Early Warning for 16 November 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 16 November 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Friday, 16 November 2018.

(ADMIN NOTE: Please not that Early Warning will not be published on Thursday or Friday of next week. The Strategic Intelligence Summary and National Intelligence Bulletin will both be published on Friday.)


White House

The President is scheduled to sign the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act. [The CISA Act is intended to solve current problems with cybersecurity and critical infrastructure at the Department of Homeland Security. Additional information will appear in today’s National Intelligence Bulletin.)


Caravan Watch: Unless something significant changes, this will be the last Caravan Watch section. Violence broke out at the Tijuana border on Wednesday night as Mexican residents demanded the migrant caravan leave their up-scale neighborhood. Numerous fights broke out and several journalists were injured. Afterwards, women and children boarded buses bound for a migrant shelter, while “young men from the caravan said they were determined to stay together at the beach and await the estimated 2,000 more caravan members on their way to Tijuana.” An update notes that the men eventually went to the migrant shelters, as well. Around 1,600 migrants have arrived in Tijuana. [source]


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Minister of Unification, the Finnish foreign minister, and the Ukrainian foreign minister in separate events today.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events.


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 taking part in a sustainment exercise off the coast of southern California.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk, but will be transitioning to a new home port in San Diego.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being underway in the eastern Pacific as it begins its shift to a new homeport in Norfolk.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being off the coast of Portugal.

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.

* Indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.



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.



The Future General Business Condition indices at the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks are both trending down. If these are an accurate indicator of future business conditions, the predictions that the U.S. economy will slow significantly willy likely come true. I continue to see an increase in reporting about “cracks” in the global and U.S. economy. We’ve covered some of them in this report. I don’t expect an imminent downturn, however, retail sales in Q3 suffered so we’ll be looking to holiday sales this year as a bellwether for future economic conditions. If holiday sales reports, which should come out next year, are lower than expected, then we can likely expect the talk of recession to heat up. President Trump could increase his verbal attacks on the Federal Reserve’s policy of raising interest rates. Additionally, business loan demand is trending back down, likely due to rising interest rates. As a reminder, 11 of the last 14 rate hike cycles have led in recession. This time is unlikely to be different.

In a meeting with Senate Republicans yesterday, President Trump discussed ways to fund the government through the next fiscal year. Senate Appropriations chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told reporters, “‘[President Trump] didn’t say, ‘I’m going to keep the government open.’ We didn’t ask him that question. We talked about avoiding a shutdown. … He seemed to agree with that.’



HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports no cyclonic activity in the Atlantic Ocean. About 14 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]



What I’m Looking at this Morning

PLA: China’s military must move beyond self-defense

DARPA’s plan to restart a post-blackout electric grid

NY Mag: Maybe the U.S. should break up

If America loses WWIII, readiness will be to blame


Notable Quotable

“[Amazon is not] too big to fail… In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt.” – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during an all-hands meeting

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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