What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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Key Reads      


U.S. Service Member Killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province

Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province Tuesday after his patrol triggered a roadside bomb. The blast also wounded another American and six Afghan soldiers.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Says Russia Continues to Use Iranian Base

Radio Free Europe

Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani says Russian warplanes are still using an Iranian military base to strike targets in Syria. Larijani made the comment a day after an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Russia’s use of an air base in Hamadan had ended “for now.”

Turkey Shells Both IS and Kurdish Positions in Syria


Turkey has bombarded so-called Islamic State (IS) targets across the border in northern Syria ahead of an expected ground attack on an IS-held town.


American Competitiveness


S&P 500 Set for Record on Fed Bets Amid Mixed Data; Oil Climbs

Lukanyo Mnyanda, Rita Nazareth, and Dani Burger / Bloomberg News

U.S. stocks rose toward a record, while the dollar fell after mixed economic data in the world’s largest economy bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will be in no rush to raise interest rates.

Delphi, Mobileye Join Forces to Develop Self-Drive System

Mike Colias / The Wall Street Journal

Top auto-parts suppliers Delphi Automotive PLC and Mobileye NV are joining forces to develop a fully autonomous driving system that car makers could begin placing in their vehicles beginning in 2019.


Asymmetric Operations


Nigeria Claims it Killed Boko Haram Leader in Raid

Associated Press / Fox News

Nigeria’s military said Tuesday it believes an airstrike has “fatally wounded” Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, but there was no way to confirm yet another claim of the death of Nigeria’s Islamic extremist leader.
Battle Looming: Iraqi Troops, Militia Inch Towards ISIS-Held Mosul

Arwa Damon, Hamdi Alkshali, and Brice Laine / CNN

Iraqi Army and militias advance on Mosul. Commander concerned over city’s civilian population.

France, Germany Want Encrypted App Makers to Help Stop IS

Associated Press / ABC News

France and Germany pushed Tuesday for Europe-wide rules requiring the makers of encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram to help governments monitor communications among suspected extremists.


Climate Security


Climate Change a Significant Threat to Public Health, CMA Members Hear

Andre Picard / The Globe and Mail

Climate change is the “greatest global health threat of the 21st century,” so it is incumbent that physicians take a stand to protect their patients, one of the world’s leading human-rights advocates says.

Climate may be Pushing Tornado Alley into State

Mark Wilson and Meghan Holden / Lafayette Journal & Courier

The center of tornado activity in the United States has shifted from the Great Plains to southeastern states in recent decades, and a Purdue University research team believes climate change could be a factor.


Energy Security          


Oil turns higher on report Iran may support crude-output freeze

Myra P. Saefong and Jenny W. Hsu / Marketwatch

Crude-oil futures turned higher Tuesday after a report indicated that Iran has shown willingness to work with other major crude producers to support the market.

7 People Detained in Georgia in Gas Pipeline Plot

Associated Press / US News & World Report

Georgia’s intelligence agency says it has detained seven people suspected of plotting an attack on a gas pipeline that carries Russian gas to Armenia.

Pakistan Gets Energy Security Loan

Daniel J. Graeber / UPI

Pakistan needs financial support to address critical energy issues that impede the potential for economic growth, the Asian Development Bank said.


National Security & Strategy


John Kerry Tells South Sudan Leaders: ‘Take Bull by Horns’ or Face Sanctions

Conor Gaffey / Newsweek

South Sudan’s leaders must “seize the bull by the horns” and fully implement a peace deal or potentially face international sanctions and a U.S. arms embargo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned.

Finland Says it is Nearing Security Deal with US amid Concerns over Russia

Julain Borger / The Guardian

Finland says it is close to concluding a defense cooperation agreement with the US, the latest in a series of steps the formally neutral Nordic country has taken to bolster its security in the face of heightened Russian military activity.

Germany Considers Return of Conscription for Civil Defense


Germany may reintroduce a form of national service for civilians to help the army deal with a future disaster. The role of civilians is part of a new civil defense strategy to be discussed by the government on Wednesday.


National Security & Space


A First Peek at Russia’s New Space Cargo Ship

Anatoly Zak / Popular Mechanics

Russian engineers are finishing the design of a brand new space freighter that would replace the veteran Progress cargo ships supplying the International Space Station (ISS) with propellant, food, water and other goods.


On Our Flashpoint Blog


“What’s Next?” with Amb. Steve Pifer

Maggie Feldman-Piltch

On this week’s episode of ‘What’s Next?’ Maggie Feldman-Piltch speaks with Ambassador Steve Pifer, Director of Brooking’s Arms Control and Non-Profileration Center and ASP’s Consensus for American Security about nuclear non-proliferation, U.S.-Russia relations, where the argument for modernization succeeds and where it fails- and what that means for the nuclear triad.

“What’s Next?” with Ben Chang

Maggie Feldman-Piltch

Would Foreign Service Officers get more love if Alexander Hamilton had been Secretary of State? Maggie and Ben Chang discuss on “What’s Next?”.

Space Security: Protecting Our Final Frontier

Enya Gonzalez

From ISIS to Russia to China, threats around the world have changed, and as a result, assuring space security must be a key component of U.S. policy.

Puerto Rico-Cuba Investment Corridor

Dante A. Disparte

The right policy strategy for the U.S. is not to treat Puerto Rico’s economic crisis and fully normalizing ties with Cuba as two disparate challenges but rather as one opportunity.

Risk Favors the Prepared

Les Williams

The more we practice during non-emergency situations, the more resilient we will be for the next real emergency.

“What’s Next?” with RDML Jamie Barnett

Maggie Feldman-Piltch

On this week’s episode of ‘What’s Next?’ Maggie Feldman-Piltch sits down with ASP Consensus for American Security member RDML Jamie Barnett, USNR, (Ret.) to discuss what tradition means to the modern navy, the challenges of nuanced cyber security strategy, and the role of general public safety in national security.

Climate Change Kindling California Wildfires 

Lieselotte Siegenthaler

A wildfire in California’s tourist hotspot Big Sur demonstrates how the effects of climate change can lead to an array of immediate dangers and exacerbate existing issues.


Upcoming Events


ASP and Lloyd’s – Cities in the Crosshairs: The Case for Investing in Resilience

October 13 @ 12:00pm-4:30pm

Join ASP and Lloyd’s on Oct. 13 for a dynamic conversation featuring private and public sector leaders on our complex and interconnected risk landscape. Due to limited space guests will need to request an RSVP by emailing:


ASP Recently Published


Fact Sheet: Chinese Nuclear Modernization

Tomaz Strojnik

This fact sheet compiles its information from a number of open-source and academic resources, and seeks to provide a resourceful document on the history, the development, and the future of China’s nuclear strategy.




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