Good morning. Here’s your Situational Awareness for Thursday, 08 September 2022.
IAEA: IRAN POSSESSES ENOUGH URANIUM TO MAKE A BOMB: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported the Iranian government increased its uranium stockpiles and could produce 25kg of weapons-grade (90%+) uranium in as little as three weeks. The Iranian government denounced the IAEA claims saying its stockpile of 60% uranium is for medical purposes and has no intention of producing nuclear weaponry. – R.P.
JAPAN BUILDING BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SHIPS: As part of Japan’s rapid build-up of its Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF), the Ministry of Defense announced it is constructing two large ballistic missile defense ships. The vessels would replace the U.S.-built Aegis Ashore system that Japan rejected in 2020. Both ships, effectively large Aegis Destroyers, are 690 feet long, making them the largest warships in the JMSDF behind the Izumo-class light carriers. According to Japan’s Defense Minister, both new warships will be equipped with missile defense systems capable of intercepting Chinese and North Korea hypersonic glide weapons. – M.M.
CHINA – RUSSIA DEVELOPING MONGOLIAN GAS PIPELINE: Russian energy giant Gazprom and China’s PetroChina entered a supplementary agreement of the “Sino-Russian Eastern Route Natural Gas Purchase and Sale Agreement” to expand cooperation on the construction of an extension of Russia’s Power of Siberia 2 LNG pipeline across Mongolia capable of delivering 50 billion cubic meters of gas to China. Gazprom CEO Alexi Miller announced the project entered its practical phase, following the completion of a feasibility study, and expected design and development to commence soon, citing ongoing negotiations with the Mongolian government. – R.P.
SWISS TO BUILD DEFENSIVE TIES WITH EU, NATO: Swiss defense officials released a new policy paper outlining their intent to expand and modernize the country’s military. The planned expansions include a reorientation towards international cooperation that includes building closer defensive ties with European Union and NATO forces. Swiss forces will take an active role in joint military exercises and join the EU rapid-deployment teams conducting rescue and evacuation operations. – R.P.
GREECE AND TURKEY TURN TO NATO AS FEUD HEATS UP: Greek officials sent an official letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg outlining Turkish provocations in the eastern Mediterranean and Agean Seas. Comments from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously implied that Turkish forces can “come at night” in amphibious landings to occupy contested Agean islands on which Greece has stationed defensive forces. Turkey sent a letter last week to NATO accusing the Greek government of violations of international law and provocations in the region. Both sides have claimed they seek dialogue while rejecting the other’s claims, leading both to seek assistance from NATO and the EU to resolve the ongoing dispute. – R.P.
BOLSONARO LEADS POLITICAL RALLY OF THOUSANDS: Characterizing the upcoming election as a “fight between good and evil,” Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro led a political rally during an Independence Day military parade that attracted tens of thousands of supporters in the capital city of Brasilia. Local authorities struggled to maintain security cordons preventing Bolsanaro’s supporters from advancing on the Brazilian Supreme Court in an echo of previous attempts following Bolsanaro’s claims of widespread election fraud. The move has been criticized, including by supporters of leading leftist candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, for its politicization of the nation’s bicentennial holiday celebrations. – R.P.
In today’s Early Warning, Mike provides his Weekly Economic Outlook with a major new warning, plus the team looks at some important upcoming legislation, a new ATF strategy to combat gun crime, and a Leftist influencer who called for increased violence nationwide. Get our domestic reporting, plus analysis of our geostrategic reporting in the full Early Warning report: https://forwardobserver.com/susbcribe