Early Warning for 30 October 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 30 October 2018. (All times Central.)

 

White House

The President is scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh to meet with those affected by the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Of Note: President Trump recently told reporters that he intends to use an executive order to remove birthright citizenship. In an short clip via Axios on HBO, Trump tells his interviewer, “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.” The President is expected to make the case that the 14th Amendment (“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”) only refers to those “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, meaning only current natural citizens. The full “Axios on HBO” interview will run on Sunday, 04 November at 7:30pm Central — just in time for the mid-terms!

Also of Note: The President has a busy schedule for the next week, holding Make America Great Again rallies in Fort Myers, Florida (31 Oct), Columbia, MO (01 Nov), Huntington, WV (02 Nov), Indianapolis, IN (02 Nov), Belgrade, MT (03 Nov), Pensacola, FL (03 Nov), Macon, GA (04 Nov), Chattanooga, TN (04 Nov), Cleveland, OH (05 Nov), Fort Wayne, IN (05 Nov), and Cape Giradeau, MO (05 Nov).

Caravan Watch: The Trump administration announced yesterday that it would send 5,200 active duty troops to “harden” the U.S. border, instead of the previously reported 800. The chief of U.S. Northern Command described the situation: “We’re bringing in military police units. We’re bringing in strategic airlift. As we sit right now, we have three C-130s and a C-17 that is ready to deploy with [Customs and Border Protection] personnel wherever they need to be.” To underscore previous reporting, the deployed soldiers will primarily be building fencing and other barriers, as opposed to engaging the migrant caravan. That’s CBP’s job, but these active duty troops will be there to provide service support. The Customs and Border Control commissioner said recently that the current size of the first caravan is around 3,500 migrants (down from 7,000), and the second caravan is around 3,000, who wait at the Guatemala-Mexico border.


State Department

Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.

Of Note: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson is on travel to Iceland, Estonia, and Poland, and will return after a trip to Jordan on 08 November. The trip to Europe comes during the Trident Juncture military exercise in Norway.


Defense Department

Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events on this schedule, however, he will deliver remarks on the National Defense Strategy for the United States Institute for Peace this evening. We will report any significant information in Thursday’s Strategic Intelligence Summary.

 

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.


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

Bloomberg reports this morning that the Trump administration will announce tariffs on all Chinese imports in December unless trade negotiations begin to progress in November. President Trump said he wants to strike a deal with the Chinese, but “it has to be a great deal as they have drained our country.” China’s Yuan has depreciated against the U.S. Dollar to its lowest level in a decade.

The Treasury Department reports that the estimated $1.38 trillion necessary to fund the federal government will be the highest annual debt issuance since 2010. The Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this year that the federal government will run trillion-dollar budget deficits for each of the next four years, and possibly beyond. That’s very bad news considering that a recession is likely within a few years.


Weather

HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Oscar, still east of the Bahamas, is expected to take an abrupt turn to the northeast and not make landfall in the U.S. About 31 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]

The latest drought map will appear each Thursday.


What I’m Looking at this Morning

Panel: NATO, EU need major changes to deter Russia

Of Note: Is NATO-Russia still a thing? Yeah, it’s still a thing. I continue to see almost daily updates on NATO and Russian military posturing in Europe. There’s a buildup. Both sides are reforming or developing new policies, testing readiness and response, and generally preparing for a military confrontation. Preparing to fight a war is the military’s job, however, the military exercises aimed at each other and the lack of trust on both sides continue to escalate the situation.

Despite rumblings of a coup, U.S. military remains focused on Venezuelan humanitarian aid

Terrorism in civil wars

Merkel to step down as German Chancellor

Chinese banks cut fraud by 60 percent as they scan customers’ faces


Notable Quotable

“Of the things that worry me about [artificial intelligence], job displacement is really high up. We need to make sure that wealth we create [through AI] is distributed in a fair and equitable way.” – Andrew Ng, co-founder of Google Brain

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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