17 July 2015
Egypt ISIS Affiliate Claims Destruction of Naval Vessel
Kareem Fahim / New York Times
A militant group affiliated with the Islamic State said it destroyed an Egyptian naval vessel on Thursday, posting photographs on social media of a missile exploding in a ball of fire as it slammed into the vessel. An Egyptian military spokesman said that the crew of the unnamed ship “exchanged fire” with militants off the coast of the northern Sinai Peninsula, causing a fire on board that did not result in any fatalities
Greece debt crisis: German MPs vote ‘yes’ to bailout talks
The German parliament has voted in favor of starting negotiations on Greece’s €86bn (£60bn) bailout deal. The motion passed with a clear majority, with 439 MPs in favor, 119 votes against and 40 abstentions. Prior to the vote, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “predictable chaos” if the Bundestag did not back the plan.
U.S. inflation, housing data bolster rate hike argument
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. consumer prices rose for a fifth straight month in June as the cost of gasoline and a range of other goods increased, further signs of firming inflation that strengthen the case for an interest rate hike this year. Other data on Friday suggested the economy could support a tightening of monetary policy. Housing starts surged in June and building permits soared to a near eight-year high. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week affirmed the U.S. central bank was keen to start raising interest rates later this year.
National Security & Strategy
Despite nuclear deal, U.S. and Iran locked in regional shadow war
Missy Ryan / Washington Post
Even as their highest-ranking diplomats were shaking hands this week on a landmark nuclear accord, the United States and Iran continued moving weapons, money and fighters across the Middle East in an uninterrupted shadow war. At secret CIA bases in Jordan, U.S. operatives continued to arm and train fighters being sent into Syria to oust a critical ally of Iran. In Saudi Arabia, U.S. military advisers remained in place at a command center selecting targets for airstrikes in Yemen against Shiite rebels allied with Tehran.
Yemen: Aden ‘liberated’ from rebels, exiled leader says
Several ministers and top intelligence officials of the exiled Yemeni government have arrived in Aden for the first time since the Houthi rebels captured the southern port city.
British Pilots Have Been Conducting Airstrikes in Syria, Defense Ministry Confirms
Dan Bilefsky / New York Times
British pilots have been conducting airstrikes in Syria as part of the American-led coalition against Islamic State militants, the Ministry of Defense confirmed on Friday, even though Parliament voted two years ago against military action there.
Why the Islamic State leaves tech companies torn between free speech and security
Scott Higham and Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post
When a lone terrorist slaughtered 38 tourists at a Tunisian resort on June 26, the Islamic State turned to one of America’s leading social-media companies to claim responsibility and warn of more attacks on the world’s nonbelievers. Three days before the assault, the Islamic State relied on another popular U.S. social-media platform, Google’s YouTube, to promote a grisly propaganda video of three separate mass killings. Men accused of cooperating with U.S.-coordinated airstrikes in Iraq and Syria are seen being incinerated in a car, drowned in a cage lowered into a swimming pool and decapitated by explosive necklaces looped around their necks.
Yemeni militiamen appear to be driving Houthi rebels out of Aden
Ali al-Mujahed and Hugh Naylor / Washington Post
At least 30 people were killed in three attacks by Islamists in northeastern Nigeria, local officials and inhabitants said Wednesday, days ahead of a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Barack Obama.
Iraqi coalition gains come amid internal ISIS friction
A round of U.S.-led airstrikes combined with Iraqi coalition ground gains resulted in the deaths of more than 100 ISIS militants on Wednesday – developments that have forced foreign fighters to flee and led local extremists to seek amnesty, according to regional reports.
New clash with Big Coal set as Obama proposes curbs on water pollution
Joby Warrick / Washington Post
The Obama administration on Thursday announced plans to strengthen protections for streams and rivers near coal mines, setting up a potential clash with an industry that is already fighting a proposal to limit air pollution from coal-burning.
Report: Wind could supply 40 percent of Iowa energy by 2020
Donnelle Eller / Des Moines Register
Iowa could meet 40 percent of its energy needs from wind power within five years, according to an industry report Thursday that looks at the state’s wind generation potential. The state could push its wind-energy mix to 41 percent in 2020 and supply enough power to more than match its energy usage by 2030, with excess energy to export to other states, the American Wind Energy Association said Thursday.
Former U.S. Diplomats Praise Iran Deal
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times
More than 100 former American ambassadors wrote to President Obama on Thursday praising the nuclear deal reached with Iran this week as a “landmark agreement” that could be effective in halting Tehran’s development of a nuclear weapon, and urging Congress to support it.
Iran deal set to become international law
The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote for first thing Monday morning on a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal. The resolution was circulated to council members Wednesday by the United States. Members were also briefed by both Iran and the other countries that negotiated the landmark agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Panel Recap: Can the IAEA Effectively Verify the Iran Nuclear Agreement?
Riza Kumar / ASP
The Iran Nuclear Agreement placates one major concern regarding international security. This deal ensures that Iran’s nuclear program will be severely limited to peaceful purposes.
US shifts away from coal and toward natural gas
William George / ASP
Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of US electric power generation for the first time ever this spring.
Climate change and national security: Chicago
Porter Brockway / ASP
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.
A resolution to the crisis in Greece
Clark Derrington / ASP
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.
ASP Recently Published
Perspective- Energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean
Since 2009, there has been a succession of substantial natural gas finds in the Levantine Basin, under the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Cyprus.
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.
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