Friday News Roundup — April 22, 2022

Before we get to this week’s roundup, we want to take a moment to acknowledge that our Presidential Fellows Conference is underway, back, and in-person. It is great to have students from across the country and around the world joining us. While our team and fellows adapted well to previous virtual programming, there is no substitute for convening together in-person. It also brings added joy to our work, to see future leaders, eager to serve their communities and their country — ready to tackle the looming challenges ahead. Fitting, too, that today is Earth Day, given how many of our young leaders express concern about the future of our planet. In so many ways, responsible stewardship is the greatest gift to bequeath future generations.

In the Hill, Ethan suggested that lawmakers examine the still-active War on Terror AUMFs as we face great power competition and establish credibility to counter authoritarian regimes,

In the Diplomatic Courier, Wes examines how the issue of France’s relationship with Russia is being handled by Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, and what that means for their second-round election rematch.

In this week’s roundup, Dan provides a precis of our latest report on policies related to 5G and eventual leadership in 6G technologies. Read below for more detail, but this report suggests that lawmakers need to hasten the efforts for 6G leadership — and understand that many decisions made today impact leadership years ahead, if not decades.

We also include a condensed Q&A with CSPC President & CEO Glenn Nye from his remarks at the recent Lexington Concordia Summit on cyber security, resilience, and preparedness.

Wes examines how May 9th, or Victory Day, has become an important goal for Russian military planners, as well as how World War II narratives increasingly dominate Russian discussion of the war. Ethan covers how the United States is setting space behavior norms with an announcement on anti-satellite testing. Robert closes with a look at the economic picture and inflation’s impact. As always, we wrap with news you may have missed.

CSPC 5G & 6G Report Calls for Action and Leadership in these Important Technologies

Dan Mahaffee

Throughout the course of our Geotech project, one of the main technologies of focus has been 5G and the future race to 6G. It is fitting, considering that these technologies served as the genesis for much of policymakers’ recognition of the Geotech challenge. In 2012, when House Intelligence Committee leaders Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersburger issued their first report on the threat posed by the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. That report recognized the challenge that laid ahead in 5G leadership. At CSPC, we recognize these technologies as cornerstones of our future innovation leadership, economic prosperity, and national security. Our latest Geotech report examines the state of 5G policymaking and what is needed for 6G leadership.

Current and future 5G networks, as well as future 6G technologies and standards, provide the connectivity underpinning digital societies and connected technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT). The development and rollout of 5G networks is not simply about providing faster downloads for smartphones — though that is an advantage. 5G networks’ high speed and quick response means that they are primed to provide networked connectivity in fields such as transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and defense. Just as the previous leap from 3G to 4G unlocked the potential of the smartphone and an ecosystem of app-based enterprises and services, 5G will provide revolutionary real-time connectivity to important existing sectors.

Congress stands on the verge of passing major competition legislation. USICA, COMPETES Act, Bipartisan Innovation Act…whatever you want to call it, innovation leaders would like to call it simply “passed.” As other nations — friends and competitors alike — move ahead in 5G and 6G technologies, the pace of usual policymaking is insufficient to the challenge. Furthermore, given the timeline of innovation and R&D cycles — as well as the many factors that create innovation and technology “ecosystems” — decisions made now have to be made thinking of where we want to be years ahead.

While there are promising steps ahead, if not fast enough, regarding legislation supporting R&D and innovation leadership — and in important arenas related to 5G like OpenRAN — there are also concerns about technology policymaking. The brouhaha between the FCC, FAA, telecom providers, and airlines over 5G and purported interference demonstrated a severe breakdown in the coordination of technology policymaking. It was an embarrassment compared to jurisdictions where there has been no such breakdown.

Additionally, the policies related to intellectual property, especially the Biden administration’s approach to standards-essential patents (SEPs), would harm our key innovation leaders and devalue intellectual property that are amongst the crown jewels of American innovation. At a time when our competitors also seek to weaken IP protections and devalue American innovation, why is our own government pursuing policies towards that end?

We address this, and more, with recommendations for policymakers in the report. Click here to download.

CSPC President Glenn Nye Talks Cyber Security at Concordia

Recently Glenn Nye, President and CEO of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress, spoke at the Concordia Lexington Summit 2022. Concordia is a member-based organization dedicated to actively fostering, elevating, and sustaining cross-sector partnerships for social impact. Nye and moderator Christopher Campbell, chief strategist at Kroll, spoke on the subject of cyber security and the threat of Russian cyberattacks during the Ukraine crisis. Excerpts from their Fireside Chat on the state of cyber defense in the United States, and what is needed for better protection, follow below. They have been edited for space and clarity.

