Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 17 November 2022.
BELARUS: NATO THREATENS INVASION FROM POLAND: First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB), Sergey Terebov, warned of a rising threat of foreign intervention from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Ukraine. Terebov warned against the influence of overseas opposition members claiming they “are actively working on a scenario to change the constitutional system by force.” The comments come alongside remarks by Deputy Chief for Combat Management of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Major-General Valery Gnilozub, who warned that active preparations for war were underway in Poland, citing the “accelerated pace” at which Poland was building military infrastructure to accommodate NATO units and the modernization of airfields in Poland and the Baltics capable of hosting 200 combat aircraft. Gnilozub and other Belarusian officials “unquestionably believe that the NATO units deployed in neighboring countries may become the foundation for creating attack forces against Russia and its closest ally Belarus.”
NAVY FORCE POSTURE CHANGE: The Navy has significantly changed its force posture without announcing its intent. It currently has fewer Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) and Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARG) deployed than it has over the past five years. It also has not deployed a group to the Persian Gulf at all in 2022, breaking a decades-long tradition of maintaining one there continuously.
UK PRAISES OUSTING OF RUSSIAN SPIES, TURNS A WARY EYE TO CHINA: Speaking at an annual threat review, the United Kingdom’s Security Service (MI5) Director General Ken McCallum called the ousting of Russian spies from Europe, the “most significant strategic blow” against Russia in “recent European history.” McCallum said 400 suspected spies were among the 600 Russian officials expelled from European countries this year, saying the expulsions and “coordinated waves of sanctions” had “taken Putin by surprise.” The director warned that while Britain must be prepared for “Russian aggression for years to come,” China also represented a substantial and growing threat. In an abnormally frank and open discussion, McCallum warned China was “playing the long game” by targeting local officials who were likely to later become Parliament members, in addition to its efforts to recruit prominent lawmakers. McCallum said Chinese willingness to invest large amounts of “patience,” “money,” and “effort” to cultivate an extensive network of assets made the country “a large and enduring challenge.”
IMF: XI-BIDEN MEETING VERY CONSTRUCTIVE FOR TRADE: Speaking at the G20 summit, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Kristalina Georgieva said the meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping was “very constructive” and could ease trade relations between the world’s largest economies. Citing IMF concerns that global factionalization into country blocs led by opposed China and U.S. governments could reduce global GDP growth by as much as $3.5 trillion, Georgieva praised the meeting for providing “a very significant message” that “international cooperation is important” to the world. However, Georgieva also warned that despite these positive efforts, the IMF was still seeing indicators that the global economy was “slowing down” and a “gloomier” path was ahead.
In today’s Early Warning, Mike provides his Weekly Economic Outlook, focusing on what happens next with inflation, recession, and a financial crisis. PLUS the team reports on the likelihood of a U.S. fuel crisis this winter and other disruptions. Stay ahead of the curve by joining at https://forwardobserver.com/susbcribe.