Center for Strategic Communication

ISIS, Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Global coalition stepping up against Islamic State
Lara Jakes and John-Thor Dahlburg | Associated Press
Islamic State militants invaded Iraq’s west almost a year ago and overran the nation’s second-largest city in June, threatening death and torture to opponents in their way. But the world has been slow to respond, coming together Wednesday for the first high-level meeting of scores of nations now devoted to destroying the rampant insurgency.

Special Report: How Exxon helped make Iraqi Kurdistan
Dmitry Zhdannikov, Isabel Coles and Ned Parker | Reuters
In January 2011, Exxon hired one of the best connected men in Iraq: Ali Khedery, an American of Iraqi descent who had served in Baghdad as a special assistant to five U.S. ambassadors and a senior adviser to three U.S. generals.

Iraq official: Arrested woman not IS leader’s wife
ivian Salama and Bassem Mroue | Associated Press
An Iraqi official denied Wednesday that a woman detained in Lebanon is a wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, adding that she is the sister of a terror suspect being held in Iraq.

Iranian Airstrikes Target ISIS in Iraq
Thomas Erdbrink and Eric Schmitt | The New York Times
Iranian fighter jets conducted bombing raids against Sunni extremists in Iraq last week, hitting targets near a 25-mile buffer zone that Iran has declared along its border, an Iranian politician, American officials and independent analysts have confirmed.

Africa and Europe

Militants kill 36 non-Muslims in northern Kenya
Tom Odula | Associated Press
The Islamic militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the methodical massacre in northern Kenya early Tuesday — 10 days after a similar attack on a bus that killed 28 — and it prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to shake up his national security team amid public outrage over the continuing violence.

Hungary summons U.S. ambassador over McCain’s ‘neofascist’ comment
Marton Dunai, Ralph Boulton and Ruth Pitchford | Reuters
Hungary’s Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. envoy on Wednesday after U.S. Senator John McCain called Prime Minister Viktor Orban a “neo-fascist dictator”.

Ukrainian PM reports accident at nuclear power plant
Natalia Zinets, Alessandra Prentice and Richard Balmforth | Reuters
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday an accident had occurred at the Zaporizhye nuclear power plant (NPP) in south-east Ukraine and called on the energy minister to hold a news conference.

6 Charts That Illustrate Vladimir Putin’s World of Pain
Joseph Weisenthal | Bloomberg
Faced with collapsing oil prices and sanctions from the west, the Russian economy is on the verge of going into recession. The ruble is collapsing, inflation is spiking, and the Russian Central Bank is depleting its reserves of foreign currency, limiting its ability to prop up its own currency.

Climate Change, Science and Technology, Energy Security

UN weather agency: 2014 on track for hottest year
Karl Ritter | Associated Press
With temperature data showing 2014 currently tied for the hottest year on record, the U.N. weather agency on Wednesday rejected claims that global warming has paused.

Sony Pictures struggles to recover eight days after cyber attack
Ronald Grover , Mark Hosenball and Jim Finkle | Reuters
Eight days after a massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Hollywood studio was still struggling to restore some systems on Tuesday evening as investigators combed for evidence to identify the culprit.

Oil rebounds in a turbulent oil market
David Sheppard | Reuters
Oil prices recovered some of its losses as a turbulent market searched for a price floor after a nearly 40 percent fall since June.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Russia’s Natural Gas Pivot to Asia: A Reality Check
Hidetoshi Azuma
2014 China-Russia natural gas deal is beset with mounting challenges from the beginning. Russia has pivoted to Asia but is heading there at great costs.

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

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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, Suite 750W – 1100 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20005
Join ASP on Monday, December 8th as we host Special Envoy Hochstein on how the United States can use energy diplomacy in the Middle East as a tool in combating ISIS.

NYC Event: Pakistan – Aid, Trade, and Security
December 9 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Join ASP and FTI Consulting as we host an event that will discuss current conditions of economic aid, trade and security in Pakistan, and will feature experts of military and development backgrounds.

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense John Conger: DoD Efforts on Climate Adaptation
December 12 @ 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Location: American Security Project, Suite 750W – 1100 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20005
Join ASP on Friday, December 12 as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense John Conger discusses the Department of Defense’s Climate Adaptation Roadmap, its implications, and how the military is planning for climate change.


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