Center for Strategic Communication


Key Reads

Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit: PM
Mahdi Talat / Reuters
troops aided by Shi’ite paramilitaries have driven Islamic State out of central Tikrit, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said on Tuesday, but the fight to retake all of Saddam Hussein’s home town continued.

US leads pledges with $507 million at Syria donor conference
Hussain Al-Qatari / Associated Press
The United States pledged $507 million in humanitarian aid at an international donors’ conference for Syria on Tuesday as the United Nations issued an appeal for $8.4 billion in commitments this year — the organization’s largest appeal yet for the war-ravaged country.


American Competitiveness

Greece worries compound euro’s record quarterly fall
Marc Jones / Reuters
The euro remained on track for its biggest quarterly fall and European shares for their best first quarter of the euro era on Tuesday, as worries about Greece’s finances kept the single currency under pressure.

The Puerto Rican Problem
James Surowiecki / The New Yorker
In 1958, Laurance Rockefeller threw an inaugural party for Dorado Beach, his luxury resort on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The guests included millionaires, politicians, and movie stars. In the years that followed, Dorado became the most glamorous resort in the Caribbean, attracting everyone from Ava Gardner to John F. Kennedy. But, as time passed, resorts on other islands lured high-end travellers away, and Dorado eventually became a charming relic. In 2006, it closed. History had passed it by.


National Security & Strategy

Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari wins Nigerian election
David Smith and Monica Mark / The Guardian
Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari has swept to victory in the Nigerian general election, inflicting the first defeat of an incumbent government in the history of Africa’s biggest democracy.

Turkish special forces enter courthouse as prosecutor held at gunpoint
Osman Orsal and Humeyra Pamuk / Reuters
A far-left Turkish group took an Istanbul prosecutor hostage on Tuesday and threatened to kill him, prompting special forces to enter the courthouse and police to evacuate the building.

Instead of protests, Czechs roll out party for U.S. troop convoy
Petra Vodstrcilova and Jan Lopatka / Reuters
Thousands of Czechs welcomed a convoy of U.S. troops to Prague on Tuesday on their return from exercises in the Baltics, defying expectations pro-Russian groups would protest over the country’s alliance with the west.


Asymmetric Operations

Saudi Arabia, Egypt show discord over Syria
Sarah el Deeb / Associated Press
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cooperating militarily to thwart a power grab in Yemen by Shiite rebels, but the agreement on how to deal with the region’s complex and intertwined conflicts may stop there. The two countries’ diverging interests were evident at the Arab summit over the weekend, particularly over the crises in Syria and Libya.

Carter says US policy on Iran-backed forces will hold
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press
Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that when Iraqi security forces carry their counteroffensive beyond the current battle for Tikrit, the U.S. will continue to insist that Iranian-backed Shiite militias not participate.

Saudi-led strikes again hit Yemen overnight
Sami Aboudi and Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters
Air raids by a Saudi-led coalition again hit Houthi militia targets across Yemen on Monday night, striking the group’s northern stronghold of Saadeh, the capital, Sanaa, and the central town of Yarim, residents and media said.

Myanmar government, rebel groups sign draft cease-fire deal
Esther Htusan / The Washington Post
Myanmar’s government and 16 ethnic armed groups agreed Tuesday on the wording of a draft nationwide cease-fire agreement aimed at ending decades of civil unrest.


Climate Security

US offer for global climate treaty: 28 percent emissions cut
Josh Lederman / My Way News
In a highly anticipated announcement, the United States will offer a roughly 28 percent emissions cut as its contribution to a major global climate treaty nearing the final stages of negotiation, according to people briefed on the White House’s plans.

The unlikely group of republicans who are preparing Florida for climate change
Chris Mooney / The Washington Post
Patty Asseff, a longtime realtor and a Republican, drives through town in her jet black Tesla. Asseff, who has sold so many homes here, speaks with passion about two related matters — clean energy, and making Hollywood homes more resilient, not just against hurricane threats but against periodic flooding that seems to be worsening as sea levels rise.


Energy Security

Oil drops to $55 as Iran nuclear talks intensify
Ron Bousso / Reuters
Brent crude oil dropped towards $55 a barrel on Tuesday as Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil exports to world markets.

Global green energy investment climbs after two-year decline
Nina Chestney / Reuters
Global green energy investment surged in 2014, after two years of decline, due to a solar boom in China and Japan and record offshore wind investment in Europe, a U.N.-backed report showed.


Nuclear Security

Officials: Iran nuke talks to continue in new phase
George Jahn and Matthew Lee / Associated Press
Wrapping up six days of marathon nuclear talks with mixed results, Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue talks in a new phase aimed at reaching a final agreement to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions by the end of June, officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.


Public Diplomacy

USAREUR commander faces the cameras and Russia
John Vandiver / Stars and Stripes
The one-on-one interview request was an unexpected curveball in a carefully choreographed itinerary, but Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges quickly dismissed any suggestion by a staffer that he politely decline.


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.

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