Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Global Anti-ISIS Alliance Begins to Emerge

Nathan Hodge, William Horobin, and Philip Shishkin / The Wall Street Journal

France, Russia and the U.S. moved beyond talk of cooperation and into the far more difficult realm of action, as the “grand and single coalition” French President François Hollande called for to combat Islamic State began coming into view.

House defies Obama, approves bill halting Syrian refugees

Cristina Marcos / The Hill

In a 289-137 vote, the House on Thursday easily approved legislation that requires new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the United States. Forty-seven Democrats defied President Obama’s veto threat and backed the bill — just short of enough to override a presidential veto if all members are present. Two Republicans voted agains the measure.


American Competitiveness

Goldman: The U.S. Economy Will Need More Than Just Consumers in 2016

Luke Kawa / BloombergBusiness

In 2015, American consumers put the economy on their backs. Next year, however, the economy will need to be firing on more cylinders in order to keep eating into slack, according to Goldman Sachs.

Fairly upbeat U.S. data highlight economy’s resilience

Lucia Mutikani / Reuters

New U.S. applications for unemployment benefits fell last week while a gauge of U.S. economic activity rebounded in October, signs of a healthy labor market and economy that could give the Federal Reserve confidence to raise interest rates next month.


National Security & Strategy

Paris Attacks Fuel Debate Over Spying

Damian Paletta and Siobhan Hughes  / The Wall Street Journal

A growing belief among intelligence officials that the terrorists behind Friday’s Paris attacks used encrypted communications is prompting a far-ranging re-examination of U.S. policy on data collection and surveillance.

Obama Calls on Beijing to Stop Construction in South China Sea

Michael D. Shear / The New York Times

President Obama called on China on Wednesday to halt its construction on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, raising the contentious issue at the start of a two-day economic summit meeting at which he and other Pacific Rim leaders also discussed trade and climate change.

Panel: China Establishing a ‘Grey Zone of Coercion’ in South China Sea

John Grady / USNINews

The coral reefs on which China is building airstrips are “not just a bunch of rocks, ”but the transit point for about half of the world’s maritime containerized cargo,” Michael Green, vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Monday. Speaking as part of a panel discussion on China’s growing maritime influence at the Washington, D.C., think-tank, he added those reclamation projects allow Beijing to “maintain a constant presence” with a growing number of aircraft and ships that “you have to deal with . . . in U.S. planning and [are] intimidating smaller states,” such as the Philippines and Vietnam.


Asymmetric Operations

Carter: ISIS attacks in U.S. would be tougher to carry out

Sam Fiske / MilitaryTimes

The attacks in Paris by the Islamic State group have stoked fears of a similar attack on U.S. soil, but Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday it is unlikely the militants have such capability.

Officials: Carrier Truman may launch strikes against Islamic State group from Mediterranean

David Larter/ NavyTimes

The carrier Harry S. Truman is on its way to wage war with the Islamic State group, and may launch airstrikes from the Mediterranean, joining the French carrier in a show of force and solidarity.

Turkish FM says Ankara, allies are planning operations to clear border of IS

Associated Press

Feridun Sinirlioglu told the state-run Anadolu Agency late Tuesday that Turkey would not to allow the IS group to remain a threat to Turkey’s borders.

New U.S.-backed offensive in northern Syria advances on ISIS outposts

Roy Gutman and Zakaria Zakaria / McClatchy

U.S.-backed Arab militias began a new offensive against the Islamic State in eastern Syria this week, a bid to flush the extremists out of a key transit zone for fighters, weapons and oil, according to defected military officers leading the Arab group.


Climate Security

The Paris climate-change conference needs to be more ambitious

Thomas Sterner / The Economist

When world leaders went to the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, it was with a sense of great optimism that it might result in meaningful progress toward global climate and development goals. Those ambitions quickly proved unrealistic. But sentiment now seems to have moved too far in the other direction. As the climate change conference scheduled to take place in December in Paris draws nearer, the goals being set for the conference are far too modest rather than too ambitious.

The Good, the Bad, the Bewildering: 10 Countries’ Climate Pledges

Craig Welch / National Geographic

When China and the United States agreed a year ago to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, they set the stage for this month’s international climate talks in Paris. But Paris is not just about these two powerhouses, even though they account for one-third of fossil fuel emissions. Curbing the threat posed by climate change truly takes global action.

Could Hydro Flood America With New Power?

James Conca / Forbes

Almost 90% of America’s low-carbon energy sources come from hydropower (21%) and nuclear power (67%), which together avoid almost a billion tons of CO2 emissions each year. If we are to achieve any of the low-carbon goals we have set out for 2030 and beyond, hydropower must increase significantly and nuclear has to maintain it’s share of power, and even increase slightly by 2030.

A radical proposal on climate change: Block out the Sun

Hugh Hunt / CNN

Could we directly engineer the climate and refreeze the poles? The answer is probably yes, and it could be a cheap thing to achieve — maybe costing only a few billion dollars a year. But doing this — or even just talking about it — is controversial.


Energy Security

Hitting the Islamic State’s Oil Isn’t Enough

David Francis and Dan De Luce / Foreign Policy

The air raids are meant to wreck the Islamic State’s ability to profit off captured oil fields, but even if the strikes work, the extremists will have plenty of cash on hand. That’s because the militant group’s most important revenue stream comes not from crude oil but from extorting money from the millions of people who live under its brutal rule in territory seized in Iraq and Syria.


Nuclear Security

UN: Iran Honors Some, Not All, Parts of Nuclear Deal

VOA News

Iran has started cutting back on parts of its nuclear development program that could be used to produce nuclear weapons, as required by the landmark agreement Tehran reached with major world powers four months ago, according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Paris Terrorist Attacks Aftermath: The EU Mutual Defense Clause

Steffen Westerburger

Last weekend France – for the second time this year – was hit by a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on its capital. The iconic city of love once again found itself at the main stage of international terrorism. President Francois Hollande addressed a joint session of both houses of parliament in Versailles on Monday, November 16th. He did not mince words: ‘France is at war’. An unexpected move followed, the French President announced that his country for the first time in history intended to invoke article 42.7 of the EU Lisbon Treaty – the EU Common Defense and Security Policy. This move gives us an interesting insight into France’s foreign policy strategy.

The Weekly Fusion: A Look at Current Advancements in Fusion Energy

Ricky Gandhi

The future of fusion is constantly being unfolded in front of our eyes, as every week there is some breakthrough in new technologies and designs in the nuclear fusion sector of energy. Since there is such a wealth of information, I have gathered and consolidated a list of articles geared toward the advancement of making fusion energy a reality, from within the past week.

Developing an Effective Anti-ISIS Strategy

Matthew Wallin

The recent terror attacks in Paris have created renewed demand to develop a real strategy for defeating ISIS. From Beirut to the Metrojet bombing over the Sinai, these attacks show spillover from the Syrian Civil War that threatens the livelihood of people far beyond Syria’s borders.

The Relationship Between Climate Change and Terrorism: Reigniting the Debate

Anil Powers

E&E published an article about the relationship between climate change and terrorism. In it, E&E reporter Jean Chemnick discussed the “rekindling of an old feud” regarding the dangers of climate change, renewed partisan pushback, and policy strategies.


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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