Intelligence

Navigating PyeongChang, South Korea during Olympics XXIII

PyeongChang 2018 Olympics: A Land Without Google Maps

While traveling, it is always important to know how to get around, especially when abroad. Knowing where you are can save you the hassle of getting on a bus going the wrong direction or knowing whether a cab ride to the other end of town will take 15 minutes or 50 minutes. Travelers in South Korea face difficulties as two of the most popular navigation apps, Google Maps and Apple Maps, do not provide adequate coverage due to strict national security laws.
US State Department Updates Travel Advisory for Mexico

State Department Puts 5 Mexican States on ‘Do Not Travel’ List

On Jan. 10, the United States Department of State unveiled a new travel advisory system in which countries, as well as some individual provinces, are assigned a safety rating on a scale from one to four. The lowest level on the scale, Level 1, is reserved for areas in which the Department of State advises travelers to exercise normal precautions, while a Level 4 designation means that US citizens should not travel to the area. The State Department’s purpose of releasing travel advisories is twofold, in that they set guidelines regarding where diplomatic personnel may travel, and inform US citizens of where there are significant threats to security.
Human Trafficking in Libya

Human Trafficking in Libya: A Tool within a Volatile Political Environment

Libya has made headlines recently for the horrific conditions endured by migrants and refugees detained in the country, but what the media has drawn less attention to is the prevailing security conditions and political dynamics in Libya that facilitate human trafficking. Much like oil facilities in Libya, human trafficking hubs represent strategic points of power due to the lucrative nature of human smuggling. On a broader level, controlling the flow of migrants also affords legitimacy in a politically competitive environment.
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

When examining the nuclear tensions in the Korean Peninsula, it is essential to separate rhetoric from reality. It is easy for the US to threaten North Korea with a preemptive strike against Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. It is also very easy for Kim Jong-Un to speak of a devastating war against the United States and its allies. However, it is much more difficult for either North Korea or the US to carry out these threats without inviting retaliation from the other side. Assuming the essential strategic rationality of both the US and North Korea, neither country is likely to purposefully initiate military action.
World Malaria Report 2017 Infographic

Global Malaria Report 2017

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Technical Strategies for Malaria set certain goals for malaria reduction and elimination. Unfortunately, the world is not currently on track to meet milestones set for 2020. While many improvements were made in the last decade, funding shortages to support spraying and insecticide-treated bednets has fallen behind in recent years. The World Malaria Report provides a comprehensive overview of progress in the fight against malaria, including an up-to-date assessment of malaria-related policies in endemic countries.
Travel Security for US-bound Flights

New Security Measures for US-Bound Flights Unlikely to Cause Significant Disruptions

On Thursday, October 26, the deadline for airlines to impose new security measures mandated by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for international flights to the United States went into effect. While the deadline received significant media attention, the new measures have not caused significant disruptions for travelers.

Citizens of Seven Countries Barred Entry to US by Executive Order; Reciprocal Bans Being Adopted or Considered

On Jan. 27, the US government issued an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days; all Syrian citizens are barred until further notice. The order also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. The Trump Administration has stated that more countries could be added to the travel ban via a presidential proclamation. Reciprocal travel restrictions are possible for US citizens traveling to the blacklisted countries.
drug-trafficking-organizations-in-mexico

Drug Trafficking Organizations in Mexico

Organized crime groups, commonly referred to as drug trafficking organizations, operate throughout Mexico, and are the primary threat to business activity in the country. Since the disintegration of the Cali and Medellin cartels in Colombia in the early 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations have come to dominate most aspects of the wholesale illicit drug market, including major supply chains into North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. The fragmentation of Mexico's DTOs suggests that the proliferation of groups relying on revenue from localized sources that can affect commercial income will remain a threat in the foreseeable future.

African National Congress Attempts to Reverse Declining Support Likely to Polarize Political Tensions

Politics in South Africa is likely to remain dominated by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the near future; however, growing frustration over the lack of economic opportunities and widespread corruption is expected to encourage increased support for opposition groups. Efforts to attract supporters, both between and within political parties, are likely to exacerbate the use of populist and xenophobic rhetoric, thereby polarizing political competition in South Africa. 

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