Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage

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

Top News: ISIS Captures Kurdish Headquarters in Kobani
The Atlantic Council / MENASOURCE

ISIS militants overran the headquarters of Kurdish forces defending the battleground Syrian border town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) on Friday. Fierce fighting had raged for the complex throughout the morning after ISIS militants captured part of it used by the Kurds’ internal security force on Thursday.

ISIS makes gains in Kobani despite strikes
Ben Kamisar / The Hill

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to make gains on Kobani, a town on the Syria-Turkey border, despite U.S.-led airstrikes on the group.

U.N. envoy: Civilians facing Islamic State advance at risk of ‘being massacred’
Brian Murphy / The Washington Post

The Islamic State’s tightening grip on Kobane could leave civilians trapped and at risk of being “massacred” if the Syrian border town falls, a U.N. envoy warned Friday in an appeal that evoked the memory of killing fields in the former Yugoslavia.

Is IS About To Overrun Iraq’s Anbar Province?
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

While the world’s attention has focused on Islamic State advances against the besieged Syrian town of Kobani, reports over the past several days warn that the group is also on the verge of overrunning Iraq’s western Anbar Province.

As Obama gave Syria nod, his coalition was still unclear
Phil Stewart, Patricia Zengerle and Steve Holland

The effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition effort in Syria is under scrutiny as Islamic State fighters try to overrun a strategic Syrian town on Turkey’s border.

Turkey urged to support self-defence operation in Syria: UN official
United Nations Radio

Turkish authorities have been urged by the United Nations to help facilitate a self-defence operation in order to protect civilians in the Syrian town of Kobane.

Explainer: What Makes Islamic State So Formidable?
Charles Recknagel / Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

From the use of suicide car bombs against enemy front lines to slaughtering prisoners of war to frighten opponents, Islamic State militants have proven brutally effective on the battlefield. Here are five things that make the group a formidable force.

“Khorasan” proves an elusive target
CBS News

The barrage of U.S. cruise missiles aimed at a cell of al Qaeda militants in Syria last month failed to eliminate the threat from the group working on plots to blow up airplanes over Europe and the United States, American intelligence officials say.

Canada Brings ‘6-pack Strategy’ to Air Campaign Against Islamic State in Iraq
Defense News

Canadian lawmakers have approved sending up to six CF-18 fighter aircraft to participate in airstrikes in Iraq, along with one CC-150 aerial refueling tanker, two CP-14 Aurora surveillance aircraft and one airlift aircraft, according to the Canadian prime minister’s office.

French forces launch raid in Niger against al-Qaeda’s north African wing

French forces have destroyed a convoy in Niger linked to al-Qaeda’s north African arm AQIM that was transporting weapons from Libya to Mali, the office of the president said on Friday.

Piracy is on the rise in the world’s most crucial shipping lane
Ishaan Tharoor / The Washington Post

An international task force began patrolling the waters off Somalia’s lengthy coastline along a similar model, forcing Somali pirate “motherships” further afield from their bases on shore. The number of pirate attacks dried up, with piracy off West Africa’s coast now becoming a greater security concern.

U.S. officials: Qaeda strikes won’t stop plots
The Associated Press

The barrage of U.S. cruise missiles aimed at a cell of al-Qaeda militants in Syria last month failed to stop ongoing terror plots to blow up airplanes over Europe and the United States, American intelligence officials say.

Report: Obama mulls action to close Guantanamo
Justin Sink / The Hill

President Obama is considering executive action to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, despite congressional legislation that bans the transfer of detainees there to prisons in the U.S., according to a Thursday report.

Al-Qaida and ISIS Use Twitter Differently. Here’s How and Why.
LAURA RYAN / National Journal

Al-Qaida has an Internet presence nearly two decades old, using various platforms and—more recently—social media to push its message. But it is ISIS, the relative newcomer, that has escalated its Internet efforts to the point that governments are beginning to see winning the Internet as central to the fight against terrorism.

Russia, Ukraine, and NATO

Russian sanctions could be eased soon if Ukraine progress made: U.S. adviser

Talks on easing sanctions against Russia imposed over the conflict in Ukraine could begin in the next few weeks, but more measures are possible if there is no progress over a ceasefire deal, the U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser said on Friday.

Ex-Soviet states bicker as Putin tries to unite them

Vulgar chants about Vladimir Putin before he arrived for a regional summit in Belarus did not augur well for the Russian president’s hopes of bringing the leaders of former Soviet republics closer together.

Sweden And Finland Pursue ‘Special Relationship’ With NATO
GERARD O’DWYER / Defense News

Finland and Sweden are increasing their military cooperation dialogue with NATO covering development of a “special relationship” with the Western alliance. A framework for negotiations was agreed to during discussions at NATO’s recent summit in Wales.

Putin Urges Moldova To Address Concerns Over EU Association
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Moldova for refusing to hold consultations with Moscow on an accord that strengthens ties between Chisinau and the European Union.

France-Russia warship deal in choppy waters amid sanctions against Putin
Ariane Chemin / The Guardian

Two “grey” ships, as they call naval vessels at the yard; two stumbling blocks for European diplomacy as it attempts to toughen sanctions against Vladimir Putin, just as the Vladivostok starts its sea trials.

