Good morning. Here’s your Daily SITREP for Monday, 06 November 2023.
- READ TIME: 6 Minutes, 24 Seconds
- Inside the Beltway
- (1) Trump Campaign Planning to Use Insurrection Act
- Domestic INTSUM
- (2) Bidenomics Bites Jobs, Bankruptcies, Consumer Confidence
- (3) New Polls Pile On Bad News for Biden in 2024
- (4) Maersk Signals Major Global Trade Slowdown
- Global SITREP
- (5) Israel Says No Ceasefire, No Pause in Fighting
- (6) Western Officials Broach Peace Deal with Ukraine
- (7) Massive Allied Naval Exercise Led By Japan at End of Week
- (8) Counterintel Chief Named to South Korean JCS
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
- (1) TRUMP CAMPAIGN PLANNING TO USE INSURRECTION ACT: According to people involved in the discussions, the 2024 Trump campaign and The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 group have drafted executive orders (EO) to deploy the U.S. military domestically under the Insurrection Act to deal with a popular revolution against Trump’s possible reelection.
- According to the same people, Trump’s campaign is also drafting plans to send the Department of Justice (DOJ) after former allies turned critics.
- “This is third-world-country stuff, ‘arrest your opponent,’” Trump said at a campaign stop last month, “and that means I can do that, too.”
- Why It Matters: The Heritage Foundation Project 2025 group is recruiting and training pro-Trump lawyers to take over general counsel offices throughout the federal bureaucracy, and planning to bring federal agencies under White House control if Trump wins the election next year. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is also planning for another attempted popular revolution, like the 2020 Summer of Love. Left wing activists and militant groups at the time planned to escalate nationwide protests and riots into an insurgency, as we documented at the time. A group called Shut Down D.C., for instance, held meetings on how to shut down the nation’s capital to prevent Trump’s re-inauguration. Other Far Left groups distributed pamphlets entitled “chokepoints in a fragile economy” with instructions on shutting down major ports and shipping facilities. One Far Left group planned to bomb the FedEx facility and airport in Memphis, Tennessee – the busiest cargo airport in the world at the time. Their overall plan specifically called for disrupting U.S. economic activity until Trump was removed from office. If any of this is news to you, it’s because virtually none of this was covered in the mainstream press. – M.S.
- (2) BIDENOMICS BITES JOBS, BANKRUPTCIES, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: U.S. President Joe Biden’s economic plans are facing strong headwinds, which is showing up in the latest jobs, bankruptcies, and consumer confidence data.
- Revised jobs data has been lower than the initial release for eight consecutive months, and the number of employed workers just posted the biggest drop since COVID lockdowns, according to the government’s Current Population Survey (i.e., “household survey).
- Total U.S. bankruptcy filings – business and personal – rose 13% in 2023 compared to last year, the U.S. Courts System published last week.
- Consumer confidence fell to a 5-month low in October.
- Why It Matters: The Biden administration will continue to push its central economic plan, despite evidence that it isn’t working. This will cause more disruptions and financial pain for Americans, and voters’ loss of economic confidence could determine control of Congress and the Presidency in 2024. – H.B.
- (3) NEW POLLS PILE ON BAD NEWS FOR BIDEN IN 2024: According to new polls by the New York Times and Siena College, former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in the five key battleground states of Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania ahead of the 2024 election by four to ten points.
- Voters under 30, a key demo for Democrats, said they favor Biden by only a single percentage point.
- According to a new ABC News – Ipsos poll, only 23% of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction.
- Why It Matters: The polls continue to pile on the Biden campaign, with younger voters who typically lean Democrat now almost evenly split between Biden and Trump. Biden carried these five key states by less than half a point to three points, and the polling margins in these key swing states could prove too large for Biden to overcome with mail-in ballot campaigns. – R.C.
- (4) MAERSK SIGNALS MAJOR GLOBAL TRADE SLOWDOWN: Maersk, the world’s biggest shipper and bellwether for global trade, reported a drop in revenue and profit on Friday, and the company plans to cut 10,000 jobs – about 10% of its workforce.
- “Our industry is facing a new normal with subdued demand, prices back in line with historical levels and inflationary pressure on our cost base,” said Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc.
- Global shipping rates of major routes have fallen 75%-85% from the 2021 peaks.
