Center for Strategic Communication

December 13

Laser fusion put on slow burn

Geoff Brumfiel / Nature

Following the failure of an ambitious six-year campaign to demonstrate fusion in the lab, the US government is plotting a more methodical path for harnessing the world’s most powerful laser.

Pentagon Warns: ‘Pervasive’ Industrial Spying Targets U.S. Space Tech

Robert Beckhusen/Danger Room in Wired

A new report from the Defense Security Service warns that industrial espionage “has grown ‘more persistent, pervasive, and insidious,’” and has particularly targeted space technology.

Elites Still Bypassing Measures to Combat Money Laundering

Nick Schwellenbach/Time

Basic techniques to identify money laundering are still not being used for “very important” and “very very important persons” at Kabul airport according to a new SIGAR report.  “In 2011 alone, an estimated $4.5 billion was spirited out of Afghanistan to places like Dubai, where many of the ruling Afghan elite have bank accounts and there is a significant amount of bank secrecy.”

Most Pakistani Leaders Don’t File Returns, Study Finds

Declan Walsh / NYT

Fewer than a third of Parliament members in Pakistan file annual tax returns, according to a report published on Wednesday, lending new focus to longstanding complaints from foreign donors and ordinary Pakistanis about tax evasion at the highest levels of society.

Afghan insurgents detonate explosives outside site of Panetta visit

Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post

Shortly after Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta visited troops at Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on Thursday afternoon, insurgents detonated explosives in a vehicle outside the base, military officials said.

Gas fracking: Ministers approve shale gas extraction

Roger Harrabin / BBC News

The government has given the go-ahead for a firm to resume the controversial technique known as fracking to exploit gas in Lancashire.

Millions in Ransoms Fuel Militants’ Clout in West Africa

Adam Nossiter / NYT

Kidnapping is such a lucrative industry for extremists that it has reinforced their control over northern Mali and complicated plans for a campaign to take back Islamist-held territory.

In the News

ASP North Korea Fact Sheet Cited in Yahoo! News

The American Security Project’s North Korea Nuclear Program Fact Sheet was quoted in an article by Yahoo! News.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Sen. Lugar Calls for LNG Exports to NATO Allies

Nicholas Cunningham

A recent DOE report on the effects of LNG exports on the U.S. is garnering a lot of attention. Sen. Lugar is now proposing a bill to allow LNG exports to all NATO allies.

Drone Knowns and Unknowns

Joshua Foust

One of the biggest challenges in discussing the way the U.S. uses drones to target suspected terrorists is establishing basic data and agreeing to terms. The debate often rests on muddled and vague terms, which results in a lot of assumption but very little analysis based in fact. In addition, the data to support many public stances on drones is neither rigorous nor exhaustive, which makes drawing firm conclusions about the program difficult, if not impossible.

Threat Finance and Financial Intelligence – Some Facts and Figures

Ashley Boyle

Threat finance is an enabling factor of crime and terrorism, and therefore, a challenge to both national and international security. The integration of global financial systems, as well as technological innovation and proliferation, has reduced barriers to threat finance and money laundering while making it difficult for authorities to detect or disrupt these illicit operations

Intelligence for Dummies

William Chodkowski

The Global Trends 2030 report addresses the implications of widespread political instability on national security. An examination of how an intelligence shift back to its roots could alleviate gaps in analysis and corresponding options available to policymakers.