NATO Turns Seventy-Five at Washington Summit, and Other Headlines of the Day

NATO Turns Seventy-Five at Washington Summit, and Other Headlines of the Day

The Daily News Brief

July 9, 2024 10:30 am (EST)

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Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

Catch up on today’s edition of the Daily News Brief, CFR’s flagship morning newsletter summarizing the top global news and analysis of the day. Written by Catherine Osborn and edited by Mariel Ferragamo, with support from Diana Roy.

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NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

United States

Leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries begin their annual summit in Washington today, with attention focused on the alliance’s relations with Ukraine the day after Russia launched one of the largest missile attacks in the war to date. Ukraine called a day of mourning today as the attack is being discussed in an emergency UN Security Council meeting. NATO is expected to pledge some $43 billion in aid to Kyiv for one year. Ukraine also signed a security pact with Poland ahead of the summit yesterday. 

The three-day summit will also focus on the Indo-Pacific region, with allies expected to endorse a communiqué with stronger language criticizing China’s economic support for Russia. Later in the week, allies will hold talks on defense industrial cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. (VOA, FT, Politico, Nikkei)

ANALYSIS

“That alliance relationships benefit the U.S. economy has become a major theme of preparations for the summit. Visiting Washington in June, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that two-thirds of European defense procurement involve purchases from U.S. firms. And because European defense spending is increasing faster than American (up 75 percent in the last decade, versus a 12 percent increase for the Pentagon’s budget), the NATO market has actually become a growth sector,” CFR Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich writes in this Expert Brief

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“Though all eyes will be on Ukraine as NATO leaders gather in Washington this week, the Alliance cannot afford to ignore the Indo-Pacific,” the Atlantic Council’s Jeffrey Cimmino and Matthew Kroenig write. “European countries should take on greater responsibilities for defending Europe, but they should also assist Washington to counter China and address threats emanating from the Indo-Pacific.”

For Foreign Affairs, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg discusses what NATO means to the world on its seventy-fifth birthday.

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NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

United States

On the sidelines of today’s summit, tune into CFR’s conversations with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at 10:30 a.m. EDT and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at 12:15 p.m. EDT.

Pacific Rim

Australia-Led Report Says Beijing Backed Cyberattacks in the Region

The Chinese government is linked to a cyber espionage group that has repeatedly targeted government and private sector networks in the region, a new report led by Australia’s cyber intelligence agency said. The Five Eyes intelligence partners supported Australia’s assessment, as did Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Canberra has ordered an audit of internet-facing technology, while a Chinese embassy spokesperson said Beijing “does not encourage, support or condone attacks launched by hackers.” (ABC)

North Korea/Russia: A delegation from a North Korean military training school has traveled to Russia, North Korean state media reported today. The visit follows the two countries signing a pact last month in which they pledged military assistance to the other “by mobilizing all means in [their] possession” if attacked. (Yonhap)

In this Expert Brief, CFR Senior Fellows Sue Mi Terry and Stephen Sestanovich explain what’s behind the North Korea-Russia defense deal

South and Central Asia

Bangladesh Prime Minister Meets With Chinese Business, Political Leaders

Sheikh Hasina called on Chinese business leaders to invest in Bangladesh during a meeting in Beijing today, saying the Bangladeshi government will establish special tourism zones where China can invest in the real estate and hospitality sectors. She is due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang tomorrow. (BSS)

Afghanistan: The Taliban government will not recognize the three female Afghan athletes competing at this year’s Summer Olympic Games, a government spokesperson said. Kabul’s three male and three female athletes due to compete in Paris are doing so under the flag of the previous internationally-backed government that was ousted in 2021. All but one of the athletes lives outside the country. (AFP)

This CFR timeline looks back at politics and protest at the Olympics

Middle East and North Africa

Thousands Flee New Israeli Push Into Gaza City

Palestinians fled parts of the Gaza Strip’s largest city yesterday and today amid a renewed Israeli military raid in the area. Residents of Gaza reported some of the fiercest fighting since the start of the war. The Israeli offensive could put ongoing cease-fire talks between Hamas and Israel at risk, a Hamas leader said yesterday. (AP, Reuters)  

In this Expert Brief, CFR Senior Fellow Bruce Hoffman weighs how much of a threat Hamas still poses to Israel

Iraq/Turkey: A Turkish drone struck a vehicle in northern Iraq’s Sinjar District yesterday that was believed to belong to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Iraqi media reported. A PKK-aligned media source said two journalists, a bystander, and a driver were wounded. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened a major offensive in the Kurdish-populated part of Iraq in recent months. (Al-Monitor) 

Sub-Saharan Africa

Court Blocks Kenyan President’s Plan to Audit Public Debt

A court temporarily obstructed the audit, which President William Ruto had announced as a measure to placate protests against tax hikes, on grounds that it does not lie within executive authority, but rather with that of an auditor-general. (Bloomberg) 

For the Africa in Transition blog, CFR expert Michelle Gavin explains how Kenya’s protests mark a generational revolution

DRC/Uganda: Uganda’s army has allowed the M23 rebel fighter group in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to use Ugandan territory for transit and meetings, a UN Security Council expert group said in a report seen by Reuters. A Ugandan army spokesperson denied any cooperation with M23. Uganda is one of the countries that makes up a regional force overseeing peace negotiations with the rebel group. The report also reaffirmed previous assessments that Rwanda backs the M23. (Reuters)

Europe

Chinese Carmaker BYD Announces $1 Billion Plant in Turkey

The pact comes after the European Union (EU) unveiled a policy of tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle imports last month. Turkey is part of the EU customs union and can export its domestically-made goods to bloc members without additional tariffs. The factory, which is expected to begin production at the end of 2026, could produce 150,000 cars per year. BYD is also building a plant in Hungary to begin production next year. (FT)

Americas

Colombia Says National Deforestation in 2023 Fell to Twenty-Three-Year Low

The environment ministry reported yesterday a historic 36 percent decline in deforestation last year, driven by declining destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. The current Colombian government has also made forest protection a priority in peace talks with guerrilla groups. But deforestation has only continued to rise in 2024, Colombia’s environment minister said, amid an especially dry period. (Reuters, AP)

Brazil: Federal police accused former President Jair Bolsonaro of embezzling around $1.2 million in undeclared jewelry from Saudi Arabia while in office, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday. Bolsonaro did not immediately comment on the indictment, but previously denied wrongdoing related to the jewelry. (AP) 

U.S. Campaign 2024

Republican Party Approves New National Platform, Often Aligning With Trump Positions

The new platform drops previous party support for a federal abortion ban, saying states should determine abortion policies. It pledges to carry out “the largest deportation operation” in U.S. history and “support baseline tariffs on foreign-made goods.” These and other changes shorten the platform to only sixteen pages and omit details on several topics. (AP, Bloomberg)

This CFR tracker lays out former President Donald Trump’s positions on the major foreign policy issues.

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