Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Congress and White House strike deal on Iran legislation

Karen DeYoung and Mike DeBonis / The Washington Post

A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.


Time to renew US-Iraq policy

Sheikh Jamal al-Dhari / The Hill

The Iraqi people need tremendous amount of help, the goodwill and positive role by the Western world along with International guarantees can help impose and affect real political solutions. Changes that will allow millions of Iraqis to rally behind it, peace and stability will then start flowing into Iraqi veins, the standard of living increases, national unity may actually become a reality. This offers the best chance to bring rapid demise to ISIS and to the Iranian backed terror militias.


American Competitiveness


China’s First-Quarter Growth Slowest in Six Years at 7%

Mark Magnier / The Wall Street Journal

China’s economy started the year on a downbeat note with its slowest quarterly growth rate since 2009, pointing to a further loss of momentum for the world’s second-largest economy.


National Security & Strategy


Obama removes Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism

Karen DeYoung / The Washington Post

President Obama has decided to lift the U.S. designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, a decision that removes a principal impediment to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and accepts that Havana’s role as an agent of revolution has long since slipped into history.


Germany’s Schaeuble says need for U.S. to solve Ukraine crisis


German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday that the United States must play an important role in helping to solve the crisis in Ukraine while European resolve to come to a non-military solution remains strong.


China dismisses Philippine leader’s call to fear Beijing

The Straits Times

Beijing on Wednesday dismissed as “groundless” Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s warning that the Asian giant’s actions in the South China Sea should “engender fear for the rest of the world”.


UK scrambles jets as Russian planes and ships spotted

Yahoo News

British fighter jets were scrambled on Wednesday in response to the sighting of two Russian military aircraft near UK airspace, hours after three Russian ships were monitored as they entered the English Channel.


Power Remains Key Challenge for Building SOCOM’s Iron Man Suit 

Stew Magnuson / National Defense

Special Operations Command in 2013 introduced the world to its tactical assault light operator suit concept via a widely disseminated YouTube animated video of a hulking human figure bursting through a door as bullets pinged off its metallic skin.


Japan scrambling fighter planes as often as during Cold War era

The Associated Press / Asahi Shimbun

Japanese government said April 15 that the number of scrambles by the country’s warplanes has surged in recent years to levels nearly matching the Cold War era amid growing activity by China and Russia in the region.


Asymmetric Operations


Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch says its top cleric has been killed

Louisa Loveluck / The Telegraph

Yemen’s top Al Qaeda cleric, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee with a $5 million bounty on his head, has been killed.


Egypt and Saudi Arabia discuss maneuvers as Yemen battles rage

Mohamed Mukashaf / Reuters

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday imposed an arms embargo targeting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels who now control most of Yemen as battles in the south of the country intensified.


U.S. Soldiers, Back in Iraq, Find Security Forces in Disrepair

Rod Nordland / The New York Times

Iraq’s army looked good on paper when the Americans left, after one of the biggest training missions carried out under wartime conditions. But after that, senior Iraqi officers began buying their own commissions, paying for them out of the supply, food and payroll money of their troops. Corruption ran up and down the ranks; desertion was rife…


Fierce Clashes In Iraq As ISIS Captures Villages Near Ramadi

Sinan Salaheddin / The Huffington Post

The Islamic State group launched an offensive in Iraq’s western Anbar province on Wednesday, capturing three villages near the provincial capital of Ramadi and forcing villagers to flee from their homes as fierce clashes were underway between the extremists and government troops, residents said.


Foreign fighters are spilling into Afghanistan, helping the Taliban

Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post

Hundreds of foreign militants are fleeing a months-long Pakistani military offensive and seeking sanctuary in Afghanistan, bolstering the ranks of Taliban factions and triggering one of the bloodiest starts to the spring fighting season in years, according to Afghan officials and analysts.


Syria rebels in south reject Qaeda affiliate after tensions

France 24

Rebels fighting in southern Syria will not cooperate militarily with Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Al-Nusra Front, a spokesman said Wednesday.


Climate Security


Obama’s climate change plan faces crucial test

Timothy Cama / The Hill

Regulations at the center of President Obama’s climate change initiative face a crucial test this week when opponents will attempt to block them before they’re even made final.


Over-consumption, climate change threaten food security, water supply – FAO – TRFN

Magdalena Mis / Reuters Africa

There will be enough water to produce food for 10 billion people in 2050, but over-consumption and the impact of climate change threaten food security and water supplies in many regions, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday.


Energy Security


Russia’s Lukoil sets up shop in Iran

Daniel J. Graeber / UPI

Russian oil company Lukoil said Wednesday it reopened its offices in Iran in anticipation of the full removal of economic sanctions.


Brazil ruling party treasurer arrested in Petrobras scandal -media

Reuters Africa

Brazilian police arrested another four people in the political kickback investigation engulfing state-run oil company Petrobras on Wednesday and local media said they included Joao Vaccari, the treasurer of the ruling Workers’ Party.


IEA Says Oil Market Recovery Could be Delayed

Summer Said / The Wall Street Journal

The prospect of Iranian crude oil flooding the market and Saudi Arabia pumping at near-record levels could delay a recovery in an oil market slammed by a historic price collapse, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.


Oil Layoffs Hit 100,000 and Counting

Dan Molinski / The Wall Street Journal

Roughnecks feel brunt of cuts as tumble in price of crude ripples through energy industry.



Nuclear Security


Kerry: still confident US can conclude Iran nuclear deal

Frank Jordans / The Washington Post

Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he is confident that the U.S. administration can conclude a nuclear deal with Iran after President Barack Obama agreed to sign legislation giving Congress the right to reject an agreement.


Iran says nuclear deal depends on lifting of sanctions

Parisa Hafezi and Sam Wilkin / Reuters

Iran said on Wednesday it would only accept a deal over its contested nuclear program if world powers simultaneously lifted all sanctions imposed on it.


Iran leader: We are in talks with ‘the major powers,’ not the U.S. Congress

Karen DeYoung, Mike DeBonis, and Daniela Deane / The Washington Post

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran was negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers, not the U.S. Congress, and called a Senate committee’s vote to give Congress the power to review any potential deal a domestic U.S. matter.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


U.S. Senators Recognize Threat of Climate Change

Philip Rossetti

The national security risk that climate change poses is real, and the government must treat it with the same seriousness that it treats other threats to our national security. Recognition of the threat in Congress is important, since the U.S. will need a strategy for addressing climate change in order to truly protect itself.


Iran’s Fragile Rise

Sungtae “Jacky” Park

Iran is a rising power in the Middle East, but one whose power is far more fragile than assumed by many observers.


Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Panel 3

William George

The panel will examine America’s role in building energy cooperation between countries in the region, as well as promoting economic and investment opportunities for new found energy reserves.


Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Panel 2

William George

The panel will examine the challenges to developing the newfound energy resources in the region.


Geopolitics of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Panel 1

William George

The panel will examine the potential of using new found energy reserves to build international cooperation within the region.


What the Experts Are Saying About the Nuclear Framework Deal with Iran…

Sungtae “Jacky” Park

Here is a list of opinions from political and military leaders, academics, scientists, and other experts on the nuclear framework deal with Iran.


Upcoming Events


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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