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What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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U.S. Says Syria Delaying Chemical Disarmament

Naftali Bendavid and Adam Entous / Wall Street Journal

The U.S. blamed Syria’s Assad regime for intentionally delaying efforts to remove chemical arms from the country for destruction, suggesting that the goal of liquidating the arsenal by midyear is in jeopardy.

Mediator backs Feb. 10 for more Syrian peace talks

Zeina Karam and John Heilprin / AP

U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi tried to put a positive spin Friday on the first face-to-face meetings in three years between Syria’s warring sides, suggesting they reconvene Feb. 10 for a fresh attempt at bridging the chasm between them.

Egypt faces new threat in al-Qaida-linked group Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis

Patrick Kingsley / The Guardian

An al-Qaida-inspired group has emerged as Egypt’s biggest terrorist threat in a decade, after a week in which its members claimed responsibility for shooting down a military helicopter, assassinating a senior policeman, and exploding a huge bomb outside Cairo’s police headquarters.

Ukraine president signs amnesty into law, currency slumps on crisis

Richard Balmforth / Reuters

Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday signed into law an amnesty for demonstrators detained during mass unrest and repealed anti-protest legislation, in a fresh bid to take the heat out of the political crisis.

Mexico scoops up top drug cartel figure

AlJazeera America

Mexican security forces backed by helicopter arrested one of the leaders of a major drug cartel in a dramatic military raid in the country’s second-largest city.

EU sets aside more cash for Central Africa

AFP

The European Union pledged 45 million euros ($61 million) in fresh funding for the conflict-wracked Central African Republic on Friday, EU officials said.

Turkey purges hundreds more police over graft probe, media reports

Reuters

Turkey has purged at least 700 more police officers, local media said, over a corruption investigation portrayed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as part of a plot to undermine the country’s economy and his government.

Kenya Pushes for AU’s April Ultimatum to ICC

Nzau Musau / All Africa

Kenya is reportedly lobbying for a strong anti-ICC resolution at the ongoing AU Summit meeting in Addis Ababa.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Poll: Only the Strongest Obama Supporters Want Him To Have Fast Track Authority

Angelo Young / International Business Times

Americans are not keen on Congress giving U.S. President Barack Obama what he wants: the authority to negotiate a massive free-trade pact among a comity of Pacific Rim countries and then deliver the results to Capitol Hill for a swift up-or-down vote, known as fast-track authority.

 

ASP Recent Publications

Fact Sheet – Executive Authority in US Trade Policy

Brendan Connell / American Security Project

There has been an increasing discussion regarding the possibility of Congress granting the US presidency “fast track” authority in free trade agreements.  But the shifting of trade authority to the executive has been a heated debate starting from the days of the Great Depression.

America’s Energy Choices – 2014

American Security Project

Three years after ASP first released “America’s Energy Choices” in 2011, the U.S. remains stuck in a political stalemate over energy. Even so, the energy choices made years or even decades ago by politicians, businesses, and consumers have led to a revolution in how the U.S. produces energy.

Five Choices on Energy that We Need to Make

Andrew Holland / American Security Project

We are in the midst of an energy revolution. It is overlooked that this is the result of energy choices made decades ago by politicians, businesses, and consumers. Many of these choices go back to the 1970s, in response to the Mid-East oil embargo of 1973 and the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

 

Upcoming Events

A View from the Ambassador’s Post: Ambassador Don Beyer on American Public Diplomacy
American Security Project

2014 is a year of opportunity and challenges in public diplomacy. Join us as Ambassador Don Beyer discusses his experiences as Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and explores the role public diplomacy plays in shaping America’s security, foreign policies and relationships abroad.

Defense Budget Issues for FY15: A Conversation with Dr. Lawrence J. Korb
American Security Project

Since sequestration and passage of the new budget the Defense Department has been adjusting to a reduced funding environment. The speaker will discuss the outlook for Pentagon spending for FY15 from personnel costs to right sizing the nuclear arsenal.

TTIP – Trade and Investment: A U.S. and European Perspective
American Security Project

Paul Adamson, editor of the European magazine E!Sharp and Senior European Policy Advisor, and Peter Rashish, a Senior Advisor for Europe and Transatlantic Trade at Transnational Strategy Group LL, will discuss the key elements of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, key aspects for the U.S. and the E.U., the 2014 trade-political climate, and key issues both parties will face going forward.

Click here to check out more ASP’s events.

 

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Thoughts on The State of The Union 2014

Stephen A. Cheney

America must lead in the pursuit of our common goals and shared security.  We must confront international challenges with our partners by using all of the tools at our disposal, as well as address emerging problems before they become security crises.

Defense Budget in 2014: A Conversation with Russell Rumbaugh – Event Recap

Nathan Daniels

On Thursday, January 30th, ASP hosted Russell Rumbaugh, a senior associate at the Stimson Center and Director of its Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program.

A Background on NERC

Andrew Charles Wills

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is a not-for-profit entity set up to ensure the reliability of the electricity system in North America. NERC is an organization of lawyers, engineers, and analysts that is dedicated to setting mandatory and enforceable industry standards for electric energy.

Fusion: Update on the International ITER Project – Event Review

William Fassuliotis

According to Brig. General Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project, “The science is proven, the engineering is not.”

International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics

Kathy Duong

Last week at American University- School of International Service (SIS), Professor David Bosco discussed his latest book Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics.

America’s Energy Choices – Event Review

Nathan Alvarado-Castle

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the American Security Project hosted an event titled “Energy Choices 2014 – The Choices We Face for a Strong & Secure America”, with speakers, Todd Foley, Senior VP of Policy and Government Relations, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Scott Peterson, Senior Vice President of Communication, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and David Wochner, Partner, K&L Gates.

Battery Storage Solutions for Renewable Energy

Farhad Mirzadeh

With the growing reliance on solar and wind power, questions over how excess energy can be stored have become increasingly important.

Top Military Officials Summoned to Pentagon to Ensure Nuclear Security

Nathan Daniels

The Air Force recently announced that it had suspended the security clearances of 34 nuclear missile launch officials, from the commanding officer on down, due to allegations of irresponsible behavior and cheating on the proficiency exam that personnel must pass before becoming a part of the nuclear force.

ASP in the News

ASP’s Andrew Holland on US Energy Policies in Politico

American Security Project’s Andrew Holland, Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, was quoted in a recent article by Politico Pro.

Energy Choices 2014 – The Choices We Face for a Strong & Secure America

The American Security Project (ASP) released a key report regarding the choices America faces regarding Energy production and consumption.

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