Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Intelligence Chief: Iraq and Syria May Not Survive as States
Associated Press
Iraq and Syria may have been permanently torn asunder by war and sectarian tensions, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Thursday in a frank assessment that is at odds with Obama administration policy.

Sanctions Debate Emerges From Shadow of Iran Nuclear Accord
Michael R. Gordon / New York Times
President Obama, in advance of his victory in Congress on Thursday on the Iran nuclear deal, focused on centrifuge numbers, uranium stockpiles and the breakout time to build a bomb. But now, as the agreement is carried out, he will face a new battle over how stringently to impose economic sanctions on Iran.

American Competitiveness

These Four Charts Show How Obama’s Leverage Over Xi Is Increasing

Kasia Klimasinska / Bloomberg
For years after the global financial crisis, China’s steady growth kept the world economy churning while the U.S. and other advanced nations slumped. Now, after China’s summer of financial turmoil and increasing signs of a slowdown, President Xi Jinping’s economic hand is weaker heading into his state visit to Washington later this month. Here are four charts that tell the story.

U.S. Producer Prices Were Unchanged as Inflation Remains Weak
Anna Louise Sussman and Jeffrey Sparshott / Wall Street Journal
A gauge of U.S. business prices held steady in August, suggesting inflation remains muted amid falling oil prices.

The Federal Reserve: More red lights than green
The Economist
Pity the central banker. When models of the economy go haywire, academics can retreat to their offices to fix them. But even when signals flash red, amber and green at once (see chart), central banks must continue to steer the economy.

National Security & Strategy

Florida man accused of bomb plot at 9/11 memorial, FBI says
His communications were conversational and his instructions specific, federal authorities claim. Here’s how to make a pipe bomb, he allegedly wrote. Here’s how to make it deadlier, by adding shrapnel dipped in rat poison. And here’s where to have it explode — at a 9/11 commemoration event in Kansas City, Missouri.

Military Technology Exporter Admits to Spying for Moscow
Christie Smythe / Bloomberg
The founder of a Houston-based technology company admitted to spying for Russia while in the U.S. and conspiring to export microelectronics to Russian military and intelligence agencies.

Pollution flowing faster than facts in EPA spill
Mariano Castillo / CNN
The mustard hue of the Animas River in Colorado — the most visible effect of a mistake by the Environmental Protection Agency that dumped millions of gallons of pollutants into the water — is striking.

Asymmetric Operations

Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Declares War on ISIS ‘Caliph’ Al-Baghdadi
James Gordon Meek / ABC News
Just ahead of the fourteenth anniversary of al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on the U.S., the leader of the terrorist group took aim in an angry speech at a mortal enemy — but not American “crusaders” this time. Rather, the object of his tirade was the leader of ISIS in a declaration of war that will “irreconcilably” divide the two terror groups in a way the U.S. may be able to exploit, experts say.

Russia said to get Iran’s clearance for Syria-bound flights
Lynn Berry and Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press
Iran has granted permission for Russian planes to fly over its territory en route to Syria, Russian news agencies said Wednesday, a bypass needed after Bulgaria refused overflights amid signs of a Russian military buildup in Syria that has concerned the U.S. and NATO.

Climate Security

Threat to oceans from climate change must be key to Paris talks, say scientists
Fiona Harvey / The Guardian
The dangers posed by global warming to the world’s oceans must be a key part of any future international climate change agreement, a group of marine research scientists are insisting, as up to now the role of the planet’s biggest ecosystem has been largely ignored at the long-running UN climate talks.

Energy Security

How Low Can Oil Go? Goldman Says $20 a Barrel Is a Possibility
Grant Smith and Ben Sharples / Bloomberg
The global surplus of oil is even bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. thought and that could drive prices as low as $20 a barrel.

US oil output set for sharpest fall since 1992, says industry body
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted US oil output next year will see the steepest fall since 1992 thanks to low oil prices. US oil production has increased to a record high in recent years as high prices made investment worthwhile.

Nuclear Security

Next Steps in Putting Iran Nuclear Deal Into Effect
Michael R. Gordon and David E. Sanger / New York Times
With Senate Democrats blocking passage of a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal, the attention will shift from the halls of Congress to the nations and international agencies that must put the accord into effect. Here’s what happens next.

Nuclear Deal Clears Hurdle, but Iranian Reaction Is Muted
Thomas Erdbrink / New York Times
The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the global powers has long been sought by many here, but any jubilation over the news that the accord had cleared a crucial hurdle in Washington was muted.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Admiral Fallon Testifies Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
On September 09, ASP Board Member Admiral William Fallon testified on the Implications of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was joined in testifying before members of Congress by General Charles Wald, Vice Admiral John Bird, and Leon Wieseltier who is the Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy at the Brookings Institute.

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney interviewed on Climate Change
Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.) CEO of the American Security Project talked about climate change in an exclusive Climate TV interview for The Climate Group.

Understanding the Importance of Iraqi Unity
Asha Castleberry
My return home from the Middle East confronted me with a major U.S. foreign policy debate: how to counter the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL), also known as “Daesh.” In DC, policy critics are overwhelmingly fixated on the Obama Administration’s alleged lack of strategy, but actions in Iraq by Iraqis will be the deciding factor in this fight.

Syrian Refugee Crisis Threatens the Security and Stability of the Middle East
Anil Powers
The civil war in Syria is in its fourth year with no clear end in sight.  While battles rage on between the forces of the Assad regime and rebel groups, civilians leave their homes and flee the country. With millions having already fled Syria and still more to follow, a major refugee crisis exists that threatens the security and stability of the entire Middle East.
Upcoming Events

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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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