Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Can the U.S. Military Halt Its Brain Drain?

David Barno and Nora Bensahel / The Atlantic

The Pentagon worries its rigid personnel system is driving away the officers it will need for the conflicts of the 21st century.

U.N. expects Europe’s refugee flow to top 1 million in 2015

Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters

Refugees and migrants are likely to keep coming to Europe at a rate of up to 5,000 per day via Turkey this winter, the United Nations said on Thursday, meaning that more than a million people will have fled to the continent this year.


American Competitiveness

The battle over President Obama’s trade deal has officially arrived

David Nakamura and Mike DeBonis / Washington Post

The Obama administration released the full text of a 12-nation Pacific Rim free-trade accord on Thursday, launching what is expected to be a long and bruising fight to win final ratification in Congress for one of the president’s top priorities.

Hawkish Yellen Confronts Congress

Andrew Soergel / U.S. News and World Report

Stocks dipped Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen took on a hawkish tone and weathered another congressional interrogation.

U.S. jobless claims rise; third-quarter productivity posts surprise gain

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters

New U.S. applications for unemployment benefits last week recorded their largest increase in eight months, but remained at levels consistent with a fairly healthy labor market.


National Security & Strategy

Carter sends message to China with USS Roosevelt visit

Tara Copp / Stars and Stripes

After spending much of this week trying diplomacy with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, Defense Secretary Ash Carter took a different tack Thursday by flying out to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is sailing near those disputed waters.

Russia Sends Missiles to Syria to Protect Its Jets

VOA News

The head of Russia’s air force said Thursday the military has sent anti-aircraft missiles to Syria in order to protect the Russian planes that have been conducting airstrikes there since the end of September

White House won’t rule out executive action to close Gitmo

Jordan Fabian / The Hill

Press secretary Josh Earnest said it’s possible Obama might try to circumvent Congress if lawmakers reject the president’s latest plan to close the detention facility, which houses foreign terror suspects in Cuba.


Asymmetric Operations

Russian plane crash: U.S. intel suggests ISIS bomb brought down jet

Barbara Starr and Catherine E. Shoichet / CNN

Days after authorities dismissed claims that ISIS brought down a Russian passenger jet, a U.S. intelligence analysis now suggests that the terror group or its affiliates planted a bomb on the plane.

Arab countries weigh sending ground troops to Syria

Charles Hoskinson / Washington Examiner

The Obama administration is talking with Arab allies about providing ground forces to help rebels in Syria fight the Islamic State, a senior State Department official told lawmakers Wednesday.

Climate Security

U.S. Could Gain Trillions From Global Climate Change Action, Study Finds

Lydia O’Connor / Huffpost Business

The economic analysis, which was released Thursday by the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, argues that this financial benefit is reason enough for the U.S. to take the lead on securing ambitious carbon reduction pledges from countries like China and India.

Natural Security: Time to think seriously about climate change and the Pacific

Sharon Burke and Thomas E. Ricks / Foreign Policy

In March 2013, then-Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Sam Locklear, told a group of reporters that the greatest long-term threat in the Asia-Pacific region was climate change. This certainly raised eyebrows at the time, with some observers hailing Admiral Locklear a hero and others questioning his military judgment.


Energy Security

Nuclear power plants warn of closure crisis

Timothy Cama / The Hill

The nuclear power industry is sounding the alarm over the latest in a series of plant closures, warning that an energy source central to meeting President Obama’s climate change goals is deteriorating.

Black gold under the Golan

The Economist

Israeli and American oilmen believe they have discovered a bonanza in this most inconvenient of sites. After three test-drillings, Yuval Bartov, the chief geologist of Genie Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of American-based Genie Energy, says his company thinks it has found an oil reservoir “with the potential of billions of barrels”.

Tokamak Energy: big ideas in a small vessel

Chris Lo /

Oxfordshire’s Tokamak Energy is hard at work to prove that small spherical tokamaks combined with high-temperature superconductors can speed up the path to fusion energy. Tokamak Energy CEO Dr David Kingham discusses the company’s technology, future milestones and being recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.


Nuclear Security

Backlash Against U.S. in Iran Seems to Gather Force After Nuclear Deal

Thomas Erdbrink / The New York Times

Anyone who hoped that Iran’s nuclear agreement with the United States and other powers portended a new era of openness with the West has been jolted with a series of increasingly rude awakenings over the past few weeks.

After Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Hard-liners Assert Power

Yaroslav Trofimov / The Wall Street Journal

President Hassan Rouhani and other relative reformers in the Iranian government have invested much of their political capital in negotiating the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers. But now the agreement has been reached, they are increasingly losing another battle that perhaps is even more important: opening the Islamic Republic more widely to the outside world.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Improving the Relationship Between the U.S. and Iran with Ambassador Thomas Pickering

Sam Hickey

On Monday November 2, 2015, Ambassador Thomas Pickering visited American University to address Improving the Relationship Between the U.S. and Iran.

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 Conflicts

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.


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.

Hill Briefing: Opportunities in International Climate Cooperation

November 10 @ 3:00pm-4:00pm

Please join us in 121 Canon HOB for a discussion of the latest updates and developments in international climate policy as nations prepare for international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), set to take place in Paris, France from November 30 – December 11, 2015.

TPP: Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Global and Regional Stability

November 19 @ 12:30pm – 2:00pm

This event will include a panel discussion featuring key leaders well versed in the economic and security impact of free trade from several TPP nations. The event will conclude with a keynote address from Representative Don Beyer (D, VA-8), former Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


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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