Center for Strategic Communication

Secretary of Defense

Ashton Carter to be nominated as next defense secretary

Craig Whitlock & Missy Ryan | The Washington Post

President Obama will nominate Ashton B. Carter, a physicist with long experience in national security circles and at the Pentagon, as his new secretary of defense, according to a person familiar with the decision.


Middle East & North Africa

Iraqi Government and Kurds Reach Deal to Fight ISIS

Tim Arango | The New York Times

In a far-reaching deal with the potential to unite Iraq in the face of a Sunni insurgency, the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi agreed on Tuesday to a long-term pact with the autonomous Kurdish region over how to divide the country’s oil wealth and cooperate on fighting the extremists of the Islamic State.


Officials: Wife of IS leader detained in Lebanon

Bassem Mroue | The Associated Press

Lebanese authorities detained a wife and suspected son of the leader of the Islamic State group several days ago, and she is being questioned, two senior Lebanese officials said Tuesday.


U.S. not ready to enforce Syria no-fly zone


The United States is not ready to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, the White House said Monday, after reports it was in talks with Turkey about setting up a refugee safe haven in the north of the country.


Syria death toll now exceeds 200,000: monitor

Al Monitor

Syria’s civil war has killed more than 200,000 people in less than four years, a monitoring group told AFP on Tuesday, adding that most were fighters from the two sides.


Islamists come out on top in new effort to unify Syrian rebel groups

Mousab Alhamadee | McClatchy DC

Seventy-two Syrian rebel groups on Saturday announced a new coalition to battle the government of President Bashar Assad. But hopes that moderate rebels would dominate the meeting were dashed when extremists gained more of the 17 executive positions than had been expected.


Egypt’s public prosecutor appeals Mubarak verdict, cites flaws


Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered an appeal on Tuesday against a court decision to drop charges against former president Hosni Mubarak, his interior minister and six aides over the killing of protesters in a 2011 uprising.


Climate Change

Lima climate talks: EU and US at odds over legally binding emissions targets

Dan Collyns | The Guardian

The European Union’s delegation at the climate change conference in Lima has argued that legally binding cuts applying to all countries are necessary and should be adopted by 2015 and entered into force by 2020.


Hillary Clinton: Climate changing ‘no matter what deniers may say’

Peter Sullivan | The Hill

Hillary Clinton argued for forceful action to fight climate change in an environmental speech Monday night, but did not mention the controversial Keystone pipeline.


Science & Technology

Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind

Rory Cellan-Jones | BBC

He told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.



Al-Shabaab militants kill 36 Christian quarry workers in Kenya

Murithi Mutiga | The Guardian

Militants from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab terror group have killed 36 mainly Christian quarry workers, intensifying security fears in much of Kenya’s north.


Russia & Ukraine

Putin Cancels new natural gas pipeline to Europe in a surprise move

Michael Burnbaum | The Washington Post

In a measure of the dramatically reshaped relations between Russia and the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday scrapped plans for a major new natural gas pipeline to Europe, a surprise decision that came as the ruble slumped to an all-time low against the dollar.


Russia to fall into recession amid sanctions and plunging oil price

Angela Monaghan & Julia Kollewe | The Guardian

Russia will fall into recession next year under the weight of western sanctions imposed over Ukraine and lower oil prices, the economy ministry warned.


Ukraine crisis: New ceasefire agreed Luhansk region


Ukrainian and pro-Russian rebels have agreed to a new ceasefire in part of eastern Ukraine, set to begin on Friday, international observers say. The deal only affects forces facing each other in the Luhansk region.


Employment Opportunities

Internships Available

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

14 Challenges in the Secretary of Defense’s Inbox on Day 1

Andrew Holland

There’s no shortage of challenges that Secretary Hagel’s successor will face. Here’s a list of 14 detailed by ASP experts.


Japan Looks East: The growing Importance of North American LNG

Hidetoshi Azuma

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 eliminated Japan’s nuclear power. As Japan seeks alternative energy sources, North American LNG is emerging as the country’s solution.


Three Challenges for the Next Secretary of Defense

Ken Robbins

What will be on the next Secretary of Defense’s desk? ASP Adjunct Fellow Ken Robbins outlines three main challenges facing the incoming SecDef.


Statement on the Extension of the Iran Talks

BGen Stephen A. Cheney USNM (Ret.)

ASP CEO BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.) issues a statement on the extension of the Iran nuclear negotiations.


Upcoming Events

Special Envoy Amos Hochstein: Energy Diplomacy and National Security Challenges in the Middle East

December 8 @ 12:00PM – 1:30PM

Location: American Security Project, 1100 New York Ave, 7th Floor West Tower, Washington DC 20005

ASP will host Special Envoy Hochstein as he speaks on energy as a tool for regional cooperation in the Middle East and Mediterranean, and on coalition efforts to deny oil revenues to ISIL.


ASP Conference – Pakistan: Aid, Trade, and Security

December 9 @ 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Location: New York, NY

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 UCN (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.


Deputy Under Secretary of Defense John Conger: DoD Efforts on Climate Adaptation

December 12 @ 12:00PM – 1:30PM

Location: American Security Project, 1100 New York Ave, 7th Floor West Tower, Washington DC 20005

A changing climate poses threats to global security and to American interests around the world. In October, the Department of Defense issued its landmark Climate Adaptation Roadmap that detailed how the military is planning for climate change. As the Department of Defense’s lead climate official, acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Conger will discuss how the Department plans to implement the roadmap in the years ahead.


About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.


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