Center for Strategic Communication

Central African Republic signs peace deal with rebels

Reuters/ Jean Rovys Dabany

Central African Republic’s government and rebels agreed to the formation of a national unity government under a ceasefire deal on Friday to end an insurgency that swept to within striking distance of the capital.



Reaffirming his hawkish stance on China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan will not negotiate with Beijing over a contested cluster of uninhabited islands and that China was “wrong” for allowing violent protests over the territorial dispute.

France says ready to halt any rebel offensive in Mali

Reuters/ Alexandria Sage and Tiemoko Diallo

France would intervene to stop any further drive southward by Islamist rebels in Mali, President Francois Hollande said on Friday, as Malian soldiers launched a counter-offensive to wrest back a key town captured by militants this week.



Shiites in a southwestern Pakistani city hit by a brutal terror attack refused to bury their dead Friday in protest, demanding that the government do something to protect them from what has become a barrage of bombings and shootings against the minority Muslim sect.

Lack of deal with Iran on nuclear talks alarms Russia

Steve Gutterman / Reuters

Russia expressed alarm on Friday that no date or venue had been agreed for a new round of talks between global powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

U.S. LNG Profit Seen Elusive as Price Gap Closes: Energy Markets

Matthew Brown / Bloomberg

Several companies have submitted applications to export natural gas from the U.S., trying to take advantage of high prices in Asia.  However, the opportunity may be smaller than many believe and the U.S. will likely only capture a small share of the global LNG market.

Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide

Sarah Lyall / The New York Times

Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace. Floods in the United Kingdom, extreme cold in China and Russia, drought in Brazil, fires in Australia – severe weather is reaching across the globe, demonstrating that climate change is about more than just rising temperatures.

US to build $120m rare earth research institute

Katia Moskvitch / BBC News

The US Department of Energy is giving $120m (£75m) to set up a new research centre charged with developing new methods of rare earth production. Rare earths are 17 chemically similar elements crucial to making many hi-tech products, such as phones and PCs.

Star Trek replicators for the Army

Allison Barrie / Fox News

Remote operating bases in Afghanistan are using Star Trek-style replicators, 3D printers capable of fabricating on the spot whatever the Army may need — from replacement vehicle parts to an entirely new piece of technology. The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) worked with Applied Minds, Inc. and Exponent to make the science fiction dream a reality.  Thanks to their efforts, a lab equipped with the 3D printers is only a helicopter ride away.


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On the Flashpoint Blog

The Choices Brennan Will Face at CIA

Joshua Foust

President Obama’s nomination of John O. Brennan, his Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Terrorism, to head up the CIA has drawn criticism from many. What critics miss, however, is the most important angle to Brennan’s nomination; it offers the best chance at reforming the Agency.

Megacities: Today’s Tragedy of the Commons

Shubha Jaishankar

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma in which multiple individuals – rational actors serving their own self-interests – share and will eventually deplete a limited resource despite the fact each actor knows this is not beneficial in the long-term. Advocates for sustainable development often cite Hardin’s theory, making the connection between environmental protection and economic and population growth.

The Risks of Geoengineering

Alex Kotran

As the effects of climate change worsen, countries may move unilaterally with geoengineering experiments in an attempt to “fix” the effects of climate change. This carries great risk.

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.

ASP Board Member Chuck Hagel’s Positions on Nuclear Issues

Mary Kaszynski

Senator Chuck Hagel is one of a growing consensus of senior military leaders and policymakers for strategic, nonpartisan solutions to today’s nuclear challenges.