Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

ISIS on Offensive in Iraqi City of Ramadi, Governor Says
Yousuf Basil, Jason Hanna / CNN
ISIS has launched a wide-scale attack on Iraqi security forces in Ramadi in an apparent attempt to take the rest of the key central Iraqi city, a provincial governor said Friday.

Wreckage of U.S. Military Helicopter Found in Nepal; No Sign of Survivors
Annie Gowen / The Washington Post
A U.S. military team in Nepal found no evidence of survivors Friday amid the wreckage of an American helicopter that apparently crashed during an aid mission in an earthquake-ravaged region earlier this week, a military commander said.


American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy

Oil Prices Fall on Dollar Strength

Georgi Kantchev / The Wall Street Journal
Oil prices fell Friday, pressured by a stronger dollar and lingering concerns about the global glut of crude.

The Strategic Imperative of TTIP
Jiri Sedivy/ Project Syndicate
As negotiations between the European Union and the United States over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) move toward a final agreement, opponents of the proposed pact are becoming more vocal.


National Security & Strategy

U.S., China Set for High-Stakes Rivalry in Skies Above South China Sea

Greg Torode / Reuters
When the U.S. navy sent a littoral combat ship on its first patrol of the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea during the past week, it was watching the skies as well.

India-China Border Dispute: Li and Modi Seek Resolution
Indian PM Narendra Modi and China’s Premier Li Keqiang have agreed to seek a “fair resolution” to border disputes arising from a boundary disagreement.

Defying U.S., Colombia Halts Aerial Spraying of Crops Used to Make Cocaine
William Neuman / The New York Times
The government of Colombia on Thursday night rejected a major tool in the American-backed antidrug campaign — ordering a halt to the aerial spraying of the country’s vast illegal plantings of coca, the crop used to make cocaine, citing concerns that the spray causes cancer.

US, Gulf States to Deepen Military Ties

AFP via DefenseNews
The United States and its Gulf allies on Thursday agreed to deepen their military partnership and jointly counter external threats, in the face of Iran’s growing role in the region.


Asymmetric Operations

Fighting Continues in Yemeni City Despite Truce, 10 Killed

Mohammed Ghobari, Mohammed Mukhashaf, Tom Miles /Reuters
At least 10 people were killed in heavy clashes in Yemen on Friday despite a five-day humanitarian truce, while aid distribution to the millions deprived of food, fuel and medicine by weeks of fighting and air strikes continued.

ISIS Releases Audio Recording of Leader, Purporting to Show He’s Still Alive
Reuters via Haaretz
Islamic State issued an audio recording on Thursday that it said was by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling on supporters around the world to join the fight in Syria and Iraq or to take up arms wherever they live.

At Least 55 Killed in Boko Haram Raids on Two Nigerian Villages
AFP via The Guardian
At least 55 people were killed in two Boko Haram raids this week near Maiduguri, capital of restive northeastern Nigeria Borno state, a vigilante and two residents said on Friday.


Climate Security

India, China Commit to Work Together on Climate Change

Aditya Kalra / Reuters
China and India, the world’s No. 1 and No. 3 greenhouse gas emitters, projected a united front on climate change on Friday with a rare joint statement that asked rich countries to step up efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.

Weak Climate Deal Would Jeopardize New Development Goals- Experts
Laurie Goering / Reuters
The world’s chances of achieving new international development goals will be slim without more ambitious action to curb climate change, researchers said.



 GS Energy Concession to Help South Korea in Energy Security

Fareed Rahman / Gulf News Energy
The awarding of the 3 per cent stake to GS Energy in Abu Dhabi concession did not come as a surprise to analysts who said that the new deal would help South Korea in securing energy supplies.

Solar a Long-Term Energy Solution, States MIT Study
Gleen Meyers / Clean Technica
Many of us already believed solar power was one of our best options as a long-term energy solution. Now a massive study on solar power by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come to two primary conclusions: solar energy holds the best potential for meeting the planet’s long-term energy needs while reducing greenhouse gases, and federal and state governments must do more to promote development of this renewable energy source.


Nuclear Security

Iran Prepared for All Scenarios in Nuclear Talks, Negotiator

Shadia Nasralla / Reuters
Iran is prepared for “all scenarios” in talks with world powers about curbing its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, its top nuclear negotiator said on Friday when asked what would happen if no final deal was reached by July.


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.

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).



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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