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Navigating Uncertainty: The Intersection of Global Politics, Tech, and Economics


Summaries and Links to This Week’s Curated Articles

June 24 – 30, 2024

This week’s curated summaries delve into the intricate web of global affairs, highlighting the dominance of the U.S. dollar amidst challenges from emerging payment systems, the pivotal role of Nvidia in buoying U.S. stock markets, and the groundbreaking innovations in 3D printing and AI that are redefining industries. From the disastrous Presidential debate to the geopolitical maneuvers of nations grappling with the ramifications of ongoing conflicts to the economic ramifications of tech-driven market shifts, this comprehensive overview underscores the precarious balance of power and the relentless pace of change. In an era where stability is elusive, understanding these interconnections is crucial for navigating the unpredictable tides of the future.




International Political Landscape

Significant tensions and strategic maneuvers mark the international political landscape. "Putin Vows to Make New Nuclear Missiles and Weigh Putting Them Near NATO Nations" by David E. Sanger and Anton Troianovski, published by The New York Times, reports on President Vladimir Putin's declaration to produce new intermediate-range nuclear missiles and hints at deploying them within range of NATO nations. This move, amidst rising tensions with the West, aims to exert pressure and signals a strategic shift in nuclear arms control. Additionally, "How the World Reacted to Biden’s ‘Disastrous’ Debate Performance" by Michael Birnbaum, published by The Washington Post, highlights global concerns following President Joe Biden's faltering debate performance, prompting U.S. rivals to recalibrate their strategies in anticipation of a potential second Trump presidency. This article underscores the significant impact of U.S. domestic politics on international perceptions and diplomatic maneuvers.


Technological Innovations

Technological innovations continue to reshape industries and defense strategies. "NATO Boosts Undersea Cable Infrastructure Fearing Russian Sabotage" by Jack Detsch and Keith Johnson, published by Foreign Policy, discusses NATO's efforts to protect undersea communication and energy cables amid fears of Russian sabotage. This initiative highlights the strategic importance of securing global communication networks against potential disruptions. Meanwhile,How AI Might Affect Decision-making in a National Security Crisis," by Christopher S. Chivvis and Jennifer Kavanagh, published by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, explores the potential impacts of AI on national security decision-making processes. The article discusses how AI could both expedite and complicate decision-making, influence groupthink and alter the dynamics of bureaucratic politics. It emphasizes the need for clear AI governance and extensive risk mitigation training.

Economic Developments

Economic developments highlight the volatility and strategic shifts in global markets. "Anti-China Protectionism on Electric Vehicles Could Be a Dead End for West" by Jorge Guajardo, published by Foreign Policy, argues that Western tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles may hinder competitiveness, suggesting that long-term protectionism without strategic investments could lead to economic stagnation. This reflects broader economic and trade challenges between major global players. Additionally, "Supply Chain Latest: China’s Industrial Parks and Warehouses" by Bloomberg News reports on the growing vacancy rates in China's logistics properties, revealing struggles within the e-commerce and manufacturing sectors despite anticipated long-term growth. These economic trends underscore the complexities and challenges in maintaining competitive and resilient supply chains.




  • The dollar’s role as the primary global reserve currency is secure in the near and medium term. The dollar continues dominating foreign reserve holdings, trade invoicing, and global currency transactions. All potential rivals, including the euro, have a limited ability to challenge the dollar in the immediate future.

  • Negotiations around an intra-BRICS payment system are in the early stages, but the members have reached bilateral and plurilateral agreements with one another, with a focus on cross-border wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) and currency swap agreements. These agreements are likely difficult to scale due to regulatory and liquidity issues but may form the basis for a currency exchange platform over time.

  • Nearly a third of all central banks plan on increasing their gold reserves in 2024. While the euro was once considered a competitor to the dollar’s international role, it continues to lag far behind and is weakening as an attractive reserve currency. The 2022 sanctions on Russia signaled to reserve managers that the euro exposed them to similar geopolitical risks as the dollar. Those looking to de-risk away from the dollar have turned to gold.

