Center for Strategic Communication

Boko Haram Leader Says Ruling Nigerian Town by Islamic Law

The leader of Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram said his fighters were now ruling the captured northeastern town of Gwoza “by Islamic law”, in the first video to state a territorial claim in more than five years of violent insurrection.


American Held in Syria Freed After Nearly 2 Years
Jim Kuhnhenn and Ryan Lucas / Associated Press


As the U.S. mourned an American journalist beheaded by Islamic militants, the nation found something of a reprieve with the release of another freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria.


Jihad ‘Made in Kosovo’
Bahri Cani / Deutsche Welle

The act that triggered the largest police action in Kosovo since the war in 1999 was terrible and barbaric. The Kosovar jihadist Lavdrim Muhaxeri posted before and after photos of the beheading of a 19-year-old in Syria, where the jihadist is currently fighting for the Islamic State (IS). Those images were published in nearly every Kosovo newspaper and Internet portal and sparked outrage and deep shock among Kosovars.
France Thrown into Political Turmoil After Government Dissolved

Anne Penketh / The Guardian


France has entered uncharted political waters after the prime minister, Manuel Valls, presented his government’s resignation amid a political crisis triggered by his maverick economy minister who called for an end to austerity policies imposed by Germany.


Ukraine Military Clashes with Separatist Convoy

Voice of America

Ukraine says government forces have battled with a convoy of separatist armored vehicles near the Russian border.


Islamic State Militants Seize Air Base in Syria, Groups Says
Donna Abu – Nasr and Zainab Fattah / Bloomberg

Islamic State militants seized a Syrian air base, dislodging forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad from the their last stronghold in the northeastern Raqqa province.


Turkey Protest in Istanbul over Syrian Refugees

Hundreds of people have clashed with Turkish police in Istanbul during a protest against the rising number of refugees from Syria.


Climate Change and Implications for National Security

Robert Sharp and Edward Kennedy / International Policy Digest

Over the 250 years carbon fuels have enabled tremendous technological advances including a population growth from about 800 million then to 7.5 billion today and the consequent demand to extract even more carbon. This has occurred during a handful of generations, which is hardly noticeable on our imaginary one-year calendar. The release of this carbon – however – is changing our climate at such a rapid rate that it threatens our survival and presence on earth. It defies imagination that so much damage has been done in such a relatively short time. The implications of climate change are the single most significant threat to life on earth and, put simply, we are not doing enough to rectify the damage.


Islamists Carry Out ‘Public Execution’ on a Libyan Soccer Field
Ishaan Tharoor / The Washington Post

Video footage has emerged of an execution-style killing carried out by an Islamist militia in the eastern Libyan city of Darna. In a statementpublished Friday, human rights group Amnesty International decried the purported execution, which took place in a soccer stadium on Aug. 19, apparently “organized by an armed group called the Shura Council of Islamic Youth,” and said the act was a sign of the Libyan government’s “failure to prevent parts of the country from descending into violence and lawlessness.”


Outgoing Libyan Parliament Names Rival Government
Maggie Michael / Associated Press

Libya’s outgoing parliament voted Monday to replace the current interim government with one headed by an Islamist-backed candidate, deepening the conflict-torn country’s already stark divisions and leaving it with two rival parliaments and governments.


America in Decay
Francis Fukuyama / Foreign Affairs

Today, however, many regard the Forest Service as a highly dysfunctional bureaucracy performing an outmoded mission with the wrong tools. It is still staffed by professional foresters, many highly dedicated to the agency’s mission, but it has lost a great deal of the autonomy it won under Pinchot.


DR Congo Confirms First Ebola Cases in ‘New Strain’ of Killer Virus
The Telegraph

The Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed its two first cases of Ebola this year, but claimed they were unrelated to the epidemic raging in four countries of West Africa.


Islamic Authority: Extremists No ‘Islamic State’
Sarah El Deeb / Associated Press

The top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign Sunday challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an “Islamic State.”


ASP Recent Reports
Free Trade and National Security – 5 Key Issues
Dan Day
As the world’s largest economy and the home to many of the most resourceful and innovative industries in the world, it is essential that the US take the lead in setting the standard for global trade practices.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Pakistan’s Energy Crisis
Kendall Strong

Pakistan is in the midst of a complex energy crisis that is going to require multiple levels of government response, private investment, and cultural change. The foundation of the problem is Pakistan’s poor energy infrastructure, which makes energy theft easy and transmission and distribution losses high.


Energy’s Global Leverage: The U.S.’ New Paradigm
Kendall Strong

Increasing American energy production, coupled with resources disputes such as we are seeing between Ukraine and Russia, shows the importance of American involvement in global energy markets and our national security. A recent event hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPA) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) shed light on the current status and shifting focus of U.S. energy, global markets, and national security.


Defeating the ISIL Threat – For Good
Fadi Elsalameen

ISIL is barbaric and violent. The brutal murder of journalist James Foley last week showed the true realities of ISIL to an American audience; but throughout the region under their control, their unimaginable barbarism is prevalent.
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