International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Joshua Mitnick and Dana Ballout / Wall Street Journal
Iran said a general in the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards force was killed in an Israeli helicopter strike in Syria on Sunday that Iran said also claimed six Hezbollah fighters, fanning concerns that an eight-year truce between the Shiite militia and Israel could weaken.
Luke Baker / Reuters
The militant group Islamic State released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill them unless it received $200 million in ransom.
Ali M. Latifi/ L.A. Times
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani officially presented his Cabinet nominations to parliament on Tuesday amid a series of shakeups and questions surrounding the long-delayed list of 25 proposed ministers. The list has already seen major changes in the week since Ghani presented his original list of ministerial candidates, with many lawmakers saying they would not consider any individuals who held dual citizenship.
Yara Bayoumy and Mohammed Ghobart / Reuters
Militia fighters bombarded the private residence of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Tuesday in an effort to overthrow the government, the country’s information minister said. The attack followed some of the worst fighting in the capital Sanaa in years on Monday, when guards loyal to Hadi fought artillery battles near the presidential palace with the powerful Houthi movement, which has been in dispute with Hadi over political and constitutional issues.
Jane Badstevener/ The Guardian
On paper at least, Nigeria and Africa are fulfilling their responsibilities, as demonstrated by the April 2014 report by the Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute, which showed that whereas military spending continues to fall in the west, it is rising everywhere else, especially in Africa, where the figures “increased by 8.3% in 2013, reaching an estimated $44.9 billion”.
AFP/ The Telegraph
Kenyan police fired tear gas at children as young as eight protesting on Monday against the seizure of their school playground by a property developer. Around 100 primary school children and a small group of activists pushed over a newly built wall that separated playing fields and the school buildings, close to the capital Nairobi’s main domestic airport.
Laila Kearney and Sebastien Malo/ Reuters
King’s 1960s dream of racial equality was being viewed through a lens focused on the deaths of unarmed black men after confrontations with police, including Eric Garner, who died in July after being put in a chokehold in New York City, and Michael Brown, shot in Ferguson, Missouri, in August.
Jorge Dan Lopez/ Reuters
The wife of a Mexican politician suspected of helping to plot the apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers in September will be tried for engaging in organized crime, the federal courts authority said on Monday.
Randal C. Archibold | The New York Times
A delegation of members of Congress who have been some of the strongest advocates of lifting the American trade embargo with Cuba concluded a three-day visit here on Monday with optimism over trade deals but without an anticipated meeting with President Raúl Castro — apparently because of its decision to meet with several Cuban dissidents.
Associated Press /The Chicago Tribune
Indonesia’s transport minister says an AirAsia plane that crashed last month with 162 people on board was climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunged and suddenly disappeared from radar.
Nicola Davison/ The Telegraph
Police shot dead two ethnic Uighurs in southern China as they tried to illegally cross the border into Vietnam, state media reported. The shooting occurred when police intercepted a van carrying five Uighur “stowaways” at a motorway tollbooth on Sunday evening near Pingxiang in the Guangxi region, according to the China Daily, a state-run newspaper.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
John Stang | Crosscut
“The glass ampule of water is the length of your little finger, only narrower. That single gram of deuterium-laced water has the potential to create 18 megawatt-hours of electricity — enough to power a home for at least a year. It normally takes 10 tons of coal to generate that much juice. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen, essentially a hydrogen atom with a neutron added to it.
Caroline Moss | Business Insider
A source close to the alleged deal says Google “has agreed to value SpaceX north of $10 billion.” In 2010 the privately funded space company became the first private company to put a spacecraft in orbit then successfully return it to earth.
Anthony DiPaola and Mahmoud Habboush / Bloomberg News
Egypt is planning to attract solar and wind power plants over the next three years as part of plans to diversify the country’s energy sources and be a trading hub. The projects will produce 4,300 megawatts of electricity, Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said at a conference in Abu Dhabi Monday.
ASP Recently Published
Libya: On the Brink
This report analyzes the recent events that have placed Libya on its current path. In order to understand events on the ground, this report includes a breakdown of key Libyan parties and figures as well as an examination of the economic and energy dimensions of the conflict. The report then concludes with a look forward for Libya and recommendations for the U.S. and international community.
U.S. Fusion Program Recommendations
Caroline Julia von Wurden and Andrew Holland
This report on fusion energy is informed by a roundtable discussion of fusion energy that was hosted by ASP on December 4, 2014. The report goes on to explain the potential benefits of fusion energy in the U.S. as a safe and clean source of power, but only if certain barriers to the implementation of this technology are overcome.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
The United States and its allies must understand the critical nature of education in the developing world. In their acts of barbarity, terrorist organizations like Boko Haram have revealed the weakness at the heart of their ideology. Their belief structure is a house of cards which can only stand on a foundation of ignorance.
“Market forces displace as much weight as military might” stated Rivkin (quoting U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman). This comprehensive perception of economic diplomacy is the central operating principle of Secretary of State John Kerry, who has endeavored to instill it as a cornerstone principle of the State Department. Rivkin sums up the Department’s economic agenda with the motto “economic policy is foreign policy”.
During 2014, along with the horrific outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the continent as a whole experienced one of the more turbulent years in its recent history with widespread protests, unrest, civil wars, and insurgencies. The most recent flare-up of these ongoing conflicts resulted in Boko Haram’s deadliest attack ever, the massacre of an estimated 2,000 people in the northeastern village of Doron Baga.
The 2015 State of the Union (SOTU), to be given next Tuesday, comes at a pivotal time for the United States and the world. In his role as Commander-in-Chief and negotiator with foreign powers President Obama will have to touch on a number of threats, challenges and even opportunities the United States faces in the realm of foreign affairs and national security. Here is a list of key topics I believe the President should cover….
ASP’s Von Wurden and Holland in: “U.S. Fusion Program Must Have Energy Mission”
American Security Project
ASP’s Fusion Energy Research Intern Caroline Von Wurden and ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate Andrew Holland wrote an Op-Ed published on January 13 in The Hill citing the need for strong political leadership and clear policy goals in developing a fusion energy program in the U.S. They argue that short-term budgets and lack of a unified plan for advancing the U.S. fusion program are hampering its progression.
CENTCOM Hack- A Big Deal? Yes, but not in the way you think.
Today CENTCOM’s twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked by an ISIL affiliated group. The hack, claimed by the ISIL affiliated group CyberCaliphate, resulted in offensive messages, distribution of already published documents that the hackers dubbed as “secret” and postings of office contact details of several generals. During the same time of the hack, the President was speaking on the need for stronger cyber-security.
Taking Action on Infrastructure
Don’t call it traffic. Call it congestion. An excessive accumulation consolidating in one artery with no possibility of swift passage. At a minimum, we are subjected to this malady of the American causeway twice daily regardless of mode of transportation.
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.
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.