DailySA: NATO eyes expansion into Pacific to counter China – Forward Observer

DailySA: NATO eyes expansion into Pacific to counter China

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 13 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • NATO eyes expansion into Pacific to counter China
  • Zelenskyy ‘no long interested’ in NATO
  • DIA warns China and Russia rapidly expanding space capabilities

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

NATO EYES EXPANSION INTO PACIFIC TO COUNTER CHINA: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is considering expansion into the Indo-Pacific as a response to China’s unwillingness to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently stated that China’s actions in the Pacific requires NATO to stand together with its Asia-Pacific partners – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. While Stoltenberg did not identify specific actions that NATO would take in response to China, NATO is working to improve strategic communications with its Asia-Pacific partners, particularly in regard to countering Russia’s disinformation and propaganda during its war in Ukraine. (Analyst Comment: Senior NATO officials were in South Korea yesterday to discuss information sharing and interoperability between NATO and the South Korean military. NATO expansion into the Pacific will be viewed as a major escalation by China. NATO’s ability to physically counter China in the Pacific is difficult given the vast distances between Europe and potential conflict zones in the East and the South China Sea. – M.M.)

ZELENKSYY ‘NO LONGER INTERESTED’ IN NATO: During an interview with American media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he believes the NATO alliance displayed weakness by not going to war with Russia over Ukraine and that he’s ‘no longer interested’ in joining NATO. (AC: Zelenskyy may no longer need NATO as the European Union is offering membership to Ukraine and is developing its own standing military force. Russia is unlikely to support EU membership plans and will use similar influence efforts in an attempt to prevent Ukraine from joining the union. – D.M.)

DIA WARNS CHINA AND RUSSIA RAPIDLY EXPANDING SPACE CAPABILITIES: Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials stated China and Russia are rapidly expanding their space capabilities. DIA released an unclassified report outlining U.S. Security challenges in space. Since 2019, China and Russia’s combined space fleet has grown by over 70%. Officials said the dual use of civil and military applications shows the “intent” to integrate space with a “combined arms effort in any conflict.” (AC: The report outlines China’s long-term pursuits in space, beyond near-Earth missions. China is looking toward future exploration and natural resource extraction on the moon and Mars. Long-term plans include rapidly increasing military capabilities in space to secure their interests with a combination of kinetic and non-kinetic anti-satellite systems. – D.F.)

This week’s High Side briefings:

Wednesday: Russian red-line: Sweden, Finland to join NATO

Thursday: Economic Early Warning

Friday: Warning Roundtable

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