Center for Strategic Communication

ASP: In case you missed it…

10 August 2015


Key Reads

Inside Syria: Kurds roll back ISIS but alliances are strained

Rukmini Callimachi / NYT

Green drapes were drawn against the sun, cloaking the room where members of a Syrian Kurdish militia huddled around walkie-talkies, assiduously taking down GPS coordinates.



American Competitiveness

Solid and steady: U.S. economy gains 215,000 jobs in July

CNN Money

The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predicted the economy would add 216,000 jobs. Anything above 200,000 is considered very solid.



National Security & Strategy

China hits back at U.S. criticism over South China Sea ‘restrictions’


China hit back on Monday at U.S. criticism that it restricts navigation and overflights in the South China Sea amid a festering marine territorial dispute with some of its neighbors.


Nearly 400 Kurdish rebels killed in 2 weeks of airstrikes: report


Nearly 400 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have been killed and hundreds injured in two weeks of Turkish airstrikes on positions in northern Iraq, the official Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.


S. Korea blames North for mine blasts, vows ‘harsh’ response

Jung Ha-Won / AFP

South Korea on Monday threatened “harsh” retaliation after blaming North Korea for landmine blasts that maimed two soldiers on border patrol, ramping up military tensions on the divided peninsula.



Asymmetric Operations

Hundreds of Christians feared captured by ISIS near Syrian village

F. Brinley Bruton / NBC

More than 200 Syrian Christians were unaccounted for and feared captured by ISIS on Friday amid reports of heavy fighting between the extremists and forces loyal to the government, a group monitoring the civil war told NBC News.


Gun battle breaks out outside U.S. consulate in Istanbul

Tim Arango / NYT

Attackers opened fire outside the American Consulate here Monday morning, setting off a brief gun battle with the police, as violence in Turkey continued to escalate about two weeks after the United States agreed to cooperate more closely with the government against the Islamic State.


Suicide car bombing at Kabul Airport kills at least 4

Mujib Mashal / NYT

A suicide car bombing at a crowded entrance of the international airport in Kabul killed at least four people and wounded 16 on Monday, Afghan officials said.


Attacks on army, police and U.S. special forces kill 50 in Kabul

Mirwais Harooni and Jessica Donati / Reuters

A wave of attacks on the Afghan army and police and U.S. special forces in Kabul have killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds, dimming hopes that the Taliban might be weakened by a leadership struggle after their longtime leader’s death.


Afghanistan slams Pakistan over wave of bloody Kabul attacks

Usman Sharifi / AFP

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan on Monday of sending “messages of war” and harbouring bombmaking camps, after a wave of devastating blasts in Kabul killed at least 56 people.


Abu Sayyaf militants kill 2 soldiers in Southern Philippines


Abu Sayyaf militants killed two soldiers who went to market but reinforcement troops retaliated with an assault that may have killed an unspecified number of the attackers in the southern Philippines, a military official said Monday.


Syria Rebels fire 1,000 missiles at Shiite towns: Monitor


Syrian rebels fired around 1,000 rockets, mortar shells and homemade projectiles at two besieged Shiite towns in Idlib province, a monitor said Monday.


Qaeda in Syria says withdrawing from frontline areas with IS


Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate Al-Nusra Front has announced a surprise withdrawal from its front lines against its jihadist rival Islamic State in areas along Syria’s northern border with Turkey.



Climate Security

Three million gallons of contaminated water turns river orange in Colorado

Kaylee Heck / ABC

A team of workers with the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released 3 million gallons of waste water from the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado, on Aug. 5, the agency said. It was initially estimated to be a third of that size at one million gallons, the EPA said.


Climate change triggering ‘historically unprecedented’ glacial ice melt

Avaneesh Pandey / IBTimes

The first decade of the twenty-first century has not been a good one for the planet’s climate. Of the 15 warmest years on record, 14 have occurred since 2000. Rising global temperatures have also made glaciers — ice masses that currently occupy nearly 10 percent of the world’s total land area — increasingly unstable.


Education drives awareness of climate change

Roheeni Saxena / ARS Technica

Despite the very real threat climate change poses to human health and habitats, public awareness and concern varies greatly. And according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, education is the single strongest predictor of climate change awareness. Additionally, the study reports that different factors drive the perception of risk from climate change in different areas of the globe.



Energy Security

The boom in wind energy couldn’t be coming at a better time

Chris Mooney / Washington Post

Reports being released — including the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — suggest that wind is being installed at a rapid rate, that its costs are plummeting, that its technologies are advancing, and that it is creating a growing number of jobs to boot.


Is tidal energy the world’s next renewable powerhouse?

Alex Kirby / Ecowatch

A British company has announced plans for an array of unique marine turbines that can operate in shallower and slower-moving water than current designs.



Nuclear Security

29 leading scientists back Obama on Iran nuclear deal

Tanya Basu / Time

Twenty-nine of America’s leading scientists—from Nobel Prize winners to nuclear experts—co-signed a letter supporting President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal on Saturday.


Japan to restart reactor in test of Abe’s nuclear policy

Aaron Sheldrick and Issei Kato / Reuters

Japan is due to switch on a nuclear reactor for the first time in nearly two years on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to reassure a nervous public that tougher standards mean the sector is now safe after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.



On Our Flashpoint Blog

The economics of debt in Puerto Rico

Clark Derrington

Recently, commentators have dubbed Puerto Rico as “America’s Greece”. While both Greece and Puerto Rico have major debts that cannot be repaid due to struggling domestic economies, the easy comparison leaves out important details about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. With a more complete understanding of the situation in Puerto Rico, possible solutions become easier to identify.


Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal

William Furlow

In ASP’s Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal event, ASP board member Adm. William J. Fallon, USN (Ret.), award winning author Dr. Trita Parsi, Harvard graduate and AL-Monitor writer Laura Rozen were hosted by ASP. The event was moderated by ASP CEO BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.)


Dante Disparte on Puerto Rico default

Clark Derrington

On Tuesday, August 4th Business Council for American Security Chairperson Dante Disparte spoke to the BBC World Business Report about the latest development in the Puerto Rican debt crisis.


A state of emergency: Tunisia’s new anti-terror law and wall

Riza Kumar

On July 31st, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi extended the nation’s state of emergency for another two months. With two large-scale terror attacks against foreign nationals since March, President Essebsi and the legislative body have taken a firmer role against terrorist threats.



ASP Recently Published

Perspective – Energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean


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.


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