The US pursuit of “energy independence,” let alone “energy dominance,” did not last long. Like presidents before him, Joe Biden finds himself in the position of first imploring OPEC states, then expressing anger at their decisions on oil production. But a new, more active American oil policy threatens changes.
The meeting in Vienna of the OPEC+ group of leading oil exporters on October 5 decided to cut its production target by 2 million barrels per day, which will amount to about 900,000 bpd of real reductions. This follows a 100,000 bpd cut from the previous month’s confab, which itself came after months of steady increases as consumption rebounded from the pandemic.
The group is worried about demand and the world economy, given high inflation, interest rate rises, and the economic slowdown in China. Oil prices had dropped sharply from almost $124 per barrel in June to $84 per barrel just ahead of the meeting.
But the US lobbied hard against cuts, wanting to contain prices and inflation ahead of the crucial midterm elections on November 8. It argued that the market remained tight and that the decision could have been put off for a month to allow for the impact of the European ban on Russian oil imports on December 5. The Biden administration’s pleas were unavailing.
The US “shale revolution,” which from 2010 unlocked billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of gas hitherto inaccessible, led to heady predictions that the US no longer needed to pay attention to the Gulf. As a result, Washington believed it could draw down its military and diplomatic presence there in a “pivot to Asia.”
As it had since Richard Nixon’s Project Independence, the US saw energy security in terms of self-sufficiency. Energy experts warned repeatedly that the country remained connected to the world market. But after a decade of fruitless Middle East wars, presidents sought to run foreign policy on the cheap by outsourcing it to the energy business.
Barack Obama’s tenure was buoyed by sharply rising US oil and gas output. He eventually lifted the long-standing ban on exports of crude oil, containing global prices. This enabled stringent sanctions on Iran in pursuit of a nuclear deal, and covered for the loss of Libyan output during and after the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.
The Gulf producers’ struggle to compete with shale caused the oil price crash in late 2014 and OPEC price war, then the formation of the OPEC+ alliance with Russia and other important non-OPEC producers in late 2016. Saudi Arabia saw that OPEC could not fight both shale and Russia simultaneously.
Donald Trump was mainly able to coast through his presidency on moderate prices. He put pressure on Gulf states to raise production to support renewed sanctions on Iran, only to blindside them in November 2018 with waivers that pushed down prices. But, reversing course, when oil prices crashed early in the pandemic, he threw his weight behind a renewed production deal in calls with Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, intended to rescue the domestic US industry.
The shale revolution now seems to have run its course as investors prefer cash to growth. American oil output will continue rising for some years, just not fast enough to meet global demand expansion or cause a price crash.
Oil companies blame an unfavorable investment environment on the Democrats, although nothing tangible Biden has done will have any significant impact on near-term production. Nevertheless, constrained by the environmentalist agenda of his party, Biden is unlikely to shift his rhetoric enough to encourage more activity from the Texas oil barons or their Wall Street backers.
The US remains a significant net oil exporter, as it has not been since the late 1940s. But it has lost the role of swing producer it held for the decade from 2010. High oil prices are good for the US economy on aggregate, and especially for investors. But they are bad for consumers, inflation, and for the majority of states that are not major producers – most of those Democrat-voting or electorally competitive.
So the US administration responded furiously to the cuts, and blamed Saudi Arabia. Washington pointed to dangers to the world economy, and to the boost to Russia, sustaining its war in Ukraine.
Riyadh, by contrast, defended its position and was eventually supported by the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Iraq. It pointed to the concerns over oil demand and low levels of spare capacity. Its foreign ministry said the decision was unanimous (as OPEC decisions must be), “purely economic,” and aimed to limit price volatility. There is also some suspicion that Saudi Arabia now favors higher oil prices to fund its diversification, such as the $500 billion new city Neom, although local investment bank Al Rajhi believes it is budgeting for next year at about $76 per barrel.
The White House will fall back on old tools, and try out some new ones. It has used the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) far more actively than under any past president, as a price management mechanism. The lunatic concept of banning US oil exports again has circulated. A renewed Iran nuclear deal, which would restore Iranian oil exports, seems off the table for now.
Otherwise, its main leverage on OPEC+ and specifically Saudi Arabia lies outside the energy field, in denying arms sales and the provision of defense. If the US were ever “energy dominant,” it has to adapt to returning to energy submission. But the superpower has other foreign policy tools, and the Gulf oil producers need to beware how an angry Washington might use them.
Robin M. Mills is CEO of Qamar Energy, and author of “The Myth of the Oil Crisis.”
Legit Group Secures Rp 205.3 Billion in Series A Funding for F&B Business Expansion
TELEGRAF – Legit Group, a multi-brand cloud kitchen conceptor and operator, has announced the success of its series A funding round, raising a total of US$13.7 million (IDR 205.3 billion) from several investors. The funding was led by MDI Ventures, the venture capital arm of PT Telkom Indonesia Tbk, and followed by Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV), East Ventures, and Winter Capital. In 2021, Legit Group also successfully raised seed funding worth US$3 million (IDR 43 billion) from East Ventures and AC Ventures, JAKARTA, TUESDAY (11 APRIL 2023).
Founded in 2021, Legit Group currently operates four well-known brands, including Pastaria, Sei’Tan, Sek Fan, and Ryujin, located in over 30 locations in Jabodetabek. Interestingly, Legit Group’s brands do not have any offline locations, but operate using a cloud business model.
This new funding adds optimism to Legit Group to dominate the market through the right marketing strategy in the F&B industry. This confidence is supported by the strong traction the company has gained since the initial funding round, with sales reaching about three times in one month, and launching a new brand.
Bram Hendrata, Chairman of Legit Group said, “We are excited to have a strong group of investors to support us in creating a brand that carries the vision of ‘Food for Everyone’. Through the funding obtained from MDI Ventures, this can strengthen Legit Group’s commitment to bringing more food to various places, while continuing to innovate and improve the technology we have to achieve more efficient operating systems,” said Bram, who has been a veteran in the F&B industry for 15 years.
Currently, Legit Group’s business sector is rapidly growing. While most regular cloud kitchen business owners focus on improving their ability to serve more consumers in new areas, Legit Group has seen the potential for new generation F&B technology that focuses more on developing F&B brands by applying technology to maximize profits. Therefore, Legit Group believes that this focus will provide a competitive advantage in the cloud kitchen market.
Donald Wihardja, CEO of MDI Ventures said, “Legit Group’s founders’ experience, who have succeeded in the F&B business for 15 years, as well as their ability to develop innovative and effective products and marketing strategies, make MDI Ventures more confident that our support as investors will help strengthen their position in the F&B industry and accelerate their business growth. This collaboration is expected to create positive synergy and greater success for both parties. This investment is also an effort by MDI Ventures to provide a positive social impact on the growth of the agriculture sector in Indonesia.”
Amidst the macroeconomic conditions that often demand startup businesses to remain profitable, Legit Group has set its top priority to achieve economic balance while continuing to strive for a healthy economic unit. To achieve this goal, Legit Group has announced its plan to expand in 2023, targeting Jabodetabek and other cities that have great potential for delivery market, after 95% of Legit Group’s outlets were previously spread across several locations in Jakarta.
“Through the support from various parties, strategic approaches, and our commitment to product quality excellence, we believe we can continue to produce products that…
MKI Teams up with Enlit Asia to Host the Most Influential Electricity and Energy Sector Meeting in ASEAN
In order to promote the development of clean energy technology in the ASEAN region, the most influential electricity and energy sector meeting in ASEAN
Telegraf – In order to promote the development of clean energy technology in the ASEAN region, the most influential electricity and energy sector meeting in ASEAN will once again be held in Jakarta in 2023, coinciding with Indonesia’s Chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit. This meeting is a partnership between Enlit Asia and the Indonesian Electricity Society (MKI), which will hold two leading events in the electricity and energy business and industry in the ASEAN region, with the support of PT PLN (Persero) as Utility Host and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
The Enlit Asia 2023 event and the 78th Indonesian National Electricity Day (HLN 78) will be jointly opened on November 14, 2023, at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE). This combined event continues the successful partnership that brought the first Powergen Asia to Indonesia and the 73rd Indonesian National Electricity Day in 2018.
