Early Warning for 09 January 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 09 January 2019.


White House

The President is scheduled to participate in a signing ceremony for an anti-human trafficking bill, receive his intelligence briefing, attend the Senate Republican policy luncheon, and then meet with Congressional leadership.

Shutdown: Day 19. Despite a plea to the American people during a televised speech last night, President Trump is no closer to ending the partial government shutdown. He made news this week by saying that he could order the military to build a border wall after declaring a national emergency, thus ending the shutdown. He’s scheduled to meet with Chuck and Nancy again today, and tomorrow is scheduled to make a visit to the border to highlight a need for the wall. Meanwhile, 420,000 government employees are working without pay and 380,000 employees have been placed on unpaid leave.

EBT Watch: Trump administration officials reported that food stamp programs would be funded through February. Roughly 39 million Americans rely on some type of federal food stamp benefits, but fears about EBT cards running out should be allayed for another month. If the shutdown drags on and food stamp programs aren’t funded, I expect a significant spike in social unrest.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo made an unannounced stop to Iraq this morning to meet with Iraqi political leaders.


Defense Department

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan: Nothing significant to report.


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 having returned to San Diego.

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

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the Persian Gulf.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as having returned to home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

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


Bold indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria.

* Only events pertinent to national security are listed. Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports



Global financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald released new numbers recently showing that the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index is higher now than in at least 20 years. And a new survey from Blackrock, the world’s largest asset management firm, shows that among macro and market influencers, 37 percent say that the end of the economic cycle is the top concern for their 2019 investment strategy, followed by rising interest rates (18 percent) and geopolitical/trade tensions (14 percent).


What I’m Looking at this Morning

Navy may deploy surface ships to Arctic this summer

Pentagon: Logistics systems not ready for war with Russia, China

NATO’s Achilles’ Heel: Power grids

Deep dive on pot and mental illness data


Notable Quotable

“Americans’ assessment of their political ideology was unchanged in 2018 compared with the year prior when 35% on average described themselves as conservative, 35% as moderate and 26% as liberal. Although conservatives continue to outnumber liberals, the gap in conservatives’ favor has narrowed from 19 percentage points… to nine points each of the past two years.” – Gallup political survey [source]

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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