Global SITREP for Tuesday, 09 July 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 09 July 2024

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

  1. CHINESE & RUSSIAN NAVIES PRACTICE VBSS IN SCS: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Federation Navy (RFN) practiced joint Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) missions in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea.
  • One Chinese frigate played the “suspect vessel,” while another PLAN ship and an RFN corvette sent boarding parties to the vessel to search for weapons shipments. 

Why It Matters: China is most likely learning advanced VBSS tactics from Russia as Russia has decades of experience, while the Chinese have only faced disorganized pirates since 2008. This tactic is likely in preparation for boarding Taiwanese or Filipino vessels suspected of carrying weapons or supplies. – J.V.

  • Global Rollup
    • Australia’s government announced that the Chinese hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT 40) was responsible for hacking two unidentified Australian networks in 2022. (This is the latest in a series of revelations by the Australian government. These releases about old cyber attacks could be meant to worsen public perception of China in preparation for a potential war in the Pacific, but are also likely to help build international pressure on China as Australia is far from the only victim of Chinese cyber attacks. – J.V.)
    • The U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. will begin sending the Philippines nuclear energy technology to provide clean energy. (The United States frequently accuses Iran of using nuclear energy technology to develop nuclear weapons. China is likely to turn this back on the U.S., accusing it of helping the Philippines develop nuclear weapons to contain China’s rise. – J.V.)
    • The U.S. Defense Department announced that the Sentinel Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program is “several years” behind schedule and 81% over budget. Defense assures the U.S. that “the U.S. nuclear arsenal remains safe, secure, and effective” despite “operating beyond their original design life.”
    • Poland and Ukraine signed a security cooperation agreement where they are to discuss the possibility of Poland intercepting Russian missiles over Ukraine. NATO officials say this is likely to be discussed during the NATO summit that starts today. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claims the Poles fully agreed to shoot down missiles already. (This is short of putting NATO boots on the ground, but any Polish sites that intercept Russian missiles would likely be considered legitimate targets by Russia, potentially leading to an attack on the sites. – J.V.)
    • During his address to the economic bloc, Brazilian President Lula da Silva called on Mercosur to harmonize the participants’ central banks’ procedures for local currency trade and for the bloc to increase trade with China.

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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