Trump’s budget highlights Tunisia…

Since the 2011 Arab Spring, Tunisia has gained the attention of the world and according to an insightful article entitled [Trump budget spotlights Tunisia]; the North African country is becoming one of the State Department’s favorite country when it comes to military aid.

Hi my name is David Santiago and I’ve been covering the security situation in Tunisia for more than a decade.  As a security consultant I’ve advised many organizations operating in Tunisia and continue to empower companies as well as expats living in North Africa.

Tunisia has certainly gone through a lot in the last 10 years and today they remain the only “success story” of the Arab Spring.

The recent article that we mentioned highlights 2 important points with regards to the US-Tunisia security partnership:

  1. The important strategic role that Tunisia plays geopolitically
  2. The noteworthy security support Tunisia is receiving from the U.S.

3

Strategic Importance

Since ancient times Tunisia has always played an important strategic role for world powers.  From the Romans to the Ottomans, French and now the Americans; every world power has sought to work with and in some cases control the relatively small North African country. 

2

 

The recent State Department budget request shows that today more than ever Tunisia remains a top priority for the United States.  The current U.S. ambassador to Tunisia Mr. Don Blome summarized it well: “Tunisia has come a long way in ensuring the safety of its citizens, and the U.S. will remain a steadfast partner in this endeavor.”

 

US State Department support for Tunisia:

  • State Department’s 2021 budget, released Monday, highlights Tunisia’s request to purchase $500 million in US-made light attack aircraft to bolster the administration’s request for $8 billion in global loan authority under the foreign military financing (FMF) program.
  • President Trump’s 2021 budget frames the $8 billion loan request as a complement to the $5.5 billion in foreign military financing grants it has also asked Congress to fund.
  • The 2021 budget request would allocate $40 million of those grants for Tunisia.

Tunisia Security Challenges

According to the article when it comes to foreign military financing, Tunisia is a priority because it is“ “on the front lines of the fight against [the Islamic State] and other terrorist groups, to ensure that these threats are defeated.”

Tunisian soldiers stand in front of military equipment offered to Tunisia by the United States, in Tunis

Tunisian soldiers stand in front of military equipment offered to Tunisia by the United States, in Tunis, Tunisia, May 12, 2016.
Picture Source

US Security Support for Tunisia:

  • More than $100 million in US security assistance allocated from 2011 to 2017 went toward building the capacity of Tunisia’s Ministry of Defense and to counter terrorism.
  • since 2011 more than $50 million in programs in partnership with the Tunisian Ministries of Interior and Justice
  • $7 million in International Narcotics and Law Enforcement programming to provide reform in police, corrections and judicial sectors.
  • Source: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/tunisia/assistance.htm

USA Security Support in perspective…

The following passage gives us more perspective of the prominent place Tunisia has attain in the eyes of US military spending:

“President Trump’s 2021 budget frames the $8 billion loan request as a complement to the $5.5 billion in foreign military financing grants it has also asked Congress to fund. The 2021 budget request would allocate $40 million of those grants for Tunisia.”

5

According to the reporter, “Congress is likely to provide Tunisia with more military grant funding than the State Department has requested, but not the $500 million loan, which Tunisia also sought for fiscal 2020. Although the State Department only requested $40 million in Tunisian foreign military financing grants for fiscal 2020, Congress more than doubled that, appropriating $85 million to Tunis without providing the loans for the fighter aircraft.”

All this support tells us that while the United States sees security challenges ahead for Tunisia, it also wants to ensure the success of the only “Arab Spring” country that flourished.

Moving forward I will continue to support organizations operating in Tunisia with security advise and effective risk management tools.

If your company is operating in Tunisia and you would like to know more please feel free to contact me at:  security@expatous.net

Stay Safe!

Note:  The article discussed in this post was: Trump budget spotlights Tunisia in pitch to overhaul foreign military aid
Source:  https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/02/trump-budget-tunisia-foreign-military-aid.html#ixzz6DkvWhEEq
Published:  2/11/2020 | Written by:  Bryant Harris (Al-Monitor)

Awareness is the Key!

After all the clashes in the Middle East the State Department issued a statement advising all Americans to: “Maintain ‘Situational Awareness’ in the region.

Well…I disagree with this statement.  Americans and all travelers for that matter should ALWAYS maintain situational awareness (SA).

state_department_map

While the formal definition may sound complicated:  “Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.”

Situational Awareness is EASY.  Essentially, what SA means is paying attention to your environment with regard to your safety.

Check out my video on Situational Awareness! 

Of course we all know that Iran and Iraq are NOT destinations for tourists, but the reactionary headlines were all SCREAMING the same thing:  “Exercise caution when traveling to other countries in the Middle East!”

My point is that we should ALWAYS exercise caution.  Situational Awareness is NOT something we should activate after a major incident; rather it should be a habit we practice regularly.

Safe TRAVELS! 

Security Briefing-Sep 23, 2019

 

Your Security Briefing  

All the info you need to be Security READY!

