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Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Brexit John Barrow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, rejected a vote on PM Johnson’s Brexit deal yesterday on a technicality, which means that today lawmakers will vote yes or no on whether they support the deal in principle. It’s awkward because the vote is likely to be close, and even if the deal…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Brexit The British Parliament approved the Letwin amendment yesterday, which I thought meant that PM Johnson must request a three-month delay to Brexit—however, Johnson then sent a signed letter to the European Council arguing against a delay…attached to the (unsigned) letter he was required to send requesting one. Johnson also pushed a vote on his…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Brexit The President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, hinted that the Commission would consider granting a delay for Brexit if the UK asked for one. PM Johnson still hopes to force a deal before the Oct. 31st deadline, and seems more willing to make concessions ahead of his Thursday meeting with the EU Council than…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

China The U.S. and China reached a partial trade deal, but the final agreement will take longer than expected—reportedly because Pres. Trump is letting his posturing ahead of the 2020 election cloud the process (he worries that American consumers will blame him for higher prices that result from the deal). Trump said he and Pres….

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Syria Facing backlash from Kurds and their sympathizers for handing northern Syria over to Turkey, Pres. Trump vowed to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it does anything “off limits” to the Kurds (which it probably will). Trump’s administration says the U.S. withdrawal will only involve a small number of troops in northern Syria—as…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

U.S. The Economist had a good opinion piece that explains why it’s a big deal that Pres. Trump may have pressured a foreign leader to investigate a rival’s son. In short: “In a country as corrupt and vulnerable as Ukraine the link between American support and investigating the Bidens—you give us dirt on Joe and we’ll…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week Tuesday is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and China has massive celebrations planned. MilitaryTimes is eagerly watching a parade on Tuesday that will show off China’s ever-modernizing arsenal of next-generation weaponry—perhaps including the Dongfeng 41 nuclear-capable missile that can reach the U.S. in under five minutes. Because…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week The UN holds its annual General Assembly this week in New York. Naysaying presidents Xi of China, Putin of Russia, and Maduro of Venezuela won’t attend. The issues certain to get a lot of airtime include: Iran’s troublemaking India’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status New voluntary carbon emissions reduction targets that…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Afghanistan A couple good recaps, timed for the anniversary of 9/11, counted the costs of the Afghan war. Both are pasted below. A Forbes infographic charted out Brown University’s estimate for the $975 billion cost of the U.S. war in Afghanistan by year from 2001 to 2019. The Post had a brief set of stats on the U.S. military…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week Mexico’s Foreign Minister will visit Washington tomorrow to talk about Mexico’s progress in reducing migration to the U.S. Based on its statement on Friday, Mexico thinks it has met its commitments under the deal, and Trump hasn’t been griping loudly about migration lately, so perhaps his administration agrees. Afghanistan The NYT had a…