ISP Brief September 2019
September 30, 2019
It's our pleasure to send you the September Edition of the ISP Brief, the monthly newsletter of the CSIS International Security Program. The ISP Brief features articles and commentary written by our scholars including analysis as published in various media sources (including video and audio highlights) and links to recent events. We hope the newsletter provides you, our readers, a snapshot of the excellent work underway in ISP and the engaging thoughts of our experts. As always, your feedback is welcome.
Syria Study Group Final Report
Last year, Congress directed the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to facilitate the bipartisan Syria Study Group (SSG) in order to examine the current state of the conflict and make recommendations on the military and diplomatic strategy of the United States going forward. Senior fellow and deputy director of ISP, Melissa Dalton, served on the SSG which released its final report on September 24th. Watch the rollout event featuring keynote remarks from Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) here .
Photo: U.S. Institute of Peace
U.S. Military Forces in FY 2020: The Struggle to Align Forces with Strategy
CSIS senior adviser Mark Cancian publishes an annual series of papers on U.S. military forces -- their composition, new initiatives, long term trends, and challenges. This CSIS Brief outlines the report's key findings on the strategic and budget context, the military services, special operations forces, DOD civilians and contractors, and non-DOD national security organizations. Subsequent papers released on a weekly basis will take a deeper look at each of these components of the FY 2020 budget.
Photo: Marine Corps Sgt. Jack McClung/DoD
The Truth of the Matter: The Attack on Saudi Arabia
In August, the Transnational Threats Project (TNT) released a report detailing growing tensions between Iran and the United States and heightened concern about threats to critical infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. Seth Jones, director of TNT, joined a new podcast from CSIS, The Truth of the Matter, with Bob Schieffer and Andrew Schwartz to discuss the recent attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities and the timely report.
A Different Face of Terror: Comparing and Contrasting Domestic Violent Extremism with International Terrorism
Recent attacks in the United States, including the El Paso Walmart and Pittsburgh synagogue, have raised concerns about the threat from domestic extremist groups. On September 16, the Defending Democratic Institutions Project and the Transnational Threats Project co-hosted two panels that examined the appropriate application of international terrorism laws, policies, and lessons to domestic violent extremism.
Unpacking the Defense Enterprise: An Executive Education Course
Unpacking the Defense Enterprise is a new course offered by the International Security Program (ISP) giving participants a competitive advantage in analyzing the defense domain, the evolution of defense strategy, budgetary and technical issues, and future challenges and opportunities in the U.S. defense enterprise. The course is led by an accomplished set of ISP senior scholars and will allow participants to learn from and network with other professionals in the defense field. The course will be held December 9-11, 2019 at CSIS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Applications are being accepted now through November 22, 2019.
We are excited to welcome two new members to team ISP! Morgan Dwyer joined CSIS as a fellow in ISP and deputy director for policy analysis in the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG). Brian Katz joined CSIS as a fellow in ISP.
Morgan most recently served as an analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE). At CSIS, she will focus on acquisition policy, defense reform, and innovation and technology.
Brian joins as a fellow in ISP afte r a decade of service in the U.S. Government at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense. His research agenda focuses on the intersection of intelligence, national security, and technology.
READ - "China in the Gray Zone" by Kathleen Hicks, Joe Federici, and Connor Akiyama
READ - "Where Did 'Maximum Pressure' Go?" by Seth G. Jones and Tom Karako
READ - "Will Nuclear Weapons Make a Comeback?" by Eric Brewer
READ - "Five Options for a U.S. Military Response to Iran" by Mark Cancian
READ - "How Drone Attacks Reveal Fixable Flaws with American Air Defenses" by Ian Williams
READ - "The Pentagon is Moving Money to Pay for Trump's Border Wall. Here are the Consequences" by Alice Hunt Friend
READ - "Fly-Fight-AI: Air Force Releases New AI Strategy" by Lindsey Sheppard
READ - "Understanding DoD's Defense-Wide Zero-Based Review" by Seamus Daniels
READ - "How Russia Uses Racial Divides to Undermine American Democracy" by Kevin Fashola
READ - "Opinion: Trump's Blind Spot" by Tom Karako
READ - "Youth Violence Prevention in the United States" by Sarah Bast and Victoria DeSimone
LISTEN - A new episode of the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast features a conversation with CSIS non-resident senior associate, Monica Medina, and host Beverly Kirk. They discuss progress being made regarding women in military combat roles. Tune in on iTunes and Spotify.
LISTEN - Lindsey Sheppard joined Cognilytica's AI Today podcast to share insights on how various countries seek to leverage AI, how countries are approaching concepts of AI ethics, responsibility, governance, and more.
WATCH - Seth Jones spoke with CNN on the recent Abqaiq attack, Iran's likely involvement, and next steps the U.S. should take.
WATCH - Kaitlyn Johnson joined Government Matters to discuss what needs to be done to stand up a U.S. Space Command.
LISTEN - Sam Brannen joined CSIS's Energy 360° to talk with Sarah Ladislaw and Nikos Tsafos about the role of forecasts and outlooks in the energy sector, examining why the energy policymakers and business leaders use forecasts in strategic planning. Listen on iTunes.
WATCH - Ian Williams spoke with C-SPAN's Washington Journal about Iran's military capability and U.S. consideration of military action against Iran in response to missile drone strikes on two Saudi Arabian oil refineries.
LISTEN - Todd Harrison andKaitlyn Johnson joined CSIS's China Power podcast to discuss China's military developments in space over the last two decades and the findings from their report released earlier this year, Space Threat Assessment 2019.
LISTEN - A new episode of the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast features a panel discussion on Sustainable Development Goal #5: Gender Equality. Moderated by Beverly Kirk, the panelists included Zoe Dean-Smith, Amb. Mathilde Mukantabana, Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, and Astri Kimball Van Dyke. Tune in on iTunes and Spotify.
A Vision for the Future of Missile Defense
Hosted by Tom Karako
October 7, 2019
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Maritime Security Dialogue: A Discussion with Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, USCG
Hosted by Kathleen Hicks
October 15, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW
In Case You Missed It
Schieffer Series: The Iran Situation
Featuring Seth Jones
September 24, 2019
Implementing Innovation: The 21st Century National Security Innovation Partnership Conference
Hosted by Andrew Hunter
September 23, 2019
Dividing America: A Conversation with Senator Michael Bennet
Hosted by Suzanne Spaulding
September 10, 2019
On the U.S. Army's decision to try new recruiting tactics, Mark Cancian said, "The propensity for young people to enlist is going down, and the Army's also fighting a red hot economy, which always makes it difficult. They need to do something," in The Wall Street Journal on September 17, 2019.
"I think there's a great simplification and generalization around people who work in foreign policy, and there's a lot more nuance and difference in viewpoints than they acknowledge," said Kathleen Hicks when asked about the foreign policy establishment in T he New York Times Magazine on September 10, 2019.
On news that two sisters have attained general's rank for the first time in the Army's 244-year history, Melissa Dalton said, "For both men and women increasingly normalizing women in leadership positions matters. The fact that it comes from the same family is an incredible accomplishment," in USA Today on September 5, 2019.
Discussing whether U.S. sanctions have had a severe impact on Hezbollah's capabilities, Seth Jones said, "In the short run, I don't think the sanctions have had a notable impact on [Hezbollah's] ability to operate. I think a war actually would almost certainly lead to an increase of sanctions and could hurt their position rather than anything else,'" in Foreign Policy on September 4, 2019.