Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Arab League agrees to create joint military force
The heads of Arab League countries meeting in Egypt have agreed to create a joint Arab military force.


Iran says U.S. drone kills 2 in Iraq; U.S. denies claim
Chicago Tribune
Iran’s Revolution Guard says a U.S. drone strike has killed two of its advisers in Iraq, though the U.S. said Monday it has only struck militants in its campaign against the Islamic State group.


Campaign begins for most unpredictable UK election in years
Jill Lawless / AP
Polls, bookmakers and politics-watchers say the election is too close to call, and no party is expected to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons.


American Competitiveness


Australia Will Join China-Led Investment Bank, Prime Minister Says
Rob Taylor / The Wall Street Journal
Australia will join a new China-led infrastructure bank, but still holds some concerns about governance of the bank, the country’s conservative government said Sunday.


National Security & Strategy
U.S. Rescues Saudi Pilots from Crashed Fighter Jet
Julian E. Barnes / The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. rescued two Saudi Arabian airmen from the Gulf of Aden after their two-seater F-15 fighter jet crashed Thursday, a U.S. defense official said Friday.


AP Exclusive: Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
Ken Dilanian / AP
The National Security Agency considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store American calling records in the months before leaker Edward Snowden revealed the practice, current and former intelligence officials say, because some officials believed the costs outweighed the meager counterterrorism benefits.


Pentagon chief may ease military enlistment standards
Lolita C. Baldor / AP
Defense Secretary Ash Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards as a way of attracting and retaining service members and civilians needed by the Defense Department.


Kissinger Urges Return to Deng’s Way on South China Sea Spat
Sharon Chen and Andrea Tan / Bloomberg
The U.S. and China should look to the example of Deng Xiaoping when it comes to defusing China’s territorial spats in the South China Sea, said Henry Kissinger, secretary of state during Richard Nixon’s presidency.


Asymmetric Operations


Pakistan to join Saudi coalition against Yemen rebels – senior official
Mehreen Zahra-Malik / Yahoo News
Pakistan will send troops to Saudi Arabia to join the coalition fighting Yemeni Houthi rebels, a senior government official said on Monday, joining several Gulf states, Sudan, Egypt and Morocco.


Syria gets Russian arms under deals signed since conflict began: Assad
Russia is supplying weapons to Damascus under contracts signed since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, as well as under earlier deals, President Bashar al-Assad said.


Turkish Airlines TK15 makes emergency landing after ‘bomb threat’ found in toilet
Alex Wellman / Mirror
A Turkish Airlines plane has been forced to make an emergency landing after receiving a chilling bomb threat.


US chose 400 militants to fight ISIL in Syria: Pentagon
Press TV
The US military has announced it has selected the first 400 “moderate” Syrian militants to be trained to battle against ISIL terrorists in the Arab country, with a target date set as early as September for them to join the fight.


Syrian rebels take strategic town of Idlib
Liz Sly / The Washington Post
Syrian rebels captured the key northern city of Idlib from government forces on Saturday in what amounts to the most significant defeat in two years for the forces loyal to President Bashar


Turkey Moves to Close All Gates at Border With Syria
Ceylan Yeginsu and Karam Shoumali / The New York Times
After maintaining an open-door policy throughout the four-year conflict in neighboring Syria, Turkey has moved this month to close the two remaining border gates between the countries, shutting out displaced Syrian refugees amid fears of a potential terrorist attack.


Ex-Yemeni Leader Urges Truce and Successor’s Ouster
David D. Kirkpatrick and Saeed al-Batati / The New York Times
Under pressure from a Saudi Arabian-led campaign of airstrikes, the former leader of Yemen who is backing the group that has seized the country’s largest cities said on Saturday that he was pleading for a truce, urging negotiations, but standing by demands for the ouster of his Saudi-backed successor.


Yemen’s President Hadi calls Houthis ‘Iran’s puppet’
Al Arabiya News
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have found support from an “envious power,” Yemeni President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi said on Saturday while addressing the Arab League Summit.


‘Lead suspect’ behind Tunisia museum attack killed
Al Jazeera
Tunisia’s prime minister has said a lead suspect behind the Bardo museum attack that left 22 people dead has been killed in a security operation, as tens of thousands of Tunisians marched through the capital to denounce violence.


Suicide attack on Afghan MP kills three in Kabul
Hamid Shalizi and Mirwais Harooni / Reuters
An Afghan member of parliament survived a targeted suicide attack in Kabul on Sunday but three people including a child were killed and eight others injured, police and government sources said.


Climate Security


India calls for a deal for pre-2020 efforts to tackle climate change
Urmi Goswami / The Economic Times
India wants a global agreement that will address intensified efforts to tackle climate change between 2015 and 2020 and has questioned the single-minded focus on finalising a global compact for the post-2020 period, which is to be inked in Paris in December.


Energy Security


U.S. Support for Nuclear Energy at 51%
Rebecca Riffkin / Gallup
A slim majority of Americans (51%) now favor the use of nuclear energy for electricity in the U.S., while 43% oppose it. This level of support is similar to what Gallup found when it last measured these attitudes two years ago, but it is down from the peak of 62% five years ago. Current support is on the low end of what Gallup has found in the past 20 years, with the 46% reading in 2001 the only time that it sank lower.


U.S. oil storage crunch might cut crude prices
Paul Davidson / USA Today
The U.S. is running out of places to stash its overflowing oil supplies, threatening to further drive down crude prices that rebounded in recent days.


Saudi intervention in Yemen unlikely to move oil prices much
Stanley Reed / The Irish Times
While Yemen is a minor-league oil producer, the fact that Saudi Arabia, the country’s northern neighbour and one of the world’s leading oil exporters, had become embroiled in an armed conflict roiled the market, even though analysts said there was very little near-term chance of a disruption in petroleum production.


Nuclear Security


Iran Deal Unlikely Before March 31 as Russia Leaves Talks
Jonathan Tirone, Ladane Nasseri, and Gregory Viscusi / Bloomberg
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov planned to leave talks on Iran’s nuclear program and only return if an accord is in sight, suggesting that negotiations will continue into the final hours before a March 31 deadline.


Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Deal
David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon / The New York Times
With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Disparte on Entrepreneurialism and National Security on HuffPost
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
The following piece by Chairperson of ASP’s Business Council for American Security Dante Disparte and Daniel Wagner was originally published The Huffington Post Blog.


Congressional Support for the Southern Corridor
Andrew Holland
As Members of Congress increasingly tout US exports of LNG to Europe as a way to break Russia’s monopoly (an important option that should be promoted), we should remember that the Southern Corridor is an option as well. Congressman Turner’s resolution is an important, bipartisan effort to show Congressional support for energy security in Europe, and it deserves support.


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.


Conference: Geopolitics of Energy Security in the Eastern Mediterranean
April 15 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
ASP will host a half day conference to examine the energy security challenges faced in the Eastern Mediterranean.


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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