Global SITREP for Friday, 21 June 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 21 June 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 21 June 2024.

  1. THINK TANK: U.S. INACTION FOR THE PHILIPPINES RISKS LOSS OF JAPAN: Grant Newsham, a former U.S. Marine Attaché to the US Embassy in Tokyo and current defense advisor to a Japanese think tank, is calling for the U.S. to unilaterally activate its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines or risk a total loss of faith with the Japanese.
  • The Japanese are closely monitoring the U.S.’ actions to see if their own Mutual Defense Treaty holds any weight, according to Newsham. He says the U.S. has already failed twice: in the 2012 Chinese seizure of Scarborough Shoal and the non-enforcement of the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling.
  • He calls specifically for U.S. Naval escorts to the Second Thomas Shoal, assistance in constructing a permanent base in place of the BRP Sierra Madre, and orders to use deadly force as needed amongst economic measures.

Why It Matters: Newsham likely speaks with insider knowledge of the Japanese government’s positions as the think tank he works for has numerous former Japanese Defense Ministry officials and explicitly helps develop their National Strategy. If this is true, the U.S. government will have to take immediate concrete actions to prove it is serious about allied defense or risk losing all of its strategic objectives. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • The Philippines set up its BrahMos anti-ship missile batteries to cover the South China Sea, ordered more permit-to-carry licensing hubs to be built in outlying islands within two months to arm more civilians, and announced its anti-submarine warfare capabilities will be operational this year. (This is a continuation of the Philippines’ efforts to build official and unofficial armed forces throughout the islands as it increasingly views war as inevitable. – J.V.)
    • The PLA Navy sent four ships into the Philippines’ internal Sulu Sea along international shipping routes. Unconfirmed reports from Chinese netizens say that the ships carried out a live-fire exercise as a show of force against the Philippines.
    • The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carried out a “war game” against the U.S. Navy using truck-mounted rockets to sink two Ticonderoga-class cruisers, according to Chinese media. (An exercise like this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the U.S. Navy’s capabilities and fighting style. It also suggests a limited use of the PLA’s more capable missiles in favor of more plentiful rockets. – J.V.)
    • Zimbabwe, Thailand, and Malaysia announced official applications for BRICS+ membership. Meanwhile, Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said that Turkey will not seek to decouple from “core” partners like the EU even if it joins BRICS+.

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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