Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Embattled Syrian President Flies to Moscow to Meet with Putin
Andrew Roth, Erin Cunningham / The Washington Post
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ventured outside his beleaguered nation for the first time in more than four years Wednesday to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin in a surprise visit to Kremlin patrons now backing Syria’s government with military might.


Judge Orders Alleged Fake CIA Operative Wayne Simmons to Remain in Jail
Audrey Taylor / ABC News
The former Fox News guest who allegedly claimed to be a former CIA operative was ordered held after the judge said he had “significant concerns” that Simmons would not follow conditions of release.  Wayne Simmons was indicted last week on multiple federal fraud charges for allegedly lying about being employed by the CIA and making a false statement to government officials in 2009 in order to obtain a top secret clearance.



American Competitiveness


Why You May Soon See More Goods Labeled ‘Made in Vietnam’
Kathy Chu / The Wall Street Journal
Economists say this growth could accelerate if the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a landmark trade deal concluded earlier this month. The deal would eliminate certain tariffs between members, mostly benefiting developing nations such as Vietnam and Malaysia, whose growth depends heavily on exports.


China’s Built Assets Now Worth $11 Trillion More Than America’s
David Rogers / Global Construction Review
The total value of China’s built environment has overtaken that of the US for the first time, reaching $48 trillion compared with America’s $37 trillion, according to a new study.



National Security & Strategy


A Trickle of Syrian Refugees Settles across the United States
Haeyoun Park / The New York Times
The refugees who have arrived from Syria since 2012 have been placed in 130 towns and cities. They are among the most vulnerable people in the war: single mothers and their children; religious minorities; victims of violence or torture.


A Russian Pilot Filmed an American Drone from His Cockpit
Kelsey D. Atherton / Popular Science
That’s an MQ-9 Reaper drone, of the kind commonly used by the United States in targeted killing campaigns. The video, uploaded to YouTube by the Russian Defense Ministry today, was filmed from the inside of a Russian jet cockpit, and you can see the pilot in the cockpit’s reflection.



Asymmetric Operations


Russia’s Involvement in Afghanistan Increasingly Echoes Syria Campaign
Simon Tisdall / The Guardian
In a disturbing echo of its Syria intervention, Russia is stepping up its military and security involvement in Afghanistan following NATO’s withdrawal and subsequent, dramatic advances by the Taliban and Islamic State.


Canada to Withdraw Fighter Jets from Syria and Iraq Strikes
Canadian Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has confirmed he will withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.


Turkey Ready to Accept Six-Month Transition Period for Syria’s Assad: Officials
Yahoo News
Turkey is ready to accept a political transition in Syria in which President Bashar al-Assad stays in symbolic power for six months before leaving office, and is discussing the plan with Western allies, two senior government officials said on Tuesday.



Climate Security


Paris Climate Deal Unlikely to Need Senate Approval, Says US Envoy
Ed King / Climate Home
Todd Stern tells Capitol Hill committee new UN climate deal will be crafted under existing treaties, bypassing requirements for lawmaker approval.


Kerry Says Climate Change and Food Security Directly Linked to Global Security
Matthew Lee / Associated Press
In a speech to the Milan Expo, Kerry argued that unrest tied to climate change-induced agricultural failure poses an international threat. The Milan Expo is focused on food security, and Kerry urged attendants to act quickly against climate change.



Energy Security


Hinkley Point Nuclear Agreement Reached
EDF Energy has reached an agreement with China’s CGN to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.


The Electricity Innovation So Controversial That It’s Now Before the Supreme Court
Chris Mooney / The Washington Post
What’s at stake in the case goes to the heart of the gigantic changes that are now happening in the ways we get electricity — and pay for it. So while this might not sound like it directly affects you, the truth is that we’re all ultimately parties to the transition the grid is undergoing right now.



Nuclear Security


Iran’s Khamenei Conditionally Approves Nuclear Deal with Powers
Parisa Hafezi / Reuters
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday approved the Iranian government’s nuclear deal with world powers but said Tehran should not yield core elements of its nuclear program until allegations of past military dimensions had been settled.



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. President Bill Clinton declared in Executive Order 12957 a state of “national emergency,” on March 15, 1995, to prohibit certain transactions with Iran, and this state of emergency has been renewed every year since by a U.S. president.


Iran’s Close Relationship with Syria Hinders Negotiations with the US
Anil Powers
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
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted the “American Job Creation and Infrastructure Forum” on Thursday, October 9. The event featured a panel consisting of members of congress, think tanks, and experts. It also featured three keynote speakers: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vice-President Joe Biden.



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 09 @ 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Join ASP in Charleston, NC for a discussion with senior flag officers as they discuss the steps the US military has taken and future implications for our national security.

The post What We Are Reading appeared first on American Security Project.