Global SITREP for Thursday, 21 December 2023 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Thursday, 21 December 2023

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Thursday, 21 December 2023

  1. CHINA WARNS PHILIPPINES NOT TO “MISCALCULATE”: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned the Philippines not to “miscalculate” their actions in the disputed South China Sea/West Philippine Sea region. Wang added that China will respond if the Philippines colludes with “ill-intentioned” foreign powers, without specifically naming the United States.
  • Chinese and Filipino officials have both cited deteriorating diplomatic conditions due to ongoing territorial South China Sea disputes.
  • Chinese embassy officials in Manila yesterday denied that China is funding Filipinos to undermine and destabilize the country. Filipino politicians have repeatedly accused the Chinese embassy in Manila of running destabilization operations based on the disclosure of Filipino intelligence reports.

Why It Matters: China says they “always” adhere to non-interference in foreign political affairs, but credible accusations recently surfaced that Chinese citizens living in the Marshall Islands and acting on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party worked with a non-governmental organization to influence the foreign policy of the Marshall Islands towards China. Chinese intelligence officials have long practiced “elite capture,” whereby foreign politicians are bribed or wrapped up in lucrative schemes to coax their support for policies beneficial to China. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo just yesterday accused China of “buying” Belgian democracy by paying off politicians to support China. This behavior is practiced the world over – the Philippines being no exception. The Filipino allegations are almost certainly true, adding an element to the diplomatic fallout between the two countries. – M.S.

  1. MEXICO RAIDING INACTIVE DRUG LABS FOR “SHOW”: Of the reported 503 drug labs raided by the Mexican Army this year, only 24 (just 5%) are described as “active labs,” according to a Reuters report.
  • Mexico hit an all-time high in drug lab raids this year – nearly doubling from 2020 – but the overwhelming majority were inactive meth labs, at least some of which were abandoned years ago.
  • Mexico’s former spy chief says the inflated numbers are for “show” and intended to bolster the appearance of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) being tough on the drug trade.

Why It Matters: AMLO was credibly accused early in his presidency of striking a peace deal with cartels in return for selective enforcement, and numerous Mexican officials have pointed to local peace arrangements between cartels and army commanders. AMLO maintains that the fentanyl trade, which has killed almost a million Americans since 1999, is not a Mexican problem and has for years maintained that fentanyl was not even being produced in Mexico. It’s still unclear if AMLO’s likely presidential successor, Claudia Scheinbaum, who’s also a member of the far left Morena Party, will choose another course of action after next summer’s election. – M.S.

  1. ISRAEL PROMISES TO “ELIMINATE” HAMAS LEADERS: Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen again pledged that Israel will “eliminate” senior Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal, both of whom live in Qatar. “They will not die a natural death,” Cohen warned.
  • Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli intelligence to track down and kill Hamas leaders, even those living abroad in countries like Qatar, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran.
  • French news is reporting this morning that a leaked confidential document from the Saudis suggested sequestering Hamas leaders in Algeria in return for a Gaza peace deal. Algeria has good relations with Hamas patrons Qatar and Iran.

Why It Matters: Israel is, of course, no stranger to worldwide manhunts, but there’s a big difference between assassinating Nazi war criminals of a defunct regime and killing Hamas leaders who have state-sponsored protection in Islamic theocracies. The assassination of Hamas leaders abroad is likely to escalate the conflict, especially as Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries have called for a pan-Islamic approach to ending the Gaza war. – M.S.

  1. CHINA BANS EXPORT OF RARE EARTH PROCESSING TECH: Chinese authorities this morning banned the export of rare earth materials processing technology, citing national security concerns.

Why It Matters: This is almost certainly a partial response to the U.S. CHIPS Act, which banned the export of semiconductor-related products and technologies. The U.S. and West are searching for alternative sources for rare earth materials and processing, 90% of which is controlled by China. – M.S.

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.


  1. I hate how politics has polarized our country, but it is disconcerting how the universities, News Media, and Social Media Internet platforms are collaborating with our government and Intel agencies to support a Leftist agenda and to suppress and attack Conservative leaders Conservative ideas. Can you guys give analysis on this?

  2. I just got this feeling that by November next year. Our enemies will be blowing themselves up all over the country. Full war may even be going on. Muslims and communist against everybody else. One thing I no for certain. There will be no election next year. The left can’t let any republican or rfk in. Life as we no it. Is about to change forever.

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