Question: President Biden has recently said that the United States expects to see increased cyberattacks coming from Russia, and he has urged the private sector to spend more money to protect their systems. Can you talk about how got here in our reliance on vulnerable networks, and what more policymakers can do to make the United States more resilient to cyberattacks?

Rep. Nye: Well, I think we are all rightfully worried about the Russian threat, and we should expect Russian retaliation to sanctions. So yes, obviously President Biden was right to point to the need of the private sector and corporations to step up their cyber defenses. It’s a big issue for the U.S. Treasury Department as well, which has a role in monitoring really punishing U.S. sanctions on Russia, as well as bank cyber defense. I would also note that this issue of cyberattacks and defenses is not new, and the threat is not just coming from Russia. I recall a panel I was on with a senior representative from Bank of America, who said that the company was the target of numerous hacking attempts every day. Apparently some hackers think Bank of America is equivalent to a U.S. Central Bank, and they target it relentlessly in an effort to “stick it to America.” It goes to show how much conflation there is between government and private organizations in the cyber world, and why coordination around threats is so important.

Is it safe to say that the United States is a target rich environment when it comes to cyber vulnerabilities?

Yes, and there is overlap between government and private sector networks. Everyone is vulnerable. Nor is this a new vulnerability. Many of us remember the massive 2020 SolarWinds cyberattack, when hackers believed to be working for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service used malware to infect the computers of many Fortune 500 companies and multiple U.S. government agencies. Just last year Russian hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which carries nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supplies, and I remember waiting in long lines at gas stations as a result.

Does it seem to you that the scale and breadth of these cyberattacks are increasing?

Yes, but you have to consider the state of our technological advances. We’re deploying 5G networks very rapidly, which will enable advances like autonomous vehicles and remote medicine, even remote surgery. But as a result of these technological advances the scope of targets for possible cyberattacks is broadening significantly. So along with these new opportunities in the realm of technology, we need to up our game in terms of improving our national cyber resilience. The two have to go hand in hand.

When talking about sectors that are increasingly tempting to hackers three in particular are often mentioned: financial institutions; critical infrastructure like electric grids and energy pipelines; and health care systems. Do corporations in those sectors need to spend more money to protect their networks?

Yes, but that is true across the board. We need to focus on “national preparedness,” which includes multiple sectors and layers of defense. Some federal government agencies and the U.S. military are actually quite good in terms of cyber defense and even offense. While they are pretty good at defending their own systems, however, they are not set up to defend the entire country at the level of private corporations and companies, or at the individual citizen level.

So private individuals have a role to play in improving national cyber defenses?

Absolutely. The federal government is providing significant help to the private sector to help it better defend itself from cyberattacks and protect critical infrastructure, and that is very important. But the role every citizen plays in national cyber defense is very important. We need to realize that responsibility and raise our game. A lot of it comes down to education. If you are only learning about the dangers of clicking on an unfamiliar link in your emails or texts through on-the-job training, then you are already behind the ball in terms of understanding cyber hygiene.

What steps are the federal government taking to get that message out?

Last year President Biden named a national cyber security coordinator who is working to coordinate the federal effort. I hope that official focuses on raising public awareness of the role each of us plays in cyber defense. Cyber education also needs to start earlier in our schools, which means that it comes down to governors and even local education officials who must take this threat seriously. State education curricula need to focus on proper cyber hygiene and literacy. High school graduates need to have a sense of how companies operate and protect their data, and how to protect themselves with relatively simple steps such as using two-factor authorization instead of a single password. They need to understand the importance of not clicking on the wrong link that could be a hacker’s fishing expedition. Because your company can hire the best cyber engineer in the world to produce a layered defense against cyberattack, but if just one employee clicks on the wrong link out of carelessness or ignorance, then the whole network is exposed and all those sophisticated defenses are swept away.

Do you think the government is doing enough to call attention to and fix our cyber vulnerabilities?

The good news is that there really is an appropriate level of attention focused on this issue, starting with the federal government. The Department of Homeland Security has established a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that is really quite good. The CISA director recently launched a program to help agencies prepare for malicious cyberattacks. Those efforts include sharing intelligence on Russia’s malicious software and cyber tactics with the private sector, and encouraging U.S. industry to reciprocate by sharing information with the government on suspected cyber intrusions.

