The first in a new series of weekly briefings covering political and security risk updates from around the world. This week: the US Senate has voted down four separate gun control measures in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people; the United Kingdom will shortly vote on its membership of the European Union against the backdrop of an increasingly antagonistic campaign and the shocking far-right murder of a pro-EU MP; Russia has announced it plans to maintain its military presence in the Artic region; and more from Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Polar regions.
As Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave campaign turn their attention to the alleged security dangers of EU membership, Open Briefing has released an assessment of the security and defence advantages the United Kingdom gains from being part of the European Union. Intelligence analysts from the non-partisan think tank and consultancy also examined whether Britain’s security would be better met by its membership of NATO rather than the European Union as some Eurosceptics have claimed.
In the build up to the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, some advocates for leaving the EU have argued that Britain’s security is better met by its membership of NATO rather than the European Union. In reality, the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU gives it diplomatic leverage and law enforcement mechanisms that it would not have on it own as well as military cooperation beyond that possible within NATO. While NATO remains somewhat of a ‘solution looking for a problem’, the EU takes a broad political, economic and military approach to security that is in keeping with our own approach and is well-suited to the interconnected security threats of the 21st century.
The glossy British magazine Manor has published a wide-ranging interview with our executive director, Chris Abbott. In the interview with Manor's features editor, Fiona McGowan, Chris discusses his background and outlines his plans for the future of Open Briefing.
As announced last week, Open Briefing is expanding the range of services it offers beyond intelligence to also include security, training and equipment. The full range of services we are offering has now been published. New services include: GPS personnel tracking with 24/7/365 monitoring, SOS functionality and international emergency response; Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) and civilian Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Extraction (SERE) courses; first aid kits and training; up to 30% off clothing, tents, rucksacks, boots, climbing equipment, etc. from the best European and US outdoor brands; field rations, emergency food aid packs and water purifiers; sat phones for rental or purchase; and many more.
Open Briefing has today published an in-depth assessment of the UK and wider US-led coalition's campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Overall, the US-led coalition has had some considerable successes in containing and rolling back Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; however, much more should have been achieved given the combined military might and other resources of the 66 members of the global coalition to counter Islamic State. Those gains that have been made have come at the expense of civilian casualties. Furthermore, there are no signs that the terrorist threat to the United Kingdom from Islamic State is reducing despite nearly two years of UK airstrikes and other efforts to target the group.
There are thousands of ordinary people risking their lives every day to protect people and the planet. We want to help those working in overseas aid, search and rescue, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, human rights, research expeditions and the media operate safely and effectively on the ground in complex, hostile or remote areas, such as war zones, disaster areas or under repressive regimes. We are in the process of launching three new units to do just this.