Global SITREP for Friday, 08 March 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 08 March 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 08 March 2024.

  1. BIDEN TO OPEN PORT IN GAZA FOR AID: President Biden announced he’s ordering the U.S. military to build a pier in Gaza City for humanitarian aid operations and stressed that there would be no boots on the ground.

Why It Matters: The anticipated construction timeline puts the first relief packages well into Israel’s anticipated Rafah offensive, which is supposed to start on Monday. There remains a possibility that U.S. personnel involved in the construction will be targeted with drone and rocket attacks, which could encourage U.S. involvement in the war. – J.V.

  1. TAIWAN MINDEF WIDENS MILITARY RESPONSE THRESHOLD: Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the threshold for Taiwanese military action had changed from a “first shot” by the Chinese to a “first move” during a hearing with the Taiwanese legislature.
  • Chiu explained that the “first move” involves the People’s Liberation Army “crossing the boundary” during Gray Zone Warfare but did not elaborate further when pressed by Kuomintang legislators.

Why It Matters: This potentially shortens the early warning period of crisis and war, as Chinese aircraft and sea vessels could become targets in a “first move” scenario. The likelihood is low of engagement, but the consequences could be catastrophic. This is also likely an effort by the Taiwanese defense ministry to deter Chinese incursions by introducing greater ambiguity into a Taiwanese response. – M.S.

  1. JAPAN AND INDIA TO EXPAND SECURITY AND ECONOMIC TIES: Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar announced at a public meeting yesterday that they would increase defense and economic ties as “Indo-Pacific nations sharing values.”
  • The two countries will share defense equipment and increase cooperation in space, cybersecurity, technology, and military exercises.
  • “In light of the increasingly severe security environment of today, we confirmed the need for our defense and security cooperation,” Kamikawa said.

Why It Matters: The agreement is meant to counter Chinese foreign policy regarding its neighbors. Additionally, Japan is likely to begin exporting defense equipment to India, as India seeks to be a regional counterweight to China. – J.V.

  1. ARCTIC EXPOSURE: CANADA DOUBLING DEFENSE BUDGET BY ‘27: Citing Russian and Chinese activity in the Arctic, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair announced that Canada would double its defense budget by 2027.

Why It Matters: Canada is a minor player in a key geographic region. While the focus is on Arctic operations, this will likely have secondary effects in the Pacific as Canada frequently sends single frigates there to patrol with regional partners. – J.V.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.

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