Center for Strategic Communication

The New War for Afghanistan’s Untapped Oil

Antonia Juhasz / The Atlantic

With the close of 2012, the Pentagon has revealed a disturbing trend in Afghanistan: Taliban attacks remained steady, or in some cases increased, over 2011 levels. I experienced the Taliban surge firsthand this past November, and can offer a cause not cited in the Pentagon’s report: oil and gas.

FCC says it will open up Gov’t radio spectrum to improve Wi-Fi

Joe Mullin/Ars Technica

The FCC will make available a “‘substantial amount’ of radio spectrum for the use of Wi-Fi” in order to improve the speed of wireless devices.  Due to the proliferation of wireless devices and the increase in data traffic, “jams” are becoming increasingly common.  195MHz of spectrum will be opened to help alleviate these jams.

Pakistan soldier in Kashmir ‘killed by Indian troops’

 BBC News

A Pakistani soldier has been killed by “unprovoked” firing by Indian troops near the Line of Control that divides the disputed territory of Kashmir, Pakistan’s military says.

Solyndra stunk. The green stimulus didn’t.

Jim Tankersley / The Washington Post

The federal clean-energy loan guarantee program that gave you Solyndra wasn’t just a multibillion-dollar political debacle – it also didn’t create jobs, didn’t reduce carbon emissions and ran up financial risk for taxpayers. And yet, the program’s difficulties don’t outweigh certain job-creation and emissions-reducing successes.

Arab Maghreb Union launches investment bank

Al Jazeera    

The Arab Maghreb Union is launching an investment bank with $100 million in capital to fund infrastructure and development projects in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.  The IMF has “lauded the creation of the bank saying it would foster integration and spur investments in the region.”

U.S. intervention on EU opens rift in UK leadership

Andrew Osborn and Peter Griffiths/Reuters

Comments by Philip H. Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affaris, have “opened up a new rift between Prime Minister Cameron and his deputy.”  Gordon commented at a press briefing in London “that Washington feared a British exit from the EU would run counter to U.S. interests.”  The comments come as British leadership is facing pressure to hold a referendum on whether the country should remain a member of the EU.

NATO detects ballistic missile launch in Syria


NATO officials say they have detected the firing of a ballistic missile within Syria landing in the north of the country. There were similar launches on two days last week that prompted the US to call it an escalation of the civil war.

American Music Abroad Cultivates Next Generation of Voices

Paul S. Rockower / The Washington Diplomat

The American Music Abroad program represents the evolution of the great Jazz Ambassadors tours organized by the State Department that once had the world enthralled with the swing of the beat. Today, American Music Abroad artists represent the new generation of citizen diplomats creating musical exchanges abroad.

Google Keeps Its Renewable Energy Investments Going

Alexis Madrigal / The Atlantic

Google, which closed a $200 million investment in the 161-megawatt Spinning Spur Wind Project near Amarillo, Texas in late December, has now enabled more than two gigawatts of low-carbon energy to come online. The company believes that the financing for these big projects could and should come from corporations.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

A Domestic Victory for Public Diplomacy

Matthew Wallin

The passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization act as part of the NDAA removes the restriction on the State Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) banning the broadcast or distribution of materials produced for overseas consumption inside the US. This is NOT the equivalent of passing a law approving the production of propaganda for domestic use.

What to Read about the Obama-Karzai Meeting

Joshua Foust

Joshua Foust outlines what to read to understand what Afghan President Hamid Karzai will discuss with President Barack Obama this week.

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