Center for Strategic Communication


Iraqi army prepares for ‘liberation of Mosul’

Battle over Iraq’s second largest city will be key in fight against ISIL, Iraqi finance minister tells Al Jazeera.

ISIS target of 27 strikes by U.S. allies

The United States and its allies carried out 27 airstrikes on Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) targets in Syria and Iraq in the past three days, U.S. military officials said on Friday.

Turkey spends over $ 400B to combat terrorism

Turkey spent more than $ 400 billion to combat terrorism from 1984 up until now, NTV TV channel quoted Turkish ex-Minister of Transport, Shipping and Communications Binali Yildirim Dec. 12 as saying.

Pakistan arrests suspected South Asian al Qaeda commander

Pakistani authorities have arrested a man they describe as an important commander in al Qaeda’s newly created South Asian wing, police told Reuters on Friday.

Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume Next Week
The Wall Street Journal

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program will resume in Geneva next week, with the U.S. and Iranian teams scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday ahead of full-international talks at a senior official level on Wednesday.

Europe & FSU

Russian Ruble Hits New Low Of 57 To Dollar
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The Russian ruble fell below 57 to the dollar in trading on December 12, continuing a slide that has cut its value nearly in half this year.

Baltic States to spend more on NATO air policing

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will step up military cooperation and increase funding to NATO’s air mission in the Baltic region in response to a surge in sorties along their borders by Russian planes, their defense ministers said on Friday.

Crimea leader makes a surprise visit to India

Analysis: Sergei Aksyonov’s unofficial trip during India-Russia summit highlights complicated friendship

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko Says Latest Truce in East Brings First Night With No Casualties
The Wall Street Journal

President Petro Poroshenko said Friday that no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded overnight in the east for the first time since Kiev’s conflict with pro-Russia separatist rebels began, reflecting new optimism that seven months of violence may be calming.

Fitch: Russia Rate Rise Foreshadows Rising Challenges in 2015

Russia’s latest interest rate increase highlights the challenges to policy makers from rising inflation and the falling rouble, Fitch Ratings says.

The Kremlin’s Top 75 Lies About The Ukraine Crisis
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The folks at are committed to uncovering untrue or misleading information being disseminated by Russian media about the crisis in Ukraine.

Cameron Leaves Northern Ireland Without Deal to End Deadlock

British Prime Minister David Cameron left Northern Ireland on Friday without a deal he hoped would end months of political deadlock over financial and cultural disputes in the province.

Asia Pacific

China Rejects US Report on Sea Claims
VOA News

China rejected a U.S. government report detailing Beijing’s maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea, saying the document violates Washington’s pledge to remain neutral in the dispute.

Controversial Japan State Secrets Law Implemented
The Wall Street Journal

Japan’s controversial law to protect state secrets was implemented Wednesday, amid public wariness over government censorship under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

South Korea Rejects Sharing Winter Olympics With Japan
The New York Times

South Korea said on Friday that it had no intention of sharing some of its 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games with its historic rival Japan, rejecting an International Olympic Committee suggestion for cost-cutting.

China’s Industrial Output Growth Slows
The Wall Street Journal

China’s state-run banks stepped up lending last month as Beijing seeks to prop up growth, but new figures showed further signs of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

China to place permanent anti-graft teams in major departments
The Wall Street Journal

The corruption watchdog of China’s ruling Communist Party will establish permanent offices in some of the country’s most important party and government departments, state media said on Friday, as part of a sweeping campaign against graft.

North Korea And Iran: Partners In Cyber Warfare?

North Korea has denied any involvement in the massive hacking attack last month on Sony Pictures Entertainment, and absent evidence clearly pinning the deed on Pyongyang, it may be fair to keep an open mind. With investigators still digging into the case, it’s too soon to rule out a role in the attack by some of North Korea’s closest friends — for instance, Iran.

In Japan, Abe’s party is set for win, but economy remains a challenge
The Washington Post

Japan’s Shinzo Abe will put his prime ministership to the test on Sunday, in a snap parliamentary election that will give him four more years to try to put the economy right and pursue his goal of making Japan a “beautiful” country again.

China Likely to Use Pressure and Intimidation to Ward Off More Protests

As the dust settles on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy ‘Occupy’ protests, China is likely to embark on a sweeping but covert campaign across the territory’s judiciary, media and universities to ensure there is no recurrence, activists and politicians say.

Putin and Modi Reaffirm Bond Between Russia and India
The New York Times

As expected, Russia and India, longtime allies, signed a raft of agreements at their leaders’ annual summit meeting on Thursday, expanding their usual set of projects to an ambitious agenda that includes the joint manufacture of military helicopters and production of nuclear reactors.


Winners & losers: Oil’s effect around the globe

For most of the world, the tail wind of lower oil prices is helping to lift the pace of growth. So what happens if oil prices keep falling?

U.S. oil prices sink below $59 a barrel
USA Today

Oil prices are weighing on global markets as crude prices continue sliding.

Wall Street drops as oil price continues to descend

U.S. stocks fell on Friday, putting the benchmark S&P 500 on track for its first weekly decline in eight, following a further drop in oil prices and disappointing data out of China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

Russia pledges 10 more nuclear reactors in India
The Financial Times

Russia and India agreed on Thursday to renew their frayed relationships in energy, defence and trade, with leaders Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi promising construction of at least 10 more Russian nuclear power reactors in India over the next two decades.

