U.S. Admits: We Can’t Protect Syrian Allies From Russia’s Bombs
Nancy Youssef, Michael Weiss and Tim Mak / The Daily Beast
United States officials conceded Thursday that there is little the they could do in Syria to protect CIA-vetted rebels, the very people the American government trained and armed, who are now coming under fire from Russian airstrikes.
Food industry executives call on Congress for climate change action
Marc Gunther / The Guardian
If the US Congress is to take meaningful action to curb climate change, the support of corporate America and Republicans will be required. This is why a meeting of food industry executives and politicians – joined by a lone Republican congressman – on Capitol Hill on Thursday may be the first glimmer of a bipartisan approach to climate action.
Markets Retreat After Weak U.S. Jobs Report
Corrie Driebusch and Tommy Stubbington / Wall Street Journal
Stocks tumbled and bond yields slid after a weak U.S. jobs report sparked worries that a global economic slowdown was impeding the nation’s growth.
US economy adds only 142,000 jobs, raising doubts about interest rate rise
Jana Kasperkevic / The Guardian
The US economy added only 142,000 jobs in September, raising doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the year’s end. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.1%.
National Security & Strategy
11 killed when U.S. C-130 plane crashes in eastern Afghanistan
Barbara Starr and Theodore Schleifer / CNN
Eleven people were killed when a U.S. C-130 plane crashed in Afghanistan early Friday morning, the U.S. military said.
Deadly Russian rocket system spotted in Ukraine for first time
Anton Zverev / Reuters
International monitors say they have spotted a new kind of Russian weapons system in rebel-held Ukraine this week, possible evidence of Moscow’s continued interest in Ukraine even as it focuses on Syria.
Russian warplanes strike deep inside Islamic State’s heartland
Liz Sly and Andrew Roth / The Washington Post
Russian warplanes have struck targets deep inside the Islamic State’s heartland province of Raqqa for the first time, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday.
Afghan Taliban attack: Fierce clashes for control of Kunduz
Explosions and gunfire have been reported as Afghan government forces try to extend their control over the northern city of Kunduz, which was seized by Taliban fighters this week.
Matt McGrath / BBC News
Divisions over money between rich and poor countries re-emerged as nations submitted their plans for tackling climate change to the UN.
India’s pledge clears a significant hurdle towards a climate deal in Paris
Fiona Harvey / The Guardian
With India’s plan for curbing carbon emissions now in, most of the major developing economies have responded to the UN’s requests for the commitments on climate change that will form the keystone of an agreement to be signed in Paris this December.
Obama administration tightens rules on smog pollution
Joanna Walters / The Guardian
New national rules to reduce smog pollution in the US were announced on Thursday, in a long-awaited environmental move by the Obama administration. The Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Gina McCarthy, announced that the new standard for smog levels in the US will be 70 parts per billion (ppb), tightening the rules from the previous limit of 75 ppb agreed in 2008 by the previous Republican government.
Barani Krishnan / Reuters
Oil prices fell as much as 1 percent on Thursday as the government’s storm monitor altered forecasts for the path of the latest U.S. hurricane, snuffing out an early rally that was prompted by fears of storm damage U.S. East Coast oil installations.
US Democrats offer plan to track Iran nuclear compliance
Acutely aware of Republican fury over the Iran nuclear deal, US Senate Democrats introduced a plan Thursday that helps prevent Tehran from cheating on its obligations under the agreement and boosts security for Israel.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Holland in Latin America Energy Advisor: Trinidad’s Energy Vulnerability
I was featured in the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin American Energy Advisor.
Winning the Social Media War Against ISIS
Let’s stop here. There is no war online against ISIS in which the United States can seize victory, because there is no online victory to be seized. “Winning” a war implies specific objectives that can actually be met. On the internet, there is no clear ground to be gained, and no reliable way to measure success when it comes to countering violent extremism—as many have mentioned, you can’t measure if someone decides to not join ISIS.
Rethinking NATO Article 5: Challenges to Collective Security in the Cyber Era
All twenty-eight member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. This fundamental principle of collective security is formalized in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. However, threats to our security are increasingly becoming more diverse. The potential of cyber warfare is challenging the principles in Article 5.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement & Congress’s Role
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).