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Security Brief: EUCOM Week of November 22, 2021

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Week of Monday, November 22, 2021 | Issue 52

Austin Straniere, Martyna Dobrowolska, and Anonymous Contributor EUCOM Team


President of Russia, Vladimir Putin[1]


Date: November 25, 2021

Location: Istanbul, Turkey; Lyon, France

Parties involved: Interpol; United Arab Emirates (UAE) Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi; International Law Enforcement community

The event: The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, has elected Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi from the UAE as its new president. Raisi was elected after three rounds of voting, receiving 68.9% of votes cast by member countries. Al-Raisi is accused of human rights abuses in the UAE with criminal complaints filed against him in five countries, including France, where Interpol is headquartered, and Turkey, where the elections took place.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Al-Raisi will very likely alter how professional policing standards are applied to the top Interpol officials. It is likely Al-Raisi will nominate individuals who align with his personal policies and goals instead of focusing on neutrality and apolitical viewpoints. Interpol will likely become a personal mechanism for candidates like Al-Raisi to deliver consequences to political opposition members.

  • Al-Raisi’s election will very likely set a precedent for the international community, changing the standard unbiased norms and behavior expected of executive positions in diplomatic and international security spheres. As Al-Raisi is accused of overseeing torture and false imprisonment, Al-Raisi will likely attempt to advance his individual political agendas instead of focusing on investigating criminals and extremists, which will very likely weaken the international organization.

  • The apolitical nature of Interpol’s executive leadership will very likely become more partisan, very likely leading to a decrease in public trust. An increase in the public’s distrust in Interpol will likely weaken the relationship between Interpol and the public. It is likely that misinformation regarding criminal incidents will grow, which is very likely to occur without proper checks and balances applied to these leaders. Criminals and non-State actors are likely to leverage this power vacuum. They will very likely seek to advance their agendas and will very likely broadcast mis- and dis-information regarding criminal incidents and the global justice system.

Date: November 22, 2021

Location: Moscow, Russia

Parties involved: Russia; Ukraine; US; EU; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The event: On Monday, November 22, 2021, Russia said it was concerned by the increasing numbers of high-tech weapons that Western forces such as the US and NATO are providing to Ukraine to protect its territory from Russian advance. This supply push occurs amid intensified tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with both powers expanding their military presence on the shared border. The Russian militarization on the border increases Western countries’ concerns about the potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.[3] Moreover, Russia is the EU’s main supplier of natural gas and oil, adding to potential concerns from international partners.[4] The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project intended to export gas from Russia to Europe is still under the process of being approved, and the final decision is likely to be affected by these tensions.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The EU will very likely suspend the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine or if the tensions between the two countries rise. Additionally, the EU will likely stop importing resources from Russia to protect its fundamental values, such as security, justice, peace, and integrity, likely harming Russia’s economy and economic power. Without a stable economy, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to finance other sectors, such as the military.

  • If China and other Central Asian countries continue to import gas and oil from Russia, it is very unlikely that it will be enough to sustain the Russian economy. Seeing as Russia is one of the five emerging economies (BRICS), this will likely harm Russia’s reputation as an economic power.[6]

  • The potential Russian military advances towards Ukraine would likely be perceived as unjustified, which will likely result in all European countries changing their political, military, and economic relations with Russia. If Russia advances into Ukraine, anti-Russian sentiments will likely increase across Europe and also among Russian citizens that live abroad, who will likely gather in cities to protest against their government’s actions. Russian citizens would likely be subject to discriminatory behaviors and become targets for hate groups, and also excluded from participating in projects with the EU, such as student exchange programs. Not being supported and facing economic stagnation, Russia would very likely lose its status as an international strategic actor.

Date: November 21, 2021

Location: Netherlands

Parties involved: Dutch National Police; Dutch citizens; Dutch government; Dutch government officials; Medical officials

The event: On Sunday, November 21, 2021, Dutch police arrested 19 people in The Hague and over 30 in the Netherlands during unrest where citizens were protesting against COVID-19 restrictions.[7] This was the third day violence was observed by protesting members as fires were set on streets and fireworks were thrown at officers in The Hague.[8] This was later followed by the Dutch government announcing new restrictions on Friday, November 26, 2021, to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases. Members of the public are urged to stay home as all locations must close from 1700 until 0500 local time, with the exception of essential stores, such as supermarkets and drugstores. All restrictions are in effect until at least December 18, 2021.[9]

Analysis & Implications:

  • It is likely that citizens will continue to protest new restrictions as they will likely feel the government is abusing its power over the people, and will likely be perceived as a violation of free will and the freedom to participate in society. Protests are likely to continue, with a roughly even chance that the protests may evolve from being peaceful as members of the public likely feel anger towards the government. Protests will likely include clashes with police and Dutch citizens who support the COVID-19 restrictions, likely causing more injuries as protests become more common. It is also likely that threats will be made toward government officials, police departments, medical officials, and those who are in support of either the COVID-19 vaccine or the restrictions.

  • As citizens are required to follow government ordinances, workers will likely be worried and fear for the security of basic needs as incomes are limited due to the requirement to be closed after 1700 local time. With a limited income, it is likely families will not be able to afford rent or food. Families are also likely to experience increased mental health concerns including increased stress levels and depression. An increase in mental health issues and hatred toward the government are likely to make citizens more susceptible to extremist ideologies, likely creating additional threats to the government and ideologies capable of creating an attack.

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[1]Vladimir Putin” by Kremlin.ru licensed under Creative Commons

[2] New Interpol president is an Emirati general accused of overseeing torture, CNN, November 2021 https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/25/middleeast/uae-police-president-interpol-human-rights-intl/index.html

[3] Russia sounds alarm over ‘NATO push’ to arm Ukraine, Aljazeera, November 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/22/russia-accuses-west-of-fuelling-hysteria-over-ukraine-tensions

[4] From where do we import energy?, Eurostat, nd, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/infographs/energy/bloc-2c.html

[5] Why Europe Needs Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream 2- Rationale, n.d., https://www.nord-stream2.com/company/rationale/

[6] History of BRICS, Infobrics, n.d., https://infobrics.org/page/history-of-brics/

[7] Dutch police arrest more than 30 amid ongoing unrest, AP News, November 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-riots-netherlands-rotterdam-8dec504840df02613cd6a7f3236e1e91

[8] Dutch police arrest 7 amid unrest in The Hague, AP News, November 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-arrests-riots-netherlands-4db1361cfb69cf650108bea34f391969

[9] Deze nieuwe maatregelen tegen het coronavirus gaan zondag in, de Volkskrant, November 2021, https://www.volkskrant.nl/cs-b1013242 (translated by Google)

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