Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In Case You Missed It…

24 March 2015


Key Reads


Putin’s Winning Propaganda Program

Paul Hamill / Diplomatic Courier

What Putin is doing is not new in the geo political world.  There is a word for it: “revanche.”   A policy of revanche is designed to recover lost territory and reverse territorial losses incurred by a country.  It is an age-old attempt to grab land under the hubris of patriotism


Yemen minister calls for Gulf military intervention


The Yemeni foreign minister has called for Gulf Arab states to intervene to prevent the advance of Shia Houthi rebels into the south of the country.


Germanwings airliner 4U 9525 crashes in French Alps


An Airbus A320 airliner has crashed in the French Alps between Barcelonnette and Digne, French aviation officials and police have said.


American Competitiveness


US consumer prices rebound, underlying inflation firming

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
U.S. consumer prices rebounded in February as gasoline prices rose for the first time since June, and there were also signs of an uptick in underlying inflation pressures, which could keep a June interest rate increase on the table.
U.S. Car-Making Boom? Not for Auto-Industry Workers

James R. Hagerty and  Jeff Bennett/ Wall Street Journal

U.S. auto production is nearing all-time highs on the back of strong domestic demand and steady export increases. But American-made cars and trucks are increasingly loaded with parts imported from Mexico, China and other nations.


New Signs of Slowdown in China’s Manufacturing Sector

Wall Street Journal

China’s economy is showing further signs of flagging, with an indicator of factory activity this month falling to an 11-month low. The indicator showed new orders, employment, and prices all weakening in the manufacturing sector and suggests that fourth-quarter weakness in the world’s No. 2 economy is extending into the beginning of the new year.


Asymmetric Operations


Tikrit Offensive Stalls Due to ‘Hundreds’ of ISIS Explosives

Thaier Al-Sudani / Newsweek

The offensive on the ISIS-held Iraqi city of Tikrit has slowed to a halt because of hundreds of explosives planted in the city’s centre as the terror group await a final assault by Iraqi forces, according to experts.


Islamic State recruits 400 children since January: Syria monitor


Islamic State has recruited at least 400 children in Syria in the past three months and given these so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate” military training and hardline indoctrination, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.


US-led coalition providing tactical support in Tikrit offensive, official says

Khalid Mohammed / The Guardian

The US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group has begun surveillance flights over the extremist-held city of Tikrit and sending intelligence to Iraqi forces fighting to retake Saddam Hussein’s hometown, a senior official said Tuesday.


U.S. pledges to keep funding Afghans amid calls for slower pullout

Phil Stewart / Reuters

The United States assured Afghanistan’s leaders on Monday it would keep funding Afghan security forces at a targeted peak level of 352,000 personnel at least into 2017 to provide stability as foreign troops withdraw from the country.


Climate Security


BP drops out of conservative ALEC policy group

Russell Cheyne / Reuters

Oil company BP said on Monday it has stopped supporting conservative political group ALEC, becoming the latest corporation to end its membership in a group critics say works to deny the existence of climate change.


US museums asked to sever ties with fossil fuel industry

The Guardian

Climate scientists and cultural figures called on national history and science museums on Tuesday to sever their ties to the fossil fuel industry, singling out a major patron from the Koch family of conservative oil billionaires.


UN climate chief joins alumni calling on Swarthmore to divest from fossil fuels

The Guardian

The United Nations climate chief appealed to her alma mater, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, to withdraw from fossil fuels, in an important symbolic show of support for the campus divestment campaign.


Energy Security


Oil below $56 as Saudi output near record, China activity slows

David Sheppard / Reuters

Brent crude oil held below $56 a barrel on Tuesday on signs of slowing growth in China and as Saudi Arabia said its production was close to an all-time high.


Asia Readies for Iran Oil Bargains on Potential Nuclear Deal

Sharon Cho, Debjit Chakraborty,and Yuji Okada/ Bloomberg

Asian oil buyers taking their pick of supply from Iraq to Mexico amid a global glut are preparing for the pool of potential bargains to expand if Iran boosts exports.


Nuclear Security


Pakistan wants short-range nuclear weapons

Associated Press

Pakistan needs short-range “tactical” nuclear weapons to deter arch-rival India, a top adviser to its government said Monday, dismissing concerns it could increase the risk of a nuclear war.


Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications


Iran nuclear deal could transform Obama and Rouhani presidencies
Simon Tisdale / The Guardian
Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani make an unlikely double act. But as negotiators from the US and Iran race towards the 31 March finishing line for a nuclear deal, this odd couple’s destinies have become inextricably linked.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


The Middle East Struggles with Water Security

Philip Rossetti

Water security is an increasing concern for the Middle East, a region already starting to feel the most serious effects that water insecurity. In recognition of this, Jordan hosted an international conference with a goal of suppressing the use of water as a tool of war.


China Admits “Huge Impact” of Climate Change

Philip Rossetti

A Chinese official, Zheng Guogang, went on record with the Xinhua news agency that climate change poses a serious threat to Chinese infrastructure. Zheng pointed out that China is already experiencing temperatures that are higher than the global average, and that these temperatures increase the risk of natural disasters in China.


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.



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