What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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Key Reads

Official Says US, Taliban reach Afghanistan truce agreement
Matthew Lee and Kathy Gannon / Associated Press
A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

China’s Huawei Charged With Racketeering, Stealing Trade Secrets
Corinne Ramey and Kate O’Keeffe / The Wall Street Journal
New charges filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn amp up the pressure on the telecommunications giant

800,000 Syrians Have Fled in Three Months. This Is What It Looks Like.
The New York Times
Hundreds of thousands of people – mostly women and children – are trying to escape relentless airstrikes in northwest Syria.


American Competitiveness

U.S. looking for industry partnership to counter Huawei: White House official
The United States is looking to develop a partnership with the telecoms industry to provide alternatives to China’s Huawei Technologies, a senior White House official said on Friday.

Wage gains for low earners have helped sustain America’s economic expansion
The Economist
At 128 months and counting, America’s economic expansion is the longest on record.


Asymmetric Operations

U.S. service member dies in non-combat incident in Djibouti
Howard Altman, Kyle Rempfer, and Shawn Snow / Military Times
The cause of death is under investigation, according to a media release, which provided no further details.

Sudan Reaches Settlement Deal With U.S.S. Cole Victims in Bid to Be Taken Off U.S. Terrorism List
Associated Press
Sudan’s transitional government said Thursday it has reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, a key step in having the U.S. remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism so it can rejoin the international community after years of exclusion.


Climate Security

Earth just had hottest January since records began, data shows
Oliver Milman / The Guardian
Last month was the hottest January on record over the world’s land and ocean surfaces, with average temperatures exceeding anything in the 141 years of data held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A Crisis Right Now: San Francisco and Manila Face Rising Seas
Somini Sengupta / The New York Times
An estimated 600 million people live directly on the world’s coastlines, among the most hazardous places to be in the era of climate change.


Energy Security 

The threats to energy security have changed
Nick Butler / Financial Times
Despite plentiful supplies of fuel and low prices, energy security is a global concern.


Fusion Energy 

Department of Energy Announces $50 Million for Fusion Energy R&D At Home and Overseas
Kamen Kraev / The Independent Nuclear News Agency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $50 million in crosscutting Departmental funding for programs to support fusion energy. a statement said.


Nuclear Security 

Trump wants $1.5 billion over 10 years to revive U.S. uranium mining
Brady McCombs and Ellen Knickmeyer / Associated Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Trump administration is asking Congress for $1.5 billion over 10 years to create a new national stockpile of U.S.-mined uranium, saying that propping up U.S. uranium production in the face of cheaper imports is a matter of vital energy security.

Trump revamps nuclear arsenal to respond to Russia’s ‘tactical’ threat
Ben Wolfgang / The Washington Times
The Trump administration is taking dramatic steps to revamp the nation’s arsenal and prepare for a theoretical nuclear war with Russia in Eastern Europe, with the two countries returning to Cold War-era gamesmanship on the world stage and rethinking the unthinkable: how mankind’s deadliest weapons could be used in the 21st century.


National Security Strategy

China urges U.S. to stop suppressing Chinese companies after Huawei indictment
China’s foreign ministry said on Friday it urges the United States to immediately stop suppressing Chinese companies without reason, after U.S. prosecutors unveiled a new indictment against Huawei Technologies.

Senate acts to restrain Trump’s military powers against Iran
Matthew Daly / The Associated Press and Military Times
The Senate approved a bipartisan measure Thursday limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran.


US-Russia Relations

Russia alarmed by U.S. Air Force visit to Norwegian island
Russia said on Thursday it was alarmed by a trip to a Norwegian outpost in the Arctic by a U.S. Air Force unit and urged Oslo to refrain from what it said were de-stabilizing moves in the strategic region.

Belarus Leader Says Russia Insists on Merging the Two States
The Associated Press / The New York Times
The president of Belarus said Friday that Russia insisted on merging the two states during last week’s talks on further integrating the countries’ economies.


Recent Reports

White Paper – A New American Message
Matthew Wallin
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has struggled to establish a credible, effective message suitable for competing in modern times. This paper discusses the problems in America’s current message and recommends behaviors to improve its credibility overseas.

Perspective – Micro Nuclear Reactors
Andrew Holland
Energy is a critical, if often overlooked, part of the military’s mission. The U.S. military is considering investments into micro nuclear power plants to enhance energy security and energy resilience. While the Navy has a long history with nuclear power, these new reactors would deploy in support of Army and Air Force missions.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

Domestic REE Investment: Implications for Economic Competitiveness & National Security
John Madeira
While the connection between the bottom of the periodic table and economic competitiveness and national security might not be obvious, REEs play a critical role in both.

Could the Southern Thailand Insurgency Threaten US Businesses?
Maywadee Viriyapah
An insurgency brewing in southern Thailand could have important implications for US companies considering a relocation.

Why the Messages We Don’t Intend to Send Matter More – Defining Passive Messaging
Matthew Wallin
The major problem with sending the message laid out in America’s founding documents is that it’s not in sync with America’s actions at home or abroad.

Climate Change Will Drive Future Epidemics. How Are We Preparing?
Nicholas Cropper
The Wuhan Coronavirus has renewed public interest in pandemics. Climate change will make outbreaks like this one more common. Now is the time to prepare.

ASP Public Diplomacy Fellow Matthew Wallin in The Hill
American Security Project
On Wednesday, February 5, Matthew Wallin authored an op-ed in The Hill. Wallin’s article summarizes his argument in a recent report, A New American Message.

The Case for Not Abandoning West Africa
John Madeira
A Department of Defense decision to abandon West Africa would have severe impacts on US national security interests.

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