Global SITREP for Monday, 11 March 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Monday, 11 March 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Monday, 11 March 2024.

  1. IRAN-HOSTED “TRILATERAL” EXERCISE TO INCLUDE 4 NEW COUNTRIES: Tomorrow, Iran will kick off its annual Maritime Security Belt exercise, historically referred to as its “Trilateral Exercise. The exercise will now include Iran, Russia, China, Oman, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and South African Naval forces.
  • The stated purpose is to “strengthen regional security, promote collective cooperation, display the capabilities to provide concerted support for world peace and maritime security, and create a sea-based community with a common fate.”

Why It Matters: The stated purpose uses “community with a common fate,” a phrase critical to China’s foreign policy and multipolar world order. The inclusion of regional partners like Oman and Pakistan likely indicates an intention to shore up control of the Strait of Hormuz. – J.V.

  1. PHILIPPINES SOCIETY-WIDE WAR EFFORT LIKELY TO SUCCEED: The Philippines Army announced its latest exercise, the first-of-its-kind combined arms training exercise (CATEX) called Katihan in central Luzon. Meanwhile, a Filipino polling firm found that a supermajority of Filipinos are willing to fight a foreign enemy.
  • Katihan is part of the new regional defense initiative by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
  • The polling firm found that 77% of Filipinos across all age groups, regions, economic classes, and localities were willing to fight a foreign power to defend their homeland. The lowest figure was only 62% of respondents affirming a will to fight in Visayas. 

Why It Matters:When put into the context of a similar poll from last year, where a supermajority of Filipinos supported closer defense ties with the United States to combat a foreign power, this gives Marcos a near-absolute backing by society to wage war with China. National mobilization is highly likely to continue. This represents a failure of China’s attempted Gray Zone Warfare on the Philippines, as the goal was to avoid a war, and the island nation is conducting national mobilization in preparation for one. – 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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