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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

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

Impeachment Speaker of the House Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Pres. Trump over these “whistleblower” accusations that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate former VP Biden’s son by withholding aid funds. Trump says he withheld aid to push EU countries into sending their fair share to the Ukraine, and promised to release…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Iran A senior U.S. official told CBS that the recent attack on Saudi oil assets was directly approved by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, under the condition that it was done in a way that gave Iran plausible deniability of responsibility (though strong evidence against Iran is making it pretty hard for it to deny involvement). The CBS article…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Iran Coordinated attacks on key Saudi oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais disrupted half of the Kingdom’s oil supply (five million barrels per day), which is ~5% of global supply. Saudi’s oil infrastructure has a lot of redundancies, so officials think production will be back online by tomorrow, but the attacks are significant because they…

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

U.S. Pres. Trump fired “Mr. Tough Guy” NSA Bolton with a  tweet. Analysts say Bolton’s departure will shift the balance of foreign policy power within the administration towards SecState Pompeo. Pompeo seems pleased: he told reporters “there were many times Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed, that’s for sure.” Pres. Maduro is probably also glad that…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Afghanistan Pres. Trump dropped the bombshell that he’d been planning separate secret meetings with Pres. Ghani and Taliban leaders at Camp David to happen today—but cancelled them after the Taliban bragged about being responsible for the recent attack that killed an American soldier (and a Romanian one) in Kabul. Trump went further, and definitively called…