Global SITREP for Tuesday, 16 April 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Tuesday, 16 April 2024.

  1. ISRAEL PROMISES RETALIATION: Israeli officials continue to promise retaliation for last weekend’s thwarted Iranian missile and drone attack against Israel.
  • Israeli officials implied that a response may not be imminent, but one will happen. They’ve also assured U.S. officials it will not spark a wider conflict. The diplomatic staff of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, and others have scrambled to find a solution to de-escalate an Israeli-Iranian conflict.
  • National security advisor Jake Sullivan has also canceled his scheduled trip to India due to the situation.

Why It MattersIran was quick to tell the world that its attack was over, and nothing followed – most likely a sign that they don’t want escalation. But Iranian leaders have also promised an “immediate, stronger and more extensive” response to an Israeli attack. A cyber attack is a particularly useful course of action for Israel here. A cyber attack against Iran would hold a thin veneer of plausible deniability, harm or embarrass Iran in retaliation, and would probably not risk escalation into a direct military confrontation. Israel and Iran have waged a low scale cyber war against each other for years, with both sides targeting critical infrastructure. A cyber attack would not violate those norms, and Iran may have trouble justifying a conventional military response to an asymmetric attack. A cyber attack would also probably not impair relations with Europe and the United States, which have urged Israel to move on. Lastly, a cyber attack would demonstrate Israeli strength and act as a warning to other adversarial countries in the process. The worst-case scenario remains that Israel bucks U.S. opposition and carries out air strikes against Iranian territory, such as missile production facilities and launch sites, which could kick off a wider military conflict. – M.S.

  • Global Rollup
    • Argentina’s government is buying 24 F-16s that are 40 years old from Denmark instead of new-production JF-17s from China.
    • More than 50 countries will attend the 2024 Digital Silk Road Forum of the World Internet Conference on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. The conference intends to build trade infrastructure between Belt and Road Initiative members.
    • Russia may contribute “a compact, long-lasting nuclear energy source” for the joint Russia-China Lunar base, according to Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov.
    • Tunisia’s defense minister vowed to increase ties with NATO. Tunisia is already a major non-NATO ally.

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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