Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Death Toll from Earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan Tops 300

Mujib Mashal / The New York Times

A day after a powerful earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said on Tuesday that more than 300 people had been killed in both countries, while warning that a complete picture damage in remote areas isolated by difficult terrains and an active insurgency could take days to emerge.


Syrian presidency seeks end to terrorism before initiatives


The Syrian presidency said on Tuesday political initiatives could not work in Syria before terrorism had been wiped out, sticking by its long-held position on how to end the war after its Russian allies called for new elections.


U.S. Navy destroyer passes disputed China islands

U.S. Navy / BBC News

A US Navy ship has sailed close to artificial islands built by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, US defense officials have said.



American Competitiveness


Weak U.S. business spending plans point to slower economic growth

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxyfor business spending plans, slipped 0.3 percent last month after a downwardly revised 1.6 percent decline in August.


Joko Widodo says Indonesia will join TPP free trade seal


Indonesia’s president says his country will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, but cut short his US visit to deal with Indonesia’s worsening haze situation.


Why China’s Five-year plans are so important

S.R / The Economist

CHINA’S top officials are meeting this week in a hotel in Beijing to sign off on a national development plan for the next five years. The country has travelled far from its command-economy roots, but its policy planning system, an inheritance from the Soviet Union, is one of the most potent remaining vestiges.



National Security Strategy


Ukraine Ban on Russian Symbols Fuels Fight over National Identity

Neil MacFarquhar / The New York Times

A young policeman knocked on Ivan M. Papchenko’s front door one recent afternoon, brandishing a complaint from the National Memory Institute of Ukraine and demanding to know why this village has resurrected Lenin.


Beijing Calls U.S. Warship’s Route in South China Sea a ‘Provocation’

Jane Perlez / The New York Times

China on Tuesday accused the United States of committing a “deliberate provocation” by sending a Navy destroyer into water claimed by Beijing, adding that such actions would force China to speed up its building program in South China Sea.



Asymmetric Operations


Yemen hospital hit by Saudi-led air strike: Medecins Sans Frontieres

Noah Browning / Reuters

A hospital in north Yemen run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was bombed in a Saudi-led air strike, wrecking the facility and lightly wounding two staff members, the group said on Tuesday.


Obama weighs moving U.S. troops closer to front lines in Syria, Iraq

Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe / The Washington Post

President Obama’s most senior national security advisers have recommended measures that would move U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria, officials said, a sign of mounting White House dissatisfaction with progress against the Islamic State and a renewed Pentagon push to expand military involvement in long-running conflicts overseas.
Public Diplomacy


Public Diplomacy: A Way Forward for South Asia

Shah Meer / The Diplomat

South Asian countries have been pushed many times by external powers to set aside their political grudges and strive for peace and prosperity in the region. All such nudges have been in vain. But rarely have external powers been motivated to try initiating people-to-people contact as an alternative path to regional unity and connectivity. People-to-people contact or “public diplomacy” remains the unfulfilled agenda of SAARC.



Climate Security


Greenland is melting away

Coral Davenport, Josh Haner Larry Buchanan and Derek Watkins / The New York Times

On the Greenland Ice Sheet – The midnight sun still gleamed at 1 a.m. across brilliant expanse of the Greenland ice sheet. Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept toward the edge of a river that rushed downstream toward an enormous sinkhole.


Bikini islanders seek U.S. refuge as sea levels threaten homes

Matt McGrath / BBC News

About 1,000 Bikini islanders have applied to relocate to the United States as rising seas threaten their adopted home.


Climate Change could soon push Persian Gulf temperatures to lethal extremes, report warns

Joby Warrick / The Washington Post

The region that gave birth to civilization six millennia ago could soon witness a grim milestone in the history of urban development: the first cities to experience temperatures too extreme for human survival.



Energy Security  


Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project

Arthur Neslen / The Guardian

World’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020.


Libs Need Clearer Energy Security Plan, Says ‘After the Sands’ Author

Jeremy J. Nuttall / The

Increased oil patch ownership can help Canada meet emissions goals, says Gordon Laxer.


Is Renewable Energy Starting to Bend the Carbon Curve?

Clayton B. Cornell / Huffington Post

Since 2006, the state has had a renewable energy standard requiring the addition of more clean power – now, in 2015, clean energy powers 25% of all electricity used in the 8th biggest economy in the world.


China steps in After Indian Fuel Stops Flowing to Nepal

Shannon Tiezzi / The Diplomat

China will supply gasoline to Nepal for the first time ever, in response to a dire fuel shortage caused by disrupted supply lines with India. A Nepal Oil Corporation official announced on Sunday that China would supply 1.3 million liters of gasoline, which would be transported to Kathmandu from the border via 100 tanker trucks.



Fusion Energy


Start-ups on challenge of nuclear fusion

Dino Grandoni/ The Australian Financial Review

A group of start-ups is promising a new and virtually unlimited source of power, one that produces none of the gases scientists say contribute to global warming.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Perspective – Climate Diplomacy: A Strategy for American leadership

American Security Project

In December, 2015, the world will gather in Paris in an attempt to finally address the challenge of climate change. The stakes are high: failure would only make addressing climate change more costly and difficult and could have repercussions on broader national security goals. But “Climate Diplomacy” is not just about a single conference in Paris: it must be a bipartisan, long-standing priority for the U.S. government. This paper lays out why climate diplomacy is important and a strategy to deploy it.


EPA’s Clean Power Plan Published – as Record Hurricanes Show Consequences of Climate Inaction

Andrew Holland

Today, the EPA published the final version of the Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register. This is an important procedural step towards reducing American emissions. is great news for Americans who support action on climate change. The Clean Power Plan sets sensible limits on carbon pollution from power plants, along the lines of other federal safeguards for dangerous pollution like mercury, arsenic and soot.


Start-ups Aim to Achieve Fusion Energy

Ricky Gandhi

The New York Times ran an article discussing the role of start-up in researching nuclear fusion, which provides a tremendous amount of clean energy with no negative emissions.


Private Investors Back Nuclear Fusion Energy

Ricky Gandhi

Typically, the government funds research on nuclear fusion energy. With projects such as the National Ignition Facility and the monumental ITER, small-scale companies previously went overlooked. However, that has changed recently, as investors such as Mithril Capital Management and Goldman Sachs have poured money into these companies.


Gen. Stephen Cheney and Christine Whitman on Why We Should Export Nuclear Energy

Ricky Gandhi

ASP CEO BGen. Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.) and ASP Board Chairperson and Board member of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASE) Gov. Christine Whitman discussed the importance of exporting nuclear power in Fortune. Russia, and increasingly China, they argue, “view nuclear technology exports as a strategic tool to solidify long-term relations and influence and provide attractive financing for their nuclear energy business.” Without changes to U.S. policy, these two nations will dominate the international nuclear energy market.


Holland Featured at “Insights from a National Dialogue on Climate Change, Energy, and Security”

Ngoc H. Le

October 21, 2015 – Andrew Holland, Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the American Security Project, joined “Insights from a National Dialogue on Climate Change, Energy, and Security” conference as a featured speaker co- sponsored by  CNA , 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
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.



Upcoming Events


Challenging Climate Change: Practical Solutions from Business, National Security and Faith Perspectives

October 27 @ 12pm – 1:30pm

The Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RepublicEN and the American Security Project invite you to a briefing that highlights solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences (such as sea level rise and drought) which are already being implemented by members of the business, national security and faith communities.


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

Climate change is already a major concern for US military planners. Meanwhile, American politicians continue to ignore the issue of this growing threat. Join ASP at the College of Charleston on Monday, November 9th, as we discuss this important issue.

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