Global SITREP for Thursday, 08 June 2023 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Thursday, 08 June 2023

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Thursday, 08 June 2023

  1. FIRST UP: Rasmussen says NATO countries could send troops to Ukraine
  • Former NATO chief Anders Rasmussen said that individual NATO countries could send troops to Ukraine if the country isn’t offered security guarantees at the upcoming NATO summit.
  • “If NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action. We know that Poland is very engaged in providing concrete assistance to Ukraine. And I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Poland would engage even stronger in this context,” Rasmussen said.

Why It Matters: A unilateral military deployment to Ukraine would be the most highly escalatory development since the beginning of the war. It’s inconceivable that Russia does not respond in some way, either militarily or through gray zone warfare, against the deploying country or countries, putting NATO in an Article V dilemma.

  1. MARCOS: Philippines must find “non-traditional partners”
  • Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. told a group of ambassadors that they must find “non-traditional” partners for trade, security, and defense.
  • Marcos added that he’s not choosing sides between the U.S., China, or Russia. [READ MORE]

Why It Matters: Marcos is looking to diversify his economy ahead of worsening disruption with China. The Philippines is also looking to become a major friend-shoring destination as Western corporations continue moving production out of China due to the catastrophic risks in the coming years.

  1. HAITI: VP Harris to push for multinational peacekeeping force
  • Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to engage Caribbean leaders on deploying a multinational peacekeeping force to Haiti in its ongoing battle against gangs.
  • The White House has proposed an international peacekeeping assistance since last year, but has experienced a lack of movement due to no country willing to take the lead. [READ MORE]

Why It Matters: Involvement in Haiti’s gang wars is a lose-lose situation as Haiti has no substantial natural resource industries or broader economic effects that need to be stabilized, while the conflict can be confined to the country.

  1. SUPPLY CHAIN: China to restart stalled high speed rail project to Thailand
  • Chinese officials announced the transfer of high speed rail technology and engineering know-how so that the Bangkok-Kunming rail project could be restarted.
  • China has already completed a high-speed rail link from the Chinese city Kunming to Vientiane, Laos.

Why It Matters: Although the current Thai high-speed rail project is stalled, China’s more direct intervention in restarting the project is likely aimed at increasing its influence with Thailand while providing a means to improve food security.

  1. UPDATE: Iran probably lacks functional hypersonic capability
  • Iran claimed yesterday that they had achieved a Mach 15 hypersonic weapon but existing hypersonic technology is incapable of producing a maneuverable weapon capable of exceeding Mach 5.
  • Iran does not possess the refined space assets required to provide targeting and guidance to hypersonic weapons and has struggled with missile accuracy in its ballistic missile systems.

Why It Matters: Iran may have traded conventional arms to supply Russia’s war against Ukraine, in return for Russian hypersonic technology; however, it has yet to successfully test a maneuverable hypersonic weapon. In the past Iran has falsely claimed it developed a domestically produced stealth fighter, and has a history of making bombastic claims of weapons technology. It is more likely that Iran has acquired some level of hypersonic technology which would allow it to begin development of such a weapon and is overstating its progress in order to intimidate its adversaries.

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.

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.

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