Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Turkey downs drone near Syrian border; Russia denies aircraft lost

Loveday Morris / Washington Post
Turkish warplanes downed an unidentified drone Friday near Turkey’s border with Syria, officials said, marking the latest incident of hostile fire in the region’s increasingly tense airspace.

Putin: ‘Thousands’ from former Soviet bloc fighting with IS
Vladimir Putin has said that 5,000 to 7,000 people from Russia and other former Soviet states are fighting for so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Migrant crisis: Turkey says no deal done on EU action plan
Turkish officials have stressed that a plan agreed by EU officials for joint action with Turkey on the migrant crisis has not been finalised.

American Competitiveness

Consumer Confidence Climbs in October
Jeffrey Sparshott / Wall Street Journal
Consumer confidence rebounded in October, suggesting Americans are brushing off financial market volatility and economic troubles abroad.

Shares at two-month highs, dollar firms after U.S. data
Alistair Smout / Reuters
World stocks rallied to two-month highs on Friday and the dollar firmed after stronger U.S. economic data helped allay fears about global growth.
National Security & Strategy

John Kerry: Russia Has No ‘Easy Track’ In Syria
Secretary of State John Kerry stepped before a packed auditorium Thursday. He was at Indiana University for the opening of a school of international studies.

U.S. accuses hacker of stealing military members’ data and giving it to ISIS
Ellen Nakashimi / Washington Post

The Justice Department has charged a hacker in Malaysia with stealing the personal data of U.S. service members and passing it to the Islamic State terrorist group, which urged supporters online to attack them.

Torture by another name: CIA used ‘water dousing’ on at least 12 detainees
Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian
At least a dozen more people were subjected to waterboard-like tactics in CIA custody than the agency has admitted, according to a fresh accounting of the US government’s most discredited form of torture.

Asymmetric Operations

ISIS is attacking the U.S. energy grid
U.S. law enforcement officials revealed the hack attempts on Wednesday at a conference of American energy firms who were meeting about national security concerns.

Climate Security

Oil bosses call for a strong deal at Paris climate talks
Oil and gas industry leaders on Friday launched a final charm offensive to highlight the sector’s relevance in the global fight against climate change before a key summit in Paris later this year.

White House puts ‘super pollutant’ HFCs in crosshairs with new initiative
Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian
Barack Obama used his executive authority to fight climate change once again on Thursday, targeting the powerful “super pollutants” used in air conditioners and refrigerators that account for a rising share of carbon pollution.

Nuclear Security

U.S. confirms Iran tested nuclear-capable ballistic missile
The United States has confirmed that Iran tested a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon in “clear violation” of a United Nations Security Council ban on ballistic missile tests, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Susan Rice Speaks at Stanford About Climate Change
Ricky Gandhi
On Monday, October 12, former ASP board member and current national security advisor Susan Rice spoke to a Stanford crowd about the ill effects of climate change and our global response to it. She began by noting our failure to adequately respond, and the consequences that ensued.

Who Wields Iranian Sanctions Authority?
Sam Hickey
On December 28, 1977, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) was signed into law, which allows a president to intervene in any U.S. business transactions with a foreign entity if a state of emergency is declared.

Iran’s Close Relationship with Syria Hinders Negotiations with the US
Anil Powers
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

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.

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.
College of Charleston Event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security
November 9 @ 04:00pm – 05:30PM, Charleston, SC
Today, the U.S. Navy is preparing for an open Arctic, the Marines are deploying in response to historic typhoons, and the Army is preparing its bases to use less energy than they produce. Climate change is already a major consideration for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue. Join us for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.

TPP: Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Global and Regional Stability
November 19 @ 12:30pm – 02:00pm
Final negotiations on TPP concluded on October 5th, 2015 and the long-awaited trade deal now begins a 90-day waiting period before being brought for discussion and vote by the United States Congress.

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