Daily Brief: U.S. Poised to Make Decision on Afghan Strategy

Have any of you CFR Czars ever entertained the notion that the USA Oligarchy should “mind its own business?”  Ah but yes indeed, you have!  For are not all of you Globalists? — even Globalist Businessmen?  With the LUV of money still “the root of all evil,” it is the internationalist, global bu$ine$$man who is shoving us and ours into global policing and, therefore, global war-making.  And, along with your Trilateral Commission, your Club of Rome, your United Nations Organization, your North Atlantic Treaty Organization, et al, you are ever increasing your own personal/corporate wealth and power ~ devils, all of you.


Council on Foreign Relations wrote:

TOP OF THE AGENDA

U.S. Poised to Make Decision on Afghan Strategy

U.S. President Donald J. Trump said Thursday that his administration is “very close” to deciding whether to authorize a plan to increase U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan (Politico).

The announcement came as U.S. Senator John McCain presented a new plan that calls for “long-term, open-ended” U.S. involvement (RFE/RL), including a counterterrorism presence with expanded targeting authority against suspected militants. Some 8,400 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan (WSJ). Trump reportedly may seek a plan that would allow him to fully withdraw troops (AP) from the United States’ longest war.

ANALYSIS

“The impasse, combined with reports that Trump has considered replacing Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and a proposal to privatize large portions of the war, have shaken top commanders and their allies in the Afghan government and security forces,” Wesley Morgan writes for Politico.

“It’s hard to see what combination of troops, aid, and statecraft will overcome the continued problem of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan,” writes CFR’s Alyssa Ayres.

“The United States isn’t winning now—and hasn’t been winning for more than a decade—because the insurgency has home field advantages that U.S. and coalition partners have been unable to counter,” Aaron B. O’Connell writes for the Washington Post.

PACIFIC RIM

U.S., South Korea to Still Hold Military Exercises

The United States and South Korea will still stage joint air, sea, and naval exercises (Guardian) with tens of thousands of troops scheduled to start August 21. The decision comes amid rising tensions with North Korea and its threat to fire missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam. President Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a Friday tweet that U.S. military options are “now fully in place, locked and loaded” (FT).

CFR’s Scott A. Snyder discusses the war of words between Trump and Kim.

CHINA: China said that a U.S. warship sailing within six nautical miles of the disputed Spratly Islands (DW) in the South China Sea on Thursday “severely undermines China’s sovereignty and security.”

Lynn Kuok discusses signs of progress in the South China Sea in Foreign Affairs.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

India in Talks to Deport Forty Thousand Rohingya

A government spokesman said India is in talks with Myanmar and Bangladesh to deport forty thousand Rohingya Muslims (Reuters) it says are illegally residing there. Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled persecution in Myanmar over the last two decades.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Dozens of Migrants Forcibly Drowned off Yemen

Nineteen migrants are believed to have died off the coast of Yemen Thursday when smugglers forced them from their boat (Middle East Eye), a day after fifty-one African migrants drowned in a similar incident. A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for increasing “legal pathways for regular migration” (VOA).

SYRIA: Four people died in Syrian government air strikes in areas included in so-called de-escalation zones (Al Jazeera) that were established following talks led by Turkey, Russia, and Iran, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Kenyan Electoral Commission Rebuffs Opposition’s Claim of Fraud

Kenya’s electoral commission is expected to release on Friday official results of Tuesday’s presidential election, which it says was free and fair (WSJ). The commission accused the opposition of falsifying documents (DW) purporting to prove its candidate had won.

CFR’s John Campbell looks at the opposition’s rejection of the vote in Kenya.

AFRICA: The U.S. trade representative has ended talks in Togo (Reuters) without reaching a decision on whether the United States will extend its African Growth and Opportunity Act trade agreement, set to expire in 2025.

EUROPE

Migrant Arrivals to Europe by Sea Down by Half in 2017

Some 116,000 migrants have entered Europe by crossing the Mediterranean (EUobserver) so far this year, less than half the number that arrived in the same period in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration. Arrivals to Spain have tripled (BBC) since last year, putting it on track to surpass Greece as a point of arrival.

Sabina Henneberg and Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski discuss European efforts to stem the flow of migrants from Libya in Foreign Affairs.

UK: The UK’s law enforcement agency said modern slavery in Britain (BBC) is “far more prevalent than previously thought,” affecting tens of thousands of victims there.

AMERICAS

Venezuela’s Maduro Seeks Meeting With Trump

In an address to a new constituent assembly authorized to rewrite the constitution, President Nicolas Maduro said he would like to meet with U.S. President Trump, adding that he wants Venezuela to have as strong a relationship with the United States (AP) as it does with Russia.

CANADA: Canada has announced that one of its diplomats in Cuba is being treated for hearing loss and headaches (BBC), a day after the United States announced two of its diplomats there were experiencing severe physical ailments.

UNITED STATES

Trump Thanks Russia for Cutting Diplomatic Staff

President Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering the expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomatic staff (NYT), saying that “now we have a smaller payroll.” The move by Russia followed the approval of U.S. sanctions over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Four Republican senators have urged the White House not to block Venezuelan oil shipments (Reuters) in its sanctions against the country. The United States imports about 740,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela daily.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

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