Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Draft Nuclear Deal Would Cap Iran’s Centrifuges At 6,000 For Decade Or More
AP / The World Post
A draft nuclear accord now being negotiated between the United States and Iran would force Iran to cut hardware it could use to make an atomic bomb by about 40 percent for at least a decade, while offering the Iranians immediate relief from sanctions that have crippled their economy, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.


Soldiers loyal to Yemen’s former president storm Aden airport
AP / The Guardian
Forces loyal to Yemen’s former president have stormed a section of the international airport in the southern port city of Aden, triggering heavy gunbattles with security forces loyal to the current president.


American Competitiveness


Fed Signals It May Increase Interest Rates by Midyear
Binyamin Appelbaum / The New York Times
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday moved to the verge of raising interest rates for the first time since the economy fell into recession more than seven years ago, even as officials suggested that the Fed might not pull the trigger until well into the second half of the year.


G.M. Exiting Russia, for the Most Part
Andrew E. Kramer / The New York Times
General Motors on Wednesday announced plans to largely withdraw from the Russian market by the end of the year, becoming the most prominent company to date to express a lack of confidence in the deeply troubled economy.


S. Korea may announce entry to AIIB
Dai Tian / China Daily
South Korea reportedly plans to officially announce its decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) soon. The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan are likely to discuss the AIIB issue in a scheduled three-way meeting in Seoul later this week, according to Korean Herald.


National Security & Strategy


Russia, China may coordinate on nuclear-powered destroyer
Want China Times
Russia is very likely to start construction on the world’s third nuclear-powered destroyer with the assistance of China, according to the Sputnik News based in Moscow.


Pact Brings South Ossetia Closer to Russia
Olga Razumovskaya / The Wall Street Journal
Russia signed a treaty with the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia on Wednesday that seals almost full integration, raising pressure on an ex-Soviet neighbor that has sought closer ties with the West.


Biden, Ukraine’s Poroshenko agree Russia sanctions must be tied to Minsk
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed in a telephone call on Wednesday that sanctions against Russia must be tied to the full implementation of the Minsk peace plan, the White House said.


Asymmetric Operations


U.S. wants Assad out, Germany says talks with him may be necessary
Nick Tattersall and Stephen Brown / Reuters
The United States still wants a negotiated political settlement in Syria that excludes President Bashar al-Assad, according to a senior U.S. envoy, but Washington’s close ally Germany said talks with the Damascus government might still be necessary.


Some U.S. allies may send troops to Syria with trainees: Army chief
David Alexander / WTAQ
Some U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria may be willing to send troops to accompany and support the Syrian opposition force the coalition is planning to train and send back to Syria, Army General Ray Odierno said on Wednesday.


Tunisia arrests suspects in museum attack, vows ‘merciless war’ on terror
Erin Cunningham and Daniela Deane / The Washington Post
Tunisian authorities arrested nine people Thursday in connection with a terrorist attack that killed 20 foreign tourists at a renowned museum, as the country’s president vowed to expand a “merciless war against terrorism.”


U.S. drone strike killed al Shabaab leader Garaar in Somalia: Pentagon
A U.S. drone strike in southern Somalia has killed Adnan Garaar, an al Shabaab leader believed to be the mastermind of a 2013 attack on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed 67 people, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.


New York Times columnist Tom Friedman: ‘Should we be arming ISIS?’
Pamela Engel and Michael B. Kelley / Business Insider
New York Times columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman stunned many of his readers on Wednesday when he asked, “Should we be arming ISIS?”


US Says It Struck Islamic State Drone in Iraq
AP / ABC News
The U.S. military says it bombed an Islamic State drone aircraft in Iraq that was being used for battlefield surveillance.


Climate Security


Climate Change Will Make Food Less Tasty, Australian Scientists Say
Carolyn Williams / The Weather Channel
A recent study by Australian scientists warns that rising temperatures will affect food production and leave a variety of foods tasteless.


Energy Security


Tamar reservoir partners to supply gas to Egypt through EMG pipeline
The Jerusalem Post
In an approximately NIS 4.8 billion ($1.2b.) deal, the 282-billion cubic meter Tamar reservoir will be supplying gas to the Egyptian firm Dolphinus Holdings Limited for seven years.


Nuclear Security


Iran’s foreign minister says no nuclear pact this week
Carol Morello / The Washington Post
Iran’s chief negotiator in nuclear talks played down Wednesday the likelihood of an agreement this week, saying the discussions have not progressed to a point where the presence of all involved parties was needed to formalize a deal.


U.S. eyes Iran, N.Korea missile threats, boosts testing tempo
Andrea Shalal / Reuters
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, citing growing missile threats from North Korea and Iran, said on Wednesday the United States was carrying out increasingly realistic tests of its missile defenses while also beefing up cybersecurity.


Korea, U.S. Inch Toward Open Discussion of THAAD
The Chosun Ilbo
South Korea and the U.S. will discuss the controversial deployment of Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system by the U.S. Forces Korea during regular defense talks in Washington in April, an official here said Wednesday.


Public Diplomacy


Three Steps To Destroy ISIS on Twitter
Patrick Tucker / Defense One
Data scientists say Twitter has done much to thwart ISIS, but offer these simple steps to degrade the group and its massive online following.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Water Security and the Nile Basin
Philip Rossetti
Egypt is much better served by pursuing an avenue of cooperation, meeting some sort of agreement on the distribution of the benefits of the Nile as well as the benefits of the GERD.


Non-Binding Document Threatens Cuts to Climate Security Research
Andrew Holland
In the published narrative, Chairman Price list under the “Eliminating Waste” section that “The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, two of the most important agencies in our national security apparatus, currently spend part of their budget studying climate change.” This implies that Congress will seek to eliminate that spending.


Vanuatu Devastation Blamed on Climate Change
William George
This past weekend, the island nation of Vanuatu was devastated by Cyclone Pam, a massive cyclone with winds that reached up to 185mph, destroying a significant portion of the country’s infrastructure.


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.


Conference: Geopolitics of Energy Security in the Eastern Mediterranean
April 15 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
ASP will host a half day conference to examine the energy security challenges faced in the Eastern Mediterranean.


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.

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