Center for Strategic Communication

Al-Assad’s grip on power “slipping away,” Medvedev says

Matt Smith / CNN

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s odds of holding power “are slipping away” as the nearly 2-year-old revolt against his rule grinds on, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says.


Violence flares in Egypt after emergency law imposed

 Edmund Blair and Shaimaa Fayed / Reuters

A man was shot dead on Monday in a fifth day of violence in Egypt that has killed 50 people and prompted the Islamist president to declare a state of emergency in an attempt to end a wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world’s biggest nation.


Militants attack oil pipeline in Algeria, two dead

Lamine Chikhi / Reuters

Suspected Islamist militants attacked an oil pipeline in northern Algeria on Monday, killing two guards and wounding seven other people, a security source told Reuters.


Mali crisis: French-led troops ‘take Timbuktu airport’

Thomas Fessy / BBC

French-led troops in Mali have seized the airport in Timbuktu, as they move to capture the historic city from militant Islamists, officials say.


Iran denies explosion at underground uranium facility


Iran has denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its uranium enrichment sites, describing them as “Western propaganda” designed to influence upcoming nuclear negotiations.


North Korean leader vows strong action

Hyung-Jin Kim / AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened top security and foreign affairs officials and ordered them to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” state media said Sunday, fueling speculation that he plans to push forward with a threat to explode a nuclear device in defiance of the United Nations.


Senators Offer a Bipartisan Blueprint for Immigration

Julia Preston / NY Times

A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a set of principles for a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system, including a pathway to American citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants that would hinge on progress in securing the borders and ensuring that foreigners leave the country when their visas expire.


Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force

Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post

The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials.


China’s Xi Agrees to Consider Summit, Japan Envoy Says

Bloomberg news team / Bloomberg

China’s Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has agreed to consider holding a summit with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aimed at easing tensions over a territorial dispute, a Japanese government envoy said.


Drill reaches Antarctica’s under-ice Lake Whillans

Jonathan Amos / BBC

An American attempt to bore down into Lake Whillans, a body of water buried almost 1km under the Antarctic ice, has achieved its aim.


Sugar-rich willow can boost biofuels’ green credentials

Mark Kinver / BBC

Scientists have identified willow trees that yield five times as much sugar as ordinary varieties, “drastically reducing” the impact of biofuels.


Court Overturns E.P.A.’s Biofuels Mandate

Matthew L. Wald / NY Times

A federal appeals court threw out a federal rule on renewable fuels on Friday, saying that a quota set by the Environmental Protection Agency for incorporating liquids made from woody crops and wastes into car and truck fuels was based on wishful thinking rather than realistic estimates of what could be achieved.


ASP in the News

Cunningham: It’s Not DOE that Drives Energy Policy

ASP Policy Analyst Nick Cunningham wrote an op-ed for AOL Energy, arguing that several other federal agencies have more influence over the direction of U.S. energy policy than the Department of Energy.


ASP Fellow for Asymmetric Operations Joshua Foust was featured in Global Post discussing the promised delivery of a fleet of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to the Afghan Air Force




Upcoming Events


Event Cosponsored by The Washington Clean Technology Alliance and ASP -“Clean Energy: The New Public Policy Reality

Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense for Presidents Bush and Obama, will keynote a Washington Clean Technology Alliance conference investigating the new political realities for cleantech on January 28, 2013 in Seattle. ASP’s BGen (Ret.) Stephen Cheney and Andrew Holland will also be in attendance, speaking on a panel about energy and national security.


Event: “Fusion Energy – Implications for a Near-Term Breakthrough”

ASP to host an expert-level, invite only event on the implications if fusion energy reaches a breakthrough faster than is expected

The event will be held:

 Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 8:30am until 1:30pm.

 Hotel Monaco, 700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

If you would like to attend this event please RSVP:



On our Flashpoint Blog

Can the Smart Grid Solve America’s Forthcoming Electricity Problem?


Theodore McDonald

There are high hopes that building a “Smart Grid” can improve energy efficiency and better incorporate intermittent sources of clean energy.


State of the Union Prep – The National Security Challenges

Paul Hamill

Following on from President Obama’s inauguration and looking forward to the State of the Union, ASP fellows set out some of the key national security challenges facing our nation. This includes: climate change, energy security, nuclear weapons and proliferation, telling America’s story and public diplomacy, the use of drones and how to tackle terrorism more effectively.


White Sands Missile Range Unveils World’s Largest Low-Concentration Solar Photovoltaic System

Justin Yarros

On January 16th, the Army completed work on the world’s largest low-concentration solar photovoltaic (LCPV) system to date at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).


Event Review – Outlining a Possible Future Deal with Iran

Mitchell Freddura & Aaron Hesse

In an event at the Wilson Center, members of the 6th Iranian Parliament outlined a functional framework for a future deal to end the Iran nuclear standoff.