Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

U.S. Is Closer to Deciding Cuba’s Status on Terror List
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / The New York Times
President Obama is nearing a decision on removing Cuba’s three-decade-old designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, citing progress in his push to normalize relations with the island nation as he arrived here on Thursday night for a summit meeting of Latin American leaders.

Mumbai Attack Suspect Lakhvi Released on Bail in Pakistan

The suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, has been released on bail from a Pakistani jail, officials say. Jail officials in Rawalpindi said Mr Lakhvi was released on Friday morning. Mr Lakhvi had been granted bail in December, but was kept in detention under public order legislation. That detention was declared void by the High Court, which ordered his release. Mr Lakhvi still faces trial – along with six other suspects – over the attacks, which left 166 people dead and damaged peace efforts between the two countries.


American Competitiveness

 U.S. Chides Europe, Japan for Overreliance on Monetary Policy

Ian Talley, Jeffrey Sparshott / The Wall Street Journal
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.

U.S. Import Prices Resume Downward Trend in March
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. import prices fell in March as rising petroleum costs were offset by declining prices for other goods, a sign of muted inflation that supports the view the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates in June.


 National Security & Strategy

Obama Says Concerned China Bullying Others in South China Sea

Matt Spetalnick, Ben Blanchard / Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington is concerned China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, drawing a swift rebuke from Beijing which accused the United States of being the bully.

India, France Discuss Purchase of 63 Rafales
Pierre Tran / Defense News
French and Indian officials are negotiating an off-the-shelf order worth €7.2 billion (US $7.6 billion) for 63 Rafale fighter jets to equip three Indian Air Force squadrons, during a visit by the Indian prime minister, daily Le Monde reported Friday.

North Korea is Intent on Provocations, U.S. Defense Secretary Says
Felicia Schwartz / The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter struck a harsh tone on North Korea in remarks Friday, and said the U.S. would deploy its best equipment to the Asia-Pacific region to address security concerns there.

Asymmetric Operations

ISIS Fighters in Iraq Kill 25 Police and Soldiers on Anbar Province

Rod Nordland / The New York Times

Islamic State fighters launched a heavy attack on government-held territory in Anbar Province late on Thursday and on Friday, killing 25 Iraqi police officers and soldiers, and then executing 15 family members of local police officers, according to Iraqi officials.

Suicide Bomb, Roadside Blast Kill 15 Afghan Civilians
Rafiq Sherzad, Hamid Sahlizi / Reuters
A suicide car bomber targeting foreign troops killed three Afghan civilians on Friday, while a dozen people on their way to a wedding were killed in a separate roadside blast, officials said.

Pakistan’s Parliament Votes Against Entering Yemen Conflict
Jon Boone, Saeed Kamali Dehghan / The Guardian
Pakistan’s parliament has dealt a blow to Saudi hopes of defeating Yemen’s Houthi rebels, with MPs voting overwhelmingly for the country to remain out of the conflict.


Climate Security

Americans Are Worried About Climate Change, But Don’t Consider it the Highest Priority

Jim Algar / Tech Times
More than half of the American people consider climate change something of a worry, but only a fraction think it will personally affect them and that it should be a top priority for the nation, according to two new polls.

Wisconsin Agency Bans Activism on Climate

Julie Bosman / The New York Times
A small Wisconsin agency that manages thousands of acres of state land has banned its 10 employees from working on climate change issues while on the job.


Energy Security

FACT SHEET: U.S.-CARICOM Summit – Deepening Energy Cooperation
White House, Office of the Press Secretary
President Obama met with Caribbean leaders in a U.S.-CARICOM Summit in Kingston, Jamaica.  President Obama reaffirmed the importance of our relationship with the region, and the United States’ commitment to partner with Caribbean countries to advance economic development, security, and good governance.  Leaders discussed a broad range of issues, from our important trade and investment linkages to security cooperation.

Vancouver Commits to Run on 100% Renewable Energy
Stephen Leahy / The Guardian
Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy. The city of 600,000 on Canada’s west coast aims to use only green energy sources for electricity, and also for heating and cooling and transportation.


Nuclear Security

US: North Korean Nuclear ICBM Achievable
Aaron Mehta / Defense News

US intelligence believes North Korea is capable of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon and putting it on its KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile, the head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said.


 On Our Flashpoint Blog

 Infrastructure is a critical national security issue

Philip Rossetti

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

Andrew Holland

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

John Bugnacki

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.

Upcoming Events

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.

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