Global SITREP for Friday, 17 May 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 17 May 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 17 May 2024.

  1. CONGRESS’ LETTER ON PACIFIC BASE SURVIVABILITY: On 08 May, 13 congressmen sent a letter to the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy detailing expected aircraft losses and the Defense Department’s passive defense measures.
  • Congress expects 90% of aircraft losses to be on the ground instead of in air combat based on “recent war games.”
  • The Congressmen also demand to know why the U.S. has only built 22 hardened aircraft shelters over the last decade compared to China’s 400 in the same period and why the branches did not budget for hardened shelters in 2024.

Why It Matters: Congress’ confidence in the military’s ability to wage war appears shaken, particularly because they are still using the air dominance approach to warfare. This could undermine a U.S. response to China attacking Taiwan or a snap decision to militarily protect the Philippines. Failing to respond strongly would undermine the U.S.’ position on the world stage. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Microsoft is asking up to 800 employees to transfer out of China to continue their work on machine learning algorithms. Employees would stay within the company and are reportedly being offered positions in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
    • China expanded its Coast Guard (CCG) law to authorize the detention of foreign nationals attempting to, assisting to, or actually violating their territorial waters. Effective June 15, the CCG can detain foreigners for 30 days without question and 60 days pending higher authority approval. (Before its actual use, the non-enforcement of this law is likely to be cited as Beijing’s latest attempt to be “merciful” to the Filipinos. China has previously arrested foreign citizens inside its own borders or off its coasts with relative impunity, but doing so inside disputed territory could cause a violent reaction. – J.V.)
    • Germany’s defense industry is still heavily dependent on China and will need subsidies to break that dependency while remaining competitive with America, according to Hans Christoph Atzpodien, head of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie (BDSV).
    • Japan is giving the Philippines a $412 million loan in Yen to buy five more Japanese-made Teresa Magbanua-class patrol vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which is set for delivery by 2028. This class is the largest in the PCG.
    • Russia issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that one of its vessels would be firing a “gun, missile, or rocket” in international waters in the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center Flight Information Region (ARTCC FIR) several hundred miles off the coast of California. The munitions are not expected to affect flights.

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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