Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Saudia Arabia building up military near Yemen border – U.S. officials
Mark Hosenball, Phil Steward and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters

Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict.


Yemen president ‘in safety’ as rebels advance

AFP via The Guardian

Yemen’s leader has been rushed to a secure location as rebel forces bore down on his southern stronghold following clashes that sparked warnings of civil war, according to a presidential aide.


Germanwings plane crash investigators begin examining black box

Kim Willsher and Angelique Chrisafis / The Guardian

French air investigators are examining one of the two black boxes of the doomed Germanwings plane to find out why the aircraft crashed into a mountain in the French Alps, killing the 150 people on board.


American Competitiveness


U.S. core inflation has room to fall: Goldman

Richard Leong / Reuters

U.S. core inflation still has room to decline from a stronger dollar and lingering effect from the recent collapse in crude prices, a Goldman Sachs economist wrote in a research note published on Wednesday.


Foreign students stream into U.S. Colleges

Miriam Jordan / Wall Street Journal

American universities are enrolling unprecedented numbers of foreign students, prompted by the rise of an affluent class in China and generous scholarships offered by oil-rich Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia.


China seeks to develop global seed power

Chuin-Wei Yap / Wall Street Journal

A fight over a small maker of crop seeds in China last year sheds light on how Beijing plans to secure its food resources: by building an answer to Monsanto Co.


National Security & Strategy


FBI adapts to face terrorism threats but still faces challenges, report finds
Adam Goldman / The Washington Post

The FBI has improved its ability to fight terrorism in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but a new report says the bureau still faces significant challenges as it continues to strengthen its intelligence capabilities to deal with nimble enemies.


A message to Putin: hundreds of Poles mob convoy of U.S. troops driving through Eastern Europe

Jennifer Newton / Daily Mail

Hundreds of Polish residents took to the streets to give a hero’s welcome to a convoy of U.S. troops who are driving through eastern Europe and deliver a damning message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Asymmetric Operations


Iraqi president expects U.S.-led coalition air strikes on Tikrit soon

Richard Mably and Samia Nakhoul / Reuters

Iraqi President Fouad Massoum said on Wednesday that the U.S.-led coalition would soon carry out air strikes against Islamic State in the Sunni city of Tikrit, after starting aerial reconnaissance flights this week.


Yemen crisis: Houthi rebels capture air base near Aden

Houthi rebels have taken a key air base from forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, continuing an advance towards his stronghold of Aden.


Yemen crisis: An Iranian-Saudi battleground?

Frank Gardner / BBC

Yemen is fast descending into a violent cauldron where the competing interests of Shia Houthi rebels, Sunni tribes, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, Iran, al-Qaeda and now Islamic State are forming a toxic mix.


Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian battalion gears up for more fighting

Gabriela Baczynska / Reuters

The far-right Azov battalion, whose symbol resembles a black swastika on a yellow background, is preparing to defend the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine against a widely expected attack by pro-Russian separatists.


Climate Security


Obama mercury air pollution rule faces test at U.S. top court

Lawrence Hurley / Reuters

The latest legal test of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda reaches the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices consider a challenge to a regulation intended to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants.


Japan uses climate cash for coal plants in India, Bangladesh

Karl Ritter and Aijaz Rahi / AP via ABCNews

Despite mounting protests, Japan continues to finance the building of coal-fired power plants with money earmarked for fighting climate change, with two new projects underway in India and Bangladesh, The Associated Press has found.


Fossil fuel firms are still bankrolling climate denial lobby groups

Peter Frumhoff and Naomi Oreskes / The Guardian

BP has withdrawn support to Alec, a group known for misrepresenting climate science, but appearances can be deceptive. Oil, gas and coal companies remain firmly behind climate disinformation campaigns.


Energy Security


Costa Rica hits 75 days powered entirely by renewable energy

Michelle Starr / CNET

Heavy rainfall has allowed the Central American country of Costa Rica to be powered almost entirely by its hydroelectric plants.


Oil prices pare gains on historic U.S. supply glut

Timothy Puko and Georgi Kantchev / Wall Street Journal

Still-rising U.S. production and tepid demand have prompted concerns that some areas could run out of space to store oil.


Brent oil rises as euro gains against dollar

Himanshu Ojha / Reuters

Brent oil prices rose on Wednesday as the euro strengthened against the dollar following a boost in business morale in the euro zone’s top two economies.


Nuclear Security


Iran to insist all sanctions lifted in any nuclear deal: foreign minister

Sam Wilkin / Reuters

Iran will insist that all sanctions against it are lifted as a condition for a nuclear deal, the foreign minister said on Wednesday, showing no sign of compromise on a major sticking point in its talks with world powers set to resume this week.


Iran isn’t providing needed access or information, nuclear watchdog says

Steven Mufson / The Washington Post

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran has failed to provide the information or access needed to allay the agency’s concerns about the weapons potential of the country’s nuclear program.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Invest Like an Egyptian

Luke Lorenz

Egypt has recently unveiled an ambitious plan for unprecedented economic development. Daring to target such lofty goals as 6 percent economic growth and a 10 percent reduction in unemployment in just five years, Egypt has positioned itself as the nexus for new business ventures in the Arab world


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.


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
Environmental Threats to Louisiana’s Future: Climate change

American Security Project

As one of the centers of energy production, transit, and storage, Louisiana is a hub for the whole country. This ensures that any problems in Louisiana are transferred throughout the country by energy price volatility and uncertainty.


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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