Cup of News – June 24th, 2017
RamenIR’s own Matthew Brewer details the spectrum of outcomes at the UK begins Brexit negotiations with the EU. In the aftermath of Theresa May’s failed attempt to grab more seats in parliament, the UK is starting in a position of disarray. Brewer writes, “Prime Minister May has miscalculated at nearly every step of the Brexit process, from thinking that the UK can have its cake and eat it too, to insisting on a hard Brexit to satisfy fundamentally misguided public opinion. The UK has voluntarily abdicated its role as a global economic power, and the rest of the world is scrabbling for Britain’s remains.”
In a stunning piece of investigative journalism, the Washington Post tells the most detailed story to date about the view inside the Obama White House as intelligence agencies briefed the 44th president on Russian interference in the electoral process in 2016. The reporters write, “More than any other measure, that decision has become a source of regret to senior administration officials directly involved in the Russia debate. The outcome has left the impression that Obama saw Russia’s military meddling in Ukraine as more deserving of severe punishment than its subversion of a U.S. presidential race.”
Saudi Arabia has declared a new heir to its monarchy. With Gulf politics and diplomacy in a tense state, the future king of the Arabian peninsula offers a different prospect for the Middle East. Mohammed Bazzai writes, “Bin Salman’s ascent entrenches Saudi Arabia’s newly emboldened foreign policy throughout the Middle East—especially its aggressive posture toward its chief regional rival, Iran. The younger Salman has been the major force behind the kingdom’s biggest gambles since his father ascended to the throne in January 2015.”
In a unique series of surveys conducted among the population of several European countries, as well as identified political influences, the authors of this research paper find that, “The elite are more likely to experience the benefits of EU integration and are more liberal and optimistic. Meanwhile, there is simmering discontent within the public, large sections of whom view the EU in negative terms, want to see it return some powers to member states, and feel anxious over the effects of immigration.” The full report is an important look at why some elites may seem befuddled at the continent’s rise of populism, given that they see a fundamentally different reality than their populations.
With Kurdish forces marching on Raqqa and the Iraqi Army reaching the end of the operation to take back Mosul, is this the end of ISIS? Some experts suggest that in its death throws, its members will leave the Levant and carry out attacks elsewhere. Robin Wright writes, “Its loyalists still number in the many thousands. And thousands who fought in Iraq and Syria have already returned home; its influence is now global. It is still capable of craven violence, from inspiring terrorist attacks in Britain to waging an insurgency in the Philippines. The scariest scenario is the prospect of someday feeling nostalgia for a period when most of isis was contained in one place.”
Food security is an oft overlooked component of international politics and security. CSIS looks at the sourcing and supply chains that deliver food to China’s increasingly urban, albeit still rural, population of 1.4 billion people. The authors write, “China has become increasingly reliant on imports to offset its domestic agricultural limitations, prompting Chinese leaders to openly reframe their strategy for food self-sufficiency”