Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Pentagon Fights Congressional Ban on Russian Rocket Engines
Steven Lee Myers / The New York Times
The ban was meant to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea, but military officials say the space program will need the engines for at least a few more years to launch the most delicate defense and intelligence technology.


Ukraine Crisis: Heavy Fighting Rages Near Donetsk, Despite Truce

Fierce fighting is raging between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, officials on both sides say.The clashes – said to involve heavy artillery and tanks – are taking place in Maryinka and Krasnohorivka, outside the rebel-held city of Donetsk.


South Korea Test-Fires Missile That Can Strike All of the North

South Korea on Wednesday test-launched a new ballistic missile that can hit all of North Korea, the president’s office said, developed under a new agreement with the United States that lets Seoul extend the weapon’s range to up to 800 km (500 miles).


American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy


Greek PM Tsipras Calls for Unity Before Juncker Debt Talks
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Europe’s leaders to show unity and realism ahead of a key meeting on Greece’s debt crisis.


World Economy Improving at Sluggish Pace, O.E.C.D. Reports
David Jolly / NY Times
The world economy continues to heal at a disappointingly slow pace, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Wednesday, but it predicted that growth should return to a healthier rate close to its long-term goal by the end of 2016.


Eurozone Unemployment Fell to 11.1% in April
Jack Ewing / NY Times
Unemployment in the eurozone fell to 11.1 percent in April, the lowest rate in three years, according to official figures published on Wednesday.


National Security & Strategy

U.S. Allies Pledge to Step Up Security Backing for Iraq

Patrick J. McDonnell / LA Times
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi received fresh pledges from the United States and its allies Tuesday to expedite arms deliveries to Iraq, stem the flow of foreign fighters into the country and cut off the financial pipeline of Islamic State militants.


U.S., India strengthen Military Ties With Trade Deals
Gordon Lubold / WSJ
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday announced the start of two small defense trade deals with the Indian government that U.S. officials cast as part of a much broader effort by both countries to deepen military ties.

European Business Lobby Slams China’s Draft National Security Law
China’s draft National Security Law is excessively broad and would isolate the country from crucial technologies, a European business lobby said on Wednesday, in the latest backlash from foreign industry over a suite of pending Chinese regulations.


Asymmetric Operations


Islamic State Conflict: 10,000 Militants Killed in Nine Months

More than 10,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed since an international coalition began a campaign against the group in Iraq and Syria, the US says.


Hamas Forces Kill Leader of Islamic Splinter Group in Gaza
Majd Al Waheidi and Isabel Kershner / NY Times
The local leader of an extremist Islamic splinter group was fatally shot Tuesday in a clash with Hamas forces who had come to arrest him. The death raised tensions in Gaza at a time when Hamas, which controls the territory, has been cracking down on radical jihadists.


Boko Haram Steps Up Attacks in Northeast Nigeria, Killing Scores
Adam Nossiter / NY Times
Less than a week after Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, took over as Nigeria’s president and vowed to crush Boko Haram, the group has intensified its attacks in the country’s northeast, killing scores in a series of assaults and suicide bombings.


Climate Security


Drought Takes $2.7 Billion Toll on California Agriculture
Andrea Thompson / Scientific American
The record-breaking drought in California—brought about by a severe lack of precipitation, especially mountain snows—has exacted a $2.7 billion toll on the state’s economy because of agricultural losses, researchers said Tuesday.


U.S. May Take First Step to Curb Airline Emissions this Week
Valerie Volcovici / Reuters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans as soon as Friday to determine whether carbon dioxide from aircraft endangers public health, a first step to regulating emissions from the aviation sector, sources familiar with the rulemaking process said.


Oil Majors’ Climate Call Exposes U.S.-Europe Rift on Carbon Pricing
The failed attempt by the world’s oil majors to speak on climate change action with one voice has laid bare disagreement between U.S. and European companies on putting a price on carbon.


Energy Security


France to Merge Areva, EDF Nuclear Reactor Businesses
Greg Keller / Washington Post via AP
French nuclear giants Areva and EDF will merge their reactor businesses in a joint venture controlled by EDF — a wide-ranging reshuffle of the country’s state-owned atomic energy industry.


Nuclear Security


Joint Statement Between Pakistan and United States on Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation Issues
U.S. Department of State

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry co-chaired the seventh round of the U.S.-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) Working Group in Washington, DC on June 2, 2015. The delegations had a productive exchange of views on issues of mutual importance, including international efforts to enhance nuclear security, peaceful applications of nuclear energy, nonproliferation, export controls, regional stability and security.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


Oil Execs: Widespread Carbon Pricing is Vital to Tackling Climate Change

Steven Eisen

In a letter to the Financial Times, executives:  Bob Dudley of BP, Ben van Beurden of Royal Dutch Shell, Eldar Saetre of Statoil, Patrick Pouyanne of Total, Claudio Descalzi of Eni and Helge Lund BG Group all wrote in support of carbon pricing. Which is the taxation of fuel sources based on their carbon dioxide output.  The executives acknowledged the dangers of climate change and argued that carbon pricing is an effective measure to combat climate change.


Talk with Special Envoy Amos Hochstein: Energy Security – A Transatlantic Dimension

Steven Eisen

On May 27th, the German Marshall Fund hosted an event in Washington, DC discussing energy security and its effects on American-European ties. Senator Richard Lugar, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund introduced the talk. He harkened back to the Russian-induced European energy crises of 2005 and 2009, and the challenges faced then, in part due to a lack of focus on the part of the State Department towards global energy security. Senator Lugar emphasized that Europe is now more aware of the risks of dependence on Russian energy, has taken steps to reduce the risks through interconnectivity and alternate sources of energy, and that America too is more focused on energy security.


ASP Supports Cuba’s Removal from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

American Security Project

This Tuesday, the United States officially removed Cuba from the state sponsors of terrorism list. This represents a crucial step in moving forward on a establishing a more effective Cuba policy. It was also an appropriate measure, as Cuba’s presence on the list has long been considered questionable, and threatened to dilute the meaning and effectiveness of that list.


Why Burundi’s Election Crisis Matters to the United States and the World

John Bugnacki

Burundi is currently undergoing an electoral crisis whose outcome is vitally important for the United States, African countries, and the world as a whole. This article explains the current crisis, it’s meaning within the context of American foreign policy, and what the U.S. can do to resolve the conflict.


ASP Recently Added


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.

The post What We Are Reading appeared first on American Security Project.