Morning Brief, Tuesday, September 11

Middle East Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images At Monday’s hearing in front of the joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, Gen. David Petraeus hailed Iraq’s progress and called for a reduction in U.S. combat brigades in Iraq by summer 2008. The U.S. commander rejected firmer or faster timelines for withdrawal of U.S. troops, however. A ...

599457_070911_petraeus_05.jpg
599457_070911_petraeus_05.jpg

Middle East

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At Monday's hearing in front of the joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, Gen. David Petraeus hailed Iraq's progress and called for a reduction in U.S. combat brigades in Iraq by summer 2008. The U.S. commander rejected firmer or faster timelines for withdrawal of U.S. troops, however.

Middle East

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At Monday’s hearing in front of the joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, Gen. David Petraeus hailed Iraq’s progress and called for a reduction in U.S. combat brigades in Iraq by summer 2008. The U.S. commander rejected firmer or faster timelines for withdrawal of U.S. troops, however.

A rocket fired from Gaza struck an Israeli training base, wounding at least 30 soldiers. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad took credit for the attack.

Syria’s foreign minister detailed his country’s allegations of an Israel violation of Syrian airspace that some people see as a probe of air defenses and possible strike routes for Iran.

Asia 

Some on Wall Street are profiting from Chinese surveillance companies.

Supporters of Nawaz Sharif are calling on Pakistan’s Supreme Court to rule the deportation of the former prime minister an illegal act. Some analysts believe the deportation could hurt Musharraf.

A U.S. delegation is in North Korea to survey that country’s nuclear facilities.

Flooding in northeast India has left some 3.5 million people homeless.

Europe

Turkish authorities foiled a major bomb plot in Ankara, and a U.S. air base in Germany received a bomb threat of its own.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are joining forces to develop a “foreign economic policy” for the EU in the face of rising competition from Russia and China.

Elsewhere 

On the six-year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, Osama bin Laden emerged with a second video praising one of the “martyrs” of those attacks. It’s unclear, however, just when the tape was made.

Colombian authorities caught a man alleged to be one of the world’s most powerful drug lords—in his underwear.

Biofuel subsidies result in higher food prices and environmental destruction, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warns, while having only a minimal impact on climate change.

Today’s Agenda

  • Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker are to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 9:30 a.m.
  • Oil ministers from OPEC countries are meeting in Vienna. As oil prices rise again to around $78 a barrel after an attack on a Mexican pipeline, OPEC is discussing a small production boost.

Yesterday on Passport

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.