Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism


John Kerry: Our Plan for Countering Violent Extremism

John Kerry

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.




The Americas


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
BBC News

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

Hugo Grondel

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

Kennington Cung

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.

Hugo Grondel

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.


No Fury like a Woman’s School

Luke Lorenz

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

Philip Rossetti

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

William George

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.


Strong Push for Export Bank

Luke Lorenz

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

Philip Rossetti

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.


Upcoming Events

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.


Fact Sheet: Yemen (2015)

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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