Violent Divisions Grow Sharper Across the US
In the aftermath of the mass blackouts and terrorist attacks that all but paralyzed the United States in the early fall, a divide that has lain beneath the surface for years has become all the more bitter and pronounced. States have locked down their points of entry, some using the National Guard, some using a combination of law enforcement, National Guard, and private military companies. Many cities have become sharply divided by area, some neighborhoods becoming veritable fortresses controlled by local groups, which now go openly armed. The right-wing organization calling itself The Triarii has taken control of several Midwestern and Western cities, as well as major supply chains. In the meantime, considerable portions of the Northeast and West Coast appear to be all but completely under the de facto control of the left-wing People’s Revolutionary Action. PRA spokesperson Shirley Wang stated yesterday, “The fascists and racists who have exploited this tragedy are on the move. We have no choice but to act decisively, to stop them by any means necessary. The racist, xenophobic defenders of a corrupt system must be stamped out across the country.”
Food Shortages and Plunging Temperatures Threaten a Wounded United States
While certain parts of “flyover country” have stabilized quickly in the aftermath of what appears to have been the single biggest, most audacious terror attack in history, much of the country is still facing a hard winter. Supply chains have been all but destroyed, and while armed and escorted convoys are starting to push food into the worst-affected urban areas, the supply is far, far less than the demand. Power still has not been fully restored in several major metropolitan areas, in part due to continuing violence. Hunger is starting to become a serious problem in many places, far worse than the escalating instability and crime. Worse, forecasts are calling for a harsh winter in the Northeast. Reports are already coming in that elderly people are freezing to death in Upstate New York, as an early cold front moved in over the last two weeks.
An Abrupt Shift in Middle East Violence
Despite every indication that the main Iranian push into Saudi Arabia was going to come via the Iraqi border, the stalemate north of King Khalid Military City continues. Rumors point to possible Saudi chemical weapons being the deterrent that is keeping the combined Iranian/Iraqi forces at bay, though other analysts point to continuing Iraqi unrest aimed at the Iranian occupiers. In the meantime, however, Iranian forces have reportedly seized a foothold in the United Arab Emirates, and have landed tanks and missile artillery aimed directly at Riyadh. Whether Iran has managed to land enough strength to take the Saudi capitol remains to be seen…
North Korean Missile Tests Increase Tensions
North Korean missiles passed over the JS Izumo task force in the Sea of Japan last night, leading to an elevated alert for all Japanese Self Defense Force units. Reports of North Korean commando raids across the DMZ are still uncorroborated. The Japanese Joint Staff reportedly met with Prime Minister Himura in the early hours of the morning, but while it has been suggested that the Maritime Self Defense Force might shift its operations north to counter the new North Korean activity, so far no redeployments have been observed. There is speculation in some analytical circles that the North Korean move was instigated by Beijing, in an attempt to draw the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force north and away from the East China Sea. Beijing has issued no statement.
Escalation in the Philippines
Following the recent advances made by Filipino security forces against what are believed to be Chinese proxies on Palawan, and the crackdowns on armed groups on the islands of Luzon and Leyte, a renewed wave of violence hit Mindanao on Tuesday. The Moro Ikhwan, a more violent and radical offshoot of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claimed responsibility for the bombings in Davao City, Zamboanga City, and Valencia. Our military analysts say that the attacks showed a considerable degree of sophistication. Multiple explosive devices and diversionary small arms attacks hit several schools and markets at about midday. Follow-on suicide bombings appear to have been directed at first responders. The subsequent wave of drone attacks is believed by some analysts to point to Chinese support being funneled to the Moro Ikhwan, though no direct link has yet been identified.
