Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

How China Maintains Strategic Ambiguity in the South China Sea

Graham Webster / The Diplomat

China’s official government reactions to the recent U.S. Navy “freedom of navigation” (FON) operation within 12 nautical miles (nm) of a Chinese-occupied constructed island in the South China Sea are a multilingual puzzle. A careful examination of Chinese-language versions of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry statements, however, reveals extreme subtlety in wording and an apparently coordinated effort to maintain strategic ambiguity on key questions about China’s position.

Saudis to Join in Talks on Syria With Iran, Russia

Ahmed Al Omran and Asa Fitch / The Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia said it will participate this week with Iran and other nations in talks on the Syrian conflict, a meeting that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the most promising opportunity for a political settlement to the crisis.


American Competitiveness

US economic growth slows in third quarter as businesses cut back

The Guardian

US economic growth braked sharply in the third quarter as businesses cut back on restocking warehouses to work off an inventory glut, but solid domestic demand could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

Fed Keeps Interest Rates Near Zero, but Says Economic Indicators Remain Strong

Binyamin Appelbaum / The New York Times

The Federal Reserve wants to make sure that investors understand that it could raise its benchmark interest rate in December; it just is not ready to make any promises yet.


National Security & Strategy
Nato considers sending 4,000 troops to Russian borders

Roland Oliphant / The Telegraph

The proposals are part of a wide-ranging debate within the alliance about the long-term response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for a separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.

Battle Over China’s Artificial Islands Has Just Begun

Josh Rogin / Bloomberg View

After months of internal debate, the White House permitted the Defense Department to sail one ship near a reef in the South China Sea that China claims. The Chinese reaction shows Beijing has no intention of backing down. Now the Obama administration is debating what to do next.

US To Sail Again Near Islets Claimed By China

Agence France-Presse / Defense News

The US Navy will send more warships to sail close to artificial islands built by Beijing in the South China Sea, a US official said Tuesday.

Who Has Gained Ground in Syria Since Russia Began Its Airstrikes

The New York Times

The full impact of Russian airstrikes on the Syrian war has yet to be realized, but some shifts have occurred in recent weeks.


Asymmetric Operations

U.S. looking at expanding role on ground in Iraq, Syria

Jim Michaels / USA Today

The Pentagon is considering plans that would place U.S. advisers closer to ground combat in Iraq and Syria in a move that could amount to a major escalation in its war against the Islamic State, a senior defense official told USA Today.

New allies in northern Syria don’t seem to share U.S. goals

Roy Gutman / McClatchyDC

After the failure of its $500 million program to stand up a Syrian volunteer force to battle Islamic State extremists, the Obama administration has begun an effort to enable Arab militias to fight alongside a Kurdish force that has gotten U.S. air support for the past year.

Islamic State on recruitment spree in Russia

Arsen Mollayev and Vladimir Isachenkov / The Associated Press

The Russian province of Dagestan, a flashpoint for Islamic violence in the North Caucasus, is feeding hundreds of fighters to the Islamic State in Syria — and now some are coming back home with experience gained from the battlefield.

Climate Security

Deadly Heat Is Forecast in Persian Gulf by 2100

John Schwartz / The New York Times

By the end of this century, areas of the Persian Gulf could be hit by waves of heat and humidity so severe that simply being outside for several hours could threaten human life, according to a study published Monday. Because of humanity’s contribution to climate change, the authors wrote, some population centers in the Middle East “are likely to experience temperature levels that are intolerable to humans.”

No, Climate Change Won’t Make the Persian Gulf “Uninhabitable”

Eric Holthaus / Slate

On Monday, a shocking new research study from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed what climate scientists have long suspected: If humans continue on a business-as-usual path, by the end of this century, extreme heat waves in some parts of the planet will be outside the range of previous human experience.


Energy Security

The U.S. shale revolution isn’t dead yet

Myra P. Saefong / Market Watch

Shale-oil players helped the U.S. grow its ranks among the world’s top energy companies, and they comprise a large portion of the list of the world’s fastest-growing energy companies, according to the Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, an annual survey released Tuesday.

Oil Prices May Stay Depressed Until 2017

Motley Fool

The market seems to keep thinking that a recovery in oil prices is just around the corner, sending oil prices higher or lower based on bullish or bearish comments each day. But it’ll likely be some time before oil prices move much higher.


Nuclear Security

Ya’alon: Nuclear Deal Dispute Between Israel, U.S. Is Over


Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday that the dispute between Israel and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal are over. “The Iran deal is [a] given,” Ya’alon said at a joint press conference in Washington with his U.S. counterpart, Ash Carter. “The disputes are over. Now we have to look to the future.”


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Todd Stern Testifies on Impacts of Paris Negotiations
Ricky Gandhi
Todd D. Stern, the Special Envoy on Climate Change at the State Department and President Obama’s chief climate negotiator, testified on the economic and environmental impacts of the recent climate negotiations set to be finalized in Paris this December.

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.  ASP BCAS member General Fusion’s work on magnetized target fusion using lead and lithium was the subject of much of the article’s focus.

Private Investors Back Nuclear Fusion Energy
Ricky Gandhi
This week’s TIME cover story discusses fusion energy, which presents a clean and renewable source of power.  ASP BCAS member General fusion’s work on magnetized target fusion using lead and lithium was the subject of much of the article’s focus.

Gen. Stephen Cheney and Christie 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.”


Upcoming Events

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.


ASP Recently Published

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.

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