Early Warning for 17 December 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 17 December 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 17 December 2018.

ADMIN NOTE: Early Warning will not be published the week of 24 December 2018.

On My Radar: The latest scuttlebutt coming from House Democrats is that they’ll quickly pursue gun legislation in the opening months of 2019. We could be looking at universal background checks up first to bat. Unlikely that it passes the Senate, that legislation will still earn Democrats some early points with their base.


White House

The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing, have lunch with the Vice President, meet with outgoing Interior Secretary Zinke, and then attend two Christmas receptions.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with officials from New Zealand.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis: Nothing significant to report.


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 conducting carrier qualifications off the coast of California.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being off the coast of Virginia.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as conducting joint operations in the Arabian Sea.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as returned to home port, but currently in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as having returned to home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as conducting carrier qualifications off the coast of Florida.


Bold 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.



Ouch. Since January’s highs, global markets have shed $15 trillion in value this year as the U.S. is dangerously close to joining other world stock markets that will have overall negative returns this year. Especially hit were Chinese markets, which are down about 20 percent this year. All is not doom and gloom, though. Analysts say that the economy is still strong, despite some small cracks. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker predicts Q4 economic growth will be around 3.0 percent (although it’s likely to change again) and the Blue Chip consensus average predicts 2.5 percent. It’s likely that holiday sales numbers will be positive, and that could very well indicate some clear skies before the talk of recession picks up again.

There are four days until a partial government shutdown, unless President Trump and Democrats can come to an agreement on border wall funding. Outgoing House Republicans have reportedly been moved to cubicles to make way for representatives-elect, and House Republican leadership doesn’t know if they’ll have the votes to pass a spending bill. A bill that includes border wall funding doesn’t look like an automatic pass in the Senate, either. On Sunday, White House advisor Stephen Miller reiterated a willingness to allow the government to partially shut down if the President doesn’t get his border wall funding. That battle now appears to be over whose fault the shutdown will be.


What I’m Looking at this Morning

Canada’s looking for a way out of a multi-billion dollar Saudi arms deal

Chinese hackers hit U.S. Navy contractors


Notable Quotable

“I do think that we’ve got to remember what the Republican Party is,” said outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) when asked whether President Trump should be primaried ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

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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