Center for Strategic Communication

What We Are Reading:

Kiev’s Brief Truce Shatters in Bursts of Gunfire

Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew Higgins / New York Times

Ukraine’s descent into a spiral of violence accelerated on Thursday as protesters and riot police officers used firearms in a clash as opposition members sought to reclaim areas of Independence Square, the symbolic central plaza in the capital that had been taken by the police two days before.

Egyptian Army Bombs Suspected Militants in Sinai

Ashraf Sweilham / Associated Press

Egyptian security officials say army helicopter gunships have rocketed several houses where militants were thought to have gathered in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 10.

Iran and World Powers Agree on Framework for Nuclear Talks

Steven Erlanger/ New York Times

In what officials described as a serious, workmanlike and conversational atmosphere, Iran and six world powers have agreed on a timetable and framework for negotiating a comprehensive agreement to end the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program, the European Union’s foreign policy chief and Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want -And Four Other Rules Out of the Nuclear Negotiator’s Playbook.

Aaron David Miller / Foreign Policy

As representatives from Iran and the group of world powers known as the P5+1 attempt to build on the interim nuclear agreement this week in Vienna, few are holding their breath for an overnight success.

U.N. Syria Aid Vote likely Friday, Russia or China Support Unclear

Michelle Nichols / Reuters

The U.N. Security Council will likely vote on a draft resolution to boost humanitarian aid access in war-torn Syria on Friday, diplomats said, but it was unclear if Russia and China would support or veto the Western- and Arab-backed text.

Natural Gas Prices Surge to a 5-Year High

Dan Kedmey / Time – Business & Money

Just when it seemed the polar vortex had done its worse, the mere possibility of another cold front has sent natural gas prices surging to a five-year high.

U.S. Expected to Keep Oil Embargo Even if Iran Nuclear Deal Struck

Louis Charbonneau / Reuters

A unilateral U.S. oil embargo on Iran is expected to remain in place even if a long-term nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers is reached that includes an easing of international sanctions, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

‘Three Amigos’ Agree on ‘Trusted Traveler’ Program

David Agren / USA Today

North American leaders agreed Wednesday on creating a continent-wide “trusted traveler” program, allowing vetted individuals to cross borders quickly.

How Social Media Affects Diplomacy

Joseph Marks / Defense One

One effect of the boom in online social activity in recent years has been a blurring of the lines between traditional diplomacy conducted by government officials behind closed doors and the realm of “public diplomacy” where diplomats reach out directly to citizens of another nation, State Department officials said on Tuesday.

University of Maryland Computer Security Attack Exposes 300,000 Records

Patrick Svitek and Nick Anderson / The Washington Post

More than 300,000 personal records for faculty, staff and students who have received identification cards at the University of Maryland were compromised in a computer security breach this week, school officials said.

ASP Recent Publications:

Mapping the Conflict in Aleppo, Syria

David Kilcullen and Nathaniel Rosenblatt

Over the course of four months American Security Project supported Caerus Associates and First Mile Geo in what may be the highest fidelity, time series analysis of the ongoing human tragedy unfolding inside of Aleppo, Syria.

Fact Sheet — Executive Authority in US Trade Policy

Brendan Connell

There has been an increasing discussion regarding the possibility of Congress granting the US presidency “fast track” authority in free trade agreements. This report gives the facts.

America’s Energy Choices – 2014

American Security Project

Three years after ASP first released “America’s Energy Choices” in 2011, the U.S. remains stuck in a political stalemate over energy. Even so, the energy choices made years or even decades ago by politicians, businesses, and consumers have led to a revolution in how the U.S. produces energy. The reality of change in America’s energy system is far different from the stagnation of the political debate.

On Our Flashpoint Blog:

Radley Horton on CNN New Day: “What is to Blame for Extreme Weather?”

William Fassuliotis

On February 5th, Dr. Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia University, discussed the current extreme weather throughout the United States and climate change on CNN’s “New Day”.

Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean – German Marshall Fund Panel Talk

William Fassuliotis

On February 11th, 2014, I observed a panel event hosted by the German Marshall Fund entitled “Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Iran-Pakistan-India: Can a Pipedream Become Reality?

Nathan Alvarado-Castle

Renewed interest in the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline has surfaced amid the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreement outlined by the P5+1 with Iran.

The End of the New ICBM

Nathan Daniels

Yesterday, Defense One released an article detailing how at a Nuclear Deterrence Summit last week full of advocates that support modernizing the nuclear triad, the notion of developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) was dismissed.

Event Recap: Defense Budget Issues 2015 with Dr. Larry Korb

Nathan Daniels

The American Security Project hosted an event titled, Defense Budget Issues for FY15: A Conversation with Dr. Lawrence J. Korb, moderated by BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.) CEO, American Security Project.

Fusion News: Nature-Laser Fusion Experiment Extracts Net Energy from Fuel: Nature New & Comment

Kathy Duong

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have, for the first time, extracted more energy from controlled nuclear fusion than was absorbed by the fuel to trigger it.

Gaps in Physical Infrastructure Resilience: How a Sniper Attack May Change the Energy Industry

Andrew Charles Wills

Last year there was organized attack on a Silicon Valley substation, an attack which could have disabled the power supply across large portions of the California Bay area – find out why this was important.

Egypt – Challenges and Opportunities

Paul Hamill

Over the last few days’ business leaders from Egypt have been in D.C. discussing the challenges and opportunities facing the private sector in the new Egypt.

Fusion Power: Alcator C-Mod Returns to Operation

Andrew Holland

ASP strongly supports this move to regain US leadership in fusion research. After passage of the Omnibus Appropriations bill, fusion experiments at the Alcator C-Mod work in MIT resumed for the first time in months.

ASP in the News:

ASP’s Pittsburgh Event on

A recent article quoted American Security Project’s Brig. General Stephen Cheney, CEO, Andrew Holland, Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, and Rear Admiral Dr. David Titley.

ASP’s Andrew Holland on America’s Fusion Race in Defense One

American Security Project’s Andrew Holland, Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, was quoted in a recent article by Defense One’s Patrick Tucker.

Upcoming Events:

SAN FRANCISCO EVENT – Climate Change: Risks for National Security

February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Join Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.) and Brigadier General John Adams, US Army (Ret.) to discuss how climate change is creating new threats to America’s National Security.

TTIP – Trade and Investment: A U.S. and European Perspective

February 26 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Paul Adamson, editor of the European magazine E!Sharp and Senior European Policy Advisor for Covington & Burling, and Peter Rashish, a Senior Advisor for Europe and Transatlantic Trade at Transnational Strategy Group LLC, will discuss the key elements of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, key aspects for the U.S. and the E.U., the 2014 trade-political climate, and key issues both parties will face going forward.

Save the Date: Defense Budget 2014 Discussion

March 26 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

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.

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