Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Why energy investors are looking at the Caribbean

Rebecca Ungarino / CNBC

U.S. interests are in a particularly good position to invest in the Caribbean’s energy needs as oil prices have fallen, the U.S. has undergone a natural gas boom and relations with Cuba have shifted.


U.S. Marine Corps urges ‘vigilance’ after online Islamist threat

Jenny Vaughan / AFP via Yahoo

The US Marine Corps on Sunday urged “vigilance” after a group claiming to be Islamic State hackers published what they said were the names and addresses of 100 military personnel and urged supporters to kill them.


American Competitiveness


U.S. homes sales up marginally; supply a constraint

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. home resales rebounded modestly in February as a persistent shortage of properties on the market spurred the biggest price jump in a year, a trend that could undermine the spring selling season.
Mester eyeing dollar as Fed rate hike approaches: Bloomberg

Jonathan Spicer / Reuters

The rising dollar is a sign of U.S. economic strength and a consideration as the Federal Reserve approaches an interest rate hike that should come this year, a top Fed official said on Bloomberg TV on Monday.


Alexis Tsipras warns Angela Merkel of Greek ‘cashflow issue’ ahead of talks

Helena Smith / The Guardian

The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has raised the stakes ahead of talks with Angela Merkel, warning that an insolvent Athens will be unable to meet looming debt repayments without urgent aid from its creditors.


National Security & Strategy


NATO Commander: West must fight Russia in information ‘war’
Associated Press
NATO’s supreme commander says the West must do more to counter Russia by employing a rapid-reaction approach to internet communications that counteracts Russia’s “false narratives” spread on social media.


U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions

Timothy Gardner / Reuters

The U.S. will struggle to follow through on threats to impose deeper sanctions on the Russian energy sector, as European fears over collateral economic damage leave President Barack Obama’s administration with diminished options.


New proposal would change the way the Pentagon buys weapons

Christian Davenport / Washington Post

After more than a year studying how to improve the Pentagon’s procurement system, Rep. Mac Thornberry is set to announce legislation this week that he said is a first step in a long journey of reform.


Asymmetric Operations


Chaos in Yemen stymies U.S. counterterror operations

Hakim Almasmari, Asa Fitch and Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal

The militant group that controls Yemen’s capital moved to extend its power southward with an attack on a major city, deepening chaos that has given terror groups greater room to proliferate and forced the U.S. to suspend military operations inside the country.


Iraq’s economy, an empty chest

The Economist

Almost 90% of government revenue in Iraq comes from oil. Yet the price of the stuff has fallen by more than half over the past year, and the volume of Iraq’s exports has fallen by a fifth.


Iran accused of sending 30,000 troops to fight in Iraq

Al Jazeera

Kurdish authorities in Iraq have accused Iran of sending 30,000 soldiers and military experts to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.


Eight killed in air strike as Libya government aims to recapture capital

Ahmed Elumami and Ayman Al-Warfalli / Reuters

Eight civilians were killed in an air strike near Tripoli on Monday, the U.S. ambassador said, as Libya’s internationally recognized government pressed on with an assault to recapture the capital it abandoned to a rival faction last year.


Tunisian police chiefs sacked over Bardo museum attack
Tunisia’s prime minister has sacked six police chiefs following last week’s attack on the famous Bardo Museum.


Climate Security


Top Beijing Scientist: China faces ‘huge impact’ from climate change

Scott Neuman / NPR

China’s top weather scientist has made a rare official acknowledgement: climate change, he says, could have a “huge impact” on the country’s crop yields and infrastructure.


U.S. unveils new rules to govern fracking on federal lands

Ben Jacobs / The Guardian

Announcement by Department of the Interior is the culmination of a four-year process that will affect more than 100,000 oil and gas wells on federal lands.


Kenya hoping to make a splash with Africa’s first public-private water fund

Jessica Hatcher / The Guardian

In a first for Africa, a public-private water fund was launched in Kenya on Friday, bringing together businesses, utilities, conservation groups, government and farmers to fund upstream water conservation through activities such as watershed protection and reforestation.


Energy Security


Oil slips close to $55 as Saudi output rises to near record

Ron Bousso / Reuters

Oil prices declined on Monday, holding near $55 a barrel after Saudi Arabia indicated it was now pumping near a record high of 10 million barrels per day, adding to concerns of global oversupply.


Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan sign agreement on Nile dam

Khalid Abdelaziz / Reuters

Leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a cooperation deal on Monday over a giant Ethiopian hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile, in a bid to ease tensions over regional water supplies.


Turkey’s first nuclear plant delayed, ‘not ready before 2022’

Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk / Reuters

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is unlikely to be ready before 2022, energy officials said on Monday of the $20-billion project that has been beset by regulatory hurdles and complicated by Russia’s financial woes.


Nuclear Security


The Iran time bomb
Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh / The Washington Post

As negotiations between Iran and the great powers press forward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry seems to have settled on this defense of any agreement: The terms will leave Iran at least a year away from obtaining a nuclear bomb, thus giving the world plenty of time to react to infractions.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Water Security and the Nile Basin
Phillip 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.


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.

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