Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In Case You Missed It…

25 June 2015


Key Reads

Serbia denounces Hungary’s “new Berlin wall”

Dusan Stojanovic / AP

Serbia has denounced Hungary’s insistence on building a border fence to stop the flow of illegal migrants and urged the European Union to say whether it will tolerate new man-made divisions on its territory.



American Competitiveness

The latest on Greece: France says time running out for deal

AP / Yahoo

The latest developments involving Greece and its bailout negotiations.


Jobless claims in U.S. hold below 300,000 for 16th week

Michelle Jamrisko / Bloomberg News

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for the 16th straight week, signaling a tighter labor market that will help propel growth in the second half of 2015.


US stocks open higher following surge in consumer spending

AP / Yahoo

Stocks are moving higher in early trading as investors were encouraged by a big jump in U.S. consumer spending last month.



National Security & Strategy

Putin vows to further strengthen Russian Military

Vladimir Isachenkov / AP

Russia needs a mighty military to fend off threats near its borders, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, a stance that reflects soaring tensions with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.


NATO warns of risk of return to heavy fighting

Adrian Croft / Reuters

NATO’s head warned on Thursday of a risk of a return to heavy fighting in Ukraine but said it would be unwise to declare a ceasefire agreement dead, despite repeated violations, because it remained the best hope for peace.



Asymmetric Operations

Tanzanian court orders extradition of Islamist rebel leader to Uganda


A Tanzanian court ordered an Islamist rebel leader on Thursday to be extradited to Uganda to face murder charges, though he said he would appeal against the decision.


Islamic State launches 2 major attacks in Northern Syria


Islamic State militants launched major attacks in northern Syria on Thursday in a swift counter-offensive after recent battlefield setbacks, storming government-held areas in one mostly Kurdish city and setting off deadly car bombs as they pushed back into a border town they were expelled from earlier this year.


Islamic State militants kill 14 Iraqi soldiers

Reuters / Yahoo

Islamic State militants detonated a car bomb and then opened fire on Iraqi troops in the western province of Anbar on Thursday, killing 14 soldiers, security sources said.


The Kurds are building a country with every victory over ISIS

Karl Vick / Time

Syrian Kurds take a town 30 miles from the ISIS capital, but their goal of their own nation complicate the fight.


Shelling by Yemeni group kills four soldiers on Saudi border

Angus McDowall / Reuters

Shelling by Yemen’s Houthi militia killed four soldiers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates stationed on Yemen’s border with the kingdom, Saudi state media reported on Thursday.


Burundi’s second Vice President flees amid political tensions

AP / Wall Street Journal

Burundi’s second vice president says he has fled the country, fearing for his life after opposing the president’s controversial bid for a third term that has sparked off violent protests in the capital in recent weeks.


Unforgiving heat claims more lives

Saima Mohsin / CNN

By Thursday, the death toll from the oppressive heat wave in Sindh province topped 1,000, officials told CNN


Netherlands ordered to lower carbon emissions

Arthur Neslen / The Guardian

A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world.



Energy Security

The world will invest $3.7 trillion in solar by 2040

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

Kerry tells Iran foreign minister “the past does matter”


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Iran’s foreign minister in recent days to tell him that Tehran must answer questions about whether its past atomic research was arms-related if it wants a nuclear deal, officials said.


How Iranian Oil Tankers Keep Syria’s War Machine Alive

Matthew Philips / Bloomberg

It’s no secret that Iran provides critical support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The trouble comes in trying to figure out how much Iran spends and what that support actually looks like.



On Our Flashpoint Blog

Andrew Holland on Cuban Energy

Clark Derrington / ASP

ASP’s own Andrew Holland spoke to Environment & Energy Publishing about the significant challenges facing American businesses wishing to supply clean energy in the Cuban market.


Syrian Economics & Terrorism

Julia Maloof / ASP

Since 2000, when Bashar Assad entered into office as the president of Syria, Syria’s national GDP steadily climbed upwards. How is it then that as a country’s wealth exploded due to this very regime, so many people took to the streets against it in the 2011 protests?


Libyan Development

Julia Maloof / ASP

Since 2011 Libya has become a hotbed for terrorist organizations and non-state actors to thrive, with little governance, high poverty and high unemployment levels.


Major Step for TPA

Clark Derrington / ASP

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 / ASP

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.



ASP Recently Published

Perspective: Potential areas of cooperation between the U.S. and Cuba


Latin America and the Caribbean are critical regions for U.S. security, but the lack of open communication between the U.S. and Cuba weakens America’s ability to operate in these areas. Open dialogue with Cuba will help the U.S. maintain security, and could also bring potential economic opportunities.


White Paper: Economic Diplomacy


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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