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What We Are Reading

What We Are Reading

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Key Reads

Iran says it’s now enriching uranium at levels higher than before nuclear deal
Alex Ward / Vox
The announcement is mainly a message to Western Europeans, an Iranian audience, and maybe Trump.

Eleven US Troops Were Injured in Jan. 8 Iran Missile Strike
Kevin Baron / Defense One
The troops were medevaced this week to Germany and Kuwait to be treated for traumatic brain injury after experiencing concussion symptoms.

 

American Competitiveness 

 Senate OKs North American Trade Deal To Replace NAFTA, Giving Trump A Much-Needed Win

Scott Neuman and Vanessa Romo / NPR
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a revised North American trade pact in a rare bipartisan vote Thursday that hands President Trump a victory on a key campaign promise just as lawmakers are preparing his impeachment trial.

 

Asymmetric Operations

US Kills Two al-Shabaab Terrorists in Airstrike Following Deadly Kenya Attack
Brian Katz and Hope Hodge Seck / Military.com
Less than a week after an attack by the militant group al-Shabaab on a Kenyan airfield killed a U.S. soldier and two American contractors, the Defense Department has conducted a deadly airstrike on militants in neighboring Somalia.

US charges Malian in al-Qaida hotel attack in Burkina Faso
Jim Mustian / Associated Press
Federal prosecutors announced murder charges Thursday against a Malian man accused of playing a central role in two 2016 terror attacks in West Africa, including an al-Qaida shooting in Burkina Faso that killed an American missionary and 29 other people.

 

Energy Security

Trade Deal Impacts the Energy Sector: LNG to Gain the Most?
Kaibalya Pravo Dey / Yahoo! Finance
The U.S. energy sector is poised to gain heavily from this agreement as an export revival is expected.

 

Climate Security

Microsoft’s quest to go ‘carbon negative’ inspires $1B fund
Heather Clancy / GreenBiz
Given the scope of the climate crisis, Microsoft no longer believes it’s enough to be carbon neutral.

Weather shows evidence of climate change every single day since 2012
Alejandra Borunda / National Geographic
Climate change has altered global weather for almost the entire life of anyone 18 years old or younger.

 

National Security & Strategy

Iran’s Supreme Leader Rebukes U.S. in Rare Friday Sermon
Farnaz Fassihi and Ben Hubbard / New York Times
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told thousands of worshipers that God’s backing had allowed Iran to “slap the face” of the United States with a missile attack.

Congress Wrestles with deterring China – beyond nukes
Joe Gould / Defense News
Days after China’s navy commissioned its biggest and most advanced surface warship yet, on a path to an estimated 420 ships by 2035, key experts told Congress the U.S. must form a new and creative strategy to deter China, beyond nuclear weapons.

Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West
Daria Litinova and Ken Moritsugu / Associated Press
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping have established themselves as the world’s most powerful authoritarian leaders in decades. Now it looks like they want to hang on to those roles indefinitely.

Bashar al-Assad’s Hollow Victory
Lina Khatib / Foreign Affairs
Subservient to Patrons and Profiteers, the Syrian Regime Is Weaker Than Ever.

 

US-Russia Relations

Russia’s foreign minister slams ‘aggressive’ US policies
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press
Russia’s foreign policy chief on Friday blamed what he described as “aggressive” U.S. policies for growing global tensions, noting Washington’s reluctance to extend a key nuclear arms pact.

 

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

ASP in the News: Coverage of Middle East Bases Research
American Security Project
ASP’s compilation of known American military installations and bases in the Middle East documents U.S. military bases publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government. This compilation is updated as new information becomes available.

ASP in the News: Senior Adjunct Fellow Ken Robbins on Richard French Live
American Security Project
Senior adjunct fellow Ken Robbins was interviewed on Richard French Live, discussing the future of U.S. – Iran relations after the Soleimani killing.

Australia and Climate Change: Time to Address the Root Cause and Prepare
Esther Sperling
The deadly bushfires in Australia have brought renewed focus on the threat of climate change to Australia and other developed nations. Over 10 million acres are burning across some of the most populated regions in the country. Already the fires have destroyed over 1,500 homes and killed over 20 people. Similar to the U.S. response during hurricanes, Australia leveraged their military assets to assist with evacuations and firefighting.

The Soleimani Killing: Facts and Actions Since | Iran
Matthew Wallin
The circumstances around Soleimani’s death are raising a great deal of speculation about the potential consequences it may have on regional stability. But to chart a policy path forward, it is helpful to lay out the facts.

ASP in the News: Climate Security Manager Esther Babson in Public News Service – NC
American Security Project
ASP Climate Security Program Manager Esther Sperling was interviewed by the Public News Service – NC to discuss the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Sperling highlighted the strategic importance of increased climate-related military funding.

New Year, New Union State? Russia Ramps Up Pressure on Belarus
HD Scriba, III
In recent weeks, Putin ramped up the pressure on Lukashenko to move forward on their 1999 Agreement on Establishment of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.

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