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Iraq facing inability to rebuild due to lack of financial assistance

Reconstruction works continue in Mosul, Iraq.
Reconstruction works continue in Mosul, Iraq. Photo: Yunus Keles / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The Iraqi government requested $88 billion to help them rebuild after ISIS militants left millions displaced and parts of the country in ruins. On Tuesday, allies had offered less than 5% of that, the New York Times reports.

A conference focused on rebuilding Iraq ends Wednesday, and things don't look good. On Tuesday, there was "barely $4 billion pledged," the Times reports. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates all pledged around $1 billion, per the Times. The U.S. did not pledge anything.

  • A big concern: A country struggling to rebuild is a potential playground for extremism.

What this tells us: President Trump has frequently voiced displeasure about U.S. spending in the Middle East. He tweeted on Monday that after "stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!"

  • While that number has been disputed, the bottom line is clear: "President Trump is leaving nation-building to others, and they are barely responding," per NYT.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS: "Without continued attention on the part of coalition members, we risk the return of extremist groups like ISIS in liberated areas in Iraq and Syria and their spread to new locations."
  • Tillerson called on other countries to contribute, stressing that the U.S. had already given billions in assistance.

Go deeper: Mosul, after ISIS.

Michael Kugelman 5 hours ago
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Expert Voices

Kabul attack underscores security issues ahead of Afghan elections

A burned-out car and crowds in the street where the bombing took place
The site of this weekend's suicide bombing in Kabul. Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

The terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the April 22 attack on a voter registration site in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed more than 60 people. The tragedy followed four other election-related attacks, including the abduction of three election workers in the central province of Ghor, over the past week.

Why it matters: Violent attacks by both ISIS and the Taliban underscore the security challenges facing Afghanistan as it prepares to hold parliamentary elections in October.

Axios 5 hours ago
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Europe's new privacy rules favor tech giants

People walk past a Google logo on a wall in Lisbon
Photo: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning May 25, "Brussels wants its new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, to stop tech giants and their partners from pressuring consumers to relinquish control of their data in exchange for services," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, but: "[S]ome of the restrictions are having an unintended consequence: reinforcing the duopoly of Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google."