- Why It Matters: Post-COVID, freight rates soared as government restrictions disrupted global supply chains. But this trend has now reversed and could accelerate next year as investors look ahead to a slowing global economy and more regional trade. – H.B.
- (5) ISRAEL SAYS NO CEASEFIRE, NO PAUSE IN FIGHTING: On Sunday, Israel announced that there would be no ceasefire nor a pause in the fighting in Gaza until all Israeli and foreign hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7th were released.
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in a surprise visit to the West Bank on Sunday, relaying to Abbas the Israeli position that a ceasefire would only help Hamas.
- Blinken then met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad as American forces in Iraq and Syria faced more drone and rocket attacks by Iranian-backed militias.
- Turkey used tear gas and water cannon as hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters unsuccessfully tried to storm a joint U.S.-Turkish air base on Sunday night – this only hours before Blinken met with the Turkish foreign minister.
- Why It Matters: Blinken is making the rounds in the Middle East to relay the U.S. position and to outline the realpolitik from Israel on its war against Hamas. Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly rebuffed calls from the international community for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. It is unlikely that Hamas would negotiate in good faith as the terror organization continues to call for the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jewish people – making the groups’ survival an existential threat to Israel. Hamas’ position essentially guarantees that the Israeli Defense Forces assault on Gaza, which has now surrounded Gaza City, will continue and likely accelerate in the coming days. – M.M.
- (6) WESTERN OFFICIALS BROACH PEACE DEAL WITH UKRAINE: According to a senior Biden official, the Biden administration and European officials began discussions with the Ukrainian government on a peace deal with Russia and what Ukraine would have to give up to secure a deal.
- According to the Biden official, U.S. and European officials are concerned the war has reached a stalemate and Western allies may not be able to continue providing aid to Ukraine.
- Why It Matters: The Biden administration is now dealing with a crisis in the Middle East that may explode into a larger regional conflict. The Biden administration could overextend by trying to keep the Ukraine war going while dealing with a Middle East crisis and a pivot to China. Ukraine aid is also running into trouble in Congress, with Freedom Caucus Republicans and conservatives pushing hard to end Ukraine spending. – R.C.
- (7) MASSIVE ALLIED NAVAL EXERCISE LED BY JAPAN AT END OF WEEK: Japan is hosting and leading its 10-day “Annual Exercise 2023” beginning on 10 November. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force says this is the largest exercise they’ve run since 1954, the year of their inception.
- Japan, the U.S., Canada, and Australia are participating with 16, 11, two, and three ships respectively. The Philippines will have observers on site for the first time. The exercise will focus on Anti-Surface Warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and replenishment-at-sea.
- Why It Matters: Japanese Defense Forces noted the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong conducted over 400 jet fighter and 150 helicopter landings in the past week, just as Japanese Prime Minister Fukio Kishida was visiting the Philippines. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) held these drills just to the east of the Philippines – surely aimed at Kishida’s visit. – M.S.
- (8) COUNTERINTEL CHIEF NAMED TO SOUTH KOREAN JCS: South Korea’s defense counterintelligence chief, Lieutenant General Hwang You-sung, has been named as the vice chairman of the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as part of a continued replacement of top generals.
- The reordering follows last month’s appointment of South Korean Naval Operations Commander Vice Admiral Kim Myung-Soo to lead the JCS.
- Why It Matters: Before being promoted as counterintelligence chief, LTG Hwang was an infantry division commander. South Korean officials are framing this as an attempt to bolster the JCS with operational experience from both the navy and the army, in what could become South Korean involvement in an anticipated regional war. – M.S.
— END REPORT
M.S. indicates analyst commentary from Mike Shelby
M.M. indicates analyst commentary from Max Morton
J.V. indicates analyst commentary from Jared Vaughn
R.C. indicates analyst commentary from Robert Cook
H.B. indicates analyst commentary from Harrison Burge
The greatest risk is not preparing for the future, but the next greatest risk is preparing for the wrong things.
Join the Forward Observer Intelligence team as they discuss the latest threats and early warning indicators concerning agriculture and the food supply, oil and energy, the power grid, economics and finance, the supply chain, and geostrategic shocks.
Get our Early Warning report every Friday here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe