Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Refugee Rhetoric Echoes 1938 Summit Before Holocaust, UN Official Warns
Sam Jones / The Guardian
The dehumanizing language used by UK and other European politicians to debate the refugee crisis has echoes of the pre-second world war rhetoric with which the world effectively turned its back on German and Austrian Jews and helped pave the way for the Holocaust, the UN’s most senior human rights official has warned.


Wal-Mart Shares Crater as Company Unveils Three-Year Plan, Massive Buyback
Ciara Linnane / MarketWatch
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shares WMT, -8.58% tumbled 9% Wednesday, as the company unveiled plans for the next several years aimed at boosting growth in its U.S. and e-commerce businesses. Wal-Mart told analysts it is planning to buy back $20 billion of its own shares over the next two years.



American Competitiveness


US 10-Year Yields Briefly Fall Below 2% Amid Weak Economic Data
Jenny Cosgrave / CNBC
U.S. sovereign bond prices climbed, pushing yields lower on Wednesday as traders picked up safe haven Treasurys ahead of some key bank earnings on Wall Street and weaker than expected data out of China.


How AB InBev Won Over SABMiller
Saabira Chaudhuri, Shayndi Raice, Tripp Mickle / The Wall Street Journal
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV finally won over SABMiller PLC’s board with a $104.2 billion takeover bid to create a brewer that would dominate much of the world’s beer market, but only after weeks of behind-the-scenes talks that erupted into a testy public standoff.



National Security & Strategy


White House Sees Signs Iran Missile Test Violated U.N. Resolution
Carole E. Lee / The Wall Street Journal
The White House said Tuesday that the U.S. has “strong indications” that Iran violated United Nations Security Council resolutions with its ballistic missile test over the weekend.


Obama is Rethinking Pullout in Afghanistan, Officials Say
Matthew Rosenberg / The New York Times
With pressure building on the White House to slow or completely halt the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, senior officials said that President Obama appears increasingly willing to keep a force there large enough to carry on the hunt for Al Qaeda and Islamic State militants.



Asymmetric Operations


Iran’s Losing Major Operatives in Syria
Phillip Smyth / The Daily Beast
With the aid of Russian airstrikes, Iranian-backed foreign fighters, and a combination of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regular and militia forces are on the march. Yet Iran and its proxies have taken some significant high-ranking casualties since the start of their recruitment and deployment drives to Syria.


Pakistani Leaders Knew Osama bin Laden Was in Pakistan, Says Defense Minister
Ishaan Tharoor / The Washington Post
A former Pakistani defense minister appeared to confirm on Indian television on Tuesday that both his country’s senior military and civilian leadership knew of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s presence in their country at the time of his death in 2011.


Al-Qaeda Sites in Afghanistan Dismantled in Joint Operation, US Military Says
Nick Paton Walsh, Jason Hanna, Mark Morgenstein / CNN
U.S. airstrikes and Afghan ground forces dismantled al Qaeda training sites in southern Afghanistan over five days in one of the largest joint operations the two countries have undertaken, the U.S. military said Tuesday.



Climate Security


Exxon’s Climate Lie: No Corporation Has Ever Done Anything This Big or Bad
Bill McKibben / The Guardian
I’m well aware that with Paris looming it’s time to be hopeful, and I’m willing to try. Even amid the record heat and flooding of the present, there are good signs for the future in the rising climate movement and the falling cost of solar.


Sea Level Rise Will Swallow Miami, New Orleans, Study Finds
Say goodbye to Miami and New Orleans. No matter what we do to curb global warming, these and other beloved US cities will sink below rising seas, according to a study Monday.  But making extreme carbon cuts and moving to renewable energy could save millions of people living in iconic coastal areas of the United States, said the findings in the October 12 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.



Energy Security


Costs Lead Officials to Pull the Plug on Pilgrim
David Abel / The Boston Globe
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which has supplied power to more than a half-million homes and businesses for four decades but has also been a deep source of angst in the region, will close no later than June 2019, its operators said Tuesday.


These Three Trends Have Radically Redefined the Energy Market
Reed Landberg / Bloomberg Business
Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, set out the trends upending the global energy markets and ushering in what he termed an “age of plenty.”  The implication is that energy will be plentiful for years to come, Liebreich said in a presentation Tuesday at the research group’s conference in London. Oil will linger closer to $50 a barrel than to $90, and renewables will gain market share, he said.



Nuclear Security


Iran’s Guardian Council Passes Nuclear Bill into Law
Iran’s Guardian Council ratified a bill on Wednesday approving the nuclear deal reached by Tehran and six world powers, state news agency IRNA and other agencies said, allowing the government to implement the agreement.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Biden: Infrastructure a National Security Issue
Ricky Gandhi
Mayor Emanuel of Chicago started the event by discussing the importance of infrastructure investment in local communities. “We cannot have a 21st century economy running on 20th century infrastructure,” he declared. With this philosophy in mind, he explained his platform on infrastructure.


BCAS Member General Fusion Mentioned on CNN
Ricky Gandhi
Business Council for American Security member General Fusion was highlighted last week in CNN’s look at the “promise of nuclear fusion.” ITER – an international project – seeks to harness fusion energy. Meanwhile, billionaires have already begun investing in private companies running smaller projects, highlighting the enormous commercial potential fusion research can have in our society.


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.


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.



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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