Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


America Plays Russian Rocket Roulette
Ron Wahid / Wall Street Journal
The U.S. is hooked on Russian rocket engines for space launches. It is a dependence that sits awkwardly with America’s national-security launch program, which includes systems for reconnaissance satellites and the early detection of missile and nuclear launches. A commercial arrangement with the Russian engine’s manufacturer has also undermined sanctions against Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine while pampering President Vladimir Putin’s cronies.

Nuclear energy key to bolstering national security and protecting environment
Christine Todd Whitman / The Hill
This is a pivotal time for those of us who believe that the development of clean energy solutions like nuclear energy is the key to protecting the environment and bolstering America’s national security. This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will finalize its Clean Power Plan and this fall, the United Nations will convene in Paris to agree to a framework for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. For these plans to succeed, leaders need solidify a role for emissions-free nuclear energy.

China warns US plane to leave airspace over disputed islands
Justin McCurry / Guardian
China’s navy has issued multiple warnings to a US surveillance aircraft to leave the airspace over artificial islands Beijing is building to strengthen its claims over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

U.S. and Cuba Meet for Talks to Fully Restore Diplomatic Ties
Randal Archibold / New York Times
The United States and Cuba are closer than ever to reaching an agreement to fully restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies, officials in both countries said as negotiators met Thursday in Washington for another round of talks to iron out remaining details and discuss possible dates.




American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy


Quality, Not Just Quantity, of Infrastructure Needs Attention
Greg Ip / Wall Street Journal
Amtrak’s deadly derailment last week has again re-awakened concerns that the U.S. spends too little on highways, railroads and other public infrastructure.

Eurozone Growth Continued to Slow in May, Survey Shows
Paul Hannon and Nina Adam / Wall Street Journal
The Eurozone’s economy slowed for the second straight month in May, according to surveys of purchasing managers, a sign that it is struggling to quickly recover from the damage inflicted by its long debt crisis.



National Security & Strategy


South-East Asian migrant crisis: Who are the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar by boat?
Clara Tran / ABC News
The plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees is desperately bleak as they are rendered stateless in their homeland and detained in transit nations, a rights group says.

David Cameron Stands Firm on EU Immigration Ahead of Riga Talks
Nicholas Winning and Jenny Gross / Wall Street Journal
British Prime Minister David Cameron said limiting migration to the U.K. from within the European Union through welfare-payment changes will be an “absolute requirement,” as he embarks on negotiations to deliver on a pledge to reform the U.K.’s relationship with Brussels.

Yemen: 5 dead as Saudi shells hit humanitarian aid office, killing five
Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters
Saudi shells hit an international humanitarian aid office in northern Yemen on Thursday, killing five Ethiopian refugees and wounding ten, a local official said.

Merkel sets tone for EU summit with eastern partners
Agence France Presse
German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned the EU’s eastern partners Thursday not to expect too much of the bloc while warning Russia to mend its ways over Ukraine if it wanted to rejoin the international community.



Asymmetric Operations


Islamic State Claims Full Control of Syrian City of Palmyra
Karen Leigh / Wall Street Journal
Islamic State on Thursday claimed full control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and a nearby military airport and prison, as a monitoring group said the militants had now captured 50% of the country.

Yemen conflict: UN to sponsor peace talks in Geneva
BBC News
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he hoped the consultations in Geneva would “restore momentum towards a Yemeni-led political transition process”.

How Nigeria turned a corner against Boko Haram
Max Siollun / Guardian
The Nigerian army has recaptured all of the major towns occupied by Boko Haram in recent months, and rescued nearly 1,000 kidnapped women and children. It claims to have destroyed several of the militants’ camps, pursued the group into the Sambisa forest and arrested those suspected of supplying them with food and fuel.

Afghan Taliban Delegation Visits Iran to Discuss Regional Issues
Mushtaq Yusufzai / NBC News
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid called the recent visit “ordinary,” saying in a statement that Muhammad Tayyab Agha — head of the group’s Qatar-based political office — led the delegation. It was not the Taliban’s first visit to Iran, he added.

U.S. to Send Rockets to Iraq for ISIS Fight
Eric Schmitt / New York Times
The United States is rushing 1,000 antitank rockets to the Iraqi military to help combat the massive suicide vehicle bombs that Islamic State militants used in capturing the provincial capital of Ramadi, a first step as the Obama administration weighs a range of difficult options to help its beleaguered ally.



Climate Security


White House Report: The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate
Office of the Press Secretary / White House
Today, President Obama will travel to New London, Connecticut to deliver the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy. During his speech, the President will speak to the importance of acting on climate change and the risks to national security this global threat poses. The White House also released a new report on the national security implications of climate change and how the Federal government is rising to the challenge.

François Hollande calls for ‘miracle’ climate agreement at Paris talks
Fiona Harvey / Guardian
François Hollande, president of France, has called for a “miracle” to happen later this year at a crunch climate change conference in Paris, saying this would be needed for a compromise to be reached on the future of limiting greenhouse gases that would involve both developed and developing countries

France’s president wants business leaders to get more involved in curbing climate change
Associated Press
French President Francois Hollande is calling on business leaders to get more involved in fighting global warming by financing climate-friendly projects and investing in green technologies.





It’s Our Aging Energy Infrastructure, Stupid.
James Conca / Forbes
This very morning, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz is testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee concerning the findings of the Department’s Quadrennial Energy Review. He alluded to the theme last night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes.


Nuclear Security


Iran’s Supreme Leader Rules Out Broad Nuclear Inspections
Thomas Erdbrink and David Sanger / New York Times
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday ruled out allowing international inspectors to interview Iranian nuclear scientists as part of any potential deal on its nuclear program, and reiterated that the country would not allow the inspection of military sites.

What lies behind North Korea’s nuclear claims
John Swenson-Wright / BBC News
Official claims by North Korea that it has successfully developed the technology to “miniaturise” a nuclear device and, by implication, deploy it on a ballistic missile, have raised international concerns about the growing security threat posed by North Korea to its neighbours.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


President Obama’s Speech to Coast Guard Cadets: Climate Change is a Threat to National Security
Andrew Holland
On May 20, 2015, President Obama gave the commencement speech for the 2015 graduating class of the Coast Guard academy. In his speech, the President explained how climate change will impact the careers of the graduating officers.

Round Table: Making the Most of U.S. Foreign Investment in Egypt
Riza Kumar
American Security Project hosted a round table of delegates from the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt to discuss the current state and projected future of U.S. and foreign investment in Egypt. With a population of over 90 million people, Egypt boasts more than a large consumer base.

ASP Board Members and Staff Visit Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
American Security Project
On Monday, May 18, members of ASP’s Board, including former Governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the EPA Christine Todd Whitman, American Security Project Board President and President of McLarty Associates Nelson Cunningham, and senior national security experts Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.), Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.), and Senior Fellow Andrew Holland  visited Princeton Plasma Physics Lab(PPPL) to discuss fusion as an integral component of our energy security.

Beating the Terrorist Brand – The Need for a Political Offensive
Matt Freear
Brand strength is not just important to modern day terrorists and rebels; it is entirely pivotal to their current success, but it can also be used to bring about their downfall. To be more effective, we need to have a coherent approach to destroy their brand and influence, and generate our own new, better political vision.



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.



Upcoming Events


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.

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