Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

What’s next after Myanmar’s elections


Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy NLD party wins the Myanmar elections in a landslide. Tara Joseph says now businesses are looking ahead to a possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on the Southeast Asian country.


Cameron calls for EU Reforms

Voice of America News

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Tuesday for the European Union to make a number of reforms ahead of his country’s referendum on whether to leave the 28-nation bloc.


Thousands of Malian Refugees Flee to Niger

Lisa Schlein / Voice of America News

The United Nations refugee agency reports thousands of Malian refugees have fled into Niger in recent weeks despite the end of the conflict in Mali’s north. The UNHCR says this is the highest flow of refugees since a peace accord between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed in June.


American Competitiveness

Large Companies Game H-1B Visa Program, Jobs Leave the U.S.

Juilia Preston / The New York Times

Théo Négri, a young software engineer from France, had come up with so many novel ideas at his job at an Internet start-up in San Francisco that the American entrepreneur who hired him wanted to keep him on.


OPEC Chief Sees Oil Market Balanced by 2016 on Demand Growth

Wael Mahdi, Mohammed Sergie, and Mahmoud Habboush / Bloomberg Business

Global demand for crude will bring more balance to the oil market as soon as next year even with Iran preparing to increase output, according to OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy consultant Daniel Yergin.


Most Asian Markets Fall; Weak Yen Lifts Japan

Chao Deng / The Wall Street Journal

Japan shares rose to a fresh 2½ month high, while most Asian markets weakened amid sharpening worries about global growth.


National Security & Strategy

Obama and Netanyahu seek to move Past Rift Over Iran Nuclear deal

Julie Hirschfeld Davis / The New York Times

President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sough on Monday to move beyond their bitter rupture over the Iran nuclear deal, turning the page on a season of poisonous relations during the White House meeting that focused on collaboration over acrimony.


Philippine, China Agree to Ease Tension

Simone Orendain / Voice of America News

The Philippines says it has agreed with China to pick up their stalled bilateral relations, after barely making contact in recent years because of competing claims in the South China Sea.  The announcement came in the days leading up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit in Manila with Chinese President Xi Jinping expected to be in attendance.


Asymmetric Operations

ISIS Ally in Egypt Emerges as Key Suspect in Russian Jet Crash

David D. Kirkpatrick / The New York Times

Within months of the military takeover here two years ago, a little-known group calling itself Ansar Beit al-Maqdis managed to penetrate rings of checkpoints and heavy security to carry out a string of startling attacks, assassinating a senior police official at his home near here and blowing up a security headquarters here and in Mansoura, Egypt.


UN criticizes Australian Refugee Policy

Phil Mercer / Voice of America News

Australia’s refugee policies were condemned during a review by the United Nations Human Rights council.


The Hidden Danger of Safe Zones in Syria

Dominic Tierney / The Atlantic

In 1993, during the brutal civil war in Bosnia, the United Nations declared the Bosnian Muslim town of Srebrenica to be a “safe area” for civilians, protected by several hundred Dutch peacekeepers. Two years later, on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb units overran the town. The out-gunned Dutch fired warning shots but decided not to put up any serious resistance.


Climate Security

Rapid, Climate-Informed development Needed to Keep Climate Change from Pushing More than 100 Million People into Poverty by 2030

The World Bank

A new World Bank report shows that climate change is an acute threat to poorer people across the world, with the power to push more than 100 million people back into poverty over the next fifteen years.  And the poorest regions of the world – Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia – will be hit the hardest.


Military Leaders: Climate Change, Energy, National Security are Inextricably Linked

Schuyler Null / The New Security Beat

In the midst of a minefield on day two of Desert Storm Task Force Ripper, Marine Corps Operations Officer Richard Zilmer stepped out of his armored personnel carrier, squinted up at the sky, and saw nothing but black from horizon to horizon. Iraqi forces, trying desperately to blunt the attack of coalition armies, had set fire to hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells and oil-filled trenches.


President Obama joins Facebook, addresses climate change in first post

Denna Zaru / CNN

President Barack Obama joined Facebook on Monday and said he wanted his account to be “a place where we can have real conversations,” diving right in with his first post on climate change.


Energy Security

Low Prices should give no cause for complacency on energy security, IEA says

International Energy Agency

An extended period of lower oil prices would benefit consumers but would trigger energy-security concerns by heightening reliance on a small number of low-cost producers, or risk a sharp rebound in price if investment falls short, says the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the 2015 edition of its flagship World Energy Outlook publication (WEO-2015).


Nuclear Security
Iran has stopped dismantling nuclear centrifuges: senior official


Iran has stopped dismantling centrifuges in two uranium enrichment plants, state media reported on Tuesday, days after conservative lawmakers complained to President Hassan Rouhani that the process was too rushed.
Russia to deploy new weapons to counter U.S. missile shield

Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press

Russia will counter NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense program by deploying new strike weapons capable of piercing the shield, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

What Constitutes Credibility in US Public Diplomacy

Matthew Wallin

As discussion ensues over how to combat ISIS online or counter Russian propaganda, it’s worth taking a look at the elements that lend to credible messaging. The importance of credibility cannot be underestimated, as it provides the initial basis by which members of a target audience decide to listen to one’s message in the first place.


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. Ambassador Pickering has served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, India, Israel, Nigeria, Jordan and El Salvador. He has also served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs and as Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger.


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.


Upcoming Events

TPP: Implication of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Global and regional Stability

November 19 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Final negotiations on TPP concluded on October 5th, 2015 and the long-awaited trade deal now begins a 90-day waiting period before being brought for discussion and vote by the United States Congress.


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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