INTERVIEW – KT MCFARLAND – Former deputy national security adviser for President Trump, and before the White House, KT was a Fox News national security analyst for nearly a decade and WMAL national security analyst for many years. She also worked in Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations.
- KT analyzed the latest foreign policy events in China trade, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and North Korea.
- CHINA TRADE WAR: Kudlow: We expect China to retaliate for hiked tariffs. China expected to retaliate, Trump likely to meet with Xi at G-20, Kudlow says. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said he expects China to retaliate against the U.S. after President Trump increased tariffs last week on Chinese goods. “The expected countermeasures have not yet materialized,” Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday.” “[But] Yes, I reckon they will. We will see what they come up with. So far, we haven’t heard on that basis.” The U.S. increased tariffs Friday on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent after trade negotiators from both countries failed to come to an agreement. In addition, Trump called for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin raising tariffs on “essentially all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion.” Kudlow said trade talks will continue, though there are no set plans yet. The likelihood of Trump meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month during the G-20 summit in Japan is “pretty good,” he added.
- IRAN: US Navy fleet sent to Middle East to ward off threats represents a target, Iranian commander says. U.S. Navy fleet sent to the Persian Gulf to ward off a potential threat to American commercial interests represents a target instead of a serious threat, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said Sunday. The Pentagon on Friday announced plans to send the USS Arlington and the Patriot missile battery to the Middle East in an effort to deter actions from Iran. The maneuver came after national security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. was sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region, which includes the Middle East. “An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities,” said Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRG’s aerospace division, according to Iranian media.
- VENEZUELA: Venezuelan general tells military to ‘rise up’ against Maduro regime. (CNBC) – A Venezuelan general called on the country’s armed forces on Sunday to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro, who has relied on the backing of the military to hold on to power despite an economic collapse. Ramon Rangel, who identified himself as an air force general, said the Venezuelan government is being controlled by the “communist dictatorship” in Cuba — a key Maduro ally. “We have to find a way to get rid of the fear, to go out into the streets, to protest, and to seek a military union to change this political system,” Rangel, dressed in a suit with a copy of the constitution in his hand, said in a video posted on YouTube. “It’s time to rise up.” While Rangel’s pronouncement marks another blow to Maduro after a handful of similar defections by senior officers this year, there is little to indicate that he will tip the scales. Officers who have disavowed Maduro have fled the country and the military top brass — most notably those who command troops — continues to recognize Maduro. The information ministry did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Reuters was also unable to obtain comment from Rangel. Air Force Commander Pedro Juliac posted a picture of Rangel on Twitter on Sunday with the words “traitor to the Venezuelan people and the revolution” printed across the image.
- SYRIA: Syrian hospitals bombed by Assad, Russian troops after coordinates were shared with the UN. (Fox News) — Over the past two weeks, Syrian and Russian warplanes have hammered the last remaining rebel-held bastion in the country’s north – killing dozens and prompting almost 200,000 people to flee. Not only is the renewed offensive raising red flags that a final showdown might be underway in the long-running civil war, but that government forces may have misused data provided to them by the United Nations to gain an advantage and target hospitals. “This is alarming for us. Five of our 12 hospitals have been attacked, and what is very concerning is that these centers were supposed to be de-conflicted areas. The coordinates of their locations were handed over the U.N. to give the (Russian) government,” Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, President of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) told Fox News. “This was direct targeting, not collateral damage.” The controversial “notification system” of handing over GPS coordinates of medical centers, schools, and other civilian locations started in early 2018, with NGO’s and aid groups providing their coordinates to the U.N which then passed it on to Russia, Turkey, and the U.S in a quest to deter civilian casualties. But the practice quickly came under fire after a hospital on that list was abruptly attacked by Assad and Russian aircraft.
- NORTH KOREA: Trump downplays North Korea missile tests amid stalled nuclear talks with Kim Jong Un. (NBC News) — “They’re short-range and I don’t consider that a breach of trust at all,” Trump said in an interview with Politico. President Donald Trump has downplayed a series of recent missile launches by North Korea, saying he doesn’t consider the tests a setback amid stalled nuclear talks with Kim Jong Un. “They’re short-range and I don’t consider that a breach of trust at all,” Trump said in an interview with Politico on Friday. “And, you know, at some point I may. But at this point no,” he added. “These were short-range missiles and very standard stuff. Very standard.” On Thursday, the Pentagon said that North Korea “flight-tested multiple ballistic missiles” in the country’s second launch of weapons in less than a week. The missiles flew for more than 186 miles before landing in the ocean.