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Hagel: ISIL Degraded But Remains Dangerous
DoD News

United States and coalition forces have made progress in recent months against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, but the campaign will be “a long and difficult struggle,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress here today.

Dempsey Urges ‘Strategic Patience’ in Anti-ISIL Campaign
DoD News

The campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is just entering its fourth month, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged Congress and the American people to develop the strategic patience needed to see the effort through.

U.S. bombs Al-Qaeda group for third time in Syria

American aircraft bombed the Khorasan group in Syria on Thursday, in the third attack on the Al-Qaeda offshoot that is considered an immediate threat to the West, the U.S. military’s Central Command said.

Pentagon Officials Say Islamic State Fight May Need U.S. Combat Forces

Top Pentagon officials testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday outlined conditions that they said could prompt a recommendation for greater U.S. involvement in combat in Iraq.

Iraq needs 80,000 good troops to retake lost territory: U.S. general

Iraq will need about 80,000 effective military troops to retake the terrain it lost to Islamic State militants and restore its border with Syria, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.

Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name on Thursday, saying his self-declared caliphate was expanding there and in four other Arab countries.

ISIS, al Qaeda affiliate reportedly joining forces in Syria
CBS News

The leader of ISIS released a new audio tape Thursday with more threats to the U.S., promising “volcanoes of jihad.” Also, there are reports out of Syria that ISIS is teaming up with a rival al Qaeda affiliate. CBS News senior security analyst and former CIA deputy director Mike Morell joins “CBS This Morning” from Naples, Florida, to discuss what it means for the U.S.

Islamic State commanders liable for mass war crimes: U.N.

Islamic State commanders are liable for war crimes on a “massive scale” in northeast Syria where they spread terror by beheading, stoning and shooting civilians and captured fighters, U.N. investigators said on Friday.

Iraqi forces drive ISIS from refinery town of Beiji
Al Arabiya

Iraqi forces retook the strategic northern town of Beiji on Friday after more than two weeks of fighting with the Islamic State jihadist group, Agence France-Presse quoted officials as saying.

ISIS wants to make money, literally
CBS News

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group says its leader has ordered that the organization start minting gold, silver and copper coins for its own currency – the Islamic dinar.

IS ‘Changing Tactics’ In Iraq, Making Militants Harder To Strike
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq are changing their tactics, making it harder for the United States and its Western allies to find and target them in air strikes, according to Canada’s Iraq commander.

$300,000 an Hour: The Cost of Fighting ISIS
URI FRIEDMAN / The Atlantic

It’s been 96 days since the United States launched its first airstrikes against ISIS militants in Iraq; 50 since it expanded that campaign into Syria. And on each one of those days, the U.S. government has spent an average of roughly $8 million, or more than $300,000 an hour, on the operation against the Sunni Muslim extremist group, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. Targets Khorasan In Syria
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

U.S. warplanes bombed the Khorasan militant group in Syria on November 13, the third such attack against the Al-Qaeda offshoot. Colonel Patrick Ryder from the U.S. military’s Central Command said the attacks targeted “veteran Al-Qaeda operatives” who were “plotting external attacks against the United States” and its allies.

Nigeria Militants Take Kidnapped Schoolgirl Town
The Associated Press

Islamic extremists in Nigeria have seized Chibok, forcing thousands of residents to flee the northeastern town from which the insurgents kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April, a local official said Friday.

GOP senators demand vote on Iran nuclear deal
Ramsey Cox / The Hill

Republican senators demanded Thursday that Congress have a say in nuclear negotiations with Iran. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) tried to force a Senate vote on their bill, S. 2650, but Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) objected, saying a vote now would “undermine” negotiations.

Europe & FSU

Vladimir Putin’s Natural Gas Deal Weakens Russia’s Hand in Ukraine
The Street

Falling global energy prices have turned Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine from an imperial Russian triumph into a potentially significant setback for his country’s economy. Hard currency reserves are evaporating while western financial sanctions sap the ruble and Ukraine’s government continues to turn the country away from Russia and toward Western Europe.

Lithuania to pay more for Norwegian LNG than Russian gas

Lithuania will pay at least 10 percent more for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from Norway than for Russian pipeline gas in 2015, a state-owned LNG importer said on Thursday.

Russia’s high inflation rate may be even worse than first meets the eye
Anna Borshchevskaya / The Hill

Russia’s inflation rate has risen to a four-year high and is likely to remain high until spring 2015, according to a report by Russia’s Central Bank published on Nov. 10. Russia’s economy began showing signs of decline approximately two years ago, but in recent months this decline has been progressing far more rapidly, indicating a drastic drop. Rising inflation is one major component of this. It deserves a closer look.

