FPI Overnight Brief: June 13, 2017

The Must-Reads

  • Mattis: Trump’s military buildup begins in 2019
  • Dunford: US “will lose ability to project power” in 5 years
  • US asks China to crackdown on firms that trade w/N. Korea
  • N. Korea’s trade partners are linked, could be vulnerable
  • Willett and Bosco debate the state of Trump’s Asia policy
  • Fight in Philippines highlights US concerns of ISIS in Asia
  • Russia has developed a cyberweapon to disrupt power grids
  • David Satter: From Russia with chaos
  • Friend says Trump considering firing Mueller as special counsel

Middle East/North Africa

Iran
 
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn plans to introduce an amendment to an Iran sanctions measure that would target the country's largest commercial airline – Washington Examiner
 
Iraq
 
The gruesome remains were among at least 26 blindfolded and handcuffed bodies found in government-held areas in and around Mosul, Human Rights Watch said in a report last week, in what it concluded were extrajudicial killings probably carried out by government forces since the start of the operation to retake the city from Islamic State in October. – Los Angeles Times
 
Iraqi forces on Tuesday reported progress in the U.S.-backed campaign to dislodge Islamic State from Mosul, announcing the capture of a district just north the city's historic center. - Reuters
 
Syria
 
For all the focus on the battle to capture Raqqa, the climactic battle against the Islamic State in Syria may be about to take place along a relatively unknown river valley miles away from the group’s self-styled “caliphate” capital. – Washington Times
 
ISIS
 
The siege of Mosul and targeted killings of chemical weapons experts in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have significantly degraded the Islamic State's production capability, although the group likely retains expertise to produce small batches of sulfur mustard and chlorine agents, a London-based analysis group said Tuesday. – Associated Press
 
Its strongholds in Iraq and Syria slipping from its grasp, the Islamic State group threatened to make this year's Ramadan a bloody one at home and abroad. With attacks in Egypt, Britain and Iran among others and a land-grab in the Philippines, the group is trying to divert attention from its losses and win over supporters around the world in the twisted competition for jihadi recruits during the Muslim holy month. – Associated Press
 
The Islamic State is calling on supporters to carry out attacks in the United States and Europe during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that began two weeks ago. – Associated Press
 
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is on the brink of losing the two main centers of his 'caliphate' but even though he is on the run, it may take years to capture or kill him, officials and experts said. - Reuters
 
North Africa
 
Balshi's website was the 57th blocked since May 24, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, a non-government organization tracking the affected sites through software that monitors outages. Journalists see the campaign against them as a step toward banning all but the most state-aligned media, effectively reversing the private media boom that flourished in the final decade of former president Hosni Mubarak's rule and which they say helped push him from power in 2011. - Reuters
 
Emily Estelle writes: A Libyan militia released Saif al Islam al Qaddafi, the heir apparent of deceased Libyan dictator Muammar al Qaddafi, on June 9. The freeing of the younger Qaddafi reflects the increasing mobilization of members of the former Qaddafi regime within the ongoing struggle for control of Libya. Their reactivation, accompanied by the rise of a would-be strongman, gives weight to fears that former elements of the Qaddafi regime seek to regain their influence in the country. This feared return of the ancien régime will embolden a Salafi-jihadi insurgency inside of Libya and derail efforts to establish the inclusive and responsive governance required for lasting peace. – AEI’s Critical Threats
 
Arabian Peninsula
 
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he will vote against a $510 million U.S.-Saudi deal for precision-guided munitions sale, almost assuring Senate Democrats will oppose the deal as a bloc. – Defense News
 
A percolating crisis in the Middle East over a top U.S. military ally's support for extremist terror groups was ignited by President Donald Trump's demand that U.S. allies in the Arab world end their support for Islamic extremism, according to senior U.S. officials familiar with the situation. – Washington Free Beacon
 
Al Qaeda militants claimed responsibility for a car bomb and gun attack on an army camp in southeastern Yemen early on Monday that killed at least 10 militants and two soldiers, according to a statement posted on Twitter. - Reuters
 
UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba writes: With terrorists rampaging through the streets of European cities and hatching plots against targets in the U.S., there can be no equivocation, no hedging and no delay in taking on the radical menace. Qatar cannot own stakes in the Empire State Building and the London Shard and use the profits to write checks to affiliates of al Qaeda. It cannot plaster its name on soccer jerseys while its media networks burnish the extremist brand. It cannot be owners of Harrods and Tiffany & Co. while providing safe haven to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Israel
 
Israel will reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip after the Palestinian Authority limited how much it pays for power to the enclave run by Hamas, Israeli officials said on Monday. - Reuters

Asia

Afghanistan
 
Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Monday said the Pentagon will put strategy for the fight in Afghanistan in front of President Trump “very soon,” according to Reuters. – The Hill
 
The Taliban's second in command and head of the militant Haqqani network has denied any involvement in recent deadly attacks in Kabul and western Afghanistan. – Associated Press
 
Pakistan
 
An antiterrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced a Shiite man to death for committing blasphemy in posts on social media. The man, Taimoor Raza, 30, was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, his wives and others on Facebook and WhatsApp. – New York Times
 
Two Chinese citizens abducted last month in southwestern Pakistan have been killed, a senior Pakistani official said on Monday, though he did not indicate who was responsible for their killings. – New York Times
 
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be questioned on Thursday by investigators probing how his family obtained its vast wealth, the first time a sitting Pakistani premier has appeared before any investigative agency. - Reuters
 
India
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the White House on June 26, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced on Monday. – The Hill
 
Indian ministers have granted dozens of tax cuts as they try to defuse mounting opposition to the country’s biggest tax reform in generations, which is due to come into place in just three weeks. – Financial Times
 
China
 
The Chinese Communist Party’s powerful disciplinary wing is taking aim at the country’s internet censors for not pushing a party-line agenda, saying they were “irresolute” in implementing the policies of President Xi Jinping and “not trying hard enough to ensure political security.” – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
In Dapu, as in much of China’s rural heartland, the chemical industry is king — the backbone of years of above-average economic growth. Local Communist Party officials depended on Meilun and other plants for their livelihoods and political fortunes, and they had a history of ignoring environmental violations to keep the factories humming. – New York Times
 
President Xi Jinping has vowed to improve the lives of the 70m Chinese still living in poverty — defined as those with an annual income of less than Rmb2,300 ($335). He hopes to relocate 10m people from rural areas by 2020, a substantial increase on the 6m moved between 2001 and 2015. The plan is seen as a plank in the Communist party’s vow to create “moderate prosperity”…. But Ms Zou and other relocated villagers in Guizhou province say these plans are already running into problems. – Financial Times
 
Korean Peninsula
 
The Trump administration has asked Beijing to take action against nearly 10 Chinese companies and individuals to curb their trading with North Korea, according to senior U.S. officials, as part of a strategy to decapitate the key networks that support Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons program. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Targeting just a few pivotal Chinese companies could severely disrupt North Korea’s ability to circumvent international sanctions and buy illicit goods — and could even cause its entire overseas network to collapse, according to a report out Tuesday. – Washington Post
 
The former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman has been one of the United States’ most unlikely links to North Korea, traveling repeatedly to the authoritarian state and gaining rare access to its leadership. Now he is back, though no details have emerged of what he plans to do there. – New York Times
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared North Korea the “most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security,” before the House Armed Services Committee on Monday night, moving Kim Jong Un’s regime past Russia as the No. 1 threat that the United States faces. – Washington Post’s Checkpoint
 
The two U.S. THAAD launchers in place on a South Korean golf course will work against the North Korean missile threat but would work a lot better with a full battery of six launchers, according to Pentagon officials. – Defense Tech
 
South Korea’s new president called for a stronger alliance with the United States and urged the combined forces to maintain a firm defense posture as they face a growing threat from the North. – Stars and Stripes
 
