Center for Strategic Communication

CSP for 5.57 Cents/kWh

Zachary Shahan / Clean Technica

One of the key assumptions in determining the cost of electricity from a power plant is how long that power plant will be operational. Almost universally, that estimate is too low. But I think this “mistake” is particularly strong when it comes to solar power — both solar photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSP).

Crews battle to a “draw” with deadly Colorado wildfire, which sheriff sees as a victory

Haven Daley and Colleen Slevin / The Associated Press

Firefighters have at least temporarily battled to a “draw” with a fast-moving fire that already has killed two people and destroyed 379 homes, giving weary authorities and residents the first glimmer of hope after three days of mounting damage, a sheriff said.

Report: Obama readies July climate plan

Ben Geman / The Hill

Bloomberg reports that Obama, at closed-door fundraisers in recent weeks, “has been telling Democratic party donors that he will unveil new climate proposals in July.”

Solar-powered yacht sets out to study Guld Stream for climate change research

Cammy Clark / Miami Herald

A sleek, 102-foot catamaran covered with silver solar panels that make it look like a Star Trek set captured the world’s imagination as it circumnavigated the globe powered only by the sun.

U.S. considers no-fly zone after Syria crosses nerve gas “red line”

Parisa Hafezi and Erika Solomon / Reuters

The United States is considering a no-fly zone in Syria, potentially its first direct intervention into the two-year-old civil war, Western diplomats said on Friday, after the White House said Syria had crossed a “red line” by using nerve gas.

New York University ends China dissident role


New York University (NYU) has said it is to part ways with Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng who has been studying at its campus since last year. Chen, a blind self-taught lawyer who angered authorities by exposing abuses in China’s one-child-only policy, was allowed to move to the US in 2012 to study after protracted negotiations that followed his escape from house arrest.

A350 marks new phase in aero-engines

David Shukman / BBC

A UK aircraft engine claimed to be the most efficient in the world faced its toughest test on Friday. A Trent XWB, produced by Rolls Royce, was fitted to the new Airbus A350, which made its debut flight from Toulouse, France.

Why you should be cautious about the next oil boom forecast that you hear 

Steve LeVine / Quartz

If you go by futures traders, global benchmark crude oil five years from now will sell for $90.77 a barrel, or 12% below the current price of about $104 a barrel. That view aligns with that of a large body of analysts who believe that the global oil boom, led by the US shale revolution, will deflate average oil prices for years to come.

The Arab Awakening in a Changing Climate

Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell / Nawaat

What was the spark that started the Arab Awakening? The clearest and most unassailable answer is that a fruit seller in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, burned himself alive.… But a spark requires dry kindling to catch fire, and a lot to stay lit. Beneath the wave of dissent focused primarily on economic woes and democratic deficits, there lay an extreme food and water crisis, and an inability—or unwillingness—of governments to do something about it.

Why America’s Shale Oil Boom Could End Sooner Than you Think

Christopher Helman / Forbes

America’s oil producers are nervous. They’ve had a great run the past few years. Domestic oil production is up 43% since 2008 to 6.5 million barrels per day, the highest level in decades.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

The Private Sector’s Role in High Profile Public Diplomacy

Katrina Trost 

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng made international waves last year with his high profile exposure of the abuses within China’s one-child-policy. After a movie like escape from his home (where he was under house arrest), Chen was allowed to move to the US to study at New York University.

Looking at the lessons since Black Hawk Down

Matt Freear

This October sees the twentieth anniversary of events that came to be known as Black Hawk Down, in which eighteen US military personnel and hundreds of Somalis died. Over a thousand Somalis were injured, hundreds of them civilians, though estimates vary greatly.

East Coast Missile Defense Site: is it Necessary?

Chelsea Sanchez

The FY-14 House Armed Services Committee National Defense Authorization Act markup occurred last Wednesday, June 5th 2013. During the markup, there was discussion on wheter to mandate an East Coast missile defense site by 2018.

The Tight Oil Boom

Nicholas Cunningham

The shale revolution that led to a surge in natural gas production in the last few years is doing the same for oil, according to panelists at a Washington conference on June 12. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) hosted a half-day conference on “The Geopolitical Impacts of the U.S. Tight Oil Boom”

Dangerous Bedfellows in the Crime-Terrorism Nexus

Ollie Engebretson

The nature of asymmetric threats to U.S. security is changing, and so must our counteractive approach. Convergence, the intersection of normally distinct types of illicit organizations, has become a growing concern in the global fight against terrorism—a concern Adm. James Stavridis has voiced well.

Disinformation in Public Diplomacy

Christian Mull

Today, the term propaganda carries with it a negative connotation. However, it was originally a totally impartial and neutral term. Traditionally, propaganda is the information used to directly influence a target audience and comes in three different forms; black, grey and white.

Upcoming Events

The Future of Stability Operations: Lessons from Afghanistan

The international community has learned a great deal about how to conduct stability operations in the last 12 years.  Join us for a fact-based discussion with leading experts on stability operations. The panel will discuss key lessons from the experience in Afghanistan and how they can be applied to future conflict environments. The discussion will take place on Monday June 17th from 12:30-1:30 pm.  RSVP by emailing

North Koran Nuclear, Missile, and Space Programs: Imagery Brief Policy with Joel Wit

Join us for a lunchtime discussion with Visiting Scholar and former State Department official Joel Wit as he describes current North Korean nuclear, missile, and space programs using imagery slides. Mr. Wit will give his views on the policy options for dealing with this difficult and dangerous nation. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, June 25th from 12:30-2:00 pm. RSVP by emailing

Redefining US Energy Security for the 21st Century- New York Energy Week

With the United States in the midst of an oil and natural gas boom, long-held concerns about energy security are giving way to bold predictions of energy independence and diminishing concerns about climate change. These trends raise important questions for business leaders and policymakers alike. Please join us on Tuesday, June 25 from 4:15 until 5:30pm at 300 Madison Ave, New York, NY. as we explore them with some of the nation’s foremost national security experts. RSVP to