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Deep State Daily: Erdogan Vows to Launch Syrian Mission, US & Taliban Hold Peace Talks in UAE

December 17, 2018

Stories We’re Watching

Appointee Turnover Marathon: Zinke, out. Mulvaney, In.

Over the weekend, President Trump named former budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting chief of staff—after several high profile candidates publicly withdrew their interest. Some have pointed to Mr. Mulvaney’s comments in 2016, when he called then-candidate Trump a “terrible human being”. Also this weekend, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced his resignation amid several ethics investigations. Zinke has received increasing scrutiny as the head of the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks. Zinke is yet another of President Trump’s appointees to be investigated for ethics violations. Insiders say that Zinke’s likely successor is a former oil lobbyist.

KSA Rejects US Senate’s ‘Interference’ After Landmark Resolution, Canada Considering Similar Withdrawal of Support

Earlier today, in a rare public rebuke, Saudi Arabia officially condemned US Senate resolution to withdraw US military support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen and to officially blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Analysts caution that although last week’s resolution was the first time any Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to withdraw US troops, the resolution might be largely symbolic. Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada looking for way to end shipments of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan Says Trump OK’d Syrian Operation against Key US Allies

Earlier today President Erdogan repeated threats to mount a new incursion against key US allies in northern Syria. Presidents Erdogan and Trump spoke over the phone this weekend after the Pentagon called Erdogan’s plan ‘‘unacceptable.’ Turkish state media report that Erdogan has said President Trump gave the greenlight for the operation. President Erdogan has repeatedly accused the YPG forces of undermining the Turkish state and has called on the US to halt military support for Syrian Kurds. The US says that YPG is a critical ally in the fight against Daesh.


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US and Taliban Hold Peace Talks in UAE, China to Hold Kabul Meetings on Saturday

Earlier today, US and Afghan Taliban representatives held talks in the UAE to discuss options for ending hostilities in Afghanistan. Representatives were widely expected to discuss President Ashraf Ghani’s peace building initiatives, which call for greater participation by Taliban members. The talks come ahead of China’s Kabul meeting with representatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is scheduled for Saturday. Chinese and Pakistani representatives are expected to discuss an expansion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan as well as infrastructure investments.


From Deep State Radio

ICYMI: DEEPTECH SPECIAL EDITION: WHAT HASN’T CHINA HACKED? Forget Big Brother, Big Uncle Is Watching YOU

CloudhopperDragonfly, and Sharp Eyes aren’t whimsical hipster names or Proust’s lost short stories. They are initiatives all run (in some way or another) by China. US intelligence officials say that China appears to be on the rebound following a ‘truce’ reached during Obama’s tenure over corporate cyber espionage attacks. Since that ‘truce’, China has shifted its tactics and its targets, from theft of intellectual property to theft of millions of American civilians’ private data and attacks on critical US infrastructure. They have also upgraded their hacker units, from PLA Unit 61398 to the Ministry of State Security. US officials have attributed the Marriott hack to Chinese hackers and have linked it to two other attacks started in 2014: Anthem Insurance and the US Office of Personnel Management. Together, these three hacks gave China access to security clearance files, health records, passport data, and travel patterns. CONTINUE

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