Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

From ISIS TO Climate Change, the Iran Deal is Good for American Interests

Jim Krane / Forbes
The fact is, America and Iran share common interests that have long been thwarted by the lack of ties. If the agreement plays out as its signatories hope – and that remains a big “if” –rapprochement between Washington and Tehran will open all sorts of avenues for furthering US strategic aims in the Middle East.
I.M.F.’s Insistence on Greek Debt Relief Adds to Complexity of Talks
James Kanter, Jack Ewing / New York Times
The International Monetary Fund’s declaration that it would not back a new bailout for Greece unless the pact substantially reduced the debt burden on Athens clouded the prospects on Wednesday for quick approval of an aid plan. The I.M.F. move also reopened a debate the European leaders thought they had settled during contentious negotiations last weekend.


American Competitiveness

Cooling of China’s Stock Market Dents Major Driver of Economic Growth

Neil Gough / New York Times

As the usual drivers of economic growth have faltered in China, the stock market euphoria has helped pick up the slack, with a slate of businesses feeding off the frenzy. But as the market cools, the Chinese economy is losing a major boost, adding pressure on the government to take further action.

U.S. Producer Inflation Firming; Factory Activity Picking Up

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in June as the cost of gasoline and a range of other goods rose, indicating the recent oil-driven downward spiral in prices was abating. Other data on Wednesday showed a rebound in factory activity in New York State this month. The signs of stabilizing manufacturing and firming inflation came as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank remained on track to raise interest rates this year.


National Security & Strategy

NATO Plans Biggest Exercise Since 2002 to Counter Islamic State

Robin Emmott / Reuters

NATO and its allies will hold their biggest military exercise in more than a decade from October, deploying 36,000 personnel across the Mediterranean to counter the threat of Islamic State on the alliance’s southern flank.

Feds Take Down Elite Hacking Forum

Cory Bennett / The Hill

The Justice Department said Wednesday it had taken down a hacking forum known as Darkode. The government has filed criminal charges against 12 people allegedly affiliated with the forum, a dark Web repository for hacking tools of all kinds.


Asymmetric Operations

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Advance in City Near Lebanese Border

Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters

The Syrian army backed by Lebanese ally Hezbollah has advanced deeper into the besieged Syrian city of Zabadani two weeks into a campaign to capture it from insurgents, rebels and the army said.

Saudi-Backed Yemen Forces Take Aden Port From Houthis: Residents

Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters
Saudi-backed Yemeni militiamen captured Aden’s main port and a neighboring district on Wednesday, a big prize in their battle to drive Houthi forces from the southern city, residents and fighters said. Coming a day after the fighters wrested the city’s airport and another district from the Houthis, the advance has dealt the biggest setback yet to the Iran-allied Houthis in more than three months of war.


Climate Security

Power Plant Emissions Decline Ahead of New Climate Rules

Devin Henry / The Hill

Carbon dioxide emissions from America’s power plants are declining even as the economy is improving, a new report out Tuesday said. Emissions fell by 12 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to a report from sustainability group Ceres. Carbon emissions are still significantly higher than they have been historically, but they are trending downward around the United States, and those reductions came even as the economy grew after the recession.


Energy Security

Renewables Outpace Nuclear in Economies Making Up 45 Percent of World Population: Report

Aaron Sheldrick / Reuters

Solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy besides hydro-electric dams now supply more electricity than nuclear in Japan, China, India and five other major economies accounting for about half the world’s population, an atomic industry report shows.

Oil Producers Call For Lifting Export Ban After Iran Deal

Devin Henry / The Hill

The oil industry is pushing Congress to lift the decades-old ban on American crude oil exports to help producers cope with the implications of a nuclear deal with Iran. On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced the landmark deal, which will allow a series of economic and export sanctions on Iran to end in exchange for the country rolling back its nuclear program. That means Iran could soon begin exporting more oil than it is now.


Nuclear Security

It’s a Damn Good Deal

Jeffrey Lewis / Foreign Policy

The deal — can we call it the “Vienna Plan,” please? — looks pretty much like the framework deal that was reached in Lausanne in April. I went through the documents, including the White House fact sheet, as well as my own notes from conversations with administration officials. It would seem that the agreement is as good or better in all important respects than what officials described in the spring.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

U.S. Shifts Away From Coal and Toward Natural Gas

William George

Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of US electric power generation for the first time ever this spring. Natural gas accounted for 31% of electric power generation while coal accounted for 30%, according to a report released by SNL Energy. Nuclear energy came in at third with 20%. This shift is not surprising, however, as natural gas prices have continued their downward slide and new regulations that the EPA is beginning to implement make utilities question the future of coal. This is a much-needed step toward improving US energy security, production, and efficiency.

Climate Change and National Security: Chicago

Porter Brockway

On Thursday, July 9th, American Security Project sent representatives to Chicago to discuss the impacts of climate change on U.S. national security in a series of public events, and interviews. The issues of how climate change is affecting security, how institutions in the region are planning for it, and how it will impact the careers of military and civilians working on national security in the future were all covered.

A Resolution to the Crisis in Greece

Clark Derrington

A temporary resolution brought some relief to Greece Monday morning, as the leaders of the eurozone countries agreed to an outline of a Greek bailout deal. In return for up to €86 billion in additional financial assistance and a possible debt restructuring, the Greek parliament must pass a range of reform measures, including pension cuts and tax hikes as well as the privatization of state-owned enterprises.


ASP Recently Published

Perspective – Energy and Geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean

Andrew Holland

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.



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