Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Told He Must Go, Syria’s Assad May Outlast Obama in Office
Bradley Klapper / The Associated Press
Bashar Assad’s presidency looks likely to outlast Barack Obama’s. As the United States has turned its attention to defeating the Islamic State group, it has softened its stance on the Syrian leader. More than four years ago, Obama demanded that Assad leave power. Administration officials later said Assad did not have to step down on “Day One” of a political transition. Now, they are going further.

Exclusive: Cameron Says Obama ‘Clearly Delighted’ by UK’s New Defense Plan
Andrew Chuter / Defense News
US President Barack Obama has given his seal of approval to Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday morning.

Terror Rift Fueled Mali Attacks
Drew Hinshaw, Katarina Hoije / The Wall Street Journal
For more than a year, al Qaeda has watched Islamic State poach its recruits and woo its allies here in the Saharan nation it once nearly conquered.

American Competitiveness

Pfizer to Merge With Allergen in $160 Billion Deal
Chad Bray / The New York Times
The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said on Monday that it had struck a $160 billion deal, including debt to merge with Allergen, the maker of Botox, in one of the biggest takeovers in the health care industry.

U.S. says China to Take Tougher Stance Against Trade Secret Theft
James Pomfret / Reuters
The United States Commerce Secretary said on Monday China would offer better legal protection to U.S. firms that suffer theft of trade secrets after annual trade talks that yielded scant progress on other topics like a proposed investment treaty.

National Security & Strategy

Work: Future Includes Competition Between US, Great Powers
Andrew Clevenger / Defense News
The next 25 years will require the US to cooperate and compete with rising great powers Russia and China, and deal with the consequences of the breakdown of social order in the Middle East, a top Pentagon official said Friday.

Obama Vows to Defeat Terrorists, Urges Americans Not to Give in to Fear
David Nakamura, Anna Fified / The Washington Post
President Obama Sunday declared that the United States will win the battle against Islamic extremists such as those who attacked Paris earlier this month, urging the American public not to give in to fear.

Japan backs US South China Sea Operations
Agence France-Presse
Japan on Sunday backed the United States sailing warships close to disputed land in the South China Sea but said it had no plans to send its own maritime forces to support the operation.

Asymmetric Operations

16 Arrests in Belgium Terrorism Raids
Andrew Higgins, Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura / The New York Times
After a dramatic security sweep late Sunday marked by the deployment of soldiers in the historic center of the Belgian capital, the authorities here announced early Monday that 16 people had been arrested in a joint police and military operation to try to head off what the prime minister earlier described as a “serious and imminent” threat of a Paris-style terrorist assault.

Obama Orders Inquiry Into Intelligence on ISIS
Michael D. Shear / The New York Times
President Obama said on Sunday that he had ordered his senior defense officials to find out whether intelligence reports had been altered to reflect a more optimistic assessment of the American military campaign against the Islamic State.

Obama Raises Doubts Russia Will Join Coalition Against Islamic State
Colleen McCain Nelson / The New York Times
President Barack Obama raised doubts about the prospect of forming an expanded alliance of world powers to battle Islamic State, saying Sunday that he doesn’t know whether Russia will shift its focus to combat extremists.

Assad: Syrian Troops Advancing Thanks to Russian Airstrikes
Albert Aji, Bassem Mroue / The Associated Press
Syria’s president says his forces are advancing on “almost” all fronts thanks to Russian airstrikes that began nearly two months ago and have tipped the balance in his favor in some parts of the country.

Climate Security

More Than 2,000 Academics Call On World Heads to do More to Limit Global Warming
Emma Howard / The Guardian
More than 2,000 academics from over 80 countries – including linguist Noam Chomsky, climate scientist Michael E Mann, philosopher Peter Singer, and historian Naomi Oreskes – have called on world leaders to do more to limit global warming to a 1.5C rise.

Don’t Let Paris Attacks Stop COP21 Climate Change Deal, Obama Urges
Fiona Harvey / The Guardian
Barack Obama has moved to ensure that the Paris attacks do not sabotage a crucial climate change summit in the city next week, urging his fellow leaders to attend and strike a new deal on global warming.

Energy Security

Turkish Minister Talks Energy Security with Senior US Official
Anadolu Agency
Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun has said he discussed several key energy security issues with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a closed meeting on Nov. 20.

Green Car Technologies Collide in Los Angeles
Alexandria Sage / Reuters
Asian automakers are opening up a new front in the contest to define the future of cars in California, fielding a flock of cars powered by hydrogen in a bid to woo green car buyers from Tesla Motors Inc, the battery electric vehicle leader.

Underwater Balloons Could Give Us A New Way of Storing Renewable Energy
David Nield / Science Alert
While solar or wind farms are now contributing more energy than ever to the world’s power supply, traditional energy sources are often required at peak times or to supplement renewable sources during dips in availability – at night, for example. So Canadian startup Hydrostor has invented a system of pressurised underwater balloons that can store renewable energy until it’s needed, which could reduce the need for diesel or gas as a back-up source of power.

Nuclear Security

Chill With Russia Brings Nuclear Insecurity
Rachel Oswald / Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Nikolai Ponomarev-Stepnoi dedicated decades of his career to a U.S.-Russian effort to prevent nuclear proliferation. Today, the retired nuclear scientist is glumly watching it all fall apart. “The communication has been cut off to not even at zero but negative,” says the octogenarian, who was the first Russian scientist allowed to visit Three Mile Island after the 1979 reactor meltdown.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Unlocking the Secrets of Cyber Hazards
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
Security products are like crack to security professionals—they just cannot get enough. These products appear to be the panacea practitioners are seeking, but they often are not what they seem. They do not always solve problems, and they leave security experts continually looking for yet more new products, solutions and techniques for managing cyber risk. This raises the question: Why do enterprises and government organizations find protecting themselves from cyber crime so difficult?

Event Review: TPP – The Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Global and Regional Stability
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
On Thursday, November 19th American Security Project hosted “TPP: Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Global and Regional Stability.” The conversation included Ambassador Carl Worker, Charge d’Affaires at the New Zealand Embassy; BGen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret), CEO of American Security Project; Minister Kanji Yamanouchi is Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan; and Dr. Rob Shapiro, CEO of Sonecon.

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.

ASP Recently Published

Perspective – Alleviating the Resources Curse
American Security Project
Very soon, the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to announce new proposed regulations under Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. The goal is to increase transparency and provide the public with greater access to information related to the payments that U.S.-listed companies make to foreign governments to extract oil, gas, and mineral resources. The rulemaking has been delayed by lawsuits and SEC inaction. But now the SEC has an opportunity to put in place a policy for disclosure that is accessible and effective.

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