Russia vows to fly bombers near U.S. airspace
CBS News

When Russia’s defense minister announced plans for training exercises near U.S. borders, he linked them specifically to tensions over Ukraine, telling the U.S. in effect: If you meddle in our backyard, we’ll meddle in yours. David Martin reports from the Pentagon.

Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20

A showdown between Western leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely at the G20 summit in Australia starting on Saturday, following fresh reports of Russian troops pouring into eastern Ukraine.

NATO Says Russian Forces Are in Ukraine as Putin Goes to G-20

NATO’s chief said Russia is sending troops and heavy weapons into Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin heads to a Group of 20 summit in Australia that’s overshadowed by the crisis.

Putin says Russia prepared for oil price collapse as more sanctions threatened
The Guardian

At G20 summit, Russian president says he regards sanctions over Ukraine as pointless, illegal and likely to harm world trade.

Sweden Confirms Foreign Submarine Violation
The Wall Street Journal

Swedish authorities Friday said they are now sure that a small foreign submarine illegally entered waters off the country’s east coast in October.

EU hopeful Serbia hosts military drill with Russia

Russian soldiers parachuted into open fields in western Serbia on Friday as part of an unprecedented joint military drill that has stirred controversy in the European Union candidate-country given the West-Russia standoff over Ukraine.

Eurozone GDP shows meager expansion

The eurozone economy expanded last quarter at a sluggish pace, underscoring concerns that the region is stuck in a rut of declining investment and high unemployment at a time when other large economies such as the U.S. and U.K. are seeing more vigorous and jobs-rich recoveries.

Asia Pacific

China-Japan Relations: Abe And Xi APEC Meeting Only Symbolic
International Business Times

For the first time in more than two years, China and Japan’s top leaders shared a symbolic handshake at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing earlier this week. The meeting between Japan’s Shinzo Abe and China’s Xi Jinping was described by various news outlets as “uneasy,” “awkward,” but was also considered to be an important “icebreaker” in what are otherwise icy relations between the East Asian nations.

Leaders of U.S., Australia, Japan to Meet, With Eye on China
The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is expected to urge Japan and Australia to step-up military and security cooperation to help contain simmering territorial tensions in Asia, as the leaders of the three allies meet for the first time in seven years on the sidelines of summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Brisbane this weekend.

Hong Kong students hope to take ‘political protest’ to Beijing
The Telegraph

Three Hong Kong student protest leaders will risk arrest and imprisonment when they attempt to travel to China’s capital this weekend to launch a “political protest” before senior Communist Party officials.

To Lure Investors, China Links Its Two Giant Stock Markets

Investors in Shanghai’s stock market will for the first time on Monday be able to invest directly across the border in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock exchange and vice versa.

Obama takes on role as adviser and ally for Burma’s pro-democracy aspirations
The Washington Post

“If you were the president of Burma,” a young man began as he questioned President Obama at a town hall-style event Friday. The crowd at Yangon University laughed. So did their guest.

North Korea’s Kim to send special envoy to Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is to send a personal envoy to Russia, state media said on Friday, the latest in a series of diplomatic moves by the isolated country as it fends off accusations of crimes against humanity.


Energy security threatened by rising tensions, says IEA report

The US shale gas boom is disguising serious risks to the security of global energy supplies, according to one of the industry’s leading consultancies.
Oil Price’s Decline Is ‘New Chapter in History’ of Energy
NBC News

A dramatic fall in the price of oil in recent months shows no signs of ending, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which states that weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. oil production mean that a new chapter in the history of the oil markets is beginning which could affect the social stability of some countries. Prices have declined by around 30 percent since peaking in June, with Brent crude crashing below the $80 level in early November.

Energy Department predicts average price of gas in U.S. will be $2.94 a gallon in 2015
Great Falls Tribune

Those low gas prices on station signs aren’t going away soon, the government says. In a dramatic shift from previous forecasts, the Energy Department predicted Wednesday that the average price of gasoline in the U.S. will be $2.94 a gallon in 2015. That is a 44-cent drop from an outlook issued just a month ago.

Natural Gas Still Seen as Most In-Demand Fossil Fuel in 2040, Says IEA
Natural Gas Intelligence

The global demand for natural gas by 2040 is forecast to grow by more than half, the fastest rate among all fossil fuels, with an increasingly flexible trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) offering protection against the risk of supply disruptions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest annual forecast, World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014.

