Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


In a Grisly First, Islamic State Beheads 2 Women in Syria, Monitor Says

Laura King, Nabih Bulos / LA Times

Islamic State militants beheaded two women on charges of “sorcery” in a northeastern province of Syria, a monitoring group reported Tuesday, in what it said marked the Sunni extremist group’s first decapitations of female civilians.


Iran Talks Extended For a Week as Negotiators Seek to Bridge Differences

Carol Morello / The Washington Post

Negotiators in the Iran nuclear talks decided to extend Tuesday’s midnight deadline for another week as they continue to press for a permanent deal. The extension leaves a temporary agreement, known as the joint plan of action, in place until July 7. The interim accord places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.


Tunisia Beach Killer Trained With Museum Gunmen

Bouazza Ben Bouazza / AP

The young college student that murdered 38 tourists in a Tunisian seaside resort was in a jihadi training camp in western Libya at the same time as the two attackers who hit the national museum in March, a top security official said Tuesday.


Greece Asks For Third European Bailout Hours before Default Deadline

Michael Birnbaum, Brian Murphy / The Washington Post

Greece on Tuesday asked for its third European bailout in five years, just hours before its financial lifeline was set to expire and it defaulted on its debts.



American Competitiveness


U.S. Trade: Trailing Behind

Shawn Donnan / Financial Times

The export-import bank is being shuttered, threatening the loss of jobs and overseas contracts to rivals like China.


Report: Surveillance Programs May Cost US Tech over $3.5 Billion and Its Competitive Edge

Brian Taylor / Tech Republic

Through inaction, the US government risks sacrificing the “robust competitiveness of the U.S. tech sector for vague and unconvincing promises of improved national security,” argues the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in a June 2015 report entitled “Beyond the USA Freedom Act: How U.S. Surveillance Still Subverts U.S. Competitiveness.”



National Security & Strategy


WikiLeaks Says NSA Spied On French Business

Associated Press / The Washington Post

WikiLeaks has released documents that it says show that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on France’s top finance officials and high-stakes French export bids over a decade in what the group called targeted economic espionage.



Asymmetric Operations


Taliban Wound 21 Afghans, Kill One In Attack on NATO Convoy

Mirwais Harooni / Reuters

A Taliban suicide car bomb attack on a convoy of NATO troops in Kabul on Tuesday wounded 21 Afghan civilians and killed one, police and witnesses said.


Islamic State ‘Attacks’ Syrian Town of Tal Abyad’


Islamic State (IS) militants have attacked the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad, which they lost to Kurdish fighters two weeks ago, activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS had seized a district of the town, which is on the Turkish border.



Climate Security


In a Major Day for Climate Policy, China, Brazil, and the U.S. All Announce New Commitments

Chris Mooney / The Washington Post

In a jampacked but complex day for international climate action, Brazil, the United States, and China — three of the world’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters — all announced new goals Tuesday. The commitments came in different forms and units, ranging from forest hectares to renewable energy gigawatts — but collectively appeared to represent a new and major step forward towards addressing climate change and cleaning global energy systems.


U.N. Holds Climate Talks In New York Ahead Of Paris Meeting

Nell Greenfieldboyce / NPR

The United Nations is having a high-level climate meeting ahead of the end-of-year meeting in Paris that will hopefully result in a major new agreement to rein in greenhouse gases.


China Climate Change Plan Unveiled

Helen Briggs / BBC

China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – has announced details of its climate action plan. The office of Prime Minister Li Kegiang said that emissions “will peak by around 2030″ and China would work hard to achieve the target even earlier.



Energy Security


Clean Energy Beats the Market

Matthew A. Winkler / Bloomberg View

Stocks of clean-energy companies are proving to be better investments than those of companies that produce most of the Western Hemisphere’s power, and are outperforming the rest of the stock market as well.


Obama Vows U.S. Will Triple Renewable Energy by 2030

Ben Wolfgang / The Washington Times

President Obama on Tuesday vowed that the U.S. will nearly triple the amount of electricity generated by renewable fuel sources by 2030, part of the White House’s broader plan to phase out fossil fuels.



Nuclear Security


Bunker-Busting Bomb on Standby as Iran Nuclear Talks near End

CNN’s National Security team / CNN

Gathered around conference tables in Vienna, diplomats are working feverishly to hammer out the terms of a long-elusive nuclear deal with Iran. The official deadline for an agreement is Tuesday, but the parties have all but declared that talks will not be concluded by the stroke of midnight. Though the negotiations are likely to continue for at least several more days in search of an agreement, the remaining obstacles and dragging timeline are raising questions about whether a deal will be reached.


Real Deadline for Iran Deal Is July 9

Josh Rogin / Bloomberg View

The “real political deadline” for a final nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries and Iran is July 9, not the end of this month, according to Colin Kahl, Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Greece Approaches a Crisis

Clark Derrington

Greek banks did not open for business Monday morning. The vast majority of them will stay closed for at least a week, with only a handful opening for pensioners to make withdrawals. This abrupt bank holiday could well be the beginning of the end of Greek membership in Europe’s monetary union. Greece has until 6 pm ET (1 am in Athens) to make a 1.6 billion euro payment to the International Monetary Fund, a deadline that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras confirmed would not be met.


Export Import Bank and US Nuclear Reactor Exports

Steven Eisen

Nuclear technology export is a large but often overlooked domestic American industry. It is expected to generate approximately three quarters of a trillion dollars over the next decade for American companies. Despite being one of the worldwide leaders in reactor technology and export for the past four decades, the US position of nuclear market dominance is currently in peril. Congress is currently considering the authorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.


What to Expect From the Iran Nuclear Talks

Riza Kumar

Currently, talks are underway to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, in exchange for lifting internationally enforced economic sanctions. If Iran agrees to the conditions of a proposed agreement, certain sanctions will likely be removed, allowing Iran’s decimated economy to begin a recovery process.


The ITER Council Convened In France in June

William Furlow

On June 17, the governing body of the ITER Organization convened in France. This meeting focused on the new direction for the ITER members under the new Secretary General Bernard Bigot. The ITER governing body consists of representatives from seven member countries: the United States, China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.



ASP Recently Published
Perspective: Potential Areas of Cooperation Between the U.S. and Cuba

American Security Project

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. Understanding that the isolation of Cuba has not proven to be an effective policy, this paper examines a variety of possibilities for cooperation between the United States and Cuba.


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