Do you think Congress has a role in encouraging the federal government to step up in terms of cyber security?

Actually despite Washington, D.C.’s reputation for being hyper-partisan to the point of dysfunction, there has actually been a lot of bipartisanship on the issue of cyber security. A number of the key recommendations of the 2019–21 Cyberspace Solarium Commission have been adopted in executive orders and legislation, for instance, including establishment of a national cyber coordinator and a broadening of authorities for CISA.

Congress is advancing a bipartisan American Innovation Act, which includes several initiatives that will improve the science and engineering proficiency of the American workforce and secure semi-conductor supply chains. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), has also introduced the bipartisan and very worthwhile American Cybersecurity Literacy Act, which would launch a cybersecurity literacy campaign to increase knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity risks among the American public, including best practices for preventing cyberattacks.

So despite the increased threat of a Russian cyberattack as a result of the Ukraine crisis, you see the United States moving in the right direction in terms of cyber defense and resilience?

We all have to collectively accept the reality that the era of “Hybrid Warfare” is upon us, and we have to prepare for it. It includes not only hacking attacks, but also disinformation operations on social media that aim to stoke our domestic divisions, which are quite damaging. So we have to be very vigilant to these evolving cyber threats, and that brings us back to education. If we can teach young people the role they need to play in hardening our defenses, and elevate this issue in our national dialogue and stay constantly vigilant to the challenge, then America has the resources it needs to win.

Victory Day Without Victory: How Russia’s Commemoration of Victory in World War II is Beginning to Drive Operations

Wesley Culp

Despite the fact that the Russian invasion force currently fighting in Ukraine failed to secure the quick victory initially envisioned by President Putin and other elite members of Russia’s leadership, preparations for Moscow’s Victory Day parade have begun to intensify nonetheless.

The first Victory Day parade took place in June 1945 following the surrender of Nazi Germany in May of that year. Victory Day was not officially celebrated again until 1965, when Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev officially recognized the anniversary as a state holiday. Soviet commemoration of Victory Day was more subdued than in post-Soviet celebrations: military parades only occurred in 1965, 1985, and 1990. Russian President Boris Yeltsin began what would become a yearly tradition of massive military parades on Moscow’s Red Square in 1995, a tradition which President Putin’s Kremlin has built heavily upon. In recent years, the holiday’s status as one of Russia’s most celebrated — only being second to New Years in the share of the Russian population which celebrates it — includes wide public approval of the now-yearly Red Square military parade as a central element of celebrating Victory Day.

This year’s parade will reportedly involve 11,000 Russian servicemembers, 130 ground vehicles, and 77 military aircraft (including a flyover of MiG-29 aircraft in the shape of a Z, the ubiquitous and practically-unexplained unofficial symbol of Russia’s invasion). In keeping with previous post-Soviet Victory rehearsals for parades in cities as far afield as Murmansk in the Arctic and Vladivostok in the Far East are underway.

A brewing Russian offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region indicates that a significant uptick in military action will likely precede Victory Day. While both Russia and Ukraine claim that this offensive began on April 18, officials at the U.S. Department of Defense believe that Russian forces in Donbas are still in the process of shaping the battlefield to their advantage before kicking off a full offensive. The April 21 announcement by President Putin that he had officially called off an assault on the Azovstal plant in Mariupol — the last holdout of Ukrainian troops in the besieged city — in favor of a tight blockade of the facility could indicate a desire to shift focus, troops, and resources away from a grueling siege and towards the new offensive. Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu’s declaration of victory in Mariupol would fit neatly into a Kremlin strategy to accelerate operations ahead of Victory Day.

Victory Day celebrations in territories held by Russia and the Russian-backed DNR and LNR pseudo-states will attempt to convey civil authority in these regions. Even as the siege of the Azovstal plant drags on and the city of Mariupol lies in ruins, the DNR-affiliated “Deputy Mayor” of the city announced on April 20 that the new DNR authorities in the city were planning to commemorate Victory Day with an “Immortal Regiment” procession. The “immortal regiment” is a traditional event in the Russian-speaking world to commemorate Soviet veterans of the Second World War in which individuals carry pictures of ancestors who fought in the war in large processions. Second World War iconography has also been used to demonstrate Russian control over certain territories, as seen in the April 20 raising of the Soviet “victory banner” over a monument to the city’s liberation in World War Two in Russian-occupied Kherson.