Cheaper oil’s winners and losers
The Chicago Tribune

The recent drop in world oil prices — from more than $100 a barrel in June to about $80 a barrel now — will benefit the global economy, American consumers and a beleaguered U.S. foreign policy. And there are reasons to think oil could remain in the $75-to-$95 range for the next two years.

Lower crude prices challenge Keystone pipeline
USA Today

Backers of the Keystone XL pipeline became emboldened recently by the prospect of a Republican-led Congress finally pushing the project through. But can dropping crude prices punch a hole in the controversial project?

Oil’s Dive Set to Transform LNG Market
Financial Times

The downward spiral in oil markets is poised to shake up liquefied natural gas, a critical source of energy in East Asia and alternative to Russian gas supplies in Europe.

Climate Change

Obama to pledge $3B to UN fund aiding poor nations’ climate fight
The Hill

President Obama is poised to make a hefty pledge to a fund that helps poor nations fight and adapt to climate change.



Ebola Patient May Head to U.S. Saturday From Sierra Leone
The Wall Street Journal

The latest Ebola patient who may be sent to the U.S. for treatment could depart from Sierra Leone as soon as Saturday, according to a spokesman from the country’s National Ebola Response Center.

WHO starts survey of Ebola treatments, says none proven so far

The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun assessing more than 120 potential treatments for Ebola patients, it said on Friday, but so far has found none that definitely work, and some that definitely do not.

Ebola Death Toll Surpasses 5,000 Worldwide

The latest update from the World Health Organization presents a mixed picture of the fight to contain the worst outbreak of Ebola on record.

Employment Opportunity
Available Positions – Internship
American Security Project
ASP is looking for current or recently graduated students interested in hands-on public policy experience for full- and part-time internships. Interns will support ASP researchers and staff in multiple areas including communications, development, programming and research.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Challenges in Nuclear Verification: The IAEA’s Role on the Iranian Nuclear Issue
Marylin Carino

Yukiya Amano, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke at the Brookings Institution to discuss the challenges in verifying Iran’s nuclear program.

Amidst Concerns Over Repression, Egypt Means Business
Giancarlo Lima
A delegation of U.S. companies recently completed a two-day visit to Egypt which was designed to explore possible investment opportunities for U.S. companies. The 60-company delegation was led by former ASP board member and former U.S. Ambassador David Thorne who now serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary.

Getting the old band back together? A possible partnership between ISIS and Al-Queda
Matt Suber
ISIS and al-Qaeda are now in direct competition to carry the banner of jihad. It would be a significant development if al-Qaeda and ISIS were to reemerge as partners in Syria. According to new reports, a purported secret meeting in Syria may indicate that such a rekindling might be in the works.

Reflections from a Veteran
Jon Breed
Veterans are unique members of American society.  I believe this, not because veterans receive specialized combat training or make extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of this country.  I believe this because, while serving in the military, volunteers from small country towns and big urban cities acquire new experiences and perspectives that most Americans go a lifetime without.

Upcoming Events

Orlando Event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
November 17, 8:00 am – 10:30 am
Location: Pegasus Ballroom, Student Union Building, University of Central Florida
Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. 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.

Tampa event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
November 18, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Reeves Theater, University of Tampa
Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. 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.

Electric Supply: What it means for Security, Development, and Geopolitics

November 19, 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The nexus of electricity, development, and security is significant, yet its nuances are too often overlooked. The half-day event will bring together development and energy experts, government officials, and policy makers to better establish the important linkages between power, security, and development, share successful implementation strategies and consider how these successes can be replicated in diverse contexts.

Geography 2050: Mounting an Expedition to the Future
November 19
Location: Low Memorial Library, Columbia University
The one-day inaugural event, to be held at Columbia’s Low Library in Manhattan, offers an opportunity for thought leaders in industry, government, the social sector, and academe to come together to think about collectively exploring the future, and to examine how geography, geographic thinking, and geospatial data and technologies will enable this new age of exploration.

FSC Event- Climate Change: Risks for National Security
November 19, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Buckner Building, Florida Southern College
Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. 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.

Pakistan – Aid Trade, and Security
December 9, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The event will be a discussion of the current conditions of economic aid, trade and security in Pakistan, and will feature ASP Board Member Admiral William Fallon USN (Ret.), former Commander of CENTCOM and PACOM; and USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Pakistan in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs Mr. Daniel Grant.

The post What We Are Reading… November 14, 2014 appeared first on American Security Project.