Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

NATO Says Russian Ground Troops in Syria, Turkey’s Airspace Violated Again
Barbara Starr, Elise Labott, Jim Acosta / CNN
Russian involvement in the 4½-year-old Syrian civil war seems to be escalating, with NATO’s secretary general confirming Tuesday a second incursion by Russian planes into Turkish airspace and saying Russian ground troops were in Syria as well.
Turkey Vows to Protect Borders After Russian Jet Incursion
Suzan Fraser / The Associated Press
In a signal of new tensions raised by Moscow’s airstrikes in Syria, NATO denounced Russia on Monday for “irresponsible behavior” after its warplanes violated Turkish airspace, and Turkey warned that any future aerial intruder would be treated like an enemy.


American Competitiveness

 Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal is Reached, but Faces Scrutiny in Congress
Julia Fioretti, Michele Sinner / Reuters
The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday reached final agreement on the largest regional trade accord in history, teeing up what could be the toughest fight President Obama will face in his final year in office: securing approval from Congress.

Europe-U.S. Data Transfer Deal Used by Thousands of Firms is Ruled Invalid
Hiroko Tabuchi / The New York Times
A deal that allows thousands of companies to transfer data from Europe to the United States is invalid, the highest EU court said on Tuesday in a landmark ruling that follows revelations of mass U.S. government snooping.

Big U.S. Firms Hold $2.1 Trillion Overseas to Avoid Taxes: Study
David Alexander, Eric Beech / Reuters
The 500 largest American companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid U.S. taxes and would collectively owe an estimated $620 billion in U.S. taxes if they repatriated the funds, according to a study released on Tuesday.


National Security & Strategy

Russian Warplanes Strike Islamic State Targets in Palmyra
Karen Leigh / The Wall Street Journal
Russian warplanes struck Islamic State positions in the historic city of Palmyra on Tuesday, as Moscow expanded its air campaign in Syria in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ukraine Crisis: Pro-Russian Rebels ‘Delay Disputed Elections’
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine say they have agreed to postpone until February disputed elections that had been planned for the next few weeks.


Asymmetric Operations

Boko Haram Militants Kill 11 Chad Troops: Military Source
Madjiasra Nako, Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Andrew Heavens / Reuters
Suspected militants from Nigeria’s Boko Haram group killed 11 soldiers in an attack over the border in Chad early on Tuesday, a Chadian military source said.

Civilians ‘Accidentally Struck’ in Afghan Hospital Bombing, U.S. Commander Says
Jethro Mullen, Ashley Fantz / CNN
A Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was struck accidentally after Afghan forces called for air support from the American military, Gen. John Campbell, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Monday.


Public Diplomacy

IS Propaganda Pushes State-Building, Quilliam Study Finds
Dominic Casciani / BBC
Most propaganda from the self-styled Islamic State now aims to prove it is a genuine nation, rather than glorify acts of violence, a study suggests. IS media teams produced 900 separate reports, rulings, videos and radio programmes in one month, it found. It said 469 of these – more than half – focused on civilian life and statehood.


Climate Security

Retired Navy Admiral: Climate Change Poses Security Risk
Shelby Lin Erdman / NPR Atlanta
Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley, who is also the founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State, suggests that climate change is the greatest threat to U.S. national security.


Energy Security

Renewables Could Supply Nearly a Quarter of Africa’s Energy by 2030: Report
The Guardian
Almost a quarter of Africa’s energy needs could feasibly be supplied by renewables within the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) yesterday.

Global Oil to Cut Spending by $130 Billion, OPEC Says
Benoit Faucon / The Wall Street Journal
Global oil investments are set to be slashed by a staggering $130 billion this year, crimping supplies and ultimately boosting prices, OPEC’s chief said Tuesday, and added that he was open to discuss the current oil market turmoil with the U.S.

Nuclear Energy on Agenda During French PM’s Trip to Japan
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls rounded off a three-day visit to Japan with bilateral talks on the nuclear sector. It follows an announcement in September by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries stating it was considering taking a stake in Areva NP, the reactor-making subsidiary of French nuclear company Areva. 


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Containing the Threat of al-Qaeda & Its Affiliates
Anil Powers
For nearly 20 years, al-Qaeda and its ideological cousins have been the most important threats to national and global security.  Since its inception, al-Qaeda has used large-scale terrorist attacks and other forms of violence to kill thousands and cause mass destruction.  These terrorist groups use a distorted interpretation of Islamic doctrine to justify their attacks and inspire support for their cause.  Despite setbacks, al-Qaeda is still a dangerous organization because of its extreme ideology and the rise of its affiliates throughout Asia and Africa.

Investments in Clean Energy Make Us Safer
Ricky Gandhi
This December, countries from around the world will meet in Paris to develop an international climate agreement that will attempt to cap warming at 2˚C – the threshold scientists have warned us not to cross. The United States should lead the way in climate research, technology, and adaptation. However, the nation has acted slowly relative to others, which prolongs environmental degradation and threatens our security.


Reducing Our Dependence on Fossil Fuels is a National Security Imperative
Spencer Schweky
In 2013, the EIA projected that world energy consumption would grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040, with fossil fuels continuing to supply almost 80% of the 2040 total. This trajectory threatens not only to alter the nature of the earth’s climate, but to fundamentally destabilize the global security environment. To recognize this, we need only take a closer look at the nature of the fuels themselves.

Wilson Center Global Energy Forum Overview
Ricky Gandhi
The Wilson Center Global Energy Forum provided updated analyses regarding geopolitical situations and their effects on energy production. The keynote speaker, Adam Sieminski of the U.S. EIA, discussed the short-term implication in the growth of demand: a rebalancing between demand and the excess supply caused by OPEC.

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