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Blackwater USA | Daily Brief

Iran Iranian Pres. Rouhani claimed Iran “will never seek nuclear weapon[s]”—“with or without the nuclear deal.” That makes it sound like he’s trying to walk back some of the concerns Iran raised by creeping past nuclear deal limits, and get back on friendlier terms with EU countries now formally accusing Iran of violating the deal….

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

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

Afghanistan The U.S. cut over $160 million in direct funding to Afghanistan—including $100 million for a major energy project—because of concerns over government corruption. SecState Pompeo specifically called out the Afghan corruption-monitoring agency as “incapable of being a partner.” That’s bound to irk Pres. Ghani, who’s doing his best to fake competence ahead of next…

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 The dust settled on yesterday’s Taliban car bomb in Kabul: at least 12 died, including one U.S. and one Romanian soldier, and at least 10 civilians. (That’s the fourth U.S. soldier killed by the Taliban in two weeks). A separate Taliban car bomb targeted an Afghan military base in Logar, killing four. Leaked reports…

Blackwater USA – Daily Brief

Coming Up This Week Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hopes to advocate for a rate cut this week—even though economic indicators look good—because the economy isn’t responding to Fed policy as theory would expect. The second Democratic primary debate will take place over two nights—tomorrow and Wednesday—in Detroit. China Hong Kong saw another round of…