Center for Strategic Communication


Key Reads


U.S. Admiral, in Beijing, Defends Patrols in South China Sea

Jane Perlez / The New York Times

The head of the United States Pacific Command, Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., said in Beijing on Tuesday that the Navy would continue to conduct freedom of navigation operations similar to one in the South China Sea last week that China criticized.


ISIS is said to have Killed 2 Activists in Turkey

Liam Stack / The New York Times

Two Syrian activists who used video and social media to expose human rights abuses committed by the Islamic State were tracked down by jihadists and killed in their home in a southern Turkish city, according to their colleagues.


US Detects Heat Around Doomed Russian Jet Before Crash

The Associated Press / The New York Times

U.S. satellite systems detected heat around a Russian passenger jet before it crashed in Egypt and killed all 224 people aboard, two U.S. officials said Tuesday.


American Competitiveness


China Aims for 6.5% Economic Growth Over Next 5 years, Xi says,

Edward Wong / The New York Times

President Xi Jinping of China announced on Tuesday that the Communist Party and the national government had set a 6.5 percent target for annual economic growth from 2016 to 2020.


Keeping the Edge: U.S. Innovation

Rebecca Strauss, and Edward Alden / Council on Foreign Relations

Although the United States leads the world in technology innovation, it may fall behind if the government does not address emerging gaps in innovation policy and invest more in scientific research, argues a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Renewing America initiative. The report is authored by Renewing America Associate Director Rebecca Strauss and CFR Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow and Renewing America Director Edward Alden.


National Security & Strategy


U.S. intelligence head: CIA did not pull officers from Beijing after OPM hack

Ellen Nakashima and Adam Goldman / The Washington Post

The CIA did not pull officers from Beijing in the wake of the Chinese hack of millions of sensitive personnel records disclosed earlier this year, the nation’s top intelligence official said Monday.


Obama has strategy for Syria but it faces major obstacles

Walter Pincus / The Washington Post

There is and always has been a strategy. From 2011 it has been to end the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, primarily through diplomatic rather than military means. Since 2012, the Obama strategy has been to use force to degrade and defeat the Islamic State.


F-35 Fires Gun during Aerial Test for First Time

Lara Seligman / Defense News

For the first time, a US Air Force F-35 fighter jet has successfully fired its internal gun from the air.


Iran says It May Quit Talks on Syria Over Saudis’ Role

Rick Gladstone and David E. Sanger / The New York Times

Iran suggested on Monday that it might withdraw from the new peace talks on Syria because of what Iranian officials described as the unconstructive role of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival for dominance in the Middle East.


Asymmetric Operations


Russia stance on Assad suggests divergence with Iran

Jack Stubbs / Reuters

Russia does not see keeping Bashar al-Assad in power as a matter of principle, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Tuesday in comments that suggested a divergence of opinion with Iran, the Syrian president’s other main international backer.


New U.S.-Backed Alliance to Counter ISIS in Syria Falters

Ben Hubbard  / The New York Times

Weeks after the Obama administration canceled a failed Pentagon program to train and arm Syrian rebels to combat the Islamic State, American officials announced a new effort to equip ground forces in Syria to fight the jihadists.


Climate Security


UN food security expert warns about impact of climate change on agriculture, malnutrition

U.S. News

A U.N. expert is warning that more extreme weather, higher temperatures, floods, droughts and rising sea levels linked to climate change are threatening people’s access to food over the long term.


E.P.A finds more VW Cheating Software, Including in a Porsche

Jad Mouawad  / The New York Times

The Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that it had discovered emissions-cheating software on more Volkswagen and Audi cars than previously disclosed and, for the first time, also found the illegal software in one of the carmaker’s high-end Porsche models.


Energy Security


World’s largest floating windfarm gets greenlight in Scotland

Matt Mace / The Guardian

The Scottish government has granted consent for the world’s largest floating offshore windfarm to be developed off the coast of Peterhead.


Taxpayer-backed solar plant actually a carbon polluter

Jennifer G. Hickey / Fox News

Even as the Obama administration announces another $120 million in grants to boost solar energy, new reports indicate a centerpiece of the administration’s green-energy effort is actually a carbon polluter.


Researcher says Michigan could get to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Tracy Samilton / The Michigan radio

A study by Stanford University professor Marc Jacobson says every state in the U.S. could get 100% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050 – and save money in the process.
Germany planned nuclear switch-off drives energy innovation

Jennifer Rankin / The Guardian

Hinkley Point will be the first nuclear power plant to be built in Europe since the meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima reactor in 2011. But while the British government sees nuclear energy as a safe and reliable source of power, Germany is going in a different direction.


Nuclear Security


Who, What, Why: What would the radio broadcast in a nuclear war?

The Magazine / BBC News

BBC newsreader Peter Donaldson, who has died aged 70, was to have been the voice of radio bulletins in the event of a nuclear attack. What would have gone out on the UK’s airwaves if the Cold War had turned hot?


Vladimir Putin commands Russian Security Council to stockpile nuclear protective equipment

Damien Sharkov / The Independent

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his security council to assess Russia’s readiness to survive a nuclear, chemical or biological disaster and has told them to stockpile protective equipment if necessary.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


GMOs Play a Key Role in Climate and National Security

Ricky Gandhi

Climate change has had notable impacts on our environment and national security, serving as a “threat multiplier,” according to the Department of Defense. The argument goes that climate change can exacerbate existing conflict by making already-scarce resources ever scarcer, such as land and water.


Reality, Risk and Potential: Managing today’s Conflict

Sam Hickey

On Monday, October 26th at the Council on Foreign Relation’s, Foreign Affairs and the International Crisis Group (ICG) in New York hosted an event on “Reality, Risk, and Potential: Managing Today’s Conflicts.” The event featured panels of experts consisting of think tank fellows, academics, journalists, and business professionals.


Israel’s Energy Choice

Spencer Shweky

A few weeks ago Genie Energy, an American energy company, announced that it had found significant quantities of oil and gas in Israel’s disputed Golan Heights territory. Since then, many have speculated that these new-found reserves may be large enough to eventually make Israel self-sufficient in energy. While this is an exciting prospect, the wisdom of drilling in what is nearly universally regarded as an occupied territory is debatable. Israel has other options, and it should take them.


Australian Defense Force Responds to Climate Change

Ngoc H. Le

On October 28 2015, the Australian Climate Security Panel at the Australian Defense Force Academy discussed the security threats of climate change. Australian Defense Forces are increasingly working with the U.S. and U.K. militaries on this issue.


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.



Upcoming Events


College of Charleston Event – Climate Change: Risks for National Security

November 09 @ 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Join ASP in Charleston, SC 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


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.

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