Global SITREP for Thursday, 25 May 2023 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Thursday, 25 May 2023

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Thursday, 25 May 2023

THE WHAT: The Global SITREP is a free daily email briefing about geopolitics and defense from Forward Observer. 

THE WHY: We want to share five important global developments shaping Cold War 2.0.

BOTTOM LINE: We’re sending out this email Monday through Friday on a trial basis through the end of the month, so be sure to let us know if you want it continued. Thank you! – M.S.

  1. FIRST UP: Israeli officials to visit White House next week
  • Senior Israeli security officials are expected to visit the White House next week, according to Axios. The Israelis want to discuss a peace deal with Saudi Arabia, in addition to the Iranian nuclear program. [READ MORE]

Why It Matters: The visit follows several warnings from Israeli military and intelligence officials about the potential for conflict with Hezbollah and Iran. Worst case scenario: it’s a diplomatic courtesy to the U.S. before Israeli strikes draw the region into a war.

  1. AFRICOM: China may use African bases in U.S. war
  • U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General Michael Langley said that China in a time of war may use its military bases in Africa to launch attacks against the United States, its interests, or allies.
  • China has a military base in Djibouti, and is in the process of building a spaceport there. China is expected to build People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) bases and spaceports elsewhere on the continent.

Why It Matters: A large Chinese naval base on Africa’s west coast would unlock the Atlantic Ocean and could enable the PLAN to contest the U.S. presence in the region.

  1. SABOTAGE: Belarus deploys special anti-sabotage units
  • The Belarusian Interior Minister announced the formation of a special task force to disrupt foreign sabotage and reconnaissance elements in the border region with Ukraine.
  • Related: Polish Defense Minister Waldemar Skrzypczak on Wednesday mentioned a potential Belarusian uprising, saying, “Let’s prepare for an uprising in Belarus, because it is coming.”

Why It Matters: A domestic crisis in Belarus, such as an uprising against Lukashenko, would create a dilemma for Russia as they’re forced to divert attention and resources to providing security for their neighbor and ally.

  1. LANCERS: U.S. bombers back in Europe
  • Texas-based B-1B Lancer strategic bombers deployed to an air base in the United Kingdom yesterday on a scheduled rotation.
  • Russia objected to the arrival of the bombers by announcing they’ve moved Iskander nuclear missiles to Belarus. Russian officials also said they were re-equipping Su-25 aircraft to be nuclear-capable.

Why It Matters: The U.S. and NATO maintain a strategic bomber task force in Europe, so this is unlikely to be in response to a specific development. These bombers, however, could be used as a long-range missile platform in combat with Russia.

  1. FULL-SCALE: U.S., South Korea holds largest-ever drill
  • U.S. and South Korea kicked off a five-day live-fire military exercise to simulate a full-scale invasion by North Korea. It is the largest live-fire drill to date.

Why It Matters: North Korea is preparing to launch its first military spy satellite to provide reconnaissance and targeting information in a potential Korean conflict. North Korea justified the need for a spy satellite due to continued U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

DON’T MISS: Retired Marine Lt. Col. and former CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer Max Morton releases his next Indications & Warning report this Friday. It’s available to Early Warning subscribers.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. If you want us to keep going, let us know in the comments or via email. And sign up below to receive this report in your inbox each day, Monday through Friday.

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


  1. Dear Mr. Shelby:

    Yes, we would like to continue receiving the daily Global SITREP emails.

    In addition, please allow me to “Congratulate!” you on your book, “The Area Intelligence Handbook”. I first reviewed the Table of Contents and zeroed~in the Annex material at the end of the book. They provided me with the concrete, rubber meets the road understanding on how to resource the information need to create the factual data needed to create the required intelligence.


    Ronald Carl Dennis

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