Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Former President Defiant as Humanitarian Toll Mounts in Yemen War

Mohamed Mokashaf / Reuters
Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Friday he would not leave the country, dismissing reports in the Gulf Arab media that he was seeking a safe exit as Saudi Arabian war planes bomb troops loyal to him and their Houthi militia allies.

South Africa Shops Looted Despite Zuma Call for Peace
Foreign-owned shops in South Africa have been attacked and looted in east Johannesburg, the latest in a series of xenophobic attacks. A standoff is ongoing in Johannesburg, with police forming a barrier between an angry crowd and foreign-owned shops. The violence comes despite Thursday’s rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban, and condemnation from President Jacob Zuma.

ASP in “TTIP: Dredgers Looking to Enter the US Market”
This week, ASP held a conference discussing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its role in deciding the future of transatlantic relations. The conference included a keynote speech by Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation from the Netherlands.


American Competitiveness

TPP: Momentum on Trade Deal Bolsters U.S., Japan Efforts to Counter China

Jacob Schlesinger, Mitsuru Obe, Mark Magnier / The Wall Street Journal
Momentum in Washington behind an ambitious Pacific free-trade pact gives new energy to a U.S.-Japan campaign to counter China’s influence in Asia.


U.S. Influence Hinges on Future of Dollar, Yuan

Greg Ip / The Wall Street Journal
China’s success at signing up so many countries as founders of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, despite American concerns, has fueled a popular narrative of waning U.S. economic influence.


National Security & Strategy

China May Gain Control of South China Sea, U.S. Navy Says
David Tweed / Bloomberg
China’s island building program in the South China Sea may result in it gaining control of some of the world’s most important waterways, the U.S.’s most senior military commander for Asia said.

Abe’s Consequential Visit to Washington
Joshua Walker / The Hill
It has been a grueling two years for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has traveled to over 50 countries since returning to power at the end of 2012. But none of his visits will be as consequential as his weeklong trip to the United States at the end of the month. Abe is hoping to expand the scope of cooperation between Japan and the United States at a critical moment for Japan’s future and the United States’ position in Asia.

North Korea Warns U.S. Envoy of ‘Bigger Mishap’ Than Knife Attack
Jack Kim, James Pearson / Reuters
A North Korean propaganda unit said the U.S. ambassador to South Korea could face a “bigger mishap” than the knife attack to his face last month if he does not stop insulting North Korea with “laughable” accusations.

U.S. Troops Train Ukrainian Army Fighting Pro-Russia Rebels
Meg Wagner / New York Daily News
The U.S. military confirmed Friday that it sent a fleet of U.S. paratroopers to Ukraine to train the forces that are fighting pro-Russia rebels — a move that drew immediate rebuke from Moscow.

Russia Lifts Ban on Air Defense Sale to Iran. A Game Changer?
Scott Perterson / The Christian Science Monitor
For nearly a decade, Iran’s elusive holy grail of military deals has been acquiring advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia. So when Moscow this week reversed a 2010 ban on the $800 million sale, many Iran watchers rolled their eyes. Russia has a history of putting strategic politics before commercial transactions – including previous S-300 deals with Iran and Syria, and the fitful construction of Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

Obama: ‘US Cannot Be in Isolation
VOA News
In a sweeping defense of his expansion plans for enhanced American trade worldwide, President Barack Obama on Friday said the U.S. cannot be in isolation.


Asymmetric Operations

Two Al-Qaeda Suspects Killed in Yemen Drone Attack
Two suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed overnight in Yemen in a drone strike believed to have been carried out by the United States, a tribal source said Friday.
Doctors Testify at UN Over Syria Chemical Attacks
Al Bawaba News
The U.N. Security Council listened Thursday to Syrian doctors who attempted to rescue children affected by alleged chlorine attacks in Idlib province of Syria. According to international watchdog Human Rights Watch, more than 200 civilians including 20 civil defense workers were exposed to toxic chemicals in several barrel bomb attacks between March 16 and 31.

Ex-Saddam Aide al-Douri Killed, Says Iraq Provincial Governor
Isabel Coles, Oliver Holmes / Reuters
Ezzat al-Douri, a prominent former aide to late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, was killed when he and other insurgents were surrounded by security forces, the governor of Iraq’s Salahuddin province said on Friday.

3 Dead, Multiple Wounded Reported in Suicide Bombing at U.S. Consulate in Irbil, Iraq
Mitchell Prothero / The Miami Herald
A suicide bomber struck the U.S. consulate building in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on Friday afternoon. Kurdish authorities said at least one person was killed and five others wounded, and local news outlets reported at least three people were dead. Among the wounded were two Westerners who were in a restaurant across the street from the U.S. outpost, witnesses said.


As Iraqis Flee Anbar Province and ISIS, Questions Persist on Role of Shiite Militias
Tim Arango / The New York Times
In an intensifying humanitarian crisis in Iraq’s embattled Anbar Province, thousands of residents are fleeing a pitched battle between Islamic State militants and pro-government forces around the provincial capital.

Climate Security


BP Shareholders are Worried About Climate Change Affecting The Company’s Bottom Line
Samantha Page / Think Progress
While it may be historic that a major fossil fuel company has passed a climate change resolution, the decision is less about addressing the causes and effects of climate change than it is about navigating the new green economy to maximize the company’s profits.

Why Fossil Fuel Divestment is a Misguided Tactic
Mike Hulme / The Guardian
Two months ago I spoke at King’s College London against a motion that “divestment from fossil fuel companies is a useful policy tool to bring about action on climate change”. Here’s why. 

Energy Security

EU Plots Future Energy Security: Official
Phys Org News
The European Union is drawing up contingency plans to guarantee energy security for the 28-nation bloc under all circumstances, its top energy official said Thursday.

Nuclear Security

Congress Talks Nuclear Weapons and Budgets
Jen Rowell / Great Falls Tribune
The state of the nation’s nuclear forces, including those at Malmstrom Air Force Base, were the subject of Wednesday’s House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces hearing.

On Our Flashpoint Blog


Top Ten Facts for the Iran Nuclear Agreement

William Yale

The top ten facts of the Iran Nuclear Agreement.


Kazakhstan- A Vital Partner

BGen Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.)

Today, I had the honor of hosting Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Karim Massimov,  and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for a round table discussion on U.S. foreign relations and national security. The American Security Project was an ideal site for the meeting, as Secretary Hagel was one of our founders, and ASP has long had an interest in the energy security and economics of Central Asia.


Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Need for Trade Promotion Authority, TTIP, TPP

Hugo Grondel

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter applauds the efforts on “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015,” stating that “I never forget that our military strength ultimately rests on the foundation of a vibrant and growing economy.” This act will give the Obama administration more leeway to conclude and finalize negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements.


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.



ASP Recently Published

Critical Issues Facing Russia and the Former Soviet Union: Governance and Corruption

American Security Project

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.


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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