Center for Strategic Communication

International News Coverage


Middle East, Terrorism and Counterterrorism


Islamic State appears to be fraying from within
Liz Sly / The Washington Post
The Islamic State ¬appears to be starting to fray from within, as dissent, defections and setbacks on the battlefield sap the group’s strength and erode its aura of invincibility among those living under its despotic rule.


Obama says US will ‘walk away’ from bad Iran deal
The Times of Israel
President emphasizes deal must ensure world powers would have enough time to take action if Tehran cheats.


Iran supreme leader Khamenei appears in public amid rumors of failing health
Reuters / Haaretz
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has made a public appearance amid rumors about his health.


Turkey Seeks Bigger Military Role in Gulf Region
Burak Ege Bekdil / Defense News
Despite mounting problems and multiple cross-border threats in its south and southeast, Turkey is seeking a bigger military role in the Gulf region, preparing to set foot first in


Yemen’s defense minister escapes Houthi-controlled Sanaa
Yemen’s defense minister has fled Houthi-controlled Sanaa for Aden, officials said on Sunday, in a move expected to bolster President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in his power struggle with the Shi’ite Muslim group.


Saudi Arabia says talks to end Yemen crisis to be held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia said on Monday the Gulf Cooperation Council had agreed to host talks in Riyadh to end the Yemen crisis, the state news agency SPA said, quoting a statement by the Saudi King’s office.


ISIL tightens grip on Libya’s Derna
Al Jazeera
Seen as ‘increasingly assertive and more powerful’ than other armed groups, ISIL is drawing in more young fighters.


Why Are Foreign Fighters Joining ISIS?
J. M. Berger and Jessica Stern / Defense One
Foreign fighters participate in some of ISIS’ ‘worst acts,’ but there isn’t one clear explanation on why they join the battle in the first place.


Race in Iraq and Syria to Record and Shield Art Falling to ISIS
Anne Barnard / The New York Times
Islamic State militants have called ancient art idolatry that must be destroyed. But they also loot antiquities on a large scale to raise money, according to officials and experts who track the thefts through local informants and satellite imagery.




Vladimir Putin describes secret meeting when Russia decided to seize Crimea
AFP / The Guardian
Documentary shows Russian president discussing how he decided to rescue fleeing Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.


Five Are Detained in Slaying of Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov
Andrey Ostroukh and Gregory L. White / The Wall Street Journal
Suspects in murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov hail from restive Caucasus region; two men charged include ex-Chechen policeman.


Early Greek election, referendum possible if EU rejects debt plan: Varoufakis
Steve Scherer / Reuters
Greece could call a referendum or have early elections should its euro zone partners reject its debt and growth plans, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.


European Official Not Ready to Stiffen Russia Sanctions
James Kanter and Andrew Higgins / The New York Times
Mr. Tusk, who will meet President Obama in Washington on Monday in his role as president of the European Council, said in an interview that Europe was not yet ready to further tighten sanctions against Russia despite continuing provocations by President Vladimir V. Putin.


Now the EU wants its own Army: Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker calls for European force to face down Putin
Tom McTague / Daily Mail
Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of an EU army in the wake of rising tensions with Russia.


Ukrainian military says heavy weapons pullback is complete
Associated Press / The Guardian
Rebel official says separatists have also completed pullback from buffer zone before deadline under peace agreement.


Russia’s anti-American fever goes beyond the Soviet era’s
Michael Birnbaum / The Washington Post
After a year in which furious rhetoric has been pumped across Russian airwaves, anger toward the United States is at its worst since opinion polls began tracking it.


The Americas


In Chávez, Maduro Trusts, Maybe to His Detriment and Venezuela’s
William Neuman / The New York Times
…no matter the dangers, President Nicolás Maduro says that no one will scare him, fool him or divert him from carrying out the mission that the “eternal Commander Chávez” has given him “until the end of the end of the roads, now and forever.”




Nigeria’s Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State
Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS), according to an audio statement.


Chad, Niger Launch Joint Offensive Against Boko Haram
Voice of America
The armies of Chad and Niger have launched a joint offensive against the Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram.


Over 50 killed in suicide blasts at northern Nigerian bus station, markets
Aminu Abubakar, Joshua Berlinger, and Greg Botelho / CNN
More than 50 people were killed and scores wounded in a series of suicide bombings in northern Nigeria on Saturday, witnesses and authorities told CNN.




China says summit with N. Korea to take place when ‘convenient’
The Korea Times
The leaders of North Korea and China may meet when their schedules are “convenient,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday, signaling the possibility of a North Korea-China summit despite long-running standoffs over the North’s nuclear ambition.


China’s Island Construction in South China Sea No Threat, Says Foreign Minister
Jeremy Page / The Wall Street Journal
Foreign Minister Wang Yi says work is lawful, necessary and in China’s ‘own yard.’


In a Test of Wills, Japanese Fighter Pilots Confront Chinese
Martin Fackler / The New York Times
Once a sleepy, sun-soaked backwater, this air base on the southern island of Okinawa has become the forefront of a dangerous test of wills between two of Asia’s largest powers, Japan and China.


Energy Security, Science and Technology, Climate Change


Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia agree basis of Nile deal
AFP / Al Arabiya News
The foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia said early on Friday they had reached the basis of an agreement on the sharing of Nile waters and Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


The 0.1% of Bacteria
Kennington Cung
Last week, the UCLA-Ronald Reagan Medical Center reported two patients had died after contracting a “superbug.” As investigations continue into how and what caused these deaths and the possible exposure of 175 people, connecting stories to the cases at UCLA are casting a wide net on the problem. The incident has led to a discussion on what these so called “superbugs” are, whether cleaning instructions are sufficient for medical devices, and whether our current health system can deal with these new bacteria.


A View from the Baltics – The Kremlin Shadow
Paul Hamill
Last week I spoke on a number of panels at a conference in Riga Latvia regarding the future of Iraq and how to fully defeat Daesh (also known as ISIS); while there I also got to see first-hand on what it’s like to be on the front lines of NATO and what the effects of the Kremlin’s push in Ukraine are doing to the people of Eastern Europe.


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March 11 @ 9:30am – 10:00am
Well-informed congressional leaders are key to ensuring the national security of our nation. For that reason, American Security Project (ASP), is hosting a breakfast roundtable discussion on strategic approaches to national security issues from a nonpartisan perspective.


Climate Change: Risks for National Security
March 26 @ 3:30pm – 5:30pm
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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


Energy Security in the Caribbean
American Security Project
On Wednesday, February 4th 2015, the American Security Project hosted a half-day conference examining energy security in the Caribbean. Nearly 100 experts from academia, International Financial Institutions, the US government, and private corporations attended the conference.


Global Natural Gas Pivot to Asia
American Security Project
Asia currently has two of the world’s three largest economies, and its energy needs to fuel these economies are continuing to grow. Energy suppliers are increasingly looking to exploit this market demand, trying to secure their market share in an economy with a long term demand. To this effect, energy suppliers are looking to how they can best fulfill the needs of the Asian energy markets.


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.

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