Early Warning for 24 August 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 24 August 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Friday, 24 August 2018. (All times Eastern.)


White House

The President is scheduled to receive his intelligence briefing, and then has several events scheduled in Columbus, Ohio.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.

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.

Also of note: Yesterday, Secretary Pompeo named Steve Biegun special representative to North Korea. He and Secretary Pompeo will be traveling to North Korea next week to resume talks on denuclearization.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis: Nothing significant to report.

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

Of note: The Hawaiian National Guard and active duty members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are standing by to respond to the effects of Hurricane Lane on the Hawaiian islands. Yesterday, the president elevated Hawaii to emergency status as the Category 4 storm pummels the islands. “The National Guard is ready to support local Hawaii authorities with search and rescue, debris removal and incident awareness and damage assessments,” according to a statement from the National Guard Bureau.


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

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

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 in the East China Sea.

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:

  • Nothing significant to report.

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



– Two-day talks between Chinese officials and the U.S. trade team led by Robert Lighthizer have failed to find a solution, and the Chinese don’t appear to desire another round of talks until after the November elections. The Chinese characterized the talks as “constructive” and “candid,” however, that does nothing to allay future rounds of tariffs.

– The Fed’s annual symposium kicks off today in Jackson Hole. I think we can pretty much expect the Fed to stick to the plan: two more rate hikes this year. Despite push back from President Trump, we should see them in September and December.



The National Hurricane Center has nothing significant to report, however, Hurricane Lane is a Category 4 hurricane threatening the Hawaiian islands through Sunday.

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

Doctors warn of parasitic disease affecting 300,000 Americans

DHS to play increased role in election security

Senior enlisted leadership visit southern U.S. border

DHS buys $1bn cybersecurity plan


Notable Quotable

“As we continue to get after bad people around the world, it was important that we brought this [summit] together so that we could see firsthand not only the interagency fusion that’s happening between the border, but more importantly, [we saw] the passion and quiet professionalism of every border patrol agent that’s on some of the roughest terrain that you can find.” – U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major John Wayne Troxell, who recently returned from a security survey on the southern border

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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