Center for Strategic Communication

European Union Adds Hezbollah to Terror List

James Kanter & Jodi Rudoren / The New York Times

European Union foreign ministers on Monday added the military wing of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group, to a list of terrorist organizations. But questions immediately arose about the effectiveness of the accompanying sanctions, which are expected to include asset freezes.

Unfriend: State Dept’s Social Media Shop Is DC’s “Red-Headed Stepchild”

John Hudson / Foreign Policy

Every government bureaucracy on the face of the Earth experiences turf wars, morale issues, infighting and red tape. Then there’s the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs. Best known as the bureau that blew $630,000 on Facebook “likes,” IIP finds itself at a crossroads, sources tell The Cable, as it prepares to announce a new coordinator next month.

Can America’s Energy Infrastructure Survive Severe Weather?

Mina Akrami / The International

America’s energy system is struggling in the face of severe and costly weather events and disasters caused by climate change, a report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) revealed on July 11. “As President Obama said in his speech last month, climate change is happening – and the effects are already being felt across the country,” spokeswoman April Saylor said in a statement.

TransCanada Says Keystone XL Start in 2015 ‘Difficult’

Rebecca Penty / Bloomberg

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said the timeline for U.S. approval of the $5.3 billion Keystone XL pipeline project will make the start of operations in the second half of 2015 “difficult.”

Vulnerable Maryland weighs threat of sea-level rise

Darryl Fears / Washington Post

Maryland, with 3,100 miles of tidal shore along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, is one of several states, including Virginia, Delaware, Louisiana and Florida, most vulnerable to sea-level rise pushed in part by global warming that has caused glaciers to melt and oceans to expand.

NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists

Dana Priest / Washington Post

Twelve years later, the cranes and earthmovers around the National Security Agency are still at work, tearing up pavement and uprooting trees to make room for a larger workforce and more powerful computers. Already bigger than the Pentagon in square footage, the NSA’s footprint will grow by an additional 50 percent when construction is complete in a decade.

Al Qaeda militants flee Iraq jail in violent mass break-out

Kareem Raheem & Ziad al-Sinjary / Reuters

Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail as comrades launched a military-style assault to free them, authorities said on Monday.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Balancing the Risks and Benefits: Chinese Investment into U.S. Energy

William Joyce

The United States and China are the two largest consumers of energy in the world, and these countries require substantial investments in order to meet their energy needs. As China and the U.S. pursue similar goals, it makes sense for these big energy consumers to want to learn from each other. In 2012, Chinese direct investments into the U.S. totaled $6.7 billion, of which $2.965 billion went into the energy sector.

Nuclear Power and the Holy Grail

William Joyce

uclear power is a major source of global energy production. Although nuclear energy currently accounts for 19% of energy production in the United States, this figure will decline as older reactors are retired. In order for nuclear energy to produce a greater portion of global electricity, future reactors must become more cost efficient.

Economic Competitiveness and Educating the Next Generation

Ben Secrist

Poverty and poor education in America’s cities will reverberate on a global scale as it impacts the country’s economic competitiveness.

This Week in Public Diplomacy, July 15, 2013

Christian Mull

A summary of the week’s events in the world of public diplomacy.

BGen Steve Cheney Participates in Launch of Climate Week NYC

BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)

On July 16, I took part in the kickoff of Climate Week NYC, an event to publicize a series of major events on climate change set to take place in New York from September 23-30. Now in its fifth year, the launch event hosted by The Climate Group was a great success.

Challenges to U.S. Public Diplomacy in North Korea

Christian Mull

As the traditional avenues of diplomatic relations remain closed, the U.S. has been forced to focus its efforts more towards influencing public opinion within North Korea itself, hoping to garner more change in the long term. But this is no easy task.

ASP in the News

ASP’s BGen Steve Cheney Op-Ed published on eSharp – ‘Trade agreement will enhance national security’

Earlier this month, representatives from the United States and European Union began the start of what both sides hope will be the largest trade deal in history. This Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive trade deal that will attempt to eliminate trade barriers between the two economic superpowers.  The United States and Europe hope to have the deal completed by the end of 2014.

ASP’s Event on Port Security Featured in Maritime Reporter Op-Ed

An op-ed piece published in the July edition of Maritime Reporter by Joan M. Bondareff and Patricia O’Neill quoted analysis provided by ASP’s May panel on the threat of nuclear terrorism and port security. The article argued for increased investment in port security and infrastructure, quoting ASP panelists Dr. Stephen Flynn, David Waller, and Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jay Cohen as they discussed the ease in which terrorists could smuggle a nuclear device undetected into American ports:

ASP’s Andrew Holland Quoted in Law360

ASP’s Andrew Holland offered his take on the recent selection of Adm. McGinn to lead the Navy’s energy efficiency efforts.

ASP Board Member Norman Augustine and American Competitiveness Principles Quoted by National Defense Magazine

The National Defense Magazine recently published an article reviewing ASP’s American Competitiveness Day Panel Discussion. The article quotes Dr. Michael Porter and Dr. Jan Rivkin of the Harvard Business School as well as ASP Board Member Mr. Norman R. Augustine.

Upcoming Events

Yemen’s Political Transition and National Dialogue: Progress and Challenges

Yemen is currently in a historic period of political transition following the 2011 revolution and the end of former President Saleh’s regime. At the mid-point of its National Dialogue process, Yemen faces many challenges. Please join us on Tuesday, July 30th from 12:00 until 1:00pm at 1100 New York Ave, 7th Floor West Tower. Lunch refreshments will be served between 11:30am and 12:00pm. If you wish to attend, please RSVP by July 28th to:

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Implications for Global Security & Western-Chinese Relations

How will a free trade zone with unified standards that comprises nearly half of the world’s GDP affect China? Is this the beginning of an economic cold war between East and West? Or is it an opportunity for establishing standards that will become globally recognized? Join us for a panel discussion on the implications of the TTIP on Wednesday, July 31stfrom 8:30 until 9:30 am. Location: 1100 New York Avenue, NW 7th Floor West. Breakfast refreshments will be served from 8:00 until 8:30 am. If you wish to attend, please RSVP by July 29th to: