Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down what you need to know about the big stories from around the globe.
Reagan and Gorbachev at the 1987 summit during which they signed the INF treaty. Photo: Jerome Delay/AFP/Getty Images
National Security Adviser John Bolton reiterated to his Russian counterpart today in Moscow that the U.S. is pulling out of an arms control treaty signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.
The big picture: Trump isn't just walking away from a landmark of the last Cold War, he's preparing for the next one. One of the key arguments for withdrawing from the treaty is that the U.S. will need every tool at its disposal to confront the military rise of China.
“Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?”— Gorbachev to the Interfax news agency
Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution argues for Axios Expert Voices that Trump has made a mistake and "it is not evident that the administration tried hard to save the treaty, perhaps because Bolton has long favored ditching it." His argument against:
Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council contends that while consulting with allies and staging a formal policy rollout would have been more effective, Trump has ultimately made the right decision. His argument for:
What to watch: Kroenig says because it takes 7-10 years to develop a new missile system, steps like adapting sea-launch missiles for use on shore might be needed. "It doesn't look great to say, 'we're pulling out of this treaty. Wait for an update from us in 10 years,'" he says.
Erdogan (L) and King Salman in 2015. Photo: Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he'll release the findings from Turkey's investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's on Tuesday, pledging to go into "full detail."
Between the lines: For the nearly three weeks since Khashoggi disappeared, Turkey has been setting the pace. A steady stream of anonymous leaks have kept the pressure on, but haven't been followed by concrete accusations. Erdogan's strategy had seemed to be to build leverage with Riyadh and Washington, while keeping an escape hatch open for the Saudis.
But the Saudis still have questions to answer a day after the kingdom's foreign minister insisted on Fox News that Khashoggi's death was the result of "a rogue operation" not authorized by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
Where things stand: Trump said this afternoon that he's "not satisfied" with the Saudi explanations. Erdogan, meanwhile, says he'll put his cards on the table tomorrow.
Merkel and Bush, nearly 13 years ago. Photo: Mark Abraham/AFP/Getty Images
Germany's Angela Merkel said last night that she will not approve any new arms sales to Saudi Arabia, becoming the first western leader to do so and — at least according to many in my Twitter feed — affirming her status as "leader of the free world."
But she may not be the leader of Germany much longer. If the center-left SPD fares as badly in a state election in Hesse on Sunday as it did in Bavaria a week ago, its leaders may decide staying in Merkel's coalition government is too politically painful to bear.
From the NY Times obituary for Joachim Ronneberg, who has died at the age of 99:
Last week, Axios' Stef Kight took a look at the global rise in out-of-wedlock births. Now she's breaking down another trend that is shaping our world: people are having kids later in life.
Trump and Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
President Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month that he's ready to put pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept his upcoming Middle East peace plan, four Western diplomats briefed on the meeting tell Axios contributor Barak Ravid.
Why it matters: We haven’t previously heard Trump say anything about his willingness to put pressure on Netanyahu, perhaps his staunchest ally around the world. Three days after the meeting with Macron, Trump met with Netanyahu in New York and announced for the first time his support for the two state solution. He also said he was planning to present his peace plan in two to four months.
According to the four Western diplomats, Macron told Trump he has the impression Netanyahu doesn’t really want to move on the peace process "because he loves the status quo." Trump said he was very close to reaching the same conclusion.
1. President Trump tweeted today that he would begin cutting off foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The tweet came in response to the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump (without evidence) claimed contains "unknown Middle Easterners."
2. Polls show Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right presidential frontrunner, with leads of between 16 and 20 points ahead of Sunday's runoff. Speculation that Bolsonaro's support would hit a "ceiling" isn't borne out by the numbers, which show his leftist opponent with higher negatives.
3. An editorial from state-run China Daily accuses Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of a "stab in the back" after Pompeo — while in Panama on Thursday — said Latin American countries should "keep their eyes open when it comes to China's investments."
4. Uruguay could face legal troubles over a privatization deal gone bad. Axios Business Editor Dan Primack explains.
A weekend stroll among the red Kochias (summer cypress) at Hitachi Seaside Park in Katsuta, Japan. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images.
"Sometimes I feel his style is shoot first, aim later. He needs proper advisers around him to lead Saudi Arabia into the future. But he does believe in himself, it’s obvious, he very much believes in himself."— Jamal Khashoggi, discussing Mohammed bin Salman in an interview 8 months before he was killed
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