Atlantic Hurricane Season – The Atlantic hurricane season, which officially started on 1st June has been notoriously quiet, with no major storms developing so far. This is despite the presence of all the usual conditions in the Atlantic for hurricanes to form. Many meteorologists are puzzled that the conditions haven’t resulted in a single storm. It’ll be the first time since 1941 that the Atlantic has gone from 3rd July to the end of August with no named storm.
The Atlantic hurricane season traditionally peaks between 10th September and continues through to 30th November, but large storms have occurred outside these times, which presents a significant threat to those operating in regions impacted by hurricanes. The tourism sector could be heavily affected by storms which could hit popular destinations outside of the normal hurricane season. Equally, sailing vessels, cruise ships and the annual Atlantic rowing race could all be at risk of encountering unseasonal storms.
India – The United States has expressed concern about India’s plans to participate in joint military drills with Russia amid war in Ukraine. It added that every country will “make its own decisions”, hinting that the US will not interfere in these exercises. Last month, Russia announced plans to organise ‘Vostok’ exercises which will see participation of Belarus, China, Mongolia and Tajikistan.
The Vostok 2022 strategic command and staff exercises will be held under the command of the chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, at 13 training grounds in the Eastern Military District. The exercises are expected to take place until 5th September. The Russian Defence Ministry had stated, earlier, that during the drills the participating forces would practice measures to maintain military security in the eastern region.
India’s involvement in Russian led military exercises raises concerns over where its strategic allegiances lie. Russian influence within India has increased in recent years and current indicators are, it will continue to do so.
Pakistan – The UN estimates the recent floods in Pakistan have affected more than 33 million people, or more than 15 percent of its 220 million population. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the scale of the country’s needs required the world’s collective and prioritised attention.
Torrential rain has triggered flash floods that have crashed down from northern mountains, wrecking buildings and bridges and washing away roads and crops. This has left millions of people displaced, with quite literally nowhere to go.
Early estimates put the damage from the floods at more than $10bn. So far hundreds of thousands of women, children and men are living outdoors without access to food, clean water, shelter or basic healthcare.
Pakistan has urgently requested shelter, tents, and mosquito nets. The country will also need help with rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-hit areas.
The effect of the floods will impact on all areas of life throughout Pakistan and already some everyday items are in short supply. This creates a heightened security risk, particularly in the more densely populated regions of the country, including the major cities.
Belgium – Seizures of illegal drugs at the port of Antwerp continue to rise with almost 36 metric tonnes of drugs discovered in the first half of the year. In 2017 over 41 tonnes were recovered by authorities, with the number rising year-on-year to reach 65.5 tonnes in 2020.
2021 was an exceptional year, with over 89 metric tonnes of drugs seized after investigators cracked the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC and intercepted a billion messages during a two-year investigation.
Sending drugs to Europe is more profitable for the Colombian and other cartels as they don’t have to work with the Mexican cartels and because the “retail price” of cocaine is higher in Europe. This has led to a significant increase in violent crime in the Antwerp region, as rival drug gangs compete for control.
Up until now the violence has been largely kept within the criminal fraternity, but officials are concerned that innocent people are increasingly getting caught up in drug related crime. There have been over 1,200 drug related arrests since March 2021 and the situation shows no signs of improving in the short term.
Mike Bisley, Chief Security Analyst
The TRIP Group