Global SITREP for Tuesday, 13 February 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 13 February 2024.

  1. NORWAY: RUSSIA WINNING IN UKRAINE, MASSIVE NATO FALLOUT AHEAD: The Norwegian Intelligence Service Head, Nils Andreas Stensønes, said at a press conference on his annual security report that Russia is stronger now than they were at the beginning of 2023 and are preparing to “make a takeover.”
  • Referencing China, North Korea, Iran, and Belarus, Stensønes said, “So we now see a clearer cooperation between non-democratic nations, who want to challenge the dominance of the West, as they call it.”

Why It Matters: A Ukrainian loss would be an immense material and strategic loss for NATO nations as billions of dollars in weapons and cash would be forfeited. Many of those weapons would then be in Russia’s hands, which is working with India to make Russian platforms and Western weapons compatible. Politically, this would also be devastating for the “Rules-Based Order” and American hegemony as it signals to the rest of the world that they are no longer a guarantor of safety, even with enormous amounts of aid and economic warfare. – J.V.

  1. EUROPEANS PUSH FOR INCREASED DEFENSE COOPERATION: The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and Poland held a joint conference yesterday and addressed U.S. Presidential Candidate Trump’s remarks on Russia from the weekend. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk had a different approach in a separate address.
  • “Yes, we need a second life insurance, not in substitution to or against NATO but in addition,” Stephane Sejourne, France’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said, adding, “buy European within the framework of our defense industries and prepare in the event of conflict.”
  • “We need to take care of the security of Ukrainians, and that means taking care of our security, and yes, I think we need a union of defense and security, with joint purchases and pooling our forces,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
  • “There is no alternative to the EU, to transatlantic cooperation, to NATO.” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said.

Why It Matters: After years of talk about a European Union army, they may finally achieve something like that. The two largest states, France and Germany, finally have the buy-in of the staunchest opponent, Poland. This will likely benefit the United States in the near term as more of its allies can take on defense duties. However, as the U.S. empire declines, it may see a well-armed Europe as a threat in the long term. – J.V.

  1. KENYA TURNS TO JAPAN; CHINA SET TO PROFIT FROM RED SEA IF KENYA DEFAULTS: Kenya is looking to diversify its international funding away from China to avoid triggering China’s debt trap on its infrastructure.
  • Kenya and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding to issue a “Samurai Bond,” a yen-denominated bond to a foreign country, last week during Kenyan President William Ruto’s visit with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
  • “We must continue diversifying our sources of development financing so that we avoid overreliance on one sector,” Ruto said to describe the situation.

Why It Matters: Kenya has seen a lower-than-expected use of the infrastructure China built, making it harder for them to pay off their debts. China is notorious for using these infrastructure projects to ensnare nations and effectively set up Chinese colonies to resecure the infrastructure. Kenya has a large Chinese-developed port on the Indian Ocean that China can seize if Kenya defaults on its debt. This would likely result in higher use of the port as Chinese workers have a good track record but also allow China to take advantage of rerouted Red Sea shipping as a last stop before they sail around the rest of Africa. – J.V.

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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