Early Warning for 29 November 2018 – Forward Observer Shop

Early Warning for 29 November 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 29 November 2018.


White House

The President is scheduled to depart the White House en route to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the G20 summit (the leaders from the top 19 economies, plus European Union officials). It’s expected that the media will cover heavily any meeting between President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese president Xi Jinping, or Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to join President Trump at the G20 meeting (29 Nov-01 Dec).


Defense Department

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


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 having returned to port in San Diego.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being in port at Changi Naval Base, Singapore.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the Mediterranean Sea.

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.


Bold indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.



Significant House Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • The Senate Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe will hold a briefing on “how to defeat computational propaganda.” [watch]

* Only events pertinent to national security are listed. Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports.



Jobless claims under performed expectations in new data this morning which shows a seasonally-adjusted 234,000 jobless claims versus an expected 220,000. Weekly jobless claims recorded a six-month high, and raise concerns about a slowing job market. The 3.7 percent unemployment rate (going by how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the rate) is near a 49-year low. It reminds me, however, of one statistic that shows an average of four months exist between the bottom of the unemployment rate and the beginning of a recession. The last time I wrote about this statistic was in August 2018, when we had an unemployment rate of 3.9. If the unemployment rate begins to tick back up and the trend holds, then historically (since 1948) we have an average of four months before the next recession begins. That’s one indicator, which I can’t stress enough, and it’s also an average. But taken together with other data, I have doubts about the naysayers who say that a recession is unlikely in the next couple years. A recession in the next two years is clearly not only possible, but likely.




HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports no cyclonic activity in the Atlantic Ocean. One day remains in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]



To put this map into comparison, here’s a year over year map that compares 2018 to 2017.



What I’m Looking at this Morning

U.S. life expectancy falls further

National defense strategy doesn’t meet challenge of China, Russia

Russians haven’t stopped probing U.S. power grid


Notable Quotable

“It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?” – President Trump on a presidential pardon of Paul Manafort (and one presumes it’s still on the table for Jerome Corsi and possibly others, too).

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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