DailySA: U.S. begins construction of new airfield in Pacific – Forward Observer

DailySA: U.S. begins construction of new airfield in Pacific

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 28 June 2022.

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • READ TIME: 3 mins 8 seconds
  • Russia-NATO INTSUM
  • Indo-Pacific INTSUM
  • Geopolitical INSTUM

NATO-RUSSIA INTSUM

U.S. GEN: UKRAINIAN VICTORY BY YEAR END: Some current and former Western officials believe Russia will exhaust its offensive capabilities by the end of summer, providing Ukraine a chance to push back the invading force. “I remain very optimistic that Ukraine is going to win, and that by the end of this year, Russia will be driven back to the Feb. 24 line,” retired Gen. Ben Hodges said. An unnamed official told the Washington Post the “tiny advances” Russia is making will be unsustainable, necessitating a pause in operations this summer.

RUSSIAN HACKERS HIT LITHUANIA: Russian hacking group Killnet executed widespread denial of service attacks against Lithuanian government websites and commercial service providers. The cyberattack was in response to Lithuania’s blocking of Russian cargo and “will continue until Lithuania lifts the blockade,” according to the group. 

UKRAINE & MOLDOVA ON TRACK TO JOIN EU: Lithuanian President Nauseda said he will recommend Ukraine and Moldova join the European Union. In his view, those countries will remain in Russia’s sphere of influence without the protections offered by achieving candidate status in the European Union.

US-CHINA/INDO-PACIFIC INTSUM

PHILIPPINES-CHINA JOINT ENERGY EXPLORATION PROJECT DEAD IN THE WATER: In a major blow to the Philippines’ increasingly friendly relationship with China, the Philippines’ chief diplomat announced that energy exploration talks over oil and gas fields in disputed regions of the South China Sea have collapsed. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. stated that the talks have been terminated with no intent to reopen them. He said, “We had both tried to go as far as we could – without renouncing China’s aspiration on his part; and constitutional limitations on my part. I shut down the [talks] completely. Locsin warned of a constitutional crisis should Manila press ahead with resource sharing with China within Philippine-claimed waters.

U.S. BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF NEW AIRFIELD IN PACIFIC: The U.S. has initiated major construction on the pacific island of Tinian, site of the famous U.S. Marine amphibious assault in WWII.  The U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Command is concerned about possible missile attacks on Guam by China or North Korea in a future great powers conflict and is constructing a large divert airfield to handle U.S. military aircraft in the event Guam’s airfields are disabled or destroyed. Tinian and its neighboring islands of Guam and Saipan were critical staging areas in the U.S. military’s fight against the Japanese empire in WWII and are seen as equally critical against a Chinese military threat. 

TUVALU STANDS UP TO CHINA INTIMIDATION WITHDRAWS FROM U.N. CONFERENCE: According to a report from Radio New Zealand, the foreign minister of Tuvalu pulled out of the United Nations Ocean Conference opening in Portugal on Monday after China blocked the participation of a three member Taiwanese delegation. Taiwan had applied for accreditation of three Taiwanese delegates to be included with Tuvalu’s delegation. Tuvalu has had diplomatic relations with Taiwan since 1979 and is a strong ally.

GEOPOLITICAL INTSUM

PARIS SAYS PREPARE FOR RATIONING AMID FRENCH ENERGY SHORTAGES: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday the French government was working on emergency plans to cut energy consumption ahead of what it sees as potential catastrophic loss of Russian energy imports. France is less reliant on Russian energy than other European countries, accounting for about 17% of its gas consumption, but concerns about energy non-availability are forcing calls from Paris to cut consumption and prepare for rationing.  “We will determine which companies are of the most strategic importance, namely those for whom we can allow gas to be cut off and those for whom we cannot allow any cuts,” Le Maire told RMC Radio.

NATO THREE-DAY SUMMIT IN MADRID BEGINS: NATO is meeting today in Madrid for a three-day summit. The member states plan to discuss ways to avoid escalation in the Ukraine war while maintaining a united front against Russia. They will also discuss securing the Baltics from Russian aggression, admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO, and the urgent requirement to increase defense spending.

U.S. ARMY DROPS RECRUITING STANDARDS: Facing recruiting troubles, the U.S. Army is lowering its entrance requirements. New recruits don’t need a high school diploma or GED certificate and must score a 50 on the ASVAB. Recruits with a diploma or GED must score a 31 to serve in the Army. The Army lifted additional restrictions on face and hand tattoos as the Pentagon achieved 40% of its FY22 recruiting goals across the services. 

IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Mike takes a look at Peter Zeihan’s new book, The End of the World is Just the Beginning. You can get access to his daily report here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

— END REPORT

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