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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 Today’s Brexit decision day. Parliament is debating PM Johnson’s deal, and plans to vote on it later—after it votes on a significant amendment raised by Conservative MP Oliver Letwin. Here’s the BBC’s easy explainer of what could happen: Syria Turkish Pres. Erdogan threatened to go back on the offensive “the minute” this tenuous ceasefire ends…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief 2019

Syria The U.S. and Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northern Syria, in exchange for the U.S. dropping new sanctions on Turkey, and the Kurds evacuating a 30 km border area. However, reports say the fighting continues all the same. The Kurds accused Turkey of using napalm and white phosphorus against them, which isn’t…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Syria The situation in northern Syria continued to devolve, with rising global concern about Turkey’s brutal offensive against the Kurds. Russian military police are reportedly patrolling the area between Turkey’s military and the Syrian troops that came north to prevent clashes—and/or fill the vacuum. Meanwhile, VOA reports that the U.S. is rushing diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire…

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

Brexit The EU issued an ultimatum to PM Johnson to leave northern Ireland in the EU customs union, or leave it with no deal. PMs Johnson and Varadkar (of Ireland) are meeting today to try to reach an agreement, and Johnson said he was “still cautiously optimistic.” Russia Yesterday’s NYT had a great report on Russia’s shadowy…

Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Wagner Group A Foreign Policy Research Institute published a great research piece on Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group—and its tangled links to the Russian government. Pasted below. Afghanistan The NDS announced that the emir of Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, Asim Umar, was killed in a Sep. 23rd raid in Helmand. AQIS hasn’t confirmed his death, and the…

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…