News Roundup 1/8/19

Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

China

  • Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan tells top Pentagon officials his focus will be ‘China China China.’ [Link]
  • Kim Jong-un travels to China and meets with President Xi. [Link]
  • China’s president calls for reunification of China and Taiwan. Taiwan’s president calls for international support of Taiwanese independence. [Link]
  • Eric Margolis on the increasing tensions between the US and China. [Link]

Iran Policy

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns Iran against launching rockets into space. Pompeo claims Iran launching rockets into space is the violation of a UN Security Council resolution. Iran denies this is a violation. [Link]
  • John Bolton hires Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council.

Middle East

  • Anti-Tank Guided Missiles are increasingly in the hands of terrorist and insurgent groups. The ATGMs are a threat to US forces. [Link]
  • Israeli police clash with Israeli settlers protesting a court order evicting them from their settlement. 23 Israeli police and three settlers were injured. [Link]
  • Saudi prosecutors will seek the death penalty for five suspects in the Khashoggi murder. [Link]
  • Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels capture 20 towns and villages from Turkish backed Syrian rebels. [Link]
  • Saudi backed forces are attacking Houthi forces east of Sanaa. Saudi is giving air support to the attackers. The Yemeni government claims 15 Houthi were killed in the attack. [Link]
  • Gareth Porter writes on the possible rapid end to the war in Yemen. [Link]

Somalia

  • AFRICOM claims a US airstrike killed ten militants in Somalia. [Link]  
  • A Somali district police chief was murdered. [Link]
  • The US carried out at least 46 airstrikes in Somalia during 2018. [Link]
  • The Pentagon is planning to scale back in Somalia. The Pentagon plans to remove some special operation forces from Somalia. Under the Pentagon plan, the CIA would take over calling in airstrikes. The plan reflects the Pentagon’s assessment that al-Shabaab is not a direct threat to the US. [Link]

Gabon

  • Trump deploys 80 troops to Gabon in preparation for unrest in the Congo. [Link] The Democratic Republic of the Congo delays the announcement of the results of last week’s presidential election. [Link]
  • A coup attempt in Gabon was defeated. Two of the plotters were killed, and seven were arrested. [Link]
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Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan