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posted on 22 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Dollar And Oil All Up, Gold Down, Trump Goes Open-ended On Afghans, Big UK Current Acct Deficit, Iraq And Saudis Get Chummy, Himalayan War Zone, And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 22 August 2017

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.


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  • President Donald Trump's Monday night comments on Pakistan and India could worsen ties between the two rivals
  • The leader should be seeking to unite the South Asian giants, not encouraging divides, experts said


  • Trump ramps up war in Afghanistan, rejects timetables (The Hill) President Trump on Monday announced he will not pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying he’s committed to a new strategy aimed at winning the nation’s longest war. During a prime-time address to the nation, Trump declared a rapid exit from the war-torn nation would leave a major power vacuum that would create a new safe haven for terrorists - a result he called “predictable and unacceptable." See also 5 takeaways from Trump's Afghan speech.
  • GOP lawmaker: Trump has bowed to the 'military-industrial establishment' (The Hill) Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) slammed President Trump following his address on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, saying he “bowed to [the] military-industrial establishment" with his open-ended plan. See also McCain praises Trump's Afghan speech: 'Big step in right direction'.
  • Angry Trump Grilled His Generals About Troop Increase, Then Gave In (The New York Times) President Trump’s skepticism about America’s involvement in Afghanistan was no secret to his staff. But his top national security officials were still taken aback at a meeting in the Situation Room on July 19, when an angry Mr. Trump began ripping apart their latest proposal to send thousands of additional American troops to the country. The day before that meeting, Mr. Trump had invited four soldiers who had served in Afghanistan to the White House for lunch. His exchanges with these enlisted men, an official said, left him sober about the prospects for turning around a war that has dragged on for nearly 16 years. He showed up the next day determined to ask hard questions. His final decision, several officials said, was less a change of heart than a weary acceptance of the case, made during three months of intense White House debate by the military leaders who dominate his war cabinet.
  • US Gross National Debt to Spike by $800 Billion in October? (Wolf Street) The debt ceiling shenanigans make the entire world shake its collective head and pray that Congress, after going through its charade, will for the umpteenth time raise the debt limit. The other option is a US default. Its global consequences are too ugly to even imagine. In the past prolonged delays in raising the debt ceiling have resulted in a spike in new bond issuance after the ceiling was raised. Same could happen this year.




Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia engages Iraq at Iran's dismay (Al Monitor) Pictures displaying Iran's Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani during the battles with the Islamic State stopped circulating online with the military phase that ended in the liberation of Mosul. The Iranian presence and support for the Iraqi forces were absent in the liberation battles. Simultaneously, Iraqi officials visited Saudi Arabia and Arab Sunni states that cheer for the Saudi axis. Sadrist leader Muqtada al-Sadr visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Aug. 13-15, with clerics and politicians welcoming him as an Iraqi leader. Prominent Sunni Iraqi cleric Ahmed al-Kubaisi and leading politicians met with Sadr during his visit to the UAE. This was only a few days after his visit at the end of July to Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials had welcomed him. Iran is not pleased and has strongly criticized these events.


  • US Refuses to Accept Iran as a Regional Power (The Real News Network) From Afghanistan to Iraq, the Trump administration, leading Democrats and much of the foreign policy and military establishment believe the U.S. should be more aggressive towards Iran. That's a very dangerous situation that can lead to war, noted Iran expert Trita Parsi tells Paul Jay on Reality Asserts Itself.


  • China protest with India, blames India for Pangong Lake incident in Ladakh (The Times of India) Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni. China on Monday blamed Indian soldiers for "violent action" against its troops during a standoff at Pangong Lake in Ladakh on August 15 leading to scuffles and stone pelting, and has lodged a protest with India. Indian border guards had foiled an attempt by the Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, resulting in stone pelting that caused minor injuries to troops on both the sides. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying claimed that the incident occurred when Chinese border troops were conducting normal patrol on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) around the Lake area on August 15. Econintersect: Some say that this area 3 miles above sea level is where World War III might start. See also next article.

  • Chinese media protests against unfurling of Tibetan flag in Ladakh (The Times of India) Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni. Chinese media is criticizing a reported move by the Tibetan government in exile to unfurl a flag representing its idea of "Tibetan national flag" on the shores of Bangong Lake, known as Pangong Lake in India, in Ladakh. The lake is near the actual line of control between China and India, a commentary in Beijing-based Global Times pointed out. Though there is no evidence of the New Delhi's involvement, the article accused India of using the Tibet card:

"New Delhi publicly promises not to allow any anti-China political activities by Tibetan exiles on Indian territory. But it has long used the Tibet question as a diplomatic card in dealing with Beijing."



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