Center for Strategic Communication

Climate Change: When Rain, Rain Won’t Go Away

Dan Vergano/ USA Today

On Aug. 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene’s rains swelled the Williams River, smashing dams, flooding homes and carrying off the historic Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge.

This wasn’t just another 1-in-500-years event happening, a freak occurrence, a one-off event. Rather, experts see it as the new normal across the Northeast, the latest in a series of calamitous weather events occurring because of, or amplified by, climate change.

U.S. Energy Ambition ‘Simplistic”


Talk of energy independence in the United States doesn’t take into account the global nature of energy markets, Saudi Energy Minister Ali al- Naimi said.

China struggles to tap its shale gas

Steven Mufson / The Washington Post

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that China’s technically recoverable shale gas resources could be 50 percent bigger than those in the United States. But progress on China’s shale frontier has been slow.

It’s easy to keep U.S. carbon emissions flat. Sadly, that’s not enough

Brad Plumer / The Washington Post

It would be fairly straightforward for the United States to keep its carbon dioxide emissions from rising between now and 2040. However, simply keeping emissions levels flat would get the U.S. nowhere near its climate-change goals.  More aggressive action is needed.

The Case Against Grades

Michael Thomsen/ Slate

Grading students, from A to F, has become synonymous with education itself. Report-card day is an American rite of passage. Yet, there’s reason to believe the structure of grading students is the biggest culprit in America’s long, steady decline in education—SAT reading scores are at a 40-year low, and one recent study ranked the U.S. 17th in education, worse than Poland, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, and Denmark.

Is U.S. Manufacturing Making a Comeback- Or is it Just Hype?

Brad Plumer/ Washington Post

It’s hardly news when a U.S. firm moves its manufacturing operations abroad to China. But what about when a Chinese company sets up a factory in the United States? That actually happened in January, when Lenovo, a Beijing-based computer maker, opened a new manufacturing line in Whitsett, N.C., to handle assembly of PCs, tablets, workstations and servers.

Obama Moving Toward Sending Lethal Arms to Syrian Rebels, Officials Say

Karen DeYoung/ Washington Post

President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.

Libyan Violence Disrupts International Oil Company Operations

Heba Saleh/ Washington Post

Two days of deadly clashes between rival armed groups from the towns of Zintan and Zuara over who should guard Mellitah’s oil and gas complex in western Libya. The firefight last month left at least one dead and several injured. It also disrupted production and caused a temporary halt in natural gas exports to Italy before the army finally came in to restore order.

South Korea Pulls Bosses From Plants in North

Choe Sang-Hun/ NY Times

All the remaining South Korean factory managers in an industrial park in North Korea returned home early Tuesday, as political tensions drove the two Koreas to sever their last economic ties.

ASP Recently Published Reports

International Progress on Fusion Energy – How American Leadership is Slipping
Theodore J. MacDonald
ASP’s fact sheet, “International Progress on Fusion Energy” outlines the steps other countries are taking in developing fusion energy. Meanwhile, the U.S. is considering budget cuts to its fusion program, which will cause irreparable harm to the development of fusion power.

Perspective: The Defense Industrial Base
August Cole
The defense industrial base is tied to American competitiveness in the 21st Century. For that reason, leaders in the private and public sector must take steps to thrive during a drawn out period of changing expectations while also remaining committed to keeping the country strong through innovation, long-term investment and disciplined management.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

This Week in Public Diplomacy

Livia Pontes Fialho

This Week in Public Diplomacy, read about #SoftPower, #China, #Russia, #Google and more!

The Governator – The immigration solution the nation needs
BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)
Immigration reform is an economic and national security issue. The United States is in desperate need to improve its competitiveness – and that includes bringing the brightest and best to our country to work, live, start businesses and become American.

Chemical Weapon Use All But Confirmed in Syria: World Awaits U.S. Response
Eric Bernstein
At Tuesday morning’s press conference, President Obama confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria but did not yet commit to a plan of action

Chemical Weapon Use All But Confirmed in Syria: World Awaits U.S. Response
Eric Bernstein
SecDef Hagel announced that the White House now believes chemical weapons have been used in Syria; where do we go from here?

War of the Soft Powers
Matthew Wallin
Are we in danger of losing our soft power edge to Russia and China? At this point, the answer is no. Should we be frightened by their efforts to augment and enhance their soft power? The answer is also no.

Defense industry faces big tests with Washington and Wall Street
August Cole
The defense industrial base is an important element of America’s economic, and strategic, edge, whether through the contribution to the U.S. economy of billions of dollars in aerospace exports or the employment of some of the country’s most public-minded engineers and programmers.

Upcoming Events

U.S. National Security and the New Somalia: Reflections from the Former Prime Minister
Join us for a conversation with Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the former Premier of Somalia.
The last two years in Somalia has seen militant Islamists in retreat and a country rise from the ashes of chronic conflict and chaos. At the helm during this transformative period the former Prime Minister, argues that security and political progress in Somalia has boosted US national security interests.
If you would like to attend this event please RSVP by clicking here.