Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


The Military Option on Iran – the reality
BGen. Stephen A. Cheney USMC (Ret.) / The American Security Project
Stating that we can unilaterally eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapon program with an air campaign is incredibly naïve.


MIDEAST MONEY-With governments at their backs, Gulf firms prepare for Egypt push
Amena Bakr, Stanley Carvalho and Reem Shamseddine / Reuters
Gulf Arab governments are encouraging – and in some cases pressuring – hundreds of companies to attend an international investment summit in Egypt this week, in a move that may help the firms become top players in a rebounding Egyptian economy.


American Competitiveness


Weak Euro Offers Hope for Corporate Europe, Headache for Some in U.S.
Ellen Emmerentze Jervell, Manuela Mesco, and Jason Chow in Paris / Nasdaq
The tumbling euro and easy-money policies are boosting optimism in corporate Europe that the long-struggling region might finally begin a recovery worthy of the name. But Europe’s good fortune is a headache for U.S. corporate competitors that face a squeeze on overseas sales from the rising dollar.


National Security & Strategy


Army Chief: Readiness Degraded to Historically Low Levels
Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. / DoD News
Unrelenting budget constraints have degraded Army readiness and modernization to historically low levels, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told a Senate panel here today.


Give Us Sequester? Bases Will Get Cut: McHugh, Graham
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. / Breaking Defense
Sequestration will literally hit Congress where it lives. If implemented, Army officials and a key senator said this morning, the Budget Control Act spending caps will require cutbacks or outright closures at bases across the country.


Base closure proposal meets resistance in Senate
Travis J. Tritten / Stars and Stripes
A Senate panel on Wednesday said it will not back the Defense Department on another round of military base closures, despite warnings that excess properties will squeeze budgets and could hurt readiness in the future.


US to deliver ‘non-lethal’ aid to Ukraine forces
Al Jazeera
The United States will deliver Humvees and drones to Ukraine and hit rebel leaders and their alleged Russian supporters with further sanctions, after accusing Moscow of repeatedly violating a ceasefire agreement.


China open to US pivot
Su Zhou / The Jakarta Post
China is ready to welcome the United States strategic rebalancing to Asia-Pacific if it is constructive to the region’s peaceful cooperation, but will oppose it if it is counterproductive, the Chinese ambassador to the US said on Wednesday.


Asymmetric Operations


U.S. general seeks Turkish role in Mosul fight
Al Arabiya News
As Iraqi forces pushed into Tikrit, a top U.S. general visited Turkey on Wednesday to seek a Turkish role in the upcoming operation aiming to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group after its militants seized the city in a lightening offensive in June last year.


Pentagon unsure how to support Syrian rebels
Andrew Tilghman / Military Times
The U.S. military is preparing to provide protection and support for the American-trained Syrian forces who will fight in that nation’s four-year-old civil war, top officials say.


Exclusive: Secret meetings in Pakistan expose obstacles to Afghan peace talks
Jibran Ahmad and Mehreen Zahra-Malik
Days after word leaked that the Afghan Taliban had signaled willingness to enter talks to end Afghanistan’s long war, senior representatives of the militant group visited Islamabad for secret discussions on the next step forward.


Dempsey: US worries about Iran-backed militias in Iraq
Deb Riechmann / Yahoo News
Iran is playing a helpful role against Islamic State militants in Iraq now, but once the extremists are vanquished, Tehran-backed militias could undermine efforts to unify the country, the top U.S. military officer said Wednesday.


Nigeria Drafts Foreign Mercenaries To Take On Boko Haram
Ed Cropley and David Lewis / Reuters
Nigeria has brought in hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and the former Soviet Union to give its offensive against Boko Haram a shot in the arm before a March 28 election, according to regional security, defense and diplomatic sources.