  • Nvidia leads tech advance, helping lift US stocks. A rally in the world’s largest technology companies boosted stocks, with Nvidia climbing almost 7% after a $430 billion selloff. Nvidia’s investor relations chief is leaving to become CFO of a startup

  • Canada’s Conservative win bodes a shaky Trudeau future.

  • Paul Singer is bringing MAGA to Wall Street.

  • ​​​​​​​Stocks lost traction, a sign that the tech industry that’s powered the bull market may be due for a breather.

  • ​​​​​​​Top record labels are suing AI startups for IP infringement

  • China’s big three telcos are under US investigation




Researchers demonstrate the first chip-based 3D printer: Their proof-of-concept device consists of a single, millimeter-scale photonic chip that emits reconfigurable beams of light into a well of resin that cures into a solid shape when light strikes it.

L’Oréal Wows with Live Demo of Bioprinted Skin Model at Viva Tech 2024: The hardware can replicate the complexity of real human skin, and for the first time, L’Oréal demonstrated the process live at the event.

US Air Force Awards RapidFlight $10M for 3D Printed Drones: This contract is for the realization of the SPX, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) with a 150 nm range and a 5.4 kg payload.

Microsoft is reworking Recall after researchers point out its security problems: Windows Hello authentication, additional encryption being added to protect data.

Analyst: Nvidia GPU Market Share Now at 88%, AMD With 12%. Intel is technically in the market, too, but it lacks enough share to register a blip on the radar.

Dutch chip giant NXP plans $7.8B plant in Singapore amid tensions with China: Chip makers are seeking to diversify supply chains

How to Build a Better Medical Device Using Micro Actuators: Linear actuators are in demand for medical devices because they provide precise and controlled linear movement on a smaller and smaller scale.

Forget the Hype – Here’s Some Real AI: The true value of AI in manufacturing is its ability to become the brain for the manufacturing system.

More evidence suggests regular consumption of melatonin can reduce chances of age-related macular degeneration: In their study, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, the group researched case histories of 200,000 older patients looking for an association between regular consumption of melatonin and the development of AMD.


"How AI Might Affect Decision-making in a National Security Crisis," by Christopher S. Chivvis and Jennifer Kavanagh, published by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, explores the potential impacts of AI on national security decision-making processes. The article discusses how AI could both expedite and complicate decision-making, influence groupthink and alter the dynamics of bureaucratic politics. It emphasizes the need for clear AI governance and extensive risk mitigation training. Published on June 17, 2024. [Read more](


"The Operational Risks of AI in Large-Scale Biological Attacks," by Christopher A. Mouton, Caleb Lucas, and Ella Guest, published by RAND Corporation, investigates whether artificial intelligence, specifically large language models (LLMs), increases the feasibility of planning biological weapon attacks. The study concludes that current LLMs do not significantly enhance the operational risk of such attacks, finding no substantial difference in the quality of attack plans generated with or without AI assistance. Published on June 30, 2024. [Read more] (





"Trump-Biden Presidential Debate: Russia-Ukraine, Israel-Hamas War Dominate Foreign-Policy Section," by Rishi Iyengar and Christina Lu, published by Foreign Policy, analyzes the significant foreign-policy issues addressed during the first 2024 presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. The debate covered topics including the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas conflict, immigration, and America's global image, revealing stark differences in the candidates' approaches to international relations. Biden defended his administration's support for Ukraine and sought to position the U.S. as a global unifier, while Trump criticized Biden's policies and vowed to resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict without providing specifics. The discussion also touched on their stances regarding Israel and Gaza, with both candidates offering strong support for Israel but differing on the approach. Immigration policies sparked heated exchanges, reflecting the contentious nature of the issue. Notably, despite being a major global rival, China was mentioned only briefly, suggesting a convergence in the candidates' hawkish stances towards the country. [Link to the article] (


