Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In case you missed it ….
28 November 2012

Event Recap

ASP Launch Event: American Competitiveness Report – An Issue of National Security

Martin Bee

On November 28th, the American Security Project launched its new work entitled, “American Competitiveness Report – An Issue of National Security”, which links America’s global competitiveness to its national security and provides a framework for politicians to determine a long-term, viable path forward. The report was launched early this morning at an event featuring: Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.); former Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman; ASP Board Member and CEO of Chopper Trading LLC., Raj Fernando; and August Cole, ASP Adjunct Fellow.

What We Are Reading

Climate talks buffeted by the force of Superstorm Sandy

Carol J. Williams/LA Times

More than 17,000 people have converged on the Qatari capital for the latest U.N. climate talks, but the most influential presence may be Sandy. Sandy’s fresh reminder of the potential consequences of global warming has been a dominant theme in the first days of the two-week meeting in Doha of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delegates report.

Synthetic fuels could eliminate entire U.S. need for crude oil, create ‘new economy’

John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications/Princeton university

The United States could eliminate the need for crude oil by using a combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops to make synthetic fuel, a team of Princeton researchers has found. Besides economic and national security benefits, the plan has potential environmental advantages.

Afghan graft buster vows to crack Kabulbank scandal

Martin Petty and Hamid Shalizi/Reuters

Judge Shamsul Rahman Shams, the chief investigator probing the theft of $935 million from Kabulbank, continues to seek the perpetrators two years after the crime. The outcome of the investigation is considered to be a “crucial barometer of Afghanistan’s commitment to stabilizing the economy and its fight against corruption.”

Bank Hackers Deny They’re Agents of Iran

Noah Shachtman/Danger Room in Wired

Hackers claiming to be part of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters and responsible for the recent spate of DDOS attacks on western banks, deny being the agent of any government in an interview with Flashpoint Partners. However, it remains unclear whether the group’s claims are legitimate.

U.N. atom agency says stolen information on hacker site


The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday information stolen from one of its former servers had been posted on a hacker website and it was taking “all possible steps” to ensure its computer systems and data were protected.

Carbon Capture Energy Solution Faces Economic Obstacles

Stanley Reed / New York Times

Carbon capture and storage could be a boon for the gas and power industry because — if plants could be built economically — it offers a way to use fossil fuels like coal and gas to generate electricity for decades while also meeting greenhouse gas targets. But today, building a gas or coal-fired power station equipped with carbon capture apparatus roughly doubles the cost.

Links Between Climate Change and Population Growth

John Seager/Global Post

As weather threats have grown, so has our world population. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year the United States suffered a record 14 weather events, each costing at least $1 billion in damage. And every year, more than 80 million people join our human family. That’s like adding another New Jersey every six weeks.

Pakistan tests nuclear-capable ballistic missile


Pakistan successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Wednesday that can hit targets up to 1,300 km (807 miles) away, the military said.Pakistan’s Hatf-V is a medium-range ballistic missile, capable of reaching targets in India.

Mexico’s New Leader Tries to Shift Dynamic

Juan Montes & David Luhnow/Wall Street Journal

Enrique Peña Nieto takes office Saturday with a clear goal for his six-year presidential term: Get people to see the country less as a killing ground and more as a dynamic economy. The new Mexican president met with President Obama on Tuesday to outline his hope both sides can work more closely on economic issues, immigration reform, and the drug war.

Iran “will press on with enrichment:” nuclear chief


Iran will go on refining uranium “with intensity” and the number of enrichment centrifuges it has operating will rise substantially in the current year, the country’s nuclear energy chief was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

New Mexican administration seeks cooperation from Washington

William Chodkowski

Recent meetings between the incoming Mexican administration and the second-term Obama administration pledge a commitment to improving the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States for mutual economic benefit. This relationship has important links to other security considerations including drug policy and immigration.

What the Somali Media Needs to Survive

Matt Freear

As a vital cog in political debate, the safety of the media in Somalia is a strong indicator of the health of the state, as they check the power of government and business interests.

It’s a Safer, Way More Complicated World Out There

Joshua Foust

Because there is no simple paradigm guiding world politics, few can define, with any clarity, what our place in it should be. Without that grander vision, strategic consensus and foreign policies are becoming increasingly muddled. Policymakers plan for immediate benefit, and lose sight of long-term strategic objectives.

Afghanistan’s Failing Schools

Matthew Wallin

Today, RFE/RL posted an article covering the state of the school system in Afghanistan. To put it mildly, the outlook painted by the authors is bleak, and the problem doesn’t appear to be violence or lack of buildings. The schools aren’t properly staffed, and students aren’t learning.
About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.

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