Julian Barnes and Gordon Lubold / WSJ
The Pentagon is moving toward providing Ukraine with bigger, longer-range radar to help it counter artillery being used by Russia-backed rebels, as U.S. military officials signal a growing willingness to bolster the country’s defenses.
Russia denies it violates Georgian sovereignty with border markers
Russian Foreign Ministry denied on Wednesday accusations by neighboring Georgia that it had violated its territory by placing border markers on the edge of breakaway South Ossetia region.
Suzanne Daley / NY Times
Under the threat of yet another deadline, the Greek Parliament approved a second package of policy changes early Thursday that the country’s creditors had said must be in place before the detailed negotiations for an 86-billion-euro bailout could begin.
Michael Kaplan / International Business Times
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified in front of the Senate Thursday, fielding tough questions about the nuclear deal reached with Iran in Vienna. Republicans opposed to the deal have vowed to thwart the agreement. Kerry said the deal was necessary to neutralizing Iran’s threat to the region. “We set out to dismantle their ability to be able to build a nuclear weapon and we achieved that,” he said.
American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy
China in the South China Sea: Has Beijing overstepped the mark?
Peter Ford / Christian Science Monitor
A briefing on what China wants: It speaks of a ‘peaceful rise’ in Asia and of binding the region with liberal markets. But it’s creating military bases and throwing sharp elbows far below its own territory.
How a Chinese Company Slipped on Canada’s Oil Sands
Chester Dawson and Brian Spegele / WSJ
China’s Cnooc Ltd. knew it was buying into trouble when it acquired Canada’s Nexen Inc. in 2013. It is now finding out just how much.
Puerto Rico’s PREPA bondholders propose $8 billion restructuring
Nick Brown and Megan Davies / Reuters
Bondholders of Puerto Rico’s debt-laden public utility PREPA on Thursday offered to refinance $8 billion in debt under a plan they say would save PREPA $2.5 billion in financing costs through 2025, but the plan met swift resistance from PREPA.
National Security & Strategy
NATO Won’t Establish Permanent Military Bases In Poland Amid Russia Tension, US Diplomat Says
Thomas Barrabi / IBTimes
The NATO alliance will not pursue the establishment of permanent military bases in Poland, a top United States diplomat said Wednesday. The announcement came during increased tension between NATO and Russia following the alliance’s bid to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe as a check against Russian aggression in the region.
Car bombings and suicide attacks kill dozens in Iraq
Over 30 people killed in four separate bombings in Baghdad, while 22 Iraqi soldiers and fighters killed in Fallujah.
UN envoy voices deep concern over Syria barrel bombing
The United Nations envoy for Syria has said government forces have dropped a large number of barrel bombs on Zabadani city, “causing unprecedented levels of destruction”.
FBI: ISIS poses greater threat than al Qaeda
Ben Kamisar / The Hill
Islamic State militants are a greater threat to America than al Qaeda, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday.
Ethiopia powers up ambitions for green, climate-resilient industry
The strategy for an eco-friendly, sustainable Ethiopian economy aims to bring the country to middle-income status by 2025 while pegging back emissions
Moody’s Says Low Oil Price Here to Stay as Russia Bleeds Capital
Agnes Lovasz and Anna Andrianova / Bloomberg Business
With its dependence on commodities and a slump in investment, Russia will have a hard time recovering from its record economic slump as global oil prices are bound to remain lower for a long time. As much as a quarter of Russia’s gross domestic product and two-thirds of its exports are linked to the energy industry, according to the rating company.
Obama administration allows Shell’s Arctic oil wells but drilling still restricted
Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian
Barack Obama has removed one of the last obstacles to oil drilling in Arctic waters, granting Shell permission to bore two new exploratory wells.
Rouhani hails Iran nuclear deal, chides conservative critics
Bozorgmehr Nouri / Reuters
President Hassan Rouhani defended a nuclear deal criticized by Iran’s conservatives, arguing on Thursday that the agreement reflected the nation’s will and was “more valuable” than domestic carping about its details.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
American Security Project
The Business Council for American Security (BCAS) is an exclusive gathering of leading firms across industry aligned in their support of a broad definition of American national security for the 21st century. These leaders believe in a vision of American security that extends beyond bombs and bullets. In its inaugural year, BCAS members who join at the 3-star level will enjoy the rich member benefits of the 4-star membership tier.
Tokamak fusion reactor designs have a proven record of being used in international fusion projects such as the ITER project, the Joint European Torus (JET) project, and the closed Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project at Princeton. Currently the standard tokamak design has been the default for fusion energy, but through prior research, a new prototype for fusion energy has been purposed.
Renewable Energy in Puerto Rico: A Way Forward
Puerto Rico’s economy is laboring under the twin burdens of outsized debt and exorbitant energy costs. The island territory owes private creditors approximately $72 billion, but the inadequate energy infrastructure is just as serious a problem. The cost of living in Puerto Rico is naturally higher than the US national average, and no category is as dangerously lopsided as energy and electricity.
The future of fusion is constantly being unfolded in front of our eyes, as every week there is some breakthrough in new technologies and designs in the nuclear fusion sector of energy. Since there is such a wealth of information, I have gathered and consolidated a list of articles geared toward the advancement of making fusion energy a reality, from within the past week.
ASP Recently Added
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.
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.