A suspected North Korean drone had taken photographs of an advanced U.S. anti-missile battery in South Korea before it crashed on its way home, the South Korean military said on Tuesday. - Reuters
 
Editorial: Anything short of dismantling the Thaad radar and the two sets of launchers deployed by the previous government is unlikely to appease Beijing. Abroad and at home, Mr. Moon’s attempt to please everyone is bound to backfire. Meanwhile, North Korea may be emboldened to escalate its missile and other military provocations to test the new administration. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Samantha Ravich and Anthony Ruggiero write: Ultimately, both North Korea and its enablers must understand that the United States considers an attack on American business as an attack on American sovereignty. And any such attack will not go unanswered. – Defense News
 
East Asia
 
Panama has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of recognizing China, the latest in a series of developments adding to the island’s isolation on the world stage. – New York Times
 
Colin Willett writes: Our alliances and partnerships in Asia have been built on this idea — that the post-World War II system of laws and norms benefits us all, and that cooperating to protect that system is worth investing in, even when doing so is difficult. But if the United States won’t do so, why should anyone else? Secretary Mattis clearly understands this — but what’s less certain is that the administration he represents agrees, and our friends and partners in Asia are no doubt keenly aware of the disconnect. – Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government
 
Joseph Bosco writes: On balance, for all the perceived oscillation in presidential rhetoric, the U.S. position on North Korea, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, and security relations with our Asian allies, are stronger today than they were just four months ago. The negative legacy dynamic has been slowed if not yet entirely halted and promises to be reversed if the overall policy of firmness is maintained. – Real Clear World
 
Southeast Asia
 
The United States is grappling with a hardening reality: Islamic State terrorism is on the rise in Southeast Asia, and it could worsen as foreign fighters abandon the battlefields of Iraq and Syria for new regions. – Washington Post’s Checkpoint
 
Governments across Southeast Asia had been bracing for the time when Islamic State, on a back foot in Iraq and Syria, would look to establish a 'caliphate' in Southeast Asia and become a terrifying threat to the region. - Reuters
 
Fighting in Marawi City in the southern Philippines entered its fourth week on Tuesday with military officials conceding that troops were struggling to loosen the grip of Islamist fighters on downtown precincts despite relentless bombing. - Reuters
 
The Islamic State militant group has a presence in nearly all provinces across Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, the military chief in Jakarta has said. - Reuters
 
Singapore is offering up its financial industry to bankroll China’s ambition to develop a network of ports, railways, power plants and other projects across a broad swath of Europe and Asia. – Associated Press
 
One policeman was injured and at least five people were arrested in clashes on Monday as authorities in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, demolished a shanty town to clear the land for development. - Reuters
 
A United Nations probe into alleged human rights abuses by Myanmar's military against the minority Rohingya people last year would inflame ethnic tensions, the country's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday. - Reuters
 
Australia
 
President Trump is preparing to accept hundreds of refugees from Iran and other terrorist-connected countries, taking them from camps being maintained by Australia under a deal his predecessor struck, without putting them through the long vetting that usually takes place, according to a report being released Monday. – Washington Times

Security

Defense Budget
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis scolded Congress on Monday for a lack of leadership when it comes to funding the Pentagon and asked lawmakers to give the Defense Department long-term certainty about its budget. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
As lawmakers grilled Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on the gap between President Trump’s defense buildup promises and his 2018 budget, Mattis reassured them the “real growth” begins in 2019. – Defense News
 
The United States, guarantor of the current world order, will lose the ability to maintain that role in five years unless something fundamental changes on Capitol Hill, Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress at an extraordinary Monday evening hearing. – Breaking Defense
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday night that the military would have enough money to buy 120 F/A-18 Super Hornets or 300 more AH-64 Apache helicopters if Congress allowed it to close unneeded bases – Washington Examiner
 
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Monday dismissed concerns about a growing pay gap between service members and their civilian counterparts, calling current military salaries “competitive” with private-sector wages. – Military Times
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared Monday that he was "shocked" upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the U.S. military's readiness for combat. – Associated Press
 
