Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Iran’s powerful Guard rejects inspection of military sites
The Washington Post
International nuclear inspectors will be barred from all Iranian military sites under any deal with world powers, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guard Corps said Sunday, setting up a potential standoff as negotiators try to reach a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.


Abe: U.S., Japan ‘Close’ to TPP Trade Deal
Gerard Baker and Yuka Hayashi / The Wall Street Journal
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo and Washington are near an agreement on a major Pacific free-trade pact, a deal that would help advance President Barack Obama’s economic agenda, and tighten ties between the two allies as they seek to counter China’s growing influence.


American Competitiveness


China Central Bank Checks Europe Playbook on Credit
Lingling Wei / The Wall Street Journal
China’s central bank is considering taking a page from Europe’s financial-crisis handbook to free up more credit as growth in the world’s second-largest economy slows.


Major Chinese Developer Says It Can’t Pay Dollar Debts
Chris Bourke and Vinicy Chan / Bloomberg
Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. became China’s first developer to default on its U.S. currency debt after failing to honor missed payments on two dollar bonds.


National Security & Strategy


Top cyber officials warn of limited capabilities
Andrew Tilghman / Defense News
The military’s current cyber capabilities remain limited and the Pentagon is mapping out a new strategy for boosting defenses and mounting offensive attacks, top cyber officials say.


The Pentagon’s new cyber attack plan: ‘Blunt force trauma’
Philip Ewing / Politico
The Pentagon wants cyber weapons that can inflict “blunt force trauma.”


US, Ukraine Start Military Training, Defying Russian Fury
ABC News
Troops from the United States and Ukraine kicked off joint training exercises Monday intended to help bolster Ukraine’s defenses against incursions from Russian-backed separatists in the east.


France seeks to resolve Russian Mistral ‘crisis’: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday he was looking for a “way out of the crisis” with Russia over the suspended delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers purchased by Moscow.


Europe faces a ‘real threat’ from Russia, warns US army commander
Justin Huggler / The Telegraph
The commander of the US army in Europe has warned that Nato must remain united in the face of a “real threat” from Russia.


Asymmetric Operations


Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State
Christoph Reuter / Der Spiegel
An Iraqi officer planned Islamic State’s takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. They portray an organization that, while seemingly driven by religious fanaticism, is actually coldly calculating.


ISIS video purports to show massacre of two groups of Ethiopian Christians
Kareem Shaheen / The Guardian
Islamic State has released a video purporting to depict the massacre of 30 Ethiopians, the second incident of mass slaughter of Christians by the terror group in its redoubt in Libya.


Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
Lizzie Dearden / The Independent
Isis has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan that killed at least 35 people queuing to collect their wages and injured 100 more today.


Russian troops kill leader of Islamic Caucasus Emirate
Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn / The Long War Journal
Russian security forces killed Ali Abu Muhammad al Dagestani, the emir of the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Caucasus Emirate, during a special operations raid in the Russian Republic of Dagestan today. Since taking command of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate (ICE) in 2014, Dagestani has supported al Qaeda and opposed the establishment of the rival Islamic State.


Hundreds of migrant deaths at sea: What is Europe going to do?
Jethro Mullen and Ashley Fantz / CNN
After a weekend shipwreck off the coast of Italy that may have killed hundreds of migrants, the International Organization for Migrants said Monday that there may be three more migrant boats in distress in international waters, according to a post on the group’s official Twitter account.


Climate Security


China and other big emitters challenge Australia over its climate change policies
Adam Morton and Tom Arup / The Sydney Morning Herald
The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have questioned the credibility of Australia’s climate change targets and “direct action” policy in a list of queries to the Abbott government.


India Being Watched for Its Contribution to Climate Change: Richard Verma
India is being “closely watched” for its intended contribution towards the global response to climate change, US ambassador Richard Verma said on Monday.


Energy Security


EU to File Antitrust Charges Against Gazprom
Gabriele Steinhauser / The Wall Street Journal
The European Union’s competition regulator plans to file formal antitrust charges against Russia’s state-owned gas company OAO Gazprom on Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday, a step set to escalate the standoff between Europe and Moscow.


Russia denies German report it is ready to sign gas deal with Greece
Russia denied on Saturday a German media report suggesting that it could sign a gas pipeline deal with Greece as early as Tuesday which could bring up to five billion euros into Athens’ depleted state coffers.


Costs for Germany’s nuclear exit could rise to $75 billion
The bill for shutting down Germany’s nuclear power plants and building a safe disposal site for nuclear waste could rise to 70 billion euros ($75 billion), the head of a government commission told daily Frankfurter Rundschau in an interview.


Yemen grinds to a halt for lack of gas
Ali al-Mujahed and Hugh Naylor / The Washington Post
Intense fighting, involving Shiite rebels and a Saudi-led military force, is starving Yemen of gasoline, leaving residents unable to drive to supermarkets or shuttle wounded people to hospitals.


Nuclear Security


Israel: We Can Target Russian-Made Weapons
Barbara Opall-Rome / Defense News
Infuriated by Moscow’s decision last week to revive a long-shelved S-300 missile deal to Tehran, officials here reiterated Israel’s right to target those batteries or any other high-end Russian arms transferred to regional terrorist organizations via Iran or Syria.


Putin warns Israel not to sell arms to Ukraine
Judah Ari Gross / Times of Israel
Russian President Vladmir Putin warned Israel Saturday against a “counterproductive” sale of weapons to Ukraine, in response to his own divisive decision to supply the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


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.


White House Details Caribbean Energy Approach
Philip Rossetti
The islands of the Caribbean are threatened by their dependence on imported energy. Venezuela, which has dominated the control of energy in the region, is suffering as a result of low oil prices. This has created a vacuum in the region for who will provide energy, and has created a new opportunity for the U.S. The President has just returned from his trip to the Caribbean for the summit, and the White House has released its U.S.-CARICOM Summit fact sheet outlining proposals for energy cooperation between the U.S. and its neighbors.


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.


Top Ten Facts for the Iran Nuclear Agreement
William Yale
The top ten facts of the Iran Nuclear Agreement


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.

The post What We Are Reading appeared first on American Security Project.