Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Fast-Track Trade Bill Clears Key Hurdle in Senate

Siobhan Hughes / Wall Street Journal

The Senate on Tuesday gave President Barack Obama’s trade agenda a big push forward, in a pivotal vote that clears the highest remaining procedural hurdle to giving the president expanded trade-negotiating power.

Pentagon to Boost Military Equipment in Europe amid Moscow Anger

Thomas Gibbons-Neff / Washington Post
In a move likely to increase tensions with Russia, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter confirmed Tuesday that the United States would place heavy military equipment in nations stretching from the Baltics to the Balkans.
Greek Offer to Creditors Stirs Angry Backlash at Home
George Georgiopoulos / Reuters
Greek lawmakers reacted angrily on Tuesday to concessions Athens offered in debt talks and parliament’s deputy speaker warned the proposals might be rejected, puncturing optimism that a deal to pull Greece back from the abyss might be sealed quickly.



American Competitiveness

China Aims to Challenge U.S. Air Dominance: Pentagon

David Alexander / Reuters
China is mounting a serious effort to challenge U.S. military superiority in air and space, forcing the Pentagon to seek new technologies and systems to stay ahead of its rapidly developing rival, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said on Monday.

U.S.-China Talks Held Under Cloud of Suspicion

Felicia Schwartz and Ian Talley / Wall Street Journal

Meetings between top U.S. and Chinese officials began under a cloud of mistrust and acrimony arising from tension over security in cyberspace and at sea. This week’s meetings mark the seventh annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which are a precursor to cabinet-level meetings. Officials on Monday attended the annual Strategic Security Dialogue, the highest level civilian-military conversation the U.S. and China have each year.



National Security & Strategy

NATO Returns Its Attention to an Old Foe, Russia
Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers / New York Times
After years of facing threats far beyond its borders, NATO is now reinvigorating plans to confront a much larger and more aggressive threat from its past: Moscow.
In Cuba, U.S. Envoy Works to End the World’s Longest Ongoing Guerilla War

Karen DeYoung / Washington Post
At his first meeting with Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces in February, Bernard Aronson began with a joke. “Maybe you were expecting Miss Universe?” he asked, referring to the Colombian winner of the international beauty contest just a few weeks before.



Asymmetric Operations

Syrian Kurds Seize Town from Islamic State near Its ‘Capital’

Tom Perry and Laila Bassam / Reuters

The self-declared government in control of the Libyan capital Tripoli has launched air strikes on Islamic State fighters in the city of Sirte, officials and witnesses said on Monday.
U.S. Strike Kills Islamic State Militant Linked to Benghazi Attacks

Missy Ryan and Karen DeYoung / Washington Post

A U.S. airstrike in Iraq has killed an Islamic State militant suspected of involvement in the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, the Pentagon said Monday.



Climate Security

Climate Change Poses a Severe Risk to Global Health, Says New Report

Chris Mooney / Washington Post

Climate change could pose a major health risk to the planet’s human population over the course of the 21st century, says a major new report from the medical journal the Lancet’s Commission on Health and Climate Change.

EPA Official: Decisions on Climate Change Will Affect Economic Future of U.S.

Melissa Block / NPR
The EPA is telling two stories in a new report released Monday. One is a narrative of the dire consequences by the end of the century if climate change is not addressed. The other is a somewhat brighter scenario if greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced.



Energy Security

Our Solar Future May Still Have a Lot of Coal Plants in the Background
Chris Mooney / Washington Post

The world’s energy portfolio will get vastly cleaner by the year 2040, says a new long-term energy outlook from Bloomberg New Energy Finance — but not clean enough.

Nuclear Security

Iran Negotiators Willing to Breach Deadline on Nuclear Talks

Laurence Norman / Wall Street Journal

Iranian and Western officials for the first time publicly said they were willing to go past a June 30 deadline for sealing a final nuclear deal, insisting they could still unblock remaining obstacles in coming days.

The Making of an Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘Patience and a Thick Skin’

Gareth Smyth / Guardian

Complex, detailed and long-running talks with world powers over the nuclear program are now concentrating on how any agreement might be verified, and how sanctions might come back into play if Iran violated any of the terms.



Fusion Energy

Magnetic Mirror Holds Promise for Fusion

Chris Lee / Ars Technica

Fusion, the energetic process that powers the Sun, is really a golden dream for unlimited energy. The very lightest element, hydrogen, can have its nuclei forced together to make a helium nucleus. This releases energy because the helium nucleus can exist in a more stable, lower energy ground state.



On Our Flashpoint Blog

Major Step for TPA

Clark Derrington

The Senate voted today to end debate on TPA, which would authorize fast-track authority for the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade agreements.

Arming Egypt

Julia Maloof

Two years after imposing a weapons ban on Egypt, the US lifted the sanctions in March. Reinstating the $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt, the new policy intends to shift away from “cash-flow financing” (buying on credit) by 2018. This flow of aid has been widely debated. In order to understand his change in policy, one must look at what the US’ long-term strategic interests are in the country, and what actions can be taken to best achieve those results.

Greece and Europe Still Looking for a Deal

Clark Derrington

As the end of the month looms, the Greek Government faces a deadline to make a 1.6 billion euro repayment to the International Monetary Fund. Events of the past several weeks have introduced new complications to these delicate negotiations and cast doubt over Greece’s continued membership in the eurozone.

The Weekly Fusion: A Look at Current News in Fusion Energy

William Furlow

Two young researcher are jumping leaps and bounds in the nuclear fusion field, in hopes to one day achieve the ultimate energy dream of fully understanding fusion energy. According to MIT News, two Phd candidates Adam, Kuang and Alex Creely, are looking at trying to fully understand two major questions and problems that arise when dealing with nuclear fusion.

World Refugee Day: Most Ever, and More Coming

Andrew Holland

Saturday, June 20 is the annual World Refugee Day. The UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) was chartered in 1950 to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Today, 65 years after the UN was chartered, we see more people displaced from their homes than ever before, and we see a changing climate that threatens to leave millions and millions more without a home to go back to.

ASP Recently Published

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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