Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


A divided Taliban clings to war in wake of leader’s death
Pamela Constable / Washington Post
New peace talks have been abruptly postponed, and the Taliban official named to replace Omar has just vowed to keep its religious war going in a desperate bid to unify the increasingly fractured movement. “We will continue our jihad until the creation of an Islamic system. The enemy with their talk of peace is trying by this propaganda to weaken the jihad.”

Kerry visits Egypt as its repression grows

Carol Morello / Washington Post
Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday told Egyptian officials they need to “balance” their campaign against anti-government militants by easing up on repressive measures imposed on the press, charitable organizations and peaceful protesters.

Pro-Hadi fighters, Houthis battle over Yemen’s largest military base

Fighters loyal to Yemen’s deposed president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by Saudi-led air strikes, battled Houthi forces inside the country’s largest military base on Monday, pro-Hadi commanders said.



American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy


Greek Stocks Fall as Trading Resumes After Five-Week Exchange Closure
Josie Cox / WSJ
After a five-week hiatus, Athens’s stock market reopened Monday—and it promptly sank like a stone. The steep decline shows investors are still concerned about Greece, even after the country and its creditors appear to have made some progress in recent bailout negotiations.

GLOBAL ECONOMY-China and Asia on shaky ground as factories step back in July
Yahoo News via Reuters
Headwinds for the world’s second-biggest economy intensified at the start of the third quarter, with manufacturing conditions in China deteriorating to their worst in two years in July and triggering fresh slides in global commodity prices.



National Security & Strategy 


US Marines Say F-35 is Ready for War
Marcus Weisgerber / DefenseOne
Seven years late and billions of dollars over its original budget, the Joint Strike Fighter is deemed ready to fight.


U.S. to Defend New Syria Force From Assad Regime
Adam Entous / WSJ
President Barack Obama has authorized using air power to defend a new U.S.-backed fighting force in Syria if it is attacked by Syrian government forces or other groups, raising the risk of the American military coming into direct conflict with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.



Asymmetric Operations



Burundi’s Ex-Intelligence Chief Shot And Killed, Spokesman Says
NPR via AP
A Burundi general who was a key security ally of President Pierre Nkurunziza was killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Bujumbura, a presidential spokesman said.


Nigeria Boko Haram crisis: Army rescues 178 people
The Nigerian military says it has rescued 178 people from the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northern Borno state.
Climate Security


Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind
Coral Davenport and Gardiner Harris / NY Times

In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil on Monday a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry.


Energy Security


Kurdistan Government Will Start Paying Oil Companies From September
Selina Williams / WSJ
International oil companies working in Iraqi Kurdistan will begin receiving monthly payments from September for the crude-oil they produce and export, for the first time since December, the semiautonomous region’s government said on Monday.


Wall St. lower on weak data, slump in oil prices
Tanya Agrawal / Reuters
Wall Street was lower on the first trading day in August as oil prices touched a six-month low and data showed U.S. economy lost some momentum at the end of the second quarter.
Nuclear Security


Iran nuclear deal: John Kerry tries to ease Gulf concerns

US Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Qatar to try to reassure Gulf allies over the nuclear deal with Iran.


John Kerry Says Iran Deal Will Make Egypt, Region, Safer
Huffington Post via Reuters

The United States and Egypt are returning to a “stronger base” in bilateral ties despite tensions and human rights concerns, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday after talks with his Egyptian counterpart.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


The Weekly Fusion: A Look at Current Advancements in Fusion Energy
William Furlow

ASP’s weekly look at what’s new, and what everyone is talking about on fusion energy


Panel Recap: ACCOUNTdown to 2017
Riza Kumar

On Tuesday, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) hosted the event ACCOUNTdown to 2017: Strengthening a Bipartisan Legacy of Modernizing Foreign Assistance. The primary dialogue centered on how aid donor countries and their partners could reform and necessitate international standards in order to guarantee aid effectiveness. 


ASP Senior Officers Statement on Climate Change
American Security Project

Retired senior officers from across the services, all members of ASP’s Consensus for American Security, issued the following statement calling for action on climate change.



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.


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.



Upcoming Events


Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal
This event will be an opportunity to push past the politics and understand the components and implications of The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It will take place on August 4, 2015 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm at ASP Conference Facilities, 7th Floor West Tower, 1100 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

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