Early Warning for 13 September 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 13 September 2018. (All times Eastern.)

 

Hurricane Watch: The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 storm. After yesterday’s major path change, it’s still expected to generate catastrophic flooding across much of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and possibly other states. Wind speeds are expected to range between 74-100mph. Florence will cause major damage starting tonight and achieve landfall into early tomorrow morning.

 

White House

The President cancelled a Make America Great Again rally in Missouri due to Hurricane Florence. He has no publicly scheduled events, although he and his staff may be monitoring Florence from the Situation Room. The Vice President has also cancelled a fundraiser scheduled tonight in Georgia.


 

State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The NATO Secretary will also meet with members of Congress.


 

Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events for today, but will be departing on Sunday, 16 September and traveling to Macedonia. According to a DOD press release, he’ll be showing U.S. support for Macedonia during their ascension process into NATO.

Of note: China and Russia are engaged in the largest military exercise in decades.The exercise includes 36,000 pieces of equipment and a third of all Russian troops, and simulates “conditions as close as possible to war”, according to the Russian defense minister. Vostok-18 runs from 11-15 September. Russian president Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend today’s exercises.

CSG: The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) remains the only deployed aircraft carrier, and was last reported in the Philippine Sea. No significant developments for U.S. carrier strike groups have been reported.


 

Congress

Significant House Activity:

  • The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing to evaluate federal disaster response and recovery efforts.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to examine the role of U.S. liquefied natural gas in meeting European energy demand.
  • The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to “examine evolving threats to the homeland.”

* Only events pertinent to national security are listed.


 

Economy/Finance

– CNBC is reporting this morning that, according to unnamed sources, U.S. negotiators are “in the early stages” of planning new trade talks with China. If the trade talks are accepted, they could happen as early as later this month. Some in the White House are not convinced it’s a good idea and believe that opening up talks shows weakness that could be exploited.

– According to a survey from the American Chamber of Commerce in China, over half of U.S. companies operating there expect to take a profit loss due to tariffs. But the tariffs are having a larger impact across China: the Shanghai Composite Index is flirting with 20 percent losses so far this year.


 

Weather

The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 storm. After yesterday’s major path change, it’s still expected to generate catastrophic flooding across much of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and possibly other states. Wind speeds are expected to range between 74-100mph. Florence will cause major damage starting tonight and achieve landfall into early tomorrow morning.

 

 

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

Russia: Wargames with China will be routine

AQ: America is the main enemy in a single war with different fronts

Trump wants to identify election interference within 45 days


 

Notable Quotable

“Democracy and liberalism aren’t our fate. It’s always a battle of the human soul, of the competing forces of human nature. We now have tribalism and nationalism in search of strong authority.” – Historian Robert Kagan, speaking of his forthcoming book, The Jungle Grows Back. and explaining that the world is reverting to its natural state — away from liberal democracies.

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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