Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 28 December 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
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- Defense spending bill signed three months late
- China’s “disappearing act” revealed
- Farmers prepare for war in Europe
- Trucking retention woes
- Biden & DOJ fund the police
- Hazards Warning
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- Russia-NATO SITREP: RUSSIA TO NEGOTIATE IN JAN, UKRAINE WANTS WEAPONS FROM AFGHANISTAN
- Indo-Pacific SITREP: CHINA INCREASES I&W CAPABILITY, STOCKPILES GRAIN
- Domestic SITREP: FEDERAL SUPPLY CHAIN CZARS AND GRANTS
- LIC Summary/ INTSUM
- Upcoming Event Calendar
DEFENSE SPENDING: President Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), approving $768.2 billion in military spending, 5% more than his administration requested. The NDAA will increase the pay for service members by 2.7% starting in 2022 and focuses on action for military personnel, including “access to justice,” says Biden. (Analyst Comment: The Federal government measures inflation using the core personal consumption expenditure index, or core PCE, which omits energy and food price changes from its measure. Typically, this results in a low inflation reading. The NDAA pay raise for troops fails to meet even core PCE inflation levels. With rampant inflation and despite the pay raise, troops will be earning a lower real wage during 2022. Biden says that access to justice for military personnel needs an overhaul to adequately address sexual assault and related crimes, giving prosecutorial authority for these crimes to courts rather than a higher rank. – T.W.)
DISAPPEARED; RESIDENTIAL SURVEILLANCE AT A DESIGNATED LOCATION: China is using a novel method of controlling dissent. Instead of isolating dissidents and political opponents in jails or prisons, they are using “residential locations.” The new term is Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location, or RSDL for short. Two Canadian citizens recently released from RSDL described their harrowing experience. They said they were detained at an unknown residential location for over 1000 days, isolated from the outside world, denied visitors, and forced to live in a single windowless cell with lights on 24 hours a day. Chinese human rights activists say this new detention method has been used on over 50,000 Chinese citizens to date, some of which have yet to return from RSDL. According to activists, RSDL is China’s new preferred method of disappearing troublemakers and has become a feared tool of oppression by the population.
PLANTING MORE CROPS AHEAD OF VOLATILITY: U.S. farmers are planting up to 2 million more acres of soybeans, wheat, and corn ahead of forecast volatility. According to researchers, farmers are getting ahead of higher grain prices next year and additional geopolitical volatility forecasts with the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Farmers experienced a significant jump in higher food prices in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
TRUCKING RETENTION WOES: The House Agriculture Committee held hearings regarding numbers presented by the Foodservice Distribution Association which outline a labor shortage of 15,000 needed commercial truck drivers. The key piece of the problem in the report is retention, not just the deficiency of drivers. Retention rates for new commercial trucker drivers is approximately 10% in the first year.
FUNDING THE POLICE: The Justice Department announced $1.07 billion in new funding, grants, and awards to support local law enforcement, research, and community safety programs. This follows nearly two years of efforts by local and national politicians to defund or divert funding from law enforcement. The new grants provide funding for district attorneys, personnel expansion, rural policing initiatives, forensic science labs, and youth programs.
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