Early Warning for 20 February 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 20 February 2019.


White House

The President is scheduled to have lunch with Secretary Pompeo and then meet with the chancellor of Austria.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the Maldives foreign minister, have lunch with President Trump, meet with the Austrian chancellor, and meet with the Italian national security advisor.


Defense Department

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.


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

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is off the coast of Virginia for pre-deployment training. The Lincoln will rejoin the Indo-Pacific Command once it re-bases to San Diego, CA.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the South China Sea.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report. The Senate is not be in session this week.

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



Speaking about possible interest rate increases and a recession, BlackRock’s chief multiasset strategist said, “It seems frankly optimistic to expect nothing from the Fed in the next 12 months. When you look at payroll data, this is not an economy that’s about to be in recession.” In other words, the economy is still moving and the Federal Reserve may look at another interest rate hike sometime this year.

I continue to see growing adoption of Modern Monetary Theory, which says that the federal government can run deficits indefinitely without worrying about the growing national debt. At a speech at the American Economic Association last month, one former International Monetary Fund chief economist said, “The levels of debt we have in the U.S. are not catastrophic. We clearly can afford more debt if there is a good reason to do it. There’s no reason to panic.”

“It would seem to me that all of the clues are pointing in the direction of [the next global recession] being of the severe type, maybe not as much as 2008 but certainly very much more severe than the average global recession that we’ve had in the post war period.” – Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute


Far Left Daily

“We will pay for the Green New Deal the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the 2008 bank bailout, extended quantitative easing programs, all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects.” – A blog post from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; more Modern Monetary Theory



What I’m Looking at this Morning

USS Donald Cook sails into the Black Sea again

‘Arab NATO’ ambitions fade


Notable Quotable

“I guarantee you this: if Donald Trump had said he’s invoking the National Emergency Military Construction Authority to build a security perimeter in Iraq or Afghanistan or around a military installation in Syria, there would not have been one word of objection from Congress. This is defending our own country.” – Trump advisor Stephen Miller

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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