DailySA: China makes threats over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit – Forward Observer

DailySA: China makes threats over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 07 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • China makes threats over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
  • Marines practice Arctic ops
  • GAO shows domestic risk of radioactive attack increasing
  • FBI says ransomware attacks straining local governments

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CHINA MAKES THREATS OVER PELOSI’S TAIWAN VISIT: China’s Foreign Ministry warned overnight that they’d take strong measures if U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continues with her planned trip to Taiwan this weekend. The Foreign Ministry said Pelosi should cancel her trip immediately, as they’ll be forced to “take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US must be fully responsible for all the consequences.” (Analyst Comment: I believe this is the strongest warning for the U.S. to date. So far, neither party has confirmed the trip, although Pelosi will be visiting Japan before she’s expected to visit Taiwan. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the U.S. would pursue Russian-type sanctions against China if Beijing invaded Taiwan. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan may accelerate the bifurcation between the U.S. and Chinese economies. – M.S.

MARINES PRACTICE ARTIC OPS: Elements from the U.S. Marine Corps are experimenting with Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) during the Cold Response 22 exercise in Norway’s Arctic Circle this month. EABO are intended to enable low signature operations in a contested environment. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger, noted the exercise forced Marines to rethink and question some of their amphibious planning training. “What can you bring with you? How do [you] move all the equipment and people to another location? … In Norway, the terrain – the littoral terrain – is ideally suited for what we train for, what we have to learn.” (AC: EABO is the parent of the U.S. Marine Corps island hopping strategy being implemented in the Indo-Pacific. Running smaller, lighter units capable of sustaining themselves with lighter supply requirements is a goal of the USMC and the focus of a current and controversial force restructuring. – M.M.)

GAO SHOWS DOMESTIC RISK OF RADIOACTIVE ATTACK INCREASING: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 2019 report highlighting the increasing risk of a radiological bomb attack. From 2010 through 2019, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported over 2,000 nuclear materials events, including instances of lost or stolen radioactive materials, radiation overexposures, leaks of radioactive materials, and other events. One notable event is from April 2019, when “a technician was arrested after stealing three radioactive devices from his workplace in Arizona.” Court filings detailed that the technician intended to release the radioactive materials at a shopping mall, but local police and the FBI arrested him prior. (AC: Licensing vulnerabilities are the key risks in the report. GOA wants NRC to conduct tracking of radioactive materials, conduct on-sight reviews and audits, and further research the effects of misuse. Additionally, Department of Homeland Security involvement would be necessary for vetting imports if further restrictions are implemented. – D.F.)

FBI SAYS RANSOMWARE ATTACKS STRAINING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) released a private industry notification stating that ransomware attacks are straining local U.S. governments and public services. The FBI states that ransomware attacks often result in theft of data and disabling of online services; however, in January 2022, an unnamed U.S. County received a ransomware attack that disabled county jail surveillance cameras, data collection, and deactivated automated doors. Attacks on local government are expected to persist as local governments are currently the second highest victim groups behind academia. (AC: Recently passed legislation requiring report requirements is the first step toward determining the full scope of domestic ransomware attacks. Up to 29 reports of ransomware attacks against local governments have taken place this year and are expected to increase. – D.F.)

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