Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 18 November 2022.
GERMAN ARMY PREPARES FOR WAR WITH RUSSIA: Classified documents obtained by German Media outlet Der Spiegel indicate the German military is making preparations for a war with Russia. The report titled “Operational Instructions for the Armed Forces” was prepared by Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, General Eberhard Zorn, who called on German military forces to prepare for Russian attacks that could “occur without warning” and create “high casualties.” Zorn warned in the report that a direct conflict along NATO’s eastern flank had become “likely,” saying German forces must focus efforts on training and building operational readiness for a “high-intensity scenario” to form a “backbone of deterrence.” Zorn indicated that this requires the German military to be able to provide “combat and action-ready forces” independent of U.S. support, as “war in Europe is again a reality,” and NATO could not afford to begin planning and massing forces only when an attack occurs. (AC: Zorn’s comments reflect ongoing concerns of a delayed American response to a potential conflict in Europe. NATO countries like Germany are concerned over a lack of logistical capacity and reductions in U.S. stockpiles of armed vehicles after the closure of several U.S. installations in Germany. – R.P.)
AZERBAIJAN ATTENDS NATO SUMMIT: Azeri news sources announced a delegation of Azerbaijani Parliament members have arrived in England to attend the annual NATO Parliamentary Summit. The move comes days after Azeri President Ilham Aliyev made several pro-NATO comments during a joint press conference following a meeting with the Albanian government, where Aliyev praised his country’s “platform of close cooperation with NATO” and called for closer ties with Albania and the collective West. The NATO Parliamentary Summit is expected to focus on Euro-Atlantic security, energy production, and global finances. (AC: Azerbaijan has become a diplomatic target for the NATO alliance due to the need for Azeri gas flows. Continued close cooperation with the country creates a potential ally in the strategic Caspian Sea region between Russia and Iran. This is likely to be viewed as a provocation by Russia, which has repeatedly warned against continued NATO expansion along its borders. – R.P.)
JAPAN’S KISHIDA AND CHINA’S XI MEET OVER GROWING TENSIONS: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday in Thailand on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Japan has lodged a series of diplomatic complaints over Chinese activity in its economic exclusive zone near the disputed Senkaku Islands. China has also begun oil and gas extraction operations in a buffer zone along the maritime border between the two countries. (AC: Xi and Kishida are battling economic difficulties at home, and both nations are in the process of massive military build-ups for a potential future conflict. – M.M.)
CHINA DEVELOPS CROSS-MEDIUM DRONES: Chinese researchers unveiled two new prototype cross-medium submarine drones this week capable of autonomous operation in the air and underwater. China is also currently fielding a supersonic cruise missile torpedo that can fly at Mach-2.5 before entering a sea-skimming mode and then dive subsurface as a supercavitating torpedo. China claims there are no defenses against its cross-medium drone weapons. (AC: U.S. and allied military defenses have few, if any, systems capable of countering cross-platform weapons. China’s continued development of niche weapon systems appears specifically designed to exploit western military air and naval defense capabilities. China – years into its proven hypersonic weapons programs and now adding cross-platform systems to its arsenal – is outpacing U.S. and allied efforts to build functional countermeasures. – M.M.)
In today’s Early Warning, the team continues to look at fuel, food, and commercial risks heading into this winter. Don’t get caught in the cold – stay ahead of the curve of disruption to your life, family, and business. You can get the full report by subscribing at https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe