Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

The U.S. Senate Averts a Default
Matt Ford / The Atlantic
The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan budget accord in the early morning hours on Friday, defusing a potential government shutdown and default on the national debt for the final time of the Obama presidency.

U.S. to Deploy Special Operations Forces in Syria: Official
Richard Engel, Jim Miklaszewski and Cassandra Vinograd / NBC News
The White House will announce Friday that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent into Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

Syria peace talks pin hopes for end to war on Iran and Saudi Arabia
Martin Chulov / The Guardian
The broadest peace talks since the start of the Syrian war are getting under way in Vienna, with Iran joining arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and the US to try to orchestrate an end to one of the most dangerous global conflicts in decades.

American Competitiveness

U.S. Stocks Set to Lock in Big Gains for October
Chiara Albanese / Wall Street Journal

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is on track to post its biggest monthly gain in four years, capping a strong October for global markets.
U.S. Consumer Spending Shows Caution, Rising 0.1% in September
Anna Louise Sussman / Wall Street Journal
American consumers edged up their spending in September at the slowest pace since January, suggesting slowing job creation and economic turmoil overseas may be introducing some caution into purchasing habits.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: the case for trade
Michael Boskin / The Guardian
Following the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership by 12 Pacific rim countries, debates about the costs and benefits of trade liberalisation are intensifying. The early leaders in the US presidential campaign – both the Republican Donald Trump and the Democrat Hillary Clinton – have expressed opposition to the TPP, though as secretary of state, Clinton called it the “the gold standard of trade deals”.
National Security & Strategy

Russian aggressions prompt ‘a new Cold War’ in rhetoric only
Michael Martinez / CNN
all them provocations, aggressions or mere maneuvers, but the actions by Russia echo the bygone Cold War, ended a quarter century ago, analysts say.

Beijing slams tribunal decision on South China Sea row
China will disregard any findings by an international tribunal on a case brought by the Philippines over disputed islands in the South China Sea, Beijing said Friday after the court decided to consider the action.

Russian warplanes intercepted near US carrier off Korean peninsula
Fighter jets from South Korea and the United States intercepted two Russian warplanes after they flew near a US aircraft carrier operating off the Korean peninsula, officials said Thursday.

Asymmetric Operations

Pentagon: ‘We’re in combat’ in Iraq
Jeremy Diamond / CNN
The Pentagon conceded Wednesday that U.S. troops are in combat in Iraq after days of dancing around the characterization following the first death of U.S. service member in the campaign against ISIS.

How ISIS Spread in the Middle East and How to Stop it
David Ignatius / The Atlantic
“It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition: that it must be lived forwards.” This observation was made in 1843 by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in a journal entry, but it might have been written about the contemporary Middle East.

Climate Security

Climate pledges keep ‘door open’ to warming under 2C: UN
Carbon-cutting pledges from 146 nations for a universal climate rescue pact leave the “door open” to capping global warming below the danger threshold, the United Nations said Friday, a month ahead of crunch talks in Paris.

Paris climate summit: ‘The world is ready for change’
Christiana Figueres / The Guardian

Change is created by turning points. Whether through evolution or revolution, turning points in history have changed the way we think, move, communicate, live.

Energy Security

Shell to Cease Oil Exploration in Alaskan Arctic After Disappointing Drilling Season
Sarah Kent / Wall Street Journal

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is quitting its $7 billion Arctic campaign after drilling just one well with disappointing results, becoming the latest big oil company to abandon the riches under the northern seas in the face of stubbornly low crude prices.

Oil prices drift before U.S. rig count; market up after two weeks

Barani Krishnan / Reuters
Oil prices were little changed on Friday, awaiting U.S. rig count data that would indicate potential North American crude production, as a global supply glut continued to weigh on the market despite unseasonably strong demand for U.S. oil products.

Nuclear Security

North Korea digging tunnel at nuclear test site, possibly for future test: report
North Korea is digging a new tunnel at its nuclear test site with an eye to conducting more tests of atomic devices in the future, a South Korean news report said on Friday, two days before the leaders of the South, Japan and China meet in Seoul.

Public Diplomacy

Meet the Diplomat-Skateboarders of Havana
The Atlantic
Somewhere in Havana, Cuba, teens are grinding the rails on American skateboards—even though there are no skate shops on the island. The exchange of skateboarding equipment started informally, after Miles Jackson and Lauren Bradley saw a desire among youth for the sport while studying abroad in Havana. They formed the organization Cuba Skate, with the aim of growing and supporting the Cuban skateboarding community by providing access to equipment. We spent a few days alongside Cuba Skate to uncover the roots of Cuban skateboarding and the passion that helps bridge the cultural divide.

On Our Flashpoint Blog
Event Recap: Climate Change – FM Tony de Brum, Marshall Islands
Ricky Gandhi
On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, the American Security Project hosted an event featuring Minister Tony de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands. He discussed the devastating effects climate change is already having on the islands, as well as the international cooperation needed to tackle this problem quickly and effectively.

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.”

Recently Published

Perspective – Climate Diplomacy: A Strategy for American Leadership
Andrew Holland and Philip Rossetti
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.

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.

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