Interview: Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield spoke with Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during Dunford’s swing through Japan, Singapore, Australia, Wake Island, and Hawaii. – Breaking Defense
 
Defense
 
Air Force senior leader say there are secret plans and technologies in place designed to prevent potential enemies from obtaining information about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter when it may fly near dangerous or "contested" air space. – Scout Warrior
 
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) will be the first two carriers to field the Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker, a spokesperson told USNI News. – USNI News
 
The War
 
It's five months into the presidency of Donald J. Trump and, in the absence of a new policy, Obama's executive orders to hold review boards and close the wartime prison still govern here. Commanders are guided by a 2009 Defense Department study on how to treat the current 41-captive population. But everyone has heard Trump's campaign promise to full Guantanamo "with some bad dudes." So two-way planning is prudent. – Miami Herald
 
Strategic Issues
 
Colin Gray writes: The United States can and should act to extinguish the apparent Russian notion of profitable nuclear first use threats. Prudence now dictates the United States modernize its nuclear Triad to support its priority national goals of deterrence, assurance, and damage limitation. The LRSO is very likely to be a critical tool in these missions and deserves the full support of U.S. leadership. – National Institute for Public Policy
 
Intelligence/Cybersecurity
 
A Chinese company warned Monday that some of its remote-controlled video cameras contain flaws that a security firm said could be used in cyber attacks and cyber espionage. – Washington Free Beacon
 
Officials from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will meet next month to discuss plans to press technology firms to share encrypted data with security agencies, Australia's prime minister said on Tuesday. - Reuters

Russia/Europe

Ukraine
 
A United Nations report says hostilities have been escalating in eastern Ukraine in recent months because parties to the armed conflict there have "repeatedly failed to implement cease-fire agreements." – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
Katie LaRoque writes: A new poll by the International Republican Institute (IRI) suggests that any agreement which would permanently cede control of Ukrainian territory is likely to meet staunch opposition within Ukraine. The survey—which focuses on issues related to the conflict and contains an oversample of residents of the Ukrainian-controlled territories of the Donbas—reveals that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians believe that the Donbas region should remain part of Ukraine. – Atlantic Council
 
Hlib Vyshlinsky writes: Ukraine’s international partners should focus on preserving and ensuring the independence and efficacy of the country’s key institutions. This will result in more sustainable reforms and protection against populism by depoliticizing decisions of these institutions. This includes not only anticorruption bodies but also the National Bank of Ukraine, the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities, and the Anti-Monopoly Committee. And the most important institutions, of course, are the courts, as they have the final say in any dispute. – Atlantic Council
 
Russia
 
Hackers allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life, according to U.S. researchers. – Washington Post
 
An extraordinary wave of antigovernment protests swept across Russia on Monday, as thousands of demonstrators gathered in more than 100 cities to denounce corruption and political stagnation despite official attempts to stifle the expression of outrage. – New York Times
 
Senior senators in both parties on Monday night reached a bipartisan deal to add new sanctions on Russia and allow Congress to disapprove of any attempt by President Donald Trump to ease penalties on Moscow, the most significant GOP-backed constraint on the White House so far this year. - Politico
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers late Monday that Russia has chosen to be a “strategic competitor” with the United States and that there is no indication Moscow wants a positive relationship with America. – The Hill
 
The ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee will introduce in the coming weeks a bill aimed at forcing the Trump administration to craft a comprehensive policy to deter Russian aggression, he said Tuesday. – The Hill
 
The British government is suppressing explosive intelligence that Alexander Perepilichnyy, a financier who exposed a vast financial crime by Russian government officials, was likely assassinated on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin. – BuzzFeed
 
Margus Tsahkna and his counterparts in neighboring Latvia and Lithuania say they’re in no way unprepared for Russia’s upcoming military exercise, Zapad (“West”) 2017. The joint exercise with Belarus, which simulates a full-scale conflict with the West, happens every four years. But even so, “it’s not comfortable at all when we expect to have 100,000 troops around our borders,” Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis said during a recent visit to Washington. – Defense One
 
