Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In case you missed it…

18 June 2015


Key Reads

In Eurozone, growing support for a Greek exit

Landon Thomas Jr / NYT

After joining the euro in 2001 and through the bailouts of the last five years, Greece has been told the same thing. To belong, it must satisfy the strict economic standards that underpin this community of 19 disparate nations.


New U.N. report says world’s refugee crisis is worse than anyone expected

Griff Witte / Washington Post

The number of people uprooted from their homes by war and persecution in 2014 was larger than in any year since detailed record-keeping began, according to a comprehensive report released early Thursday by the U.N. refugee agency that will add to the evidence of a global exodus unlike any in modern times.


Russia may toughen counter-sanctions over Ukraine – Kremlin aid

Darya Korsunskaya / Reuters

Russia may toughen its response to sanctions imposed by the European Union over the crisis in Ukraine if the bloc extends its measures against Moscow, a Kremlin aide said on Thursday.



American Competitiveness

Decline in U.S. jobless claims shows more labor market strength

Victoria Stilwell / Bloomberg

Fewer Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign labor market momentum continues to strengthen.


U.S. Consumer prices post largest gain in more than 2 years

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters

U.S. consumer prices in May recorded their largest increase in more than two years as gasoline prices surged, suggesting an energy-driven disinflationary trend had probably run its course.


Fed keeps lid on dollar, yields; Greece hurts stocks

Jamie McGeever / Reuters

Bond yields and the dollar fell on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled that U.S. interest rates would rise more slowly than markets had expected, while Greece’s drift closer to default pushed European stocks lower.



National Security & Strategy

Phillippines to hold war games with Japan, US

Babara Dacanay / Gulf News

The Philippines has scheduled two separate joint-war games with allies Japan and the United States in late June, sources said, adding these would be a show of force to temper China’s flexing of its maritime muscle in the South China Sea.


Chad bombs Boko Haram bases in Nigeria after suicide attacks


Chad’s military has carried out a series of air strikes against Boko Haram bases in Nigeria in retaliation for twin suicide bombings this week in the Chadian capital N’Djamena that killed at least 34 people, it said in a statement late on Wednesday.


China orders civilian ships adapted for military use: report


​China’s government has passed new guidelines requiring civilian shipbuilders to ensure their vessels can be used by the military in the event of conflict, state-run media said on Thursday.


U.S. weights near-term Assad military retrenchment in Syria

Phil Stewart / Reuters

The United States and its allies are weighing the possibility that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, under growing military pressure, may soon narrow his focus on defense of more limited areas of the country, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.


Securing Afghanistan’s Future

Javid Ahmad / Foreign Policy

Ghani’s plan for Afghanistan to become self-reliant is an ambitious one; however, by several measures, it has been successful, ensuring resources drive better outcomes and deliver for the people.


Three Ukrainian soldiers killed as fighting intensifies in east: Ukraine military

Kiev / Reuters

Three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 14 wounded in the past 24 hours in fighting in separatist eastern territories despite a ceasefire, the Ukrainian military said on Thursday.



Asymmetric Operations

The start of Ramadan is bringing new fears of an Islamic State attack

Adam Taylor / Washington Post

Thursday marks the first day of Ramadan. The month-long event, famous for its dawn-to-dusk fasting and evening feasting, will be observed by millions of Muslims around the world. It’s a time of intense religious importance in the Islamic world, with Muslims encouraged to regularly pray and help those less fortunate.


Boko Haram kills at least 30 in attacks on Niger villages: sources

Niamey / Reuters

Boko Haram militants attacked two villages in southern Niger’s Diffa region overnight, killing at least 30 civilians, two security sources said on Thursday.

It was the second major cross-border attack by the Nigerian Islamist group this week, following twin suicide bombings in Chad’s capital on Monday that killed at least 34 people.


Al-Qaida kills 2 alleged spies after Yemen leader killed

Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press

Al-Qaida militants in Yemen killed two men accused of spying for the U.S. and hung their bodies off a bridge on Wednesday, a day after the jihadi group announced the death of its leader in an American drone strike.


Islamic State targeted in 22 air strikes by U.S., allies: military statement

Bill Trott / Reuters

The United States and coalition allies staged 22 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in the latest daily attacks on the militant group, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Thursday.




Climate Security

Pope Francis, in sweeping encyclical, calls for swift action on climate change

Jim Yardley / NYT

Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change.


Alaska’s glaciers are now losing 75 billion tons of ice every year

Chris Mooney / Washington Post

In a new study scientists with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and several other institutions report a staggering finding: Glaciers of the United States’ largest — and only Arctic — state, Alaska, have lost 75 gigatons (a gigaton is a billion metric tons) of ice per year from 1994 through 2013.



Energy Security

Japan pushes LNG for transport to help climate, energy security

Osamu Tsukimori / Reuters

Japan, the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is drawing up plans to get trucks and ships to use the fuel, partly to help cut carbon emissions but also to diversify energy sources in the freight sector for security reasons.


Students advancing a future with carbon-free fusion

Peter Dunn / MIT

This summer, nuclear fusion researchers at MIT and Germany’s Max Planck Institute will learn more about what’s going on inside their reactors, thanks in part to the accomplishments of two first-year Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) doctoral students.



On our Flashpoint Blog

New York energy week: Fusion energy sooner and cheaper?

Andrew Holland / ASP

What would it mean to have an essentially limitless amount of energy? If we can harness fusion power, we can have energy that is clean, safe, sustainable, and secure. It will be the power of a sun on earth. The dream of fusion energy has been a scientific goal for decades, but it has remained elusive.


Turkey’s general election offers historic results, but no government

Riza Kumar / ASP

The Turkish general elections held on June 7th proved to be one of the most critical in the nation’s history. For the first time in 13 years, the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) no longer holds the majority in parliament and for the first time ever, a pro-Kurdish party (The Peoples’ Democratic Party, HDP) received enough votes to enter parliament.



ASP Recently Added

White Paper: Economic Diplomacy
American Security Project
Economic diplomacy is the utilization of all national economic instruments in furtherance of the national interest when engaging with other nations. It is the new frontier of foreign policy in an interconnected world. Principles in Action: Economic Diplomacy as the New Face of American Global Leadership, explains and analyses a variety of U.S. economic diplomacy efforts, and provides key recommendations for improvement.


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