Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 01 November 2018. (All times Central.)
The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing, receive a briefing on election security/integrity, and then travel to Missouri to hold a Make America Great Again rally.
Of Note: The President has a busy schedule for the next week, holding Make America Great Again rallies in Columbia, MO (01 Nov), Huntington, WV (02 Nov), Indianapolis, IN (02 Nov), Belgrade, MT (03 Nov), Pensacola, FL (03 Nov), Macon, GA (04 Nov), Chattanooga, TN (04 Nov), Cleveland, OH (05 Nov), Fort Wayne, IN (05 Nov), and Cape Giradeau, MO (05 Nov).
Caravan Watch: We had a saying in the Army: “Hurry up and wait.” And that’s about how we feel about this migrant caravan as they slowly make their way through Mexico. As he’s accused by the media of fomenting unrest and unnecessary drama, President Trump recently said that the number of active duty personnel ordered to the border could reach 15,000. Media coverage continues to focus on two central themes: ‘Trump’s warnings are needless’ and that there are mothers and children in the migrant caravan. According to this morning’s reports, about 2,000-3,000 people in the second caravan are now moving through southern Mexico after breaching the Guatemala-Mexico border. The first caravan, the size of which is now being obscured in much of media reporting, has decreased in the past week from an estimated 7,000 down to about 4,000. White House press secretary told Fox News yesterday that, “Mexico has stepped up in an unprecedented way. They have helped stop a lot of the transportation means of these individuals in these caravans, forcing them walking. They have helped us in new ways to slow this down, to break this up and keep it from moving as aggressively toward the United States.”
Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.
Of Note: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson is on travel to Iceland, Estonia, and Poland, and will return after a trip to Jordan on 08 November. In Iceland, the under secretary will participate in the annual NATO conference on weapons of mass destruction, and discuss how NATO can press for international peace and stability. Estonia, the under secretary will meet with senior government officials and attend a Bilateral Cyber Working Group to “discuss cyber security and countering Russian cyber aggression”. In Poland, the under secretary will attend the Poland-United States Strategic Cooperation Consultative Group. All three European visits (Iceland, Estonia, and Poland) are focused on European security against Russia.
Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events.
These are the last publicly reported locations of these ships. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group does not appear imminent.
The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as being underway in the Pacific Ocean.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk, but will be transitioning to a new home port in San Diego.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being underway in the eastern Pacific as it begins its shift to a new homeport in Norfolk.
The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the Norwegian Sea. The carrier strike group is participating in the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in Norway.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as taking part in joint U.S.-Japan military exercise Keen Sword off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Keen Sword will run through 09 November.
The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to port in Norfolk.
* Indicates changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.
Significant House Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
Significant Senate Activity:
- The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe will receive a briefing on “United States interests, nationalist movements, and the European Union.”
* Only events pertinent to national security are listed.
** Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports.
Latest numbers from ADP’s private employment report show that job growth is still booming. Month over month payrolls show an added 207,000 jobs for October, beating the forecast of 187,000. The biggest gains were in (1) trade, transportation, and utility, (2) leisure and hospitality, and (3) professional and business sectors. [source]
Morgan Stanley reports that 2018’s income tax refunds could be 26 percent higher by next spring due to withholding and the tax breaks. Could this extend Trump’s economic bump?
HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports that the Atlantic Ocean is clear of activity. About 29 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]
What I’m Looking at this Morning
Cramer: Fed’s Powell seems to want Trump to lose
China’s Xi: Prepare for a fighting war
Pentagon warns Taiwan to boost defense spending in light of potential mainland attack
“It’s likely to be brief.” – National Security Advisor John Bolton on next month’s meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin