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Stories We’re Watching
Mexico Agrees to House Migrants, Asks for $20B in Aid, & Bestows Top Honor on Kushner
Yesterday Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador indicated that Mexico would be willing to house migrants on Mexican soil while they apply for asylum in the US. Mexico has requested development assistance of no less than $20B to create Central American jobs to help stem the flow of migrants. Housing of migrants in Mexico has been one of President Trump’s central demands. Yesterday Mexico also admitted Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law, to the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the country’s top honor for foreigners. In an interview last night President Trump threatened to shut down US government over $5B in appropriations for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
- Axios: Trump “totally” willing to shut down government over border wall fight
- Associated Press: Trump backs use of ‘very safe’ tear gas on crowd of migrants
- Voice of America: Mexico Accepts Housing Migrants, Seeks US Development Aid
- Reuters: Mexico to bestow top honor on Trump son-in-law, sparking Twitter outcry
- Associated Press: US to appeal judge’s order barring asylum restriction
European Politicians Call for New Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
Fearing the ignition of wider regional conflict following Russia’s capturing of 3 Ukrainian naval vessels, several European politicians raised the possibility of new Russian sanctions yesterday. Earlier today in Geneva, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US should stop encouraging Ukraine and should instead help prop up the Minsk accord by mediating between Kiev and rebel-held Ukrainian regions. Russia maintains that it is defending its sovereign territory. Lavrov said of Sunday’s incident that Ukraine deliberately ignored maritime law to create a political scandal, and added that American encouragement for Ukraine’s acts saddened him “greatly”. As a result of Sunday’s aggression, Ukraine has approved martial law and continues to accuse Russia of militarizing the Azov Sea.
- The Guardian: Putin and Poroshenko motives open to question in Kerch crisis
- Kyiv Post: US calls on European allies to support Ukraine through sanctions
- CNN: Ukraine is woefully unprepared to wage a fight with Russia at sea
- Reuters: European politicians call for new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
North Korea Open to Nuclear Site Inspection Report
Yesterday, citing a senior diplomatic source, South Korea reported that North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was willing to allow inspectors into the North’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon. President Trump’s September meeting with Chairman Kim centered around shutting down nuclear facilities as well as independent verification. So far, the verification requirement has prevented progress on talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
- Voice of America: Report: North Korea’s Kim Open to Nuclear Site Inspection
- Reuters: North Korea’s Kim open to nuclear site inspection report
- New York Times: North Korea Says It Has Tested ‘Ultramodern Tactical Weapon’
- Military Times: US analysts say they found secret North Korean missile sites
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You Can’t Sit with Us: G20 Issues and Leaders Lineup
Heads of state of the world’s largest economies have already started arriving in Argentina’s capital city amid total security shutdowns. In all, more than 30 world leaders are expected to attend. Presidents Trump, Xi, Putin, and Erdogan as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are all expected to have packed schedules of bilateral meetings later this week at the two-day G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Presidents Trump and Putin’s meeting status is still unknown, and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said that President Trump is likely to discuss US-China trade with President Xi over dinner on Saturday. Analysts expect issues such as Russian aggression in the Azov Sea, the reinstatement of Iran sanctions, Brexit, US-China tariffs, and the fallout over the Khashoggi murder to dominate the meetings.
- Pew Research Center: Key global views about issues and leaders in the spotlight at the G20 summit
- Financial Times: G20 summit – five things to watch out for short clip
- Reuters: Stock options traders brace for volatility ahead of G20 summit
- Vox: Trump may cancel his G20 meeting with Putin
- Bloomberg: Theresa May Not Seeking Trump G-20 Meeting After He Slammed Brexit Deal
- Politico: Trump not planning formal meeting with Saudi crown prince at the G-20
- Guardian: Argentinian government urges Buenos Aires residents to leave city for G20
Iran’s Nuclear Chief Warns EU Patience Is Running Thin as France & Germany Step in to Circumvent Iran Sanctions
Earlier today in Geneva, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akhbar Salehi. The leaders discussed European efforts to preserve the multilateral nuclear deal, JCPOA, which was cancelled by Trump earlier this year. At issue are the sanctions which are set to be fully reinstated early next year. The meeting follows France and Germany’s efforts to create payment channels to keep trade flowing with Iran, defying US sanctions.
- Channel NewsAsia: EU reiterates commitment to Iran nuclear deal in talks with Zarif – EU
- Al monitor: Iran, Russia move to expand security collaboration
- Wall Street Journal: France and Germany Step In to Circumvent Iran Sanctions
- Foreign Policy: The App Destroying Iran’s Currency
- Reuters: Iran’s nuclear chief warns EU patience is running thin
US Sets up Syrian Observation Posts to Keep ISIS out of Turkey
Earlier today a spokesperson for the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve confirmed that the US had established observation posts in Northeast Syria. Last week US Defense Secretary James Mattis had announced the observation posts to limit escape routes commonly used by Daesh militants to enter into Turkey. Army Col. Sean Ryan said that the observation posts would “better enable Turkey’s protection from ISIS elements” and are an extension of a well-established Turkish-US alliance of Combined Joint Patrols near Manbij.
- US Dept. of Defense: U.S. Setting Up Observation Posts in Syria to Keep ISIS From Entering Turkey official
- Small Wars Journal: US Setting Up Observation Posts in Syria to Keep ISIS
- Jerusalem Post: Turkey Uneasy About US Plan for Observation Posts on Syria Border
- Bulgarian Military: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Considers the Purchase of Russian S-400s
From Deep State Radio
EARLY ACCESS PODCAST: EVERYTHING IS EASIER WHEN YOU’RE STUPID
When Donald Trump was presented with the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in the US elections (of which he was Exhibit A) he said, “I don’t believe it.” When presented with proof of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s role in ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi he said, “I don’t believe it.” When presented with his own government’s assessment of the catastrophic costs of climate change he said, you guessed it, “I don’t believe it.” Who needs rose-colored glasses when you have your head that far up your own narcissism? Is this a canny strategy or is Trump our Maroon-in-Chief? Kori Schake offers Henry the IVth, Part 1 as one of her Tiara-of-Optimism worthy examples. Mieke Eoyang and Emily Brandwin are not quite so sanguine but all discuss this phenomenon as well as Russia & Ukraine, Brexit, our self-inflicted border crisis and more! Tune in!
EARLY ACCESS: NATIONAL SECURITY MAGAZINE – A CONVERSATION WITH WENDY SHERMAN
New from the Deep State Radio Network, National Security Magazine will be a regular podcast series featuring long-form interviews with important national security newsmakers. In this week’s episode we feature a conversation with Wendy Sherman, the first woman to hold the post of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and author of the new book, “Not for the Faint of Heart“, a memoir of her extraordinary life. We discuss with her experiences negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, facing off with North Korea’s leaders and coping with the challenges of dealing with Washington’s bureaucracy. She also shares her candid views on the current administration and where we are headed on the critical issues of our time. Tune in.