Early Warning for 26 March 2018

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 26 March 2018. (All times Eastern.)

Early Warning: The president is expected to expel a number of Russian diplomats, as soon as today, in response to accusations that Russian officials ordered the murder of a former Russian spy living in the UK. Last week, the UK expelled Russian diplomats from the country after Russia failed to meet a deadline to respond to the accusation. In response, Russia then expelled British diplomats. France and Germany have also accused Russia of the attempted murder, allegedly involving a highly lethal nerve agent, and are reported to be considering expelling their Russian diplomats, as well. Breakdowns in communication often make war more likely, so this is a development we’ll be watching closely. Additional developments will be found in future Strategic Intelligence reports.

ALSO: On Sunday night (local time), Saudi Arabia used U.S.-made Patriot missile batteries to shoot down seven missiles targeting Saudi Arabia, fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Houthis are known to regularly target Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles, and these seven missiles were described to have been targeting residential areas. One missile did strike a target and killed one civilian. The Saudi-Iranian war has been primarily limited to the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, although there are reasons to believe it could escalate. Additional developments will be found in future Strategic Intelligence reports.

 

White House
Nothing significant to report.

 

State Department
Nothing significant to report.

 

Defense Department
Nothing significant to report.

 

Congress
The House and Senate deliberate in pro forma sessions this week and there are no scheduled hearings. Congress will reconvene on the week of 09 April 2018.

 

Federal Reserve/Economy
(1) There are three speeches by Federal Reserve officials today. Expect them to say that the economy looks healthy and poised for continued growth. (2) South Korean and U.S. officials inked out a free trade modification. South Korea will allow more U.S. products into their markets and cut down on steel sales in order to avoid the 25 percent steel tariff.

 

Last Week’s Significant Reporting
Iran is on Saudi Arabia’s radar, making war more likely
STRATCOM: No defense against Russian, Chinese hypersonic missiles

 

Notable Quotable
“Defenders have not gained any lasting advantage from four decades’ worth of innovation, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars spent on security, or the tens of thousands of certified cyber defenders. Cyberspace remains ‘attacker advantage.’” – Jason Healey, senior research scholar at Columbia University


 



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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