Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Iran Talks at Impasse amid Bickering, Extended for 3rd Time

George Jahn / Associated Press

The Iran nuclear talks shifted Friday to a blame game, as Iran’s foreign minister accused the United States of shifting its demands and dismissed a warning that the U.S. was ready to quit the negotiations. Hours after his comments, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met again with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for another attempt at resolving the differences standing in the way a landmark deal that offers Iran sanctions relief in exchange for long-term, verifiable curbs on nuclear programs that Tehran could use to make weapons.


Stock Market Plunge in China Dents Communist Party’s Stature

Edward Wong and Chris Buckley / New York Times
Even if China’s stock markets end their dizzying falls – and analysts say there is still room to tumble even after a respite on Thursday – the sense of supreme control that once cloaked the Communist Party leadership may take longer to recover.


OPM Hack Affected 1 in 15 Americans: What’s Being Done to Prevent Next Attack?

Cristina Maza / Christian Science Monitor

The cybersecurity breach, which is considered to have been biggest in US history, may have been a wakeup for big organizations like the OPM that have failed to properly protect user accounts with privileged access to important data systems from nefarious hackers.



American Competitiveness


How Washington Helped Create Puerto Rico’s Staggering Debt Crisis

Michael A. Fletcher and Steven Mufson / Washington Post

Officially a U.S. commonwealth, Puerto Rico is treated in some ways like a foreign country, in other ways like a state, and in still other ways unlike anywhere else. But it has never had full control over its destiny.


Greece’s Latest Bailout Request Is Under Review as Hopes Rise for Real

Ylan Mui and Anthony Faiola / Washington Post

European officials combed through Greece’s last-ditch request for a bailout Friday as they raced to determine over the next 48 hours whether to throw the debt-laden country a financial lifeline before its economy collapses.



National Security & Strategy


U.N., Warning of Migrant Crisis in Greece, Urges Europe to Act

Nick Cumming-Bruce / New York Times

The United Nations warned of Friday that Greece and its Balkan neighbors were being overwhelmed by the flood of migrants arriving from Syria and other areas of conflict, and it urged European countries to step forward with aid to avert a looming humanitarian crisis.


Exclusive: Japan Interested in Joining NATO Missile Consortium

Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo / Reuters

Japan is interested in joining a NATO missile building consortium that would give Tokyo its first taste of a multinational defense project, a move the U.S. Navy is encouraging because it could pave the way for Japan to lead similar partnerships in Asia, sources said.



Asymmetric Operations


Recent Islamic State Arrests Include Suspects in Alleged July 4 Plots

Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post

U.S. authorities have arrested more than 10 people over the past four weeks who were suspected of having ties to the Islamic State, including several who may have been planning terrorist attacks to coincide with the July 4 holiday, FBI Director James B. Comey said Thursday.


Iraq’s Shi’ite Militias Target Falluja in Anbar Campaign

Ahmed Rasheed and Phil Stewart / Reuters

Iraqi Shi’ite militia fighters are tightening a noose around the Islamic State-held city of Falluja west of Baghdad as the first stage of a counter-offensive in the Sunni province of Anbar, likely to determine the course of the conflict in coming months.


Climate Security


Why the Earth’s Past Has Scientists So Worried About Sea Level Rise

Chris Mooney / Washington Post

It’s one of the most important questions on the planet: How much are the seas ultimately going to rise, thanks to what we’re doing to the atmosphere with all our cars and power plants? Scientists are still struggling to find a clear answer to it.


What Is Climate Change Doing to Your Health?

Samantha Costa / US News & World Report

Temperatures are rising. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. Air quality is decreasing. Climate change is not only taking a toll on the environment, but on our health. It’s no longer a question of what will happen; it’s what’s happening right now.



Energy Security


Storage — A Changing Trend in Green Energy     
Chris Flora / Inside Tucson Business

An advantage of energy storage is that in the case of solar, energy can be generated during the day when the sun is out, then stored for use at night. It can also help with providing energy during peak usage hours. Instead of generating more energy during peak usage time, the energy storage can be tapped. This eliminates the need for peaking power plants or peaker plants, which can be more expensive.


Nuclear Security


Nuclear Talks: Kerry Setting Records with Long Vienna Stay

Matthew Lee and Bradley Klapper / Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been locked in this round of Iran nuclear talks for a longer period than any top American official has devoted to a single international negotiation in more than four decades. With no agreement in sight, he may stay longer. Kerry’s trip to Vienna, now in its 15th day, already eclipses his own record for an overseas voyage and is the most extended stay outside the United States for a secretary of state since George Shultz in 1983.


Iran Nuclear Talks Press ahead After U.S. Warning Time Is Limited

Carol Morello / Washington Post

Iran nuclear talks are likely to stretch into the weekend, the Iranian foreign minister said Friday, suggesting that gaps still remain following two weeks of intensive negotiations. The latest rounds took shape a day after Secretary of State John F. Kerry insisted that the United States was prepared to keep working toward an accord, but could also “call an end to the process” if impasses cannot be broken.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


The DHS Response to Climate Change

Clark Derrington

On July 8th, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency of the House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing about the Department of Homeland Security’s response to the growing threat of climate change.


Appropriators Should Support the Green Climate Fund

American Security Project

As our national security leaders are assessing where other countries’ climate vulnerabilities lie, and planning for contingency operations, the U.S. Treasury is engaged in the development of the Green Climate Fund in order to reduce climate vulnerabilities and increase the resources that partner countries can devote to deploying cleaner energy technologies. This is a smart, cost-effective ways to integrate our foreign policy, energy security, and national security goals.


The Future Innovation of Fusion Energy is Being Fueled by Private Startups

William Furlow

Private financing for fusion energy startups is a clear sign that some investors have faith in the technology, and that it can potentially be the key to tackling the climate and energy issues of this century. The startups could play an important role in the road to commercialized fusion energy. They provide a quicker and more efficient route to achieving fusion energy that focuses on developing innovative ideas, while avoiding some of the problems of government funding that often slows down innovation and development.


Hearing on Department of Homeland Security and Climate Change

Andrew Holland

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency of the House Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is addressing the threats of climate change


The Social Media War on ISIS

Mahmood Abu-Rubieh

Last Monday marked a year since the declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria by the extremist group Daesh (Islamic State, ISIL, ISIS). Despite maintaining and even expanding their territorial claims over the past year, some argue that their greatest accomplishment is their social media campaign


What Ex-Im Means to American Competitiveness
Clark Derrington

On June 30th the Export-Import Bank’s charter expired. Ex-Im is an essential part of American economic policy. At a net gain to taxpayers, Ex-Im ensures American small businesses are competitive in the global market by securing loans to buyers of their products, and helps American businesses of all sizes keep up against heavily-subsidized foreign competitors



ASP Recently Published


Perspective: Energy and Geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean

American Security Project

Since 2009, there have been a succession of substantial natural gas finds in the Levantine Basin, under the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Cyprus. How to regulate, tax, and export the gas continues to be controversial in Israeli politics. However, the strategic benefits of using energy resources to more closely tie Israel with its long-hostile neighbors are too compelling to ignore. This report analyzes the risks and opportunities involved in such an endeavor.


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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