Strategic Observer


Daily Observations for 6 December 2019

Daily Observations for 6 December 2019
December 06
16:28 2019

Good morning, and welcome to my Daily Observations.

On my radar: Mutual defense pact between the U.S. and Israel coming?

To many, it’s an agreement that should have been made years ago, but it looks like a formal mutual defense agreement between the U.S. and Israel is in the offing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Lisbon, Portugal, to discuss the idea further, and both commented publicly about it. There is some opposition in Israel, most likely because there is some concern about linking Israeli treasure and blood to U.S. Middle East policy, but Netanyahu said he won’t proceed without full agreement from the IDF. The objective, of course, is to keep Iran in check. If an agreement is signed, it would definitely serve as a deterrent to Iranian aggression.

What I’m also tracking:

Intelligence agencies have tracked Iranian short-range ballistic missiles into Iraq, US official says [source]

Russian agents planned hit from assassins’ lairs in French Alps, say intel officials [source]

New satellite image shows activity at previously dismantled North Korean test site [source]

Beijing accused of laser attacks on Australian military aircraft [source]

One final thing:

Trouble brewing again between Vietnam and China (the former won’t be as forgiving of Chinese interference as the Philippines, mostly because of their history of conflict): “Over the last four months, Vietnam has faced a serious challenge to its sovereignty in the South China Sea. Strategic circles in Hanoi are stirred by China’s repeated intrusions into Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off its central and southern coastlines.” [source]

Notable Quotable: “After a decade of investment in modernizing its military, Russia, a country with an economy similar in size to Spain, now has an updated army, navy and air force that fuel President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions of keeping the country’s superpower status.” Analyst comment: Putin, aware of his country’s economic limitations, focused largely on developing asymmetric capabilities to expose U.S. vulnerabilities like hypersonic missiles. [source]

About Author



Jonathan Davis holds a BA in political science and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis. He has 30 years' worth of experience reporting on domestic politics and foreign policy.

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