Asia Pacific

Where Is Kim Jong Un?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to appear at a holiday celebration Friday in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. More than a month has passed since a new photograph of him appeared or he was reported seen in public. Some observers wonder if the North Korean leader is in poor health, or if there is a struggle for power in the country. The longer Mr. Kim remains out of sight, they say, the more questions there are about his rule.

Kim Jong Un a No-Show at North Korea Memorial Event

South Korea said Friday it believes North Korea’s leadership under Kim Jong Un remains unchanged and stable, despite the young dictator’s absence from the public eye for over a month and his failure to appear at a memorial event earlier in the day.

North and South Korea exchange fire
Michael Pearso  / CNN

North and South Korea exchanged fire Friday after gunners in the North targeted balloons carrying leaflets critical of the country’s reclusive regime, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.

Japan Braces for Typhoon Vongfong; U.S. Air Bases Put on Alert
NBC News

Japan was preparing for Typhoon Vongfong on Friday, with the most powerful storm of the year packing winds gusting up to 156 mph as it powered north toward the Okinawa island chain that is home to U.S. military bases. Vongfong was downgraded from a “super typhoon” by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center Friday but was still the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, threatening to dump up to 19 inches of rain on Okinawa.

Thousands return to Hong Kong streets in protest
CBS News

Thousands of protesters poured into a main road in Hong Kong for a pro-democracy rally late Friday, reviving a civil disobedience movement a day after the government called off talks with student leaders.


Ebola As ISIS Bio-Weapon?
Bruce Dorminey / Forbes

ISIS may already be thinking of using Ebola as a low-tech weapon of bio-terror, says a national security expert, who notes that the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” and terror groups like it wouldn’t even have to weaponize the virus to attempt to wreak strategic global infection.

WHO: East Asia Faces Ebola Risk, but More Prepared

With its bustling trade, travel hubs and armies of migrant workers, East Asia faces the risk of exposure to Ebola but is improving its defenses and may be more ready than other regions to respond if cases are diagnosed, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

Energy and climate change

The Gathering Storm
John Kerry / Huffington Post

These last two days, I’ve been sitting down with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and this morning at the crack of dawn we left Washington and headed together to my hometown — Boston — to help ring a global alarm bell and focus on an issue that doesn’t just animate President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron, but an issue that demands urgent attention from all of us: global climate change.

Energy is key to Michigan’s future
The Detroit News

Hydraulic fracturing, the process of blasting rock with high-pressure water to extract natural gas from shale formations deep beneath the earth’s surface, has stirred controversy throughout the country. The debate over the safety and environmental risks of “fracking,” as it’s commonly called, has reached Michigan as well.

France Votes to Be Less Nuclear-Reliant
ABC News

French lawmakers have voted to make their country a little less heavily dependent on nuclear energy.

Few U.S. states preparing for climate change, study says
Neela Banerjee  / Los Angeles Times

Fewer than half of American states are working to protect themselves from climate change, despite more detailed warnings from scientists that communities are already being damaged, according to a new online clearinghouse of states’ efforts compiled by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Curry and Kerry: Two wildly contrasting takes on climate change
Jason Samenow / The Washington Post

How urgent is it that we act on climate change? Georgia Tech atmospheric science professor Judith Curry says the pace of climate change is slower than previously assumed, and we have time. Secretary of State John Kerry says unwelcome impacts have already arrived and we must get to work right away to avoid “devastating” effects.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Secretary Kerry’s Keynote Speech at Climate Week NYC 2014
Hidetoshi Azuma

During the Climate Week NYC opening Day, US Secretary of State, John Kerry delivered the Keynote address to discuss how climate change can affect non-environmental issues, such as national security.

Climate Change is a National Security Issue
Hidetoshi Azuma

ASP CEO Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret) appeared in the panel, “Climate conversation: National security and climate change” at the Climate Week NYC on September 22, 2014.

EUROFusion: European Fusion Programme Launched
Caroline Julia von Wurden

On October 9th a consortium of all national fusion research institutes in the EU, plus Switzerland, launched a joint programme on fusion energy called EUROfusion.

National Security – Trade, Not Aid
Sophia Dahodwala

ASP’s timely conversation on “Extending America’s National Security through Private Sector Investments,” discusses how America can promote economic growth, development, and security in Africa while simultaneously advancing US national security.

“When the country does well, the business does well”
Giancarlo Lima

Far from targeting profits as the only goal of investing in Africa, all of the panelists agreed that in order to maintain the growth that the region has experienced in recent years, African economies will have to continue to create jobs for their young populations which should be driven by the private sector.

Managing Risk during the “African Century”
Giancarlo Lima

While Africa has emerged as one of the most robust economic regions in recent years, doing business in the region has historically carried substantial risk from a variety of factors.

Upcoming Events

Security Jam: Brainstorming Global Security
October 14 @ 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM

To be held over 54 hours, from October 14-16, 2014, the Security Jam will be a catalyst for creative thinking by national, UN, NATO, and EU policymakers, experts, NGOs, industry representatives, soldiers, journalists, scholars and opinion-leaders.

INDIANAPOLIS EVENT – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
October 14 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Butler University

Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.

INDIANAPOLIS EVENT – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
October 15 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Anderson University

Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.

Geography 2050: Mounting an Expedition to the Future
November 19, Columbia University

Join the Earth Institute on November 19th as they host Geography 2020. They will seek to understand how our world will change geographically over time, and the challenges that we face as we seek to navigate an uncertain future


The post What We Are Reading… October 10, 2014 appeared first on American Security Project.