Center for Strategic Communication

South Sudan Rivals ‘to Sign Truce’

BBC News

South Sudan’s government and rebels are to sign a ceasefire shortly, mediators in Ethiopia say.

Iran Wants Full Nuclear Deal and Investment, Rouhani Tells Davos

Paul Taylor / Reuters

Iran is determined to negotiate a comprehensive deal on its nuclear program with major powers so it can develop its battered economy, President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday, inviting Western companies to seize opportunities now.

The Syria Talks Are Doomed Without Iran

David Rohde / Defense One

The United States won a short-term diplomatic victory over Iran this week. Under intense pressure from American officials, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdrew an invitation for Iranian officials to attend the Syria peace conference.

Syrian Government Says Terrorism, Not Talks is Priority

Associated Press

Syria’s government says fighting terrorism , not peace talks, is its priority, dismissing the Western-backed opposition and any attempts at outside intervention.

Aloha Diplomacy: Hawaiian Public Diplomacy

Paul Rockower / Huffington Post

I first got a glimpse of Hawaiian public diplomacy a few years ago at the Taipei Flora Expo in 2011. Following a stint in Taiwan as a Visiting Fellow at a think tank researching Taiwanese public diplomacy, I stopped in the Expo, which featured different countries exhibiting and showcasing their unique flora.

Egypt Police Officers Killed in Drive-By Shooting

The Guardian/Associated Press – Cairo

Egyptian security officials say masked gunmen riding on a motorcycle have killed five police officers at a checkpoint in the south of the country.

Europe, Facing Economic Pain, May Ease Climate Rules

Stephen Castle / New York Times

For years, Europe has tried to set the global standard for climate-change regulation, creating tough rules on emissions, mandating more use of renewable energy sources and arguably sacrificing some economic growth in the name of saving the planet.

Future of US Arctic Operations in Question after Court Ruling

Laura Barron-Lopez / The Hill

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Interior Department issued an unsound environmental review of 2008 drilling leases for oil development in Arctic waters.

Why Sunnis and Shiites are Fighting, Explained in Two Minutes

Max Fisher / Washington Post

The divide between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam is both ancient and still highly consequential today.

Afghanistan’s Presidential Election Goes Awry

Vanda Felbab-Brown / Brookings

While Afghanistan’s presidential election and the U.S. and international force withdrawal unfold, structural weaknesses in Afghanistan persist, imperiling a successful transition. Vanda Felbab-Brown argues that President Obama should adopt a multifaceted effort to support the elections and persuade Afghanistan to permit a continued and stabilizing U.S. military presence after 2014.

What We Saw on the Ground in Bloody, Violent Kyiv

Christopher Miller / Global Post

Protesters packed sacks full of fresh snow, donned masks and helmets and gathered clubs and crowbars as they prepared for a battle with riot police in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Upcoming Events:

America’s Energy Choices for 2014

American Security Project

The way America uses and produces energy remains a hotly debated issue in Washington and around the country. We will discuss the various energy choices available to the United States currently and in the years to come.

Fusion Power and ITER

US House of Representatives

Sustainable and controlled fusion power has been a dream for the scientific community for decades. However, recent advances in research and technology have raised hopes that fusion could become a new source of electricity.

Defense Budget in 2014: A Conversation with Russell Rumbaugh

American Security Project

Since sequestration and passage of the new budget, the Defense Department has been adjusting to a reduced funding environment – and 2014 won’t be much different. The speaker will discuss the outlook for Pentagon spending in 2014.

On Our Flashpoint Blog:

Benefit or Burden? The Future of U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Nathan Daniels

After years of contentious debate within NATO about the presence of American nuclear weapons in Europe, the United States faces a critical decision about whether or not to spend billions of increasingly scarce defense dollars on the upgrades needed to keep these weapons in service. Last week I attended an event hosted by the Stimson Center regarding this issue.

OPEC, Iran and the Global Oil Glut?

Nathan Alvarado-Castle

According to president and founder of the Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer, a scenario where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) loses leverage on oil pricing in 2014 is likely

Killing Two Birds

BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)

If there ever was a time to kill two birds with one stone, the time is now for our nuclear missile force.

Congratulations to the Egyptian People on a Successful Constitutional Referendum
BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)

Congratulations to the Egyptian people on a successful Constitutional referendum!  As I personally witnessed last month in Cairo, they are optimistic and embracing a new era for their democratic nation.  I look forward to seeing the official turnout numbers and the results.

5 Reasons Why More Sanctions Should Not be Imposed at This Time
Nathan Daniels

There is one thing that everyone wants: the successful dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program. Here are 5 reasons why more sanctions should not be imposed right now.

ASP in the News:

Wallin in The Public Diplomat: US Public Diplomacy Priorities Podcast

Discussing his Top 10 US Public Diplomacy Priorities for 2014, Matthew Wallin spoke to The Public Diplomat’s Michael Ardaiolo and Guy Golan on the public diplomacy outlook for 2014.

ASP Congratulates Former Board Member Lael Brainard on Her Nomination to the Federal Reserve Board

Ms. Brainard was instrumental in getting ASP off to a running start early on and has followed her tenure here with a successful stint as Under Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Treasury.

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