Center for Strategic Communication

Arms and Influence

Stephen M. Walt/Foreign Policy

The Obama administration is reportedly rethinking its previous reluctance to send arms to the Syrian rebels. With violence continuing to rise and Assad refusing to blow town, the apparent aim is to ensure that the United States has some influence or leverage over at least some of the parties who will be competing for power in a post-Assad Syria.

State Department Official Speaks On Public Diplomacy Efforts in the Middle East

Widener Law

Mario Crifo spoke at Widener Law’s Delaware campus on February 14th on his office’s work and why it is so crucial to engage in public diplomacy efforts in the Middle East right now.

Raytheon Says Aces Missile-Detection Tests in the U.S.  

Jim Wolfe and Bernard Orr/ Reuters

A Raytheon Co system built into big blimp-like balloons has demonstrated capabilities that could make it easier to detect and track certain enemy ballistic missiles, the company and the U.S. Army’s manager of the program said.

Secretary Of State Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Finally Speak

Anne Gearan/Washington Post

Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke for nearly 30 minutes Sunday about the civil war in Syria and North Korea’s recent nuclear test. The two agreed to look for a date in the next several weeks for their first meeting since Kerry took over as the top U.S. diplomat.

Thousands Protest in Largest Climate Rally in History

Christopher F. Schuetze / NY Times

Thousands of activists from hundreds of environmental, social justice and community groups marched on Washington yesterday in the biggest climate rally ever held in the U.S. capital. Activists both called on President Obama to make good on his climate change policy promises and protested the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards

Seth Borenstein / AP

A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture, snow experts say. And two soon-to-be-published studies demonstrate how there can be more giant blizzards yet less snow overall each year. Projections are that that’s likely to continue with manmade global warming.

Washington: Storage Tank at Nuclear Site Is Leaking

AP/ NY Times

A tank that holds radioactive liquid at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, is leaking.

Iran Says Upcoming Nuclear Talks Are an ‘Opportunity’ for West to Roll Back Tensions

AP/Washington Post

Iran is prepared to ease Western concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for pledges from the U.S. and others about the country’s ability to enrich uranium.

Why Japan Can’t Quit Nuclear Power

Olga Belogolova/ NationalJournal

Since the Fukushima meltdown, the country has tried to reduce its reliance on nuclear reactors. But with nearly a third of its energy needs powered by the atom, change is difficult.

 ASP Recently Published Reports

Cause and Effect- U.S. Gasoline Prices

Andrew Holland and Nick Cunningham

This paper examines the causes of America’s soaring gasoline prices. The paper underscores that the price of gas is intimately interconnected with crude oil prices, which are set by global markets. The paper cautions that although America’s oil production has surged in recent years, it has not lowered gas prices.

 On Our Flashpoint Blog

Event Review: The Army of the Future

Katharyn Nicolle

This past Friday Chief of Staff to the United States Army, General Raymond Odierno, was invited to speak at The Brookings Institution. His talk was titled The Army of the Future and it addressed concerns that the Army faces given current and future budget reductions.

Time For A Scalpel

Stephen A. Cheney

Most agree that there is certainly excess in the DoD budget (and elsewhere in government). But hacking away at all of it makes no sense – some programs are better run and more important than others, so why would we whack them 10% indiscriminately?