Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Monday, 27 June 2022.
- READ TIME: 3 mins 29 seconds
- Russia-NATO INTSUM
- Indo-Pacific INTSUM
- Geopolitical INSTUM
NATO BEGINS MADRID SUMMIT: NATO’s summit in Madrid begins this week, with many world leaders already in attendance. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said the main priority is to establish the alliance’s new defensive framework and resolve the issues with Turkey, Sweden, and Finland. He said NATO will expand its high-readiness forces “to well over 300,000” while addressing growing threats from China and Russia in Africa.
POLAND: STRENGTHEN SUWALKI GAP NOW: During this week’s NATO Summit, Polish leaders will urge the rest of the alliance to strengthen the military presence along Poland’s northern border with Lithuania. “We will continue to call on our Nato partners, most of whom are also EU members, to strengthen the gap,” Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said. The Suwalki Gap is considered a main battleground in a potential fight with Russia. NATO wants to maintain control of the region or faces the Baltics being cut off from its allies.
BELARUS TO RECEIVE RUSSIAN NUKES: Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will transfer an unspecified number of nuclear-capable Iskander-M missile systems to Belarus. Putin believes this is a “symmetrical response” to the increased NATO troop presence in Eastern Europe, specifically to counter threats from Poland and Lithuania. Belarus changed its constitution in late February, revoking its non-nuclear status.
NORTH KOREA ACCUSES U.S. OF CREATING ASIAN NATO: North Korea criticized the U.S. for attempting to start a NATO-like security alliance in Asia as a means of toppling the Kim Jong-un regime in Pyongyang. The Criticism comes amid concern that North Korea is preparing for a seventh nuclear test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday, “While blatantly holding joint military exercises with Japan and South Korea, the United States is making a full-fledged move to establish an Asia-style NATO.” South Korea’s attendance at the upcoming NATO summit in Spain and its announcement last week that it would open a new mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, likely elevated tensions with the North and resulted in a new wave of paranoia from its leadership.
NATO CALLS CHINA A SYSTEMIC THREAT: NATO’s latest strategy document will cite China as a systemic threat, NATO diplomats say. Both a summit of the G7 industrial democracies now underway in Germany and a NATO summit to follow will tackle China’s deepening ties with Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO analysts see increasing indications China will expand into the Pacific and exercise its coercive economic might abroad. NATO Chief Jen Stoltenberg stated, ”China is openly contesting the rules-based int’l order. Chinese investments in new modern military equipment and a desire to control critical infrastructure in Europe have made it all the more important for NATO to develop a stronger stance.” The new strategic concept will be endorsed at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday and Thursday.
U.S. LAUNCHES NEW PACIFIC ISLANDS ECONOMIC GROUP: The U.S., along with partners Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, launched a new informal economic and diplomatic alliance aimed at boosting ties with Pacific Island nations, according to a Whitehouse press release on Friday. The Biden administration vowed to commit more resources to the Indo-Pacific as China is also increasing its economic, military, and armed police links with its Pacific partners. The new alliance, Partners in the Blue Pacific, will support Pacific regionalism and strengthen economic ties between smaller Pacific Island nations and the rest of the global economy.
JORDAN WANTS MIDDLE EAST NATO: Jordanian King Abdullah II said he would support a NATO-style organization in the Middle East. “I would be one of the first people that would endorse a Middle East NATO,” he said. The proposed alliance would seek to counter Iranian influence and terrorism across the region. The emergence of regional alliances indicates nations around the world are gearing up for a fight over the direction of the international rules-based order.
EU CONSIDERS SANCTIONS RELIEF: According to Russian state media sources, the European Union (EU) is considering lifting sanctions on Russian imports to Kaliningrad. This week, an unpublished EU proposal is expected to clear the way for Russian goods to pass through Lithuania to Russia’s separate region and reduce tensions between Russia and Europe.
BLACKROCK CHAIRMAN AND FORMER OBAMA ADVISOR TO MANAGE U.S. “PIVOT” TO ASIA: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Friday selected BlackRock Investment Institute chairman and former Obama administration National Security Advisor Tom Donilon to chair the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Blinken plans to use the board to help develop strategies to manage U.S. competition with China. Donilon would be tasked with providing “advice, feedback, and perspectives” to senior State Department officials on how to manage the department’s “pivot” to Asia. Donilon, a pro-China personality in the Obama administration, could pose a conflict of interest for the board. Under his leadership, BlackRock has urged investors to dramatically increase their investments in Chinese companies and Donilon views strategic competition with China as bad for BlackRock’s business interests.
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: The team takes a look at new shortages and expected executive action on recent Supreme Court rulings. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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