Center for Strategic Communication

Hong Kong marks June 4 crackdown as China tightens security

James Pomfret and Terril Yue Jones / Reuters

Tens of thousands of protesters massed in a rain soaked Hong Kong park on Tuesday at a candlelight vigil to urge China to respect human rights on the 24th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.


Egypt sentences 43, including Americans, in NGO case

Shaimaa Fayed and Maggie Fick / Reuters

An Egyptian court gave jail terms to 43 Americans, Europeans, Egyptians and other Arabs on Tuesday in a case against democracy promotion groups that plunged U.S.-Egyptian ties into their worst crisis in decades


Iran leader tells candidates not to appease West

AP/ The Hindu

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged presidential candidates on Tuesday not to make concessions to appease the West, an implied rebuke to several of the candidates running in June 14 elections who said that they would focus on improving the Islamic Republic’s relations with other countries.


EU to phase in anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels

Robin Emmott and Philip Blenkinsop / Reuters

The European Union will phase in import duties on Chinese solar panels, the European Commission said on Tuesday, giving Brussels and Beijing two months to find a solution until the full force of anti-dumping duties are felt.


Ryukyu sovereignty question simmers in China

Frank Ching / The Japan Times

The questioning of Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, by Chinese scholars appears to reflect a new Beijing approach toward antagonistic foreign governments.


Obama orders new sanctions on Iran’s currency, auto sector, upping pressure over nuke program

AP / The Washington Post

Turning the screw on Iran and its nuclear program, the Obama administration imposed new sanctions Monday on Iran’s currency and auto industry, seeking to render Iranian money useless outside the country and to cut off the regime from critical revenue sources.


US institute says NKorea could be 1 or 2 months away from restarting nuclear reactor

AP / The Washington Post

North Korea may be just one to two months away from following through on its threat to restart a plutonium reactor that can produce fissile material for nuclear bombs, a U.S. research institute said Monday.


Solar Impulse lands in St Louis in trans-America bid.


A solar-powered plane aiming to cross the US from the West Coast to the East Coast has completed its third leg. The Solar Impulse vehicle made the journey from Dallas to St Louis in 21 hours, 22 minutes. The HB-SIA craft, which has the same wingspan as an Airbus A340 but weighs just 1.6t, landed at Lambert-St Louis International Airport at 01:28 in the morning local time (06:28 GMT). The fourth leg will run to Washington DC in the next few weeks


New U.S. weapons have China worried

Michael Richardson / The Japan Times

When the United States carried out a successful test recently of an advanced high-speed, long-range weapon ostensibly designed to reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear arms in a crisis, it set alarm bells ringing in China. Far from reassuring Beijing, the May 1 test of the sleek hypersonic unmanned aircraft, known as the X-51A WaveRider, has added to China’s concerns that U.S. superiority in conventional weapons may make nuclear conflict more, not less, likely.


Russia’s military undergoes combat readiness test

Viktor Litovkin / Russia and India report

On May 27, several thousand Russian soldiers were woken up at 5:00 in the morning by a surprise alarm. The Russian Ministry of Defence staged the biggest drills in more than twenty years to test the country’s Aerospace Defence Forces, Long-Range and Military Transport Aviation, the Missile Defence Division in charge of defending the Central Industrial Region and Moscow, as well as the Western Military District’s 1st Air Army.


Congress hates carbon pricing. The rest of the world doesn’t.

Brad Plumer / The Washington Post

The idea of slapping a price on carbon to reduce emissions and tackle global warming is moribund in Congress for now. But that’s not the case elsewhere in the world


ASP Recently in the News

Wallin, Cheney: Time to Fix our Seriously Misaligned Nuclear Strategy

ASP CEO Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), and Matthew Wallin were featured on the Hill’s Congress Blog, publishing an op-ed titled ”Time to Fix our Seriously Misaligned Nuclear Strategy.” Wallin and Cheney discussed the limitations of current nuclear strategy and mapped out four ways to improve the United States’ nuclear strategy.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Insuring—and Ensuring—Egypt’s Economic Future

Ollie Engebretson

Could insurance play a vital role in US foreign development strategies? A report recently released by The Zurich Insurance Group, “The role of insurance in the Middle East and North Africa,” at the World Economic Forum held in Jordan highlights the potential for growth in the insurance industry in MENA and its implications for development and stability.


Leave Soldiering to the Professional Soldiers

BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)

Many years ago, I had a public disagreement with Representative Charles Rangel at a Council on Foreign Relations event about the draft. And his bottom line, like much of what you have heard from Gen McChrystal and others, was we needed to reinstate a draft in order to make sure the burden of serving our nation was equitably shared. They could not be more wrong


Oil Dependency: a Subtle but Serious Threat

William Joyce

Weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber crime are in the headlines as significant threats to our national security. However, over the next twenty to thirty years, America’s overwhelming dependence on oil presents subtler, although no less serious, threats to national security.


The Choice on Iran

Terri Lodge

The Iranian election will soon be over and the US and our partners will find ourselves in the same place we were before the election. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “I do not have high expectations that the election is going to change the fundamental calculus of Iran…The supreme leader will ultimately make that decision”.