The Evening: Sanctions, Syrian Exodus, Skynyrd and More
March 15, 2018
It's Thursday, March 15th.
The Trump administration today imposed fresh sanctions on Russian government hackers and spy agencies to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for a cyberattack against Ukraine and other countries last year, as the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reports.
And, as ABC News reports, President Trump today said “it certainly looks” like Russia is responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK. In addition, the White House released a joint statement from the leaders of the U.S., France, Germany, and the UK, blaming Russia for the chemical attack.
Dive Deeper : “Putin and Russia in 2018–24: What Next?” by Chatham House’s Andrew Wood
“Are Cold War Spy-Craft Norms Fading?” by CFR’s Jonathan Masters and Jack Devine
Thousands of Syrian civilians fled from a rebel pocket in eastern Ghouta today, crossing by foot to army positions in the first mass exodus from the besieged enclave since Syrian government forces launched an assault to capture it a month ago, as Reuters reports.
Dive Deeper : “Bashar al-Assad: A Profile of a Mass Murderer,” for the Atlantic Council by Carmen Gentile
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said today that his country would quickly obtain a nuclear bomb if arch rival Iran successfully develops its own nuclear weapon, as CBS News reports.
Dive Deeper : “Military Spending: The Other Side of Saudi Security,” by CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman
Europe Defense Spending
European nations' defense spending continues to miss President Trump’s 2 percent target, as the Wall Street Journal’s Julian Barnes reports.
Dive Deeper : “Is NATO’s two percent target fit for purpose?” by IISS’ Lucie Béraud-Sudreau and Bastian Giegerich
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In That Number
The Trump administration has sanctioned more than 100 individuals and entities under Ukraine and Russia-related sanctions authorities.
Source: U.S. Treasury Department
“It threatens the security of us all.”
— Joint statement from the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom on the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK.
A new feature from CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative explores China and Taiwan’s disagreement over the heavily-trafficked M503 flight route.
The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and video.
(Photo Credit: Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images). British Prime Minister Theresa May today visits Salisbury, the city where former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent.
“The Russian election and the rise of Putin’s young technocrats,” by the FT’s Kathrin Hille and Henry Foy.
This Town Tomorrow
Join CSIS at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion on Taming the Sun, a new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram that highlights how innovations can harness solar energy and power the planet.
Also at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will host a conversation on how the Trump administration plans to leverage defense trade to enhance U.S. global competitiveness as a strategic tool of U.S. foreign policy.
And at 1:30 p.m., join CSIS for "Responding to Russia," a discussion on what tools the U.S. government has at its disposal to impose consequences on Russian cyber and grey zone activities.
This year’s annual legislative session in China may go down as one of the most consequential in recent Chinese history. Today, CSIS’s Freeman Chair hosted a discussion on the significance of the new changes made to China’s constitution. Watch the full conversation here.
On the latest episode of 35 West, CSIS’s Richard Miles and USC’s Pamela Starr discuss what lies ahead for Mexico-U.S. relations. They dive into trade, the failure of the drug war in Mexico, and the prospect of a July 1 presidential win by leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Listen here on Apple Podcasts and Sound Cloud.
One of the greatest cultural gifts that America has ever given the world is the musical genre of Southern Rock. When it comes to that type of music, the Allman Brothers and Lynryd Skynyrd stand above all others. And as rock journalist and film director Cameron Crowe once wrote, “It can be said very simply. On stage Lynyrd Skynyrd are as white-hot as a band can get.”
Skynryd’s signature three-guitar attack led by Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, and Ed King was like nothing before or since—it was a blazing orchestra of rock and roll energy. On their best known song “Free Bird,” they absolutely burned up the stage. This clip from the BBC’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” in 1975 is just amazing to watch.