Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Obama apologies to head of Doctors Without Borders for strike on hospital

Missy Ryan and Daniela Deane / Washington Post

President Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday for an airstrike that killed 12 aid workers and 10 patients in Afghanistan, even as the White House withheld U.S. support for an international inquiry the relief group says is needed to investigate an attack that may qualify as a war crime.


Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in West

Sylvia Westall and Tom Perry / Reuters

Syrian troops and allied militia backed by Russian air strikes and cruise missiles fired from warships attacked rebel forces on Thursday as the government extended a major offensive to recapture territory in the west of the country.


Eyeing Russia, Western nations Reinforce Defenses in Europe

Helene Cooper and James Kanter / New York Times

Alarmed by the speed and scale of Russia’s intervention in Syria, Western officials said on Thursday that they had stepped up military exercises and deployed a small number of logistics personnel in Eastern and Central Europe.


American Competitiveness


Fiat Chrysler, U.S. union UAW read tentative agreement

Bernie Woodall and Nick Carey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU.N)(FCHA.MI) and the United Auto Workers said on Thursday they had reached a new tentative four-year labor agreement that averted a threatened strike of the automaker’s U.S. operations.


U.S retail group sees holiday sales growth slowing this year

Nathan Layne and Jeffrey Benkoe / Reuters

U.S. holiday season sales will increase by 3.7 percent in 2015, marking slightly slower growth than last year as consumers fret about a potential government shutdown and sluggish income growth, the leading retail industry group said on Thursday.



National Security Strategy


Russia’s Syria intervention may force choice on Obama: Act or yield

Karen DeYoung / Washington Post

Russia’s military moves in Syria are fundamentally changing the face of the country’s civil war, putting President Bashar al-Assad back on his feet, and may complicate the Obama administration’s plans to expand its air operations against the Islamic State.


U.S mulls sailing near disputes South China Sea: Pentagon official


The United States is considering sailing warships close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea to signal it does not recognize Chinese territorial claims over the area, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.


EU agrees to get tough on deportations

Alastair MacDonald / Reuters

European Union governments agreed on Thursday to step up deportations of illegal immigrants and discussed creating a border guard force among measures to cope with a surge in refugees from Syria’s civil war.



Public Diplomacy


The Cyber Activists Who Want to Shut Down ISIS

Simon Cottee / The Atlantic

In August 2014, a Twitter account affiliated with Anonymous, the hacker-crusader collective, declared “full-scale cyber war” against ISIS: “Welcome to Operation Ice #ISIS, where #Anonymous will do it’s [sic] part in combating #ISIS’s influence in social media and shut them down.”



Asymmetric Operations


Three grooms among 13 killed in rocket strike at Yemen wedding: residents

Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Three brothers preparing to get married on Thursday were among at least 13 people killed in a rocket attack on a village in southwest Yemen and villagers said the strike was probably carried out by Saudi-led coalition jets.


Turkey urges NATO to keep up its Patriot defense

Robin Emmott, Sabine Siebold, and Phil Stewart / Reuters

Turkey appealed to its NATO allies on Thursday to shore up missile defenses in the country aimed at shooting down Syrian rockets, as Germany said again that it will withdraw its Patriot batteries and the United States was set to do the same.
Climate Security


Climate change a massive threat to food security, agriculture

Jason Thomas / SBS

Climate change will threaten Australia’s food security and drive up the prices of foods, a report out today says.



Energy Security


Is Mexico’s Energy Industry Ready to Boom?

Jamie Brick / Forbes

A few months ago, a Fortune 500 client asked for our views on gas and power investment opportunities in Africa and Asia. At the end of the presentation they asked which developing market I thought has the most potential for its gas and power sector. Without hesitation I said ‘Mexico’ and, despite having just spoken about Asia and Africa for the past hour, they agreed.


Oil rallies but U.S. supply may temper gains

Amanda Cooper / Reuters

Oil prices rose on Thursday, extending this week’s near 8 percent rally, although an unexpectedly large rise in U.S. inventory levels may temper some of the optimism among investors that global demand and supply could soon be in balance.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


El Nino and the Case for Microgrids

American Security Project

Winter is coming to the United States’ national electric grid. El Niño – an ocean temperature event that affects global weather – is on its way and is expected to be one of the strongest events in recent history. Already, we have seen El Nino’s warmer ocean currents create severe weather conditions, causing blackouts throughout the Asian and Pacific regional energy grids.


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.  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 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.


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.


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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