Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

ISIS Leader Purportedly Accepts Boko Haram’s Pledge of Allegiance

Hamdi Alkhshali, Steve Almasy / CNN

In an audio message purportedly from an ISIS spokesman, the group announced that a pledge of allegiance from Nigerian-based Boko Haram has been accepted by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


EU Unlikely to Agree Next Week to Prolong Russia Sanctions

Adrian Croft / Reuters

European Union leaders are unlikely to reach agreement at their summit next week to prolong economic sanctions on Russia that expire in July, a senior EU official said on Friday. New sanctions on Russia are also off the table for now because EU governments want to give a chance to a fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.


American Competitiveness


Economics See Dollar Strength, Global Weakness Restraining U.S. Growth

Kathleen Madigan / The Wall Street Journal

The surging dollar and a global slowdown are likely to restrain the U.S. economy through at least the first half of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal’s March survey of economic forecasters.


Kerry to Welcome Egypt’s Economic Reforms at Investment Summit

Sharm El-Sheikh /Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will welcome recent economic reforms by Egypt’s government and press for more progress when he addresses an Egyptian investment summit in the Red Sea resort on Friday, a senior State Department official said.


UK Support for China-Backed Asia Bank Prompts US Concern


The US has expressed concern over Britain’s effort to become a founding member of a Chinese-backed bank that could rival the likes of the World Bank. The UK is the first big Western economy to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).


National Security & Strategy


Carter to Visit U.S. Cyber Command

DoD News

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is scheduled to meet today with Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency and Central Security Service, at Fort Meade, Md. Carter also plans to tour the joint operations center, make remarks and thank the Cybercom workforce during the visit.


Bulgaria, United States to Start Military Drills Amid Ukraine Crisis

Angel Krasimirov / Reuters

NATO allies Bulgaria and the United States will stage a series of joint military drills over the next three and a half months, the Bulgarian defense ministry said on Friday, amid increased tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis.


U.S. Admiral Raises Alarm Over Russian Military Threat

Barbara Starr / CNN

The ability of the U.S. and Canadian military to defend North America could be jeopardized by stepped up Russian military activity, according to the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.


Asymmetric Operations


South Africa Concern Over Mercenaries


The South African government is concerned its nationals may be working as mercenaries in Nigeria in the war against the rebel group Boko Haram.


US Drone Strike Targets Kenya Mall Attack ‘Mastermind’

Al Jazeera News

A US drone strike in Somalia is believed to have killed a senior member of the al-Shabab who allegedly helped plan the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, officials said.


ISIS Still on the Attack, Despite Internal Strife and Heavy Losses

Helene Cooper, Anne Barnard, Eric Schmitt / The New York Times

The Islamic State is facing growing dissension among its rank-and-file fighters and struggling to govern towns and villages it has seized, but the militant Sunni group is still managing to launch attacks and expand its ideological reach outside of Iraq and Syria, senior American officials said.


 Climate Security


Global CO2 Emissions ‘Stalled’ in 2014

Helen Briggs / BBC

The growth in global carbon emissions stalled last year, according to data from the International Energy Agency. It marks the first time in 40 years that annual CO2 emissions growth has remained stable, in the absence of a major economic crisis, the agency said.


Kerry Speaks Out on Florida’s ‘Climate Change’ Ban

The Associated Press via The Washington Post

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that elected officials who ban the words “climate change” are unwilling to face the facts, a non-so-subtle dig at Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration.


Russian Scientists Say Climate Change to Blame for Mysterious Siberia Craters

AFP via The Guardian

Russian scientists have now discovered seven giant craters in remote Siberia, a geologist told AFP on Thursday, adding that the mysterious phenomenon was believed to be linked to climate change.


Energy Security


IEA Sees Renewed Pressure on Oil Prices as Glut Worsens

Alex Lawler, Dmitry Zhdannikov / Reuters

Oil prices might have stabilized only temporarily because the global oil glut is worsening and U.S. production shows no sign of slowing, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.


Central Europe’s Energy Security Europe’s Responsibility

Budapest Business Journal

The responsibility of ensuring energy security in central Europe lies with all of Europe, not only the affected region, and the EU must therefore play a part in it, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said today.


Hungary Hopes to Resolve Dispute with EU Over Nuclear-Fuel Supply Soon

Veronika Gulyas / The Wall Street Journal

Hungary said on Friday it has met opposition from the European Union’s nuclear power authority to its plan to import fuel for its nuclear power plant only from Russia, a matter it hopes to resolve within a few weeks.


Nuclear Security


Crimea Could Serve as Location to Deploy Nuclear Weapons, Russia Says

Polly Mosendz / Newsweek

While Western powers refuse to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula, Russian officials have decided they not only control the territory but could deploy nuclear weapons from Crimea at will.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Attacking Energy in Libya- A New ISIS Strategy?

William George

Last month, affiliates of the terrorist group ISIS attacked key oil fields and pipelines in Libya. Are these recent attacks aimed at Libya’s energy infrastructures indicative of a new ISIS strategy? Would attacking energy installations reap more benefits in the long term than capturing them?


Kerry Speaks on Climate with a Focus on Energy Policy

The American Security Project

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Atlantic Council on the importance of climate change and why a global climate agreement from the upcoming climate summit in Paris is so important.


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.


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.


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.


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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