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Security Brief: NORTHCOM Week of February 28, 2022

Updated: Apr 3

Week of Monday, February 28, 2022 | Issue 01

Savannah Fellows, Jan García, Gabriel Mariotti, NORTHCOM Team


Rally for peace in Ukraine outside the White House in Washington. DC[1]


Date: March 1, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, USA

Parties involved: NATO; US President Joe Biden; US Government; Russian Government; Russian Oligarchs; Ukrainian Government; Russian Gas Companies; US citizens

The event: President Biden addressed economic instability and security concerns, specifically inflation, during the US State of the Union address.[2] President Biden stated the US would not tolerate Russian aggression in Ukraine and was met with a bi-partisan agreement. On Wednesday, March 2, the US announced it was open to sanctioning Russian energy industries in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Sanctions on Russian energy industries will likely mean a rise in oil prices in the US, reducing US citizens’ purchasing power and very likely causing a reduction of their economic resources to spend on basic needs, such as food, rent and healthcare. Russia will very likely look for other countries to export oil to and start new energy businesses to fill the economic gap caused by US sanctions on Russian oil. China is likely to increase its Russian oil imports. This link between China and Russia will very likely strengthen their economic partnership and security alliance.

  • High inflation in the US will very likely persist in the short term and will very likely lead to losses in national economic growth and wealth. Inflation will likely have a greater effect on lower-income brackets and worsen economic inequality. It is very likely inflation will result in social unrest in which the US will almost certainly have to adapt its domestic policy to counteract.

Date: March 3, 2022

Location: New York City, New York, USA

Parties involved: Steven Zajonc; New York City Police Department (NYPD); Asian female community

The event: Steven Zajonc was arrested by NYPD after allegedly assaulting seven Asian women within two hours. Police recommended he be charged with seven counts of assault as a hate crime, seven counts of attempted assault as a hate crime, seven counts of aggravated harassment, and seven counts of harassment. Victims of physical assault can experience anxiety and post-traumatic stress following a traumatic event.[4] There has been an increase in attacks on Asian females in the US throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • It is very likely East Asian females feel threatened by the increase in targeted attacks in the US, and there is a roughly even chance they will stay at home out of fear of being targeted. Distress will likely make individuals resort to violence to protect themselves, which will almost certainly increase overall violence in the US.

  • As COVID-19 was first reported in China, it is very likely that xenophobic beliefs against East Asians in the US spread, very likely increasing racial targeting and discrimination against East Asians in the US. East Asians in the US were likely blamed for COVID-19 spreading, and it is very likely that political leaders used xenophobic language to exploit this prejudice and gain voter support.

  • Individuals who commit hate crimes are very likely susceptible to radicalized ideologies since they already engage in violent acts. Radicalized groups who hold similar views will very likely recruit such individuals since they already act on extreme beliefs. The increase of recruits likely increases security threats in the US, making it very likely an attack will occur. It is very likely the increase in radicalized individuals will result in a rise in violent attacks targeting minority groups.


 

[1]No war” by Mike Maguire licensed under Creative Commons

[2] State of the Union: Biden vows to halt Russia, hit inflation, The Associated Press, March 2022, https://apnews.com/article/biden-state-of-the-union-4d6eb9fed9a46bb4efb63ea4e015725c

[3] U.S. weighs sanctions on Russia energy flows, but time is not 'right now', Reuters, March 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-open-sanctioning-russian-energy-sector-white-house-2022-03-02/

[4] Trauma, Anxiety & Depression Association of America, June 2021, https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/trauma

[5] New York man arrested in connection with 7 separate attacks against Asian women, Cable News Network, March 2022, https://edition.cnn.com/2022/03/02/us/new-york-police-asian-women-attacks/index.html

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