Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14
Hamid Shalizi and Kay Johnson / Reuters
The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on a popular guesthouse in Kabul that killed at least 14 people, including foreigners attending a dinner and arriving for a concert.

Rival Factions Battle for Control of Burundi Capital
Gabe Joselow / Voice of America
Gunfire rang out across Burundi’s capital Thursday, as rival army factions battled for control of the city a day after a top general launched a coup attempt while the president was out of the country.



American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy


Olivier Blanchard, IMF’s Crisis-Fighting Chief Economist, Is Leaving for the Peterson Institute
Ian Talley / Wall Street Journal
Olivier Blanchard, who presided as the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist during one of the worst global economic crises in the last century, is leaving the IMF.

U.K. Should Hold EU Referendum as Soon as Possible, Says BOE’s Mark Carney
Jason Douglas and Paul Hannon / Wall Street Journal
The U.K. should hold a referendum on membership of the European Union as soon as it can to limit uncertainty for businesses and investors, the governor of the Bank of England said Thursday.



National Security & Strategy


Typhoons scrambled from RAF to intercept Russian Jets
Larisa Brown and Hugo Gye / Daily Mail
The RAF was forced to scramble two fighter jets today after Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons were spotted flying towards British territory.

Search continues for Marine helicopter from Camp Pendleton missing in Nepal
Tony Perry / Los Angeles Times
The search for a helicopter from Camp Pendleton carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers missing in Nepal will enter its third day Friday, military officials said.

American among 14 killed in Taliban attack in Kabul
Associated Press
The Afghan president on Thursday condemned the Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse the previous night that killed 14 people, including nine foreigners, and said the brutal slayings will not undermine his government’s efforts to achieve peace and stability.



Asymmetric Operations


Nigerian army repels Boko Haram attack on army base
Associated Press
Hundreds of Boko Haram extremists tried to attack the biggest army base in northeast Nigeria overnight but met fierce resistance from soldiers who fired artillery throughout the night.

Saudi-led Coalition Warns Houthis to Honor Cease-fire
Edward Yeranian / Voice of America
Despite a cease-fire in Yemen, both sides report continued firing. Saudi military spokesman General Ahmed Asiri says that coalition forces have not responded to what he called numerous provocations by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, including shelling Saudi territory in several places. However, Yemen news media report bombing raids by Saudi aircraft.

Scotland Yard sees terror threat as hundreds of Britons return from Syria
Don Melvin / CNN
As if it were not bad enough that hundreds of radicalized Britons have traveled to Syria to join ISIS, the even worse news for the UK is that hundreds of them have come back.



Climate Security


Data-powered resilience: How IBM helps simulate climate change
Mike Hower / GreenBiz
Translating climate data into actionable insights that can lead to more timely, accurate and reliable forecasts will go a long way in helping communities become more resilient in the face of climate impacts such as extreme weather.

Political inertia must not strangle climate deal: island minister
Laurie Goering / Reuters
The Marshall Islands’ foreign minister, Tony de Brum, says his job is fast becoming one of disaster manager.





Japan Struggles to Find Balanced Energy Strategy
Mari Iwata and Henry Hoenig / Wall Street Journal
The government’s tentative energy plan for the next 15 years seeks to significantly increase renewable sources, but will still draw heavily on the country’s traditional energy suppliers: unpopular nuclear power and imported fossil fuels.

Most efficient solar energy dish in the world uses engine developed in 1816
Matthew Humphries / Geek
Swedish company Ripasso Energy has created a new, state-of-the-art solar energy dish, which it believes is the most efficient in the world. One of the key elements of Ripasso’s system is an engine originally thought up nearly 200 years ago in 1816.



Nuclear Security


Saudi Arabia threatens to match Iran’s nuclear capabilities
The Week
Saudi Arabia has promised to match the nuclear enrichment capabilities Iran is allowed under a possible deal with the West, raising fears of a regional arms race.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Fusion Energy Discussed at Nuclear Hearing
Philip Rossetti
On Wednesday May 13th the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on “Nuclear Energy Innovation and the National Labs.” The focus of the hearing was the government’s role in coordinating and funding national labs advancement of nuclear energy technology. Fusion research was featured, with Nathan Gilliland of General Fusion discussing advances in fusion. Members of the committee expressed great interest in fusion’s potential role in U.S. energy security.

Secretary Hagel Rejoins the American Security Project
American Security Project
Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the American Security Project officially welcomed one its founders, former senator and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in rejoining the board.

Shell Oil Co. Back in the Arctic: Why it’s not as Bad as you Think
William George
On May 11 the Obama administration granted Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval to start drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic as early as this summer. The decision drew heavy criticism from environmentalist groups who have cited Shell’s previous failures in the region in 2012 and a host of other issues.

Secretary Hagel Rejoins The American Security Project
American Security Project
Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the American Security Project officially welcomed one its founders, former senator and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in rejoining the board.

Shell Oil Co. Back in the Arctic: Why It’s Not As Bad As You Think
William George
The Obama administration granted Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval to start drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic as early as this summer.The deal, approved by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), came with a list of conditions including rules to protect the environment, local wildlife and other ecological resources in the region.

What’s in a Name?: Boko Haram renames itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP)
John Bugnacki
In early March, Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group based in northeastern Nigeria, declared its allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or Daesh. More recently, a few weeks ago, Boko Haram consolidated this relationship by renaming itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).



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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