Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Escalating Syria Attack, Russia Fires Missiles from Warships
Andrew E. Kramer, Anne Barnard / The New York Times
Sharply escalating its role in Syria, the Russian military launched on Wednesday medium-range cruise missiles from nearly 1,000 miles away, bringing to the conflict elements of its Cold War-era military might.


Kunduz Bombing: MSF Demands Afghan War Crimes Probe
Aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres is seeking to invoke a never-used body to investigate the US bombing of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.


South Carolina Flooding: Residents Warned Flooding Could Worsen Downstream; State’s Death Toll Rises to 15
Sean Breslin / The Weather Channel
Although the bulk of the rain has ended, high waters are still a very dangerous reality after the historic flood event in South Carolina. Rescue crews went door to door in South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia as officials continued to free residents that were trapped by severe flooding that swamped virtually the entire state.



American Competitiveness


SABMiller Rejects AB InBev’s $104 Billion Proposal
Saabira Chaudhuri / The Wall Street Journal
SABMiller PLC rejected a takeover proposal from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV on Wednesday that valued it as high as £68.24 billion ($103.88 billion), the latest salvo in what is quickly becoming a tense negotiation between the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 brewers.


Déjà Vu: Latest Apple iPhones Cause U.S. Imports to Soar Again
Jeffry Bartash / MarketWatch
After more than a decade of explosive growth, cell phones have become one of the most heavily imported products into the United States. They now represent about 2.3% of all foreign-made goods that enter the country, U.S. Census data show.



Public Diplomacy


French Govt Starts Anti-Jihad Ad Campaign to Counter IS
Lori Hinnant / Associated Press
A new French government ad campaign features mourning families to discourage young people from joining extremists in Syria — an attempt at a counter-narrative against an Islamic State publicity machine that churns out huge amounts of propaganda.



National Security & Strategy


Justice Department Set to Release 6,000 Prisoners, Largest One-Time Release
Sari Horwitz / The Washington Post
The Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades, according to U.S. officials.


Top EU Court Strikes Down Major Data-Sharing Pact Between U.S. and Europe
Ellen Nakashima / The Washington Post
In a decision that is reverberating across the digital economy, the European Court of Justice on Tuesday struck down a transatlantic agreement that enables companies to transfer data from Europe to the United States, finding that European data is not sufficiently protected in the United States.



Asymmetric Operations


Taliban Gain Advantage of Tug of War in Kunduz
Rod Nordland, Najim Rahim / The New York Times
A day after Afghan security officials described making major progress in retaking the northern city of Kunduz from Taliban forces, the insurgents on Tuesday once again seem to have seized the upper hand.


Iraq Leans Toward Russia in War on Islamic State
Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed / Reuters
Iraq may request Russian air strikes against Islamic State on its soil soon and wants Moscow to have a bigger role than the United States in the war against the militant group, the head of parliament’s defense and security committee said on Wednesday.


Yemen Conflict: Houthi Rebels Commit to UN Peace Plan
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have confirmed in writing to the UN secretary general their commitment to UN resolutions aimed at ending the country’s conflict.



Climate Security


California Governor to Sign Aggressive Climate-Change Bill
The Wall Street Journal
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign an ambitious climate change measure to increase California’s renewable electricity use to 50% and double energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030.


India’s Pricey Pledge
Eric Wolff / Politico
India’s commitment last week to slash its greenhouse gases came with a caveat: It won’t happen without $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years in grants or cheap financing — some of which would likely come from rich nations like the United States.



Energy Security


Oil Steadies as Stock Build Offsets Demand Outlook
Oil prices steadied on Wednesday after U.S. crude oil stocks rose, balancing bullish data showing the market was beginning to tighten, with falling supply and higher demand.


Solar and Wind Just Passed Another Big Turning Point
Tom Randall / Bloomberg
For the first time, widespread adoption of renewables is effectively lowering the capacity factor for fossil fuels. That’s because once a solar or wind project is built, the marginal cost of the electricity it produces is pretty much zero—free electricity—while coal and gas plants require more fuel for every new watt produced.



Nuclear Security


FBI Helped Thwart Nuclear Smuggling Plot in Moldova
Evan Perez / CNN
The FBI helped Moldovan authorities in a series of cases aiming to thwart potential smuggling of radioactive and nuclear material, a U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


The Emergence of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Anil Powers
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest regional trade accord in history.  It finally emerged after years of negotiations between the US and eleven Pacific Rim nations.  It now faces months of scrutiny in a politically divided Congress, although the threat of amendments or a filibuster will not be an issue due to the success of the fast-track trade authority.


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.  They will remain so over the next 20-30 years.  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.


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 Shweky
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.



Upcoming Events


Climate Change, Diplomacy, and National Security – A Conversation with Foreign Minister Tony de Brum, Marshall Islands
October 28 @ 12:00pm – 1:30pm
ASP will host a conference to discuss the importance of the upcoming COP in Paris and how effective climate diplomacy can still prevent the worst impacts of climate change.


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