Early Warning for 26 October 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Friday, 26 October 2018. (All times Central.)


White House

The President is scheduled to deliver remarks at the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit, have lunch with Secretary Pompeo, and then host a Make America Great Again rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Of Note: Now that the migrant caravan is getting closer to the U.S. border, I’ll be adding a daily update on what’s being reported. The caravan is roughly 1,000 miles from the U.S. border. This morning, Fox News is reporting that President Trump is considering an executive order that would temporarily close the U.S.-Mexico ports of entry to stop the caravan. “The Administration is considering a wide range of administrative, legal and legislative options to address the Democrat-created crisis of mass illegal immigration. No decisions have been made at this time. Nor will we forecast to smugglers or caravans what precise strategies will or will not be deployed,” says a White House official.

Also of note: Earlier this week the State Department released a statement saying that the Mexican government would resolve the caravan issue in accordance with Mexico’s laws. That hasn’t happened.

State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to have lunch with the president before swearing in the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis landed in Bahrain this morning and is expected to give a “major policy speech” on the Middle East.

Of Note: Secretary Mattis is expected to sign a deployment order for an additional 800 troops to the Mexico border to stop the migrant caravan. According to recent reporting, these soldiers will be building fencing and other barriers to prevent the migrant from crossing into U.S. territory.

Deployments: The Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group was last reported as underway in the East China Sea. The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) was last reported as underway in the north 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 does 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 Philippine Sea.

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

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


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.


Despite weak trade numbers, U.S. gross domestic product growth, by the numbers, was up 3.5 percent with inflation remaining muted at 1.6 percent. That’s good news for the Trump administration, although all data out today doesn’t ‘wow’ us. Capital goods and capital goods shipments were both way down from the month prior. The Kansas City Fed’s Manufacturing Index was also way down from the previous month. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen, which is expected to tighten financial conditions.


HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports one disturbance east of the Caribbean with a 60 percent or higher chance of further development as of this morning. About 37 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]


The latest wildfire map will appear each Monday.

The latest drought map will appear in each Thursday.

What I’m Looking at this Morning

Americans more trustful of local than state government

Bolton’s whisper campaign to oust Mattis

China vows to defend Taiwan, South China Sea ‘at any price’

Notable Quotable

“If you are an industrial robotics supplier, China is a short-term sales opportunity, but a long-term competitive threat.” – Gregory Allen on China’s robotics arms race

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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