Center for Strategic Communication

Key Reads

Here’s what you need to know about the new Paris climate deal

BEC Crew / Science Alert

Over the past two weeks, leaders and delegates from 195 world nations have been formulating a global agreement on the reduction of climate change at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. They’ve now reached this agreement, and governments are expected to follow through with their various commitments to make it happen.

Russia fires on Turkish ship to ‘avoid collision’ in Aegean Sea

Gul Tuysuz, James Griffiths / CNN

A Russian warship has fired warning shots at a Turkish boat as the two vessels threatened to collide.The incident occurred on Sunday 22 kilometers (13 miles) north of the Greek island of Limnos in the Aegean Sea, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Libyans Urged to Accept Cease-Fire and Embrace U.N. Unity Plan

Matthew Lee / The Associated Press

Diplomats trying to help Libya emerge from the chaos that terrorists have exploited said Sunday that rival political factions in the North African country need to accept an immediate cease-fire and embrace a U.N.-brokered plan aimed at creating a “secure, democratic, prosperous and unified state.”


American Competitiveness

What the Paris climate deal means for oil markets

Sara Sjolin / Market Watch

As if it couldn’t get any worse for oil companies, the historic climate-change deal agreed in Paris is seen as another nail in the coffin for future demand for fossil fuels, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

Renewable energy stocks rally after Paris climate deal

Sudip Kar-Gupta, Annabella Nielson / Reuters

European renewable energy stocks rallied on Monday following an agreement over the weekend at the Paris global climate summit to find ways to stop global warming.

The Fate of America’s Iconic 747 Jet Is in the Hands of Moscow Firm

Julie Johnson, Andrea Rothman / Bloomberg Business

Now, as Boeing weighs the 747’s future, a revival hinges heavily on an unlikely source: a Russian freight company that promises to buy 18 over the next few years. If that pledge falls through, and finding financing won’t be easy, Boeing faces a tough choice: End production and take a financial hit, or try to limp along until a cargo rebound yields more sales. For now, Boeing’s backlog is enough to keep building 747s only through mid-2017.

China’s New Yuan Index: Here’s What the Market Needs to Know
Fion Li / Bloomberg Business

A new currency index in China is causing a stir as policy makers seek to refocus the market’s attention away from the yuan’s moves versus the dollar and instead compare performance against a wider selection of peers.


National Security Strategy

Obama to visit Pentagon to review ISIS strategy

Allie Malloy / CNN

President Barack Obama will visit the Pentagon on Monday to review the military campaign against ISIS with national security advisers, his first visit since attacks in San Bernardino and Paris.

India, Japan Strengthen Ties With Industrial, Military Agreements

Gabrielle Parussini / The Wall Street Journal

Japan and India strengthened their military and economic ties Saturday, signing a high-speed-rail agreement and pledging joint exercises for their navies, as countries across Asia seek to counterbalance China’s growing assertiveness in the region.


Asymmetric Operations

Russia Says It Is Backing Free Syrian Army With Airstrikes and Supplies

Damien Sharkov / Newsweek

Russia is backing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with as many as 40 daily airstrikes and helping arm the group, Russian military chief of staff Valery Gerasimov told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on Monday.

No evidence of terrorism in Sinai plan crash, Egypt says

Gwyn Topham / The Guardian

Egyptian investigators say they have found no evidence of terrorism or foul play behind the crash of a Russian airliner, in a statement at odds with Russia’s view that the plane was downed by a bomb.

U.S. Bombing of ISIS Oil Facilities Showing Progress

Mark Thompson / Time

For more than a year, Washington and its allies conducted a modest air campaign against mostly motley targets, ranging from “fighting positions” (basically, fancy desert foxholes) to “berms” (ridges of desert dirt). They were, in fact, largely pounding sand.

Militant group says it’s behind deadly bus blast in Pakistan

Sophia Saifi / CNN

A blast at a bus stop killed 23 people and injured dozens more in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, authorities said. A Sunni militant group has claimed responsibility.

The Latest: Syria Troops Seize Air Base in Rebel-Held Suburb

The Associated Press

Hezbollah TV and Syrian activists say Syrian forces have seized control of a military air base in a suburb of Damascus following intense clashes and airstrikes.               

French Teacher Attacked by Assailant Who Invoked ISIS

The Associated Press

French anti-terrorism authorities are investigating an attack Monday on a preschool teacher in a Paris suburb by a masked assailant with a box-cutter and scissors who invoked ISIS.


Climate Security

Paris climate deal: Hard work comes next

Eric J. Lyman / USA Today

First there were tears, hugs and a standing ovation that greeted approval of a historic international climate deal. Now the world’s nations must focus on the nitty-gritty details to implement a complex, 31-page plan to limit the rise of global warming this century.

