Early Warning for 10 October – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 10 October

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for 10 October.

At the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) convention on Monday, SECDEF Mattis told the Army to “be ready” should war break out with North Korea. “It is right now a diplomatically led, economic-sanction buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path. What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say, so there’s one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you’ve got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ, if needed.” This statement doesn’t sound like an imminent warning and, frankly, this warning could have been a lot worse. But Mattis did warn that we’re living in a complex threat environment. “The international situation is the most complex and demanding that I have seen in all my years of service — and that’s over four decades.” That speaks to America’s situation in a world that’s trying to swallow its power, and I do believe that many at the Pentagon and elsewhere have the expectation of another war to defend America’s pole position in the world. U.S power is being “eroded,” according to Mattis, and he lauded the Army’s efforts to modernize.

Coming back from a trip to North Korea last week, one Russian official was quoted as saying that the Kim regime “intends to launch one more long-range missile in the near future”. That launch could come as early as today, North Korea’s Party Foundation Day, but there are some other possible dates coming up, too. China’s 19th Party Congress opens on the 18th. (North Korea tested a missile earlier this year during President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi.) Around this time last October was busy for North Korea, as they tested missiles on the 15th and again on the 19th. According to the Russian official, North Korea is “preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the West Coast of the United States,” as quoted by Russia’s RIA Novosti news outlet. Lastly for this morning, the U.S.S. Michigan, a nuclear submarine, is expected to make port in South Korea in a show of force. It was there earlier this year in a previous show of force. (More on China’s 19th Party Congress will appear in this week’s Strategic Intelligence. That’s a very important meeting, and we believe that China could move to devalue their currency.)


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Strategic Intelligence is Forward Observer’s weekly intelligence report on the risk of war.  Each week, our analysts provide a current situation report on NATO-Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran/Middle East.  Subscribe now to also receive Defense in Brief, the weekly report that tracks war developments in the U.S. military and defense industry.


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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