Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Mali hotel attack: 3 dead after gunmen take captives at Radisson Blu in Bamako
Ed Payne and Jason Hanna / CNN
Security forces have reportedly launched a counterassault on a hotel in the capital of the West African nation of Mali, where officials say gunmen took dozens of hostages and killed at least three people Friday morning.

South Korea accepts North’s offer to talk
Paula Hancocks / CNN
South Korea has accepted an offer from Pyongyang for talks in its truce village of Panmunjeom, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.

US House votes to restrict Iraqi and Syrian refugees entry
BBC News
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that tightens restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, amid security concerns.

Paris attacks: EU in emergency talks on border crackdown
Jon Henley, Ian Traynor and Warren Murray
EU ministers are to hold emergency talks on Friday on tightening border checks after the killing of the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks in an apartment in the French capital put European leaders under intense pressure to get a grip on Europe’s external and internal borders.

American Competitiveness

Indexes higher, set for best week since October
Abhiram Nandakumar / Reuters
U.S. stock indexes were higher on Friday, led by Dow component Nike, setting them on track for their best weekly performance since October.

Obama defends TPP secrecy, says now is chance for debate
Matt Spetalnick / Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama launched a defense on Friday of a signature Pacific trade pact kept largely under wraps and said the public would get its say before legislators in each country debate the full details.
National Security Strategy

Putin to meet Ayatollah Khamenei during Iran visit: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a visit to Tehran Monday, the Kremlin said, as Moscow goes on a diplomatic push over the Syria conflict.

Asymmetric Operations

IS killing of Chinese hostage: A game changer?
Yuwen Wu / BBC
The killing of a Chinese national by the Islamic State (IS) militant group has sent shockwaves across China.

ISIS has 24-hour help desk for terrorists
Chris Smith / BGR
New reports detailing the activities of ISIS, which is responsible for the recent attacks on Paris, Beirut and for taking down a Russian passenger jet, reveal that the organization employs a 24-hour customer support service that can help out with various digital problems its members may have. The same tech-savvy group manning the round-the-clock service from locations around the world also created a manual the describes best-practices ISIS members should follow to thwart surveillance and hide their tracks online.

Molenbeek, Belgium’s ‘Jihad Central’
Chams Eddine Zaougui / New York Times
The shocking and bloody attacks in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13, left a trail leading to France’s small northern neighbor, Belgium — more precisely to its capital, Brussels, and to a specific district, Molenbeek.

81% of Isis-linked suspects charged in US are American citizens
David Smith / Guardian
None of the Isis-linked suspects who have ever been charged in the United States came from Syria and the overwhelming majority were born in the US, research reveals.

What ISIS wants from women
Tiffany Ap / CNN
Cornered and under fire in Saint-Denis apartment on Wednesday, a defiant 26-year-old Hasna Ait Boulahcen screamed back at French police before detonating a suicide vest.

Climate Security

Climate crisis: seaweed, coffee and cement could save the planet
Tim Flannery / The Guardian
This month’s meeting in Paris marks the 21st annual occasion on which nations have met to try to deal with the climate problem. After two decades of failing to agree, there is finally hope that a deal will be reached, with action to commence in 2020, and run until 2030.

Permafrost Meltdown Raises Risk of Runaway Global Warming
Gayathri Vaidyanathan / Scientific American
In a fragile landscape where footsteps leave an imprint for years, Jennifer Baltzer stood and surveyed the surrounding bog of green sphagnum moss. Black spruce trees tilted here and there like drunkards.

Trade may not help a warming planet fight its farming failures, study suggests
Peter Dizikes /
Warming temperatures will take a heavy toll on agricultural productivity, according to climate scientists. How will society adjust? One possibility might be increased trade: If one country suffers a decline in, say, wheat production but can still grow as much rice as ever, then—in theory—it might grow more rice and trade for its usual amount of wheat instead.

Energy Security

Oil trades near three-month low as excess supply takes toll
Libby George / Reuters
Brent crude oil futures gained some ground on Friday but remained near three-month lows as the pressure of a persistent supply glut limited optimism for a price recovery.

Oil Crash Means Biggest Boomers Halt Supply Growth in 2016
Grant Smith and Julian Lee / Bloomberg
To understand what the oil price crash will mean for global crude supplies next year, look no further than the two nations that added more barrels to world markets in 2015 than anyone else.

At the nanoscale, concrete proves effective for nuclear containment
Anne Wilson Yu /
One of the main challenges faced by the nuclear industry is the long-term confinement of nuclear waste. Concrete is one of the barrier materials commonly used to contain radionuclides, both in nuclear reactors and nuclear waste-storing facilities. For this reason, it is extremely important that researchers and industry professionals understand the chemical and structural stability of cement (the basic binding ingredient in concrete) containing radioactive materials.

Nuclear Security

U.S. tests new unarmed nuclear gravity bomb
Richard Tomkins / SpaceDaily
A third development flight test of the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb has been conducted by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and the Air Force.

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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