Cease Fire Reached Between India and China
Following weeks of negotiations, New Delhi and Beijing have reached a cease-fire agreement, temporarily ending hostilities on the Doklam Plateau. Chinese and Indian troops have been stalemated on the Plateau since the fall, when Chinese troops attacked the Indian border guards and secured a foothold almost twenty kilometers into the disputed territory. Their initial success was tempered when bad weather moved in, halting any further advance. Our own Colonel Robert May has suggested that the cease fire is almost entirely a matter of cynical opportunism on the Chinese’ part, as the weather has kept most of their forces from moving, and they have faced pressures elsewhere. “They haven’t actually moved their troops back. Oh, they’ve crossed back over the border, but they’re still sitting there. I think they’re going to let the Pakistanis handle more of the pressure for a while.”
A New Cartel Seizes Power
While information coming out of Mexico has been spotty and unreliable for some time, the rumors about the Xolotl Cartel appear to be true. The shadowy organization wiped out the current leadership of the Abarco-Cruz Cartel, a breakaway splinter from the Sinaloa Cartel, in a single night, displaying the severed heads of Miguel Abarco-Cruz and his family on the steps of their mansion. They have currently taken the port of Lazaro-Cardenas by storm, and now hold it by force of arms. In scenes eerily reminiscent of the similar cartel seizures of Culiacan, Veracruz, Jalisco, Hermosillo, and Oaxaca, armed and masked men, backed up by heavily armored and armed paramilitary vehicles, are to be seen on every street corner. The cartel’s leader, who has never shown his face and is known only as Tlamacazqui, which means “priest” in Nahuatl, has announced that the cartel will now control all commerce in Michoacán, and that any who oppose them will wish that they died as quickly as the Abarco-Cruz family. Rumors of Xolotl cells scattered throughout the country remain uncorroborated.
Continued Silence from Within Slovakia
It has now been almost four months since the government in Bratislava shut Slovakia off from the internet. Those few journalists granted permission to work and report from within the country are strictly censored by French or German European Defense Corps officers. They have been painting an almost universal picture of a wounded country being slowly rebuilt and brought back to stability. However, what few leaks have come out from local sources present a different side to the story. Photos of continued demonstrations in most major cities have emerged in recent days, though European Defense Council spokespeople have denounced the leaks as fraudulent. More photos and cell phone videos show fires and damaged buildings in the wake of bombings aimed at Loyalist and EDC security forces. Even worse are reports of targeted killings aimed at suspected Nationalists and their sympathizers. If the reports of indiscriminate violence aimed at Nationalist strongholds before the EDC’s intervention last year are accurate, reports seem to indicate that they have continued, if not accelerated.
All Quiet on the European Front
It has been over two months since the battle for Gdansk in Poland, and so far, the northern European affair seems to have stalemated. French and German forces, who abandoned Gdansk to Polish nationalist forces eight weeks ago, have maintained their positions on the German side of the border. In the meantime, Russian forces have continued to assert their presence in the Baltic Sea. There have been several close encounters between Russian Baltic Fleet units and NATO units over the past few weeks, fortunately defused by quick and measured reactions by NATO fleet commanders.
Unrest Grows in Ukraine
The new regime in Kiev was greeted with widespread approval right after the coup less than a year ago. This was largely due to the loss of life incurred by the European Defense Council-ordered operation to capture Kyrylo Stasiuk. But the heavy-handed actions taken against certain labor leaders and the regime’s lockstep collaboration with Moscow has led to renewed demonstrations in recent days. Analysts believe that a shortage of fuel oil has further contributed to Ukrainians’ discontent, as the early winter weather has been particularly harsh.
Trouble in the Aegean
Violence broke out between Greek paramilitary groups and the Turkish enclaves in Alexandropoli and Komotini yesterday. Demonstrators have been marching in both cities for weeks, calling for justice for the killing of a dozen Greek youths by Turkish “police” units in the Komotini enclave. The Greek government does not recognize the Turkish police units, but the Turks refuse to allow Greek police into the enclaves. So far, they have been backed by Turkish military demonstrations just off the coast whenever the Greeks have attempted to move into the enclaves. The current demonstrations have not deterred the paramilitaries, however. The enclaves are mostly made up of Turks, Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, and Kosovars, who have crossed the border under Turkish military protection.