This cooperation will bring together more than 350 exhibition participants from around the world who will showcase the latest technologies and innovations that support energy transition throughout ASEAN. It is expected that 12,000 visitors from all over Indonesia and ASEAN will benefit from over 75 hours of free content provided by technology providers and the latest solutions, as well as case studies on the use of the latest technology in the field by IPPs and electric utilities.
This meeting is being held to support energy transition in the ASEAN region and will focus on commercial and strategic issues that will accelerate the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable power system. Over 150 leading speakers in the industry will share their insights simultaneously, where the evolution of traditional energy systems, integration of next-generation clean generation technology, and frameworks and financing supporting this transition will be the focus of the discussion.
With more and more companies participating in the exhibition, including those focused on Carbon Capture and Storage, Hydrogen technology, Energy Storage, Smart Grid, and RE integration solutions including Solar PV and Wind Energy, as well as Nuclear power generation technology, the event is further cementing its position as a leading industry meeting on the ASEAN calendar.
“We are delighted to return to Jakarta and partner with MKI once again. Indonesia is a very important market in the ASEAN region, with the highest electricity demand, projected growth, and active steps being taken to achieve sustainability targets and renew network infrastructure. Partnering with the Indonesian National Electricity Day to see Enlit Asia’s regional reach and capabilities unite key industry stakeholders from across ASEAN, supported by Indonesia’s strong sense of taste, is very important. In 2023, we can promise that this event will fully reflect the strong enthusiasm to drive ASEAN energy transition, supported by the investment appetite of governments, regulators, utilities, and IPPs in this region,” said Richard Ireland, Chief Executive Officer of Clarion Events Asia.
Meanwhile, Arsyadany G Akmalaputri, Secretary General of MKI, explained that this year’s Indonesian National Electricity Day is the third time that MKI has partnered with Enlit Asia in organizing conferences and exhibitions. The 78th Indonesian National Electricity Day and Enlit Asia 2023 event will carry the theme “Strenghtening ASEAN Readiness in Energy Transition: Your Guide to The Energy Transition in Asia”. This year’s program will be different from previous ones, where support for the world’s commitment to implementing energy transition towards cleaner energy has been declared.
In line with Indonesia’s mandate as Chair of ASEAN, ASEAN will continue to be the epicenter of its strong and empowered society growth. The event organized by MKI and Enlit Asia is highly relevant given the scope of exhibition and conference participants
PGEO Boosts Net Profit in 2022 through Efficiency Programs
Telegraf – PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy Tbk. (PGE) (IDX: PGEO), a subsidiary of Pertamina engaged in the geothermal sector, achieved a positive performance in 2022. This positive performance was due to the efficiency program, steam and electricity sales, and other revenue contributions that led to a 49.7 percent increase in the company’s net profit compared to 2021.
The increase in profit was recorded in the company’s audited financial report, which was publicly released on March 30, 2023. In the report, PGE recorded a net profit of USD 127.3 million in 2022, significantly higher than its 2021 achievement of USD 85 million.
Throughout 2022, the company recorded a 4.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase in operational revenue, contributing to a USD 17 million increase in revenue. One of the contributing factors was the higher selling price of steam and electricity, referring to the US Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI). Additionally, the increase in profit was supported by the significant reduction of operational costs as a result of the company’s efficiency program. From the other revenue side, PGE also recorded carbon credit sales as a new revenue generator.
As part of PGE’s efforts to increase its installed capacity by 600 MW in 2027, the company is currently constructing the Lumut Balai Unit 2 Geothermal Power Plant with a capacity of 55 MW, which is expected to operate commercially by the end of 2024. Additionally, PGE has completed the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the Fluid Collection and Reinjection System (FCRS) facility. This phase is part of the project to develop the Hulu Lais Unit 1 and 2 Geothermal Power Plants with a total installed capacity of 2 x 55 MW, which is expected to operate commercially in 2026.
