Stories We’re Watching
Taliban Seeks “Inclusive” Afghanistan, Vows to Share Power with Government
A senior Taliban spokesperson announced earlier today that the Taliban was willing to share power with the Afghan government, a major concession on an issue that had stymied previous peace talks. The Taliban have previously refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government, accusing them of widespread graft. The statement follows last week’s announcement that US and Taliban officials have agreed to a draft framework for a peace deal. Speaking to reporters, the spokesperson said: “We believe in an inclusive Afghan world, where all Afghans can see themselves in it”. Regional experts caution that empowering the Taliban may simply shift the war to Afghan women.
- NYT: Afghan Women Fear Peace With Taliban May Mean War on Them
- Task & Purpose: Peace With The Taliban In Afghanistan Appears Closer
- Voice of America: US to Help in Afghan Reconstruction After Troop Withdrawal
- The New Yorker: Donald Trump’s Chance to Bring Peace to Afghanistan
- Brookings Institution: The US-Taliban negotiations breakthrough: What it means
China Trade Delegation Arrives in DC for Round 2 of Trade Talks
Earlier today, China’s high level trade delegation arrived in DC to begin two days of trade talks aimed at resolving the ongoing trade dispute. The two sides have until March 2 to come to an agreement before 25% tariffs are levied on $200bn worth of Chinese goods. At issue are forced technology transfers, state-sponsored corporate espionage, and the recent criminal charges against Huawei and its CFO. Trade analysts say that China’s slowing economy is likely to push the two sides closer to a deal and warn that if they fail to reach one, it could have devastating effects on the global economy.
- Reuters: Trade wars: We’re next, European investors fear
- Bloomberg: US-China Trade War Timeline: What’s Happened and What’s Next
- Business Insider: Trump’s trade talks with China could decide the fate of the trade war
- South China Morning Post: Protesters rush Beijing delegation as US-China trade war talks start
Trump Mean Tweets US Intelligence Community, Calls them Naive
Following yesterday’s release of the Worldwide Threat Assessment, President Trump has criticized the US intelligence community as naive and suggested that “Intelligence should go back to school!” Directors of the FBI, CIA, National Intelligence, and Defense Intelligence Agency testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday. In yesterday’s testimony, the directors told lawmakers that Daesh had not been defeated in Syria; that North Korea was not likely to give up their nuclear ambitions; and that closely-aligned Russia and China pose grave cyber threats. The report and the testimony directly contradicted President Trump’s public statements and policy initiatives on Russia, China, and Iran.
Politico: Trump tells intel chiefs to ‘go back to school’ after they break with him
NYT: Trump Calls His Intelligence People ‘Naive’ After They Disagree
NPR: Trump Faults Spy Bosses As Break Widens Between What They
Defense One: Intelligence Chiefs Diverge From Trump On Main Threats to US
Nuclear Five Meet in Beijing
The world’s five nuclear powers began a two-day summit in Beijing earlier today to discuss nuclear proliferation. The meeting comes as the US is set to withdraw from the INF treaty on Saturday. Representatives from each of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Britain, France, Russia, and the US) make up the five nuclear powers. The US has called for greater transparency from Russia and China. Russia has accused the US of having double standards. American and Russian officials are expected to meet on the sidelines to discuss the US withdrawal from the INF treaty. Nuclear analysts warn that the risk of nuclear proliferation has grown.
- France24: Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’: report
- South China Morning Post: US accuses Russia, China of lack of transparency
- Wired: It’s Not Quite Doomsday o’Clock—But It Should Be
- RFE/RL: Five Nuclear Powers Meeting In Beijing As US Calls For Transparency
Venezuelan Officials Block Guaidó from Leaving, Maduro Offers to ‘Negotiate’ with Opposition, Trump Calls Guaido
President Trump spoke with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido earlier today amidst growing tension over embattled President Maduro’s legitimacy. President Trump tweeted this morning “Maduro willing to negotiate with opposition in Venezuela following U.S. sanctions and the cutting off of oil revenues. Guaido is being targeted by Venezuelan Supreme Court.” Yesterday, Venezuela’s supreme court banned Guaidó from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts. Russia, Iran, China, Syria, and Turkey have voiced public support for Maduro. The US, Canada, and Israel have called on him to step down.
- CNBC: What next for Venezuela? Everything you need to know
- NPR: Venezuelan President Maduro Faces Intensified Pressure To Step Down
- BBC: Venezuela top court curbs opposition leader Juan Guaidó
- CNN: Maduro says he’s willing to negotiate with opposition
- Voice of America: Trump, Guaido to Collaborate on Efforts to Restore Democracy
From Deep State Radio
BLOG: Fixing America’s Rigged System Is Job Number One for New Leaders
For decades, the US system has been rigged for the rich, for whites, for men. Fixing that so that everyone may benefit from America’s growth and share in our country’s critical decisions is the central issue of the 2020 election and the next decades.
It is also the central mission of the Democratic Party. The GOP has demonstrated that they are the party of Wall Street. The Dems are and should be the party of Main Street. But Dem centrists have been coopted by Wall Street for decades as well. Continue
WASHINGTON FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: Fierce, Funny and Incredibly Honest: A Conversation with Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano is the ultimate hyphenate: actress, producer, entrepreneur, host and activist. It’s her role as an activist that is making a difference in our crazy dumpster-fire world. Realizing at a young age that with fame came an opportunity to effect change, Alyssa has always used her voice to help others. As an AIDS activist, a UNICEF Ambassador to #METOO Champion, she has been a fierce advocate for those in need. Alyssa and I talk candidly about #METOO and men’s fears (hint: you don’t have to fear being accused of rape if you don’t rape anyone), why she won’t endorse anyone for 2020, women in politics and why Bill Prady called her superwoman. Tune in!
NATIONAL SECURITY MAGAZINE: Rep. Ted Lieu: We Are at the Beginning of a New Era in Congressional Foreign Affairs Oversight
Congressman Ted Lieu of California, is one of the smartest, hardest working members of the U.S. Congress. A member of the Democratic Leadership, Lieu, brings an undergraduate degree in computer science from Stanford, a magna cum laude law degree from Georgetown where he edited the law review, a background as an Air Force J.A.G. officer, an on-going role as colonel in the Air Force reserve and extensive legislative experience in California to his current work on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. He has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and his enablers in the U.S. Congress and is leading the new Democratic majority’s efforts to uncover the truth about Trump’s ties to the Russians, the Chinese, the Saudis and others who may have responded to the “For Sale” sign the president put up on the front lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t miss this conversation with one of the rising stars of the U.S. Congress and the Democratic Party.