Global businesses must lead the way on climate action
Laurent Fabius and Christina Figueres
Major business leaders will gather in Paris this week for the Business and Climate Summit. It comes six months before the Paris climate conference, COP21, the aim of which is well known: to reach a universal agreement limiting the rise in global average temperature to 2C above pre-industrial levels.
Ramadi battle: IS prepares to defend seized Iraqi city
Islamic State militants are preparing to defend the Iraqi city of Ramadi, witnesses say, as Iranian-backed militiamen gather east of the city.
American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy
Russia’s Richest Billionaire: Impact of Sanctions is Waning
Ryan Chilcote and Yuliya Fedorinova / Bloomberg
Russia’s richest man said international investors are coming back to the country and the impact of sanctions has peaked.
Car States Balk at Trade Pact
William Mauldin / Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama’s Pacific trade agreement is raising alarms not only in Michigan and surrounding states dominated by Detroit’s Big Three, but also farther south where backers of Japanese car makers worry about the fate of current and future plants in the region.
National Security & Strategy
The U.S. Must Ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty
David Caron / New York Times
The multi-year thick ice is almost gone now and much has changed since then. Indeed, the only constant is that the Arctic has surprised us again and again. The ice not only has retreated faster than any model predicted, but also surprisingly was found to provide an important environment to certain fish populations.
Kerry Helped Free U.S. ‘Spies’ Trapped in Ukraine
Josh Rogin and Eli Lake / Bloomberg
When Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this month was planning the first high-level talks between Washington and Moscow in years, he faced a problem: Two American aid workers were secretly being held by Ukrainian separatists.
Ramadi joins lengthening list of Pentagon misstatements on Iraq
James Rosen/ McClatchy DC
After days of insisting against all evidence that the key Iraqi city of Ramadi was not under Islamic State control, American military officials finally acknowledged Monday that the city had fallen to the militants.
European leaders back naval mission to stem Mediterranean migration
Michael Holtz / Christian Science Monitor
European leaders agreed on Monday to use naval forces to go after human trafficking networks that are sending tens of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean from North Africa.
Why the Iraqi army keeps failing
Ishaan Tharoor / Washington Post
Shiite militias have surged into Iraq’s Anbar province, a largely Sunni region, in a government-sanctioned bid to recapture the provincial capital Ramadi, which was seized in entirety by the jihadists of the Islamic State at the end of the last week. Thousands have fled the city, which is less than 70 miles west of Baghdad.
Fall of Ramadi increases terrorism risks in Karbala and Baghdad and erodes domestic confidence in Iraqi government
HIS Jane’s Intelligence Weekly
The loss of Ramadi reflects how far off the government is from redressing weaknesses that led to the Iraqi Army’s initial collapse last summer, including the lack of army morale, poor leadership, and corruption (including large numbers of ‘ghost’ soldiers on the army’s payroll) and lack of effective Iraqi government air support.
Decade of war, billions in U.S. aid fail to defeat Taliban
Jim Michaels / USA Today
More than a decade of war and billions in U.S. funds to build up an Afghan military force have failed to defeat a Taliban insurgency that remains a threat across the country, according to interviews with U.S., NATO and Afghan military leaders.
Taliban Suicide Car Bombing in Afghanistan Capital Kills 4 People
A large suicide car bombing struck downtown Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, apparently targeting justice ministry employees and killing four people, an Afghan official said. Shortly after the blast, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Merkel, Hollande to attend climate meeting in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are due to attend an international meeting on climate protection in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference later this year in Paris.
India’s New Stand on Energy
MaitreyeeMukherjee and Asit Biswas / Diplomat
Acknowledging that the energy sector plays a critical role in his country’s development, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently commented: “We want to increase speed and at the same time, scale new heights of development and one of the sectors is energy.”
Hawaii pushes ambitious renewable energy effort
Jimmy Rose / ExtremeTech
Hawaii has become the first state to mandate a move to 100% renewable energy. In a 74-2 vote by the Hawaiian legislature, lawmakers have passed a bill that requires the state to be 100% dependent on renewable energy by the year 2045.
Iran nuclear talks strike the right balance
George Mitchell / Boston Globe
Negotiators from the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany are in the final phase of their effort to reach agreement with Iran. Their goal is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a direct threat to Israel and could undermine a half-century of nonproliferation efforts, led by the United States.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Vicente Mayor: Energy challenges mean the US must strengthen its Arctic engagement
American Security Project
Due to the impending depletion of US fossil fuel resources according to the EIA and the International Energy Agency, and the uncertainty over whether alternative energies can commercially expand at the pace fossils decline, a net energy shortfall could face us in coming decades. According to a report by the National Petroleum Council, Arctic exploration, if pursued now could coincide with expected declines in the lower 48 states in America, extending US energy security well into the 2030s and 2040s.
Fusion Energy Discussed at Nuclear Hearing
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
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.
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.
New York City Event – The American Fusion Project: Scientific Breakthroughs
As a part of New York’s annual “Energy Week,” the American Security Project, in conjunction with FTI Strategic Communications, is proud to sponsor a lunch on new developments in fusion energy research. It will take place at FTI’s Wall Street Plaza office, 88 Pine Street, 32nd Floor, New York City, NY on Tuesday, June 16 at 12:30pm.