Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness briefing for Thursday, 05 August 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

 

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Amazon, Microsoft join cyber defense team
  • Foreign visitors need vaccines, sort of
  • Senate votes to leave Mid-East
  • CDC’s unused rent funding
  • Navy wants new Pacific nukes

 

You can watch today’s Daily SA briefing on YouTube (click the box above). Subscribers can also watch the full briefing starting at 10am Central here: https://forwardobserver.com/early-warning-show/

 

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CYBER: Amazon, Microsoft and Google will join the “Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative” established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The head of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jen Easterly said, “This will uniquely bring people together in peacetime, so that we can plan for how we’re going to respond in wartime.” The Collaborative’s goal is to reduce ransomware and cyberattacks on cloud-based systems, which Amazon maintains for the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency. (Analyst Comment: Telecommunications and cybersecurity firms are joining the effort as well, but foreign persistence in collection and breaches going undetected for years will likely limit effective defenses. – D.M.)

TRAVEL: The Biden administration is expanding travel restrictions on international visitors, requiring all foreign nationals be fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, in McAllen, Texas, city officials reported 1,500 out of 7,000 illegal immigrants released by Customs and Border Protection tested positive for COVID-19. The city said anyone who tested positive was quarantined for 48 hours then released. (AC: Contradictory positions by the Centers for Disease Control and Biden administration are rapidly degrading trust and credibility which may lead to increased conflicts between citizens, states and the branches of government. – D.M.)

AUMF: The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 1991 and 2002 are ending. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the measure yesterday in a 14-8 vote with Sen. Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Portman (R-OH) voting with the majority. Critics are concerned this will limit the ability of the military to intervene in the Middle East as Iranian proxies expand influence and operations. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said, “This looks bad, and we should be sending a signal of strength rather than weakness. While I’m completely sympathetic with repealing these, this is a really bad time to do it.” (AC: Given Iranian malign activity, with Iranian-backed forces most recently attacking and seizing a British oil tanker, ending the AUMF for the Middle East now is a curious signal. A reversal on this decision to approve U.S. operations against Iranian proxies in the region will likely be seen as escalatory, and could invite aggression. – M.S.)

RENT: Following the Centers for Disease Control’s statement on Monday, the White House is pressuring states and local governments to distribute rent relief funds. Less than 10% of the approved $47 billion has been used so far. New York City has issued less than 1% of their $2.5 billion in federal funding. States blame lack of guidance while the Federal government wants the money spent by 03 October. A survey by the Urban Institute found more than half of renters and 40% of “mom-and-pop” landlords were unaware of the funding. (AC: The CDC is actively violating a Supreme Court ruling because Congress refused to act. This will not stop Far Left groups and politicians from coalescing around anti-eviction movements in the fall as this program ends. – D.M.)

NUKES: The Senate and House separately approved $20 billion in spending for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The agency is responsible for developing new nuclear weapons, supplying the Navy’s propulsion systems, and responding to radiological emergencies. Their initiative to alter the W80-4 nuclear warhead from an air-launch to a sea-launch munition requires that the NNSA disclose the operational requirement or defund the program. The funding has a similar mandate for nuclear gravity bombs, many of which are four decades old. (AC: The low-yield W80-4 standoff warhead is being adapted by the Navy in preparation for conflict in the Pacific, and Congress is aware of their intent, based on months of testimony from defense and nuclear witnesses on their need to rapidly modernize and adapt existing weapons. – D.M.)

 

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Two low pressure systems continue across the Atlantic. The first area of low pressure, entering waters near the Lesser Antilles by Friday, is expected to remain disorganized and produce thunderstorms and moderate winds. The area of low pressure off the coast of Africa has a moderate likelihood of developing into a depression over the weekend as it approaches tropical waters.

In today’s Early Warning brief, Mike reports from the Beef Cattle Short Course on concerns over the beef supply. He also provides his latest economic outlook, including a warning item from the Federal Reserve and the CEO of a major bank. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

 

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