Moving forward, the company will focus on optimizing its existing geothermal assets. One way to do this is by increasing production capacity through co-generation technology, utilizing the available hot water (brine) to generate electricity. Co-generation technology has already been implemented at the Lahendong Geothermal Power Plant, utilizing the residual brine from steam production to generate 700 KW of power.
From an ESG perspective, in 2022, PGE achieved an ESG Rating 2 from Sustainable Fitch. This rating indicates that PGE is in the good performance category in terms of ESG management. The ESG initiatives carried out by PGE in 2022 include several programs, such as co-generation technology (brine to power) utilization in the Lahendong area, emission reduction and carbon credit sales, biodiversity programs, occupational health and safety management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), enterprise risk management (ERM), cyber security, and the implementation of an anti-bribery management system (SMAP).
The Urgency of Increasing Competence in Achieving Success in Investing in the Capital Market
TELEGRAF – GI BEI Institut Asia Malang Presents: “The Urgency of Increasing Competence in Achieving Success in Investing in the Capital Market” with Dr. Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM as Guest Lecturer
Join us on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 from 09.00 AM to 12.00 PM WIB at R. Theater Lt.1 Kampus Pusat Institut Asia Malang for a special guest lecture on the importance of improving competence in achieving investment success in the stock market. The lecture will be presented by Dr. (Cand.) Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM, who is the Treasurer General of PROPAMI.
The purpose of this guest lecture is to provide participants with better knowledge and understanding of the stock market, which is a form of investment that can provide significant returns but also comes with high risks. Therefore, investors need to have sufficient competence in making investment decisions and choosing the right investment instruments.
Through this guest lecture, participants will gain a better understanding of the stock market and how to achieve success within it. The lecture will cover various effective and efficient investment techniques and strategies, allowing participants to have a deeper understanding of the stock market.
In addition, participants will have the opportunity to directly ask questions to the speaker, Dr. (Cand.) Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM, who has extensive experience and knowledge in the field of stock market investment. This will enable participants to deepen their understanding of investment in the stock market.
This guest lecture is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and competence in investing in the stock market. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from an expert in the field of stock market investment. Register now to join the guest lecture on “Urgensi Peningkatan Kompetensi Dalam Meraih Sukses Berinvestasi di Pasar Modal” by GI BEI Institut Asia Malang on March 28th, 2023.
An Entertaining Window into Turkey’s Gross Misspending
There are countless examples of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) dubious spending habits, from $50,000 handbags for Turkey’s first lady to purchasing political support ahead of elections. Yet there’s no greater proof of the government’s reckless ways than the capital’s failed amusement park: Ankapark.
Today, giant decaying dinosaurs tower over the $801 million ghost town in northern Ankara. When it opened, in March 2019, Ankapark, also known as Worldland Eurasia, was the biggest theme park in Europe. Spread over 3.2 million acres with more than 2,100 rides and a parking lot that could accommodate 6,800 vehicles, the venture was called a “symbol of pride for Turkey” by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
But just two days after its grand opening, one of the park’s rollercoasters failed, setting the tone for the weeks to come. As one visitor noted on Tripadvisor six months later, 20 percent of the rides were still not working and management didn’t seem to care. “Why have I paid a 75 lira entrance fee (about $13 at the time) for this?” the visitor wrote.
Then, in February 2020, due to an unpaid 2.5 million lira electricity bill, Ankapark’s power was turned off. It’s been off ever since.
While the park’s demise was swift, the project was doomed from the start. Many experts expressed concern about its location and exorbitant price tag. The Chamber of Architects of Turkey filed more than 300 legal complaints to stop the park from happening, and feasibility reports suggested that the finances would never add up.
“For it not to go bankrupt it would have required 18 million visitors yearly to pay a minimum 50 lira entrance fee,” said Tezcan Karakus Candan, Ankara chair for the architects’ chamber, in a 2021 documentary. That’s 2 million more visitors than Paris’ Disneyland, Europe’s most visited theme park. In 2019, roughly half a million foreign tourists visited Ankara; the domestic market would have had to draw millions more for Ankapark to survive.
And yet, then-mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, who had been lobbying for Ankapark since the early 2000s – and had pushed legal changes to accommodate his dream – remained convinced that millions could be drawn to the park’s gates. Gokcek and AKP remained committed to the project until its very end.
Dismissing public opinion, especially on matters of money, has become an AKP hallmark. During the Erdogan era, countless initiatives have permanently damaged the environment and drained Turkish national funds. One of the crazier expenses at Ankapark was $1.8 million spent on plastic flowers and plastic trees. But that’s nothing compared to the president’s own profligate spending. Every day, the presidential palace doles out 10 million lira for food, cleaning, clothes, and other items. Even as Turkey’s economy has tanked, the palace’s bill has climbed steadily to nearly four billion lira annually.
Turkey isn’t alone with poorly planned parks. In 1998, construction stopped on China’s Wonderland, north of Beijing. Wonderland was designed to be Asia’s largest amusement park, but a dispute over property prices stalled the project. A brief attempt to restart construction in 2008 also failed, and today, the fairytale castles have been replaced by a luxury shopping mall.
But what sets Ankapark apart is its use as a political ploy to dominate headlines before the 2019 local elections, and to bolster the AKP’s image as the only party “working” for Turkey. When the park collapsed, the party acted as if it never existed.
Today, Ankapark is a literal, and political, wasteland. As is custom with AKP politicians, Gokcek blamed Ankara’s new mayor, Mansur Yavas, for the failure. Murat Kurum, the Turkish minister of environment and urban planning, went further, claiming that the disintegration of Ankapark was a classic example of the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) malfeasance. In other words, Ankapark wasn’t the problem, CHP was.
These falsehoods were consistent with AKP’s deflective defense mechanisms and how the party’s leaders blame others while failing to take responsibility themselves.
During his decades-long campaign to promote Ankapark, Mayor Gokcek repeatedly insisted the venture was “the second biggest project financed by the state in the nation’s history.” If that is true, what was in it for AKP? Why were millions spent on a theme park when those funds could have been used on more pressing issues – such as building homes for Turkey’s poor or helping thousands of students receive access to education for free?
Even basic plumbing would have been a wiser use of the money. Ankara’s infrastructure problems, particularly water distribution, could be solved with $600 million. Instead, city taps run dry while $801 million worth of robots, dinosaurs, plastic flowers, and malfunctioning rides rot in the sun.
What does all of this say about the AKP in 2022? As with almost all pending and completed projects during the party’s rule, Ankapark has drawn criticism from those who believe it was a scheme fueled by corruption and a means to funnel public money into the pockets of AKP-affiliated businessmen and party acolytes.
The rotting carcass of Ankapark is emblematic of AKP’s economic legacy, one filled with short term decisions benefitting their own. As Turkey’s economic crisis deepens, it’s important to remember that the economic rut the country is in today is paved with poor decisions of the past.
Alexandra de Cramer is a journalist based in Istanbul. She reported on the Arab Spring from Beirut as a Middle East correspondent for Milliyet newspaper. Her work ranges from current affairs to culture, and has been featured in Monocle, Courier Magazine, Maison Francaise, and Istanbul Art News.
Scoring the Lebanon-Israel Maritime Deal
The headline-grabbing maritime boundary deal announced between Lebanon and Israel this week produced several winners and losers. Determining who is who is another matter.
Leaders in each country claimed victory after US President Joe Biden unveiled the agreement, while opposition groups on both sides accused their own governments of conceding national wealth. There are also questions about the deal itself and whether it will survive the political storms that are coming.
So, before finalizing the score, we must first identify what was, and remains, at stake.
The long-standing dispute was over a maritime border serving two key purposes: security, and delineation of the countries’ exclusive economic zones.
On the security side, Israel clearly came out on top. Israel will maintain control over a line that starts five kilometers from the coast and stretches into territory that Lebanon considers its own. Lebanon tried to push this line south, but Israel resisted, concerned that a shift would give the Lebanese direct access to Israel’s north.
The tally on economics is more mixed.
Until the early 2000s, when Israel and Egypt began discovering gas reserves in their territorial waters, there had been little economic activity in the eastern Mediterranean. Once gas was found, Lebanon began conducting seismic explorations of its own, which hinted that it, too, had gas reserves that were commercially viable. Exploration rights to the most promising Lebanese blocks – 4 and 9 – were awarded to the French oil giant Total in 2018.
Total drilled Block 4, off the coast of Beirut, in 2020, but came up dry. Total said it would not drill Block 9, whose southern border was disputed by Israel, without Israel’s consent – which in turn required having Hezbollah on board. Not long ago, Hezbollah’s buy-in for a deal with Israel would have been inconceivable. But the freefalling Lebanese economy forced the pro-Iran militia to bend.
Lebanon is a rentier state. Oligarchs use its resources to offer their partisans social services, including government jobs, healthcare, and pensions. With the state going bankrupt, millions of Lebanese find themselves without a social safety net. Some have started to rely on Hezbollah’s services, which are also stretched to breaking point.
For instance, the Great Prophet Hospital, Hezbollah’s main healthcare facility in Beirut, has been unable to cope with an ever-growing roster of patients. The hospital can barely keep the lights on, and medicine is in such short supply that those who live with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, have few options. Lebanon has already run out of affordable insulin.
As Lebanon falls apart, Hezbollah is being squeezed. Lebanon’s Shia, from whom the pro-Iran militia draws its support, are hurting, while the party – and its impoverished sponsor Iran – can do little to ease the suffering.
In the hopes of producing gas to help mitigate Lebanon’s economic disaster, Hezbollah sued for settlement of the maritime border issue to allow Total to dig up Block 9.
But before the party’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, went on national television on the eve of the deal’s announcement to metaphorically drink the poison, he’d flown a couple of drones into Israeli airspace earlier in the summer, presumably targeting Israel’s Karish gas field. Nasrallah pretended that he had put Israel on notice: He would hit Karish if Israeli production began before a deal with Lebanon was reached. In other words, Hezbollah was threatening Israel with war to force a deal.
Everyone, especially Israel, knew Hezbollah couldn’t drag Lebanon to war in its current state. Yet Israeli officials likely believed they could extract some concessions from Lebanon, such as the demarcation of borders between them, both on land and at sea.
Hezbollah wanted a compromise, but not one that recognized Israel and demarcated borders in a way that would end all territorial disputes between the two sides. Hezbollah, after all, exists to fight Israel. Thus, terrestrial border demarcation was taken off the table.
In its place came a maritime boundary that stopped five kilometers short of shore, leaving most of Block 9’s Qana field in Lebanese hands.
If gas is discovered in Qana, Lebanon will receive 83 percent of its revenue, while Israel will get 17 percent. In previous scenarios offered by the United States, Israel was given 45 percent of the disputed area.
While assessing Qana’s reserves has to wait until later stages of exploration, the Israeli Ministry of Energy predicts that Qana holds just $3 billion worth of gas. With $68.9 billion in external debt, Qana’s potential won’t move the economic needle in Lebanon. Unless Qana proves to be a mega field, or unless other fields are suddenly discovered, Lebanon’s claim of economic victory in maritime talks over Israel will prove misplaced.
But, if Qana surprises with big reserves, or if other fields with sizable amounts of gas are discovered, Israel would have shot itself in the foot by taking the US-brokered deal.
Moreover, the temporary nature of the deal could allow Israel to ask for reconsideration, or it could crumble completely. The deal itself is not a treaty between two countries, but a US document and deposit of maps with the UN (the second such deposit since 2009). None of this went through a ratification process – at least not in Lebanon. In Israel, the cabinet voted but Knesset did not, and an Israeli cabinet vote could be reversed by a future cabinet vote.
Finally, if Israel’s opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, who trashed the deal during its run-up, becomes prime minister again on November 1, Israel could withdraw before it’s clear how much gas reserves Qana holds, if any.
No matter how all of this plays out, this much is certain: declarations of victory, by either side, are premature.
Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington, DC-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.
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