24 May 2019   Leave a comment

British Prime Minister announced that she will resign from her office on 7 June, acknowledging that her efforts to lead the country out of the European Union have failed. She thus became the second Prime Minister, after David Cameron, to suffer defeat within her party because of Brexit. In bith cases, the damage was self-inflicted. Cameron called a referendum that he believed would fail and May called a snap election that she thought would solidify her position but which rather weakened her position. There are several members of the Conservative Party that will vie for her position, but it seems like Boris Johnson has an inside track. Brexit dominated May’s tenure and it seems unlikely that her successor will be able to square that circle as well. The Brexit issue has damaged the Conservative Party, perhaps irrevocably.

US President Trump announced that he will send an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East. The troop deployment comes amid increased tensions with Iran, and will likely be viewed by Iran as a provocation. Even though Mr. Trump has made it clear several times that he wishes to withdraw troops from the Middle east, he finds himself–like both Presidents Bush and Obama–sending more troops to the volatile region. Additionally, President Trump has indicated that he will use a loophole in the Arms Export Control Act which was passed in 2018 to send weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Alex Ward describes the loophole:

“There is a provision in a weapons export law allowing the executive branch to sell arms without congressional sign-off if “an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States.” Administrations rarely invoke it, experts say, mainly because of how controversial it is and the high bar required to claim a dire situation exists.

“President George W. Bush used the provision in 2006 to send precision-guided weapons to Israel during the Israel-Hezbollah July War, but that was last time an administration took advantage of the loophole.”

If Mr. Trump uses the loophole, he could send $7 billion worth of arms to the two countries to wage war in Yemen, even though the Congress explicitly voted to end US cooperation with them because of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Posted May 24, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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