Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In Case You Missed It…

3 February 2015 


International News Coverage 


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism 


Bomb kills 1 in Egypt, 2 other bombs defused at airport

Sarah El Deeb / Associated Press

A roadside bomb near Egypt’s second largest city Alexandria killed a bystander and injured two others on Tuesday, while authorities defused two more explosives at Cairo International Airport, officials said.


Jordanian Opposition to Fight Against Islamic State Grows More Vocal

Maria Abi-Habib and  Suha Ma’ayeh/ Wall Street Journal

Jordan’s effort to win the freedom of a pilot captured by Islamic State is exposing growing opposition here to the government’s involvement in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist group.


Explosion, gunfire along Egypt-Gaza border, no casualties

Yusri Mohamed and Nidal Al-Mughrabi / Reuters

Egyptian troops fired warning shots over the frontier into Gaza on Tuesday after a bomb exploded on Gaza territory near an Egyptian army convoy, Egyptian security sources said. Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, said Palestinian positions had come under fire from Egyptian soil with no justification.




French soldiers attacked by man with knife in Nice

Jamey Keaton / Associated Press

Three soldiers on an anti-terror patrol in the southern French city of Nice were attacked by a man with a knife Tuesday, a French police union official said. Sarah Baron said the extent of the soldiers’ injuries is not yet clear.


Ukraine’s ability to fight separatist forces is tested by economic and military challenges

Karoun Demirjian / The Washington Post

The public is increasingly frustrated that government-promised reforms — chief among them an anti-corruption effort — have yet to be realized. And in the ranks of a rapidly expanding military, there are signs of disorganization and frustration with commanders as the conflict in the east wears on.


The Americas


Argentine Leader Pleads For Unity During Inquiry

Jonathan Gilbert / The New York Times

In a veiled reference to the fallout from the mysterious death of a federal prosecutor this month, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina blamed unspecified forces on Friday for provoking upheaval, pleading with Argentines to remain united and to “not let them bring conflicts here that are causing desolation, death and strain on other countries.”


State Department budget plan includes $1 billion for Central America

Paul Richter / Los Angeles Times

The State Department’s proposed $50.3-billion budget for next year includes $1 billion to try to improve governance and the economies of Central America in an effort to discourage migration to the United States. The figure is about triple what the U.S. government usually spends in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, U.S. officials said.


In Brazil, a new bus fare increase elicits tepid protests this time

Vincent Bevins / Los Angeles Times

In June 2013, an 8-cent bus fare increase spurred student-led protests that quickly grew into a wider movement in which more than a million people took to the streets nationwide to denounce Brazil’s poor public services, government corruption and police abuse. That price increase was shelved. But this month, amid a series of difficult spending cuts and tax hikes, authorities have raised fares again, this time by 20 cents, to $1.35.




Boko Haram attack: What happened in Baga?

Thomas Fessy / BBC News

Scores of men, women and children were killed in the Nigerian towns of Baga and Doron Baga on 3 January when Boko Haram militants launched a fierce attack. The exact number of dead remains unknown, but claims vary from 150 up to 2,000 people killed. The BBC met survivors at refugee camps in Chad in order to piece together a picture of what happened that day.


French troops kill around a dozen Islamist militants in Mali

Daniel Flynn / Reuters

French forces in northern Mali have killed around a dozen Islamist militants in the region of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, France’s defense ministry said on Monday. No French soldiers were killed in the attack which took place on Saturday night, the statement said.

Egypt frees Australian, one of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists

Liz Sly / The Washington Post

Egypt freed and deported Sunday one of the Al Jazeera journalists who had been jailed for more than a year in a case that drew international condemnation and sparked a worldwide campaign for their release.




Solve North Korea Problem by Addressing China’s Interests

Doug Bandow / The Huffington Post

One of Washington’s greatest policy failures is North Korea. Pyongyang’s most recent provocation apparently was hacking Sony Pictures in retaliation for the movie The Interview. More fundamentally, despite manifold U.S. efforts to enforce nonproliferation the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains determined to create a sizeable nuclear arsenal.


Top China analyst: Beijing has been duping the US since Mao

Bill Gertz / Business Insider

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


U.N. Weather Agency Confirms 2014 as Hottest Year

Justin Gillis / The New York Times

The World Meteorological Organization reported on Monday that 2014 was the hottest year in a historical record of global temperature dating from 1880. That finding confirms an announcement made last month by two American scientific agencies and one in Japan.


EU policy-makers seek to make electric transport a ‘priority’

Barbara Lewis / Reuters

Electric vehicles should be “a high priority”, the European Commission says in a discussion paper that maps out its vision for a single energy union based on improved power and gas connections and the free flow of fuel across the European Union.


On Our Flashpoint Blog
California Measles Outbreak Reminds Us of the Importance of Vaccines

Kennington Cung

In 1963, the measles vaccination program began in the United States. Before that, three million people contracted the virus annually and of those infected 500 died from it and thousands more were sent to the hospital.


Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy
Paul Hamill
Key Quotes from the Testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 January 2015

ASP’s Caribbean Energy Security Event Follows Biden’s Lead
Andrew Holland
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
Matthew Wallin
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
Philip Rossetti
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
Philip Rossetti
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
Luke Lorenz 
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.

Upcoming Events
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
Giancarlo Lima
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.

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