U.S. military helicopter crashes off northwest Florida; human remains found
Greg Botelho / CNN
Seven Marines and four Army aircrew were presumed dead Wednesday, according to a U.S. Defense official, after their Black Hawk helicopter crashed into waters off the Florida Panhandle during a nighttime training mission.
Top Military Chief Voices Concerns About Fight Against IS
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press
America’s top military officer says that while Iran’s support in the fight against Islamic State militants is helpful, the U.S. remains concerned about what happens “after the drums stop beating” and IS is defeated.
John Kerry condemns Republicans over open letter to Iran
Alan Yuhas / The Guardian
US secretary of state John Kerry angrily condemned and refuted Republicans’ open letter to Iran on Wednesday, expressing shock and rejecting many of its claims, including that a future Republican president would renege on a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Euro dives under $1.06 for first time since 2003 as quantitative easing bites
Jemima Kelly / Reuters
The battered euro took another plunge toward parity with the dollar on Wednesday, shedding over 1 percent to trade below $1.06 for the first time in 12 years as a 1.1 trillion euro bond-buying program began to bite.
National Security & Strategy
W.H.: New sanctions on Russian separatists, non-lethal aid to Ukraine
David Jackson and Gregory Korte / USA Today
The Obama administration said Wednesday it is developing new sanctions on Russian separatists fighting in Ukraine, and new “non-lethal” security assistance to Ukrainian forces.
U.S. needs to shake up military approach to Boko Haram, new study says
Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post
The United States should develop a new approach to counter the Boko Haram militant group in Nigeria, in part because Nigerian leaders continue to use heavy-handed tactics that have alienated their citizens and yielded few results, according to a new report prepared for the U.S. military.
Iraqi forces push into Tikrit from north and south
Ahemed Rasheed / Reuters
Iraqi security forces and militias fought their way into Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit on Wednesday, advancing from the north and south in their biggest counter-offensive so far against Islamic State militants.
Islamic State video purports to show a child shooting an Arab Israeli ‘spy’
William Booth / The Washington Post
The latest video posted by the Islamic State carries a chilling twist: It appears to show a young boy in camouflage fatigues taking aim with a handgun and pumping fatal shots into a man the extremist group called “an Israeli spy.”
Philippine military says 23 muslim rebels killed in clashes
Philippine troops killed at least 23 Muslim rebels in new clashes in the restive south which raised the insurgents’ death toll in a three-week government offensive to nearly 100, the military said Wednesday.
IS Hostages Subjected To Execution Rehearsals
Stuart Ramsay / Sky News
An Islamic State defector claims militants routinely subjected foreign hostages to mock executions and gave them Arabic names before they were killed. Speaking exclusively to Sky News, “Saleh” said he was employed by a Turkish man in the group to reassure hostages their lives were not in danger – yet he says he always knew they would be killed.
Iraqi foreign minister dismisses Saudi worries about Iranian control
Malak Ghobrial and Saif Eldin Hamdan / Reuters
Iraq’s foreign minister dismissed Saudi concerns that Iran was taking control of his country and he said Baghdad sought good relations with both regional powers. Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia, the main regional rival of Shi’ite Iran, fears Tehran’s growing influence in Iraq, whose government is Shi’ite-led. Riyadh is also concerned that Iran will gain from any nuclear deal it manages to clinch in its ongoing negotiations with the West.
EPA head calls for US leadership in climate
The United States ought to lead the way among nations to fight climate change internationally, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.Gina McCarthy said climate change causes global unrest and instability, and it is in the United States’ best interests to play a leadership role in stopping it.
Desert renewable energy plan is altered to win counties’ support
Louis Sahagun / Los Angeles Times
The California desert may be a green energy developer’s dream, but county officials have serious concerns about a plan to manage renewable energy projects on 22 million acres of the state’s sunniest public and private lands.
Biofuels Group to Ask Congress for Revamped Renewable Fuel Standards
Amy Harder / The Wall Street Journal
Companies that make alternative fuels, pressured by lower oil prices and regulatory uncertainty, are launching a push for legislation to make it more likely fledgling segments of the biofuels industry can survive.
Russia says has right to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea: report
Russia has the right to deploy nuclear arms in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine last year, a Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday, adding he knew of no plans to do so.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Military Combats Climate Change
Since its inception, the American military has never wavered in the face of a clear threat to our security. They have acted when the world needed them, responding to challenges both immediate and elusive. This charge now extends far from the battlefield. Senior military officials are taking a stand on an issue still seen as contentious among policy makers.
EU Shows it’s Serious about Emissions with INDC
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
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.
LSU Event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
March 25th @ 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Climate change is already a major concern for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue of this growing threat. Join ASP at Louisiana State University on Wednesday, March 25th as we discuss this important issue.
Climate Change: Risks for National Security
March 26 @ 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Climate change is already a major concern for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue of this growing threat. Join ASP at Tulane University on Thursday, March 26th as we discuss this important issue.
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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