Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


4 More Senators Back Iran Deal, Assuring Cushion for White House
David M. Herszenhorn / The New York Times
Four Democratic senators announced on Tuesday that they would back President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, apparently securing the White House enough votes so Mr. Obama will not be forced to veto a Republican resolution disapproving the accord.


Migrant Crisis: EU’s Juncker Announces Refugee Quota Plan
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced plans that he says will offer a “swift, determined and comprehensive” response to Europe’s migrant crisis.



American Competitiveness


Fed Weighs Global Gloom vs. Brighter U.S. Economy as Key Rate Decision Looms
Jeffry Bartash / MarketWatch
Until the recent bloodbath in global stock markets tied to a slowing Chinese economy, investors widely expected the Fed to lift rates after the bank’s two-day meeting that ends Sept. 17. Now it’s less certain when Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her colleagues will act.


Warren Buffett: Economy ‘Not Bad’ But ‘Not Booming’
Fred Imbert / CNBC
Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett said Tuesday the U.S. economy is growing at about 2 percent, a rate he characterized as not bad.



National Security & Strategy


Refugee Crisis: Pressure Builds for U.S. to Welcome More Syrians
Holly Yan / CNN
Of the 4 million Syrian refugees who have fled attacks by their government and ISIS, the United States has taken in 0.03% of them.  That’s a pitiful number that needs to be changed immediately, a growing number of Americans say. Both Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley agree: the U.S. needs to step up.



Asymmetric Operations


U.S. Embassy in South Africa Warns of Terrorist Threat to U.S. Interests
Polly Mosendz / Newsweek
The United States Diplomatic Mission in South Africa issued a terrorist threat security message to U.S. interests in the country on Tuesday. Information received by the embassy led them to believe U.S. government facilities and other organizations with U.S. business interests may be targeted by extremists. Specific locations were not identified by the mission, nor were times for potential attacks.


Syria Conflict: Islamist Rebels Seize Key Idlib Airbase
Abu al-Duhur airbase was the final regime position in the province, which is now held almost entirely by rebels.  The militants behind the attack are believed to be a coalition of Islamist groups, including the al-Nusra Front.


U.S. Moves to Block Russian Military Buildup in Syria
Michael R. Gordon, Eric Schmitt / The New York Times
The United States on Tuesday moved to head off preparations for a suspected Russian military buildup in Syria as Bulgaria agreed to an appeal from the Obama administration to shut its airspace to Russian transport planes. The planes’ destination was the Syrian port city of Latakia.


Drone Strikes by UK and Pakistan Point to Obama’s Counter-Terror Legacy
Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian
Two drone strikes by two different countries nearly 3,000km apart this week represent the proliferation of Barack Obama’s signature mode of counter-terrorism.



Climate Security


Pacific Leaders Voice Frustration over Australia’s Position on Climate Change
Oliver Milman / The Guardian
The president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, said that Australia may be asked to leave the Pacific Islands Forum, or face a walkout by small island states, if it attempted to water down a commitment to curb global warming.


EU to Australia: Global Warming Isn’t ‘Crap’
Sara Stefanini / Politico
Ahead of the Paris climate summit at year’s end, European officials increasingly fear that if this large and wealthy industrialized economy Down Under bucks the trend of major greenhouse gas cuts, then other big countries could follow their lead.



Energy Security


Melting Ice Isn’t Opening Arctic to Oil Bonanza
Steven Lee Myers, Clifford Krauss / The New York Times
But even as Royal Dutch Shell began drilling an exploratory well this summer off the north coast of Alaska, Russia’s experiences here have become a cautionary tale, one that illustrates the challenges facing those imagining that a changing Arctic will produce oil and gas riches.


Ocean Waves May Hold Secret to Efficient Renewable Energy
Melanie Schefft / Phys.Org
By getting back to the basics, a University of Cincinnati quantum chemistry researcher looks at how water and other molecules align and influence ionic distribution on the surface where air and the liquid meet. These findings have received respect from top physicists around the globe and show promise for enhancing the efficiency of renewable energy devices.



Nuclear Security


The Nuke Detectives
The Economist
As nuclear blasts go, North Korea’s first test in 2006 was small. The detonation of an underground device produced an explosive force well below one kiloton (less than a tenth of the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945). Even so, the vibrations it caused were recorded half a world away in the center of Africa.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


China’s War on the Law of the Sea Treaty and Implications for the U.S.
Hidetoshi Azuma
Yet, despite its evolving military hardware, the Chinese military’s modus operandi largely remains one of “salami slicing,” or posing incremental, oft-non-violent threats to overwhelm enemies. One victim of this strategy is the maritime rule of law enshrined in the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


Iceland, Like All Arctic Nations, Is Drilling for Oil
Andrew Holland
One of the ironies of the opening of the Arctic is that the very cause of the newfound interest in Arctic oil – global warming melting the sea ice – allows even more fossil fuels to be withdrawn. That irony, however, does not mean that any of the Arctic nations will (or should) choose to ignore the potential benefits of oil exploration.


Wind Energy’s Production Tax Credits: Opportunities Created by the Clean Power Plan
Ngoc H. Le
The United States’ wind industry has reached a critical point in its development. Recent innovations, supported by federal and state programs and private sector investment, position the industry to assume a critical role in future state compliance strategies mandated by the Clean Power Plan (CPP).



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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