Good morning. Here’s your Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 28 September 2022.
SECSTATE: NORD STREAM LEAKS WERE SABOTAGE: Leaks from both Nord Stream pipelines are still under investigation, but according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, they were the result of sabotage. An announcement from the Swedish Seismological Institute stated that it had registered two man-made underwater explosions along the pipelines. Blinken went on to say the Nord Stream leaks would not affect Europe’s energy security. – M.M.
RUSSIA PREPS FOR PACIFIC WAR: Russian defense media revealed Russia’s Eastern Military District is conducting daily drills in the Sakhalin and disputed Kuril Islands north of Japan. Defense officials say the drills include “combat practice” of live-fire, tactical and medical skills during the day and night evolutions on the volcanic archipelagos. Units taking part in the training are drawn from the Motorized Rifle Divisions of the Eastern Military District’s Army Corps. – R.P.
NATO ACCEPTS SOUTH KOREAN MISSION: Citing shared values, NATO officials announced the alliance has accepted the Republic of Korea’s mission to the alliance. Officials note the mission will strengthen cooperation with the alliance’s long-time partner on a variety of topics including non-proliferation, interoperability, as well as civil and CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) defense. The move is part of a new NATO Strategic concept that seeks to build ties in the Indo-pacific region to address shared challenges and security interests. – R.P.
INDIA EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER: INDIA NOT FOOLED BY U.S.-PAKISTAN F-16 DEAL: Speaking at an Indian-American community event in Washington this weekend, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishanker, questioned U.S. ties to Pakistan and whether Washington’s alliance with Islamabad was serving the American interest. The stark commentary comes on the heels of the Biden administration’s restart of a $420 million “counterterrorism” F-16 fighter upgrade program to Pakistan. That arms deal was canceled by former President Trump over Pakistan’s support of Islamic extremists fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Jaishanker said everyone knew Pakistan wasn’t using the F-16s for counterterrorism but instead against their arch-nemesis India along the eastern border. – M.M.
SOLOMON ISLANDS REFUSES TO SIGN U.S. PACIFIC DECLARATION: Diplomatic officials from the Solomon Islands announced they would not sign the 11-point U.S. declaration being presented at this week’s presidential summit with Pacific leaders. The announcement came as part of a diplomatic note sent to other pacific nations and indicated the Solomon Islands required more time to consider the proposals. The 11-point declaration being advanced by the Biden administration presents a framework for increased U.S. engagement with pacific island nations. Solomon Island Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has raised concerns about the plan’s inclusion of defense agreements that would increase the U.S. military presence in the region, saying her country ”wouldn’t like to encourage that in any way.” – M.M.
In today’s Early Warning, the team dives into the threat of disinformation and explores geostrategic developments as well as developments to low intensity conflict. Get access to the full report by visiting: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe/