitous fights with allies, unfilled positions at the State and Defense Departments, or commentary from the commander-in-chief as if this were not happening on his watch.”
— CSIS’s Michael Green via Foreign Policy.
This map from the Reconnecting Asia Project visualizes how Russian infrastructure projects add to Ukraine's economic isolation.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo Credit: Jose Jimenez/Getty Images.) Hurricane Irma barrels into Puerto Rico
“White House Considering at Least Six for Fed Chair,” by Bloomberg’s Craig Torres and Jennifer Jacobs.
This Town Tomorrow
Join CSIS’s Project on Prosperity and Development at 10:00 a.m. for “The Non-Military Components of the United States’ Strategy in Afghanistan.”
Join the Wilson Center at 3:30 p.m. for a book discussion of The Cold War: A World History, by Odd Arne Westad.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer, a CSIS trustee, contributed this video to Face the Nation last Sunday. It’s not to be missed.
This week, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) discussed the Doklam standoff, a months-long conflict between India and China over the disputed border area of Doklam plateau.
“Rikki don’t lose that number, you don’t want to call nobody else.”
Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” recorded in 1974, is a song that leaves me with chills every time I hear it. The lyrics are astonishingly mysterious and we all spent years trying to discern what they meant. It turns out there wasn’t anything so mystical to them—it was just about a woman named Rikki that Donald Fagan had met. I somehow think there is more to it though despite what Fagan says…
It’s the combination of Fagan’s unique vocals, the lyrics and the incredible guitar parts by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter that drive the song for me. Baxter is a friend to many who read The Evening. In addition to being one of rock’s all-time great guitarists, Baxter is a missile defense expert and a national security consultant.
I chose to use this studio version of “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” for tonight instead of a live cut because I want to highlight Baxter’s unforgettable guitar sections. At 2:37, into the song comes a classic solo by Baxter that for me is up there with any one guitar moment that Chuck Berry, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton ever recorded. When I hear it, I am instantly transported to driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu—every time. What a smile