Early Warning for 16 October 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 16 October 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 16 October 2018. (All times Central.)


White House

The President has no publicly scheduled events.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo meets with officials in Saudi Arabia today. The Saudis are accused of killing one of their own citizens, a U.S. resident and Washington Post journalist named Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul, where Turkish officials say that he was abducted, tortured, and murdered. Several reports state that the Saudis are planning to release a report that blames Khashoggi’s accidental death on officials using harsh interrogation methods that were not cleared by the Saudi government.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis is traveling to Vietnam and Singapore this week. Secretary Mattis expects to build support with Vietnam to counter Chinese dominance in the region.

Of Note: After President Trump said during a 60 Minutes interview that Secretary Mattis may leave the administration, Mattis recently told reporters that his job is “100%” safe. Mattis added, “I’m on his team,” referring to the president.

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 began 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.



An interesting report from Capital Economics shows the major factors contributing to 45 recessions in G7 economies since 1960. In order of most prevalent causes to least:

  1. Tight monetary policy (29)
  2. Burst credit bubble (19)
  3. Oil price shock (13)
  4. Burst housing bubble (13)
  5. Banking crisis (11)
  6. Tight fiscal policy (8)
  7. Exchange rate shock (8)
  8. External demand shock (8)

The Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy — raising interest rates while reeling in the money supply created during the last recession — is a major factor in how quickly the next recession rises.


HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center continues to show a picture in the Atlantic free of cyclone activity. About 45 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [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

What the Democrats will do if they win the House

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss


Notable Quotable

“Pretty extraordinary video to surface even before you enter the race. It says: 1) @SenWarren is 100% running. 2 ) She thinks this Pocahontas crap is a potential problem. 3) She wants to dispose of it now, lest she be Birtherized. The risk I’m sure she considered? This elevates it.” – David Alexrod, former Obama advisor

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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