Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness briefing for Tuesday, 03 August 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
- Situational Awareness
- DOJ forms election task force
- CDC quietly extends deportation rules
- New lockdowns in Asia looming
- Navy sees competition in Arctic
- Yellen puts Congress on notice
- National Security Council expands
ELECTIONS: The Department of Justice announced a new task force designed to protect election workers from violence. The task force will combine elements from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Division of the Justice Department. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “We will promptly and vigorously prosecute offenders to protect the rights of American voters… to send the unmistakable message that such conduct will not be tolerated.” According to surveys of election workers, 1 in 6 reportedly received threats of violence and 1 in 3 “feel unsafe because of their job.” (Analyst Comment: Existing federal law covers election workers and threats of violence against them. No statistics were available from the DOJ for physical attacks against election workers, indicating the politicization of election workers before the 2022 midterms. A return to mail-in balloting and extended voting periods will likely lead to declining faith in elections. See today’s InFocus for more analysis. – D.M.)
BORDER: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) quietly announced an extension to deportations under public health measures. While more than a million people are estimated to have already crossed the southern border, DHS is now expected to increase deportations. (AC: This is tacit acknowledgment by the Biden administration the influx of potentially sick people to the U.S. is having a negative impact on public health, particularly as federal authorities surreptitiously relocated people around the country for months. – D.M.)EXPORTS: The Delta variant is spreading across China, limiting mobility for truckers bringing goods to port. As a result, exports from China are at risk of a June-style backlog which sent shockwaves through consumer and manufacturing markets. The spread of cases and lockdowns across Southeast Asia pushed Indonesian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese manufacturing indices deep into contraction territory. “[For Vietnam] footwear, furniture, and apparel really stand out as vulnerable commodities,” said Michigan State logistics professor Jason Miller.
NAVY: The Navy’s 2nd Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Andrew “Woody” Lewis said that expects Russia will increase cooperation with the Chinese in the Arctic region, as Russia develops its Arctic facilities. (AC: The U.S. is being outmaneuvered by China, which is employing direct-investment, research, and security cooperation agreements to influence Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The international consensus is China has no right to the Arctic, which they largely refuse to acknowledge. – D.M.)
TREASURY: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlined several emergency provisions the Treasury is taking as the U.S. reached its statutory debt limit. On Saturday, the Treasury suspended the sale of State and Local Government Series securities “until further notice”. The Civil and Postal retiree health funds are being restricted to beneficiary pay only and a “debt issuance suspension period” through at least September as the funds are liquidating investments to meet funding requirements. Secretary Yellen also said that Thrift Savings Fund investments will be suspended until the debt limit is addressed, and continues to urge Congress to take action. (AC: Congress is in recess for the majority of August and significant portions of September, indicating there will be pressure on DC to “pass something”. The last-minute approach is likely to foment Far Left labor protests. – D.M.)
NATSEC COUNCIL: The National Security Council (NSC) staff is expanding by 20%. Six new directorates within the council were approved to address growing threats from China and Russia, the cyber environment, countering domestic extremism, pandemics, and emerging technologies. The new staffing initiatives are being celebrated by unnamed NSC members who blame a degraded security environment on former President Trump’s reductions. (AC: The staff is around the same size as during the Obama administration, but an increased focus on domestic matters is a troubling development. Given the overwhelming presence of foreign influence operations, many NSC initiatives run the risk of being influenced by a corrupt information environment. – D.M.)
HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report.
In today’s Early Warning briefing, Mike examines what happens when rule collapses in today’s In Focus and Max also details Far Left upcoming activity. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe