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"It's A Friggin' Mess": The Pentagon Sums Up Syria Fight

The violence in Turkey has escalated meaningfully over the past 48 hours as the country's crackdown on "terrorists" gathers steam and as Washington and Ankara ready a "comprehensive" plan to take the fight to ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow where the two argued about the fate of Bashar al-Assad, while al-Qaeda refused to back the US and Turkey's "ISIS-free zone" because they believe it serves only to advance Ankara's narrow political interests. In short: "It's a friggin' mess."

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Gunmen Attack US Consulate In Turkey After Explosion Kills Three

Just as the Ferguson night turned violent, again, and at least two people were struck by gunfire during the latest riot to "commemorate" the death of Michael Brown, reports of violence came from another part in the world, Turkey where moments ago CNN Turk reported that two attackers, a man and a woman, opened fire on the U.S. consulate building in Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul, on Monday and fled when police shot back.

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"We Have A Civil War": Inside Turkey's Descent Into Political, Social, And Economic Chaos

"There's a saying, 'if there's peace, it will start from Cizre, and if there's war, it will start from here as well.' And we can say we have a civil war in Turkey."

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The U.S. Is Destroying Europe

There are two ways to win, at any game: One is by improving one’s own performance. The other is by weakening the performances by all of one’s competitors. The United States is now relying almost entirely upon the latter type of strategy.

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Emerging Market Mayhem: Gross Warns Of "Debacle" As Currencies, Bonds Collapse

Things are getting downright scary in emerging markets as a "triple unwind" in credit, Chinese leverage, and loose US monetary policy wreaks havoc across the space. Between a prolonged slump in commodity prices and a structural shift towards weaker global trade, the situation could worsen materially going forward.

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US Allows Ally Turkey to Bomb Only Group Effectively Fighting ISIS

The seriousness is underscored by the declarations of the president of Turkey regarding a Kurdish state. In contrast, the Islamic State has no such aims on Turkey and does not have the wherewithal to undertake such an enterprise—even if it wanted to. Turks have a long history of secularism and are not receptive to the strict Islamism of ISIS. For the time being, therefore, the Turkish state will pretend to be fighting ISIS while directing its violence towards the PKK and the YPG.

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Mapping The Global War On Terror

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US, Turkey To Form Anti-ISIS "Coalition" With Saudi Arabia, Qatar

The US and Turkey are set to launch a "comprehensive fight against ISIS" with Turkey's Incirlik airbase as the hub, Ankara says. Other countries "interested in joining" the coalition include Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. For its part, Syria has a subtle reminder for everyone involved: "we support any effort to combat Daesh in coordination and consultation with the Syrian government, otherwise it will be a breach of Syrian sovereignty." 

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Frontrunning: August 5

  • Turkey says coalition to launch 'comprehensive battle' against Islamic State (Reuters)
  • Buffett’s Celebration Tempered by 50th Anniversary Stock Slump (BBG)
  • SEC Set to Approve CEO Pay-Gap Disclosure Rule (WSJ)
  • Greece wants full bailout, not bridge loan, ruling party says  (Reuters)
  • Stocks Rise Fueled by Strong European Corporate Earnings and Chinese Data (WSJ)
  • JPMorgan Reclaims Place Among U.S.'s Top 10 Biggest Stocks (BBG)
  • Eurozone retail sales fall sharply in June (MW)
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Why Turkey's "ISIS-Free Zone" Is The Most Ridiculous US Foreign Policy Outcome In History

The truly incredible thing about US foreign policy outcomes is that there are seemingly no limits on how absurd they can be. Indeed, Washington’s uncanny ability to paint itself into policy corners and create the most thoroughly flummoxing geopolitical quagmires in the history of statecraft knows absolutely no bounds. 

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Frontrunning: August 4

  • Unhappy Voters Shake Up Presidential Race (WSJ)
  • China stock exchanges step up crackdown on short-selling (Reuters)
  • China Dethroned as World’s Most Liquid Stock Market After Curbs (BBG)
  • Xiaomi retakes the smartphone lead in China as Apple slips (Engadget)
  • Impact of EPA’s Emissions Rule on Industry to Vary (WSJ)
  • Citadel’s Ken Griffin Leaves 2008 Tumble Far Behind (WSJ)
  • Greece says expects bailout deal by Aug 18 (Reuters)
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Amid Escalating Violence In Turkey, Erdogan Says Putin Ready To "Give Up On Assad"

As opposition lawmakers accuse Tayyip Erdogan of blocking efforts to form a coalition government, Ankara says the PKK orchestrated a suicide attack that killed three Turkish soldiers. Meanwhile, Erdogan says Vladimir Putin is ready to "give up on" Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

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Obama Authorizes "Defensive" Airstrikes Against Assad Regime In Syria

"President Barack Obama has authorized using air power to defend a new U.S.-backed fighting force in Syria if it is attacked by Syrian government forces or other groups, raising the risk of the American military coming into direct conflict with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad," WSJ reports.

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