Deep State Daily – Stephen Walt Podcast

October 22, 2018


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Welcome to the Deep State Daily. This newsletter highlights top news stories that literally no one else is paying attention to. We pull some stories from major news outlets, but we also call attention to niche websites, think-tanks, and media outlets. Enjoy our newsletter? Forward it to a friend by clicking the forward button above. Not already a Member or Insider? Consider supporting us by upgrading your membership.

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From Deep State Radio


Harvard’s Stephen Walt has written a timely book called “The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy”…which is just exactly the kind of subject you would expect Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake, and Ed Luce to want to discuss with Steve Walt given the hell of current events and the number of members of the U.S. foreign policy elite they know who are also declining.  Join us for a fascinating discussion about where America went wrong and what, if anything, we can do about it.  Listen Now

ICYMI: New Voices: Who’s Going to Listen?

My introduction to foreign policy was the fortunate coincidence that one of my best friends is the son of immigrants. He was born in Oklahoma, but his father was born in Afghanistan and his mother in Pakistan. I learned about the Arab-Israeli conflict through the gallows humor he shared with me about the intifadas. Full story here

ICYMI: New Voices: A Different Kind of Choice for a Voter

The idea did not surface immediately following the 2016 election.  Nor was it influenced solely by the election.  What was happening didn’t seem real.  It wasn’t so much denial as it was refusal to acknowledge.  I latched onto #notmypresident as a formal statement, and I changed my Facebook profile photo to a black screenshot.  I was in mourning. Continue reading here

Deep State Radio is live at the Comedy Cellar on November 6, 2018 at 9:30PM.  Join us for election night comedy and analysis.  Space is limited, so reserve your spot now.

Reserve Now

Stories We’re Watching

INF: Bolton visits Moscow amid Trump’s withdrawal from Reagan-era arms treaty

In remarks to the press on Saturday, President Trump confirmed that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a Reagan-era arms treaty with Russia. Signed in 1987 by the US and the USSR, the INF formalized an agreement to ban ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. President Trump cited Russian violations of the INF as a motivating factor for the withdrawal. US military officials claim that terms of the INF prevent the US from countering China’s growing stockpile of intermediate range missiles. National Security Advisor, John Bolton, arrived in Moscow earlier today and had repeatedly pushed to abandon the INF.

• BBC: Russia nuclear treaty: Bolton in Moscow amid missile tensions

• Defense One: Nothing About Trashing the INF Makes Us Safer

• Real Clear Defense: Trump to Pull Plug on Arms Control Treaty With Russia

• US Dept of State: Treaty Between the US and the USSR on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty full text)

• The American Interest: Trump Trashes Another Treaty

Chinese State Media Lash Out at Pompeo’s Latin America Comments

Earlier today, Chinese state media sharply criticised US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he warned Latin American leaders about the risks of Chinese investments. In remarks made during a Voice of America interview, Secretary Pompeo advised against Chinese loans under the Belt and Road Initiative. Meanwhile, in an apparent bid to foster closer ties with Riyadh, China has stayed quiet over the Khashoggi murder. China is Saudi Arabia’s top trade partner.

• South China Morning Post: Chinese state media hits out at ‘ignorant and malicious’ Mike Pompeo for Latin America debt warning

• China Daily: Pompeo’s remarks about China both ignorant and malicious: China Daily editorial

• South China Morning Post: China stays silent over killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

• US Dept of State: Interview With Greta Van Susteren of Voice of America (official)

Italy Vows to Stick to Budget That Breaches EU Rules

Italy’s populist prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has vowed that Italy will not exit the EU. In Monday’s letter to the European Commission, Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said that Italy remains willing to decrease next year’s deficit, but claimed that breaking deficit rules would be necessary to fund social welfare programs. At stake is Italy’s 2019 budget, which breaches EU rules and increases the deficit of domestic output from 1.8% to 2.4%. Tria reassured European officials that he did not expect Italy’s budget deficit to exceed the 2.4% target.

• Bloomberg: Italy Seeks Dialogue on ‘Necessary’ Breach of Deficit Rules

• Financial Times: Italy tells EU it will stand firm on budget plan

• The Guardian: Italian PM: Read my lips, Italexit isn’t happening

The Caravan March Continues: Trump Again Suggests Sending US Troops to Border

The Honduran migrant caravan reached southern Mexico this weekend. The size of the caravan is now estimated to be over 5,000 people, over four times larger than the caravan earlier this year. Many of the migrants have cited unemployment, violence, and an erosion of rules based order as the primary motivation for the march. Last week US Secretary of State Pompeo visited, Mexico in an attempt to manage the fallout from the caravan.

• Military Times: Trump Again Suggests Sending Troops to US Southern Border

• The Wall Street Journal: Caravan Heads North After Migrants Cross Into Mexico

• NPR: Thousands Swell Ranks Of U.S.-Bound Migrant Caravan In Mexico

Russian Charged with US Election Meddling 2 Weeks Before US Midterm Elections

Last week, the US Department of Justice charged Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, a Russian citizen living in St Petersburg, for her role in a state-sponsored campaign to influence upcoming US midterm congressional elections. According to the justice department, Khusyaynova was the chief accountant for a project designed to “to sow discord in the US political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions”.  Khusyaynova managed a troll farm which posted inflammatory content on topics ranging from immigration and gun control to race relations and the #metoo movement.

• BBC: Russian charged with US election meddling

• Stanford University: Trends in the Diffusion of Misinformation on Social Media

• MIT The Download: The US accuses Russia of meddling in upcoming elections

• US Dept Justice: Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System (official press release)

• US District Court: Criminal Complaint (official)

Khashoggi Fallout: Erdogan’s Cooperation, Saudi Arabia’s Evolving Narrative

After two weeks of denial, dissemblance, and distraction, KSA has finally admitted to Khashoggi’s murder and coverup. In a televised interview on Fox News, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir admitted that Khashoggi’s murder had been a mistake, but he maintained that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played no part in it. Initially, the Saudis denied any involvement or knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance. Later, they claimed he was killed in a fistfight. Turkish President Erdogan has agreed to release all relevant information regarding the Khashoggi murder and appears to be using this opportunity to improve Turkey’s relationship with the US. US lawmakers have called for a reevaluation of US-Saudi relations.

• The Economist: Saudi Arabia’s Alliances Are Being Tested Like Never Before

• Defense One: US Military Leaders Keep Quiet Amid Khashoggi Outrage

• The Atlantic Council: How Turkey Gains from the Grisly Drama over the Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashogg

   BBC: Khashoggi death: Saudi Arabia says journalist was murdered

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