Early Warning for 15 October 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 15 October 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 15 October 2018. (All times Central.)


White House

The President is scheduled to tour Florida and Georgia to survey flood damage.

Of Note: Over the weekend, President Trump said in an interview that he didn’t know how much longer Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would stay on, adding, “I think he’s sort of a Democrat”. “But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”


State Department

Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events.

Deployments: The Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group was last reported as underway in the South China Sea. The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) was last reported as underway in the Atlantic to participate in Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway. Along with the Iwo Jima ARG are Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit who will be joining 700 Marines already in Norway. Trident Juncture 2018 will begin on 15 October, but most of the exercise will take place between 25 October and 07 November.

These are the last publicly reported locations of these ships. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group not appear imminent.

The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as being underway in the Pacific Ocean.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as having returned to port in Bremerton, WA.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the north Atlantic, off the coast of the United Kingdom. The carrier strike group will participate in the upcoming Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in Norway.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as being in the Philippine Sea.

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



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

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



Retail giant Sears is filing for bankruptcy after failing to secure a last ditch effort to fund its debt. The company will be closing an additional 142 stores. In the past two years, Sears has already closed down 700 stores across the country. It was last profitable in 2010.

Brent crude prices rose to $81 this morning, as oil traders fear that Saudi Arabia could use oil as a political weapon should the Trump administration punish the kingdom over the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A sharp and sustained spike in oil prices could quicken a recession.

According to Oxford Economics, the probability of a recession in the next six months remains around 20 percent.


HurricaneWatch: For the first time in weeks, the Atlantic is clear of tropical or sub-tropical cyclones. [source]


Drought Map

(Source: This map is updated every Thursday.)


Active Wildfires

(Source: This map is updated every Monday.)


What I’m Looking at this Morning

Mattis pushes closer ties to Vietnam to counter China

Border patrol powerless to stop drones swarming U.S border

U.S., Western officials looking at increased risk of Iranian terror plots


Notable Quotable

“There aren’t going to be lifelong jobs anymore and we shouldn’t be lying to the American people about it. We should be thinking about what does it look like to help people get back to work, back to meaningful employment, back to shared labor with their neighbors when they’re 35 and 40 and 45.” – Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)

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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