The Very Last Early Warning… – Forward Observer Shop

The Very Last Early Warning…

I started this Forward Observer intelligence project in 2016 because I was concerned.

Rising and unsustainable national debt, expanding government authority and the continued loss of individual liberty, the militarization of police, the rise of cultural and economic Marxism, the risk of war with Russia and China, the risk of systems disruption via cyber and financial vulnerabilities — there were lot of things going on that greatly concerned me. And the question I ask is, has any of this really changed in two years?

If nothing else, many of these things are actually worse today and, despite our best hopes and optimism, the trend is set to continue. It’s very conceivable that in another two years, this country is much worse off. An economic recession, a major war, a major cyber attack, an increase in political violence — all these things have a growing likelihood.

I left the U.S. intelligence community in 2012 because I, like many of you, could see the proverbial “writing on the wall”. Considering the threats, I no longer wanted to live in a built-up area. I didn’t want to work for a government that didn’t promote the best interests of the American People. I didn’t want to serve a president who was actively undermining everything I loved about my country. So I left my job as an intelligence analyst and never once regretted it.

A lot of the fears and, at times, panic induced in the emergency preparedness community never came to fruition. Part of that reason is because a lot of the fears were exaggerated, which is why I guide my analysis through the maxim: the more extreme the prediction, the less likely it is to occur. I don’t and have never believed in total economic collapse or complete societal collapse; instead, I believed and still today believe that conditions will continually break down over a period of years until some trigger (like a major recession, some act of significant political violence, or maybe a cyber attack) is the catalyst for parts of the nation to just devolve into active conflict. It may go so slowly that it catches the mainstream by surprise, but even the mainstream is picking up on the idea that we’re moving into a reality where a domestic conflict is conceivable.

And this brings me to the Early Warning. At a meeting yesterday, we brainstormed about how we could best serve our readers in light of what’s probably going to happen in the future. Ultimately, we decided that I need to start writing again about intelligence, security, and defense for community and disaster preparedness planning. If you followed my old blog Guerrillamerica from 2011-2015, then you’re already familiar with the kinds of things I write about: intelligence collection and analysis, reducing uncertainty and navigating an uncertain future, how to build resiliency and security at the community level, and what warfighting will look like during an irregular conflict, like the one I believe we’re heading towards. So in lieu of the daily Early Warning report and email, I’m going to spend my early morning time on something that’s way more valuable, which is teaching these skills and concepts so you can use them in your everyday preparedness planning.

Starting on Monday, April 2nd, I’ll be blogging again about do-it-yourself community security, intelligence collection, how to break down local threats, how to understand your local ‘operating environment’, and getting the ball rolling on reducing uncertainty about, frankly, a very uncertain future. We’re going to start seeing the effects, one way or the other, beginning with November’s 2018 mid-terms, now just eight months away. In Monday’s post, I’ll include my thoughts as to what we might expect.

If you’re concerned about the risk of systems disruption, a repeat of the 2008 recession (with 2018’s toxic political climate), growing crime, civil unrest, or a domestic conflict, then I’d be honored to pass along some of the skills, concepts, and knowledge I’ve gained since I first enlisted in 2004, because we’re going to need them for what I suspect will happen in the future. I spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan in intelligence missions, and I really enjoy teaching and talking about how to best be prepared for future challenges.

Here’s how it’s going to work. I’ll publish a blog post each day and then choose the very best one to email out each week. If you want to receive only my best post each week, then you can sign up using the first option. If you want to receive my newest blog post each day, then sign up using the second option. Thank you for your attention and for the opportunity to do what I love. – Mike




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.


  1. As for me, I hate to see this service disappear, but am looking forward to “The Return of GuerrillAmerica”.

    1. Hey David – Thank you for the feedback. We’re happy to do what we do and appreciate your support.

  2. Hi, I got your book and have listened to many of your podcasts, enjoying the John Mosby interview (Forging the Hero), it’s shaped the way my Family has prepared . Thanks for your time and expertise, Shawn

    1. Hey Shawn – Mosby always knocks it out of the park. We’ll try to get him on the podcast again soon; just working on a few technical things which have been put on the back burner. I appreciate you letting us know that we could help. Be well and thank you!

  3. Have enjoyed your work for some time. Being an old Air Force. retiree i find your
    insight to be of value .Purchased your book and refer to it as often.

    1. Hey Robert – Thank you for the kind words and support. I’m happy to hear that you find value in what we do, and we’re very glad to do it. Be well.

  4. Good stuff, and timely. The “lateral acceleration” of this country is frightening and sad, but at least folks like you are doing something to prepare for the future. Thanks

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