Global SITREP for Monday, 08 April 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Monday, 08 April 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Monday, 08 April 2024.

  1. U.S. ARMY TO BEGIN NEW JUNGLE TRAINING EXERCISE IN PHILIPPINES: The U.S. Army is scheduled to hold a jungle warfare training exercise alongside the Philippines Army in June. The two sides say they’ll work on logistics in jungle and island environments.
  • Manila reportedly requested the exercise, where soldiers will determine how they’ll conduct logistics and resupply for items like ammunition, radio batteries, and food in a simulated combat environment.
  • The U.S. Army also announced that Tomahawk cruise missile launchers are being deployed to the region due to “rising security threats.”
  • Meanwhile, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. each sent a ship to conduct a joint patrol in the South China Sea (SCS) over the weekend. China responded with a competing “combat patrol” in the area, according to Chinese state media.

Why It Matters: It certainly appears that the U.S. is not willing or prepared to militarily defend Taiwan against Chinese action and instead is drawing a line against Chinese encroachment into the Philippines. The U.S. and the Philippines already have two major annual multi-domain exercises. Adding another is likely intended to bolster the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty and convince China that the U.S.-Philippines (+Japan+Australia) military alliance is ready to defend the Philippines’ territorial sovereignty. Biden will reportedly “warn” China during a joint U.S.-Philippines-Japan summit this week that Chinese actions risk violating that treaty. – M.S.

  1. IRAN: NETANYAHU GOV WILL “ALMOST CERTAINLY COLLAPSE: Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, said that Israel’s war in Gaza is acting as a “lifeline” for the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • “The survival of Netanyahu’s right-wing and extremist regime depends on the continuation of the war, and if the war stops, this regime will fall,” Mousavi said.

Why It MattersMousavi also noted that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have mostly withdrawn from Gaza, which is likely a sign that Netanyahu has caved to Western pressure and will now pursue a more limited strategy in Gaza. While the much-anticipated Rafah remains on hold and will likely be more limited; two large risks remain. First, we’re still awaiting Iranian retaliation for the killing of two Iranian generals during Israeli airstrikes earlier this month. A potential catastrophic attack against Israel could ignite a larger conflict between the two countries, as senior Israeli military officials continually stress that they’re prepared for conventional war with Iran. And second, the IDF’s Northern Command continues to prepare for a ground war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah continues to launch rocket attacks into Israel, while the IDF most recently killed a Hezbollah brigade commander in Lebanon. The best-case scenario is that the two sides continue trading limited attacks. – M.S.

  • Global Rollup
    • Mexico ended diplomatic ties with Ecuador over the weekend after Ecuadorian police raided the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas. Glas had been living at the Mexican embassy and was wanted by authorities over a corruption probe. Ecuador has extended its 90-day state of emergency to go after organized crime and drug traffickers.
    • Russian and Chinese scientists are discussing a joint initiative to explore Mars and continue joint lunar exploration. The Russian Director of the Academy of Sciences said more BRICS members may be invited to participate in lunar exploration at a later BRICS summit.

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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