Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Obama to veto defense bill in high-stakes showdown over spending

Gregory Korte / USA Today

While the White House had problems with some of the bill’s provisions, Obama’s main objection is that the bill uses a budget gimmick to increase defense spending without increasing domestic spending first. The president wants Congress to lift the automatic budget caps known as sequestration included in a 2011 budget agreement.

Climate Change Slams Global Economy in a New Study From Stanford and Berkeley

Eric Roston / Bloomberg Business

Climate change could cause 10 times as much damage to the global economy as previously estimated, slashing output as much as 23 percent by the end of the century, a new research paper from Stanford and Berkeley finds.


American Competitiveness


The age of the torporation

The Economist

For the second quarter in a row the sales and profits of members of the S&P 500 are expected to fall; for the three months to September they are forecast to be 3-5% lower than in the same period last year. Earnings recessions are rare, happening only about once in each decade.

Americans’ Outlook for U.S. Economy Declines to a 13-Month Low

Ali Donaldson/ Bloomberg Business

The monthly measure tracking the economic outlook declined to 42 from a September reading of 44.5, data from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday. The share of respondents who said this month that the economy is getting worse matched May as the highest since October 2013.


National Security & Strategy

Upstaged NATO searches for ‘360-degree’ response to Russia

Robert Emmott / Reuters

The speed and scope of Moscow’s intervention in Syria’s four-year-old civil war, coming after Russia’s seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine last year, wrong-footed the U.S.-led alliance and has heightened soul-searching about its future.

The Next Refugee Crisis: Afghanistan

Michael Kugelman / New York Times

With the war in Afghanistan heating up, thousands of Afghan refugees are fleeing their country. But Iran and Pakistan, which house most of the Afghan refugees from previous cycles of violence, are increasingly unwelcoming. So the new exodus has begun to flow toward Europe, already inundated with Syria’s refugees.

White House Set to Sell New Fighter Jets to Pakistan in Bid to Bolster Partnership

Matthew Rosenberg and David E. Sanger / New York Times

The Obama administration is preparing to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, senior American officials said, an overture intended to bolster a tenuous partnership despite persistent concerns about Islamabad’s ties to elements of the Taliban and quickly expanding nuclear arsenal.


Asymmetric Operations


Coalition: Next phase in Syrian campaign against ISIS to start soon

Kristina Wong / The Hill

The U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) expects to begin a “new phase” in the near future in Syria, led by rebel groups it is supporting, according the coalition’s spokesman on Wednesday.

ISIS Attacks Soared in Past 3 Months, Says IHS Jane’s Database

NBC News

IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre recorded a total of 1,086 ISIS attacks worldwide between July 1 and Sept. 30 — and the average daily number of attacks jumped to 11.8 from 8.3 in the preceding quarter.


Climate Security


Fight climate change for global stability, say US defence and diplomacy elite

The Guardian

In a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal the experts – 48 former secretaries of state and defense, national security advisers, diplomats and members of Congress from both parties – say it is time for America to claim global leadership on climate change.


Energy Security


Building Baltic Bulwarks Against Russian Gas

Joel Weickgenant / RealClearWorld

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz signed an agreement for the financing of the Gas Interconnector Poland-Lithuania, or GIPL, at the summit last Thursday, leading European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker to exuberantly declare the Baltic States’ “energy isolation” a thing of the past.

Saudi Arabia’s Oil War With Russia

Leonid Bershidsky / Bloomberg View

As President Vladimir Putin tries to restore Russia as a major player in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is starting to attack on Russia’s traditional stomping ground by supplying lower-priced crude oil to Poland.


Nuclear Security


Iran Nuclear Deal Wins Tepid Endorsement From Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Thomas Erdbrink / New York Times

Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday publicly endorsed for the first time the July nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, state news agencies reported. But the provisional endorsement was accompanied by a warning that Tehran expected all sanctions to be lifted or it would walk away from the deal.

Pakistan Will Be World’s Fifth Largest Nuclear Power by 2025, Report Says

Rishi Lyengar / Time

The report by Chicago-based think tank Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists predicts that the South Asian nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons will more than double over the next decade from its current arsenal of 110 to 130 warheads.


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

Some members of congress are looking to put extending the ISA on the agenda, so that the U.S. has a clear path to ‘snapback’ sanctions should Iran not abide by the nuclear agreement. The current ISA is set to ‘sunset’ at the end of 2016, and so doing would lift many U.S. laws codifying sanctions against Iran. This is not to say, however, that the U.S. would be unable to impose sanctions quickly because much of the sanctions power lies with the president.

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.


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.

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