Early Warning for 21 August 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 21 August 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 21 August 2018. (All times Eastern.)


White House

The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing, meet with Secretary Pompeo, and then travel to West Virginia for a Make America Great Again rally.


State Department

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the president, then have lunch with the president and ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Secretary Pompeo is also scheduled to meet with the Macedonian minister of foreign affairs. (Last month, Macedonia was invited to join NATO.)

Of note: The Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security is on travel from 12-26 August to Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia. In Indonesia, U.S. officials will meet to discuss expanding defense trade and regional security issues. All three meetings are likely central to the U.S. Indo-Pacific security strategy to prevent China’s dominance of the entire region.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events.

SECDEF is scheduled to be in the Indo-Pacific in September and will then travel to Europe.


The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as having returned to port in San Diego.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported back as participating in an exercise off the coast of southern California.

The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was last reported in port at Norfolk.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as taking part in a bilateral exercise with the Japanese navy.

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

Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on U.S.-Russian relations.
  • The Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee will hold a hearing on Russian sanctions and the potential for next steps.
  • The Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing to examine cyber threats to the country’s critical infrastructure.

* Reporting will appear in the Strategic Intelligence Summary or National Intelligence Bulletin.



– According to research from investment firm Piper Jaffray, the upcoming recession could double the Trump administration’s $1 trillion budget deficits by 2021. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting the U.S. to run $1 trillion deficits for each of the next four years. One alternative scenario projection has the U.S. with $2 trillion deficits by 2028.

-As U.S. and Chinese officials meet to discuss trade this week, the Trump administration is said to be readying another round of sanctions against China — this time on $200 billion worth of goods. On Thursday, a 25 percent tariff on $16 billion worth of goods, which has been planned to be implemented since at least earlier this month. China is set to match those tariffs.



The National Hurricane Center has nothing significant to report.

REMINDER: This hurricane watch section will remain in this report through the end of the season. I check the latest from the National Hurricane Center each morning and will provide details as necessary.


Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest. This map is updated every Thursday.



What I’m Looking at this Morning

Microsoft: Russian hackers targeting conservative candidates

Navy completes fast transport mission in the Black Sea

China’s ‘private army’ providing commercial security in Asia


Notable Quotable

“It is an absolutely a humanitarian mission.  We’re not sending soldiers; we’re sending doctors.  And it’s an effort to deal with the human cost of Maduro, and his increasingly isolated regime.” – SECDEF Mattis on dealing with Venezuela

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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