Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage

Middle East, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Terrorism, and Counterterrorism

ISIS losing hearts and minds in its heartland

The people of Raqqa, by and large, are forced to toe the line and follow the diktats of their new rulers. But along with the smell of lamb, roasting in the commandeered ISIS house on this Eid holiday, there will be growing bitterness in the wind.

ISIL closes in on besieged Syrian town

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are closing in on a key Kurdish town in Syria, as neighbouring Turkey vowed to do its utmost to stop the strategic prize falling to the armed group.

David Cameron makes surprise visit to Kabul, pledges British support
Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post

British Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise visit to Kabul on Friday, pledging to support Afghanistan’s new coalition government as it seeks to enact reforms and prevent the Taliban from resurging as most foreign troops prepare to leave by year’s end.

Australia joins fight against ISIS
Jesse Byrnes / The Hill

Australia will join the fight against the Islamic State and Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) with airstrikes as well as advisers on the ground in Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday.

Syrian army seizes villages north of Aleppo: state TV
Oliver Holmes / Reuters

The Syrian army has taken control of three villages north of Aleppo, state television said on Friday, in a campaign by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad that could encircle insurgents in the city.

Kurds warn of massacre by Islamic State, Turkey stops short of action

Kurdish fighters defending a Syrian border town warned on Friday of a likely massacre by Islamic State insurgents as the Islamists encircled the town with tanks and bombarded its outskirts with artillery fire.

Can the Iraqi Army regroup in time to repel the Islamic State?
Scott Peterson / The Christian Science Monitor

If the Iraqi Army is to serve as a US ally in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State, first comes the challenge of building a well-led fighting force, motivated by a belief in its cause.

Turkey weighs role in Islamic State fight as battles rage on border
Liz Sly and Erin Cunningham/ The Washington Post

Islamic State fighters pounded the strategic Syrian border city of Kobane with artillery and tank fire Friday even as Turkey vowed to prevent the militants from capturing the embattled enclave.

In rare alliance, Shi’ites join Sunnis to defend Iraqi towns

When Islamic State fighters tried to storm the Tigris River town of Dhuluiya north of Baghdad this week, they were repelled by a rare coalition of Sunni tribal fighters inside the town and Shi’ites in its sister city Balad on the opposite bank.

The ISIS Conflict Has Saturated the American Mind
BRIAN RESNICK / The National Journal

In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 94 percent of Americans said they were following the news of the horrendous and tragic beheadings of American journalists at the hands of ISIS. That number is astounding, seeing how public knowledge of the news can often be lacking.

Peshmerga General: IS Air Strikes Helpful, But ‘We Will Need Ground Forces’
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

In an interview with Samira Ali Mandee of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq, General Jabbar Yawar, secretary-general of the Peshmerga Ministry of Iraq’s Kurdish region, discusses the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants, cooperation with Iraqi and outside militaries, and the mood on the front.

Islamic State committing ‘staggering’ violations against humanity in Iraq: UN report
ABC News Australia

A United Nations report has provided new evidence of what it calls a staggering list of human rights abuses by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

U.S., Allied Airstrikes Hit ISIL in Syria and Iraq
DoD News

U.S. and partner-nation military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria yesterday and today using a mix of fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct four airstrikes. Separately, U.S. military and partner-nation forces used a mix of fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft yesterday and today to conduct seven airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Biden: Terrorism no ‘existential threat’ to US
Justin Sink / The Hill

Vice President Biden argued Thursday night in a foreign policy address at Harvard University that Americans “face no existential threat” from terrorism. Imploring students to keep the threat posed by violent extremists “in perspective,” Biden said that although the country must remain vigilant, terrorists did not fundamentally challenge “our way of life or our security.”

Timeline: How Islamic State put itself on a collision course with the West
ABC News Australia

In just 10 months, Islamic State fighters have captured several major Iraqi cities and towns, killed thousands, and dragged the West back into conflict in the Middle East.

