Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Rejecting Iran deal would isolate Washington: U.S. envoy to U.N.
Louis Charbonneau / Reuters

Rejecting the Iran nuclear deal would lead to diplomatic isolation for the United States and significantly undermine Washington’s ability to achieve other foreign policy goals, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday. In an article published on the Politico website, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said diplomats from the 193 member states of the United Nations are tracking the heated U.S. congressional debate over the deal “like they tracked the World Cup soccer pairings last year.”

South Korea plans ‘decapitation’ strike against North’s leadership if nuclear war is likely
Julian Ryall / The Telegraph

South Korea is drawing up plans to “decapitate” the top leadership in North Korea in the event that a new crisis between the two countries looks like it is descending into nuclear war. Seoul is re-examining its defence strategies in the wake of the recent tensions across the Demilitarised Zone that divides the two nations, with an army officer attached to the defence ministry outlining revised approaches to dealing with the North.

US, South Korea Hold Joint Military Drill
VOA News

The U.S. and South Korea have held their largest-ever joint military drill. The live-fire drill was held Friday near the border town of Pocheon. The joint military exercises follow days of tensions between North and South Korea.  Such exercises in the past have infuriated North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who often responds with strong threats to both Washington and Seoul.

American Competitiveness

Stocks Pull Back as Momentum Fades
Josie Cox / Wall Street Journal
U.S. and European shares fell Friday as momentum faded from a rally that had been spurred by optimism over the U.S. economy. Asian markets gained, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.5% to 16576 in opening trade. The S&P 500 declined 0.3% to 1982.

National Security & Strategy

Pentagon funding venture to create electronics and sensors that bend, stretch
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press
Defense Secretary Ash Carter will announce Friday that the Pentagon is funding a new venture to develop cutting-edge electronics and sensors that can flex and stretch and could be built into clothing or the skins of ships and aircraft.

Asymmetric Operations

US asks Uzbekistan to join anti-ISIL coalition
Al Jazeera and Reuters
The United States on Thursday asked Uzbekistan to join the multinational coalition it leads against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying Central Asia’s most populous state was free to choose how to the fight against the armed group. “We have asked Uzbekistan … to join the coalition,” Daniel Rosenblum, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, said during a visit to the Uzbek capital.

Syrian three-day ceasefire agreed as both sides bury dead
Louisa Loveluck / The Telegraph
Warring rebels and regime loyalists in parts of southern and northwestern Syria agreed to a three-day ceasefire on Thursday in order to evacuate their wounded and bury the dead.

Will a Turkish border deal block IS recruits?
Frank Gardner / BBC
Fifteen months after the jihadists of so-called “Islamic State” overran Mosul and announced their controversial “caliphate”, measures are in train that could seriously disrupt their supply of recruits. In co-ordination with Washington and other NATO allies, Turkey is now considering imposing a buffer zone along part of its 700-mile common border with Syria.

Climate Security

Judge blocks Obama EPA rule as federal power grab over state waters
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times
President Obama’s push to extend the EPA’s regulatory hand to ditches and small streams to enforce clean water rules was blocked Thursday by a federal judge, who said the administration had overstepped its bounds in trying yet another end run around Congress.

Despite governor’s objections, Obama discusses climate in New Orleans
Renee Lewis – Al Jazeera
President Barack Obama commemorated the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Thursday in New Orleans with a speech that made special mention of building resilience against climate change, despite earlier criticism by the state’s conservative governor for his planned remarks. “We are going to see more extreme weather events as a result of climate change — deeper droughts, deadlier wildfires, stronger storms,” Obama said, adding that the government has been preparing for the change by investing in stronger levies, as well as restoring wetlands and other natural systems that are critical for storm protection.

Energy Security

Bump Then Fizzle for Oil Prices
Alistair MacDonald and Eric Yep – Wall Street Journal
Crude oil’s recent price surge began to fizzle out on Friday, as prices turned lower and markets refocused on what has dragged oil down throughout the summer – over supply. Oil prices had jumped over 10% in the previous session, the largest one day percentage gain since March 2009 for Nymex crude and December 2008 for Brent crude. The rise was triggered positive growth numbers out of the U.S. and a good run on Chinese and U.S. equity markets.

Nuclear Security

Counting heads: Political polarisation is helping Barack Obama to preserve the Iran deal
The Economist
Within three weeks, on September 17th, Congress will have had its chance to vote on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by America with five other world powers. With Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, such is the extent of partisan polarisation on the issue, a vote against the agreement is certain. That will count for little, however. Republican opponents of the deal have always known that their only chance of blocking it and preventing Barack Obama from suspending nuclear-related sanctions was to gain a two-thirds majority to override the inevitable presidential veto. That is now looking unlikely.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Coming Out Massively in Support of the Iran Deal
American Security Project
Dr. Trita Parsi, recent panelist for ASP’s event Understanding the Iran Deal on August 4, 2015, is in the news again regarding the Iran Deal. In an article published by The Huffington Post, Dr. Parsi pointed out that numerous Iranian human rights defenders gain out in support of the deal

Cyber Escalation: A Military Planner’s Blank Slate
Adin Dobkin
Whether the United States will face an asymmetric, hybrid, or symmetric conflict in the coming years, cyber will assuredly take a place at the forefront of tactics used by opponents. As has already been seen in everything from headlines following the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach to the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept Document of the Department of Defense, attacks stemming from the cyberspace can threaten a range of critical U.S. systems including national economic levers, military infrastructure, and the privacy that protects everyday citizens

Drought Threatens Food Security
Philip Rossetti
Food security is one of the most basic forms of security that a state needs to survive. Climate change presents a threat to global food security, and a recent study has shown that the U.S.’ food security is already being negatively impacted by climate change. The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, concluded that 8-27% of the California drought is attributable to climate change. This marks one of the rare times where climate change can be said to have a directly contributed to a climate event, rather than merely increasing its probability.

TFTA: Africa’s Crucial Inflection Point
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
On August 10th, the following post by BCAS Chairperson Dante Disparte and Junior Adjunct Fellow John Bugnacki appeared on International Policy Digest.  On June 10, 2015, at the 25th African Union Summit in Cairo, Egypt, African leaders signed the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA). Prior to its signing, the agreement had been in negotiations for seven years.

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September 16 @ 12:00pm – 5:00pm
ASP will host a half day conference to discuss the issues surrounding cyber security and challenges we will face moving forward.









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