Daily SA: Pentagon’s political purging milestone – Forward Observer

Daily SA: Pentagon’s political purging milestone

Good morning. Here’s your Situational Awareness for Friday, 03 September 2021. You can receive this briefing by email by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Situational Awareness
  • Labor shows economic strength
  • Pentagon’s political purging milestone
  • U.S. adds jobs, unemployment slows
  • Auto industry rocked by shortages
  • Eastern European shakeups
  • U.S. Army buys Iron Dome

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You can watch the Daily SA livestream at https://youtube.com/forwardobserver

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

PURGE: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is restarting 16 defense advisory boards, following a seven month suspension of all activity. Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller replaced many advisory board members with “Trump loyalists” in the last two months of his tenure. Sec. Austin forced resignations of hundreds of board members. The resulting purge saw 31 of 42 working groups members fired. The restaffed panels include; Business, Policy, Health, Actuaries, Science, Investigations & Prosecutions, Wage, Women, and Strategic Command among others. (AC: The political purge of the Pentagon extends far beyond uniformed members. Procurement and morale issues are likely to persist, given the current return to pre-Trump socially-conscious Armed Services policies. The resulting changes to Defense policy are likely to see more Far Left or progressive priorities injected into warfighting services. – D.M.

PRODUCTIVITY: Labor productivity in the United States increased by an annualized 2.1% percent in Q2 of 2021, slightly below the 2.3% estimates and 2.2% less than Q1 of 2021. Data from Q2, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also shows that output increased in the U.S. by 8.1% from Q1. Labor costs in the total manufacturing sector “decreased 3.0 % in the second quarter of 2021,” but hourly pay increased by 0.6% (Analyst Comment: Data across multiple economic measures continues to show a strengthening economy. The report put out by the BLS on Thursday did not include any mention of inflation and how it affects these different measures. -T.W.)

JOBS: Jobless claims fell to 340,000 at the end of last week, their lowest level since the onset of COVID. The August jobs report released this morning shows the addition of 235,000 jobs after a fall in the unemployment rate to 5.2%. Labor force participation as a whole remains at 61.7%. (AC: This is a complete surprise and falls very short of the previously estimated 720,000 added jobs. The Fed has discussed tapering asset purchases from $120 billion every month once jobs data supported a healthy economic recovery. If August had beat expectations by 80,000 jobs, it would have been the third month in a row we experienced a growth of at least 800,000 new positions. These new jobs numbers may make the Fed reconsider tapering. -T.W.)

TRUCKS: General Motors is reducing or suspending production of vehicles due to semiconductor shortages, mostly impacting trucks and SUVs. Facilities in North America are closing for two-four weeks, with some models not being produced for months. Ford and Toyota are experiencing similar declines in production as sales plummet. Ford reported a 33% decline in sales this year alone and Toyota slashed its sales projection by 40%. (AC: The recent approval of vehicle semiconductor sales to Huawei places U.S. manufacturers further behind as domestic chip production cannot meet domestic vehicle demand. This may reopen the U.S. auto market to Chinese produced vehicles and telemetry collection, a strategic victory for China’s state-owned auto manufacturers. – D.M.

EUROPE: Poland declared a state of emergency due to the influx of migrants through Belarus. This follows Lithuania’s similar declaration and NATO’s deployment of Hybrid Response Teams. Meanwhile, Belarus is receiving “dozens of combat jets, helicopters and air defence missile systems.” The Russian-Belarussian joint military exercise Zapad-21 begins this month with an estimated 200,000 soldiers expected to participate. Belarus’ President Lukashenko is also negotiating continued “unification” with Russia, potentially expanding Putin’s footprint. (AC: The moves signal continued degrading relations in Europe, increasing the chances for conflict as U.S. commitments are called into question. These moves are designed to intimidate NATO into abandoning Ukraine’s accession plan, which is expected sometime this month. – D.M.)

IRON DOME: The U.S. Army is purchasing and testing Israel’s Iron Dome system for use in an unspecified theater. The system can interdict projectiles up to 70km away and is designed to target cruise missiles, short range projectiles, drones, and other aerial threats. The U.S. already purchased 12 launchers, two battle management centers, and 240 interceptors at a total cost around $1 billion. (AC: Defense officials have warned of the growing threat of hypersonic and traditional ballistic missiles targeting U.S. critical infrastructure and population centers near military bases. Recent Russian maritime exercises near Alaska demonstrate their continued ability to threaten the continental U.S. with little prior warning. Deployment of Iron Dome systems in the Pacific is designed to increase survivability of the expanded U.S. footprint. – D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: The area of low pressure over Honduras is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico and continue northwestward. The National Hurricane Center is not projecting major impacts to the U.S. mainland as upper level atmospheric conditions are not conducive to development. Hurricane Larry continues to move north-northwestward around 20mph and has sustained winds around 90 mph.

In today’s Early Warning, Max expounds on the Far Left’s “dual power” strategy and details upcoming Far Left activity for the weekend. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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