International News Coverage
Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
John Kerry: Our Plan for Countering Violent Extremism
Throughout our history, we have faced threats from aggression, genocide, chaos and dictatorship. Today we are asked to wage a new war against a new enemy. The battlefield is different, and so are the weapons that we need to overcome that enemy and triumph.
Pakistan officials say Afghan Taliban signal readiness for peace talks
Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Hamid Shalizi / Reuters
Senior Pakistani army and diplomatic officials said on Thursday the Afghan Taliban have signaled through the Pakistani military that they are willing to open peace talks.
Islamic State Defeat Hinges on Stable Syria, Obama Says
Carol E. Lee, Felicia Schwartz, and Byron Tau / The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama suggested Thursday that U.S. and international efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State militant group may only be achieved after a political transition in Syria.
Persian Gulf States Back Qatar in Dispute with Egypt
David D. Kirkpatrick / The New York Times
The oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies hinted on Thursday that they had rebalanced their allegiances as their regional umbrella group admonished Egypt, their client, for criticizing Qatar, previously ostracized by its gulf neighbors for its criticism of Egypt.
Greece offers concessions to win euro zone loan extension, Germany objects
Renee Maltezou and Jan Strupczewski / Reuters
Greece formally requested a six-month extension to its euro zone loan agreement on Thursday, offering major concessions as it raced to avoid running out of cash within weeks, but immediately ran into strong objections from EU paymaster Germany.
RAF scrambles jets after Russian bombers spotted near Cornwall coast
Haroon Siddique / The Guardian
RAF Typhoon fighters have been scrambled to escort two Russian Bear bombers off the coast of Cornwall, as a diplomatic row broke out after the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, issued a warning over Moscow’s threat to Nato’s Baltic states.
Fighting rages in east Ukraine despite bid to revive truce
Gleb Garanich and Anton Zverev / Reuters
Fighting raged in parts of east Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a stillborn ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian separatists spurned the truce by forcing thousands of government troops out of a strategic town.
Faulted for Avoiding ‘Islamic’ Labels to Describe Terrorism, White House Cites a Strategic Logic
Scott Shane / The New York Times
President Obama chooses his words with particular care when he addresses the volatile connections between religion and terrorism. He and his aides have avoided labeling acts of brutal violence by Al Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State and their allies as “Muslim” terrorism or describing their ideology as “Islamic” or “jihadist.”
Energy leads Wall Street lower, Wal-Mart falls on results
Ryan Vlastelica / Reuters
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with energy shares leading the way lower amid a sharp decline in oil prices, while continued uncertainty over the prospects of a debt deal with Greece added to the cautious tone.
More than 100 possibly exposed to ‘superbug’ within UCLA Health System
Dan Whitcomb and Curtis Skinner / Reuters
The UCLA Health System said seven patients were infected with a potentially deadly, drug-resistant strain of bacteria and that more than 100 might have been exposed to it.
Boko Haram militants kill three in attack on Niger village
Niamey / Reuters
Boko Haram militants attacked a village in southeastern Niger overnight, killing three people including the local chief and wounding three others before being driven off by security forces, a military source said.
Somali’s panic as cash flow dries up after U.S. remittance lifeline cut
Katy Migiro / Reuters
Somali families are panicking and businesses are running short of funds two weeks after the last major U.S. bank stopped transferring money to the fragile Horn of Africa country, development groups said.
China to project power from artificial islands in South China Sea
Greg Torode / Reuters
China’s creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea is happening so fast that Beijing will be able to extend the range of its navy, air force, coastguard and fishing fleets before long, much to the alarm of rival claimants to the contested waters.
Thai ex-PM Yingluck indicted for negligence over rice subsidy scheme
Thailand’s attorney-general has filed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over a controversial rice subsidy scheme.
Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change
Canadian mounties’ secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat
Suzanne Goldberg / The Guardian
The US security establishment views climate change as real and a dangerous threat to national security. But Canada takes a very different view, according to a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Oil falls below $59 on record-high U.S. crude stocks
Brent crude oil prices fell below $59 a barrel on Thursday after U.S. government data showed crude stocks hit a record high last week.
Lenovo to stop pre-installing controversial software
Paul Carsten / Reuters
China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, the world’s largest PC maker, said on Thursday it will no longer pre-install software that cybersecurity experts said was malicious and made devices vulnerable to hacking.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Ambassador Froman on the Geopolitical Stakes of America’s Trade Policy
In an op-ed published on Wednesday by Foreign Policy, Ambassador Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, outlines why international trade has become one of America’s most important foreign policy tools.
The Need for a Faster Global Health Response
The West Africa Ebola epidemic can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. With over 22,000 cases and over 9,000 deaths, it is the largest Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered almost forty years ago. The staggering loss of life in the region coupled with the destruction of families and communities is unfathomable. The importance of the wide media coverage and the large death tolls inflicted by Ebola is the lessons the local and international health organizations can learn from this.
What’s Going On in the Eurozone? The Greek Stalemate Explained.
Last Monday, a top level meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels failed to yield a solution to Greece’s spiraling debt crisis. Greece finds itself isolated after its newly elected government has openly vowed to unilaterally end the austerity measures the country has been faced with since 2011.
To undermine our values, terrorists must resort to horrific acts of deplorable brutality. How advantageous that we need only give a girl a schoolbook for a proportionately horrified response.
Divestment Strategy Lacks Effectiveness for Addressing Climate Change
Recently there has been a large push among universities to divest their endowments away from fossil fuels, and this is based upon a false assumption that divestment is an effective tool for reducing emissions. Divestment alone does not actually produce any emission reductions though, since it ignores basic functions of the market.
Department of Defense Reducing Energy Consumption: Why This is a GREAT Thing
According to the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), energy used by the US Department of Defense fell to its lowest recorded level since fiscal year 1975 (FY 1975). DoD energy use fell to .75 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in FY 2013, the lowest levels on record.
Today, national security leaders submitted a letter to Congress to impress the importance of reauthorizing the Export Import Bank (often referred to as Ex-Im). The bank furthers international trade and enhances American national security.
French Emphasize Climate Security
At this year’s Munich Security Conference, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius took the opportunity to stress the need to recognize climate change as a security issue. Fabius strongly emphasized the need for global cooperation, asserting that there should be a “universal” agreement arising from COP21. Fabius also pointed out that as a global community we are already experiencing the effects of climate change, and must address the need for adaptation to minimize the security impact.
Obama’s National Security Policy: A New Assessment
February 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Join the American Security Project on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 as we host researcher Seyom Brown as he discusses the national security policies of the Obama Administration versus previous presidents.
Discussion with Gov. Christine Todd Whitman: Climate Change Calls for Clean and Safe Energy
April 10 @ 10:00am – 11:00am
Join Governor Whitman at the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head Island as she discusses the important issue of climate change and its impact on clean, safe energy. She will recount her experience as governor as well as the Administrator of the EPA. Come join this exciting event.
ASP Recently Published
Effective Measures for Tackling Climate Change — Divestment
American Security Project
This report focuses on how effective fossil fuel divestment campaigns in the United States would be in combating the effects of global climate change, as well as explore various solutions that aim to mitigate and eventually reverse the effects of our current accelerating climate change.
White Paper – Military Public Diplomacy
American Security Project
The U.S. Department of State is hardly America’s sole player in the public diplomacy realm. For decades, the U.S. military has been at the forefront of America’s efforts to inform and influence public audiences abroad. Members of the United States Military are often the first Americans many foreign publics meet, and have a role in forging relationships and perceptions of America.
American Security Project
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.
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