Stories We’re Watching
Putin got that BDE: ‘We have so many hypersonic missiles that we don’t even need to violate the INF to destroy Europe, lol.’
Earlier today, Russia said it would not allow US inspections of a newly developed 9M729 cruise missile, which the US claims breaches the INF treaty. Yesterday, President Putin said that Russia had so many other weapons that it didn’t even need to develop a new missile violate the INF. Earlier this year, the US threatened to leave INF and gave Russia a 60-day ultimatum to return to “full and verifiable compliance.” President Putin replied to the ultimatum with a warning that Russia would develop missiles banned under the INF should the US go ahead with the exit.
- Reuters: Russia says it won’t let US see missile at heart of nuclear dispute
- TASS: US tells Russia to scrap 9M729 missile or modify it
- Military Times: Putin: Russia has enough missiles without violating treaty
100 days til Brexit: Britain & European Union prepare for ‘no-deal’ exit
The European Commission has started to implement preparations for a no-deal Brexit given the impasse in UK’s House of Commons. PM Theresa May has rejected calls for a second Brexit referendum despite widespread unpopularity of her Brexit deal, which was only recently approved by the European Union. Analysts warn that if Brexit happens without a deal in place, finance, trade, and transport all are likely to be disrupted. The UK has already allocated $2.5bn to offset disruptions at home. Widespread uncertainty over the exit has added to market and currency turbulence.
- BBC: Brexit: EU reveals no-deal plans
- Vox: The case for holding a second Brexit referendum
- The Guardian: Theresa May pushes forward £2bn no-deal Brexit preparations
- The Economist: Britain’s good-chap model of government is coming apart
“Mission accomplished” Trump says US has defeated Daesh in Syria, Announces Troop Withdrawal
President Trump has declared victory against the Islamic State in Syria, and has ordered a rapid withdrawal of all US ground troops within 30 days. The call comes amidst President Erdogan’s repeated threats of launching a campaign against US-allied Kurdish troops in Northern Syria. Military analysts say that a US withdrawal would allow Erdogan relatively unchecked power in the region. So far, Turkey’s response has been muted.
- Voice of America: US Weighs Complete Withdrawal of Troops From Syria
- Haaretz: US Starts Withdrawing Troops From Syria but Campaign Not Over
- Bloomberg: Erdogan Seeks Final Piece in Power Puzzle With Kurds
Fed Hikes Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve announced today that it would raise its key interest rate by a quarter-point to 2.5%. This is the fourth time this year that the US central bank has raised interest rates; although, economists expect rate increases to slow considerably next year. Yesterday, President Trump publicly warned the Fed not to raise the rate since increases typically result in higher consumer borrowing costs. Critics say that the move ignores new economic data and signs of slowing global growth.
- Wall Street Journal: Federal Reserve Interest-Rate Decision
- The Guardian: Federal Reserve raises interest rates despite pressure from Trump
- The New Yorker: Trump’s Criticism of the Fed Is Both Defensible and Counterproductive
From Deep State Radio
A DEEP STATE XMAS: THORNS FROM THE CROWN OF ENTROPY
Santa is not the only one who knows whether you have been naughty or nice. The rest of the Deep State knows too. And by the rest of the Deep State, we mean…yes, Santa is one of us. Of course. On this episode, using our intelligence assets on the North Pole and elsewhere we pluck some thorns from the Crown of Entropy and distribute them to the people, ideas and events of 2018 that most deserve them. Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law School, David Sanger of the New York Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for this year-end round-up unlike any other. TUNE IN
A DEEP STATE XMAS, PART II: JEWELS FROM THE TIARA OF OPTIMISM
What made the Tiara of Optimism sparkle in 2018? And who? We pick the positive stories of the past year and the people for whom we are the most grateful so that you can enjoy your holidays in the right spirit of optimism. (Which is the only way you get both the Philippine Coast Guard and Robert Mueller in the same conversation.). Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown, David Sanger of the New York Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for a glittering moment of hope in what has sometimes been a pretty dark year. JOIN US
BLOG: SO THE WORD IS TRAITOR
A federal judge today asked a prosecutor whether President Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, might be charged with treason. He stated that Flynn had sold his country out and openly lied to the FBI while on the grounds of the White House. He was angry at Flynn and candidly, he should have been. As a general, as a senior intelligence official, and as a citizen Flynn should have known better. The chorus of partisans who have somehow argued that he was trapped or mistreated by the FBI, were shut down today. CONTINUE