Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Why is it time to answer TTIP’s call for action
Hugo Grondel / E!Sharpe
Since negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began in July 2013, the proposed free trade agreement has been fueling public debate all around Europe. The European public has been swamped with a thousand different myths on how TTIP will ruin the European way of life, curtail EU governments’ right to regulate, take America’s frivolous lawsuits across the Atlantic and put Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on every European’s plate. There are many more going around, but suffice it to say that the scare mongers want us to believe that TTIP will generate a race to the bottom like the world has never seen before.


U.S. diplomat warns Europe of ‘dangerous’ defence spending cuts
BBC News
A senior US diplomat has warned of a “dangerous” gulf emerging between US and European defence spending. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has appealed to European governments to spend more.



American Competitiveness


Stocks, oil sell off as dollar rallies on Fed views
Rodrigo Campos
The U.S. dollar rallied across the board on Tuesday as the prospect of the first rise in U.S. interest rates in almost a decade stoked global volatility, hitting stocks and commodities.


Dollar at 12-year peak vs euro, emerging markets spooked
Marc Jones / Reuters
The dollar hit multi-year highs against the euro and yen and emerging markets were under mounting pressure on Tuesday, as the prospect of the first rise in U.S. interest rates in almost a decade stoked global volatility.



National Security & Strategy


U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials
Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton / Reuters
The United States declared Venezuela a national security threat on Monday and ordered sanctions against seven officials from the oil-rich country in the worst bilateral diplomatic dispute since socialist President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013.


Fall of U.S.-backed Syrian group casts doubt on plan to arm moderates
Patrick J. McDonnell, Nabih Bulos, and W.J. Hennigan / The LA Times
The social media post features an odd incarnation of war booty: plundered sacks of dried lentils, humanitarian aid turned spoils of a punishing conflict.



Asymmetric Operations


Iraqi troops, militia retake strategic town north of Tikrit from Islamic State
Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters
Iraqi troops and militias drove Islamic State insurgents out of the town of al-Alam on Tuesday, clearing a final hurdle before a planned assault on Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit in their biggest offensive yet against the ultra-radical group.


U.S. urges Iraq to ensure coalition aid is effective against Islamic State
Missy Ryan / The Washington Post
The top U.S. military officer urged Iraqi leaders Monday to take steps to ensure the effectiveness of U.S. and allied security aid, calling for additional reforms to military leadership and pay systems and increased recruitment of troops to fight the Islamic State.


Suicide car bomber kills seven, wounds 28 in southern Afghanistan
Laskhar Gah / Reuters
Seven people were killed and 28 others including five police were wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in his car outside the capital of Helmand in southern Afghanistan, a provincial official said.



Climate Security


Disaster damage expected to hit $300 billion yearly as events intensify
Chris Arsenault / Reuters
Investing in insurance programs for poor farmers today could save tens of billions of dollars in coming decades as climate change upsets growing patterns and makes harvests fail, U.N. officials said ahead of next week’s conference in Japan on disaster preparedness.



Energy Security


OPEC is winning its battle with U.S. shale
John Kemp / Reuters
U.S. shale producers are falling behind in the Red Queen’s Race as the downturn in drilling means that new oil production is failing offset falling output from existing wells.


Solar Impulse: Piccard crosses Arabian Sea to India
Jonathan Amos / BBC News
Solar Impulse, the fuel-free aeroplane, has successfully completed the second leg of its historic attempt to fly around the world.



Nuclear Security


Pakistan tests missile that could carry nuclear warhead to every part of India
Tim Craig / The Washington Post
­Pakistan on Monday test-fired a ballistic missile that appears capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to ­every part of India, another escalation in Islamabad’s effort to keep pace with its neighboring rival’s formidable military advancements.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


EU Shows it’s Serious about Emissions with INDC
Philip Rossetti
­As the calendar moves closer to “COP21,” the upcoming climate summit in Paris this year where leaders are hoping to strike a global climate deal, it is still uncertain whether any meaningful agreement can be reached. As the Kyoto Protocol was plagued with problems of double counting and free riding, the global community is putting considerable effort into preventing a recurrence of the same problems. To this end, one agreement of COP20 was that all parties needed to state their “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution,” (INDC) publicly and to the UNFCCC.


Eurozone Negotiations with Greece Enter New Phase
Hugo Grondel
­As the Greek government met the Eurogroup’s deadline to hand over critical reform plans late February, the Mediterranean country secured an additional four months of its bailout program – set up by the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union Commission.

Egypt’s Economic Ambitions
Luke Lorenz
­Egypt, the world’s largest Arab nation, is making significant strides towards reinventing its role in the global community. Responding immediately to ISIS violence in Libya, Egypt has given itself the responsibility of maintaining stability in its neighboring states. It has also been the first voice to call for a Joint Arab Coalition. Now, Egypt is embarking on bold and ambitious economic reforms designed to attract substantial investment and spur development.


Upcoming Events

Congressional Breakfast Conversation on National Security Strategy
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
Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.


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.

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