Global SITREP for Wednesday, 06 March 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Wednesday, 06 March 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Wednesday, 06 March 2024.

  1. TURKEY FORMIN: MUSLIM WORLD EXPECTS US TO ACT ON ISRAEL: The Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, said at an extraordinary session of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation council of foreign ministers that the “overwhelming expectation from us [is] to act right now, even if it means doing so unilaterally.”
  • Fidan called for the entire Muslim world to act on three grounds: increasing political and diplomatic pressure on Israel through collective action, carrying out international law in the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, and “On the actual ground, we should prevent people from starving to death by breaking the Israeli siege.”

Why It Matters: Turkey is one of the most powerful Islamic countries and is calling for total Islamic unification against Israel. While “on the ground… to break the siege” does not necessarily entail a military maneuver, putting personnel on the ground heightens the risk of military intervention since Israeli airstrikes could kill them. Overall, I think this will lead to escalation, not peace, due to Israel’s relative imprecision with their strikes. – J.V.

  1. MALDIVES AND CHINA SIGN SECURITY PACT: The Maldivian Ministry of Defense said Defense Minister Mohammed Ghassan and Major General Zhang Baoquan of China’s Office for International Military Cooperation signed an agreement on Tuesday that China would provide “military assistance gratis.”
  • Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu enhanced his Indian troop ban on Tuesday and said he would not allow Indian troops in civilian clothing on his islands. This is explicitly in response to India saying they would station civilians on the island to support their previous defense mission and not violate the Maldives’ new “no troops” policy.

Why It Matters: The Maldives is rapidly becoming a mid-ocean base for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. China’s “free military assistance” is likely to come with them taking over Indian equipment and establishing a troop rotation or continuous presence on the islands. This would give them a significant advantage over that Sea Line of Communication and possibly create a security crisis for the Indian Navy as they have no troops to man their surveillance equipment on the islands. – J.V.

  1. CCG VESSELS PATROL EASTERN TAIWAN INSTEAD OF PLAN: Taiwan’s Coast Guard Authority (CGA) reported yesterday that three Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessels were patrolling 53 miles east Taiwan last week. A Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel and Navy (ROCN) frigate to monitor the CCG vessels and drive them off if needed.
  • The three CCG ships were in restricted waters north of Taiwan over six hours later. They left restricted waters upon request.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese negotiators in Kinmen left abruptly left a meeting to resolve the crisis after two Chinese nationals died in a chase with Taiwan’s Coast Guard. 

Why It Matters: Chinese patrols around Taiwan have typically been People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels, not CCG vessels. This deviation from the norm is another indicator that China is preparing to use the CCG, a law enforcement agency, to affect a law enforcement blockade around Taiwan instead of a military blockade with the PLAN. This is likely to garner little international response as the CCG would likely let most cargo through while seizing defensive aid and not conducting missile strikes on Taiwan. – 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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