"How the World Reacted to Biden’s ‘Disastrous’ Debate Performance," by Michael Birnbaum, published by The Washington Post, examines the global response to President Joe Biden's perceived faltering during the first presidential debate against Donald Trump on June 27, 2024. The article highlights how diplomats and world leaders, already wary of a potential second Trump presidency, are now accelerating their strategic recalibrations in anticipation. The reactions include increased efforts by U.S. rivals to gain advantage before a potential Trump administration and concerns among allies about their security and defense strategies. The analysis underscores the significant impact of the debate on international perceptions and future diplomatic maneuvers. [Link to the article] (


"How Europe Could Fracture if Trump Returns," by Hal Brands, published by Foreign Policy, explores the potential consequences of Donald Trump winning the 2024 U.S. presidential election on Europe's geopolitical stability. The article argues that Trump's skepticism towards NATO and preference for an "America First" foreign policy could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. security commitments, potentially causing Europe to revert to its historical patterns of fragmentation and conflict. Without the stabilizing influence of the United States, Europe might struggle to coordinate collective defense efforts, leading to increased military spending, the resurgence of national antagonisms, and a decline in democratic norms. This scenario could weaken the liberal world order and create a more volatile international environment. [Link to the article] (


"The Most Dangerous Game," by Manjari Chatterjee Miller, published by Foreign Affairs, examines the dynamics of power transitions and their potential to lead to war, focusing on the relationship between the United States and China. Miller explores the historical context of power transition theory and argues that how the established power manages the international order can significantly influence whether rivalry turns into conflict. The article emphasizes the importance of adapting the international order to mitigate the risks posed by rising powers like China. Published on June 18, 2024. [Read more] (


"‘It’s All Happening Again.’ The Supply Chain Is Under Strain," by Peter S. Goodman, published by The New York Times, examines the renewed challenges facing global supply chains due to geopolitical conflicts, natural disasters, and labor disputes. The article details how Houthi rebel attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, drought-induced restrictions in the Panama Canal, and potential strikes by dockworkers and rail workers are causing significant disruptions. These factors have led to soaring shipping costs, delays, and fears of product shortages and inflation, reminiscent of the chaos during the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses are scrambling to mitigate these impacts by accelerating orders and facing increased costs, highlighting the fragile nature of global trade networks. [Link to the article] (


"SASC breaks spending cap by $25 billion in FY25 defense policy bill," by Valerie Insinna and Michael Marrow, published by Breaking Defense, reports on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) approving a $911.8 billion topline for the National Defense Authorization Act, significantly surpassing the $895 billion defense spending cap set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The bill allocates $878.4 billion to the Defense Department and $33.4 billion to defense-related activities in the Department of Energy, with additional provisions for various military programs and initiatives. This move, led by Sen. Roger Wicker, has sparked debate within the committee, resulting in SASC Chairman Jack Reed voting against the bill due to concerns about potential sequestration cuts. [Link to the article] (


"Here’s how DIU will spend almost $1B this year," by Carley Welch, published by Breaking Defense, outlines the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) plans for allocating the $938 million budget for fiscal year 2024. The funding will support DIU's "DIU 3.0" strategy, focusing on closing critical operational capability gaps for the U.S. military. Key initiatives include uncrewed systems, the Joint Fires Network, commercial space projects, energy, cyber, and human systems. Additional funding will launch new projects in counter-unmanned aerial systems, space transport, and advanced manufacturing. A portion of the budget will accelerate innovation hub collaborations and enhance regional outreach, cybersecurity for small vendors, and access to testing ranges. [Link to the article] (


"DISA eyes ‘aggressive’ goal of automating 75 percent of cyber capabilities," by Carley Welch, published by Breaking Defense, details the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) ambitious plan to automate 75 percent of its cybersecurity operations using artificial intelligence. Brian Hermann, DISA's cybersecurity and analytics director, emphasizes the necessity of this automation to handle the increasing cyber threats from China, allowing human analysts to focus on more complex tasks. Key initiatives include creating a centralized data architecture to streamline operations and enhance zero trust security measures. Although there is no fixed timeline, DISA is committed to achieving this goal to improve efficiency and security. [Link to the article] (


