The Daily SA for Wednesday, 21 July 2021 – Forward Observer

The Daily SA for Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness briefing for Wednesday, 21 July 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief by signing up at


  • Chinese flooding to impact shipping
  • U.S. debt limit fight looming
  • Biden sacrifices Barrack for oil
  • Marxists take over Peru
  • NDAA negotiations target military justice


FLOODING: In the Chinese province Henan, weeks of sustained monsoon rains caused massive flooding, transportation closures and provincial shortages of basic necessities. Around 120,000 residents were relocated by the government as area dams and reservoirs are beyond capacity and risk failure. The province holds around 100 million people with the primary industry being technology manufacturing. The Chinese military destroyed several smaller dams to reduce the flooding concentration or severity to mixed results so far. (Analyst Comment: This will cause further shipping and manufacturing delays globally. It will take time to assess the full impact on the logistics world but manufacturer lead times in China have yet to recover during once in a 1000-year flooding. – D.M.)

DEBT LIMIT: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans will not support an increase to the U.S. debt limit. The Senator said, “I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment that we’re in now — this free-for-all for taxes and spending — to vote to raise the debt limit.” The current $28.5 trillion national debt is the starting point as the two-year suspension of the debt ceiling occurred in 2019 but expires at the end of July. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes the federal government will hit its spending limit very quickly and said a default is “unthinkable”. (AC: The increase will be passed through reconciliation but the U.S. is likely to run out of money before that occurs, potentially causing a government shutdown. – D.M.)

BARRACK: Former Trump adviser Tom Barrack was arrested for failing to register as a foreign agent acting on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. During a campaign event in 2018, Barrack placed language in a speech that was pro-UAE. The arrest looks like the Biden administration targeting Trump acolytes, but it may have been made to appease Saudi Arabia, who is in an ongoing fight with Dubai over oil prices and regional security issues. The U.S. finds itself embroiled in Middle Eastern politics as President Biden’s first executive move was to gut domestic energy production. (AC: Sacrificing political enemies after sacrificing your energy independence seems like a poor strategic move. The U.S. consumer will remain at the whim of OPEC+ producers’ political machinations. – D.M.)

PERU: Marxist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo was officially declared Peru’s new president-elect. The change comes as Peru was one of the fastest growing Latin economies with basically nothing to show for it from the public service sector. Peru is the second-largest producer of copper in the world, holding around 13% of the known global supply. Castillo will play a critical role in global relations as he’s promised to nationalize Peru’s copper mines. (AC: Castillo is already friendly with China, placing the U.S. at a further disadvantage with reducing communist influence on the continent. – D.M.)

JUSTICE: The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee approved major changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Changes include appointing a special prosecutor to oversee felonies, sexual assaults, and non-military specific crimes, which were traditionally handled either within the chain of command or through court martial. Critics warn this could cause a chilling effect across the military as the perceived and actual authority is abdicated to those outside the service. Closed door markups begin today in the Senate and will address these changes at a minimum. (AC: Civilian oversight is a unique feature of the U.S. military, but the extent to which politicians or nonmilitary members can exert control over the force risks losing sight of why the armed forces exist. This will likely exacerbate recruitment and retention issues. – D.M.)


HURRICANE SEASON: A “broad trough” of low pressure is sitting off the southeastern U.S. and may cause some increased coastal winds. Low pressure systems are notorious for causing excellent surf conditions, which is what the National Hurricane Center is predicting.

In today’s Early Warning, Dustin looks at Chinese territorial tactics in Great Power Competition, and Max details upcoming Far Left protests and potential unrest today and tomorrow. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here:

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