Highlights from the Oct. 30 testimony of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the authorization for the use of military force.
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Iraqis and Kurds Compete for Oil Deals, Gulf States Still Fighting PR War in Washington, Deadly Ambush in Egypt
Iraqi forces look to consolidate control of Kirkuk, a former Trump official undercuts the State Department on Qatar diplomacy, and an attack on Egyptian troops leaves dozens dead.
Trump to Decertify Iran Deal, U.S. and Turkey Cut Off Travel Visas, Saudi Arabia Scores Arms Deals with Russia and United States
Trump will send the Iran debate back to Congress, Turkey-U.S. feud over visas has roots in coup attempt, and King Salman’s big trip to Moscow.
The Trump administration downgraded the State Department's cyber diplomacy office, and nobody can say whether State has produced a report on cyber strategy required by the president's cybersecurity executive order. Are the two related?
New Tensions on Temple Mount, CIA Ends Aid to Syrian Rebels, Gulf Crisis Affecting Regional Foreign Policy, and Trump Looking for Excuse to Leave Iran Deal
A terrorist attack touched off a new round of clashes in Jerusalem, the United States has ended its clandestine support to rebels fighting the Assad regime, the Qatar crisis is having effects in Gaza and Yemen, and Trump wants a pretext to avoid recertifying the JCPOA in three months.
Shuttle Diplomacy Falls Short in Gulf Crisis, Israel Concerned about Ceasefire in Syria, and Two Tenuous Years of the Iran Nuclear Deal
The Gulf crisis continues but new reports shed light on how it started, Israel was consulted on the Syria ceasefire but doesn’t like the outcome, and the United States recertifies Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.
U.S. and Russia Agree to Ceasefire in Syria, Iraq Winds Down Fighting in Mosul, Turkish Opposition Rallies against Erdogan, and Britain Will Continue Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
The Trump administration has backed Russia’s latest plan for Syria, Iraq turns to rebuilding and reconciliation, Erdogan faces new opposition a year after the coup attempt, and Saudi Arabia will continue to receive British weapons after High Court decision.
Turkey’s Referendum Pushes Country Toward Authoritarianism, Attack Targets Civilians in Syrian Ceasefire Deal, New U.S. Escalation in Yemen Takes Shape
Erdogan finally gets his constitutional reforms, Tillerson can’t convince Russia to give up Assad, and State Department officials are wary of the Pentagon’s plan for Yemen.
Six components of Tillerson's Asia trip require careful reading: his assurances to allies; “20 years of failure”; sanctions; military options; negotiations; and the all-important China audience of one, Xi Jinping.
One Less Thing to Worry About: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Didn’t Actually Call for a Blockade of China’s South China Sea Islands
In his written answer, Tillerson is clearly speaking of denying China access “if a contingency occurs” and the artificial islands “pose a threat to the United States or its allies and partners.”