Putin may hate it, but NATO may be about to expand again
Adam Taylor / Washington Post
In 1999, NATO was dropping bombs on Montenegro, a small state in southeastern Europe that at that point was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia alongside Serbia. Sixteen years later, things have certainly changed. If a now-independent Montenegro gets what it hopes for, it could be asked to join NATO in just a few months.
Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan / Washington Post
President Obama said Thursday he will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan into 2017, ending his ambitions to bring home most American forces from that war-torn country before he leaves office.
Iran broadcasts rare images of underground missile bases
Dana Ford / CNN
At first glance it looks like the set of a James Bond movie — a seemingly impregnable mountain base packed full of uniformed men and sinister-looking missiles on their launch vehicles parked along a long tunnel buried deep underground.
Debt ceiling deadline is now 18 days away
Jeanne Sahadi and Rich Barbieri / CNN
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Thursday he now estimates that “no later than” November 3, Treasury is likely to exhaust special accounting measures that are keeping the country’s debt below its legal limit.
Fed Doubts Grow on 2015 Rate Hike
Jon Hilsenrath and Anna Louise Sussman / Wall Street Journal
The chances of a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase in 2015 are diminishing amid new signs of anemic economic activity, a disappointing development for central bank officials who have been hoping to move this year after a prolonged period of easy-money policies.
National Security & Strategy
Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan postponed indefinitely
Justin McCurry / The Guardian
Vladimir Putin’s highly anticipated visit to Japan has been postponed indefinitely, amid anger in Tokyo at Moscow’s stance on a long-running territorial dispute and concern about Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Russia’s Fictions on Malaysia Flight 17
New York Times
After an exhaustive, 15-month investigation, the Dutch Safety Board affirmed on Tuesday what has long been generally known or suspected — that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.
The Islamic State is making these Afghans long for the Taliban
Sudarsan Raghavan / Washington Post
When the Islamic State fighters seized the Mahmand Valley, they poured pepper into the wounds of their enemies, said villagers. Then, they seared their hands in vats of boiling oil. A group of villagers was blindfolded, tortured and blown apart with explosives buried underneath them.
Russian Military Uses Syria as Proving Ground, and West Takes Notice
Steven Lee Myers and Eric Schmitt / New York Times
Two weeks of air and missile strikes in Syria have given Western intelligence and military officials a deeper appreciation of the transformation that Russia’s military has undergone under President Vladimir V. Putin, showcasing its ability to conduct operations beyond its borders and providing a public demonstration of new weaponry, tactics and strategy.
Green investment bank will be taken out of ministerial control
James Murray / The Guardian
The government’s controversial plan to privatise the Green Investment Bank(GIB) has taken a major step forwards on Thursday, as business secretary Sajid Javid announced plans to repeal the legislation that gives ministers control over the bank.
The Chinese are obsessed with building giant dams
Phillip Ball / BBC
If anyone doubts that the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is as much about national prestige as flood control and hydroelectric power, they should pay it a visit.
U.S. Exploring Deal to Limit Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal
David E. Sanger / New York Times
The Obama administration is exploring a deal with Pakistan that would limit the scope of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the fastest-growing on earth. The discussions are the first in the decade since one of the founders of its nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was caught selling the country’s nuclear technology around the world.
Samantha Power: Iran violating U.N. Security Council resolutions
Nick Gass / Politico
Iran’s launch of a new long-range surface-to-air missile last weekend violated existing United Nations Security Council resolutions, the United States’ ambassador to the U.N. said Wednesday.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Iran’s Close Relationship with Syria Hinders Negotiations with the US
There appears to be no end in sight for the war in Syria. As ISIS continues its campaign of terror in the region, Russia and Iran increase their military support of the Assad regime, intensifying a conflict that has already affected millions of people. With no formal peace talks in the works, the United States is reaching out to Iran to negotiate a political solution, one in which the Assad regime is removed from power. But the most critical obstacle to this is Iran’s unwillingness to part ways with President Bashar al-Assad.
Biden: Infrastructure a National Security Issue
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
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.
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.