Center for Strategic Communication

Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Libyan warplane bombs Greek-operated oil tanker at port, two dead
Aymen Al Warfalli and Angeliki Koutantou | Reuters
A Libyan warplane from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker anchored offshore, killing two crewmen in an escalation of a battle between the country’s rival factions.

Afghanistan conflict: Ghani queries troop exit deadline
BBC News
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said America’s two-year deadline for pulling out the last of its troops may need to be “re-examined”.

Yemen’s Al-Qaida Thrives on Sunni Backlash to Shiite Rebels
Maggie Michael | Associated Press
Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen is surging in strength, finding new support and recruits among the country’s Sunni tribesmen, in a backlash to drone strikes and the rise to power of Shiite rebels who have taken over the capital and other parts of the country, tribal leaders and Yemeni officials warn.

Saudis Report Deadly Border Clash With Infiltrators From Iraq
Ben Hubbard | New York Times
Four heavily armed men from Iraq attacked a Saudi Arabia border patrol early Monday, firing automatic weapons and detonating suicide belts in a confrontation that left three guards and all the assailants dead, Saudi officials said.

The Americas

Obama to deliver State of the Union on Jan. 20
David Jackson | USA Today
President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to the new Republican-run Congress on Jan. 20, officials said Friday.

A conversation with Gary Hart: New policies for a new world
Daily Camera
Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart had just returned from Northern Ireland, where he was serving as Secretary of State John Kerry’s personal representative, when he sat down for a conversation with Daily Camera editorial page editor Dave Krieger in his Denver law office on Dec. 11.

Jury Selection Starts in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial
Denise Lavoie | Associated Press
Potential jurors stared intently at Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as jury selection began under tight security Monday in what could be the nation’s most closely watched terror trial since the Oklahoma City bombing two decades ago.


Indonesia Cracks Down on Aviation Sector after AirAsia Crash
Tatan Syuflana | Associated Press
Highlighting the depth of Indonesia’s air safety problems, the transportation ministry announced harsh measures Monday against everyone who allowed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off without proper permits – including the suspension of the airport’s operator and officials in the control tower. 

Indonesia naval captain says may have located missing plane’s tail section
Fergus Jensen and Adriana Nina Kusuma | Reuters
An Indonesian naval patrol vessel has found what could be the tail of a crashed AirAsia passenger jet, the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located, officials said on Monday.

Energy Security, Climate Change

Jordan Said to Suspend Talks with Israel Over Huge Gas Deal
Times of Israel Staff | Times of Israel
Jordan said it was suspending talks with Israel over a proposed $15 billion deal for natural gas, Jordanian media reported Sunday, over a week after Israel barred a multinational consortium from developing offshore gas fields.

Across much of US, a first taste of winter as chill arrives
Don Babwin | Associated Press
A year after a brutally cold spell was blamed on something called the polar vortex — which was treated like a northern invasion by the media and as a conquering hero by children impressed by its power to close schools — this week’s chill is little more than what meteorologists like to call winter.

Energy stocks lead Wall Street lower in broad selloff
Sinead Carew | Reuters
Energy sector stocks led a broad selloff on Wall Street on Monday as crude prices fell to fresh 5-1/2 year lows and a strong dollar also weighed on other commodities.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

10 Key National Security Challenges in 2015
Paul Hamill
The United States and its allies are going to face a variety of challenges on the international stage in 2015, many will take forward the situations that arose in 2014, but others are long-term strategic issues. Here are 10 key challenges for 2015.

A strategic vision from Gelb
BGen Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.)
It always seems so easy to just send in the 82nd Airborne Division, let them perform their magic for a year or two, then pull them out and think the problem is solved. Never, never that simple.

Key Quotes on the U.S.-Cuba Relations
Marylin Carino

Combating Cyber Terrorism – The Need for a United Front
Porter Brockway
Cyber terrorism is already being used around the world – companies and governments need to work together to combat this growing threat.

ASP’s Paul Hamill in: “Sony’s Decision – An Attack on Free Speech or Matter of Public Safety”
Porter Brockway
“This is a cyber terrorist attack. Whether from a state actor, like North Korea, or from a non-state actor, we need to respond appropriately to this attack…”

Alan Gross Press Conference Held at ASP Office
Matthew Wallin
On Wednesday, ASP’s office served as the location of the press conference held by Alan Gross upon his release from imprisonment in Cuba. ASP was asked by Gilbert LLP, the law firm representing Gross, to use its office space for the conference.

Upcoming Events 

Economic Diplomacy: How Economic Ties Can Strengthen National Security with Amb. Rivkin
January 15 @ 12:30pm – 1:30pm
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.

Conference – Energy Security in the Caribbean: Unique Challenges
February 4 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Join ASP as we host a conference on February 4, 2015, discussing the challenges facing the Caribbean in securing their energy future and how to move forward in the years to come.


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