Situation Update Briefs

SUB. Aggressive Military Posturing Increases Risk to Regional Trade

Key Takeaways An uptick in military activity and political rhetoric has shown Beijing’s increasingly assertive stance on Taiwan this month. President Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP) of Taiwan is unlikely to seek moves towards formal independence in the remainder of her current term; however, Tsai firmly rejects Beijing’s unification proposal under the “one China, …

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SUB. Afghanistan: Tougher Tests Lie Ahead for Taliban’s Resolve to Govern

Key Takeaways  The new Afghan interim government comprises male, Pashtun members of the Taliban inner circle; it is not an inclusive administration as was promised by the Taliban. However, the delayed formation of the government and some cabinet appointments underscore the difficulty in securing a consensus across various factions. Factions within the group could drive …

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SUB. Gulf-Afghanistan: Taliban Rule Threatens to Further Upset Regional Dynamics

Key Takeaways    The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan threatens to exacerbate regional divides and upset delicate balances, particularly between Gulf states amongst whom relations remain fragile. Notably, should Qatar adopt a more dominant role as regional power broker, it risks straining recently revived ties with other Gulf states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.     The Taliban’s consolidation of power will provide Iran with an opportunity to bolster its geopolitical leverage given Tehran’s relative isolation under severe US sanctions. An emboldened Iran will likely deepen Saudi concerns despite recent …

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SUB: Assessment on the Fallout of the Pegasus Surveillance Scandal

General Overview On 18 July, an investigation conducted by a consortium of international news organisations and human rights groups, including the Washington Post, Le Monde and Amnesty International, secured access to a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers targeted for surveillance with Pegasus, a spyware tool developed by Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group. …

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SUB: Extinction Rebellion Protests Will Bring Disruption To Urban Centres In August

Background The environmentalist activist group Extinction Rebellion (XR) will hold various “Rebellions” this month in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. As part of the August campaign, the group has planned significant action in Oslo (Norway) and Berlin (Germany) to last several days, known as the “Nordic” and “Central” Rebellions. Financial and oil …

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SUB: Mercer Vessel Attack Accelerates Instability In Persian Gulf; Threatens Trajectory Of Iranian Nuclear Talks

Key Takeaways The escalation of Israel and Iran’s “shadow war” threatens to destabilise already fragile political environments in the region, as both nations continue to utilise proxies to bolster influence. It is likely that tensions will intensify cross-border scuffles, particularly in parts of Lebanon and Syria, and flare relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. …

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SUB: Rising Water Insecurity Will Compound Regional Security Challenges

Key Takeaways On 26 July, the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture imposed a six-month ban on the export of certain agricultural products in a bid to relieve the growing pressure on the sector amid the worst drought seen in parts of Central Asia in over a decade. The development is the latest in a series of …

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SUB: Israel – New Government Ends Economic Instability, but Tensions Over Key Policy Areas Remain

Overview On 13 June, the Knesset voted in a new coalition government, officially ending former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in power. Leader of the ultra-right-wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, and leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, successfully formed a government consisting of Arab, left-wing and nationalist parties, representing one …

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