Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 16 June 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 mins 28 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
BIDEN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL $1 BILLION TO UKRAINE: In a written statement, President Biden said, “I informed President Zelensky that the United States is providing Ukraine with another $1 billion in security assistance, including additional artillery and coastal defense systems, as well as artillery ammunition and advanced missile systems needed by Ukrainians to support defense operations in Donbas.” Ukraine will also receive an additional $225 million in humanitarian aid, water, medicine, and food supplies.
RUSSIA HITS NATO WEAPONS IN UKRAINE: Russia’s defense ministry claims a missile strike near Zolochiv, Ukraine, destroyed an ammunition depot and an unknown number of U.S. supplied M777 howitzers. Russia also claimed a strike on Western weapons in Mykolaiv killed 300 Ukrainian troops. The strikes occurred ahead of a meeting with NATO leadership about long-term support to Ukraine and how to evade Russian attacks.
NATO TO BOLSTER EASTERN FRONT: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg said Enhanced Forward Presence units would increase from battalions to brigades. Germany will increase its troop commitments, and NATO will establish a new rotational training schedule in Lithuania. Stoltenberg noted the U.S. increased its troop levels in Europe from 70,000 to more than 100,000 after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
CHINA DEVELOPS NON-KINETIC AI-COMMANDED ANTI-SATELLITE WEAPON: Chinese researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University recently completed experiments with AI-commanded hunter satellites. The exercises simulated the capture of an adversary’s high-value satellite. After nearly a quarter-million iterations, the AI-commanded team of hunter satellites defeated another AI-driven adversary satellite through the use of deception and wolfpack-like tactics. The exercise developed a potent AI capable of complex autonomous warfare operations in Space. Cai Cuihong, associate professor of international relations at China’s Fudan University, explained that “AI can make anti-satellite measures more precise, destructive and harder to trace, increasing the likelihood that some countries will carry out a pre-emptive strike. She also added that “attacking satellites, especially early warning satellites, is often seen as a precursor to nuclear war.”
ECONOMIC WOES DAMAGING JAPAN’S KISHIDA GOVERNMENT: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, one of the Pacific’s most active and aggressive leaders in the U.S.-led QUAD security alliance, is facing plunging support less than one month before a parliamentary election. According to a Jiji News Agency poll out today, more than half of Japan’s voters are now critical of Kishida’s handling of the economy amid rising food and fuel prices. The latest polling results echo a survey released earlier this week by the Kyodo News Agency that found 64.1% of respondents did not support Kishida’s handling of inflation. This week the Japanese yen plunged to a 24-year low at 150 to the dollar amid a bond selloff and tanking stock prices.
SOUTH KOREA EXPANDS NUCLEAR ENERGY CAPABILITY TO MEET “EMISSIONS GOALS”: South Korea is ramping up its nuclear power industry and development programs in an effort to meet its emissions goals for 2030, according to a presidential press release. Government officials stated construction would resume on the Shin Hanul Number 3 and 4 reactors, which were scrapped under the previous administration. The government is also reportedly set to approve lifetime extensions for older nuclear power facilities. The focus on nuclear power generation and production capability has increased at the same time the U.S. Army Secretary has been discussing the potential re-nuclearization of South Korea as a deterrent to Chinese and North Korean aggression in the region.
BEIJING REAFFIRMS ALLIANCE WITH MOSCOW, SUPPORTS WAR IN UKRAINE: On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his country’s support for Russia and its security concerns during a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. According to the official Xinhua news agency, Xi reportedly noted “the legitimacy of the actions taken by Russia to protect the fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces.” Although the U.S. has expressed “concern” over China’s alignment with Russia, Beijing has ignored such concerns and continues to strengthen its alliance with Moscow.
BELARUS SAYS GERMAN MEDIA CONTROLLED BY AMERICA: Belarusian state media host Gert Even Ungar, a German Blogger, claimed major media information in Germany is approved by U.S. editors. “[I]n our mainstream media, there is only one point of view imposed by the United States. A different point of view to which we have the right, a point of view from Russia, German viewers, and newspaper readers do not see or hear,” he said. Influence operations continue targeting NATO members to induce infighting and reduce cooperation.
RISING OIL DEMAND AND POOR ECONOMIC CONDITIONS CREATE DIM GLOBAL OUTLOOK: The Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA), in a new report, estimates that world oil demand will rise more than 2% to a record of 101.6 million barrels per day in 2023. The rise in demand and a poor economic forecast provide a dim future outlook. “Economic fears persist, as various international institutions have recently released downbeat outlooks,” the IEA said. The IEA forecasts that rising oil demand would exceed pre-pandemic levels. “Similarly, tightening central bank policy, the impact of a soaring U.S. dollar and rising interest rates on the purchasing power of emerging economies mean the risks to our outlook are concentrated on the downside.”
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike takes a look at the economic, financial, and monetary situation. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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