Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Egypt in Second Day of ‘Election Without Voters’

Lin Noueihed / Reuters
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Monday that turnout during the previous day’s parliamentary election was just 15-16 percent but should rise now after public sector workers were given a half-day off to vote.

Turkish PM Davutoglu Says Downed Drone Was Russian-Made: TV
A drone shot down by Turkish warplanes in Turkish air space near Syria on Friday was Russian-made, but Moscow has told Ankara the unmanned aircraft did not belong to Russia, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

Nuclear Deal on Iran to be Implemented This Year, Says Iranian Official
Shadia Nasralla / Reuters
Iran’s nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said on Monday he expected a deal with six world powers on shrinking Tehran’s atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief to be implemented by year-end.

American Competitiveness

Apple’s Auto Ambitions Sidesweep Electric Motorcycle Startup
Julia Love / Reuters
Apple Inc’s aggressive recruitment of auto experts as it explores building a car has left a promising, if financially troubled, electric motorcycle startup in the dust.

China’s GDP Growth Beats Forecast as Stimulus Supports Spending
Bloomberg News
China’s economy expanded quicker than economists forecast in the third quarter as the services sector offset weaker manufacturing, keeping Premier Li Keqiang’s 2015 growth target within reach.

National Security Strategy

Pakistan PM Heads to US for Talks With Obama on Afghan Peace
Business Day Live
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives in the US on Tuesday and is likely to face pressure to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, days after Washington said it was delaying its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Kerry Seeking to Urge Calm During Trip to Middle East
Felicia Schwartz / The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that he doesn’t have any “specific expectations” for his trip to Europe and the Middle East this week to discuss the rise in violence in Israel, but is seeking a way to urge calm and “move things forward.”

Asymmetric Operations

Qaeda Cell Leader Killed in Airstrike in Syria, Pentagon Says
Eric Schmitt, Scott Shane / The New York Times
A military airstrike in northwest Syria has killed the leader of a shadowy Qaeda cell that American officials say has been plotting attacks against the United States and Europe, the Pentagon announced on Sunday.

As Russia Reasserts Itself, NATO Opens Biggest Exercises in Years
Robin Emmott / Reuters
NATO and its allies opened their largest military exercise in more than a decade on Monday, choosing the central Mediterranean to showcase strengths that face threats from Russia’s growing military presence from the Baltics to Syria.

Putin Officials Said to Admit Real Syria Goal is Far Broader
Ilya Arkhipov, Stepan Kravchenko, Henry Meyer / Bloomberg Business
The Kremlin’s real goal is to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad retake as much as possible of the territory his forces have lost to opponents, including U.S.-backed rebels, Russian officials told Bloomberg News. Moscow’s deployment of several dozen planes, as well as ships in the Black and Caspian Seas, could last a year or more, one official said.

F-16 Damaged by Taliban-Claimed Fire in Afghanistan
Josh Smith / Stars and Stripes
An American F-16 fighter jet was hit by small-arms fire last week in eastern Afghanistan, forcing the pilot to jettison fuel tanks and weapons before safely landing at a base, the U.S. military confirmed on Monday.

Climate Security

Dozens More Companies Sign US Pledge on Climate Change – W.House
More than 60 global companies, including Alcoa Inc, General Electric Co and Procter & Gamble, have joined onto a U.S.-sponsored pledge supporting action to combat climate change, the White House said on Monday.

Kerry Says Climate Change and Food Security Directly Linked to Global Stability
Matthew Lee / The Associated Press
The stability of the world is directly linked to climate change and its impact on food security for billions of people, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.

Energy Security  

China Details Next-Gen Nuclear Reactor Program
Richard Martin / MIT Technology Review
At Oak Ridge this week, Xu outlined a roadmap that shows that China is further along than any other advanced reactor R&D program in the world. China, which still gets nearly three-quarters of its electricity from burning coal, is racing to develop low-carbon energy sources, including both conventional nuclear plants and advanced systems such as molten-salt reactors.

New Study Highlights Environmental, Economic Shortcomings of Federal Biofuel Laws
The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its overreliance on corn ethanol has created additional environmental problems in its 10-year history, resulting in unmet targets for cutting air pollution, water contamination and soil erosion, concludes a new study released by University of Tennessee researchers.

U.S. Blocks Alaskan Arctic Drilling for 2 Years
Clifford Krauss / The New York Times
The Obama administration shut the door Friday on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

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.

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