"Can four big commands prepare the Air Force to win wars?" by Courtney Mabeus-Brown, published by Military Times, explores the U.S. Air Force's plan to streamline its structure by consolidating its current nine major commands into four "institutional commands." These new commands will focus on combat readiness, career-long training, acquisition, and future force planning. This reorganization aims to improve efficiency, mirroring strategies used by other military branches, and better prepare airmen for future conflicts, particularly in the context of rising global threats. The restructuring effort, part of a broader strategy to outpace adversaries like China, includes the establishment of new commands and the reallocation of existing assets and missions to enhance overall combat capability and readiness. [Link to the article](




"France Election 2024: Macron, Le Pen and a Political System Under Strain," by Tom Pfeiffer, published by Bloomberg, delves into the high-stakes nature of the upcoming French parliamentary elections, where Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally is poised to secure significant votes against President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party. The election follows Macron's call for a snap vote after his party's poor performance in the European elections. The article discusses the potential political upheaval if the National Rally gains power, highlighting France's semi-presidential system and the challenges of coalition-building in the National Assembly. The outcome could force a cohabitation government, complicating Macron's pro-EU stance and his support for Ukraine. [Link to the article] (


"NATO Boosts Undersea Cable Infrastructure, Fearing Russian Sabotage," by Jack Detsch and Keith Johnson, published by Foreign Policy, discusses NATO's efforts to enhance the protection of undersea communication and energy cables amid growing concerns of potential Russian sabotage. Following incidents such as the 2022 attack on Norway's Svalbard cables and the 2023 Balticconnector pipeline damage, NATO has established an undersea infrastructure coordination group. This group integrates military, civilian, and private sector efforts to safeguard the extensive network that supports global communications and economy. The strategy includes mapping vulnerabilities, deploying sensors, and leveraging AI to monitor and protect these critical assets. [Link to the article] (


"NATO Forgot About its Military," published by Foreign Policy, explores the current state of NATO as it celebrates its 75th anniversary, facing both triumphs and significant challenges. The alliance has seen strengthened collective resolve and new members like Sweden and Finland, with a record number of member states meeting the defense spending goal. However, NATO struggles with a shortage of troops, highlighting a critical gap in military capacity amidst rising threats, particularly from Russia. The article also discusses the upcoming leadership transition from Jens Stoltenberg to Mark Rutte, emphasizing the need for robust defense strategies and capacity-building within the alliance. [Link to the article] (


"Supply Chain Latest: China, EU and Electric Vehicle Tariffs," by Brendan Murray, published by Bloomberg, covers the escalating tensions between China and the European Union over proposed tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). The article highlights Beijing's strategic push to delay or prevent these tariffs, potentially by offering incentives to influential EU member states like Germany. This move comes in response to the EU's investigation into alleged subsidies in China's EV industry, which revealed substantial government support. The geopolitical maneuvering reflects broader economic and trade challenges, including the impact on global supply chains and the automotive sector. [Link to the article](


"Apple Hit by First Charges Under EU's New DMA Tech Law," by Kim Mackrael, published by The Wall Street Journal, details the European Union's charges against Apple for allegedly violating the new Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EU claims that Apple's App Store restricts developers from directing customers to alternative purchasing methods, contravening the DMA's competition rules. This marks the first enforcement action under the DMA, which aims to foster competition in digital markets. If found guilty, Apple could face fines up to 10% of its global revenue. The case highlights ongoing regulatory challenges for Apple in Europe, adding to previous antitrust fines. [Link to the article] (



"Putin Vows to Make New Nuclear Missiles and Weigh Putting Them Near NATO Nations," by David E. Sanger and Anton Troianovski, published by The New York Times, reports on President Vladimir V. Putin's declaration to produce new intermediate-range nuclear-capable missiles. Putin hinted at deploying these missiles within range of NATO nations in Europe and American allies in Asia amidst rising tensions with the West. This announcement, before major elections in Britain and France and ahead of the NATO summit, seems to be a strategic move to exert pressure. The decision follows the U.S.'s 2019 withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, marking a significant shift in nuclear arms control dynamics. [Link to the article] (


