The Social Media War on ISIS

Last Monday marked a year since the declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria by the extremist group Daesh (Islamic State, ISIL, ISIS). Despite maintaining and even expanding their territorial claims over the past year, some argue that their greatest accomplishment is their social media campaign. Assisting in attracting fighters and spreading their extremist […]

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Behind the Lens: Photographing an American Hero

Six years ago — on June 6, 2009 — I photographed Cory Remsburg for the first time.

It was amid a whirlwind day in France for President Obama — and for me. We’d had an event with U.S. embassy personnel in Paris; a flight on Air Force One from Paris to Caen; a state visit with then-President Sarkozy; a picturesque helicopter ride into Normandy; the 65th anniversary of D-Day; a helicopter, then a plane ride back to Paris; and finally a tour with the Obama family at the Cathedral de Notre Dame. The President and First Lady greeted hundreds of people that day, including a small group of Army Rangers in Normandy.

Eight months later, I accompanied the President as he made his regular quarterly trip to visit wounded warriors at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. The 10th patient he visited that day did not at all look familiar to me. The patient, an Army Ranger, had suffered a severe brain injury caused by a roadside explosion in Afghanistan.

His name was Cory Remsburg.

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What Top Officials Charged with Keeping Our Nation Safe Are Saying About the TPP

It is certainly true that America’s trade policy plays a large role in the resurgence and strength of our economy – but that’s not the only role it fills. Our trade policy also sits at the core of our strategy to keep America and our allies safe in the 21st century. 

So here's the question: How can the President's progressive trade deal -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- help safeguard our future?

Tour of @Boeing factory was particularly special for me -- my Dad was a pilot/flying has been in my family for years

— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) May 19, 2015

Speaking today at Boeing Headquarters in Seattle, WA, America's top diplomat -- Secretary of State John Kerry -- offered this answer

"It is no secret that the world in the future looks pretty complicated right now. The turbulence that we see comes from a combination of factors, including the fact that even as the world grows closer, there are powerful forces pulling people apart – terrorism, extreme nationalism, conflicts over resources, a huge number of people coming of age in parts of the world where there simply aren’t enough jobs. This creates a race between opportunity and frustration that we can’t afford to lose.

Expanded trade can help us win that race by spurring innovation and – and as we’ve seen in Asia and elsewhere – helping hundreds of millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. And poverty, my friends, is where you see much of this violent extremism born.

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Kerry Speaks on Climate with a Focus on Energy Policy

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Atlantic Council on the importance of climate change and why a global climate agreement from the upcoming climate summit in Paris is so important.

The post Kerry Speaks on Climate with a Focus on Energy Policy appeared first on American Security Project.

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Secretary Kerry’s Remarks at 2014 NYC Climate Week

On Monday, ASP founder and Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the 2014 NYC Climate Week conference to discuss the future of climate change and its implications for the United States and the international community. Stressing the national security implications of climate change, Kerry said: As everybody here knows, too often climate change is put […]

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5 Reasons Why More Sanctions Should Not be Imposed at This Time

There is one thing that everyone wants: the successful dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program. Here are 5 reasons why more sanctions should not be imposed right now…

The post 5 Reasons Why More Sanctions Should Not be Imposed at This Time appeared first on American Security Project.

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Investing In Women and Girls Is An Investment In Our Future

Ed. Note: This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post

Ayo Megbope is a graduate of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women program, and the owner of “No Leftovers Nigeria”, a catering company and restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo provided by “Goldman Sachs | 10,000 Women”

Ayo Megbope is a graduate of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women program, and the owner of “No Leftovers Nigeria”, a catering company and restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. (by "Goldman Sachs | 10,000 Women”)

With a broad smile, and a gleam in her eyes, Ayo Megbope sat beside me, and shared story after story about the humble beginnings of her business, cooking bean cakes in her fourth-floor apartment, wrapping them in banana leaves, and selling them throughout her community in Lagos, Nigeria.  It was September of 2009, and we were seated together at the first annual Goldman Sachs “10,000 Women” Dinner in New York City.  Ayo was one of the first graduates of the 10,000 Women program, which helps women entrepreneurs around the world obtain the training and access to capital they need to turn their business dreams into reality.

Almost exactly four years later, I was back in New York City, forging partnerships, and working to secure new public and private sector commitments to promote the success and empowerment of women and girls.

My first stop was to co-host a United Nations General Assembly event with Secretary of State, John Kerry, and U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues Cathy Russell, marking the one year anniversary of the day former Secretary Hillary Clinton and I launched the Equal Futures Partnership.  Equal Futures was developed in response to President Obama’s call at the 2011 UN General Assembly, for his fellow heads of state to join him in breaking down economic and political barriers that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential. 

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Secretary Kerry Joins a Google+ Hangout to Discuss Syria

This is cross-posted from DipNote, the official blog of the U.S. Department of State. You can see the original post here.

Secretary Kerry Prepares for His Google+ Hangout

Secretary Kerry prepares for a Google+ Hangout. (by U.S. Department of State)

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. EDT, Secretary of State John Kerry will participate in a Google+ Hangout hosted by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Lara Setrakian, founder of the digital news site Syria Deeply.  The Hangout will also feature Andrew Beiter, a social studies teacher and a regional education coordinator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

This roundtable discussion will weigh the United States' response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Secretary Kerry's participation in this event represents our ongoing efforts to explain why taking action to hold the Assad regime accountable for its violation of international norms is important to our interests and our security.

As you prepare for the discussion, I encourage you to read Kristof’s “Pulling the Curtain Back on Syria” and visit the websites of Syria Deeply and the Holocaust Museum.  You can participate in this conversation by submitting questions on Nicholas Kristof’s Google+ page, or tweeting your questions to @NickKristof and @Lara using the hashtag #TalkSyria.  You will be able to watch the Hangout here.

Moira Whelan serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Digital Strategy in the Bureau of Public Affairs.

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The Secstate Visits Delhi: Some PD Perspectives

A recent report reveals that the State Department’s romance with social media has yielded little benefit of a substantive nature. My own experience in Delhi this week suggests that State has even less savvy when it comes to dealing with electronic journalists. And then there’s this: would local coverage of the Kerry visit have been more expansive had it been packaged better to appeal to local interests? I can't tell you, though I wish I could. I'd rather be saying nice things about the State Department's operations abroad. Read more »