International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Retired Generals: U.S. set for failure in Iraq and Syria without clear Strategy
Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post
Without a clear strategy from the White House and the return of a robust defense budget, the United States is set for failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, argued former generals James Mattis and John Keane, as well as former admiral William Fallon in Congressional Testimony on Tuesday.
Jordan ready to trade inmate for pilot held by ISIL
Jane Onyanga-Omara and Doug Stanglin / USA Today
Jordan is ready to swap a prisoner convicted of a deadly terrorist attack on a hotel for a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic State militants, a top Jordan official said Wednesday, but there was no word on whether a Japanese hostage facing a 24-hour deadline would be included in any exchange.
Gunmen attack Corinthia Hotel in Libya; at least 10 die
Jomana Karadsheh and Hamdi Alkhshali / CNN
At least 10 people and two attackers were killed in Tuesday’s attack against the luxurious Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, a spokesman for a security division of the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli said. Five foreigners — one American, one French citizen, and three people from Tajikistan — were killed in the attack, Essam al-Naas said. Five Libyans were killed.
Afghan president faces new hurdles as cabinet nominees rejected
Mirwais Harooni and Jessica Donati / Reuters
Afghanistan’s parliament said on Wednesday it will not confirm seven out of 25 nominees to a long-awaited cabinet because they hold dual citizenship, another obstacle to President Ashraf Ghani forming a government after nearly four months in office.
Lebanese Hezbollah hits Israeli convoy, killing 2 soldiers
Ariel Schalit and Zeina Karam / Associated Press
A missile fired by the Lebanese Hezbollah group struck an Israeli military convoy on Wednesday, killing two soldiers in an apparent retaliation for a deadly airstrike attributed to Israel that killed six Hezbollah fighters in Syria earlier this month.
Senate to Begin Hearings for Obama Attorney General Nominee
Erica Werner and Eric Turner / Associated Press
Loretta Lynch is promising a fresh relationship with law enforcement – and with Congress – as she appears before a Senate committee Wednesday in her bid to become the nation’s first female black attorney general.
Ukraine conflict: US warns of more sanctions on Russia
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said sanctions against Russia could be extended because of the escalation of violence in east Ukraine. He was speaking on a visit to Kiev, after European Union leaders said they would consider further restrictive measures on Russia’s government.
Mexico officials conclude ‘without a doubt’ 43 students were killed
Tracy Wilkinson / Los Angeles Times
Hoping to move beyond the crisis that has dogged their government for four months, Mexican officials Tuesday issued final findings in the case of 43 missing college students, saying they were killed by corrupt authorities working with a drug gang and their bodies were incinerated.
Boko Haram militants conduct more deadly raids in Nigeria
Aminu Abubaker / CNN
Boko Haram militants have killed scores of people in raids on dozens of villages in northeast Nigeria’s Adamawa state, forcing thousands to flee into mountains and across the border into Cameroon, a lawmaker said.
The WHO Appoints a New, Reform-Minded Head for Africa
David Stout / Time
The World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Botswana’s Dr. Matshidiso Moeti as its new head of Africa operations on Tuesday. The physician is tasked with revamping the organization on the continent in the wake of the Ebola outbreak and ensuring that the WHO improves its overall response plans to public health crises.
Mozambique says death toll rises after heavy flooding
Maputo / Reuters
More than 100 people have been killed and 150,000 displaced by floods in Mozambique, a senior government official said on Wednesday, as southern Africa counts the human and economic costs of this month’s torrential rains.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to visit Russia
Russia says North Korea’s leader has accepted an invitation to travel to Moscow in May for World War Two anniversary celebrations. Kim Jong-Un has not made any overseas visits since taking power in North Korea in late 2011.
Indonesian military stops search and recovery for remains of AirAsia QZ8501
Pamela Boykoff and Jethro Mullen / CNN
The Indonesian military said Tuesday that it was stopping its efforts to recover the remains of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 almost a month after the commercial jet crashed into the sea.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
China Appoints New Party Boss for Environmental Ministry
Stian Reklev and David Stanway / Reuters
China has appointed Chen Jining, the president of Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University, as party chief of its environment ministry, since the controversial current incumbent is retiring, the ministry said on its website on Wednesday.
FCC warns hotels against blocking guests’ wi-fi
James R. Hood / Consumer Affairs
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Hotels, miffed by guests who used their own wi-fi hotspots instead of paying $12 or more to use the hotels’ in house systems, decided to try blocking personal hotspots. It didn’t work out too well. It turns out it’s illegal to interfere with legal radio transmissions and the Federal Communications Commission fined Marriott $600,000 for blocking guests’ wifi at a Nashville Marriott.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy
Key Quotes from the Testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 January 2015
ASP’s Caribbean Energy Security Event Follows Biden’s Lead
Earlier this week, Vice President Biden hosted the Caribbean Energy Summit at the State Department. He said to leaders and stakeholders from across the region: “We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in the global economy: the ascendancy of the Americas as the epicenter of energy production in the world. We have more oil and gas rigs running in the United States, than all the rest of the world combined. Mexico, Canada and the United States is the new epicenter of energy — not the Arabian Peninsula. It is the new epicenter of energy in the 21st century.”
What’s in a Name? ISIL being labeled Daesh
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.
The U.S. Should Take the Lead on Climate Change
Climate change presents a serious risk to the national interests of the United States, yet it still struggles to garner political support to address it as a diplomatic issue. Expansive multilateral agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol have failed to produce any significant progress towards achieving objectives of reducing global emissions. This has been largely due to the need for balance between inclusiveness and commitments, necessitating that obligations be low enough that a large number of states are still able to participate.
The Progress and Uncertainty of the Agreement at Lima
The Lima conference marks a significant shift in the thinking of the global community to move away from commitments which are well defined and strictly enforceable to more ambiguity and inclusivity, focusing on global cooperation rather than burdening developed states that are seen as responsible for climate change.
Green Bonds for Clean Energy
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.
5 Key World News Stories
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.
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.
Obama’s National Security Policy: A New Assessment
February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Based on the research for his new book, Faces of Power: Constancy and Change in United States Foreign Policy from Truman to Obama, Seyom Brown will argue that Obama’s national security policy resembles those of Reagan and George W. Bush in their second terms more than any of his other predecessors; and will assess the implications of Obama’s evolving grand strategy for his successors.
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.