David Satter writes: Investigating the role of Russian disinformation in the 2016 election requires understanding the layers of deception in which Russian intelligence specialize. This won’t be possible if Mr. Trump and his adversaries are more determined to destroy each other than to face the Russian threat. Americans must understand that the Putin regime wants to paralyze the U.S., but would rather have Americans do it with their own hands. – Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
 
Arch Puddington writes: While few people today admire totalitarian Marxism as a governing system, there is a reluctance to reject it with the same moral clarity as in assessments of Nazism. As long as Stalin and Mao, two of history’s worst mass murderers, escape similar opprobrium in their own countries, a reckoning with historical truth and an understanding of its lessons will be postponed. – World Affairs Journal
 
Europe
 
The new electricity cable, along with the recent appearance of earth-moving equipment atop a rocky plateau overlooking Russia across the sea, points to one business that is flourishing in this part of the Arctic: snooping on Russia’s expanding fleet of nuclear submarines armed with ballistic missiles in the Barents Sea. – New York Times
 
Battling to hold on as prime minister of Britain after losing her majority in Parliament in the election last week, Theresa May shored up her position on Monday by expressing contrition to fellow Conservative Party lawmakers and promising to consult them more. – New York Times
 
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says Kosovo's snap parliamentary elections were held in an "orderly" manner and took place "without major irregularities or incidents." – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
Interview: Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, sat down with the Financial Times and other European newspapers on Monday to give his first interview since the process of the UK leaving the bloc began. Here is the edited transcript of Mr Barnier’s introductory remarks and exchange with reporters. – Financial Times
 
France
 
After knocking at the gates of power only a month ago, Marine Le Pen saw support for her far-right party crumble in Sunday’s first round of parliamentary elections, dashing its hopes of becoming France’s opposition party and an entrenched menace to the Europe Union. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Editorial: Mr. Macron’s meteoric rise in politics is impressive, but the real test will be whether he can put France’s 10% unemployment rate on a downward trajectory and accelerate a GDP growth rate stuck at zero to 1%. With a bigger majority should come bigger reform goals to restore the vitality of France. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Editorial: After Germany’s election in September, Mr. Macron will seek to revitalize the partnership of Paris and Berlin. He wants to take bold steps to stabilize the euro, such as establishing a common investment fund and even a euro-area treasury and parliament . If she is reelected, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be skeptical, but she should listen. If radical centrism fails in France, it is likely to be supplanted by radical populism. – Washington Post

Americas

United States of America
 
A West Coast federal appeals court upheld the freeze on President Trump’s travel ban Monday, declaring that Trump had exceeded his lawful authority in suspending the issuance of visas to residents of six Muslim-majority countries and suspending the U.S. refu­gee program. – Washington Post
 
With much of his senior staff still to be named, his department’s programs on the chopping block, and his influence with the boss in question, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson could face some uncomfortable moments when he appears Tuesday for a Senate hearing on President Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint. – Washington Times
 
The Trump administration plans to cut $4.5 million from Radio Free Asia in a move that critics say would sharply reduce  Chinese language broadcasts into China by the pro-democracy radio. – Washington Free Beacon
 
Senators on both sides of the aisle are raising alarms about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy and questioning whether the administration’s actions threaten the United States’ position as a global leader. – Roll Call
 
Donald Trump’s pick to be FBI director was at the center of a controversial immigrant detentions in the immediate wake of 9/11, when dozens of people were spirited away to maximum security prisons and kept from communicating with their families and lawyers––sometimes for weeks. – The Daily Beast
 
As Michael Flynn spent last fall campaigning as Donald Trump’s top national security adviser, his little-known business partner supervised much of the foreign political work for Turkish interests that has boomeranged back on Flynn, now the target of a federal criminal investigation and congressional inquiries. – Associated Press
 
Trade
 
The Trump administration’s bid to put in place more protectionist trade policies could get a boost as soon as this week, as the Commerce Department wraps up an investigation into the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports. That could mean tariffs or quotas on the amount of metal the U.S. could import from certain countries. – Foreign Policy’s The Cable
 
Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to take on China and its trade practices. But according to a new study, it is US allies in Asia and Europe that are set to bear the burden of a new wave of US protectionism shaping up to be the largest seen in decades. – Financial Times
 
Mueller
 
A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. – New York Times
 
The special counsel who earned bipartisan praise last month as an unimpeachable investigator who would give President Donald Trump a fair shake in the Russia probe is now taking heat from Trump surrogates intent on trying to undercut his integrity. - Politico
 
Russian Election Interference
 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s appearance Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee will be a high-stakes test for a Trump official who has kept a low profile even as he has become a central figure in the scandal engulfing the White House over Russia and the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director. – Washington Post
 
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson met Monday with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators on the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. – Washington Examiner
 
Julia Ioffe writes: With Trump in the Oval Office, Sessions left behind his Senate seat on February 8, 2017, to take up his current post as attorney general. But he has not been able to shake the questions raised by his encounters with ambassadors, including Kislyak, in the summer of 2016. If anything, his answers have only raised more questions. – The Atlantic
 
United Nations
 
The omission provided early insight into a U.N. leader who has chosen to tread lightly on human rights issues as he seeks to carve out a role for himself as a potential peacemaker around the world. In meetings with influential foreign autocrats, from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Saudi King Salman, Guterres has shown an aversion to delivering stern lectures about crackdowns on journalists and human rights advocates. – Foreign Policy
 
Latin America
 
The surgeon worked in his native Venezuela saving patients with gunshot and knife wounds until last year, when he fled the chaotic, impoverished country like thousands of other professionals. Now he finds himself as part of a cluster of Venezuelan physicians looking after fishermen and shepherds here on a green archipelago in the frigid Southern Pacific. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The venue for a major Cuba policy speech President Trump is expected to make in Miami this Friday will send a powerful message to the Castro regime, sources said. – Washington Free Beacon
 
Venezuela's chief prosecutor said on Monday her family had been threatened and followed by intelligence agents since she split with the government, and violence broke out in protests at the Supreme Court over a bid to change the constitution. - Reuters
 
Latin America needs to take action to help Venezuela resolve its political crisis or risk the country turning into a "sea of blood," Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Monday, warning that a wave of refugees could hit neighboring Colombia. - Reuters

Africa

Armed men stormed the Kangbayi prison on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, freeing more than 900 inmates, most of them charged with taking part in mass killings in the country’s restive northeast. – New York Times
 
Over a hundred days in 1994, genocide devastated Rwanda, an East African country the size of Maryland. The assailants claimed roughly 800,000 lives and raped an estimated 250,000 women, which, according to one charity’s count, produced up to 20,000 babies. Angel is part of this generation in the shadows. These young people are now stepping into adulthood, coming to terms with an identity no parent would wish on a child. Yet they are defying expectations that tragedy would define their lives. – Washington Post
 
A U.S. airstrike killed eight militants Sunday in Somalia, where in recent months an Islamic extremist group has intensified operations against U.S.-backed forces and "cemented its control of southern and central Somalia," the military said. – Stars and Stripes
 
Nigeria's anti-corruption agency is investigating the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, according to a document seen by Reuters on Monday, part of a campaign against graft being waged by President Muhammadu Buhari's government. - Reuters

Trump Administration

There are a lot of empty offices around the E-ring, the most prestigious sector of the Pentagon, where top defense officials enjoy the rare privilege of windows. But that’s about to change, a senior aide to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told me. – Breaking Defense
 
The Senate voted Monday night to approve President Trump's pick for assistant secretary for homeland defense and global security at the Pentagon – Washington Examiner
 
Kori Schake writes: Remember the iconic New Yorker cover with Manhattan as the towering center of the world, all else minuscule, nothing between the Atlantic and Pacific coastal cities? Americans and the world are once again getting a lesson in relative geography. Because no distance seems as large as that between the national-security office buildings of the American government and the White House in the Trump administration. – Defense One

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The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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