Center for Strategic Communication


Key Reads


ASP Senior Officers Statement on Climate Change

American Security Project

Today, the United States faces a looming threat to national security: climate change. As our service in all four branches of the military taught us, we must prepare for all threats, even those that are over the horizon. We see that our armed forces are already acting to address the very real risks posed by climate change. They must be ready to conduct missions in a rapidly changing operational environment, and they must manage the consequences of climate change.


Beijing Defeats Almaty in Bid to Host 2022 Winter Olympics

Sam Borden / New York Times

Beijing was awarded the hosting rights to the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday, setting up the Chinese capital to become the first city in history to stage both the Summer and Winter Games.


Exclusive: Walkout at Taliban leadership meeting raises specter of split

Jibran Ahmad and Tom Miles / Reuters

At the Taliban meeting this week where Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was named as the Islamist militant group’s new head, several senior figures in the movement, including the son and brother of late leader Mullah Omar, walked out in protest. The display of dissent within the group’s secretive core is the clearest sign yet of the challenge Mansour faces in uniting a group already split over whether to pursue peace talks with the Afghan government and facing a new, external threat – Islamic State.


Vaccine success holds hope for end to deadly scourge of Ebola

Kate Kelland / Reuters

The world is for the first time on the verge of being able to protect humans against Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as data from a trial in Guinea showed a vaccine was 100 percent effective.



American Competitiveness


Trade negotiators reach environmental accord

Jonathan Weisman / New York Times

Trade negotiators from the United States and 11 other Pacific nations reached agreement late Thursday on broad environmental protections for some of the most sensitive, diverse and threatened ecosystems on earth, closing one of the most contentious chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Bailout Money Goes to Greece, Only to Flow Out Again

Jack Ewing and Liz Alderman / New York Times

Much of the previous bailout funds have gone to pay off Greek bonds held by private investors and other eurozone governments, rather than stoke growth. Within Greece, the money was supposed to help replenish banks’ capital, to get them lending to revive the moribund economy. Instead, it sat in banks’ coffers as bad debts piled up, and it bought time for Greeks and foreign investors to get their money out.



National Security & Strategy


Weeks after attack, millions of OPM cyber-victims still not protected

Christian Davenport / Washington Post

They are among the biggest, and potentially most damaging, cyberattacks in the history of the U.S. government, exposing the sensitive security clearance data of millions of federal employees and contractors. But the vast majority of the more than 20 million affected people still have not been officially notified that their information was exposed, leaving them nervous and fearful of what might lie ahead. And it may be weeks before the federal government is in a position to do anything to protect them, according to industry officials frustrated with what they say are inexcusable delays.


Navy admiral confirms US pulling aircraft carrier from Persian Gulf this fall

Lucas Tomlinson / Fox News

The U.S. Navy will not have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf this fall for the first time in years, President Obama’s nominee to be the Navy’s top officer told Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday. The gap in the Gulf – expected to last two months – would come at a time when the U.S. is not only launching sustained airstrikes against nearby Islamic State targets but trying to keep a check on Iranian aggression in the region.


Russia Mistral: France ‘agrees warship compensation’


France has agreed to pay compensation to Russia for cancelling the sale of two warships, a Russian official says. France stopped the sale after the outbreak of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is accused of backing separatist rebels. The Mistral contract was worth €1.2bn (£843m; $1.3bn). Russia made an advance payment of about €840m. The first of two helicopter carriers – the Vladivostok – was supposed to be delivered to Russia in November 2014.



Asymmetric Operations


Commander of U.S.-backed rebels captured by al-Qaeda militants in Syria

Karen DeYoung / Washington Post

The commander of a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group has been captured by al-Qaeda militants near the spot north of Aleppo where a new contingent of U.S.-trained Syrian opposition fighters entered the country earlier this month from Turkey, the group said Thursday.


Taliban leader Omar’s tale reflects clashing agendas

Greg Miller / Washington Post

The emerging details of Omar’s death may help explain the extent to which his ability to remain both influential and invisible was a reflection of the competing and often hidden agendas in the counterterrorism partnership between the United States and Pakistan. Current and former U.S. ­officials said that despite intermittent intelligence on Omar’s whereabouts, there was never a concerted push to find him that remotely approached the scale of the manhunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.



Climate Security


Yet another way that climate change makes itself worse

Chelsea Harvey / Washington Post

Events that release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere can contribute to what’s known as a feedback loop: More trees dying and releasing carbon into the atmosphere could accelerate climate change, which could cause more changes on Earth, such as more severe droughts. More droughts could then cause more forest die-offs, perpetuating the vicious cycle.


What changes to expect from Obama’s final Clean Power Plan

Valerie Volcovici / Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping – and controversial – regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. In its initial version, the Clean Power Plan called for cutting the country’s power plant emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, setting different targets for each state. The proposal is the signature piece of President Barack Obama’s climate change policy. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said this week that the final rule will be “stronger in many ways than the proposed rule.”



Energy Security


The renewable energy source that’s about to boom again

Justin Worland / Time

Energy experts say that new ways of thinking about hydropower has placed the energy source on the verge of a resurgence in the U.S. Hydropower production is anticipated to grow by more than 5% in 2016 alone, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.



Nuclear Security


For North Korea, Iran-style nuclear deal not an option

Eric Talmadge / Associated Press

In a flurry of public comments since the deal, the North has been blunt: Its nuclear weapons are not a bargaining chip; it is already a member of the nuclear club; and if Washington wants to talk, it must recognize the North as such or put an immediate end to its hostile policies toward Pyongyang. Clearly, the differences between North Korea and Iran are vast.

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