News Roundup 9/18/2023

by | Sep 18, 2023

News Roundup 9/18/2023

by | Sep 18, 2023

US News

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Washington next week as Congress debates the $24 billion in additional spending on the proxy war in Ukraine that the White House has requested. AWC
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky implied in an interview with The Economist that Ukrainian refugees in Europe might resort to terrorism if Western aid to Ukraine is curtailed. AWC
  • Senator Jack Reed is leading an aggressive probe into Elon Musk and SpaceX’s role in the American war industry. AWC
  • Sweden said Thursday that Ukrainian pilots have completed a first round of training on Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets. AWC
  • The US State Department and Treasury announced on Thursday a large sanctions package targeting Moscow’s trade with some of Washington’s allies and partners. The aim of this new sanctions package, one of the largest yet, is to block off Russia’s access to money, financial channels and Western technology allegedly being used to bolster the Kremlin’s war effort. The Institute 
  • As Kiev’s offensive fails to achieve its goals, Western officials are increasingly preparing for a war of attrition in Ukraine. Prague says it is searching its military stockpiles for more weapons to send to Ukraine. The Institute
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the US for waging a proxy war in Ukraine. The Washington-led North Atlantic alliance has transferred nearly $100 billion in military aid to Kyiv. Lavrov said the White House was controlling Ukraine’s military decisions. AWC
  • North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un concluded his six-day state visit to Russia on Sunday. While Kim did not ink an official agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two leaders discussed several domains where the two nations planned to increase cooperation. The growing ties between Moscow and Pyongyang come as President Joe Biden has pledged to isolate Russia from the rest of the world. AWC
  • The top-ranking American military official and the civilian head of the North Atlantic alliance believe the war in Ukraine will continue for years if Kyiv is to achieve its military goals. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree outlawing talks with Russia and plans to restore Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders. AWC
  • Senator Jack Reed is leading an aggressive probe into Elon Musk and SpaceX’s role in the American war industry. The investigation stems from an incident where SpaceX declined a request from the Ukrainian government to extend the range of Starlink for an attack on Russia. That incident has been widely misreported as Musk ordering SpaceX to deactivate Starlink to thwart the Ukrainian attack. AWC

China

  • The US will withhold $85 million in annual military aid to Egypt and redirect some of the funds to Taiwan, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. AWC
  • China has been conducting major military drills near Taiwan and other areas of the western Pacific in an effort to push back against the increasing US activity in the region. AWC
  • In February, a Chinese balloon floated over the US, prompting politicians on both sides of the aisle to claim Beijing was threatening Americans. The event led American officials to cancel high-level meetings with their Chinese diplomats. Seven months later, Gen. Mark Milley said the balloon never collected intelligence. AWC
  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held 12 hours of meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta this weekend, potentially paving the way for leader-level discussions later this year. Although the talks come as tensions are soaring between the world’s two largest economies, the meeting has been described as “candid, substantive and constructive,” according to separate statements published Sunday by the White House and the Chinese Foreign Ministry. AWC

Iran

  • The US issued dozens of sanctions on Iran as Washington and Tehran negotiate a deal that could see several prisoners released.  Additionally, France, Germany, and the UK extended sanctions on Iran that were set to expire. AWC

Niger

  • The commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa told reporters Wednesday that the US is considering moving its drone base in Niger following the July 26 coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. AWC
  • Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso have signed a charter establishing a mutual defense pact, dubbed the Alliance of Sahel States, on Saturday. The pact commits the three sides to support one another, including with military forces, in response to any external aggression or armed rebellion. It has been described as a “collective [defense] and mutual assistance framework” by Mali military leader Assimi Goita. AWC

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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