Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In case you missed it…

2 July 2015


Key Reads 

Cubans greet latest step in US thaw with hope tempered by reality

Victoria Burnett / NYT

At the building along Havana’s seafront that will soon become America’s first embassy in Cuba in more than 50 years, life on Wednesday was yet unchanged: A lone Cuban flag flew in the forest of poles that obscures the building’s featureless facade —an official rebuke of the United States.


Puerto Rico’s pain is tied to U.S wages

Nick Timiraos / WSJ

Puerto Rico’s long-simmering debt crisis owes much to an economy that has been shedding jobs for years. And blame for that, economists say, stems in part from how the island operates under the same wage rules as the more prosperous 50 states.


Russia sees a threat in its converts to Islam

David Herszenhorn / NYT

As a teenager in St. Petersburg, Maksim Baidak hung out with neo-Nazis and right-wing nationalists, but the Russian security services mostly left him alone.



American Competitiveness

U.S. economy adds 223,000 jobs; unemployment at 5.3%

Nelson Schwartz / NYT

The economy added a healthy 223,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Thursday, but other indicators, showing wages growing slowly and jobless Americans remaining on the sidelines, painted a grayer picture.


Greek finance chief vows to resign if voters back European bailout demands

Griff Witte / Washington Post

Greece’s outspoken finance minister said Thursday he would resign if his country approves a referendum on Europe’s bailout proposal, offering the clearest indication that the government’s future is on the line in the Sunday vote.



Public Diplomacy

To counter violent extremism, focus on the young

Tara Sonenshine / The Hill

Behind the fear of violent extremism, is always an unspoken assumption that Muslim youth around the globe are, by and large, inclined towards negative activity, and likely to be recruited and radicalized by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or another terrorist group, and that social media is today’s platform for youth-inspired hatred, hostility and horrific behavior. Both are misleading assumptions and likely to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.



National Security & Strategy

Russia calls new U.S. military strategy confrontational

Maria Tsvetkova / Reuters

Russia denounced a new U.S. military strategy that accuses Moscow of failing to respect its neighbors’ sovereignty as “confrontational” on Thursday, saying it would set back efforts to improve relations.


US warns of Russia, China military threat amid growing chaos


America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to US security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.


China’s broad new security laws target ‘cultural infiltration’, cybersecurity

Robert Marquand / Christian Science Monitor

China yesterday passed its most sweeping and explicit national security laws since the Mao Zedong-era, part of President Xi Jinping’s ongoing project to centralize power and control in the Communist Party and to eliminate dissent.


Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly finished

Dean Yates / Reuters

China has almost finished building a 3,000-meter-long (10,000-foot) airstrip on one of its artificial islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, new satellite photographs of the area show.


Propeller wasn’t working on crashed Indonesian military plane, official says

Jethro Mullen / CNN

The propeller wasn’t working on one of the engines of the Indonesian military transport plane that crashed this week, killing at least 135 people, authorities said Thursday.


Hungary’s anti-migrant fence to be built within months


Hungary’s foreign minister says a fence on the Serbian border to stem the flow of migrants and refugees will be built within a few months, beginning with the areas most used by human smugglers.



Asymmetric Operations

European police to target Islamist radicals on social media accounts

Steven Erlanger / NYT

Europol, the European police agency based in The Hague, will create a new unit next month to discover and dismantle social media accounts used by Islamist radicals to spread their message and recruit foreigners, the agency announced on Wednesday.


Morocco breaks up militant cell linked to Islamic State

Aziz El Yaakoubi / Reuters

Morocco said on Thursday security forces had dismantled an Islamist militant cell affiliated to the Islamic State group, including members with knowledge in handling weapons and explosives.


Jihadist attacks on Egypt grow fiercer

Kareem Fahim / NYT

Two years after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led a military takeover promising to restore order and security in Egypt, he faces a rising jihadist insurgency that has shaken the stability of this most populous Arab state, a key ally of the United States.


8 are arrested in connection with Tunisian attack

Carlotta Gall / NYT

The Tunisian authorities said on Thursday that eight people had been arrested in connection with the massacre of 38 foreign tourists at the beachside resort of Sousse last Friday.


Benghazi, where Libya’s uprising began, now a shattered city

Rami Musa / AP

The old courthouse in central Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and the birthplace of the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, is a shelled-out ruin — a testimony to the destruction and chaos that permeate this North African country four years after the civil war that ousted the longtime dictator.



Climate Security

To understand what we’re doing to our planet, you need to understand this gigantic measurement

Chris Mooney / Washington Post

There’s been a lot of news lately about the losses of ice from the planet’s two gigantic ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica. And not surprisingly, some people have found it very stunning — simply because the volumes of ice involved sound so huge.



Nuclear Security

Iran nuclear talks could stall over access to scientists and sites

David Sanger / NYT

For more than a decade, the C.I.A. has closely followed the workings of one Iranian officer and his sprawling nuclear empire: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless driving force behind what Western intelligence agencies say was Iran’s Manhattan Project, its effort to design a compact nuclear weapon that could fit atop a missile.


Kerry consults US partners before further talks with Iran

Bradley Klapper / AP

High-level negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program entered their sixth day Thursday after diplomats blew through a June 30 deadline and extended an interim accord by a week.



On our Flashpoint Blog

What’s up with Yemen?

Julia Maloof / ASP

On Tuesday 1,200 prisoners, including al-Qaeda suspects, escaped from a prison in central Yemen. This outbreak is a US security issue because it contributes to instability in the Middle East, benefitting extremist groups. In order to understand the current situation, it is necessary to look at Yemen’s internal actors, the external actors affecting the area, and how this conflict contributes to a rise in non-state militarism.


PODCAST: David Ferris talks to ASP about Cuban energy


Andrew Holland, ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy Security spoke with David Ferris, a reporter for EnergyWire and E&E Publishing about Cuba’s energy system.


Greece approaches a crisis

Clark Derrington / ASP

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.


Export import bank and US nuclear reactor exports

Steven Eisen / ASP

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.


What to expect from the Iran nuclear talks

Riza Kumar / ASP

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.


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.








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