Morning Brief, Tuesday, December 5

Iraq In a bid to shore up Iraqi PM Maliki’s political base, President Bush met with Shiite leader and Sadr-rival Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in the Oval Office yesterday, where Hakim rejected the Iraq Study Group’s expected recommendation that Iraq’s neighbors sit down at the table to map the road to peace. The U.S. military is ...

605769_Gates5.jpg
605769_Gates5.jpg

Iraq

In a bid to shore up Iraqi PM Maliki's political base, President Bush met with Shiite leader and Sadr-rival Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in the Oval Office yesterday, where Hakim rejected the Iraq Study Group's expected recommendation that Iraq's neighbors sit down at the table to map the road to peace.

The U.S. military is embedding more U.S. troops into Iraqi Army and police units in advisory and training roles. Thirty Iraqis have been killed around Baghdad in attacks today. U.S. Gen. Anthony Zinni changes his tune on the war: He now believes a quick exit would provide Iran with too much influence in the region.

Iraq

In a bid to shore up Iraqi PM Maliki’s political base, President Bush met with Shiite leader and Sadr-rival Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in the Oval Office yesterday, where Hakim rejected the Iraq Study Group’s expected recommendation that Iraq’s neighbors sit down at the table to map the road to peace.

The U.S. military is embedding more U.S. troops into Iraqi Army and police units in advisory and training roles. Thirty Iraqis have been killed around Baghdad in attacks today. U.S. Gen. Anthony Zinni changes his tune on the war: He now believes a quick exit would provide Iran with too much influence in the region.

Washington

Senate hearings on Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates are underway

Europe

France launches a new 24-hour news network that intends to compete with the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera Intl. Finland ratifies the EU constitution (didn’t the French and Dutch “no” engrave that document’s tombstone?). Belarus detains the main opposition leader. And Russian relations with Britain continue to sour over the investigation of Litvinenko’s death, as British investigators arrive in Moscow and Russia declares no suspects will be extradicted. 

Elsewhere

Musharraf says Pakistan might give up its claim to Kashmir if India agrees to a self-government plan for the disputed region.  

Fiji’s military commander stages his long-threatened coup. A gunman opens fire on the U.S. embassy in Yemen.  

And here’s the economic state of the world:

Personal wealth is distributed so unevenly across the world that the richest two per cent of adults own more than 50 per cent of the world’s assets while the poorest half hold only 1 per cent of wealth.

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.