Center for Strategic Communication

Propaganda? No. Bringing ‘Voice of America’ to America is Good for Transparency
Josh Steams / PBS
The Voice of America may finally be coming to America. Legal changes going into effect this month mean that, for the first time, U.S. audiences can access the news and information programs produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors – the independent agency that manages U.S. international broadcasting operations.

Jim Hansen Presses the Climate Case for Nuclear Energy
Andrew C. Revkin / New York Times
I encourage you to watch this short video interview with climate scientist and campaigner James E. Hansen, posted by the folks who brought you “Pandora’s Promise,” the flawed but valuable film arguing for a substantial role for nuclear energy in sustaining human progress without disrupting the climate… Hansen proves himself, as always, somewhat inconvenient for almost everyone.

Arctic Thawing Could Cost the World $60tn, Scientists Say
John Vidal / The Guardian
Rapid thawing of the Arctic could trigger a catastrophic “economic timebomb” which could cost trillions of dollars and undermine the global financial system, say a group of economists and polar scientists.

China Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water
Bloomberg News
At first glance, Daliuta in northern China appears to have a river running through it. A closer look reveals the stretch of water in the center is a pond, dammed at both ends. Beyond the barriers, the Wulanmulun’s bed is dry.

UK Forests Still Feeling the Impacts of 1976 Drought
Matt McGrath / BBC News
The sizzling summer of 1976 caused permanent changes to British forests, new research suggests. Scientists found that the long drought that year- the UK”s most intense drought between 1914 and 2006- killed off many drought-sensitive beech trees.

Gas Drilling Rig On Fire in Gulf of Mexico
BBC News
A fire has broken out on a rig for gas in the Gulf of Mexico, 55 miles (85 km) off the Louisiana coast, US officials say.

CIA closing bases in Afghanistan as it Shifts Focus Amid Military Drawdown
Greg Miller / Washington Post
The CIA has begun closing clandestine bases in Afghanistan, marking the start of a drawdown from a region that transformed the agency from an intelligence service struggling to emerge from the Cold War to a counterterrorism force with its own prisons, paramilitary teams and armed Predator drones.

Canada Toughens Train Rules after Deadly Disaster
Rob Gillies / Associated Press
Canadian transportation authorities banned one-man crews for trains with dangerous goods Tuesday, responding to calls for tougher regulations after an oil train derailment in Quebec killed 47 people.

Infrastructure: China Might Overtake the US By 2014
Lisa Mahapatra / International Business Times
The U.S. is currently home to the largest stock of built assets—that is, infrastructure, worth $39.7 trillion—in the world, but this might not hold true for much longer, according to the Global Built Asset Wealth Index.

The Hard Side of Soft Power
Zachary Keck
It often seems the more well-known a concept becomes, the less it is understood. Such was the case with Francis Fukuyama’s End of History theory, which proclaimed—quite accurately thus far— that the end of the Cold War was also the end of the Hegelian dialectic struggles between opposing universalistic worldviews.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Iraq: The Last Conventional Oil Frontier?
Rory Johnston
With large reserves of easily accessible oil, Baghdad has laid out ambitious plans to increase oil production four-fold, aiming to reach 13.5 million barrels per day by 2017. However, Iraq is plagued by a multitude of factors that it must overcome if even a fraction of this optimistic outlook is to be realized.

IIP: The Red-headed Stepchild of the State Department?
Matthew Wallin and Katrina Trost
The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has directional and organizational problems, but it does not deserve to be labeled the “red-headed stepchild” of the State Department.

Adapting a Strategy for Yemen’s Dual Threat
Ollie Engebretson
U.S. counterterrorism policies in Yemen, in addition to the current concentration on eliminating high-ranking AQAP leaders, need to focus on groundwork strategies that assist the Yemeni government in orchestrating a counterinsurgency- a two pronged approach to a two-faced threat.

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. Although Chinese investment into the U.S. energy sector could create many benefits and opportunities, it could also create several national security risks.


ASP in the News

Adjunct Fellow Dan Grant Writes an Op-Ed on TTIP for “The Hill”
ASP Adjunct Fellow Dan Grant recently published a blog for “The Hill” on the impact of the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on China.

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: