Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage

Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism


The U.S. wants to attack ISIS on social media, but it probably isn’t going to work
Brett LoGiurato / Fusion
According to the New York Times, the U.S. government wants to counter ISIS’ social strategy by consolidating anti-ISIS social messaging under an expanding State Department branch called the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. It would also promote messaging by Arab allies and Muslim academics and community leaders in ISIS’ hotbeds, hoping to persuade prospective ISIS recruits against joining…But experts question whether the effort can be effective, and whether the government is undertaking it too late…


Israel snaps up 14 F-35 stealth fighters
Stuart Winer / Times of Israel
Israel has signed a deal to purchase 14 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the US, with the option of another 17, the Defense Ministry announced on Sunday.


Phased Iran-US nuclear deal taking shape
Bradley Klapper and George Jahn / Yahoo News
The United States and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran’s nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement’s duration.


Lebanon’s Hezbollah acknowledges battling the Islamic State in Iraq
Liz Sly and Suzan Haidamous / The Washington Post
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement acknowledged for the first time Monday that the Shiite militia has sent fighters to Iraq, and he urged Arab states throughout the region to set aside sectarian rivalries to confront the threat posed by the Islamic State.


Persian Gulf Council Retracts Statement Defending Qatar
David D. Kirkpatrick / The New York Times
The organization of Persian Gulf monarchies on Friday withdrew a statement issued the previous day that defended Qatar against Egyptian allegations of supporting terrorism. The turnabout raised questions about possible discord or confusion within the organization, and about what appeared to be signs of reconciliation after a long dispute over Egypt between Qatar and its neighbors.


Egypt’s Sisi says need growing for joint Arab force
Associated Press /
Egypt’s president said Sunday that the need for a joint Arab military force is growing every day as the region faces the threat of Islamic militancy.


Turkish military enters Syria to evacuate soldiers, relocate tomb
Orhan Coskun / Reuters
Turkish forces swept into Syria overnight to rescue about 40 soldiers who had been surrounded for months by Islamic State militants while guarding the tomb of a revered Turkish figure.


Iraqi minister chides U.S. over Mosul assault timing
Ahmed Rasheed / Reuters
Iraq’s defense minister criticized the United States on Sunday for declaring a timeframe for an offensive to recapture the Islamic State’s northern stronghold of Mosul, saying military commanders should not show their hand to the enemy.


Yemen’s Hadi flees to Aden and says he is still president
Mohamed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters
Yemen’s ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appeared to rescind his resignation and attempt to reclaim his position in a statement on Saturday after escaping house arrest by the Houthi militia in the capital Sanaa and fleeing to Aden.


Turkey to harmonize long-range missile system with NATO system
Today’s Zaman
Turkey will make its planned new long-range missile system harmonious with the NATO system, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın told a news conference on Monday, in comments apparently at odds with those of the country’s defense minister.




Ukraine Delays Heavy Weapons Pullback, Blames Rebel Attacks
The Associated Press / The New York Times
Ukraine delayed a promised pullback of heavy weapons from the front line Monday in eastern Ukraine, blaming continuing attacks from separatist rebels.


‘It’s treason!’ Greek anger at government u-turn
Holly Ellyatt / CNBC
European equity markets might be cheering a deal to extend Greece’s aid by four months, but many ordinary Greeks feel their government has backtracked from its grand promises to strike out the bailout.


Some Russian-European ties are growing closer
Catherine Boyle / CNBC
Russia’s relationship with the European Union establishment is at its lowest ebb for decades. However, its ties with some sections of European politics are getting stronger.


Ukraine truce rocked by Kharkiv blast
Alec Luhn / The Guardian
Two people were killed and about a dozen injured when a bomb exploded in Ukraine’s second-largest city at a march on to mark the first anniversary of the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s interior ministry said.


The Americas


Amid a Slump, a Crackdown for Venezuela
Simon Romero and Girish Gupta / The New York Times
Faced with tumbling approval ratings as Venezuelans reel from the economic shock, President Nicolás Maduro is intensifying a crackdown on his opponents, reflected in last week’s arrest of Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas, and his indictment on charges of conspiracy and plotting an American-backed coup.




Extremist video calls for attacks on Western malls
Andrew Meldrum / The Boston Globe
A video purportedly from Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked rebel group al-Shabab urged Muslims to attack shopping malls in the United States, Canada, Britain and other Western countries.


Nigerian army retakes Baga town from Boko Haram
The Nigerian army has retaken the north-eastern town of Baga, held by Boko Haram militants since 3 January.




Japanese crown prince says country must not rewrite history of WW2
AFP / The Guardian
Naruhito makes rare statement on importance of ‘correctly’ remembering Japan’s role in war as right wing attempts to downplay issue of sex slaves.


Carter: Unified Afghan Gov’t a Reason to Slow Troop Drawdown
Robert Burns / ABC News
A more hopeful outlook for Afghan democracy is the key reason the Obama administration is considering slowing down its troop withdrawal and rethinking the scope of its counterterrorism mission here, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday.


China protests at Indian PM’s visit to disputed border region
Pete Sweeney and Michael Martina / Reuters
China has lodged an official protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to a border region claimed by both countries.


Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change


Lockheed Martin turns to energy to juice growth
Bill Loveless / USA Today
The world’s biggest defense contractor is showing more interest in the energy business than ever before.


Iran Seeking Role In Selling Gas To Europe
Bruce Pannier / Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty
Russia, beware, Iran is trying to get into the European gas market.


“Der Spiegel”: EU will sign MOU with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on creation of Energy Union this year
Agshin Rafigoglu / APA
In order to accelerate diversification of natural gas import, the European Commission intends to start negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on gas transportation, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Supporting the Arab Solution
Paul Hamill
In an Op-Ed this morning in the The Hill, Paul Hamill wrote with Fadi Elsalameen, one of ASP’s Senior Adjunct Fellows, the need for the United States and its allies to support Arab nations and Arab solutions.


ASP in : “Climate Change Activists Dismiss Fossil Fuel Divestment Push as Waste of Time, Resources”
William George
A report released by ASP last week detailing the overall ineffectiveness of fossil fuel divestment was featured in an article published by The Washington Times on Thursday. The article details the recent scrutiny the fossil fuel divestment has come under from analysts, scientists, and academic professors.


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.


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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