Iraqi forces break militants’ hold on Tikrit in major battle against Islamic State
Erin Cunningham / The Washington Post
Iraqi forces pushed into one of the Islamic State’s most important strongholds Wednesday, breaking the militants’ hold on the city of Tikrit in what is shaping up to be a decisive battle for pro-government forces¬ in their fight to eradicate the jihadists.


Qatar emir meets Erdogan in surprise Turkey visit
AFP / Ahram
The emir of Qatar on Thursday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for surprise talks in the capital Ankara, a Turkish presidential official said.


Climate Security


Remarks at the Atlantic Council as Part of the Road to Paris Climate Series
John Kerry / U.S. Department of State
I am confident that we can find a way to summon the resolve that we need to tackle this shared threat. And we can reach an agreement in Paris, we can carve out a path toward a clean energy future, we can meet this challenge.


China needs CO2 cap to meet climate pledges: Legislator
Reuters / The Economic Times
China needs to impose a nationwide carbon cap if it is to fulfil a pledge made last year to bring emissions to a peak by around 2030, a legislator said in a proposal submitted to parliament this week.


The U.S. Is Not Ready for a Melting Arctic
Clare Foran / National Journal
Emergency response, navigation, and charting has not kept pace with the rapidly changing polar region.


Energy Security


Japan space scientists make wireless energy breakthrough
AFP / The Straits Times
Japanese scientists have succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, in a key step that could one day make solar power generation in space a possibility, an official said Thursday.


Energy Department Releases New Wind Report, Examines Future of Industry
U.S. Department of Energy
In support of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to diversify our nation’s power supplies, the Energy Department today released a new report looking at the future of wind power through 2050 and the economic benefits that come with a robust wind industry. The report, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, confirms that with technological advancements driving projected cost reductions, in combination with continued siting and transmission development, wind power can be economically deployed to provide renewable power in all 50 states.


Wind could supply a third of the country’s power needs by 2050, government says
Joby Warrick / The Washington Post
Wind power could provide more than a third of the country’s electricity by 2050 while yielding a net savings in energy costs paid by consumers, the Energy Department reported in a major study released Thursday.


Nuclear Security


Saudi Nuclear Deal Raises Stakes for Iran Talks
Jay Solomon and Ahmed Al Omran / The Wall Street Journal
As U.S. and Iranian diplomats inched toward progress on Tehran’s nuclear program last week, Saudi Arabia quietly signed its own nuclear-cooperation agreement with South Korea.


Khamenei slams Republican letter on Iran, hits at U.S. ‘backstabbing’
Reuters / Al-Arabiya News
Iran’s Supreme Leader hit out on Thursday at a letter by U.S. Republican senators threatening to undo any nuclear deal between Washington and Tehran, saying he was worried because the United States was known for “backstabbing,” Mehr news agency reported.


Expert Doubts Estimate on N. Korean Nuclear Stockpile
Baik Sungwon / Voice of America
A former high-level International Atomic Energy Agency official has expressed skepticism about a new report that North Korea could manufacture 100 nuclear weapons by 2020.


Blue House insists there’s no pressure on Thaad
Ser Myo-ja / Korea JoongAng Daily
The presidential office insisted Wednesday that the United States wasn’t pressuring Korea to deploy an advanced missile defense system, amidst a growing push from the ruling party to accept the deployment.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Military Combats Climate Change
Luke Lorenz
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.


ASP’s Hugo Grondel On Why It Is Time To Answer TTIP’s Call For Action
Hugo Grondel
In an op-ed published today by E!Sharp, ASP’s Hugo Grondel calls on the European Union and its member states to confront some of the myths that have surrounded the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) head on.


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.


Upcoming Events


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 in Egypt: Background and Issues
American Security Project
The Egyptian government is making serious efforts to bring more investment into its oil and gas sector while seeking to diversify Egypt’s sources of energy. Given the country’s political, economic, and social challenges, whether the Egyptian government will be able to achieve its objectives remains to be seen.


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.

The post What We Are Reading appeared first on American Security Project.