Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Lawmakers close in on fast-track trade deal
Doug Palmer / Politico
Senior lawmakers appeared to be close to reaching an agreement Wednesday night over a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill that has already ignited a fierce fight between President Barack Obama and liberal Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Al Qaeda captures major airport, seaport and oil terminal in southern Yemen
Associated Press
Military officials and residents say Al Qaeda has taken control of a major airport, a seaport and an oil terminal in southern Yemen after brief clashes with troops.


American Competitiveness

Euro zone yields sink to new lows, Greece in focus
Jamie McGeever
Euro zone government borrowing costs slid to new lows on Thursday, a day after the European Central Bank pledged to fulfill its 1 trillion-euro bond-buying program and as Greece’s financial predicament deteriorated sharply.

National Security & Strategy
Florida mailman lands a gyrocopter on Capitol lawn, hoping to send a message
Mike Debonis and Marc Fisher / Washington Post
On Wednesday, Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from a small town on Florida’s Gulf Coast who dearly wants campaign finance reform, flew his fragile little ultralight gyrocopter through some of the most closely protected airspace on the planet and landed it on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. He called it Project Kitty Hawk.

Putin condemns Kiev over ‘blockade’ of east Ukraine
BBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine’s government is “cutting off” defiant rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine through an economic blockade.

Pro-Russian journalist killed in Kiev
BBC News
Mr Buzyna is the latest in a series of allies of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former President, Victor Yanukovych, to die in suspicious circumstances.

How Nigeria’s ‘smooth’ election nearly went wrong
Ed Cropley and Tim Cocks / Reuters
As Muhammadu Buhari closed in on Nigeria’s presidency, an aide to election commission chairman Attahiru Jega sent a text message to an independent voting monitor, warning of an imminent threat to the electoral process.

Japan jet scrambles ‘near Cold War record’
BBC News

Japan is scrambling fighters at near-unprecedented levels in response to foreign aircraft – mainly Russian and Chinese – approaching its airspace, the defence ministry says.

A look at EU’s handling of the Mediterranean migrant influx
Lorne Cook / Associated Press

More than 400 migrants were reported missing and at least 10,000 more have been rescued in the Mediterranean this week, highlighting the scope of the challenge facing the European Union and further exposing weaknesses in its migration policy.

Russia blames U.S. for security crises, turmoil in Ukraine
Gabriela Baczynska / Reuters

Top Russian officials accused the United States on Thursday of seeking political and military dominance in the world and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine.



Asymmetric Operations


Islamic State Fighters Launch Offensive in Iraq Province
Matt Bradley and Julian Barnes / Wall Street Journal

Islamic State launched a new offensive outside Baghdad, marking a resurgence just as the U.S. and Iraqi leaders were meeting in Washington to lay plans to retake the area from the extremist group.

Islamic State’s ‘war crimes’ against Yazidi women documented
Michael Miller / Washington Post
Her story, and those of 19 other women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State, were collected by Human Rights Watch. In a report released Wednesday, the group accused the Islamic State of war crimes and, potentially, crimes against humanity for their treatment of Yazidi women.

Yemeni Vice President hopes Arab coalition will not deploy ground forces
BBC News
Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah said on Thursday he hoped a Saudi-led Arab coalition battling Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen would not send in ground troops.

Yemen conflict: UN special envoy Benomar steps down
BBC News
The UN’s special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has stepped down from his post amid criticism of his failure to broker an end to the conflict in the country.

Russia hopes U.N. Syria talks will lead to united fight with IS
Tom Miles / Reuters
Latest U.N. efforts to resolve the Syria crisis could succeed this time and lead to a united front against Islamic State followed by a political transition, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said.

Climate Security

China to ban water-polluting paper mills, oil refineries
Kathy Chen and Dominique Patton / Reuters
China will ban water-polluting paper mills, oil refineries, pesticide producers and other industrial plants by the end of 2016, as it moves to tackle severe pollution of the country’s water supply.

Obama’s climate-change policy faces an early court challenge
David Savage / L.A. Times
The Obama administration’s far-reaching plan to battle climate change by forcing states to reduce greenhouse gases 30% over the next two decades faces an early and unexpected legal challenge Thursday, one that could halt the proposed rules for power plants before they can take shape.
Energy Security


EU approves German aid to support construction of 20 offshore wind farms
Julia Fioretti / Reuters
The European Commission on Thursday gave Germany the green light to support the construction of 20 offshore wind farms by paying operators a premium on top of the market price for electricity, it said in a statement.

Nuclear Security

U.S. Iran bill makes nuclear deal harder, but not impossible
Arshad Mohammed / Reuters
A compromise allowing the U.S. Congress to vote on a nuclear deal with Tehran may prompt Iranian negotiators to drive a harder bargain, but does not drastically weaken President Barack Obama’s ability to deliver on a final agreement.

No Breakthrough between Iran and U.N. nuclear watchdog
Shadia Nasralla and Gabriela Baczynska / Reuters
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had a “constructive exchange” with Iran this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough on aspects of its nuclear program that the agency says Tehran has failed to fully address.


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.


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.


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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