Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Senate Dems have votes to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
Erica Werner / Associated Press
Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote in favor the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday, ensuring a landmark victory for President Barack Obama over ferocious opposition from Republicans and the government of Israel.

Migrant Crisis Gives Germany Familiar Role in Another European Drama
Steven Erlanger / New York Times

When the authorities in Hungary prevented hundreds of migrants who had overwhelmed the central Keleti station in Budapest from boarding trains for Germany, it nearly set off a riot on Tuesday. Outside the station, the migrants were chanting: “Germany! Germany!” That is where so many of them want to go.

American Competitiveness

Global Stock Markets Try to Regain Footing

Dan Strumpf and Josie Cox / Wall Street Journal

U.S. stocks rebounded Wednesday but gave back their steepest gains, as worries over slowing growth overseas persisted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91 points, or 0.6%, to 16145, retreating from a 225-point rise shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 added 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%

U.S. Productivity Increased at Fastest Pace Since 2013

Kate Davidson / Wall Street Journal

U.S. worker productivity grew much more than initially thought in the second quarter, reflecting a bounce back in economic activity following a slow start to 2015.

National Security & Strategy

Inside the Oshkosh JLTV, the US Army’s Hummer replacement

Matthew Phenix / BBC

It was a long and bumpy road for the Oshkosh Corporation and its L-ATV vehicle, but this week, the Wisconsin-based US defence contractor won a gruelling three-year competition. The prize? A $6.75b contract to build the US military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the successor to the long-serving High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, better known as the Humvee.

Asymmetric Operations

Syria crisis: Latakia blast rocks Assad stronghold


At least 10 people have been killed in a bomb attack in the Syrian city of Latakia, a key stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, state media report.

U.S. launches secret drone campaign to hunt Islamic State leaders in Syria

Greg Miller / Washington Post

The CIA and U.S. Special Operations forces have launched a secret campaign to hunt terrorism suspects in Syria as part of a targeted killing program that is run separately from the broader U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

‘My body was burning’: survivors recall horror of Isis mustard gas attack

Martin Chulov / The Guardian

When the artillery shells whistled overhead, Ahmed Latouf hid in his kitchen with his wife and children and waited for their impact. They thudded into the fields nearby, causing no damage – or so Latouf thought. Twelve hours later, however, his skin started to bubble and weep. His wife was soon in worse shape, with giant blisters spreading across her shoulders and most of her body gripped by a burning rash. His four-day-old daughter was in an even worse condition, and is not expected to live.

Climate Security

Obama visits receding glacier in Alaska to highlight climate change

Steven Mufson / Washington Post

President Obama has often complained that Congress moves at a glacial pace, and on Tuesday saw a glacier that might be moving a bit faster than some pieces of legislation. Standing near the foot of the Exit Glacier, which has receded 1.25 miles since 1815 and 187 feet last year alone, Obama said “this is as good of a signpost of what we’re dealing with it comes to climate change as just about anything.”

Obama plans to announce climate change strategy on last day in Alaska

The Guardian

On the final day of his trip to Alaska, President Obama was set to announce a slate of initiatives to help remote Arctic communities beset by the effects of climate change. The announcement also included measures to fight climate change, which is happening twice as quickly in Alaska as in the continental US.

Energy Security

Drillers Unleash ‘Super-Size’ Natural Gas Output

Russell Gold / Wall Street Journal

The U.S. may have far more natural gas than anyone imagined, all reachable at a profit even with today’s bargain-basement prices.

Nuclear Security

Madeleine Albright: Iran deal is a win-win
Madeleine Albright / CNN

I teach my students that foreign policy is persuading other countries to do what you want. The tools available to accomplish this include everything from kind words to cruise missiles. Mixing them properly and with sufficient patience is the art of diplomacy, a task that for the United States has proved challenging even with our closest allies, and altogether necessary with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

The Arctic at the Center of World Affairs

Andrew Holland

The Arctic is now at the center of world affairs. What was once a frozen ocean, closed to all but the most intrepid explorers, is now a venue for oil and mineral exploration, cargo transit, and even tourism.

Risks of Arming Syrian Opposition Group Against ISIS

Anil Powers

As the quest to fight and eliminate the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) continues, the US government has considered many options to secure victory, including aiding opposition groups in the region.  One group that has surfaced as a potential ally is Ahrar al-Sham, a large opposition force in Syria.  Although the group is more than willing to fight ISIS, the US government remains skeptical when it comes to providing monetary aid and weaponry because of the group’s Islamist affiliations.

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

Upcoming Events
Conference – Cyber Security: Risk, Recovery, Resilience
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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