"How Ukraine’s Naval Drones Turned the Tide in the Battle of the Black Sea," by James Marson, published by The Wall Street Journal, details how Ukraine’s innovative use of naval drones has significantly impacted the ongoing conflict in the Black Sea. Ukrainian forces have utilized these small, explosive-laden craft to damage or sink around two dozen Russian ships, disrupt critical supply routes, and force the dispersion of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The article highlights the strategic ingenuity behind these drones, which are cost-effective, hard to detect, and capable of carrying out complex missions that traditional naval forces struggle to counter. This technological edge has bolstered Ukraine’s defensive capabilities and demonstrated how smaller nations can leverage innovative warfare tactics against more powerful adversaries. [Link to the article] (


"How Russian Elites Made Peace With the War," by Mikhail Zygar, published by Foreign Affairs, explores the shift in attitude among Russian elites regarding the war in Ukraine. Initially shocked and opposed to the invasion, many elites now accept the war as a tolerable reality, influenced by Moscow's battlefield gains and diminishing Western support for Kyiv. This acceptance has reduced the likelihood of elites challenging Kremlin decisions, as they focus more on the war's potential outcomes rather than opposing it. Published on June 28, 2024. [Read more] (


"ICC Arrest Warrants for Two Russian Military Members," by Alexandra Sharp, published by Foreign Policy, reports on the International Criminal Court's (ICC) issuance of arrest warrants for General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s most senior military officer, and Sergei Shoigu, the former Russian Defense Minister, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC accuses them of directing strikes against civilian targets in Ukraine, specifically targeting Kyiv’s energy infrastructure during the winter of 2022. This move follows previous ICC warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for similar charges. The warrants are largely symbolic within Russia, as the country is not an ICC member, but they limit the travel of the accused to ICC member states, where they would face arrest. [Link to the article] (


"Putin and the Logic of Eternal War," by Kseniya Kirillova, published by the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), examines Vladimir Putin's recent statements on peace negotiations and the underlying realities of Russia's war strategy. Despite publicly expressing a willingness to negotiate, Putin's conditions are unacceptable to both Ukraine and radical Russian nationalists, signaling his intent to continue the conflict. The article explores how Putin's stance may escalate tensions with the West and highlights the influence of ultra-nationalist factions within Russia, who reject any peace overtures. Published on June 25, 2024. [Read more] (





"Transformation of China's Policy Towards Taiwan - What's Novel about China's Taiwan Trade Barrier Investigation," by Shingo Ito, published by The Japan Institute of International Affairs, examines the recent measures taken by China in response to Taiwan's import restrictions on Chinese goods. The article explores how China's retaliatory actions, including the partial suspension of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), represent a novel approach in China's policy towards Taiwan. These measures, initiated in April 2023, reflect a shift from targeting specific products to challenging Taiwan's overall regulatory regime, highlighting the ongoing economic and political tensions between the two entities. Published on April 22, 2024. [Read more] (


"Have China’s Wolf Warriors Gone Extinct?" by Tyler Jost, published by Foreign Affairs, explores the rise and fall of China's aggressive diplomatic style known as "wolf warrior diplomacy." Initiated in 2019, this approach saw Chinese diplomats using combative and nationalistic rhetoric to confront foreign critics. However, over the last three years, China has gradually returned to a more traditional diplomatic approach, likely due to changes in the international environment and directives from President Xi Jinping. The article discusses the implications of this shift for U.S.-China relations and the potential for a resurgence of wolf warrior tactics if Beijing feels threatened. Published on June 27, 2024. [Read more](


