Stories We’re Watching
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Announces Resignation on Instagram #iResign #lol
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced via Instagram his surprise resignation yesterday. His resignation has to be accepted by President Rouhani, who has refused so far. Zarif was an architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has struggled to salvage parts of the deal with Europe since the Trump administration withdrew last May. Despite severe economic hardships due to US sanctions, analysts say that Iran has continued to support the brutal violence in Syria and Yemen. In fact, yesterday, Syrian President Bashar Assad made his first public visit to Iran since the start of the Syrian civil war.
- NPR: Iran’s Foreign Minister Resigns Suddenly Without An Explanation
- Foreign Policy: Iran Loses Its Last Link to the West
- Reuters: Assad meets Khamenei in first Iran visit since Syrian war began
- Haaretz: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Announces Resignation, Rohani Rejects It
UNICEF Releases Dire Yemen Statement, US Senate to Vote on House’s War Powers Resolution
The UN has requested $4.2bn, its biggest goal yet, to fund humanitarian aid in Yemen following the release of a report which outlines the catastrophic results of the Saudi-backed war. Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives passed a War Powers resolution to end support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. The resolution is expected to meet defeat in the Republican-controlled Senate. In response to increasing criticism for human rights abuses at home and abroad, Saudi Arabia has just appointed its first female ambassador to the US.
- The Guardian: UN target of $4bn in aid for Yemen reliant on Saudi and US
- BBC: Yemen crisis: UN makes record aid appeal
- UNICEF: The brutal war on children in Yemen continues unabated
- Reuters: U.S. senators unconvinced by Saudi briefing, see Yemen war vote next week
May Considers Plan to Extend Brexit Deadline, Opposition Calls for New Referendum
Yesterday, UK opposition threatened to call for a second Brexit referendum. Earlier today, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will allow Parliament to vote on a Brexit deadline extension. So far, MPs have been unable to agree to the terms of an exit strategy that PM May negotiated with the EU last year. Parliament will have a chance to vote on a Brexit deadline extension on March 12. Analysts caution that any extension requires unanimous agreement of the 27 EU governments. The EU has yet to agree to any extension and insists that the March 29 deadline is firm.
- BBC: Labour prepared to back new Brexit referendum
- Lawfare: Brexit Endgame: One Month Out with No Clarity in Sight
- Bloomberg: UK’s Theresa May to Consider Delay to Brexit Date
- The Guardian: ‘Absolute deadline’ for Brexit deal in 23 days, say EU sources
House Votes on Overturning Trump’s National Emergency
The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill to overturn President Trump’s national emergency. Yesterday, a group of 58 former high-ranking security officials and a group of 20+ Republican former lawmakers publicly rebuked the President’s declaration of a national emergency: . Despite such widespread disapproval, GOP leadership have urged lawmakers to rally behind the President’s declaration. Insiders predict the bill to easily pass in the House, but caution that it still needs two Republican votes to clear the Senate and more than 20 GOP votes to overrule a presidential veto.
- CNN: Republican senator says he’ll vote against Trump’s national emergency
- NPR: Upcoming In The House Of Representatives: Public Displays Of Trump
- NYT: GOP Tries to Hold Down Defections Before Vote to Block Trump’s
- Georgetown Public Policy Review: Trump’s national emergency defies precedent
Trump & Kim Arrive in Hanoi for Second US-North Korea Summit
President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim have both arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam for the second US-North Korea summit. The talks will officially begin tomorrow and will end on Thursday. Despite lack of a shared definition of “denuclearization”, the two leaders are expected to discuss it further. Those close to the preliminary negotiations believe that the two will also discuss sanctions relief as well as declaring an official end to the Korean war, which started in 1950 and technically hasn’t stopped.
- WSJ: High Nuclear Stakes in Hanoi
- Foreign Policy: What Trump and Kim Won’t Be Talking About in Hanoi
- Council on Foreign Relations: North Korean Nuclear Negotiations
- Foreign Affairs: What to Expect at the Second North Korea Summit
- NPR: Where The US Stands On North Korea Ahead Of The Trump-Kim Summit
India & Pakistan Troops Exchange Gunfire Across Disputed Kashmir Border
Earlier today, Indian and Pakistani armed forces exchanged gunfire across the border in the disputed Kashmir region. Tensions have mounted since a terror attack killed over 41 Indian officers in Kashmir on February 14. The two sides have been at odds since the 1947 British Partition, and regional analysts warn that the long-standing border conflict is likely to exacerbate a separate, newer dispute over India’s dam on the Ravi River.
- Reuters: India, Pakistan exchange gunfire on Kashmir frontier: spokesman
- Foreign Policy: Are India and Pakistan on the Verge of a Water War?
- BBC: Balakot: Indian air strikes target militants in Pakistan
- Bloomberg: India Says Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Strikes on Pakistan
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: ARE WE ON THE VERGE OF TRUMP’S FIRST BIG FOREIGN POLICY WIN?
Sometimes the experts at Deep State Radio harbor a slight but noticeable skepticism about the foreign policy acumen of Donald Trump and the band of ignorant thugs around him. But in this episode, nuclear experts Joe Cirincione and Jeffrey Lewis and DSR’s own Rosa Brooks suffer an outbreak of optimism about Trump’s summit with his diminutive love, Kim Jong Un. Is it possible? Where will this lead? Tune in to find out!
BLOG: KASHMIR: FULL-BLOWN WAR OR CALIBRATED CONFLICT?
While President Trump obsesses about a so-called emergency at America’s southern border, a true global crisis on the border of India and Pakistan in Kashmir is underway with too little attention here in the United States. Two nuclear-equipped countries that have fought multiple wars on this disputed ground are on the verge of conflict after a terrorist attack killed 44 Indian soldiers on February 14. READ MORE
NEW VOICES: THE BEST CASE SCENARIO AT THE UN: AN AMBASSADOR OF STAGECRAFT
On Friday, President Trump nominated Ambassador Kelly Knight Craft to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. In the run up to the announcement, speculation was swirling about the potential nominee, but much of the back-and-forth missed a critical underlying question. What makes a successful tenure at the UN during the Trump administration? CONTINUE