Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 27 September.

SECSTATE Tillerson is headed to Beijing on Thursday to meet with senior Chinese leaders.  According to the State Department press release, Tillerson will discuss the “President’s planned travel to the region, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and trade and investment.” [source] Boring, right?  Now how about this: former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon just wrapped up a trip to China where he gave a speech about how American economic nationalism will affect Asia. Bannon also met with China’s number two official. Remember that barely a year and a half ago, Bannon warned that the U.S. would be at war with China in the South China Sea in just five to 10 years.  We covered this in a February issue of Strategic Intelligence, and are updating a report that will appear in this Friday’s issue of Strategic Intelligence.

In an appearance before Congress yesterday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford was asked about the military’s capability to shoot down a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during the ‘boost phase’, just after launch.  “We don’t have that capability now, but I would offer to you a classified briefing to walk you through where we think we may be right now,” Gen. Dunford said.  During the Obama administration, the Pentagon cancelled a program that aimed to mount a directed-energy weapon to a Boeing 747, which planners said would have been capable of destroying an ICBM during the early launch phase.

 

Strategic Intelligence is Forward Observer’s weekly intelligence report on the risk of war.  Each week, our analysts provide a current situation report on NATO-Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran/Middle East.  Subscribe now to also receive Defense in Brief, the weekly report that tracks war developments in the U.S. military and defense industry.