Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - December 7

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – December 7

Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – December 7, 2021

Global Security Matters

  • Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin are scheduled to hold a 3 hour call today to discuss the precarious situation at the Ukrainian-Russian border. The United States is expected to deliver a stark warning of consequences should Russia expand its invasion of Ukraine. Putin will aim to extract promises that Western alliances will cease their eastward expansions.
  • A senior national security advisor from the United Arab Emirates met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in an attempt to bridge the gap between the two countries.  The visit also aimed to resolve some of the military and security crises in the region.
  • Iraqi and Kurdish security forces recaptured a key village in northern Iraq after it was taken over the previous day by Islamic State militants.  Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State in late 2017 though the group remains a threat in the northern regions of the country.  
  • According to a Swedish think tank, weapons sales by the world’s largest arms companies reached a record $531bn in 2020, an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year.  
  • Cryptocurrency trading platform Bitmart announced hackers stole $196 million worth of cryptocurrency. The company said a security review is currently underway and all withdrawals have been temporarily suspended.  
  • The US and several other countries condemned the killings and disappearances of former members of the Afghan security force.  The move contradicts a previous Taliban announcement of amnesty for Afghan security forces and government officials. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 5,261,813 (788,315 in United States) 

At least one dose administered: 56.6% globally (United States: 71% of population)

  • The United States will invest an additional $400 million toward a global Covid-19 vaccination distribution program.
  • Outgoing New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced a coronavirus vaccine mandate for all private employers, requiring all private employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 27. 
  • The United States began requiring international travelers to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than a day before their flights. 
  • China has embarked on an ambitious campaign to fully vaccinate its 160 million children ages 3-11 by the end of the year. So far half of the children are already vaccinated.
  • Professor Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, warns that the next pandemic could be even more deadly than the current one.