International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Adam Entous / The Wall Street Journal
It didn’t take long for rebel commanders in Syria who lined up to join a Central Intelligence Agency weapons and training program to start scratching their heads. After the program was launched in mid-2013, CIA officers secretly analyzed cellphone calls and email messages of commanders to make sure they were really in charge of the men they claimed to lead. Commanders were then interviewed, sometimes for
Yuya Shino / Reuters
Japan has vowed to work with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after the killing last week of another Japanese captive, but it reiterated that it would not give in to terrorism.
Sameer N. Yacoub / The Daily Star
“Sleeper cells” made up of former Iraqi police officers and soldiers are tipping off authorities to ISIS positions in the northern city of Mosul, a prominent lawmaker has told the Associated Press.
Karen DeYoung and Hugh Naylor / The Washington Post
The key Syrian border town of Kobane, the main focus of U.S. airstrikes in Syria for the past four months, has been retaken from the Islamic State by Kurdish forces, according to the U.S. Central Command and Kurdish activists.
Dan Bilefsky / The New York Times
The French counterterrorism police on Tuesday raided the southern town of Lunel and arrested five people in an operation aimed at rooting out a suspected jihadist network, a senior police official said. Christophe Crépin, a spokesman for the UNSA police union, said that the five people arrested were suspected of being part of a group that had been recruiting people to join militants fighting in Syria.
Laurence Norman / The Wall Street Journal
European Union heads of government asked the bloc’s foreign ministers to consider further sanctions on Russia as a response to the latest violence in eastern Ukraine, saying Moscow held “responsibility” for the rebels’ actions.
Osama Alfitory and Matt Bradley / The Wall Street Journal
Unknown gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Libya’s capital Tuesday, killing at least three people and taking several others hostage, eyewitnesses and security officials said. A group calling itself Islamic State-Libya Province claimed responsibility over Twitter for the midmorning attack on the Corinthia Hotel.
Carol Morello / The Washington Post
Against a backdrop of militant Islamist attacks, Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday urged Nigeria’s president and his leading opponent in upcoming elections to accept the results of next month’s vote and encourage their supporters to eschew postelection violence.
Kevin Sieff/ The Washington Post
Near the hillside shelter where dozens of men and women died of Ebola, a row of green U.S. military tents sit atop a vast expanse of imported gravel. The generators hum; chlorinated water churns in brand-new containers; surveillance cameras send a live feed to a large-screen television.
Walter Brandimarte and Silvio Cascione/ Reuters
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s crusade to win back investor confidence has entrusted policymakers with the tough mission of hiking interest rates while major central banks cut them, raising the prospect of another recession in Latin America’s biggest economy.
Caroline Stauffer / Reuters
A Brazilian police officer investigating a kick-back scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras said the total amount of money involved could exceed $28 billion, making it the country’s biggest-ever money laundering probe.
Tracy Wilkinson / LA Times
Five more members of a vigilante “self-defense” group were killed during the weekend in a spiral of violence sweeping parts of Mexico’s troubled Michoacan state, showcased by the government in the last year as a security success story.
Krittivas Mukherjee / Hindustan Times
India may no longer be unwilling to act to offset a rising China in Asia-Pacific, aligning its strategic vision for the region with that of the United States in what seems a radical departure from New Delhi’s history of independent foreign policy.
Arshad Arbab / The Guardian
Pakistan was plunged into darkness after a power transmission line broke down early on Sunday in an incident blamed on a rebel attack. The power failure, one of the worst Pakistan has experienced, caused electricity to be cut in 80% of the country, including major cities and the capital Islamabad.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Timothy Cama / The Hill
Justice Department attorneys, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told the court Friday that the rule cannot be challenged in court until it is made final later this year.
Shawn DuBravac / The Washington Post
Ethiopia halved the number of its undernourished people from 75 percent to 35 percent in two decades, according to the United Nations. Still, that 35 percent is considerable – the U.N.’s World Food Programme estimates that 3.2 million Ethiopians need food relief assistance.
Emily Steel / The New York Times
Cablevision Systems plans to announce on Monday the start of a low-cost mobile phone service that will use Wi-Fi for connectivity rather than standard cellular networks, the first such service to be introduced by a cable operator.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Check off another name on the list of officials, states, and agencies which refuse to grant ISIL its self-appointed label of being the “Islamic State.” Business Insider has noted that LTG James Terry, in command of Operation Inherent Resolve, is using the term “Daesh” to refer to ISIL.
Government officials in the Philippines said Monday at least 43 members of the elite Special Action Force were killed in a counter-terrorism raid, making it the largest single loss of involving Philippine police officers in recent history.
In risk management there is an old adage that complex systems fail in complex ways. Yet, many risk management approaches deal with risk as if it were a discrete, time-defined event, rather than a dynamic process that is highly volatile.
Four key events happened in regard to the Middle East and our own national security last week.
In the Middle East, Water Security IS Energy Security
ASP defines energy security as “the ability for a country to act in its foreign policy independently of how it uses energy domestically.” Countries in the Middle East are finding this concept increasingly difficult to implement due to intensifying resource-based challenges. Specifically, many of these countries are running out of water.
The promise and potential of alternative energy is rapidly becoming a reality. In the manufacture of green technology, the United States has a clear opportunity for significant export growth and global leadership. This sector is also becoming a sound investment. The issuance of “Green Bonds”, investment instruments of which proceeds are dedicated to the advancement of alternative energy initiatives, has skyrocketed in just a few years.
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.
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.