Russia, Ukraine, and NATO

New NATO Chief: Better Ties with Russia Possible
John-Thor Dahlburg / The Associated Press

NATO’s new secretary-general struck a more conciliatory tone Wednesday on Russia, saying there’s a chance now for improved relations between Moscow and the West.

Ukrainian rebels keep up attacks on government-held airport in Donetsk

Ukraine accused Russian forces on Friday of helping separatists step up pressure on government troops holding the main airport in the eastern city of Donetsk, threatening a fragile ceasefire.

Asia Pacific

US Eases Ban on Lethal Weapons to Vietnam

The United States has partially ended a ban on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam. Lethal weapons are those that can cause great harm or death. The decision to sell such weapons to Vietnam comes nearly 40 years after the end of the war between the two countries, and 30 years after the ban took effect.

Philippines Halts work in Disputed South China Sea
VOA News

The Philippines has stopped all development work in the disputed South China Sea because of the impact such activity might have on an arbitration complaint it has filed against China, a defense official said on Friday.

Clashes break out at Hong Kong protests – live updates
The Guardian

Opponents of protests grow vocal

Numerous confrontations

Hong Kong government issues new warning.


D.C. hospital evaluating patient who has Ebola-like symptoms
Elahe Izadi / The Washington Post

Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., has admitted a patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had recently traveled to Nigeria, the hospital confirmed Friday.

Suggesting Ebola will become airborne is ‘irresponsible’, say experts
Rebecca Smith / The Telegraph

The UN’s chief of Ebola mission Anthony Banbury said Ebola could become airborne in a ‘nightmare scenario’ but leading scientists have slammed his remarks saying this has never happened and suggesting it is ‘irresponsible’.

US scrambles to increase production of experimental Ebola drug
Philip Sherwell / The Telegraph

The US government is scrambling to start production of the experimental Ebola drug that is viewed as the most promising medical treatment in the fight against the virus.

Lack of Qualified Staff Hurts Ebola Fight in Africa
The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. government and its allies combating Ebola in West Africa have been frantically recruiting health workers to care for thousands suffering from the killer virus, but while more people are volunteering, finding enough qualified personnel has proven difficult.

On Our Flashpoint Blog
Event Recap: Powering the Future – Prospects for Fusion Energy
Caroline Julia von Wurden
Main Points:

  • Fusion can provide clean (emission free) energy and help create a new high-tech industry.
  • Private companies are investing in novel fusion experiments
  • U.S. is moving fusion from an energy to a science initiative, with no plans to get into engineering of it or build a engineering test reactor. With current funding levels U.S. will become a support program for other countries to build demos, and not a world leader in fusion.

General Allen: The anti-ISIS coalition is an “important moment”
Sophia Dahodwala
General John R. Allen USNC (Ret), who served as the top United States Commander in Afghanistan has been appointed as President Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. General Allen will conduct several trips to the region in order to consolidate the coalition that is beginning to come together and to strengthen and clarify the lines of effort. In a recent interview with CNN’s Elise Labott, General Allen responded to a series of pressing questions regarding the US’s strategy to degrade, defeat, and destroy ISIS.

Maktoum’s Path to Lasting Peace
Sophia Dahodwala
The conversation surrounding ISIS needs to emphasize that a dynamic, long-term solution is needed to address Middle Eastern instability and insecurity. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum highlights three ingredients for lasting peace.

Sonenshine: Will Terrorists Listen to the US?

Matthew Wallin
ASP Consensus member Tara Sonenshine recently penned a piece for The Hill exploring America’s ability to influence the decision making process of potential extremist recruits.

Upcoming Events
Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges
October 6 @ 9:00 AM 4:30 PM
The full day conference will include 3 panels and a keynote address will facilitate discussion on the political, security, and economic issues facing Bangladesh and how they can impact the US going forward.

INDIANAPOLIS EVENT – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
October 15 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM / Anderson University, 1100 E Fifth St., Anderson, IN 46012
Climate change is already a major concern for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue of this growing threat. Join ASP on October 15, 2014 at Anderson University as we discuss the implications of climate change on the Midwest.

The post What We Are Reading… October 3, 2014 appeared first on American Security Project.