Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 06 May 2019.
Lincoln CSG to Middle East: Despite deploying last month and already sitting in the Mediterranean for all of last week, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Carrier Strike Group is deploying to the Middle East. The news broke after National Security Advisor John Bolton made the announcement in a statement last night, saying that there was credible threats from Iran against U.S. targets in the region. In previous weeks, Iranian officials have made incendiary statements — which is nothing new. Still, this does represent an escalation.
RECOMMENDATION: I highly recommend that you take some precautions and ensure that you stock up on some extra fuel, in the event that the Iranian Navy responds by blockading the Strait of Hormuz, as has been threatened on numerous occasions. We could see higher fuel prices even if the Iranians make no significant moves.
Politics & Governance
Robert Mueller is tentatively scheduled to testify in front on Congress on 15 May. President Trump tweeted over the weekend, “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”
Far Left Daily
“[Executive orders are] basically the only way to govern now. It’s kind of a way of life.” – Andrew Feldman, Democratic strategist
“All of the presidential candidates recognize that the [Republican] Senate will be where good policy goes to die.” – RL Miller, Climate Hawks Vote
Futures plunged over the weekend as President Trump warned China that another round of tariffs would soon go into effect. Several outlets reported last week that the two sides were nearing a trade deal, and could possibly approve the deal during a Trump-Xi summit in May. (Analyst Comment: The Chinese economy remains under threat of its own financial crisis and President Trump reportedly remains angry at the Chinese for decades worth of economic exploitation of the United States. This is likely Trump’s way of turning the screws on China, because China needs this deal much more than the United States.)
Global/Defense Situational Awareness
Palestinian fighters fired 700 rockets at Israel on Sunday, killing four Israelis and wounding dozens. Israeli jets struck back at Hamas and Islamic Jihad — the two groups responsible for launching the attacks — as a spokesman for Islamic Jihad warned that the series of events “could lead to open war.” The attack comes on the beginning day of Ramadan, but was reportedly in response to targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders in Gaza. For now, both sides have called a ceasefire.
Also, national security advisor John Bolton warned yesterday that the Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Carrier Strike Group was deploying to the region, however, as we reported last month, it had already deployed on/about 29 March and was currently sitting in the Mediterranean during Sunday’s attack.
In a sure sign that Venezuela’s Maduro is prepared to cling to power, new reporting is out that Colombia’s ELN terror group received instruction on the use of anti-aircraft missiles by Venezuelan military officials. And for all the talk of U.S. military intervention, interim president Juan Guaido said that such a plan would have to first be approved by the Venezuelan legislature.
North Korea update
A live-fire military exercise on Saturday could have included a ballistic missile launch. Trump reportedly said that he had been “f*cked” by Kim. U.S. officials say there’s still a path forward for denuclearization talks, despite the North Korean provocation.
“Kourani stated that the ESO wanted to copy the Israeli Mossad and sought to recruit ‘sleepers.’ These sleepers were tasked to maintain ostensibly normal lives the world over… [and] could be tasked with operational activity should the ESO decide to take action.” – FBI report on the arrest of a Hezbollah operative in the U.S. [source]