Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Pope to Congress: Time to act on climate change, poverty

Fred Imbert / CNBC
In a historic presentation to Congress, Pope Francis urged lawmakers on Thursday to take “courageous actions” on global warming, poverty and the refugee crisis.

The American Century: RIP?

Joseph S. Nye Jr. / The National Interest

Despite our various problems, the United States is the only major developed country that will hold its place (third) in the demographic ranking of countries, rather than shrinking in population or being overtaken by other countries. Our dependence on imported energy has decreased; we remain in the forefront in development of key technologies (bio, nano, information) that are central to this century’s economic growth; American universities dominate in the area of higher education; and our culture remains open and entrepreneurial. It’s going to take decades for other countries to wrest leadership on those issues from the United States.


American Competitiveness

U.S. economy needs stronger wage growth, Lew says

Alan Sherter / CBS News

The U.S. economy is seeing “sustained, stable” growth, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in an interview with CBS News, while noting that these gains must be “spread more fairly” among Americans.

Why a rate hike might actually boost U.S. economy

Matt Egan / CNN Money

Some feel the Fed is coddling the economy by giving it more care than it needs. They argue emergency-level rates and Fed indecision are actually hurting confidence among consumers, investors and CEOs.

Government Shutdown Non-Event for U.S. Economy That Has Moved On

Sho Chandra / Bloomberg Business

For all the political hand-wringing, a U.S. government shutdown on Oct. 1 would barely nick the world’s largest economy. The partisan debate over the nation’s finances has heated up with almost clockwork regularity, going back to the debt-ceiling fight in 2011 that led to the first-ever downgrade of Treasury debt.

3 Reasons to Be Bullish on the U.S. Economy — And 3 More Not to Be

Simon Constable / The Street

The state of the U.S. economy is almost Dickensian: It’s the best of times and the worst of times. There are reasons to be bullish as well as reasons to be bearish.


National Security & Strategy

Obama, Xi to Address Touchy Topics During Talks

William Gallo / VOA

Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to Washington Thursday for talks with President Barack Obama on thorny issues including cyberattacks, human rights and economics, after spending the first two days of his U.S. visit focused primarily on the importance of cooperation between the two countries.

The Limits of a US-China Cyber Deal

Shannon Tiezzi / The Diplomat

Both Washington and Beijing would be eager to present some sort of agreement on cyber issues – one of the most vexatious problems in the relationship – during Xi’s time in America. A cybersecurity-themed delegation from China held talks on exactly that issue with U.S. officials from September 9 to 12. Presenting at least a partial solution to the cyber debate would do wonders for public perceptions of the U.S.-China relationship.

Why Russia is increasing its military presence in Syria

The Economist

In the past few days, Russia has sharply beefed up its military presence in Syria. Reports from American officials (denied by the Russian authorities) state that it now has at least 28 warplanes deployed at an airbase outside Latakia on the Syrian coast

Desperate in Damascus

Fred Kaplan / Slate

The presence of Russian troops, tanks, and planes in Syria isn’t something to shrug off, but it’s not worth a lot of worry, either—or, to the extent it might be, it’s not for the reasons that the neo-Cold Warriors find so alarming.


Asymmetric Operations

The Flood Of Syrian Refugees Puts ISIS On The Defensive

Deborah Amos / NPR

The refugee crisis is also becoming a crisis for ISIS, as Syrians reject the group’s claim that the so-called caliphate offers a safe haven, and the refugees instead opt for the dangerous journey to Europe.

US government hack stole fingerprints of 5.6 million federal employees

The Guardian

The number of people applying for or receiving security clearances whose fingerprint images were stolen in one of the worst government data breaches is now believed to be 5.6 million, not 1.1 million as first thought, the Office of Personnel Management announced on Wednesday.


Climate Security

As UN says world to warm by 3 degrees, scientists explain what that means

Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America

Most leaders and scientists have agreed that limiting the global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over the next century could yet ward off the worst effects of climate change. But the world remains on a trajectory to experience an increase of 3 C (5.4 F) — even if the national emission reduction pledges to be codified in the Paris treaty are implemented — said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking ‘trust gap’ before Paris

Valerie Volcovici / Reuters

A looming federal budget confrontation and Republican hostility to UN global-warming talks threaten a U.S. down payment into a key climate-aid fund, money considered vital to a climate deal in Paris this December.

