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The Pardee Perspective: October 26th, 2018

Asia

China – China is a growing threat in the South China Sea with its “warships and aircraft regularly bumping up against those of the United States and its allies.”  In 2017, China surpassed the U.S in the number of warships and submarines owned. The country is reported to have increased operations in waters off Japan, Taiwan and other islands. Security experts say though the country does not necessarily need military power to outdo the U.S, their defensive strategies in the region will be “too costly for Washington to contemplate.”

Middle East

Turkey – In the wake of new evidence, Turkey is demanding that Saudi Arabia reveals who ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Kamal Khashoggi. Worldwide outrage has forced the Saudis to concede that Kamal’s killing was premeditated. C.I.A director Gina Haspel visited Turkey and was shown evidence collected by the Turkish government.

Jerusalem – Israel responded with airstrikes after Gaza militants launched a rocket into its territory. Israel activated its Iron Dome aerial defense system to intercept any other rockets. The two main militant groups in the Gaza region, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have denied launching the rockets. No casualties were recorded in either incident.

Central America

The migrant caravan traveling from Honduras could be weeks away from reaching the U.S, where they are seeking asylum. It is not clear at which route or border the estimated 3600 migrants may arrive. The Texas point of entry is considered the shortest, but also most dangerous trek; while the California border is assumed to be safe but long. On average, it will take more than 30 days for them to reach the U.S-Mexico border – several weeks after the U.S. midterm elections are set to take place. Regardless, President Donald Trump says he will send troops to the border to stop entry into the U.S.

Europe

United Kingdom – A failure to reach an exit deal with the UK has the European Union considering a possible extension of the transition period to allow for a smooth Brexit. However, the president of EU, Donald Tusk, says the move may not be a welcome idea. He says, on the other hand, if the extension would be helpful in reaching a deal with the UK, other members might consider. German Chancellor Angela Merkel believed time was important in coming up with a solution, especially the Ireland-Northern Ireland border disputes.

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