Back to the Future: Advanced Climate Change and Battle against Climate change
Josh Freed / The Brookings Institute

So what, after a 30-year drought, is drawing smart young people back to the nuclear industry? The answer is climate change.

LNG hailed as Australia’s next big revenue raiser
ABC News Australia

Australia’s rapidly expanding liquefied natural gas industry is being touted as the nation’s next big revenue raiser as the iron ore price slump continues to hit the budget bottom line.

UPDATE 1-Asian LNG prices seen falling by up to 30 pct in 2015”

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices are expected to fall by up to 30 percent in 2015, according to a survey of analysts and consultants, as the market enters a period of oversupply and the impact of lower oil prices kicks in.

LNG boom over as China looks to sell out of long-term deals

China’s state-controlled energy giant Sinopec wants to sell some long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals as a slowing economy makes them unprofitable, sources say, signalling the end of a five-year boom fuelled by rising Chinese demand.

Cheap Natural Gas Lures Private Equity to Power Industry

The companies most bullish on U.S. power aren’t from the energy industry. They are private equity firms, and here’s why: natural gas.

The link between Israel and America’s natural gas boom

Like the U.S., Israel recognizes the importance of having a secure domestic supply of natural gas, but they also recognize the strategic potentials of exporting it, says Jeffrey Kupfer, a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

UPDATE 2-Turkey may suggest LNG project to Russia

Turkey could propose to Russia building an LNG terminal in an energy complex on its border with Greece, as part of talks on planned new gas pipeline with its northern neighbour, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said.

No, cheap oil will not kill solar power

Solar energy investors seem to be running for the doors, fearing that cheap oil will erase demand for alternative energy. But it won’t, say industry analysts. Oil and solar serve two different customers.

Climate Change

Climate Sticking Point: Who Cuts And By How Much?

U.N. talks on global warming are wrapping up in Peru but a divide between rich and poor countries and how to divvy up targets to reduce greenhouse gases is a key sticking point that has remained unresolved.

EXCLUSIVE – Top Chinese climate minister: US/China CBDR deal a model for UN talks

Language the United States and China struck last month to iron out their decades-long dispute over which countries should act first to tackle climate change could serve as a model for the gridlocked international negotiations, China’s top climate change official said yesterday.

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
Disaster Risk and Climate Change: The Frog in the Boiling Pot
Sophia Dahodwala

Climate change and the increasing severity of natural hazards are pressing global concerns that necessitate attention, action, and investment. Join ASP and special guest, Mr. Dante Disparte, for a discussion on disaster risk management in the wake of climate change.

U.S.- Russia Relations – new ISAB Report
BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)

After over a year’s worth of work by a very distinguished board, you’ll find a report that doesn’t whitewash anything – be it Putin, Ukraine, or nuclear weapons. I found it refreshing and professional, and encourage you to read it in its entirety.
GCC starting to create regional security
Fadi Elsalameen
This week saw the Gulf Cooperation Council (the GCC) take major security and political steps together.

Pakistan – Aid, Trade, and Security
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
On December 9th, ASP hosted a roundtable discussion sponsored by FTI Consulting with Admiral William Fallon, USN (Re.), Mr. Daniel Grant, Assistant to the Administrator for Pakistan in the USAID office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs and Mr. Mark Thompson of APCO Worldwide, titled “Pakistan – Aid, Trade, and Security.”

ASP’s Holland Testifies about the Arctic before House Foreign Affairs Committee
Andrew Holland
On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Andrew Holland, ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, testified before the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. The hearing, “The United States as an Artic Nation: Opportunities in the High North” took place in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building Washington.

FY-15 Omnibus supports Fusion
Caroline Julia von Wurden
December 9th, the FY-15 Omnibus was posted by the Rules Committee. Listen to ASP’s Andrew Holland explain the details and the importance of fusion to America’s long term energy security.

Hochstein: “Energy plays a critical role in national security”
Caroline Julia von Wurden
Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs leading the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the U.S. Department of State spoke at the American Security Project on Monday about energy policy and the critical role it plays in global and national security.

Electricity Supply: What it means for Security, Development, and Geopolitics
American Security Project
The nexus of electricity, development, and security is significant, yet its nuances are too often overlooked. American Security Project’s half-day conference on November 19th, “Electricity Supply: What it means for Security, Development, and Geopolitics,” brought together development and energy experts, government officials, business leaders, and policy makers to discuss the importance of electricity to development.

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
January 7 @ 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington DC, 20008
Join us for the 4th Annual Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium from January 7-8, 2015. Use the code: ASP-Discount-2015 at check-out to receive a 20% discount.

Economic Diplomacy: How Economic Ties Can Strengthen National Security with Amb. Rivkin
January 15 @ 12:30PM – 1:30PM
Location: American Security Project, 1100 New York Ave. NW – 7th Floor – West Tower, Washington DC, 20005
Join ASP on January 15, 2015 as we welcome Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin for Economic Diplomacy: How Economic Ties Can Strengthen National Security.

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense John Conger: DoD Efforts on Climate Adaptation
January 21 @ 10:00 – 11:30 am

Location: American Security Project, 1100 New York Ave. NW – 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.

The post What We Are Reading… December 12, 2014 appeared first on American Security Project.