Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Kerry says Iran, world powers closer than ever to historic nuclear deal
Louis Charbonneau and Arshad Mohammed
The United States and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.


U.S. says Iranian forces fire on and board cargo ship in Gulf
Noah Browning and David Alexander / Reuters
Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said.


American Competitiveness


Obama Presses Case for Asia Trade Deal, Warns Failure Would Benefit China
Gerald F. Seib / The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama, facing a bitter struggle within his own party on trade policy, warned that China would step into the economic vacuum the U.S. would create if it fails to complete and enact a free-trade deal with Asia.


With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall
Martin Crutsinger / AP
On Wednesday, the Fed could clarify its plans after ending its latest policy meeting. Analysts caution, though, against expecting any specific guidance on the Fed’s timetable for a rate hike. Too many uncertainties still surround the U.S. economy. The Fed’s policymakers may want to leave themselves maneuvering room until their view of the economy’s health becomes clearer.


National Security & Strategy


F-35 Engines From United Technologies Called Unreliable
Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg
F-35 engines from United Technologies Corp. are proving so unreliable that U.S. plans to increase production of the fighter jet may be slowed, according to congressional auditors.


US military equipment banned from export to China being sold on Taobao
Stephen Chen / South China Morning Post
Shoppers in China can easily purchase export embargoed US military equipment on e-commerce platforms.


Watch DARPA’s magic bullets change course to hit moving targets
Rich McCormick / The Verge
We already have smart guns, but DARPA has taken the next logical step — the defense agency has built smart bullets. The military agency has shown off new footage of its Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance — shortened to EXACTO rounds — that show the smart bullets maneuvering in mid-air to hit moving targets.


Japan and U.S. Set New Rules for Military Cooperation
Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael R. Gordon / The New York Times
President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan have reached an accord to tighten defense cooperation and are pressing toward an agreement to tear down trade barriers between their two countries and across the Pacific Rim, as both leaders move to counter rising economic and military threats from China.


Report: US, Philippines agree on rotations to bases along South China Sea
Erik Slavin / Stars and Stripes
U.S. forces would have access to at least eight bases in the Philippines — including two near a hotly contested island group claimed by China — under a new bilateral defense agreement, according to a Philippine media report.


Sanctions on Russia should be tied to fulfilling Minsk deal: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday international sanctions imposed on Russia should depend on whether peacekeeping committments signed this year in Minsk are upheld.


Ukraine: Aiming for E.U. Membership
AP / The New York Times
President Petro O. Poroshenko said Monday at a high-level meeting with European Union officials that Ukraine would be able to meet the conditions to apply for membership in the bloc within five years.


Asymmetric Operations


Afghan leader holds emergency talks with NATO commander
Carlo Munoz / Stars and Stripes
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held emergency talks Monday with NATO’s commander about escalating fighting against insurgents in northern Afghanistan, delaying a planned visit to India.


U.S. readies Afghans to fly solo
Jeff Schogol / Air Force Times
…the commander of the U.S. and NATO effort to train, equip and mentor the Afghan air force vows not to abandon Afghan pilots and maintainers as they slowly learn how to sustain their helicopters and planes.


Climate Security


Heatwaves Caused By Climate Change 75% Of the Time, Study Finds
Sam Frizell / Time
Climate change is increasingly causing extreme weather like heavy rains, heat waves and severe storms, according to a new study.


Climate change, cyberattacks are growing threats to grid, says US energy chief
Jared Gilmour / The Christian Science Monitor
US energy infrastructure is vast, aging, and in need of an overhaul, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says, and the biggest challenges are the most unpredictable: climate change and cyberattacks.


ADB, Cambodia sign new grant to enhance climate change resilience
Xinhua News Agency / Global Post
The Asian Development Bank ( ADB) and the Cambodian government on Monday signed a grant agreement totaling 7.4 million U.S. dollars to enhance communities ‘ resilience to climate change impacts in Koh Kong and Mondulkiri provinces, according to a statement from the bank.


Energy Security


Iran facing shortages of natural gas
Press TV
Iranian officials have issued fresh warnings over the rising consumption of natural gas in the country.


Japanese government wants nuclear to be 20-22 pct of power mix
Japan should aim to make nuclear energy account for between 20 and 22 percent of the country’s electricity mix by 2030, with renewable energy making up slightly more, the industry ministry said on Tuesday.


Nuclear energy cheapest power source due to reduced disaster risks, ministry says
Tomoyoshi Otsu / The Asahi Shimbun
Nuclear power is the most cost-effective method of generating electricity, even when factoring in increased safety fees, accident compensation and other related expenses following the 2011 nuclear disaster, the industry ministry said.


First U.S. Offshore Wind Project Breaks Ground
Mary Anne Hitt / Huffington Post
Today the U.S. took another big step in the transition beyond coal to clean energy as the nation’s first offshore wind project broke ground.


Ukraine invites EU companies to buy into gas pipeline system
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Ukraine would like European companies to buy shares in its natural gas pipeline system as a way to achieve energy independence for itself and the European Union and lay the basis for “what would on the whole be a new energy policy in Europe,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Monday.


Nuclear Security


U.S. seeks Russia’s role in N. Korea’s denuclearization
Lee Haye-ah / Yonhap News Agency
The United States urged Russia Tuesday to dissuade North Korea from stockpiling its nuclear arsenal and developing long range missiles when its leader Kim Jong-un visits Moscow for World War II anniversary celebrations next month.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


ASP in: “U.S. Takes Reigns of Arctic Council Amid Geopolitical Tension, Rapid Warming”
William George
ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy & Climate Andrew Holland was featured in an article on Mashable discussing the United States’ role in the Arctic. Holland argues that the US has not been placing enough emphasis on the Arctic when compared to countries like Russia and Canada.


ASP in Inter American Dialogue: Geopolitics and economics are bringing U.S. foreign policy back to the Caribbean
Andrew Holland
Holland is confident that the U.S. will be mostly a “coordinator, not a funder” of building Caribbean energy security. Recent geopolitical events, including the opening to Cuba and the rivalry with Venezuela, show that American interest is returning to the Caribbean. American energy can help the U.S. will to become a new hub of energy in the region, enhancing its own ability to guide the politics of the region for mutually beneficial gains in climate security, energy security, and economic prosperity.


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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