Global SITREP for Wednesday, 17 January 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Wednesday, 17 January 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Wednesday, 17 January 2024. 

  1. KERRY AT WEF: NO ONE CAN STOP CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA: John Kerry, former U.S. Presidential Special Envoy for Climate, said at the 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) that no one, not even an elected politician, can stop the global climate change agenda.
  • “If you wound up with a different President who was opposed to [the] climate crisis, I got news for you. No one politician anywhere in the world can undo what is happening now,” Kerry said.
  • “The only issue for all of us is not whether or not we can get or will get to a low carbon, no carbon economy globally. We will. The only question is, ‘Will we get there in time to meet the challenge of the scientists in order to avoid the worst consequences of this crisis?’ That is what is at stake,” Kerry also added.

Why It MattersPeople worldwide are increasingly aware that the global climate change agenda aims to gain more control over average citizens. Their efforts will likely fail, as trust and confidence in public institutions is falling for some citizens and is completely gone for others. Expect to see manufactured scandals and an increased push for censorship against Elon Musk and Twitter/X – the leading advocate and social media company for free speech that counters the mainstream narrative on climate change and other important policy debates. Meanwhile, the climate change agenda could lead to higher energy prices later this year. – H.B.

  1. PHILIPPINES PREPARING TO ENRAGE BEIJING: The Philippine Islands (PI) are preparing two actions that will anger China and increase regional tensions.
  • The PI is building up its forces on the Spratly Islands. They are preparing to build barracks and acquire more ships and radars. This is separate from the expansion to the Sierra Madre reinforcement that is also budgeted.
  • German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock announced last week that Germany would provide four additional surveillance drones to the Philippine Coast Guard specifically in response to the Chinese Coast Guard’s actions.
  • Filipino Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro announced that the PI and Japan would sign a security pact with Japan by the end of the first quarter of 2024 to station troops in each other’s nations. 
  • Chinese state media is encouraging the Philippines to continue its month-long trend of not “trespassing” into the Spratly Islands.

Why It Matters: The Philippines continues to take actions that degraded relations with China throughout 2023. As the PI builds bases, China will take more aggressive means of deterrence to prevent their completion. If any Japanese soldiers are in the Philippines when war breaks out, they are likely to get involved against China, guaranteeing that the U.S. will get involved. None of the four nations is prepared for a war, so any resulting war would be exceptionally lethal, even compared to modern hyperlethal warfare. – J.V.

  1. HOUTHI STRIKES CONTINUE, INSURERS AVOID U.S., U.K. SHIPPING: The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) reported yesterday that American forces destroyed four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) and that the Houthis launched an ASBM later in the afternoon against a commercial vessel.
  • Prime Minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said yesterday on a fireside chat at the WEF that the Houthis cannot be militarily contained. 
  • Shipping insurance underwriters are seeking exclusions for container ships with ties to the U.S., U.K., and Israel that plan to transit the Red Sea to go through the Suez Canal.

Why It Matters: The West, with the U.S. heading it off, has unofficially entered a shooting war with the Houthis that is unlikely to be resolved soon. The Houthis have fought in Yemen for almost a decade and are supplied by Iran. Without expanding the war to cut off the Iranian supplies or achieving a lasting ceasefire for Israel and Gaza, the West has entered a losing battle that will further deplete its precious munitions and disrupt global trade. – J.V.

One country that the insurance fallout may disproportionately impact is England. The British pound has not accounted for a significant portion of global trade for decades. However, the City of London is still a major player in terms of global finance, including insurance for shipping companies. A British insurance crisis could expand into a country- or United Kingdom-wide banking or financial crisis, which could then spread to other countries that have too much exposure to British banks or insurance companies. – H.B.   

  1. INDIA-IRAN PORT TO EXCLUDE CHINA AND PAKISTAN: Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi finalized the deal to jointly develop two ports in Chahbahar, Iran.
  • The deal is specifically to circumvent the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and include Afghanistan on the international stage, according to Indian Media.
  • Chahbahar Port will be the connecting point of two major trade routes:  the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which runs from Moscow to India via Azerbaijan and Iran.
  • The INSTC will offer India 30% cheaper imports than taking the Mediterranean-Suez route, according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce.

Why It Matters: The joint development of the port shows another split in the BRICS-9 countries as India and Iran are specifically countering China’s influence over regional trade via the CPEC. This split undermines any attempts to put out a single BRICS currency or turn it into a military union, as some fear. Additionally, with the Med.-Suez route under attack, this offers another route for international commerce between Europe and India that does not depend on America for control of the seas or China for shipping vessels. Overall, this venture will reduce the power and influence of China and the U.S. on the world stage, further stressing them as they enter periods of decline. – 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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