The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago today, now NATO is "brain dead"

Third Cultured vol 32

Given today is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I thought it would be fitting to send Friday’s newsletter this morning instead of the usual Friday edition.

Even still, today’s newsletter is a bit light all around. It was a busy week, but I’m hoping in the next week or two I’ll get some good news. So please send any good vibes you can spare my way.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle


Three Things to Know

  1. The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago today. What will the next 30 look like for Germany?

  2. Macron declares NATO’s “brain death,”in an interview with The Economist highlighting the lack of coordination between the EU and the US and the unilateral actions of member-state Turkey. Merkel rebuked Macron’s “drastic words.” One thing Macron is correct about is that Europe has been caught flat-footed in an era of Great Power competition believing a little too strongly in the “end of history” myth. Even Germany’s commitment to reach NATO’s 2% goal for member state’s defense spending is hollow since they don’t plan to accomplish it until 2031. (The agreed-to deadline was 2024.) Merkel’s heir AKK tried to meet the deadline, but the finance minister said no. In contrast, much poorer central and eastern European countries have met the goal.

  3. Iran has been a tear lately, earning condemnations from the EU and the US for moving farther away from the JCPOA by blocking an IAEA inspector and enriching greater amounts of uranium.


"There aren’t many alive who remember the names on these graves, and fewer still who once spoke those names in greeting or in grief.”

Whose boots on the ground?


American Empire

Iran has been a tear lately, earning condemnations from the EU and the US for moving farther away from the JCPOA by blocking an IAEA inspector and enriching greater amounts of uranium.

Iraq experienced the Battle of the Bridges, shootings on or near three of Baghdad’s main bridges - Ahrar, Shuhada, and Bab al-Muadham – that resulted in the death of four protesters.

More and more Centrists are entering the 2020 race. If you’re a Progressive, this should excite you! It shows the Centrists are weak and the donor class only sees a route for Bernie and Warren to win the nomination. Which terrifies billionaires.


China’s Belt and Road

Acting as a carrot in the trade discussions, Beijing sentenced one accused fentanyl trafficker to death and eight other to life sentences and other prison terms for smuggling fentanyl to the US. The ring was caught with 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl which is enough to kill 6 million people.

A Hong Kong university student was killed on Friday during a police raid of a parking garage occupied by protesters.

Beijing reminds Hong Kong it’s central to the “Greater Bay Area” plan, the goal to turn Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong cities, including Shenzhen, into a financial and technological powerhouse rivaling Silicon Valley by 2035.

China agreed to pull back sanctions in-line with the amount the US withdraws, upon the signing of a “phase one” trade deal. For Beijing, this is non-negotiable.


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European Erraticism

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago to the day on Saturday. What will the next 30 look like for Germany?

Erdogan reiterated his threats to repatriate EU national ISIS fighters if more aid isn’t provided. Ankara claims the country has spent $40 billion on refugees while receiving $7 billion in assistance from other nations (EU and US).

Macron declares NATO’s “brain death,” in an interview with The Economist highlighting the lack of coordination between the EU and the US and the unilateral actions of member-state Turkey. Merkel rebuked Macron’s “drastic words.” One thing Macron is correct about is that Europe has been caught flat-footed in an era of Great Power competition believing a little too strongly in the “end of history” myth. Even Germany’s commitment to reach NATO’s 2% goal for member state’s defense spending is hollow since they don’t plan to accomplish it until 2031. (The agreed-to deadline was 2024.) Merkel’s heir AKK tried to meet the deadline, but the finance minister said no. In contrast, much poorer central and eastern European countries have met the goal.


"Europe was basically built to be the Americans’ junior partner. ... And this went hand in hand with a benevolent United States, acting as the ultimate guarantor of a system ... based on the preservation of world peace and the domination of Western values. There was a price to pay for that, which was NATO and support to the European Union."

French President Emmanuel Macron


Rising Regions

Brazil voted with the US for the first time in the UN General Assembly to support the economic embargo of Cuba in an attempt to cozy up to the Trump administration.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed to settle the dam dispute by January 15 trilaterally. If they cannot come to an agreement, the three nations will agree to outside mediation, likely to be the United States who brokered this agreement.

Softbank’s losses has Tokyo spooked and reaching for stimulus measures.


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