What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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The U.S. government has taken a series of rash actions over the past two years, isolating itself from global and multilateral processes, whether the Paris Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, or in global trade. These actions have, thus far, resulted in few noticeable consequences to the average American. That may be about to change, as the drumbeat for military action with Iran intensifies and the Chinese tariffs start to bite. How will Americans respond?


Key Reads

Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days
Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell / AP
Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days, the spokesman for the country’s atomic agency said Monday while also warning that Iran could enrich uranium up to 20% – just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

Kremlin Warns of Cyberwar After Report of U.S. Hacking Into Russian Power Grid
Ivan Nechepurenko / The New York Times
The Kremlin warned on Monday that reported American hacking into Russia’s electric power grid could escalate into a cyberwar with the United States, but insisted that it was confident in the system’s ability to repel electronic attacks.


American Competitiveness

US chipmakers are reportedly quietly lobbying to ease Huawei ban
Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the U.S. government to ease its ban on sales to the Chinese tech giant, even as Huawei itself avoids typical government lobbying, people familiar with the situation said.

US Chamber of Commerce pushes Trump to end trade war
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson / Financial Times
Washington’s most powerful business group is urging the Trump administration to end its trade war with China, saying that its tariffs risk costing the US economy $1tn over the next decade.


American Security & the Oceans

Philippines asks U.N. to make protection of sailors a priority after South China Sea boat collision
The Japan Times
The Philippines has asked the United Nations to make protecting life at sea a priority after the collision this month between a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea.


Asymmetric Operations

Nigeria: Dozens killed in Boko Haram triple suicide bombing in Konduga, Borno state
The Defense Post
A triple suicide bombing by Boko Haram killed 30 people in the northeastern Nigerian town of Konduga, emergency services said.

Pentagon: Iran helped Houthi rebels shoot down drone
Zack Budryk / The Hill
The U.S. military on Sunday said Iran helped Houthi rebels shoot down a U.S.-operated drone in Yemen.


Climate Security

Without swift action on climate change, heat waves could kill thousands in U.S. cities
Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky / NBC News
If global warming sometimes seems like a distant or abstract threat, new research casts the phenomenon in stark, life-or-death terms.

The urgency of climate crisis needed robust new language to describe it
Paul Chadwick / The Guardian
Initial reader response was positive to the Guardian’s recent changes to the way it will refer to climate.


Energy Security

A blackout left tens of millions in South America without power. Officials still don’t know what caused it
Helen Regan and Eliott C. McLaughlin / CNN
Argentina’s energy secretary said he does not believe a cyberattack caused a massive power outage that left tens of millions of people in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in darkness for several hours on Sunday.

G20 energy ministers to collaborate to keep market stability
Yuka Obayashi / Reuters
Energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies have shared concerns over attacks on tankers in the Gulf and will collaborate to maintain stability in the oil market, Japan’s Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Saturday.


National Security & Space

Are the U.S. and China on a war footing in space?
Jacqueline Feldscher and Liu Zhen / Politico
A top Chinese general has a warning for any U.S. leaders planning an arms race in space: Be prepared to lose.


National Security Strategy

Xi Jinping Will Make First Visit to North Korea Ahead of Meeting With Trump
Jane Perlez / The New York Times
President Xi Jinping of China plans to visit North Korea later this week, his first trip there as president and a surprise move shortly before President Trump and Mr. Xi are expected to meet at an economic summit.

Trump national security team expected to discuss sending more US military force to Middle East in wake of tanker attacks
Barbara Starr / CNN
President Donald Trump’s national security team is expected to discuss in detail this week whether to send additional US military force to the Middle East in the wake of last week’s attack on two oil tankers, according to two US officials with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Turkey struggles to find balance between US, Russia
Shi Jiangyue / Asia Times
Turkey is on the edge of facing US sanctions in the face of a deadline for giving up Russian S-400 missile systems.

Army Buys 9,000 Mini-Drones, Rethinks Ground Robots
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. / Breaking Defense
This summer, Army soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan with air support literally in the palm of their hands: the 1.16-ounce Black Hornet mini-drone.


Nuclear Security

Trump Says He Doesn’t Know If North Korea Is Building Nuclear Weapons: ‘I Hope Not’
Dominique Mosbergen / HuffPost
President Donald Trump said he doesn’t know if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still building nuclear weapons — but, the U.S. leader noted, “I hope not.”

Global Nuclear Arsenal Declines, But Future Cuts Uncertain Amid U.S.-Russia Tensions
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
The number of nuclear weapons held by world powers declined in the past year, but future reductions look uncertain because of the “political and military differences” between Moscow and Washington, an influential research group says.


Recently Published

Perspective – Maintaining America’s Edge: Overcoming Advanced Air Defenses
Matthew Wallin
The return to great power competition highlights a need for the United States to develop and invest in technologies capable of overcoming advanced air defense systems.

Factsheet – U.S. Oil Dependence: More Drilling Doesn’t Make the U.S. More Energy Secure
Esther Babson
Energy security is vital for the readiness of U.S. troops around the globe. The U.S. relies on oil for the majority of both civilian and military transportation. The changing price of a barrel of oil can have profound impacts on the budget of communities and the Department of Defense.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Conflict in Mali: What Role does Climate Change Play?
John Madeira
Climate change is fueling ethnic conflict in Mali.

JCPOA – Japan to the rescue
Ottavia Credi
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in an attempt to mediate US-Iran tensions.

Lake Chad remains stable, yet Boko Haram still thrives. Part 2: The extremists
Laura Sigelmann
Climate change and ongoing conflict in the Lake Chad basin create a dynamic where terrorist groups such as Boko Haram thrive. Part 2 of 2.

How are Terrorist Organizations Financed?
Cat Cronin
How do terrorist groups obtain so much money? In the last few years, they have become largely self-dependent through taxation, illegitimate businesses, and kidnapping for ransom.

Lake Chad remains stable, yet Boko Haram still thrives. Part 1: The lake
Laura Sigelmann
Climate change and ongoing conflict in the Lake Chad basin create a dynamic where terrorist groups such as Boko Haram thrive. Part 1 of 2.

ASP COO Andrew Holland in The Oklahoman
Cat Cronin
On Friday, June 7th, ASP COO Andrew Holland was cited in an article from The Oklahoman discussing U.S. tariffs on Mexico.

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