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What We Are Reading

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Key Reads

Russian Cruise Missile, Deployed Secretly, Violates Treaty, Officials Say
Michael R. Gordon / The New York Times
Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War, administration officials say.

Toshiba’s Chairman Resigns as Its Nuclear Power Losses Mount
Jonathan Soble / The New York Times
Toshiba, the embattled technology conglomerate, said it planned to write off more than $6 billion and withdraw from the business of building nuclear power plants as the impact of a disastrous bet on American nuclear energy continued to rock a mainstay of corporate Japan.

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Venezuela’s Vice President, Calling Him a Drug ‘Kingpin’
Ana Vanessa Herrero, Nicholas Casey / The New York Times
The Trump administration announced sanctions against Venezuela’s vice president on Monday, calling him a drug “kingpin” in its first moves against the country’s leftist government that President Trump railed against during his campaign.

 

National Security Strategy

NATO Chief Urges Allies To ‘Keep Up The Momentum’ On Defense Spending
Rikard Jozwiak / Radio Free Europe
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged member-states to step up defense spending, speaking on the eve of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’s first meeting with his 27 counterparts in Brussels.

North Korean leader’s brother Kim Jong-nam killed at Malaysia airport
BBC
The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-nam, has been killed in an attack in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

 

Climate Security


Trump would face legal battle for dumping treaty — CRS

Hannah Hess / E&E News
A complicated legal battle awaits the Trump administration if it tries to withdraw from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the Congressional Research Service in a new report.

 

Energy Security

China Set To Resume Work On Nuclear Power Plants
Tsvetana Paraskova / Oil Price
China is likely to begin construction on inland nuclear reactors in the next four years, resuming plans for nuclear power plants that were halted after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, a senior energy official told Chinese media on Monday.
Oil rises as OPEC-led output cuts trim oversupply
Christopher Johnson / Reuters
Oil strengthened slightly on Tuesday, supported by an OPEC-led effort to cut output while rising production elsewhere kept prices within the narrow ranges that have contained them so far this year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other exporters including Russia have agreed to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017 in a bid to rein in a global fuel supply overhang.

 

Asymmetric Operations

Yemen conflict: Seven Saudi soldiers killed on border
Reuters
At least seven Saudi soldiers have been killed in the past week in clashes with Yemeni rebels, state media has said. In an unusual series of official reports, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported late on Monday that Mohammed al-Manjahi was the latest soldier to be killed “defending” the kingdom’s southern borders in the fight against Houthi rebels.

 

U.S. – Russia Relations

US Commander Warns of Russian, Iranian, Pakistani Influence in Afghanistan
Paul Alexander / Voice of America
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says Russia, Pakistan and Iran are pursuing their own agendas with regard to the fragile country, complicating the fight against terrorism and extremism.

 

Cuba Engagement

Carnival Corporation increases cruise offerings to Cuba
Caitlin Huston / Market Watch
Carnival Corporation CCL, said Tuesday that the company will expand its cruises to Cuba starting in June 2017. The company already began sailing to Cuba in May 2016 with its Fathom brand, but now has approval to began cruises with its largest cruise brand, Carnival Cruise Line. The company will be sailing its largest capacity ship, with 2,052 passengers, from Port Tampa Bay in Florida to Havana, Cuba.

 

Nuclear Security


U.N., Trump denounce North Korea, but no sign of any action

Ned Parker, Ju-min Park / Reuters
The U.N. Security Council denounced North Korea’s weekend missile launch, urging members to “redouble efforts” to enforce sanctions against the reclusive state, but gave no indications of any action it might take. Trump did not speak of any planned response but Washington’s U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement: “It is time to hold North Korea accountable – not with our words, but with our actions.”

 

American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy

Higher energy prices boost producer inflation
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters
U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in January, recording their largest gain in more than four years amid increases in the cost of energy products and some services, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation tame. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its producer price index for final demand jumped 0.6 percent last month. That was the largest increase since September 2012 and followed a 0.2 percent rise in December.

 

National Security & Space

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Static Fire Reignites Historic NASA Launch Pad
Robert Pearlman / Space.com
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket briefly fired its engines in a pre-flight test on Sunday (Feb. 12), marking the return to use for a NASA launch pad where astronauts historically lifted off for the moon and later leapt into Earth orbit on the space shuttle.

 

On our Flashpoint Blog

US Should Respond to Russia’s Violation of INF Treaty
Matthew Wallin / American Security Project
Russia has deployed a series of land-based cruise missiles in direct violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This is an unnecessary provocation that warrants a swift response by the United States, as the only other signatory of the treaty.

Personalist Dictators Exacerbate Security Threats in 2017
Katharine Nasielski / American Security Project
Over the past decade, there has been a notable prioritization of personal power over a commitment to alliances and the maintenance of global order by leaders around the world.

Event Recap: Climate Change & Global Security with CCGA
American Security Project
On February 9th, the American Security Project and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) held an event discussing climate change and its impact on global security threats. We have a full recap and video of the event.

ASP CEO BGen. Cheney in National Geographic on Climate Change
American Security Project
ASP CEO BGen. Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret.) was featured in National Geographic discussing the military’s role in fighting climate change. The article by Laura Parker, Who’s Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military, highlights the impact climate change is already having on military bases from Virginia to Alaska.

The Future of Clean Energy in the Military
American Security Project
ASP CEO, BGen. Stephen Cheney, USMC (ret.) was featured in Military Dive discussing the future of the military’s clean energy mission within a Trump administration. The article, Will Trump Disrupt the Military’s Clean Energy Mission?, provided an overview of the previous efforts, both from former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, to improve energy efficiency and build renewable capabilities within the military.

ASP Consensus Member George P. Shultz featured in The Wall Street Journal
American Security Project
ASP Consensus Member George P. Shultz was featured in the Wall Street Journal, along with co-author James Baker, in an article that speaks on “The Conservative Answer to Climate Change”. His article discusses how sound economic analysis supports the institution of a carbon tax, a tax that would allow private firms latitude in finding the most efficient means at cutting emissions.

Dante Disparte Featured in International Policy Digest
American Security Project
On February 5, 2017, Dante Disparte, Chairperson of ASP’s Business Council for American Security was featured in the International Policy Digest. In his article titled “As Nations Retrench Modern City-States Emerge” Disparte discusses the resurgence of nationalism in accordance with the rise of modern city-states.

“What’s Next?” with Rachael Piltch-Loeb
Maggie Feldman-Piltch
On this week’s episode of “What’s Next?”, Maggie Feldman-Piltch is joined by Rachael Piltch-Loeb, doctoral candidate and research scientist at NYU’s College of Global Public Health Program on Population Impact, Recovery, and Resilience focusing on projects related to health well being and long term recovery from disasters and other events like disease outbreaks.

 

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