Early Warning for 06 September 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 06 September 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 06 September 2018. (All times Eastern.)


WARNING: This morning Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that he would release the confidential documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. “I’m knowingly violating the rules,” bragged Booker. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said that the action would be “unbecoming a senator”. This is another example of how established guardrails are coming apart inside the U.S. government, and it’s another indicator that the situation is rising above and beyond routine political acrimony. [source]


White House

The President is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Billings, Montana tonight.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to travel to India this week to meet with his counterparts and discuss security and defense cooperation issues.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis is scheduled to be in India this week to discuss security and defense cooperation with Secretary Pompeo and their Indian counterparts.


The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as having returned to port in San Diego.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported back as participating in an exercise off the coast of southern California.

The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was last reported in the Atlantic.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported in the South China Sea. (Freedom of Navigation patrol)

The George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to port in Norfolk.

Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.



Significant House Activity:

  • A subcommittee from the Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on cyber threats to the U.S. aviation sector.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Judiciary Committee continues to hold hearings on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

* Reporting will appear in the Strategic Intelligence Summary or National Intelligence Bulletin.



– In yesterday’s Senate hearing on political bias in social media, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a very pointed question: “Do you prefer to see America remain the world’s dominant global superpower?” Senator Cotton’s question casts some doubt on America’s trajectory.

– Emerging markets continue to take a hit and some analysts are warning of contagion. Countries like China, Iran, Turkey, and Argentina have all had their currencies significantly devalue this year, as Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, and other countries experience a stock market sell-off. That poses a risk to banks and other financial institutions with heavy exposure to these countries and regions — hence the concern over contagion.

– We can expect President Trump to enact another round of tariffs on China — this time on $200 billion worth of goods. The deadline for public input on the tariffs is today, and President Trump is reportedly ready to enact the new tariffs any day now. As usual, China has threatened to retaliate.



As Tropical Storm Gordon makes its way through Mississippi and Arkansas, Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm. One thing I learned during Hurricane Harvey last year is that while these tracking models are a guideline, they’re subject to change every day. According to this current model, Florence is scheduled to hit Bermuda in about five days, so we may be looking at U.S. landfall late next week. The NHC is also reporting another disturbance a few days behind Florence.

Additionally, Hurricane Olivia is tracking towards Hawaii early next week. Olivia is a Category 3 storm.


REMINDER: This hurricane watch section will remain in this report through the end of the season. I check the latest from the National Hurricane Center each morning and will provide details as necessary.


Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest. This map is updated every Thursday.




What I’m Looking at this Morning

DHS Secretary urges a ‘hit back harder’ cybersecurity strategy

Trump flirts with a government shutdown that Republicans are racing to avoid

CNO: Navy must be able to compete in ‘gray zone’ conflict


Notable Quotable

“We have to be mindful that this is a long-term competition, thinking theoretically more like an infinite game rather than a finite game. So this brings into the fore issues like sustainability. The idea of doing all of this without overextending ourselves. Overextension is going to be a self-defeating thing if we don’t mind that.” – Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, on expanding naval capabilities in future gray zone conflicts

Mike Shelby 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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