Early Warning for 20 March 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 20 March 2018. (All times Eastern.)

Advanced Early Warning: Last month, U.S. and South Korean officials agreed to postpone joint military exercises around the Korean Peninsula during the Olympic games. The Pentagon is expected to resume military exercises in the region on or about 01 April, beginning with the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises.

ALSO: Reports out this morning claim that the president is readying another round of trade tariffs, worth as much as $60 billion, against China. Those new tariffs could be announced as early as this week. The concern: China responding with tariffs against the United States could cause some economic and financial disruption.

 

White House
In addition to receiving his daily intelligence briefing, the president is scheduled to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, hold a law enforcement round table discussion on sanctuary cities, and then ends his scheduled day with the National Republican Committee March Dinner.

 

State Department
There is no schedule published for outgoing SECSTATE Rex Tillerson, who will continue to serve until 31 March. Deputy Secretary John Sullivan will be attending the president in meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince.

 

Defense Department
SECDEF James Mattis is meeting with the Norwegian defense minister at the Pentagon today. (Analyst Comment: The topic, no doubt, continues to focus on Russia and U.S. forces deployed to Norway.)

Aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70) remains in the South China Sea, and the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is operating in the Persian Gulf. Other aircraft carriers are in their home ports, and conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.

 

Congress
The House and Senate are in session this week and we’ll be covering a number of hearings. (1) House Armed Services Committee hearing on State/Non-State Actor Influence Operations. (2) House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on China’s Foreign Influence Operations. We’ll generate reporting for subscribers on these hearings, if necessary.

 

Federal Reserve/Economy.
(1) The Federal Reserve is expected to announce interest rate increases tomorrow. (2) According to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the GOP could start on a “phase two” of tax cuts next month, pushing to make the current tax cuts permanent. (3)

 

Yesterday’s Significant Reporting
Obama-era officials attack Trump: Here’s why it’s a big deal
Trump tariffs aimed at bolstering domestic wartime production capacity

 

Notable Quotable
“Probably because I’ve spent time where they actually had a civil war, many people ask me – people whose names you know – whether I think this turmoil will all end in a Second Civil War. They are seriously concerned, and not without cause – the left’s hatred for Normal Americans and its dedication to totally stripping the people who are the backbone of this country of their ability to participate in their own governance is threatening to rip the country apart.” – Kurt Schlichter, retired U.S. Army Colonel




Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. After 39 months of deployment time to Iraq and Afghanistan, he's now the conflict and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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