Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

John Kerry on Climate Change: The Fight of Our Time
Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone
On a rainy day in mid-November, Secretary of State John Kerry stood on the bridge of the USS San Antonio, a state-of-the-art ship designed to deliver up to 800 Marines ashore via helicopters and landing craft. From the bridge, Kerry had a commanding view of Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world: aircraft carriers to the left, battleships to the right, a panorama of military power – and one that is rapidly sinking beneath the rising waters of Chesapeake Bay.

San Bernardino shooting: Attacker pledged allegiance to ISIS, officials say
Ben Brumfield and Greg Botelho / CNN
Investigators think that as the San Bernardino, California, attack was happening, female shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, three U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Senior European official: ISIS wants to hit UK; trail for Salah Abdeslam is cold
Paul Cruickshank / CNN
The trail for the eighth Paris attacker, Salah Abdeslam, has gone cold, a senior European counterterrorism official told CNN late Thursday, who also said intelligence indicates ISIS wishes to strike the United Kingdom as a followup to its recent attack in France.

American Competitiveness

US economy adds 211,000 jobs as interest rate hike nears
Jana Kasperkevic / The Guardian
The US economy added 211,000 jobs in November, slightly better than expectations, with the unemployment rate remaining steady at 5%, the US Department of Labor announced on Friday.

US trade deficit grows as exports hit 3-year low
The US trade deficit widened in October as exports fell to their lowest level in three years amid a slowing global economy and a strong dollar, official data showed Friday.

National Security Strategy

The next battleground in the U.S.-China power struggle
Peter Marino / Reuters
Great-power struggles often play out in proxy conflicts, hot or cold. And the intensifying rivalry between China and the United States is no different. Recently, this rivalry has begun to play out in India, in Latin America and very prominently, in Southeast Asia, which remains a crossroads of global trade and a critical focus of maritime security

Asymmetric Operations


Terrorism Science: 5 Insights into Jihad in Europe
Declan Butler / Scientific American
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 that left 130 dead and more than 350 wounded, Alain Fuchs, president of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), announced a fresh call for proposals for research on terrorism. Acknowledging that any effort with no immediate effect may seem “derisory”, Fuchs said that science can help to open up avenues of analysis.

Molotov cocktail kills 16 at Cairo restaurant
The Guardian
A Molotov cocktail hurled at a Cairo restaurant killed 16 people and wounded six on Friday, Egyptian security officials have said.

Thailand warned by Russia IS militants ‘have entered’ the kingdom
Moscow’s top intelligence agency has warned that 10 Syrians linked to the Islamic State group have entered Thailand to target Russians, the kingdom’s police said Friday.


Climate Security

Study finds promise in expanding renewables based on results in three major economies
Clifton B. Parker /
Stanford energy experts have released a study that compares the experiences of three large economies in ramping up renewable energy deployment and concludes that renewables can make a major and increasingly cost-effective contribution to climate change mitigation.

Scientists Worried Over Latest Sign of Rapid Change in the Oceans
A population boom among the ocean’s smallest organisms is the latest evidence that greenhouse gas emissions may be upsetting the balance of the world’s oceans. In a recent study published in the journal Science, researchers report that there was a tenfold increase in the occurrence of a major group of microscopic ocean plants called coccolithophores in the North Atlantic between 1965 and 2010 and that rising carbon dioxide levels are so far the most likely reason why.

Energy Security


OPEC looks set to maintain oil output
Ben Perry / AFP
OPEC appeared on course to maintain current oil output at a meeting here Friday rather than cut production to lift sagging crude prices.

Iran, Russia reject idea of joint oil output cuts with Saudi Arabia
Shadia Nasralla / Reuters
Oil-producing countries looked unlikely to reach a deal to lift languishing prices at a meeting on Friday after Iran, Iraq and Russia swiftly rejected a surprise proposal that appeared to have been floated by Saudi Arabia.

Radiation from Japan nuclear disaster spreads off U.S. shores
Courtney Sherwood / Reuters
Radiation from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster has spread off North American shores and contamination is increasing at previously identified sites, although levels are still too low to threaten human or ocean life, scientists said on Thursday.

Nuclear Security

Former U.S. official urges Pentagon to skip buying new ICBMs
Andrea Shalal / Reuters
Former Defense Secretary William Perry on Thursday called for the Pentagon to skip replacing its aging stockpile of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), arguing that U.S. nuclear-armed submarines and a new long-range bomber program would provide sufficient deterrent value.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Nuclear Pakistan
Sam Hickey
Pakistan’s nuclear calculus has been the subject of much scrutiny because its government is unstable, its population is volatile, and its nuclear weapons program is the fastest expanding on Earth.

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane: Possible Consequences for the Turkey – Russia Relationship
Steffen Westerburger
A week ago Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter plane that according to Turkey had violated its airspace on multiple occasions. After having warned the plane without success, the Turks decided to engage. Subsequently, the plane was downed with an air-to-air-missile. The two pilots successfully ejected from their plane, and one of them was then killed by Turkmen rebels while still parachuting down. These actions can have serious consequences in the relationship between Moscow and Ankara, and can further complicate the broader conflict in Syria and the Middle East.

Business Council for American Security President and CEO of Risk Cooperative Dante Disparte on Understanding Social Risk Insurance
Traditional insurance coverage acts as a passive mechanism to protect against an unlikely but extreme financial loss. Particularly in emerging markets where historical loss information is limited, insurance underwriting requires multinational corporations to view risk through a different lens.

Chuck Hagel: Climate Change Is a National Security Problem
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.”

Upcoming Events

American Security in the Wake of the Paris Terrorist Attacks
Orlando, FL. December 8 @ 6.30pm
Please mark your calendars for our next private dinner event scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2015, when we host Gen. Stephen Cheney, retired Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps, currently the Chief Executive Officer of the American Security Project and a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board and the U.S. Department of State’s International Security Advisory Board. The title of Gen. Cheney’s presentation is “American Security in the Wake of the Paris Terrorist Attacks.”
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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