Fact-checking the link between climate change and ISIS

Linda Qiu / Politifact

“Absurd,” “embarrassing,” and “brazenly silly” were some of the insults hurled at Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley when he suggested in July that climate change contributed to the rise of ISIS. Despite the derision, the former governor of Maryland continues to stand by his talking point.

With Clinton and the Pope on board, the climate movement has wind in its sails

The Guardian / Bill McKibben

That wind is in the sails of the climate movement now, and so there will be more days like this to come. Whether they come in time to slow the planet’s careening new physics is an open question, but at last the political and financial climate has begun to change almost as fast as the physical one.


Energy Security

A melting Arctic: The world is skating on thin ice

Clay Dillow / CNBC

The race for the Arctic is on in more ways than one, creating new environmental, human and geopolitical risks in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments—one in which no nation is fully prepared to operate. Consequences to the future of our planet are huge.

Exports not the answer to US oil crisis

Ed Crooks / Financial Times

As the financial screws tighten on the US oil industry, the search for ways to relieve the pressure has become increasingly desperate. Oil producers are looking for something, anything, that might conjure up a little more revenue.


Nuclear Security

Could Iran, U.S. tag-team ISIS? ‘You must be dreaming,’ Iranian general says

Frederik Pleitgen / CNN

Some of Iran’s top commanders we spoke to laughed off any notion of cooperating with the U.S. in the battle against the extremist group. Many of the country’s military and political leaders accuse the United States of being responsible for ISIS’ rise. They also believe that the American-led air campaign to root out ISIS is deeply ineffective.

Israel and America After the Iran Deal

The Editorial Board / The New York Times

Now that congressional Democrats have blocked a Republican effort to kill the Iran nuclear deal, attention is shifting to what America must do to reassure Israel and its American supporters that the agreement will not harm Israel’s security.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Event Recap: The Keynote Speech | Cyber Security: Risk, Recovery, and Resilience

Sam Hickey

On Wednesday, September 16th American Security Project hosted a conference on ‘Cyber Security: Risk, Recovery, and Resilience’. After opening remarks by ASP CEO BGen. Stephen Cheney USMC, (Ret.) – in which he mainly focused on the diversity of the concept of cyber and the challenges this may create to national security, RDML Danelle Barrett – Deputy Director of Current Operations at USCYBERCOM – to delivered the keynote address.

Event Recap : Panel 1 | Lessons from OPM Hack

Ngoc Lee

The first panel of the afternoon discussed the ‘lessons learned’ from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach. In June 2015 the OPM announced that they had been the target of a large data breach, stealing the classified and personal records of several millions of people. James Comey, director of the FBI, put the number at a dazzling 18 million.

Event Review- Panel 2: Cyber Security & Consequences for the Military

Spencer Shweky

The afternoon’s second panel, “Consequences for the Military” was moderated by Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), CEO of the American Security Project and included  MG Garrett Yee, US Army Reserve, Cyber Security Directorate Military Deputy, LTC Scott Applegate, G3 Current Operations Chief, Defensive Cyberspace Operations, United States Army Cyber Command, and Ian Wallace, Senior Fellow, Co-Director Cyber Security Initiative, New America.

Event Review: Panel 3 | Defense, Diplomacy, and Deterrence

Anil Powers

In panel 3 of its conference on cyber security, ASP hosted Michele Markoff, Deputy Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Colonel Jon Brickey, National Capital Region Liaison and Assistant Professor at Army Cyber Institute at West Point, and Hon. Bijan R. Kian, Chairman of the Board of Directors for iCelero.  William G. Lay, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Information Assurance and Chief Information Security Officer for DOS, moderated the panel. The two panels prior focused on “Lessons from the OPM Attack” and “Consequences for the Military,” whereas this panel highlighted the roles of the U.S. government, the military, and the private sector in maintaining cyber security.

Admiral Fallon Testifies Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Sam Hickey

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.

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