However, while Russian authorities gear up for a renewed campaign in Donbas and special wartime commemorations of Victory Day, certain other states in the former Soviet Union have begun to quietly step back from Russian-style commemoration of the anniversary. On April 13, the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense announced that a May 9 parade would not be held. It justified this announcement on budgetary grounds as well as to maintain the necessary “combat readiness and mobility” of the armed forces of Kazakhstan, a remarkable statement against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of another post-Soviet neighbor. While 50 “military-patriotic” events will still be held across the country as in previous years by the Ministry of Defense, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education recommended that schools forgo militaristic commemorations of Victory Day in favor of more toned-down educational events. In a similar distancing from Russia’s war, Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee issued a public statement to strongly caution against the use of costume uniforms with the letter “Z” in planned “Immortal Regiment” processions. In Moldova, President Maia Sandu unveiled a new law to ban the use of the letters “Z” and “V” of common Russian war usage as well as the use of St. George’s ribbons, which became symbols of Russian nationalism in their own right even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been justified on the grounds of “denazifying” Ukraine, it is no surprise that war memory factors significantly into Russian messaging surrounding the war. As Russia’s new offensive in Donbas picks up speed, it is likely that Moscow’s invasion will take centerstage in Victory Day celebrations this year.

U.S. takes first step in new space behavior norms

Ethan Brown

Raytheon’s concept art for anti-space missile warning systems (Raytheon intel)

The United States has taken the first steps towards normalizing a volatile and highly controversial space behavior practice this week, by being the first nation to ban Anti-Satellite Missile testing in order to usher in a new era of acceptable behaviors for military activities around Earth’s orbit. While other domains of warfighting, strategic competition, and national military strategy remain largely unaltered throughout history, the space domain signals the first arena of competition between international powers where the rules aren’t clearly established or subject to the laws of Terra (sloppy Warhammer 40k reference). As such, and also owing to the fact that unlike land and maneuver warfare, there remains only a handful of Earth-nations who possess the capability to operate in, let alone possess the influence to dictate norms of behavior. Amidst the ongoing Ukraine crisis, this news may easily slip into the void (another bad 40k nod), but it is important to analyze why this matters, and what it means for strategic competition going forward.

As a refresher, the use of ballistic systems to target and intercept satellites creates challenges in low-earth orbit because of debris — the detritus that remains from the lack of atmospheric deterioration. These remains continue passing through its synchronous orbit at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. At that altitude, those bits and pieces of hard metal will take years to finally descend into the atmosphere where eventually, they would burn up upon reentry. But until such time (if it ever happens), those chunks of steel become hypersonic projectiles which would tear other satellites and space vehicles to ribbons.

Back in 2021, Moscow made efforts to retain its public enemy #1 status by creating just such a critical scenario, by testing a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile on November 15. Presumably, this was done using the PL-19 “Nudol” missile, which was originally a ballistic missile interceptor, but in recent years has actualized its potential for orbital engagement. Following the November destruction of one of its own satellites, U.S. Space Command reported that over 1500 individual pieces of debris were being tracked by Western systems. Those systems are designed to track and monitor large pieces, anything bigger than a dinner plate which could potentially affect our satellites, civilian and military/intelligence. To emphasize, 1500 observable pieces of debris are still up there from this single ASAT exercise, trackable, meaning there are presumably thousands of smaller pieces which are too small to detect but remain a threat.

Over the past six decades, the main space actors — U.S., Russia, China, and India — have conducted roughly a dozen ASAT strikes to reduce or eliminate a variety of satellites, usually defunct spy probes and the like. The U.S. last conducted an ASAT launch in 2008 to destroy an old reconnaissance imager. India targeted a communications node at a much lower altitude, around 260 miles above the surface, well below the ISS orbit. All told, these varied tests have produced roughly 6,000 pieces of trackable debris, according to the Secure World Foundation who monitors space activity and space behavior policy actions. It goes without saying that this detritus at varying altitudes affects everyone and their space vehicles.

