Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Teenager Rescued Five Days After Nepal Quake

Adnan Abidi, Sunil Kataria / Reuters

A 15-year-old boy was pulled out alive from the collapsed ruins of Kathmandu’s Hilton Hotel on Thursday and is recovering in hospital, five days after a huge earthquake caused devastation across Nepal and killed nearly 5,500 people.


Pakistan Sentences 10 to Life Terms Over 2012 Attack on Malala Yousafzai

Salman Masood / The New York Times

A Pakistani court on Thursday sentenced 10 men to life in prison for their role in the 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Nobel laureate who defied the Taliban with her calls for girls’ education and won worldwide acclaim for her courage.


American Competitiveness


US to Open TTIP Reading Rooms Across EU

James Crisp / EurActiv

The US government will open “reading rooms” in its embassies across the European Union, so that national politicians can read secret documents related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).


Eurozone Consumer Prices Steady in April, Easing Fears of Deflation

Paul Hannon / The Wall Street Journal

Eurozone consumer prices stopped falling in April, further easing fears that a slide into deflation could derail the currency area’s fragile economic recovery.


National Security & Strategy


China Says Worried by New U.S. Cyber Strategy

Ben Blanchard / Reuters

China’s Defence Ministry expressed concern on Thursday at the Pentagon’s updated cyber strategy that stresses the U.S. military’s ability to retaliate with cyber weapons, saying this would only worsen tension over Internet security.


China, Russia to Hold First Joint Mediterranean Naval Drills

Reuters via Voice of America

China will hold joint naval drills with Russia in mid-May in the Mediterranean Sea, the first time the two countries will hold military exercises together in that part of the world, the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
Kremlin: Kim Jong Un Not Coming to Moscow as Expected

Chicago Tribune

The reclusive leader of North Korea won’t be coming to Moscow next month for the Victory Day celebration, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman announced Thursday.


Britain Told U.N. Monitors of Active Iran Nuclear Procurement – Panel

Louis Charbonneau / Reuters

Britain has informed a United Nations sanctions panel of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network linked to two blacklisted firms, according to a confidential report by the panel seen by Reuters.


HASC Approves Massive DoD Policy Bill

John Bennett / Defense News

The House Armed Services Committee early Thursday voted to add billions to a list of Defense Department weapon programs from cuts, and signed off on a $495.9 billion base Pentagon budget and an $89.2 billion war account.


Asymmetric Operations


Weapons, Chemicals Seized in German Anti-Terror Raid

The New York Times via The Associated Press

German police have recovered a pipe bomb, an assault rifle and chemicals that can be used to make explosives after two suspects were detained in an overnight anti-terror raid near Frankfurt, prosecutors said Thursday.


Nigeria: 160 More Women, Children Rescued from Boko Haram Camp

Faith Karimi, Aminu Abubakar / CNN

Nigerian troops rescued an additional 160 women and children from Boko Haram within days after they found hundreds of other hostages, the military said Thursday.


Chad Tightens Security Against Boko Haram at Cost of Disruption

AFP via Daily Mail

Every day thousands of traders and travellers cross the bridge, which opens at 7:00 am (0600 GMT) and closes at nightfall. They include children from the Cameroonian border town of Kousseri who go to school in N’Djamena. Chad, whose battle-hardened troops are leading a four-nation regional offensive against the Nigerian insurgents, is seeking to prevent Boko Haram attacks on its soil, like in Cameroon and Niger.


Military Fears ISIS is Eying Drug-Smuggling Routes to Enter U.S.

Paul Shinkman / U.S. News & World Report

Six men of Somali descent arrested in Minnesota for trying to join up with the Islamic State group became the latest troubling sign of the extremist network’s reach into the Western hemisphere. Despite Department of Defense claims that the group is weakening in Syria and Iraq, its ability to capture the allure of those based in the West, like these men who reportedly recruited one another, remains as strong as ever.


Islamic State Releases New Video from Baiji Oil Refinery

Caleb Weiss / Long War Journal

In a newly released video from the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows more fighting at the Baiji oil refinery. It is unclear when some of this footage was recorded, however, as some scenes were previously featured in other photo releases.



Climate Security


U.S. and Japan Miss Deadline on Cash for UN Green Climate Fund

Alister Doyle, Megan Rowling / Reuters

The United States and Japan will miss a U.N. deadline on Thursday to firm up promises to provide billions of dollars for a new U.N. fund intended to help developing nations tackle global warming, the fund said.


Climate Change May Speed Asthma Spread

Brittany Patterson, Manon Verchot, ClimateWire / Scientific American

The first time Devine Simpson had an asthma attack, she said she couldn’t stop coughing. It was so bad, it woke her up in the middle of the night.


Energy Security


India’s Oil Imports from Iran Jump in April- Trade

Nidhi Verma / Reuters

India shipped in more than 17 percent more Iranian oil in April than a year before, buoyed by prospects of a diplomatic deal on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme by end-June, preliminary data from trade sources and compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Analytics showed.


Saudi Arabia is Burning Through its Foreign Reserves at a Record Pace

Nafeesa Syeed, Rinat Gaynullin / Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia is burning through foreign reserves at a record pace as the largesse of the new king and regional turmoil ratchet up pressure on public finances already hurt by the oil price slump. The kingdom spent $36 billion of the central bank’s net foreign assets — about 5 percent of the total — in February and March, the biggest two-month drop on record, data released this week show. The fall was in part due to King Salman’s order to give government employees and pensioners a two-month bonus after he ascended to the throne of the world’s biggest oil exporter in January.


US to Become Net Exporter of Energy, Experts Say

Montana Standard

The future of U.S. energy production is bright, with oil and natural gas production growing while domestic demand for petroleum slows. Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Norman Bay said Wednesday that the nation will soon be a net exporter of energy. The Missoulian newspaper reports ( Bay spoke Wednesday at the Asia-Montana Energy Summit at the University of Montana.


Nuclear Security


North Korea ‘May Have Restarted Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor’


A US think-tank says satellite pictures taken earlier this year suggest North Korea may have restarted one of its nuclear reactors. The Institute for Science and International Security says images of the Yongbyon plant show patterns of melting snow indicating new activity. Yongbyon’s reactor was shut down in 2007 but was restarted in 2013.

On Our Flashpoint Blog


A Few Points on the Geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Joshua Walker

Washington is abuzz once again with talk of free trade, presidential authority, and Congressional responsibility. Last week’s announcement that movement is being made towards fast-track authority for President Obama in vital trade deals is an encouraging sign that the U.S. Congress is serious about advancing free trade in the coming years.


Non-Proliferation Through Strength: A Hawk’s Case for a Deal With Iran

Sungtae “Jacky” Park

A major concern that opponents of the recent nuclear framework deal with Iran have is that the final agreement will leave Iran as a “nuclear threshold state” after a decade. Those who make such arguments, however, do not adequately take into account the demand-side of proliferation.


Abe-San Comes to Washington: 5 Things to Watch

Joshua Walker

As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe comes to Washington this week to make his unprecedented address to a joint Congress, his mission will be to realign Japan and the United States in such a way that outlasts the current administration.


Governor Todd Whitman on Future Nuclear Power, SMRs

Philip Rossetti

Governor Whitman explained in her blog the great potential of “small modular reactors” (SMR) in addressing both the demand for energy and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Meeting both of these requirements has been a major barrier in addressing climate and energy security needs.


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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