French network’s broadcasts hacked by group claiming IS ties
Lori Hinnant / Associated Press
Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group seized control of a global French television network, simultaneously blacking out 11 channels and taking over the network’s website and social media accounts. The attack appeared to be an unprecedented step in the extremist group’s information warfare tactics.
US, Russian war games rekindle Cold War tensions
Jari Tanner and David Keyton / Associated Press
Russia is so close that the F-16 fighter pilots can see it on the horizon as they swoop down over a training range in Estonia in the biggest ever show of U.S. air power in the Baltic countries.
Eurozone: Six days for Greece to offer new reforms
The eurozone has said only six working days are left for Greece to come up with a revised list of reforms to seal a deal on its next rescue bailout.
Wall St. ticks up at open as energy rebounds
Rodrigo Campos / Reuters
U.S. stocks edged up at the open on Thursday, with gains in the energy and healthcare sectors partly offset by falling utilities shares.
National Security & Strategy
North Korea fires missiles into sea as U.S. defense chief visits region
David Brunnstrom / Reuters
North Korea has fired two surface-to-air missiles off its west coast, South Korea said on Thursday, with the latest in a string of short-range firings by the North coming shortly before the U.S. defense secretary arrived in the region.
China mounts detailed defense of South China Sea reclamation
Sui-Lee Wee / Reuters
China on Thursday sketched out detailed plans for the islands it is creating in the disputed South China Sea, saying they would be used for military defense as well as to provide civilian services that would benefit other countries.
Piling Sand in a Disputed Sea, China Literally Gains Ground
David Sanger and Rick Gladstone / New York Times
The clusters of Chinese vessels busily dredge white sand and pump it onto partly submerged coral, aptly named Mischief Reef, transforming it into an island.
U.S. hopes Cuba deal makes for warmer reception at Panama summit
Jonathan Watts / The Guardian
In the past decade, it’s been hard to imagine any event in the diplomatic calendar that US presidents looked forward to with less enthusiasm than the Summit of the Americas, the chief opportunity for leftwing leaders in the region to gang up on their powerful “imperialist” neighbor.
Yemen’s Houthis seize provincial capital despite Saudi-led raids
Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters
Houthi fighters, backed by supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh entered the provincial capital of the mainly Sunni Shabwa province in eastern Yemen on Thursday, residents said, despite intense Saudi-led air strikes against the group.
Taliban attack on Afghan court kills police chief, two officers
Bashar Ansari / Reuters
Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons stormed a court in Afghanistan’s northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Thursday, killing the district police chief and two other officers, authorities said.
Third of fighters in Yemen are children, says UNICEF
Children make up a third of fighters in the armed groups in conflict-wracked Yemen, according to a UN official, who also issued a warning about malnutrition levels in the country.
Japan targets about 20 percent emissions cuts by 2030
Osamu Tsukimori / Reuters
Japan is considering reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by around 20 percent by 2030 as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in Paris later in the year, Japanese media reported on Thursday.
China’s environment ministry blocks hydro project
David Stanway / Reuters
China’s environment ministry has refused approval for a hydropower dam on an ecologically vulnerable river already damaged by construction, a rare setback for the country’s extensive dam-building program.
Gatwick oil find ‘could produce billions of barrels’
Josh Halliday / The Guardian
An oilfield near Gatwick airport could hold up to 100bn barrels of oil, according to a British exploration firm, in possibly the biggest onshore oil discovery in England since the 1980s.
First new pylon type constructed
Claire Marshall / BBC News
The “T-pylon” is shorter, standing at about 120ft (36m); the old steel giants are typically 165ft (50m). The National Grid says it will respond to the need to harvest energy from an increasing number of lower-carbon energy sources.
Iran will only sign nuclear deal if sanctions lifted ‘same day’
Parisa Hafezi / Reuters
Iran will only sign a final nuclear accord with six world powers if all sanctions imposed over its disputed atomic work are lifted on the same day, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday.
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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