Interfor’s Weekly Security Digest-June29,2021
Global Security Matters
- The Taliban seized several districts in northern Afghanistan last week, leading top intelligence community officials to say that the government of Afghanistan could collapse as soon as six months after US military withdrawal (sooner than initially estimated). The Biden administration plans to evacuate some Afghans who worked with the US before full withdrawal on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
- In the latest escalation of Russia’s occupation of Crimea, over 20 Russian aircraft shadowed a British warship sailing near Crimea. Moscow’s defense ministry said a jet dropped bombs in the HMS Defender’s path as it sailed 12 miles off Crimea’s coast. The UK government rejected this account, denying that any warning shots were fired.
- South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Agency recently approved plans to develop a $2.6-billion artillery interception system, similar to Israel’s “Iron Dome,” designed to protect against North Korean aggression. Much of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, lies within striking range of North Korean rockets.
- A conflict over disputed territory between India and China intensified in recent days, with India redirecting at least 50,000 additional troops to its border with China. In total, India has roughly 200,000 troops focused on the border, an increase of more than 40% from last year. It is unclear how many troops China has stationed near the border.
Total Deaths: 3,931,850 (604,152 in United States)
Full Vaccinations Administered: 834 million, globally (United States: 154M – 46.8% of population)
- The US began shipping Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine abroad Monday, sending two million doses to Peru. The shipment comes weeks after the White House announced purchasing half a billion doses to donate to 92 low-income countries.
- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said masks will not be mandatory in schools across the state “absent any dramatic change in our situation,” but masks will be required on public school buses. Individual school districts will have the authority to implement masking requirements for students.
- Oregon reported no new Covid-19 related deaths along with 87 new cases, the lowest figure in over a year.
- New York’s Governor Cuomo said the state is reporting 371 hospitalizations due to Covid-19, the lowest number since the pandemic began.
- Los Angeles county health officials “strongly” recommend that everyone wear a mask in indoor public spaces due to a rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
- Four of Australia’s eight capital cities are now under Covid-19 lockdown as authorities struggle to contain new outbreaks of the Delta variant.
- Moscow restaurants and cafes are asking patrons to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test as the Russian capital faces a surge of new infections.
- South Africa entered at least two weeks of strict lockdown to combat a devastating third wave of Covid-19 linked to the more transmissible Delta variant. All indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited, and a curfew has been instituted from 9 pm to 4 am.
- Italy lifted its outdoor mask mandate as cases drop and vaccinations rise in the country that experienced a severe surge at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Hong Kong will ban all passenger flights from the UK starting Thursday as it seeks to curb the spread of new variants.