Early Warning for 23 October 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 23 October 2018. (All times Central.)

 

White House

The President is scheduled to give a speech at the White House Leadership Day Conference, sign S.3021, “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018”, and then receive a briefing from and have dinner with senior military leaders.


 

State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the United Nations Secretary General and then attends an annual gala hosted by the Kuwaiti ambassador.


 

Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis and other senior officials have no publicly scheduled events.

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, but will be transitioning to a new home port in San Diego.

*The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being underway in the eastern Pacific as it begins its shift to a new homeport in Norfolk.

*The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the Norwegian Sea. The carrier strike group is participating in the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in Norway.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as being in the South China Sea.

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

* Indicates changes in last reported location or other amplifying information.


 

Congress

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.


 

Economy/Finance

In a rally speech last night, President Trump told an audience of 15,000+ (including me) that the administration was going to implement another 10 percent tax cut for middle income earners. Congress is in recess until the mid-term elections, but that’s apparently what the House and Senate have on their plates after they get back to D.C. (I’ll have more of my thoughts regarding the Make America Great Again rally on Forward Observer Radio this week.)

As cruise ships begin switching to cleaner-burning diesel fuel ahead of United Nations-imposed emissions standards set to take place in 2020, economists and airline executives are warning that the move could raise airline prices. (It would also make the trucking and transportation industry more expensive.) Delta has its own in-house oil refinery, and its executives say it will offset potential price increases to jet fuel, but other airlines are expected to see higher operating costs.


Weather

HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center continues to show a picture in the Atlantic free of cyclone activity. About 38 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

Explosive device found in mailbox of George Soros

Taiwan to share Chinese hacking data with cybersecurity firms

50,000 troops prep for NATO military exercise

Cruz: National Guard may be required to stop migrant caravan

Hackers breach Healthcare.gov, steal user data


 

Notable Quotable

“I think [cyber criminality and exploitation] is a way to bypass sanctions, to gain hard currency, in the short term and the long term. I think it is just too lucrative for them to give it up.” – David Maxwell on North Korean cyber criminals

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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