Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Islamic State in Syria Seen Under Strain But Far From Collapse

Tom Perry and Mariam Karouny / Reuters

Islamic State’s defeat in Kobani and other recent setbacks in Syria suggest the group is under strain but far from collapse in the Syrian half of its self-declared caliphate.


Islamic State Crisis: Thousands Rally in Jordan


Thousands of people are marching in Jordan’s capital, Amman, in support of their government’s fight against Islamic State (IS) militants. Jordan says its warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes on IS targets in Syria on Thursday in response to the killing of a Jordanian fighter pilot.


Decade-Long Curfew to Be Lifted in Baghdad

Kareem Fahim / The New York Times

Seeking to normalize life in the embattled capital, Iraq’s prime minister said on Thursday that the authorities would lift a nighttime curfew in Baghdad that has been in force, with some interruptions, for over a decade.


Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Announce Takeover of Country

Ahmed Al-Haj / The Associated Press

Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebels have announced they are taking over the country and dissolving the parliament. The dramatic move finalizes their power grab, which has been months in the making.




Merkel and Hollande’s Surprise Moscow Visit Raises Hopes of Ukraine Deal

Shaun Walker, Ian Traynor, Dan Roberts, and Alec Luhn  / The Guardian

The leaders of Germany and France abruptly announced a summit with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow on Friday in response to overtures from the Kremlin, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the year-old Ukraine conflict.


UK Tribunal Says Intelligence-Sharing with U.S. was Unlawful

Estelle Shirbon / Reuters

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.


E.U. Raises Its Forecast for Growth

James Kanter / The New York Times

European Union officials on Thursday nudged up growth forecasts across the 28-nation bloc amid optimism that falling oil prices, a weaker euro and intervention by the European Central Bank were brightening the outlook for a region wrestling with economic stagnation.


The Americas


U.S. Jobs Number Increases by 257,000 in January

The Associated Press

U.S. employers added a vigorous 257,000 jobs in January, and wages jumped by the most in six years – evidence that the U.S. job market is accelerating closer to full health.


Ex-Spymaster is Called to Testify in Investigation of Argentine Prosecutor’s Death

Simon Romero / The New York Times

The lead investigator in the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who accused Argentina’s president of trying to shield Iranians from responsibility over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here, summoned an ousted spy chief to testify in the case on Thursday.


Brazil Police Question Ruling Party Treasurer in Petrobras Probe

Caroline Stauffer / Reuters

Brazilian federal police said on Thursday they had started questioning João Vaccari Neto, the treasurer of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party, as a corruption probe focused on state-run oil company Petrobras widened to include political figures.




Boko Haram Launches First Attack in Niger


The Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has attacked a town in Niger for the first time, witnesses say.The attack on the border town of Bosso was the group’s second on a neighbouring country in as many days. The militants control a large stretch of land in north-eastern Nigeria.


IMF Grants $100 Million Debt Relief to Ebola-Hit Countries

Anna Yukhananov / Reuters

The International Monetary Fund has granted Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone debt relief of about $100 million in total, the first time a global institution has provided such relief to the three West African nations hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.
Oil Companies in the Crosshairs of Libyan Violence

Benoit Faucon and Georgi Kantchev / The Wall Street Journal

The violence roiling Libya has increasingly targeted oil companies and their assets, upending long-term investments by Western companies and driving down production in a country that helped launch the world-wide rout in oil prices.




Agency: Problems With Both Engines Before TransAsia Crash in Taiwan

Jethro Mullen / CNN

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.


China Rejects Anthem Health Hack Accusation


China has rejected accusations it was behind an attack that stole data from health insurer Anthem. Personal details of up to 80 million people are believed to have been stolen in the hack. Investigators looking into the breach told US newspapers the methods used in it resembled earlier attacks blamed on China.


Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change


Undersea Volcanoes May Be Impacting Climate Change

Kevin McSpadden / TIME Magazine

A new study claims that volcanic eruptions along the ocean floor may impact earth’s climate cycle and that predictive models, including those that analyze humanity’s impact on climate change, may need to be modified.


Geneva Climate Change Talks: Drafting a Text for the Paris Climate Deal

Nitin Sethi / Business Standard

In Lima, last year-end, more than 190 countries drew together a conflict-riddled wish list of what they desired the 2015 Paris climate change agreement to be. Starting February 8, negotiators from these countries will sit again for a week with this contentious wish list to produce the first draft negotiating text of the 2015 global climate change agreement. The agreement has to be agreed upon by consensus by the end of the year in Paris.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Peter S. Rashish on TTIP’s Strategic Challenge

Hugo Grondel

In today’s Le Monde, Peter S. Rashish (Transnational Strategy Group and ASP consensus member), stressed the geopolitical importance of the ongoing negotiations between the US and the European Union to conclude an ambitious free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).


Department of Energy Budget Fails Again to Lead on Fusion Energy

Andrew Holland

Fusion energy research is simply too important for budgetary games. It should be a priority. With focus and direction, we know that fusion energy research could be accelerated ASP’s report “Fusion Power – A 10 Year Plan to Energy Security” provides an aggressive, but doable, timeline for research and development.

Fallon on Climate Security

Philip Rossetti

When asked about climate, Admiral Fallon delivered a lengthy response emphasizing the near and short term threats of climate change, as well as the importance of the U.S. taking the lead on it as an issue.


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
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.

Upcoming Events

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

Fact Sheet: Yemen (2015)
Sungtae “Jacky” Park
Yemen has entered a new phase of instability and uncertainty, as a conflict between the Houthis and the country’s government led by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi eventually forced him and his cabinet to resign in January 2015. On January 25, Hadi then withdrew his resignation. While Yemen has been “a cluster of civilization” going back to the ancient days, the country has always been fraught with divisions. This updated fact sheet for 2015 looks at the key players in Yemen, its history, and its relations with the United States.


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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