Center for Strategic Communication

Militants Lay Siege To Iraq’s Largest Oil Refinery

Sameer N. Yacoub and Qassim Abdul-Zahra / AP

The campaign by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has raised the specter of the sectarian warfare that nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007 and the doubts that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion now haunt those trying to decide how to respond.

Iraq conflict: Forty Indians abducted in Mosul

BBC News

“Forty Indian workers of the Tariq Noor Al Huda company in Mosul have been kidnapped,” foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in Delhi.

U.S. raid deepens Libyans’ fears of instability, highlights central government’s weakness

Erin Cunningham / the Washington Post

The operation Sunday to apprehend Ahmed Abu Khattala, 43, was “unilateral,” U.S. officials said. The move appeared to slight Libya’s fledgling security institutions, which have been unable to rein in the powerful militias and Islamist extremists that have plagued Benghazi since the 2011 uprising, although Libyan officials acknowledged Tuesday that their forces were not up to the task.

U.S., Iran experts dispute nuclear bomb ‘breakout’ timeline

Fredrik Dahl / Reuters

A U.S. security institute estimates that Iran could amass material for a nuclear bomb in three months or less while Iranian experts cite a time frame six times longer – a dispute going to the heart of talks between Tehran and global powers.

Obama Is Said to Consider Selective Airstrikes on Sunni Militants

Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt / the New York Times

Such a campaign, most likely using drones, could last for a prolonged period, the official said. But it is not likely to begin for days or longer, and would hinge on the United States’ gathering adequate intelligence about the location of the militants, who are intermingled with the civilian population in Mosul, Tikrit and other cities north of Baghdad.

Gas prices rising but glut coming

Mark Thompson / CNN

Despite rising slightly last year, U.S. gas demand will decline by about 1% a year for the rest of the decade, according to the International Energy Agency.

Majority Of Americans Back Obama’s Push To Reduce Carbon Emissions, Poll Shows

Ashley Alman / the Huffington Post

An NBC poll released Wednesday shows that 67 percent of Americans supportEnvironmental Protection Agency rules released this month that will cut carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030. Thirty-seven percent expressed strong support.

ASP Recent Reports

 Briefing Note – Internet Censorship and Circumvention

American Security Project

This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the types of information blocking, a selection of countries of concern, several means to circumvent Internet censorship, and the U.S. role in censorship circumvention.

 On Our Flashpoint Blog

 Shaping the Perception of the Syrian Conflict

Nathan Alvarado-Castle

The information war in Syria has become a common dynamic with the large-scale violence that has increasingly engulfed the region over the past three years – causing what Tony Blair has opined as “the whole of the Middle East under threat.”

Energy Priorities in North Africa and the Middle East

Justin Tolentino

On June 11, 2014, the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa held a hearing assessing their energy priorities.

Poroshenko Proposes Ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine

Victoria Burnside Clapp

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed a unilateral ceasefire today after a late-night discussion on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin. If actualized, Poroshenko’s plan may be the key to facilitating long-overdue peace in Ukraine.

Upcoming Events

The 2014 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review: A Blueprint for State and USAID

June 24 @ 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM *Invite Only*

A Briefing and Q&A with Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, Assistant Administrator Alexander Thier and Special Representative for QDDR Thomas Perriello

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