Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program
Office of the Spokesperson / U.S. Department of State
Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran.

Iraq Forces, Pushing ISIS out of Tikrit, Give Few Thanks for U.S. Airstrikes
Rod Nordland / New York Times
One week after the start of intensive American airstrikes against Islamic State hide-outs, most of the key parts of central Tikrit had finally fallen to the government’s forces – although significant pockets still remained contested on Thursday.

‘Framework’ for final deal reached at Iran nuclear talks
John Irish, Parisa Hafezi, and Louis Charbonneau / Reuters
Iran and world powers reached a framework on curbing Iran’s nuclear program at marathon talks in Switzerland on Thursday that will allow further negotiations towards a final agreement.

American Competitiveness

Pay rises for low-wage U.S. workers gain speed, support recovery
Jason Lange / Reuters
America’s lowest paid workers are getting bigger raises that are outpacing the gains of many of their better-off peers, a trend that suggests the benefits of U.S. economic growth are finally trickling down, boding well for the resilience of the upturn.


National Security & Strategy

China angered after U.S. fighter jets land in Taiwan
Michael Martina and J.R. Wu / Reuters
China’s Foreign Ministry expressed anger on Thursday after two U.S. fighter jets landed in Taiwan, in a rare official contact between the militaries of the United States and the self-ruled democratic island.

Pakistan PM approves deal to buy eight Chinese submarines: official
Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Ben Blanchard / Reuters
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved a deal “years in the making” to buy eight submarines from China, a Pakistani government official said on Thursday, in what could be one of China’s largest overseas weapons sales once it is signed.


Asymmetric Operations

Kenya Garissa students taken hostage by al-Shabab
BBC News
Gunmen from the militant Islamist group al-Shabab have killed at least 15 people and taken students hostage at a university in north-eastern Kenya.

Yemen’s Houthis seize Aden district, armed men land by sea
Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters
Yemen’s Houthi fighters and their allies seized a central Aden district on Thursday striking a heavy blow against the Saudi-led coalition which has waged a week of air strikes to try to stem advances by the Iran-allied Shi’ite group.

As regional war rages, Syria’s Assad faces setbacks
Tom Perry / Reuters
In the course of a week, several setbacks for President Bashar al-Assad have provided fresh reminders of the strains facing the Syrian army and its allies in the four-year-long struggle for Syria.

Climate Security

Philippines braces for typhoon over Easter
Rosemarie Francisco / Reuters
The Philippines issued warnings of possible landslides and storm surges, with typhoon Maysak set to strike eastern coastal areas, where many resorts are located, over the Easter weekend.

California governor orders statewide water cutbacks to combat drought
Sharon Bernstein / Reuters
California Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history.

Oceans might take 1,000 years to recover from climate change, study suggests
Geoffrey Mohan / L.A. Times
Naturally occurring climate change lowered oxygen levels in the deep ocean, decimating a broad spectrum of seafloor life that took some 1,000 years to recover, according to a study that offers a potential window into the effects of modern warming.


Energy Security

Oil tumbles anew as press event called at Iran nuclear talks
Barani Krishnan / Reuters
Oil prices fell as much as 4 percent on Thursday after global powers negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran called for a news conference after more than a week of talks in Switzerland.


Nuclear Security
Officials: Agreement on nuke deal but not on disclosure
Matthew Lee and George Jahn / Associated Press
Iran and and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding that would open the path to a final phase of nuclear negotiations but are in a dispute over how much to make public, officials told The Associated Press Thursday.


Public Diplomacy

Call it ‘jazz diplomacy’: Cuba, US rift can be fixed with a riff

Michael Davison / Fox News
I am leaving the famed Hemingway haunt, the Floradita, and sitting at an outdoor café, sifting through the many changing attitudes and opinions currently swirling around Cuba.

Sanctions-Strapped Russia Outguns the U.S. in Information War
Nicole Gaouette / Bloomberg
The troubled U.S. agency responsible for delivering news around the world is being outgunned in Eastern Europe by Russian outlets unrestrained by notions of fact-based journalism.

Is America losing the information war?
Agnia Grigas and Seth Freeman / The Hill
It would be hard to imagine Athenian generals worrying about the reporting of Spartan news or even, twenty-four centuries later, Douglas MacArthur caring much about media broadcasts from the land of the rising sun. But when General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Commander of NATO, recently called on the West  to make a greater effort to counter Russia’s toxic war of disinformation against Ukraine and its western allies, his concern made perfect military sense.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Peter S. Rashish on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
Hugo Grondel
In an op-ed published by Asia Pathways, ASP Consensus Member Peter S. Rashish takes on one of the most contentious issues that has dominated trade talks all across the globe: the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause (ISDS). It is hard to find another trade related talking point that has stirred up more controversy lately than ISDS.

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.


Conference: The Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
April 16 @ 12:00pm – 4:30pm
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to redefine transatlantic cooperation in the economic, security, and political spheres and provide the U.S. and the EU with a window of opportunity to advance core values that could help shape the international trading system in the 21st century. Our expert panelists will discuss these issues and attempt to examine TTIP’s potential to facilitate further trade liberalization on a global scale.


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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