Other space vehicles include the International Space Station and Chinese Space station, which operate in slightly higher spheres but have the ability to control pitch and bank in orbit…the dead chunks of debris obviously have no control, and are a high-risk vector for catastrophe. Part of USSPACECOMs mission is to detect these objects which pose a threat to the entire LEO/GEO spherical zones, not just to our toys in space, but for everyone. The Space Development Agency is making it’s taxpayer-funded bread and butter on development more refined systems of space-object detection and tracking, but one must consider the sheer volume of pieces and objects above our skies, and just one small incident like Russia’s DA-ASAT test creates shockwaves across the space domain ecosystem for everyone.

That’s the key point right there, and now we’ll swing about to the policy aspect of this new development coming from the White House. First, the U.S. retains the advantage of space supremacy, at least for now, by way of sheer volume, and we’ve been at it longer than anyone else save Russia. Moscow’s behavior in all things international relations continues to undermine its own legitimacy, Ukraine serving as the most recent example of why liberal democracy still offers greater potential for humanity than technocracy or authoritarianism. In short, the rest of the world still looks to the U.S. to set the standards for responsible behavior in most arenas, and even though our foreign policy has rightly been subjected to harsh review in recent decades (GWOT, isolationism, you get the idea), Space is a different animal altogether.

Now pardon my pedestal, but it’s relevant to the analysis. If we as a society (global) can somehow get past this current episode of retracting into our nationalized morass, Space is the inevitable next phase of human evolution. We aren’t going to successfully push the boundaries of human expansion until we all arrive at some form of normalcy and regularity in terms of how we orient ourselves at 100 miles above the surface. The malicious actors like Moscow are continuing to ostracize themselves with actions that threaten the whole enterprise, which gives the standard-bearer (currently the U.S.) a window of opportunity to slam onto the table the rules that everyone else should follow. Do we trust that Beijing is going to offer solutions that don’t ultimately minimize cooperation and centralize space efforts? Rationally, no, we should not. Moscow has proven that responsible behavior is currently outside of its talent pool. That is why the White House policy to terminate this high-risk activity represents a critical step towards creating a space behavior position that the rest of the world can replicate: we’re all (eventually) working toward the same goal — securing Terra and expanding humanity into the further reaches of our solar system.

This move may receive criticism by certain hardliners who perceive it as conceding the advantage of aggression to actors like Moscow who seem to not concern themselves with a cooperative world order. There is some credibility to that argument, but establishing behavior norms that allies and partners can and should replicate has much more stable long-term effects than escalating a Space arms race with expanding ASAT capabilities. Taking a policy stand by setting acceptable standards for space behavior is the right move for the U.S. long-term.

An Abundance of Uncertainty for the Global Economy

Robert W. Gerber

At the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, finance ministers, central bankers, and development ministers gather to ponder the state of the world economy, and the twin institutions issue policy declarations to guide their work for the subsequent six months. Leaders that met in Washington this week are facing three convergent problems: rampant inflation, high levels of uncertainty, and slowing rates of economic recovery from the lows of the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, they have few available tools to confront these challenges.

Inflation in the United States has reached 8.5% annual rate — a level not seen since 1981. (The UK and Eurozone are experiencing inflation at around 7%.) The U.S. inflation rate was a big surprise to the White House, which last summer predicted the 2022 rate would be 2.3%. Rising energy costs followed by food prices and housing costs are the biggest contributing factors. The surge in inflation has its roots in pent up demand from COVID combined with production and supply chain bottlenecks. Meanwhile, a labor market that Fed Chairman Jay Powell called “tight to an unhealthy level” is pushing up wages. (Many Americans would argue that wage increases are long overdue.) Record levels of government spending over the past three years have also fueled inflation. Deficit spending grew under President Trump before the pandemic, and then surged under President Biden. Some of the $4 trillion in U.S. COVID spending entailed vaccine purchases and other mitigation efforts, arguably a form of investment in health care. But $800 billion was spent in the form of cash payments to individuals and companies, which fueled consumer spending at a time when supplies were short.