Climate Deal Analysis: the Good, the Bad, the Still Unknown

Tony Dokoupil / NBC News

First, the good news: On Saturday afternoon, world leaders ratified a universal pact to slow global warming, ending a decades-long political stalemate and, according to the best possible science, lowering the risk of ecological collapse.

Inside the Paris Climate Deal

Coral Davenport, Justin Gilis, Sewell Chan, Melissa Eddy / The New York Times

The text of the climate pact establishes a commitment by 195 countries to take concrete measures to reel in planet-warming carbon emissions.


Energy Security 

New technology could save millions in energy costs

A new technology from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), could help companies and factories cut their energy bills by as much as 10 per cent. The new algorithm is able to analyse energy consumption by tapping on sensors in computer chips already found in equipment such as computers, servers, air conditioning systems and industrial machinery.

Natural Gas Sinks to Lowest Level Since 2002

Nicole Friedman / The Wall Street Journal

Natural gas futures plunged Monday to their lowest levels since 2002 as warm weather continued to engulf the nation, reducing indoor-heating demand.

Oil Sinks to Lowest in Almost 7 Years as Iran Vows More Supply

Heesu Lee, Grant Smith / Bloomberg Business

Oil extended declines from the lowest price since February 2009 as Iran pledged to boost crude exports, bolstering speculation OPEC members will exacerbate the global oversupply.

Spain wants to retake lead in renewable energy

Laure Fillon /

A former global champion of renewable energy, Spain wants to make up the ground it lost during the economic crisis when it reversed its policy slashing subsidies and decimating the sector.

Wells Fargo warns of ‘stresses’ in its energy portfolio

Ben McLannahan / Financial Times

The head of corporate banking at Wells Fargo, the biggest bank in the world by market capitalisation, has warned of “stresses” in its energy portfolio, as the ongoing slump in the price of oil begins to weigh heavily on servicers and producers.

Wind farms – why their carbon footprints matter as much as their locations

Robert Wilson / Plos Blogs

The fundamental questions that arise about the future of wind energy concern space and geography. First, how much space we are willing to have occupied by wind farms and where do we put them?

Renewable energy set to ‘far exceed’ current levels: Moniz

Trent Gillies / CNBC

Oil, coal and natural gas have powered the U.S. energy demand for generations. Yet now that the U.N. Climate Change Conference appears to have set a landmark agreement, can clean energy replace carbon-intensive sources going forward?


Nuclear Security

IAEA to Close Iran Weapon Probe in Key Steps for Ending Sanctions

Jonathan Tirone / Bloomberg News

International monitors will close their probe into military aspects of Iran’s past nuclear activities on Tuesday in Vienna, a key step toward implementing July’s accord with world powers and lifting sanctions against the Islamic Republic.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Event Recap: Department of Defense Action on Climate Change

Ricky Gandhi

On Friday, December 11, the American Security Project hosted the Department of Defense Action on Climate Change event. It featured a distinguished panel discussing the Department of Defense Climate Adaptation Roadmap and the results of ASP’s National Climate Security Tour.

ASP’s Consensus Member David Titley (Ret.) Featured in Washington Examiner

Ricky Gandhi

ASP’s Consensus Member, Dr. David W. Titley, Rear Admiral USN (Ret.), recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Examiner discussing the implications climate change has on national security. This concern has resonated among defense officials for quite some time now, he notes, starting with the Bush Administration in 2003. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun acknowledging the need to develop a comprehensive climate strategy.

US LNG Exports are Good for America and the World

Spencer Shweky

This week the U.S. House of Representatives takes up ‘The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act.’ If passed, it’s supporters claim it would re-stock the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, modernize America’s energy infrastructure, and streamline the approval process for LNG export projects. Lawmakers may also vote on a repeal of the 40 year old ban on crude oil exports.

Paris Update: Climate Adaptation Builds Global Security

Andrew Holland

As the Paris COP climate negotiations continue, Secretary of State Kerry has announced an increased American pledge for adaptation aid to $800 million per year by 2020. As ASP’s CEO wrote in “Strengthening national security through climate resiliency,” funding for adaptation aid is cost­effective because it will address the risks presented by climate change before American troops have to be deployed.
Global Military Leaders Call for Action on Climate along with COP 21

Ngoc H. Le

On Monday, 7 December 2015, in Paris, a group of military leaders from around the world launched the “GMACCC Call for Action 2015” at COP 21. The Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) members emphasized the need to adapt to climate stress, with the military as a key contributor to climate preparedness.


Upcoming Events

Hill Briefing: Understanding what’s next in Fusion energy

December 15 @ 12:00pm – 1:30pm

This event will be an opportunity for leaders in fusion energy from the private sector and research labs to discuss the significant progress made in advancing fusion and what this clean, safe, and abundant energy source means for America’s national security and energy future.


ASP Recently Published

Perspective – Alleviating the Resource 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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