Early Warning for 05 February 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 05 February 2018

After a brief hiatus, the daily Early Warning intelligence report is back. I’ll be covering recent and breaking news, analysis, and insights into conflict, instability, collapse, and other potential disruptions facing the nation. It’s my opportunity to produce for subscribers critical intelligence each morning, as opposed to saving it up for Friday’s National Intelligence Bulletin.

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 05 February 2018.

We’re pretty close to being nine months away from mid-term elections. Setting our sights on November 2018, CIA chief Mike Pompeo is warning about Russian attempts to externally influence American politics. During a recent interview, Pompeo talked about future Russian influence operations: “I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that.” [source] The “that” is referring to influencing the American people. Russia — like America — has a long history of influencing foreign populations and elections.

Pompeo has been forceful in his defense of President Trump. It’s clear that Pompeo is deeply loyal, and we also believe that he’s also serious about improving national security. Pompeo says that he expects the U.S. to have “free and fair” elections and that the impact of Russian influence “won’t be great” this fall.

But there’s a catch: NATO expansion and U.S. influence in Europe all but ensures Russia will keep pushing back. We saw (and reported on) this tit-for-tat last year leading up to the election, especially with regard to how Russian security services were getting physical with CIA and Western agencies in Russia and eastern Europe. In 2016 and 2017, Putin went hard after U.S. intelligence, especially CIA and NSA. Last year, several leaks further exposed NSA, probably at the hands of Russian hacker groups — maybe even an NSA mole. Russia believes that if they can create friction and infighting among U.S. intelligence, D.C. politicians, Beltway pundits, and the American people, then the Kremlin could gain an edge against the West. But that’s been their policy for decades.

On today’s episode of The ACE on Forward Observer Radio, special guest Adrian Sanabria and I will be talking about the problems plaguing NSA, how a group called the Shadow Brokers stole NSA tools and exposed secrets, and what the future of cyber conflict between Russia and China might look like. You can listen live on Spreaker today at 2pm Central, or catch the podcast edition on iTunes or Spotify, or iHeartRadio.

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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