Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Plans by U.S. to capture Islamic State’s capital already go awry
Liz Sly / Washington Post
In this abandoned desert town on the front line of the war against the Islamic State in Raqqa, local fighters are fired up by announcements in Washington that the militants’ self-proclaimed capital is to be the next focus of the war.

At the U.N., Beijing Begins to Shift Away From Putin
Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy
In late September, a Chinese foreign ministry delegation held a closed-door meeting at the United Nations’ New York headquarters with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and gave him some good news: Beijing was prepared to vote in favor of Ukraine’s bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council despite a campaign by Russia to thwart its adversary’s ambitions, according to U.N.-based diplomats familiar with the meeting.

Why the U.S. should export nuclear power
Christine Todd Whitman and Stephen Cheney / Fortune
Competition with Russia in the nuclear energy technology industry will continue to be an issue as Asian and European nations look for carbon-free energy options like nuclear power.

American Competitiveness

China’s central bank just made this surprise move and stocks are soaring
China’s central bank cut interest rates for the sixth time since November on Friday, and it again lowered the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves in another attempt to jumpstart a slowing economy.
The ECB drops a heavy hint of more stimulus in December
Geoffrey Smith / Fortune
The dollar surged against the euro Thursday as the European Central Bank signalled there’s a good chance of it taking more action to stimulate the economy at its next meeting in December.

National Security & Strategy

Confidential files on El Salvador human rights stolen after legal action against CIA
Nina Lakhani / The Guardian
Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances.

Germany to push for compulsory EU quotas to tackle refugee crisis

Ian Traynor / The Guardian|
Germany is to push for more ambitious and extensive common European Union policies on the refugee crisis, according to policymakers in Berlin, with compulsory and permanent quotas for sharing the distribution of probably hundreds of thousands of people who will arrive directly from the Middle East.

Asymmetric Operations

Iraqi forces claim found 365 IS bodies in Baiji graves
Iraqi forces said Wednesday they found 19 different mass graves containing the bodies of 365 fighters from the Islamic State group in the reconquered town of Baiji.

ISIS attacks are on the rise
Alex Lockie / Business Insider
IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre issued a report on October 22nd stating that ISIS attacks rose in the 3rd quarter of 2015 compared to the previous three-month period, both in terms of the number of non-militant casualties and the frequency of attacks.

U.S. Identifies American Killed in Iraq Raid as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler
Felicia Schwartz / Wall Street Journal
The Pentagon on Friday identified the American killed in a hostage rescue operation in Iraq this week as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, 39, of Oklahoma.

Climate Security

Hurricane Patricia: Mexico awaits ‘strongest ever’ storm
The strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Americas is bearing down on Mexico’s Pacific coast, threatening a “potentially catastrophic” landfall.

Talks on climate deal heat up over bill for global warming
Karl Ritter / Associated Press
The trillion-dollar question of who should pay for global warming is coming to a head in talks on an international climate pact, as developing countries worry they won’t get enough money to tackle the problem.

Energy Security

Oil down as dollar offsets China move; glut hits prompt U.S. crude
Barani Krishnan / Reuters
Oil fell on Friday, erasing early gains as traders dismissed a rate cut by China to focus on a surging dollar and weaker spot prices for U.S. crude as a glut weighed on prompt supplies.

Fusion Energy

Nuclear proliferation: Can private enterprise do for fusion what governments cannot?
The Economist
For six decades, research into fusion power has been ruled by giant national and international projects that have failed to turn a penny of revenue, let alone profit. Not, you might think, promising territory for entrepreneurs. But if you did think that, you would be wrong.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Holland spoke about climate security in “Insights from a National Dialogue on Climate Change, Energy, and Security”
October 21, 2015 – Andrew Holland, the Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the American Security Project, joined the “Insights from a National Dialogue on Climate Change, Energy, and Security” conference co- sponsored by the CAN corporation, the EU Delegation to the United States, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and the Energy Foundation in the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C to talk about climate security in the United States today.
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.

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