Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Military experts tie climate change to security threat in talk at LSU
Amy Wold / The Advocate
Forget the bipartisan grandstanding and that it’s been an environmental cause. What two retired military experts wanted people to know about climate change is that it’s a legitimate threat to national security.

Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot ‘wanted to destroy plane’
BBC News
The co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, named as Andreas Lubitz, appeared to want to “destroy the plane”, officials said.


American Competitiveness


TTIP’s Lack of Energy
David Livingston / Carnegie Europe
At the tenth annual Brussels Forum, a meeting of North American and European policymakers and business leaders that ended on March 22, Børge Brende captured the gathering’s zeitgeist when he declared that “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has made a cardinal mistake . . . energy security [has never been] so high on the EU political agenda.”

Largest for-profit university in U.S. loses hundreds of thousands of students
Valerie Strauss / The Washington Post
The University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit university in the United States, has lost a few hundred thousand students in the last five years, according to its parent company.


National Security & Strategy


One Professional Russian Troll Tells All
Dmitry Volchek and Daisy Sindelar / Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
More and more, posts and commentaries on the Internet in Russia and even abroad are generated by professional trolls, many of whom receive a higher-than-average salary for perpetuating a pro-Kremlin dialogue online.

China raids NGO offices in latest sign of crackdown on dissent
William Wan / The Washington Post
Chinese police raided a high-profile nongovernmental group this week, taking the office’s computers and financial documents, the organization said — the latest action in a growing government crackdown on dissent.

CIA official who directed hunt for bin Laden is being removed from post
Greg Miller / The Washington Post
The head of the CIA’s Counter­terrorism Center, who presided over the agency’s drone campaign and directed the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is being removed from his post, officials said, a watershed moment as the CIA turns its focus to a new generation of extremist threats.


Asymmetric Operations


Saudis begin airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen
Ken Dilanian / Associated Press
Saudi Arabia began airstrikes Wednesday against Houthi rebel positions in Yemen, vowing that the Sunni kingdom will do “anything necessary” to restore a deposed government that has been routed by the Iranian-backed group.

U.S. Ready to Back Iran With Airstrikes Against ISIS
Nancy A. Youssef / The Daily Beast
Iran and the U.S. say they’ve been fighting parallel wars in Iraq. But those two campaigns appear ready to become one, American officials tell The Daily Beast.

Four Egyptian naval vessels en route to secure Gulf of Aden: sources
Yusri Mohamed and Yara Bayoumy / Reuters
Four Egyptian naval vessels have crossed the Suez Canal en route to Yemen to secure the Gulf of Aden, maritime sources at the Suez Canal said on Thursday.

Egypt officials: Ground operation planned in Yemen
Hamza Hendawi / Associated Press
Egyptian security and military officials say Saudi Arabia and Egypt will lead a ground operation in Yemen against Shiite rebels and their allies after a campaign of airstrikes to weaken them.


Climate Security


Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions down 8.4 percent in 2014
Susanna Twidale / Reuters
Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 8.4 percent in 2014 due to a decline in fossil-fuel power generation, preliminary government data showed on Thursday.

Global warming is now slowing down the circulation of the oceans – with potentially dire consequences
Chris Mooney / The Washington Post
And now this week brings news of another potential mega-scale perturbation. According to a new study just out in Nature Climate Change by Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a group of co-authors, we’re now seeing a slowdown of the great ocean circulation that, among other planetary roles, helps to partly drive the Gulf Stream off the U.S. east coast. The consequences could be dire – including significant extra sea level rise for coastal cities like New York and Boston.


Energy Security


Oil prices surge after Saudi air strikes in Yemen
Himanshu Ojha / Reuters
Brent crude surged by as more than 5 percent on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began air strikes in Yemen, before paring gains by almost half to trade back near $58 a barrel.

Hit by oil slump, PetroChina eyes spending cuts and divestments
Charlie Zhu / Reuters
PetroChina, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, on Thursday vowed to further slash spending and divest more assets this year after posting a worse-than-expected 67 percent earnings slide for the fourth quarter.

Record traffic is boosting U.S. fuel demand: Kemp
John Kemp / Reuters
Cars and trucks drove a record 3.050 trillion miles on U.S. highways in the 12 months ending in January, passing the previous peak of 3.039 trillion set in the 12 months to November 2007, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


Nuclear Security


US, Iran nuke talks enter critical round ahead of deadline
Matthew Lee / Associated Press
Nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran entered a critical phase on Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meeting his Iranian counterpart less than a week away from an end-of-month deadline to secure the outline of a deal.


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
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.


Upcoming Events


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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