Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads



Afghan Forces Seek to Regain Kunduz, Major Northern City, From Taliban

Mujib Mashal / New York Times

A day after the Taliban took their first major city in 14 years, a counterattack was underway Tuesday by ground forces sent from other provinces to recapture the northern city, Kunduz, were delayed by ambushes and roadside bombs, official said.


“This speeds up procedure” – how Hungary expels migrants

Krisztina Than / Reuters

The court in the southern Hungarian town of Szeged has shelved other criminal cases and is handing down fast-track verdicts punishing migrants for unlawfully crossing a razor-wire fence that lines the border with Serbia.


Iran’s President Rouhani wants global role after nuclear deal

Oren Dorell / USA Today

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday praised the recent Iran nuclear deal as a model for solving future international conflicts, including a global confrontation against extremism.



American Competitiveness


Stocks hit two-year lows as commodities stay pressured, U.S bio-techs bounce 

Nigel Stephenson / Reuters

Global stocks slid to their lowest in more than two years on Tuesday as raw materials prices and emerging markets stayed under pressure.


Japan Tobacco agrees to buy brand rights from Reynolds American for $5 billion

Subrat Patnaik and Christopher (report), and Savio D’Souza and David Holmes (editing) / Reuters

Japan Tobacco Inc has agreed to pay 600 billion yen ($5 billion) in cash for Reynolds American Inc’s Natural American Spirit tobacco business outside the United States, the two companies said in separate statements on Tuesday.


U.S Oil Output finally Falls, But It isn’t Helping prices

Nicole Friedman / Wall Street Journal

The long-awaited decline in U.S oil output has begun, date show, but many investors and analyst are still waiting for prices to stage a sustained recovery.



National Security & Strategy


A former CIA officer on how a shutdown hurts national security

John D. Woodward Jr. / Boston Globe

Because Congress seems unable to carry out one of its fundamental responsibilities — approving an annual budget — the federal government could shut down on Oct. 1. Such shutdowns are costly — the Economist estimates that the 2013 shutdown cost the US economy $24 billion in lost output. Yet our lawmakers need to realize that such a drastic action can have adverse consequences beyond dollars and cents. Any shutdown could have serious deleterious effects on American national security.


India Surges to Second Biggest U.S Weapon buyer

Natalue Obiko Pearson and Nc Bipindra / Bloomberg

As China rises as a military power in Asia, India is buying more and more U.S. weapons.


Obama calls for renewed commitment to U.S peacekeeping missions

Karen DeYoung / the Washington Post

The President said that too few countries are contributing to operations.


Obama and Putin Play Diplomatic Poker Over Syria

Michael R. Gordon and Gardiner Harris / New York Times

After circling each other for the past year, President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia squared off on Monday at the United Nations in dueling speeches that presented starkly different view on the Syria crisis and how to bring stability to the Middle East.



Asymmetric Operations


Russia establishes seaborne lifeline for Syrian allies

Maria Tsvetkova, Gleb Stolyarov and Jonathan Saul / Reuters

The Alexandr Tkachenko, an ageing ferry with a canary-yellow hull, usually carries people across the Kerch Strait, a bustling sea route and the only connection between Russia and Crimea, the peninsula Moscow annexed from Ukraine last year.


Thai police link suspect in bombing to previous explosions

Associated Press

Police have given their most detailed explanation yet of who they believe was behind last month’s deadly bombing in Bangkok, for the first time publicly linking one of the suspects to previous explosions.



Public Diplomacy


U.S Turns to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Writer for Anti-ISIS Propaganda

The Daily Beast

The Obama administration is turning to HBO, Snapchat, and a controversial, Oscar-winning screenwriter to help them fight ISIS.



Climate Security


New York City Flood risk rising due to climate change

Doyle Rice / USA Today

The risk of major New York City flooding — such as what happened during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 — is likely to occur once every 25 years, rather than every 500 years, as a result of human-caused global warming, says a study released Monday.


China to Launch Carbon Emission Market in 2017, Official Says


China will announce Friday that it will launch a national carbon emissions trading market in 2017 as part of a joint climate change statement with the United States meant to boost prospects for a global climate pact, U.S. officials said.



Fusion Energy


Why Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, and others are betting on fusion

Brian Dumaine / Fortune

The energy source has been long on promise and short on reality. Now private companies think they can succeed where the government has failed. For more than half a century governments around the world have been trying to solve the challenge of nuclear fusion. In theory it could provide a cheap, clean, and almost boundless source of energy. Consider this: One tablespoon of liquid hydrogen fuel—a mix of deuterium and tritium—would produce the same energy as 28 tons of coal.


Scientists Closing in on Small-Scale Nuclear Fusion


A nuclear fusion process developed by Scandinavian researchers could allow environmentally friendly electricity to be generated on a small scale within a few years.



Energy Security


Imergy Lands China Deal to Cut Cellular’s Diesel Woes

Michael Kanellos / Forbes

Imergy Power Systems this week signed a deal with Juno Capital Group to bring Imergy’s vanadium flow batteries to telecom companies in China. Under the deal, Imergy will sell flow batteries to Juno and Juno will then develop ways—leasing, storage as a service, outright capital equipment sales—to get them into the hands of companies building cellular networks in western China.


China Plans Offshore Wind Power Plants in Northern Jiangsu Province

Liu Yuanyuan / Renewable Energy

A document recently published by China’s State Council concerning the planned use of the ocean under the country’s territorial jurisdiction indicates that offshorewind power plants are slated to be located and built in the seawater adjacent to the coastal areas of northern Jiangsu province. Areas specifically cited in the document include those adjacent to the cities of Lianyungang and Yancheng. The specific mention of such a plan in a document issued by the highest administrative authority of the country is a clear signal that the country is serious about developing offshore wind power on a large scale.


Nuclear Industry to push for Australia to adopt ‘clean, affordable power’

Oliver Milman / the Guardian

The nuclear industry will lobby for nuclear energy in Australia, saying the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, should embrace the technology as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions.


Italy Opens Infra Door to Azerbaijani Gas, Gateway to Europe

Christopher Coats / Forbes

Expanding Italy’s energy role in the Mediterranean, the country has inked a memorandum of cooperation that would see natural gas from Azerbaijan transported through existing infrastructure belonging to Snam.


The 20 percenters: Nuclear Energy Faces Reality – and Its Likely Decline

Alan Neuhauser / US News

On construction sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, workers are building what may become the final five major nuclear power plants built in the United States.


Nuclear Security


Parties in Iran Nuclear Deal Aim for Implementation in Early 2016

Laurence Norman / Wall Street Journal

Foreign ministers from Iran and the six powers that negotiated July’s nuclear agreement met Monday evening to discuss the implementation of the deal, with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini saying they hope to complete that work in early 2016.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


The Iran Nuclear Agreement and Congress’s Role

Samuel Hickey

The dangers of nuclear weapons programs span a spectrum of catastrophe: from a meltdown at a nuclear reactor, to a state detonating a nuclear weapon, to terrorists setting off a dirty bomb.  The paradox of the security and insecurity that nuclear weapons concurrently provide has yet to be reconciled, but for now, the U.S. must provide direct aid to the international institution responsible for maintaining the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology; the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

ASP in Colorado: Climate Change and Security in the Heartland

Porter Brockway

On Wednesday and Thursday, September 9th and 10th, representatives of the American Security Project visited Denver, Colorado and Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a series of meetings, public events, and briefings on how climate change is affecting security, how institutions in the region are planning for it, and how.

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 H. Le
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 and 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.

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