On top of the inflation dilemma, this week the IMF adjusted their global annual GDP growth estimate downward by a full point to 3.3%. The IMF summarized the causes of slowing economic growth as follows: “The recovery of the global economy continues but has slowed down owing to new Covid-19 variants and is now facing a major setback from the war against Ukraine and its ramifications, which will amplify existing challenges.” Russia’s attack on Ukraine sent tremors through capital markets, raised long-term investment risk, in addition to driving high inflation rates through the roof — especially in Europe. As prices rise, consumption takes a hit, further reducing prospects for growth. Meanwhile, China’s extensive COVID lockdowns have throttled output in what is normally one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

The dashboard of macroeconomic risk that investors closely watch is flashing an abundance of uncertainty: we don’t yet know whether China’s lockdowns will continue, whether there will be a new dangerous strain of COVID, or when Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine will end. Things will be particularly tough for developing countries that did not make structural reforms during the years of pre-pandemic growth and who have debt balances that must be paid in dollars, which has been appreciating of late, thus making payments more expensive. Some developing countries could face debt default, as just happened in Sri Lanka. Along with “debt distress,” food security was a trending hashtag at the IMF/World Bank meetings this week. The IMF said rising prices for food, energy and other goods could trigger social unrest, particularly in vulnerable developing countries.

What remedies are available to policymakers? Fiscal stimulus is not an option, as additional spending would exacerbate inflation. Furthermore, governments face record debt levels. U.S. debt levels have increased 11.3% annually over the past three years. Total U.S. national debt stands at $30 trillion, which is 124% of the annual economic output of the entire country (to be fair, Japan, Singapore, UK, France, Italy, and Spain also have debt levels over 100% of GDP). As interest rates rise, it will be more expensive to service this debt. This means some countries will face difficult budget choices. How about monetary policy tools? Fed Chair Powell said the goal was to get inflation back 2%, adding that it is “absolutely essential to get price stability to assure labor market stability and overall economic stability.” But the U.S. Federal Reserve is far behind the curve in terms of its ability to confront inflation. The Fed maintained a historically low federal funds rate on top of aggressive bond purchases during a period of economic expansion from 2018–2020, and it continued these policies during the pandemic. Finally, this March, the Federal Reserve Board approved a 0.25% rate increase and on April 21 Powell said the board was considering a ½ point raise at its next meeting.. UK-based magazine The Economist said the Fed “has suffered a hair-raising loss of control” over inflation, while noting that this was not unique among central banks.

So what do we see happening? We can expect that the mild central bank rate increases will have some cooling effect on inflation. Rising interest rates are pushing rates on 30-year mortgages to over 5% from the mid threes in less than three months. And American consumers, who have taken on more debt recently, will likely pair back their spending in 2022. Nevertheless, the U.S. economy should grow at around 3.7% but Europe, Japan, and South Korea will lag behind. Fixing supply chain problems including boosting domestic production and tapping more sources of energy (including renewables) would be a good remedy, but this is a long-term project. In the immediate term, the White House faces some unsavory choices, like postponing climate mitigation targets and lobbying unfriendly oil producing nations to ramp up production for the sake of reducing energy inflation. Some importers are calling for an end of Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods but dialing back tariffs without a significant change in PRC trade practices would undermine broader U.S. economic security goals.

The twin scourge of inflation and slow economic recovery present a problem with few effective government policy remedies. The French election shows us these issues are front and center in the minds of voters, with penalties accruing to the ruling party. In the case of the United States, that means trouble for the Democrats this fall — even though leaders from both parties share responsibility for putting the United States into a fiscal and monetary hole where our policy options are limited.

News You May Have Missed

Russian Mercenaries Staged “French Atrocity” in Malian Desert, and French MOD claims it has video

Following the French withdrawal from a base in Gossi, Mail, a post on social media with images of bodies buried in the sand accused the French military of atrocities. However, while the French ground forces had withdrawn, French military UAVs remained overhead, capturing images of Russian Wagner Group mercenaries burying the bodies. Wagner and Mali’s military junta government denied the accusations. France is withdrawing forces from the region as local sentiment has turned against anti-terror operations ongoing since 2013.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bans Prominent Americans and Canadians from Entry into Russia

In retaliation for sanctions on Russians affiliated with the Kremlin, and purported promotion of “russophobia” in the West, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs banned 29 American and 61 Canadian citizens from entering Russia, including prominent government officials. Americans on the list include Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhof, White House Chief of Staff Doug Klain, Meta CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg, as well as a variety of prominent national security officials, business executives, and media figures (including CSPC trustee George Stephanopoulos). The list of sanctioned Canadians includes Central Bank Governor Tiff Macklem, Special Operations Forces Commander Major-General Steve Boivin, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, and a variety of other government officials and private individuals. It is unclear if any of the sanctioned individuals intended to travel to Russia in the foreseeable future.

The views of authors are their own and not that of CSPC.

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