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Security Brief: NORTHCOM Week of April 10, 2022

April 10-13, 2022 | Issue 3

Savannah Fellows, Jan García, Zachary Itterman, Gabriel Mariotti, Maria Ruehl, Rhiannon Thomas, NORTHCOM Team

Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Silver “buy build shoot” kit[1]



Date: April 10, 2022

Location: Colorado, USA

Parties involved: Colorado emergency personnel; Colorado residents; US citizens; US Government; Climate activists; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); Wildland firefighting agencies; Forest service crews

The event: Mandatory wildfire evacuation warnings were issued in eastern and southeastern Colorado. Local officials issued Red Flag warnings throughout several counties to indicate that weather conditions, such as high winds, dry conditions, and warm temperatures, present an increased risk for wildfires.[2] Colorado is an agricultural state which produces highly flammable and combustible crops, such as wheat and hay.[3] Climate change has made dry environments more susceptible to fires, resulting in increased frequency and severity of wildfires as fire seasons last longer than in previous years.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • More residents are very likely to be displaced due to lengthened wildfire seasons. Local emergency responses will very likely prioritize fire containment, likely resulting in responses requiring aid from NGOs and neighboring states to evacuate high-risk areas. Responses from emergency services will very likely be delayed, resulting in displaced residents likely seeking shelter provided by NGOs, such as the American Red Cross, to access essentials.

  • As the risk of wildfires increases, climate activists are very likely to protest in favor of more stringent climate control policies, such as reducing carbon footprints and enforcing business climate regulations. Climate activists will very likely target their animosity towards factories through protests, almost certainly because factories are perceived as main contributors to climate change. Political leaders are likely to experience pressure through societal unrest as climate change protests increase, likely leading to the enforcement of incentive programs to encourage factories to reduce carbon footprint emissions.

  • Wildfires will almost certainly damage local ecosystems if fires outpace the regeneration rate of the forests. Animals will almost certainly migrate away from their habitats due to fire damage and likely closer to populated areas almost certainly posing a safety concern to communities. Many of these animals will likely search for new sources of food and shelter close to residents and will likely be uncomfortable in unfamiliar environments. This will likely make wild animals more defensive and prone to attack if they come into contact with humans.

  • As the fire season increases, this will likely cause wildland firefighting agencies and forest service crews to update current wildfire management strategies, such as containment directions, training structures, and prevention measures. Improving wildfire management tactics will very likely prevent property loss and likely reduce the economic and physical effects, such as loss of life, agricultural land, infrastructure, and livestock. Smaller-scale counties will very likely endure these effects due to a lack of funding for fire-resistant buildings or training classes for firefighters and national guardsmen supporting wildfire initiatives. Expansion of wildfires in these areas will likely result in crop, meat, and dairy product shortages that will very likely result in an economic struggle for Colorado.


Date: April 11, 2022

Location: Washington DC, USA

Parties involved: US Government; US President Joe Biden; US Department of Justice; US law enforcement; US Gun manufacturers and distributors; Mexican Cartels

The event: President Joe Biden announced a new rule to restrict the manufacturing of “ghost guns,” including a ban on unserialized “buy build shoot” kits. The new law will also prevent licensed gun distributors from selling ghost guns and kits without background checks. The new law forms part of a series developed by President Biden and the Department of Justice to tackle gun violence in the US.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Background checks for “buy build shoot” weapon part kits will very likely complicate purchases, likely deterring customers from purchasing such weaponry. Stricter regulations will likely cause a reduction in business, with a roughly even chance of smaller gun manufacturers and distributors closing. The Biden administration is likely to lose support from smaller gun producers due to the new restrictive rule affecting the sector, with a roughly even chance of businesses protesting against the legislative changes.

  • The purchase of unmarked “buy build shoot” kits and other firearms from illegal markets will likely increase as legal access will very likely become more complex. The illicit market for unserialized weapons will very likely expand as demand for untraceable firearms is likely to remain. Organized crime groups in the US will very likely increase their scope of business to illegally trade untraceable firearms to meet the US demand, likely increasing their influence in the US. A decrease in shooting incidents will be unlikely due to illicit markets, likely limiting the effectiveness of President Biden’s legislation.

  • President Biden will unlikely gain voter support following new gun regulations, likely reducing his chance of re-election in 2024. Pro-gun voters will likely vote for pro-gun presidential candidates in the 2024 election, as they are likely to view Biden’s gun controls as unconstitutional. If a pro-gun presidential candidate is elected is it very likely Biden’s gun control laws will be reverted, very likely setting the US back prior to Biden’s measures.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Silver receiver 3D printed kit proposal” by Mitch Barrie licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Multiple fires in Southern Colorado prompt evacuations over the weekend, Colorado Public Radio, April 2022, https://www.cpr.org/2022/04/10/multiple-fires-in-southern-colorado-prompt-evacuations-keep-agencies-busy-as-high-winds-dry-conditions-keep-fire-danger-high/

[3] 2021 STATE AGRICULTURE OVERVIEW, United States Department of Agriculture, https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=COLORADO

[4] Climate Change Indicators: Wildfires, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-wildfires

[5] Biden cracks down on 'ghost guns' with new rule to tackle gun violence, Reuters, April 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-cracks-down-ghost-guns-with-new-rule-tackle-gun-violence-2022-04-11/

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