Global SITREP for Tuesday, 09 April 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 09 April 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 09 April 2024.

  1. CHINA: U.S. “OVERSTRETCHING” BORDER SECURITY: Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning again accused the United States of “overstretching the concept of national security” after a number of Chinese students were deported and had their visas canceled.
  • China’s ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, previously said that some Chinese students were denied entry into the U.S. after attempting to return to school from trips abroad.

Why It MattersIt’s unclear if the Chinese students were barred entry over counterintelligence concerns, but connections to Chinese intelligence or the Chinese Communist Party is a plausible explanation. China is making use of lax security on the southern border to infiltrate nationals into the United States. Getting Chinese nationals into the U.S. is not a problem. Their problem is that getting Chinese nationals into U.S. universities, research institutions, and other official positions requires entry through official channels, which carries a higher counterintelligence screening risk. – M.S.

  1. U.S. WILL “FUNDAMENTALLY” CHANGE JAPAN’S DEFENSE POSTURE: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said the Japanese defense posture would “fundamentally” change to increase deterrence against China.
  • Emanuel also said that China “cannot cheat and steal the way you did the last ten years” and that U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific are all “coming together” to isolate China.

Why It MattersThe trilateral U.S.-Japan-Philippines summit is scheduled for Thursday, and we note an increase in diplomatic posturing against China. Biden was previously reported as set to “warn” China that its aggressive actions against the Philippines could violate the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. This appears to be a much harder stance than previous U.S. policy. – M.S.

  1. NAVY TO EXPAND PAPUA NEW GUINEA BASE: The U.S. Navy is preparing to spend up to $25 million renovating a naval base in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as part of last year’s Defense Cooperation Agreement. The renovations will include a new pier, a small boat facility, and a regional maritime training center.

Why It MattersA base in PNG will primarily serve as a small vessel waystation for resupply and very localized security. It will also secure safe passage for the Australian northern bases, which are under surveillance threat from Chinese police stationed in Papua New Guinea. Generally, this will provide shorter and safer supply lines through Oceania’s island chain. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • U.S. officials say they have not been briefed by Israel on the potential start date of military operations in Rafah, Gaza.
    • Russia called for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency following what it calls continued drone attacks against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
    • Canada announced a new defense spending plan that will see $73 billion poured into Arctic defense initiatives over the next 20 years. Spending will be focused on procuring new patrolling and surveillance vehicles, such as fighter jets, ocean sensors, and maritime aircraft and boats.
    • Pakistan has deployed over 100,000 police and paramilitary personnel ahead of today’s Eid al-Fitr holiday in anticipation of possible terrorist attacks.

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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