Early Warning for 23 July 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for 23 July 2018. (All times Eastern.)


White House

The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing and participates in a Made in America Product Showcase at the White House.

State Department

State Department officials are scheduled to be in Palo Alto, CA today to meet with the Australian Foreign Minister and Defense Minister.

Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis is scheduled to be in Palo Alto, CA today to meet with the Australian Foreign Minister and Defense Minister.

The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported in the Hawaii Area of Operations. The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is reportedly in the East Atlantic, and the Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is east of Okinawa, Japan. Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.


Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

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


According to a report out in Russia Today (RT), the Chinese Communist Party is readying the country’s largest cities to begin the shift from coal to natural gas for its electrical power. In the next three years, China’s 82 cities will see up to 10 percent decreases in coal-powered electrical production. Russian business news outlet Vedomosti quotes an official from Gazprombank who says that it will lead to a decrease in global coal prices in 2020 and beyond. While the report from RT doesn’t mention it specifically, this is problematic for U.S. coal country, which is already struggling with job loss and a dying coal industry. [source]

Federal data on beef, pork, and poultry are set to be published this week, and economists expect to see 2.5 billion pounds of U.S.-produced meat products stacking up in cold storage to due international tariffs and a slow down in trade. [source]

One third of real estate companies so far are under performing their earnings expectations (image below) as we enter into the busiest week of earnings season. I was just talking to my dad yesterday about how/why Teavana — Starbucks’ tea brand — had closed all their store locations in the last year. Teavana’s main buying demographic was Millennials, who are shopping more online than in malls. In fact, we’ve seen a number of department stores close physical locations, which affects smaller shops that depend on those anchors for traffic. Residential real estate looks strong as home sales are expected to grow; however, we’ve heard quite a bit about a commercial real estate problem, and it’s something that we should keep an eye on as we think about the effects of the next recession.


The National Hurricane Center reports that tropical cyclone activity is not expected during the next 48 hours.

Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest.


What I’m Looking at this Morning

NATO naval fleets exercise in Black Sea

CIA: China waging a ‘quiet kind of cold war’ against U.S.

Mexico’s president-elect seeks “common path” with President Trump

Notable Quotable

“[I]nternationally the united states is becoming weaker and less relevant by the day… [President Trump] isn’t personally responsible for that — u.s. influence globally has been eroding for decades. but the president is doing his best to speed that process up.” – Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group



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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