Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 24 August 2022.
GREEK-TURKISH SPAT CONTINUES: Turkish fighter jet reported being harassed by Greek fighter jets while conducting security patrols in the Mediterranean Sea. Turkish authorities also filed a complaint with NATO after Greek radar sites locked onto Turkish jets. (Analyst Comment: Despite his balancing act between NATO and Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged unconditional Turkish support to NATO this morning on his way to a NATO Summit in London. Erdogan also said that he would not support a new NATO defense plan for Poland and the Baltics until they address the threat of the YPG in Syria. For now, Turkey continues to draw the ire of Greece and Cyprus over its claimed energy resources in the region. – M.S.)
UNCONFIRMED REPORTS OF NEW SHIPMENTS TO UKRAINE: Social media account Terminal CWO reported that U.S. Special Forces teams are being told to pack up equipment and prepare it for shipment to Ukraine, on the orders of the Secretary of Defense. There’s also a report that High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) are being diverted from Marine Corps units and sent to Ukraine. (AC: Terminal CWO has a history of accurate reporting, often publishing first-hand takes from members of the military on everything from substandard housing and soldier safety to the fallout over vaccine mandates. I believe this report is accurate due to a history of accurate reporting and because it fits with other efforts by the Department of Defense to provide military support to Ukraine. The HIMARS is a lynchpin weapons system for the Marines’ new Littoral Combat Regiments in the Pacific – formed specifically as the primary ground combat units to defend Taiwan and Japan against Chinese military operations. If the Biden administration is stripping Marine units of HIMARS then it is unlikely they are serious about countering China in the Pacific. It appears U.S. military readiness is being depleted to equip Ukrainians for a much-speculated counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine. – M.S.)
OFFICIALS: BRAZIL TOO IMPORTANT FOR FERTILIZER IMPORTS: Speaking at an agriculture industry event, Brazilian officials said that Brazilian food production, much of which gets exported abroad, is too important to rely on foreign fertilizer exports. They added that the current fertilizer supply disruption represents a national and global food security problem. Industry officials announced plans to develop new domestic fertilizer plants, partially fed via potash mining on indigenous lands in the Amazon. (AC: Brazil is one of the world’s top food producers and exporters, and currently imports about 85% of its fertilizer needs. Brazil’s ability to achieve adequate fertilizer supply is dependent on mining operations and deforestation in the Amazon, which leading presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opposes. Lula, a member of the World Economic Forum, which favors cuts to fertilizer production and use, has himself proposed government-subsidized “green farms” to boost ag production without new mining or deforestation. Lula currently leads current president Jair Bolsonaro by 15 points. Brazil’s election in October could have a large impact on the country’s ability to grow and export more food. – M.S.)
BRAZILIAN POLICE RAID PRO-BOLSONARO BUSINESS OWNERS OVER COUP TALK: According to Brazilian media, authorities executed eight search warrants and arrested a number of pro-Bolsonaro businessmen accused of discussing a military coup in the event of electoral fraud and a Bolsonaro loss in October. Some of the accused say the Whatsapp conversation was taken out of context by the media, which prompted the raids. (AC: For his part, Bolsonaro has toned down his attacks on the judiciary and electoral system, likely at the behest of advisors warning over shaky relations with the United States. A number of U.S. officials had put arms sales to Brazil and other cooperation on hold over Bolsonaro’s rhetoric. Bolsonaro most recently said he will respect the results of a “clean [and] transparent” election. Expect more consternation over election-related matters heading into October. – M.S.)
IN TODAY’S EARLY WARNING: Max gives an update on China and its plans for Taiwan. Get access to the full intel briefing here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe
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