"Supply Chain Latest: China's Industrial Parks and Warehouses," by Bloomberg News, published by Bloomberg, reports on the growing vacancy rates in China's logistics properties, particularly in eastern and northern regions, where the rates have reached their highest levels in years. Despite the anticipated long-term boom in e-commerce, manufacturing, and food storage, many logistics hubs are now struggling to find tenants, forcing owners to reduce rents and shorten lease terms. The contrast is stark compared to other Asian markets like South Korea, Japan, and Australia, which are experiencing high occupancy and rent growth. Published on June 27, 2024. [Read more] (


"Xi Jinping’s Russian Lessons," by Joseph Torigian, published by Foreign Affairs, delves into the historical and contemporary dynamics between China and Russia, focusing on the relationship between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. Drawing from the experiences of Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun, with Moscow during the twentieth century, the article highlights how these historical lessons influence Xi Jinping’s approach to Sino-Russian relations today. The analysis explores how the partnership is shaped by anti-Western sentiments and conservative values, while avoiding the pitfalls of the ideological and personal conflicts that strained past alliances. Published on June 24, 2024. [Read more](


"China’s New Info Warriors: The Information Support Force Emerges," by Joel Wuthnow, published by War on the Rocks, discusses the recent reorganization of China's military with the establishment of the Information Support Force. This new force aims to enhance the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) capabilities in cyber and electronic warfare, command-and-control systems, and multi-domain joint operations, especially in preparation for potential conflicts such as a cross-strait conflict with Taiwan. The reorganization reflects both frustration with previous reforms and ambition for future military readiness, signaling a significant shift in China's strategic military approach. Published on June 24, 2024. [Read more](


"Anti-China Protectionism on Electric Vehicles Could Be a Dead End for West," by Jorge Guajardo, published by Foreign Policy, argues that Western tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) may ultimately hinder the West's competitiveness. The article highlights that Chinese EVs, led by companies like BYD, are superior in quality and innovation, and protectionist measures without a clear exit strategy could lead to economic stagnation similar to Latin America's mid-20th century experience. Guajardo suggests that the West should use this period to invest in research and development and improve competitiveness rather than relying on long-term protectionism. Published on June 24, 2024. [Read more] (


"How North Korea Got the Bomb and Why They Won’t Give It Up," by Sue Mi Terry, published by Foreign Affairs, provides an in-depth analysis of North Korea's persistent pursuit of nuclear weapons despite international opposition. The article details the historical development of North Korea's nuclear program, starting from Soviet-assisted nuclear expertise in the 1950s to the country's first nuclear test in 2006 and beyond. It examines the strategic, political, and prestige-driven motivations behind North Korea's refusal to denuclearize, emphasizing the regime's view of nuclear weapons as essential for its survival and legitimacy. Published on August 24, 2021. [Read more] (


"Yen Slides to Weakest Since 1986, Raising Risk of Intervention," by Naomi Tajitsu and Masaki Kondo, published by Bloomberg, reports on the Japanese yen falling to its lowest level against the dollar since 1986, spurring speculation that authorities might soon intervene to support the currency. The yen's depreciation, exacerbated by the significant interest rate gap between Japan and the US, has raised import prices, impacting consumers and businesses. Japan's vice minister of finance, Masato Kanda, emphasized the urgency of monitoring the situation and hinted at possible measures, although no immediate intervention was announced. Published on June 26, 2024. [Read more] (




"Hezbollah and Israel: How Hamas War Escalates Risk of Wider Conflict," by Dana Khraiche and Courtney McBride, published by Bloomberg, explores the escalating conflict between Hezbollah and Israel amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Since the war began, Hezbollah has launched consistent attacks on northern Israel, leading to daily exchanges of fire and increasing the risk of a broader conflict. The article discusses the historical context of Hezbollah's formation, its ties with Iran, and the current political and economic conditions in Lebanon that influence Hezbollah's actions. Published on June 6, 2024. [Read more](


"Focus Turns to Netanyahu’s Plans for Hezbollah After Gaza Fight’s End," by The New York Times, discusses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent announcement that the intense phase of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza is nearing its end. Netanyahu indicated that Israel would shift its military focus northward to address the threat from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia. This shift comes amid ongoing corruption inquiries involving Netanyahu and heightened tensions along Israel's northern border, as Hezbollah continues its cross-border strikes. Published on June 24, 2024. [Read more] (


"Is an Anti-Iran Alliance Emerging in the Middle East?" by Dalia Dassa Kaye and Sanam Vakil, published by Foreign Affairs, analyzes the potential for a regional coalition against Iran amid rising tensions between Iran and Israel. The article discusses recent military exchanges and how Arab states' cooperation with Israel is driven more by their relationships with the United States than by a desire to align against Iran. Despite some collaboration in defense, Arab states remain cautious and prioritize balancing their relationships to avoid wider regional conflicts. Published on April 26, 2024. [Read more](


"Iran’s New Nuclear Threat," by Eric Brewer, published by Foreign Affairs, examines how Iran has evolved its nuclear strategy to use its capability as a deterrent against international pressure and potential military strikes. The article details Iran’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium quickly and discusses the implications of Iran's status as a threshold state that could build a nuclear weapon in a matter of days. Brewer argues that Iran's threats to build nuclear weapons are both a means to avoid sanctions and a response to provocations, emphasizing the need for a robust diplomatic and economic strategy from the U.S. and its allies to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. Published on June 25, 2024. [Read more](


"Iran’s Presidential Election Is a Conservative Power Struggle Between Ghalibaf and Jalili," by Sina Toossi, published by Foreign Policy, explores the intense rivalry within Iran's conservative factions as the country heads to the polls. The article highlights the stark contrasts between the leading candidates—Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a former mayor of Tehran and IRGC commander, and Saeed Jalili, a former chief nuclear negotiator opposed to the 2015 nuclear deal. While Ghalibaf positions himself as a pragmatic conservative focused on reducing government intervention and negotiating to alleviate sanctions, Jalili emphasizes self-reliance and resistance to Western influence. This internal conservative conflict could significantly impact Iran’s future direction and its relations with the West. [Read more](


"Kenya Protests: U.S. Partner Ruto Faces Political Turmoil," by Robbie Gramer, published by Foreign Policy, examines the political instability in Kenya as President William Ruto grapples with widespread protests over tax hikes and declining public support. Despite being a key U.S. ally, praised for his stance against Russia and cooperation with the West, Ruto's domestic policies have sparked significant unrest, with violent crackdowns on demonstrators. The article highlights the disconnect between Ruto's international image and his faltering popularity at home, raising concerns about the effectiveness of U.S. engagement in Africa. Published on June 26, 2024. [Read more] (


"Does Microfinance Work? Here's What We Can Learn From Kenya," by Nina Berman, published by Foreign Policy, explores the challenges faced by Kenyans relying on microloans from private fintech lenders. The article highlights how high interest rates and predatory lending practices trap individuals like Samuel and Juma in financial precarity. It underscores the need for stronger regulations and policies to ensure microfinance fulfills its original intent of empowering the economically disadvantaged. The piece calls for international and national institutions to address these issues to support sustainable economic growth in Kenya. Published on June 27, 2024. [Read more] (


"Israel's Supreme Court Rules Army Must Start Drafting Ultra-Orthodox Men," by Carrie Keller-Lynn, The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2024. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the military must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox Jewish students, overturning long-standing exemptions. This decision could destabilize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, which relies on ultra-Orthodox parties. The ruling also blocks government funding for religious students without valid military exemptions, potentially affecting tens of thousands of students and millions in funding. Netanyahu's coalition is under pressure to address this issue amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Read more at [WSJ] (


"Ike Carrier Heads Home as Houthi Attacks Continue in the Red Sea," by Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press, details the return of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower after an extended deployment amidst ongoing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. The carrier, involved in intense combat operations, is being replaced by the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The article highlights the continued threat posed by Houthi rebels, who have escalated their attacks on commercial vessels, including a recent strike on the bulk carrier Transworld Navigator. The Houthi campaign has significantly impacted maritime security in the region. Published on June 23, 2024. [Read more](



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