Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 12 March 2018. (All times Eastern.)
NOT FAKE NEWS: Over the past several months, the Pentagon has declassified and released several videos of unidentified flying objects. The latest shows an “egg-shaped craft” flying at a high speed, which was captured on video from an F-18/A off the East Coast in 2015. There’s apparently been a dozen such military sightings of unidentified aircraft flying on the East Coast since 2015. They’re leaving one former defense and intelligence official asking, “Is it possible that America has been technologically leap-frogged by Russia or China? Or, as many people wondered after the videos were first published by the New York Times in December, might they be evidence of some alien civilization?” After so many sightings and so much video evidence of these UFOs, the author writes that it’s time to “listen to our pilots and radar operators”. [source]
Advanced Early Warning: President Trump is scheduled to travel to California tomorrow and Wednesday, and the Los Angeles Police Department is concerned about the chance of major protests. “We are prepared for anything,” LAPD Police Chief Horace Frank said. According to one protest organizer, “[President Trump] cannot step foot in this state and not expect an organized response to denounce him.” [source] We’ll have more details about the potential for civil unrest in tomorrow’s reporting.
In addition to receiving his daily intelligence briefing, the president is scheduled to host the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros, and will then have lunch with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
SECSTATE Rex Tillerson is still in Africa, and was reportedly “not feeling well” on Saturday after news broke that President Trump agreed to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. [source] Today, Secretary Tillerson will be meeting with officials in Chad and Nigeria.
SECDEF James Mattis has no official public events. Later today, the Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy will discuss the defense strategies and the state of their services in a Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) summit. We’ll be covering this event and producing a report for subscribers. (Strategic)
The next contingent of 350 Marines will soon be traveling to Norway to take part in Arctic training with the Norwegian military, at a time when the Russian military has practiced bombing runs on Norwegian military installations. [Read more from Forward Observer.]
Aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is currently in port in Da Nang, Vietnam; and the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is in port at Jebel Ali, UAE. Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.
There are no significant events today. We’ll pick back up on Tuesday, when Senate committees are scheduled to have a number of hearings of interest: U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command, Cyber Posture of the Armed Services, and Global State Fragility, Growth and Development.
(1) Economists are expecting the U.S. federal budget for February to show a widening monthly deficit, compared to February 2016. (2) According to data from the Labor Department, the black-white labor participation gap has closed, with 62.9% of blacks working or looking for work and 63% of whites working or looking for work. The Wall Street Journal writes, “The tight labor market is pulling people from the sidelines who may have been discouraged from looking earlier in the expansion.”
Due Out for Subscribers
– CSIS Event: Defense strategies and the state of the Army, Air Force, and Navy. (Strategic)
– Early Warning of civil unrest ahead of the president’s trip to California tomorrow.
Last Week’s Major Reporting
Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on competition between U.S. European Command and Russia
U.S., Japanese navies kick off MultiSail 2018 exercise to practice hunting (Chinese) submarines
Industrial Control Systems under increasing cyber attacks, trend will continue indefinitely
“President Trump is in discussions with a veteran Washington lawyer [Emmet T. Flood] who represented Bill Clinton during the impeachment process about joining the White House to help deal with the special counsel inquiry.” [source]