Milei’s Win Is a Win for The U.S. | Brands Are the First Casualty of War | Cambodia & Cyberscams, and more

North Korea’s Spy Satellite Launch Is One Giant (and Dangerous) Question Mark  (Bruce Klingner, National Interest)
North Korean Spy Satellite Enhances Targeting Ability - Pyongyang successfully launched its first military reconnaissance satellite after two previous failures. North Korea has developed a robust missile arsenal but, until now, lacked a remote reconnaissance capability to identify, track, and attack U.S., South Korean, and Japanese military targets. The satellite’s capabilities, as well as whether it incorporated Russian technology, remain unknown.
North Korea announced the satellite surveilled U.S. military bases in Guam and vowed to launch several additional reconnaissance satellites “in a short span of time.” South Korea responded by suspending portions of an inter-Korean military agreement meant to prevent military clashes along the DMZ, raising tensions on the peninsula even further.

Milei’s Win Is a Win for The U.S.  (Joseph Bouchard, National Interest)
Despite Milei’s obvious flaws, what is clear is that his win will be beneficial to Argentina’s most significant ally: the United States. 
Of utmost significance to the United States will be Milei’s push toward dollarization, which will mean greater monetary influence for the United States and better economic predictability for Argentina. Adopting the dollar and stabilizing monetary policy will lead to further foreign investment and interest, mainly from the United States. Even in the last few months and years, fluctuation in the Argentine peso’s value correlated heavily with the increase and decrease in U.S. trade with Argentina. Milei has made economic expansion the first priority of his administration, fitting with his overall message favoring private enterprise over state control. 
Moreover, Milei has clarified that, under his administration, Argentina will grow closer with the United States and its allies and cease rapprochement with China and other U.S. adversaries. In line with that message, his first two foreign visits as president-elect will be to the United States and Israel. 
China has spread its influence rapidly in Argentina, building commercial banking branches nationwide, expanding its presence in the telecom market, and even signing a currency swap deal. Like Ecuador and Bolivia, a left-wing government could have led the country to ditch U.S.-led international public financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and opt for China to refinance its large public debt—on worse terms. Milei will be a more reliable partner for the United States, given both his signaled admiration for the country and his complete repudiation of China. He has said that, as president, he “would not promote a relationship with Communists” in reference to the People’s Republic.

Brands Are the First Casualty of War  (Paul Musgrave, Foreign Policy)
Brooks Brothers presents itself not only as the oldest American apparel company but as a quintessential piece of Americana. Its website touts the firm’s history supplying veterans and the U.S. military from its founding in 1818 through the Second World War. The company’s website also describes how the company has preserved records and fabric samples from an 1861 agreement signed by New York’s governor and the four Brooks brothers themselves to supply the state’s regiments with uniforms at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. This isn’t just an established firm, it’s a patriotic one.
That kind of traditional Americana was once an easy sell for companies. In a globalized age, though, flag-waving is a dangerous business. What a brand—or its franchisees—do in one market can affect them all. When an Israeli McDonald’s franchise started offering free meals to Israel soldiers last month, for instance, franchises across the rest of the Middle East distanced themselves—many donating money to Gaza.
For companies that own valuable brands, the threats to their business can emerge precisely because of the strength of those brands. The more global a brand becomes, the more likely it is to be entangled in international disputes, and the more picking a side comes with costs, even for the softest of products like fizzy drinks or ice cream.
In a brand-dominated consumer economy, defining oneself by a relationship to brands is inescapable. Even in normal times, choosing between Starbucks or Peet’s and Athleta or Lululemon expresses not just personality but political and moral overtones. War, and the threat of war, can bring national loyalties into the mix, making customers avoid anyone who is trading with the enemy, possibly for long after the conflict ends. Even brands that want to be bystanders will come under pressure to take a stance.
Once, companies could segment their messages in different countries, or even avoid commenting on conflict at all. In a world of digital media and consumer-activists, that is no longer possible. But it’s not the first time that companies have had to steer through rocky geopolitical shoals with lasting consequences.

Can the Palestinian Authority Really Govern Gaza After the War?  (Steven Erlanger, New York Times)
President Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken have said that after the latest war, Gaza should be unified with the Israeli-occupied West Bank under a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority, which controls large parts of the West Bank in close coordination, some say collaboration, with Israel.
Today few people in the West Bank or Israel regard the authority as capable of governing a post-conflict Gaza. The authority is deeply unpopular even where it has control in the West Bank, because it is seen as a subcontractor to the long Israeli occupation.
Its support is so tenuous, in fact, that it would be unlikely to survive without the security provided by the Israeli Army.
In the view of many of the people it is supposed to represent, the authority has devolved into an authoritarian, corrupt and undemocratic administration that sits on an iron throne built by Israel.
Restoring the authority’s credibility, Palestinians and experts say, would require broadening its base to include Hamas and other Palestinian groups, holding elections to form a new leadership and insisting on the reunification of the West Bank and Gaza under some sort of two-state paradigm with Israel.
But the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7 have nearly destroyed Israeli trust in Palestinian governance, and if elections were held today, it is probable, experts and polls suggest, that Hamas would win again.

The Indo-Pacific’s New Missile Age Demands Washington’s Attention  (Ankit Panda, Breaking Defense)
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Ankit Panda writes in this op-ed that the proliferation of long-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific may seem like a strategic advantage for different nations, but collectively increases the danger level.