Foreign policy luminaries urge Congress to hold off on Iran bills
Kristina Wong / The Hill
More than 50 foreign policy luminaries, in a statement on Tuesday, applauded progress made on a nuclear deal with Iran and urged members of Congress to hold off on any legislative action that could affect reaching a final deal by June 30
Yemen crisis: Rebels push into central Aden
Fresh fighting has been reported in the southern Yemeni city of Aden between Houthi rebels and militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Report shows jobs openings are up, but hiring slows
The Associated Press via The New York Times
A new Labor Department report Tuesday showed that job openings surged 3.4 percent to 5.1 million in February — a 14-year high. That’s a clear sign that companies are willing to boost their staffs.
Powell, citing crisis damage, says rate hikes to proceed gradually after liftoff
Howard Schneider / Reuters
Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell said on Wednesday he would be willing to start raising U.S. interest rates even at current low levels of inflation, but said the central bank should proceed slowly from then on to ensure continued recovery from the crisis.
Greece has not asked Russia for financial aid: Putin
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not ask for financial aid at talks in Moscow on Wednesday but Russia could provide credits for large joint projects in the future, President Vladimir Putin said.
National Security & Strategy
Revised defense rules would give Japan new powers to aid U.S. military
Missy Ryan / The Washington Post
The United States and Japan are close to concluding a set of bilateral defense rules that if finalized would give Japan’s military new powers to act when U.S. forces are threatened by a third country, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
At the Summit of the Americas, focus is likely to be on the U.S. and Cuba
Karen DeYoung and Nick Miroff / The Washington Post
Cuba ends more than five decades of official isolation in the Western Hemisphere this week when President Raúl Castro attends a regional summit with up to 35 heads of state and government, including President Obama.
U.S. steps up arms deliveries to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen
AFP via The Guardian
With scores killed or wounded in Aden, Red Cross warns of ‘catastrophic’ situation as soldiers loyal to president Hadi hold out against Houthi rebels.
EU re-imposes sanctions on Iranian bank, 32 shipping firms
The European Union re-imposed sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 Iranian shipping companies on Wednesday, using new legal grounds, after the measures were struck down by a European court.
Iran says working to help Yemen form unity government to fix crisis
Iran says Yemeni factions should form a national unity government to resolve the crisis there and that it is working to help achieve that, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday.
Iraq launches drive against ISIS, but reports on scale differ
Rod Norland / The New York Times
The Iraqi Army and militia forces launched an attack against the Islamic State outside Ramadi on Wednesday, with some local officials claiming it was the beginning of a major offensive in western Anbar Province, though others said that was premature.
Syrian rebel takeover of border crossing severs ancient link to Jordan
William Booth / The Washington Post
The ancient road to Damascus that passes through here, a route plied by traders for thousands of years, is now severed. The government border crossing between Jordan and Syria has been sealed after the heavy fighting, barrel bombing and wild looting that took place last week at the checkpoint and nearby trade zone.
In Egypt, ex-military men fire up Islamist insurgency
Yara Bayoumy / Reuters
A small but highly dangerous succession of former Egyptian army officers are joining Islamist militant groups, complicating President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s efforts to counter what he calls an existential threat from extremism.
Islamic State releases 216 Yazidi prisoners in Iraq
Sameer N. Yacoub, AP via USA Today
The Islamic State group released more than 200 Yazidis on Wednesday after holding them for eight months, an Iraqi Kurdish security official said, the latest mass release of captives by the extremists.
ICC has no jurisdiction to prosecute ISIS despite ‘crimes of unspeakable cruelty’
AP via The Guardian
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says international criminal court cannot open an inquiry as neither Syria nor Iraq are member states.
U.S. soldier killed in Afghan ‘insider’ attack
A US soldier has been killed in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, reportedly after being fired upon by an Afghan soldier in an “insider” attack.
Sanctions, higher costs considered under California drought plan
Sharon Bernstein / Reuters
California’s cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules released Tuesday, the state’s first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use amid ongoing drought.
Canada glaciers shrink to 70% by 2100
AFP via The Guardian
Glaciers of Alberta and British Columbia to shrink 70% in volume by end of the century, as global warming brings about serious melting
Oil drops towards $57 after largest U.S. stock build since 2001
Himanshu Ohja / Reuters
Oil prices fell towards $57 a barrel on Wednesday after the largest weekly build in U.S. crude inventories since 2001 and as Saudi Arabia reported record output in March. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. stocks of crude oil rose in the week to April 3 by 10.9 million barrels – the largest weekly build since March 2001 – to a record 482.39 million barrels
The U.S. oil story in seven charts
Jeffrey Sparshott / The Wall Street Journal
The oil price crash has been rippling through the global economy since last summer. Now it’s hitting more corners of the U.S. economy
U.S. defines its demands for new round of talks with Iran
David E. Sanger and Steven Erlanger / The New York Times
The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, according to American and European diplomats.
Iranian establishment faces risks if nuclear deal fails
Parisa Hafezi / Reuters
Failure to finalize a framework agreement between Iran and the six major powers aimed at curbing the country’s sensitive nuclear work could profoundly destabilize the Islamic Republic, analysts and politicians say.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Infrastructure is a critical national security issue
On April 7th much of the District of Columbia lost power. Traffic lights stopped working, metro stations went dark, and even key government buildings—including the White House and the State Department—suffered power failure. While the power outage was determined to be caused by a “small fire and explosion” at an electrical substation in Maryland, the incident serves to highlight the vulnerability of U.S. infrastructure in even its capital.
Statement on the Framework for a Comprehensive Nuclear Security Agreement with Iran
Sungtae “Jacky” Park
Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), the CEO of the American Security Project, recently signed a statement released by the Iran Project, endorsing the recent nuclear framework agreement between the P5+1 and Iran. The statement was signed by a bipartisan group of 50 former military officials, foreign policy leaders, Ambassadors, and other leading national security experts.
Obama, Biden, Kerry: Energy Security is Needed in the Caribbean
The attention to energy security issues in the Caribbean is very important as oil prices have dropped to lows not seen in five years. However, it is important for these countries to “fix the roof while the sun is shining” as Vice President Biden said at the Caribbean Energy Security Summit.
Critical Issues Facing Russia and the Former Soviet Union: Governance and Corruption
When it comes to Russia and the other post-Soviet states, corruption is the subject of constant academic, policy, and popular debate. According to many, persistent corruption is the major factor undermining post-Soviet states from achieving broad-based political, economic, and social development along liberal-democratic lines. However, most analyses of corruption in Russia and the other post-Soviet states do not actually detail what their corruption is, the way that it endangers their development, or how they can fix it.
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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