Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In Case You Missed It…

27 March 2015


Key Reads


Prosecutor: Co-pilot on doomed flight hid ongoing ‘medical treatments’

Anthony Faiola, Stephanie Kirchner and Michael Birnbaum / The Washington Post

The co-pilot suspected of intentionally crashing Germanwings Flight 9525 apparent tried to hide his medical treatments from the airline, including tearing up a “sick note” that covered the day of the crash, a German prosecutor said Friday.


Saudi led campaign strikes Yemen’s Sanaa, Morocco joins alliance

Mohammed Mukhashef / Reuters

Yemen’s beleaguered government said Saudi-led airstrikes against its Houthi militia opponents would not last long on the second day of a Gulf Arab-led campaign against the Iranian-allied militia that could escalate a proxy conflict spreading through the region.


American Competitiveness


U.S. Economic Growth Slow in Fourth Quarter, Corporate Profits Fall

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. economic growth cooled in the fourth quarter as previously reported and after-tax corporate profits took a hit from a strong dollar, which could undermine future business spending.
Push for private options in education gains momentum

Caroline Porter / Wall Street Journal

A growing number of statehouses are considering measures that would allow school districts, parents and students increasingly to use taxpayer funds to explore alternatives to traditional state-backed public education.


Deep in the rust belt, local banks fill industrial niche

James Sterngold / Wall Street Journal

The recession threw up plenty of hurdles for MT Heat Treat, an industrial heat-treatment plant here in the Rust Belt. It struggled to hold onto employees as revenues fell by nearly half and some customers went bust, said Sonja Mathews, whose family owns the operation.


National Security & Strategy


Europeans Agree to Counter Russian Propaganda War

Helle Dale / Daily Signal

Ministers from European Union countries decided last week to work strategically to counter Russian’s propaganda offensive in Ukraine and other former Soviet states.


North Korea’s neighbors push to resume six party talks


Russia and China discussed resuming six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program this week, while a South Korean diplomat said five of the participants had agreed on conditions to present to Pyongyang for restarting the negotiations.


Asymmetric Operations


Iraqi Sunni Tribe Wages Costly Battle Against IS Group

Vivian Salama / Associated Press

The consequences of the al-Jabouri tribe’s decision to ally with Iraq’s Shiite-led government against their fellow Sunnis in the Islamic State group are etched on row after row of gravestones in this palm-shaded town by the Tigris River.


Boko Haram HQ Gwoza in Nigeria ‘retaken’


The Nigerian army says it has retaken the north-eastern town of Gwoza, believed to be the headquarters of militant Islamist group Boko Haram.


Iraqi Shiite Cleric Calls for Unity after Militia Pullout

Vivian Salama / Associated Press

Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric on Friday called for unity among the country’s forces battling the Islamic State group after most of the Iran-backed Shiite militias pulled out of the offensive in the militant-held city of Tikrit in protest over U.S. airstrikes there.


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.


Climate Security


Antarctica’s floating ice shelves, the doorstep of the continent, are melting away

Sarah Kaplan / The Washington Post

In December, researchers reported that West Antarctica, one of the world’s most unstable ice sheets, is collapsing faster than anyone had predicted and contributing to rapid sea level rise. Earlier this month, the same was found to be true of Totten Glacier in East Antarctica.


Rockefeller Brothers Fund: It is our moral duty to divest from fossil fuels

Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian In an exclusive interview, Rockefeller Brothers Fund chair, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne and president, Stephen Heintz, talk about the decision to cut ties to fossil fuels, whit it meant for the divestment movement and the challenges involved.


Energy Security


Oil down as Iran deal eyed; U.S. crude in for best week in four years

Barani Krishnan / Reuters

Oil fell on Friday as fears about the disruption of Middle East crude shipments from Yemen’s conflict eased, and focus turned to the likelihood of an Iranian nuclear deal by next week that could put more supply on the market.


Oil producers sound retreat from China

Brian Spegele / Wall Street Journal

Global oil companies are unwinding some big bets they made on China—and that is bad news for the Chinese companies, which need their know-how.


Nuclear Security

Iran, six powers demand mutual concessions in tense nuclear talks

Louis Charbonneau and John Irish / Reuters

Major powers and Iran were pushing each other for concessions on Friday ahead of an end-March deadline for a preliminary nuclear deal, with Tehran demanding an immediate end to sanctions and freedom to continue sensitive atomic research, officials said.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Congressional Support for the Southern Corridor

Andrew Holland

On March 26, Congressman Michael Turner reintroduced a resolution calling for bipartisan support of the Southern Gas Corridor, a large energy initiative that would provide European countries with a reliable source of natural gas as an alternative to Russian gas.


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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