Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads


Russia Accuses Turkey’s Erdogan of Involvement with ISIS Oil Trade
Alexey Eremenko, F. Brinley Bruton / NBC News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family are “involved” in ISIS’ illegal oil trade and personally benefit from it, Russia alleged Wednesday.


Sandy Berger, Ex-Clinton National Security Adviser, Dies
Ken Dilanian / The Washington Post
Former national security adviser Sandy Berger, who helped craft President Bill Clinton’s second-term foreign policy and got in trouble over mishandling classified documents, died Wednesday, a spokesman for his consulting firm said.



American Competitiveness


More Innovative Companies Aren’t Just Tech Giants
Heesun Wee / CNBC
Facing increasing competition and saturating global markets, more companies beyond technology are pursuing innovation and science as growth drivers, according to new data.


SEC Alleges Bitcoin Investment was Ponzi Scheme
Francine McKenna / MarketWatch
The SEC’s complaint accuses Homero Joshua Garza and his firms of running a Ponzi scheme that used “mining” for bitcoin or other virtual currencies as a front to steal investor funds.


Bipartisan Talks Yield $300 Billion Highway Bill
David M. Herszenhorn / The New York Times
Congressional negotiators clinched a deal on Tuesday for a five-year, roughly $300 billion transportation bill that would inject badly needed investments into the nation’s deteriorated highways and other infrastructure and also reopen the Export-Import Bank.



National Security Strategy


This Marine General Will Take Over as the Pentagon Chief’s Top Military Assistant
Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has selected a seasoned Marine Corps general and battlefield commander to take over as his new top military assistant, after allegations of misconduct led to the firing of his predecessor.



Asymmetric Operations


Al Qaeda Seizes Key Towns in South Yemen
Hakim al-Masmari / CNN
Hundreds of al Qaeda fighters seized two major cities in Yemen after hours of clashes, part of the terror group’s effort to expand its presence in southern regions of the war-torn country.


David Cameron: It is Britain’s Duty to Attack ISIS in Syria
Patrick Wintour, Nicholas Watt / The Guardian
Opening a near 11-hour debate that is likely to end with a majority to extend the British air campaign from Iraq to Syria, the prime minister admitted his case was difficult and complex but said Britain must decide whether to take on the “evil” of ISIS in its Syrian heartlands or “wait for them to attack us”.


U.S. Defense Leaders Back Congressional War Authorization Vote
Patricia Zengerle / Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the top U.S. military officer, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, said on Tuesday Congress should debate and vote on a formal authorization to use military force against Islamic State.



Public Diplomacy


Iraqis Think the U.S. is in Cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is Hurting the War
Liz Sly / The Washington Post
On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.



Climate Security


Fighting Climate Change with ‘Poop Power’
Anne Renaut /
DC Water’s Blue Plains plant treats 370 million gallons (1,400 million liters) of dirty water from more than two million households on a daily basis, purging it with micro-organisms that first ingest carbon and then transform nitrates into nitrogen gas.


Pacific Islands Take Steps to Counter Rising Sea Levels
Rob Taylor / The Wall Street Journal
The small island nations that dot the Pacific are aware they exist on the periphery of many geopolitical calculations. They are also among those most at risk of being flooded by rising sea levels.



Energy Security


COP21: Coal Plans Would Derail 2 Degree Warming Target
Matt McGrath / BBC
“If you add all of the power plants that are existing today and will still be operating in 2030, you come to 12 gigatons from coal fired power in 2030 and that’s actually 400% higher than is necessary for 2 degrees.


Coal is So Much More Dangerous than Nuclear It’s Not Funny
Kelly Dickerson / Tech Insider
Tech mogul Peter Thiel recently wrote an op-ed for “The New York Times” urging us to adopt more nuclear power, if only for one reason: It’s safer than burning coal.



Nuclear Security


These Ridiculously Expensive Bombs Could Fuel the Next Nuclear Arms Race
Paul Szoldra / Tech Insider
Iran expects July’s landmark nuclear deal with major powers to enter into force in early January, when Tehran will have implemented its commitments, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said today.



On Our Flashpoint Blog


Chuck Hagel: Climate Change Is a National Security Problem
American Security Project
ASP Board Member Secretary Chuck Hagel, writes in an Op-Ed in Time Magazine about the the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Paris. He emphasized that “Climate change is a national security problem.”


American Security Project’s Most Recent Perspective Paper on Resource Extraction Cited by E&E News and Bloomberg BNA
Spencer Shweky
Both E&E News and Bloomberg BNA recently published articles on an American Security Project Perspective Paper entitled Alleviating the Resource Curse. The Paper is principally concerned with how best to design new Dodd-Frank regulations on transparency in resource extraction.


Low Turnout at Polls Challenges Legitimacy of Egyptian Government
Anil Powers
In spite of the government’s insistence that these elections were part of Egypt’s democratic transition, the low turnout indicates an erosion of political participation that has challenged the legitimacy of the nascent government.


Christine Todd Whitman Quoted in Politico Article
Anil Powers
Politico recently published an article about President Obama’s role in the upcoming climate change conference held in Paris and how he will be able to juggle the dual threats of climate change and terrorism, with or without Congress’s help.



Upcoming Events


Department of Defense Action on Climate Change
December 11 @ 12:00pm – 1:30pm
On Friday, December 11, ASP will host Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment, Safety & Occupational Health. Two members of ASP’s Board of Directors, Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.) and BGen Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.) will also report on what they have learned as a part of ASP’s national climate security tour, and how important the DoD’s efforts on climate change are for national climate preparedness.


Hill Briefing: Understanding What’s Next in Fusion Energy
December 15 @ 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Leading experts in fusion from the public and private sector will discuss the new developments that have been featured over the last several months in major media outlets like Time Magazine, the New York Times, Science, and Nature. ASP is the leading think tank detailing a plan for the future of fusion.



ASP Recently Published


Perspective – Alleviating the Resource Curse
American Security Project
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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