What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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Today, I want to highlight ASP Adjunct Fellow Dawson Law’s article about foreign influence on universities. It’s a tough problem that he does a good job outlining. Scroll down and take a read.
– Andrew Holland, ASP COO

Key Reads

Asia Pacific hardest hit by COVID-19, climate-related disasters
Al Jazeera
At least 51.6 million people worldwide have been doubly hit by COVID-19 and climate-related disasters, including floods, droughts, or storms, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). In a new analysis published on Thursday, the IFRC said the Asia Pacific was the region hardest hit by the “double jeopardy” of disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.

India Seeks Naval Edge as China Penetrates Indian Ocean
Yaroslav Trofimov / The Wall Street Journal
India’s border conflict with China is pushing New Delhi to look for an asymmetric response: flexing its naval might as it deepens cooperation with other democracies that seek to counter Beijing’s global ambitions.


American Competitiveness

U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rise
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week, supporting views the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was running out of steam amid diminishing government funding.

Trump: Major carmakers sue US government over China tax
BBC News
Major carmakers are suing the US government over import taxes it has imposed on Chinese parts. The US and China have imposed border taxes on each other’s goods and services as part of a trade war.


Asymmetric Operations

Amnesty: Migrants face ‘vicious cycle of cruelty’ in Libya
Samy Magdy / AP News
Amnesty International said Thursday that thousands of Europe-bound migrants who were intercepted and returned to Libyan shores this year were forcefully disappeared after being taken out of unofficial detention centers run by militias allied with the U.N.-supported government in the capital, Tripoli.

Violence Plagues Afghanistan as Peace Talks with Taliban Struggle to Take Off
Ehsanullah Amiri and Sune Engel Rasmussen / The Wall Street Journal
Deadly violence in Afghanistan has marred the first-ever direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban, underscoring the high stakes that face the warring sides as they struggle to get negotiations off the ground to end nearly two decades of fighting.


Climate Security

California sets goal to ban sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles starting in 2035
David Shepardson and Nichola Groom / Reuters
California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035 as the top U.S. auto market shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate-warming emissions, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.

World on track to overshoot warming limit without massive investments – Woodmac
Nina Chestney / Reuters
The world must combine COVID-19 recovery packages with massive investments in renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure or it will fail to meet a global warming limit target, a report by leading energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Wednesday.


Energy Security

World’s operating nuclear fleet at 30 year low as new plants stall: report
Susanna Twidale / Reuters
The number of nuclear reactor units operating globally is at a 30-year low, while new plants struggle for investment, an industry report said on Thursday. Proponents of nuclear say as a low-carbon power source it could be vital in helping countries meet climate targets, but several plants around the world are coming to the end of their life expectancies and many new ones have faced delays.


National Security & Strategy 

UK preparing human rights sanctions against Belarus
Al Jazeera
The United Kingdom is preparing sanctions on individuals allegedly involved in human rights violations in Belarus, working with the United States and Canada to hold President Alexander Lukashenko and his government accountable.

China is building vast new detention centers for Muslims in Xinjiang
Anna Fifield / The Washington Post
The Kashgar site is among dozens of prisonlike detention centers that Chinese authorities have built across the Xinjiang region, according to the Xinjiang Data Project, an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), despite Beijing’s claims that it is winding down its internationally denounced effort to “reeducate” the Uighur population after deeming the campaign a success.

North Korean troops executed missing South Korean official, Seoul says
Min Joo Kim and Simon Denyer / The Washington Post
A South Korean fisheries official who went missing from a patrol boat this week was found in the sea by North Korean troops and executed, in what appeared to be an ill-fated attempt to defect, Seoul’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.


U.S. – Russia Relations

Russia says world’s largest nuclear icebreaker embarks on Arctic voyage
A nuclear-powered ice breaker Russia says is the world’s largest and most powerful set off on Tuesday on a two-week journey to the Arctic as part of Moscow’s efforts to tap the region’s commercial potential.


Recent Reports

Perspective – Arctic Climate Change: Implications for U.S. National Security
American Security Project and Laura Leddy
A melting Arctic is a more accessible Arctic—we are already seeing renewed great power competition in the region, as well as greater opportunities for natural resource exploration.

Perspective – The Haqqani Network
American Security Project and Devin Lurie
This report explores the Haqqani Network and offers policy recommendations to consider as American forces withdraw from Afghanistan.


On Our Flashpoint Blog

From the Kamera to Navalny: A Brief History of Russian Poisonings
Benjamin Pullen
Western leaders are still considering an appropriate response to Russia’s use of chemical weapons against its domestic opposition. Should a serious deterrent not be deployed, history suggests we can expect more of the same from Russia going forward.

University Foreign Influence Challenge Will Take Education and Coordination
American Security Project and Dawson Law
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and upheaval of the U.S. university business model, there is a great opportunity to guard against foreign influence as research dollars and foreign gifts become more important while student income goes down. U.S. universities are on the front line to guard against foreign interference and protect the U.S. research enterprise.

ASP President Brigadier General Stephen Cheney speaks with KJZZ
Alicia Orr
President Stephen Cheney explains how climate change impacts our military bases and national security position abroad.

U.S. Army Releases Climate Resilience Handbook for Army Planners
Katie Foley
This August, the U.S. Army released their Army Climate Resilience Handbook (ACRH), aiming to assist Army planners in assessing and applying climate exposure impact risk to planning and installation processes in various locations.

Arctic Security with Norwegian State Secretary Audun Halvorsen
Annie Aleman
Host Andrew Holland and Audun Halvorsen, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discuss Norway’s priorities in the Arctic, multilateral diplomacy in the region, and the U.S.’s strategic role in the Arctic.

UNGA 75 – A Virtual Convocation
Patrick Hines
The signals of diplomacy between world leaders will be lost this year due to the virtual format of the United Nations General Assembly 2020.


Upcoming Events

Building the U.S. Strategic Relationship with African Nations
Oct. 7 @ 3:00pm – 5:00 pm
Join General Waldhauser, USMC (ret), the former Commander of USAFRICOM and Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, for a conversation about the strategic challenges and opportunities presented across Africa.

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