Curated by @DavidSecurityImage result for let's connect on linkedin

    Monday, September 23, 2019


network-security-iconTop Security News of the Day 

Thomas Cook collapse IMPACTS hundreds of thousands of travelers…

the-uk-expects-to-spend-163100-million-flying-back-stranded-thomas-cook-passengers-which-is-only-16350-million-less-than-bailing-out-the-company

Quick Insight:  Roughly 600,000 travelers are stranded around the world after the British travel provider Thomas Cook declares bankruptcy. [ Read More…]

travel-512Travel Security 

Tropical Storm Karen forms, eyes Puerto Rico as additional threats loom.       [ Read More…]

mwcqnydfbbfpxl5ezuxuasecau

The storm has kept maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, which can be felt outward up to 105 miles mainly to the northeast and southeast of the center, the NHC said.”

1-512Cyber Security 

United States weighs possible cyber attacks against Iran

us-iran-engage-in-cyber-war-25june1

Quick Insight:  At least three times over the past decade, the United States has staged major cyber attacks against Iran.  [ Read More…]


customer-insightSecurity Awareness Insight 

Security Awareness is the ability to assess your environment and make good decisions that will enable you to navigate safely.

And that’s Your Security Briefing.  You may now proceed with your next adventure!


Contact @DavidSecurity

11 

 

Hurricane Florence Tips & Insights…

Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying and could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week.

In this post @DavidSecurity will share:

  • Hurricane Florence impact on travel

  • 4 Tips to Survive a Hurricane or any other life challenge

watervvapor-800x583

Hurricane Florence impact on travel

Hurricane season, which peaks between August and late October in North America, is in full swing.  Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for both Carolinas and Virginia. South Carolina evacuation orders affect five coastal counties. Public schools and state agencies are closed beginning Tuesday.

Cruises Impacted

Seven cruises—including Norwegian, Oceania, and Carnival ships—have been affected already, according to Cruise Critic, and most are swapping out stops in Bermuda, which won’t be hit directly by Florence but will see lots of rain September 12.

Airlines

Some airlines are allowing free changes to travel plans to avoid potential hurricane-related delays and cancellations.  For example:  Delta Air Lines travel to, from, or through cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia through Sept. 16 can be rebooked for free by Sept. 20.

Check with your airlines for details.  

4 Tips to Survive a Hurricane or any other life challenge

Last year Hurricane Irma hit Florida hard but fortunately I was able to weather the storm smoothly using these 4 tips:

1. Adopt a Security Mindset

2. Stay Active & Prepare

3. Make Decisions

4. Follow Through


Let me know if I can help you overcome your Security Challenge! 

Gunman kills 3 at Cincinnati bank; police shoot him dead

Cincinnati bank shooting highlights the importance of security awareness and knowing how to react in an Active Shooter scenario. 

Reuters:  A gunman opened fire inside a bank in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday morning, killing three people and wounding others before being shot and killed by police, authorities said.

The shooter began firing inside a loading dock at the Fifth Third Bank headquarters near Fountain Square, police said. He then entered the lobby where he exchanged fire with law enforcement.

1

“He was actively shooting innocent victims, it appears, and our officers were able to kill him and stop the threat very quickly,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley told a news conference.


In 2017, there were 29 active shooter events in the United States.  Instead of being paranoid I suggest we empower ourselves with Security Awareness!

1

  HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY

1.RUN • Have an escape route and plan in mind • Leave your belongings behind • Keep your hands visible

2. HIDE • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors • Silence your cell phone and/or pager

3. FIGHT • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

1

 

WITH AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door • Attempt to take the active shooter down as a last resort.


Let me know if I can help you overcome your Security Challenge! 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Safe To Travel To Los Cabos?

Los Cabos’ stark desert landscape and striking azure waters started gaining international attention after World War II, when Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, and John Wayne just to name a few; made it their vacation spot.

Perched at southern tip of Mexico’s 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is experiencing another tourism boom.

Plus, a new $50 million terminal will open at Los Cabos International Airport later this year.

Yet despite the flurry of development, Los Cabos suffered a blow when the U.S. State Department’s new travel warning system gave it a Level 2 advisory in January that implores travelers to “exercise increased caution.” The State Department updated its Mexico advisories on August 22, leaving Los Cabos’ warning intact.


Curated by @DavidSecurity (Recognized Presenter with more than 15 years experience on Workplace Security Awareness & Travel Security.) For Inquires Email: security@expatous.net

Sources:

Is it Safe to Travel to Los Cabos? Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestravelguide/2018/08/31/is-it-safe-to-travel-to-los-cabos/

U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Advisory
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mexico-travel-advisory.html

Morning Security Briefing-(Friday, July 20, 2018)

What’s going on in the world from a Security Coordinator’s perspective:


Security News of the Day: 

Storm sinks duck boat in Missouri, killing 13 people

070910icduckboatonland1

A day after a duck boat capsized and sank during a severe storm at a southern Missouri lake, killing at least 13 people, divers are resuming a search for people who remain missing.
International:

Russia to let World Cup fans come back with Fan ID, no visa.

43823687_303

The World Cup in Russia is over but Moscow is still giving out perks to foreign fans. Russian lawmakers are now set to allow Fan ID holders to travel in and out of Russia freely until the end of the year.

Read More…

U.S.A.:

Justice Department plans to alert public to foreign operations targeting U.S. democracy.

997840618

The Justice Department plans to alert the public to foreign operations targeting U.S. democracy under a new policy designed to counter hacking and disinformation campaigns such as the one Russia undertook in 2016 to disrupt the presidential election.

 

Read More…

Travel:

Summer is high season for travel scams

1

Sunny weather and extended time off for kids both make summer, without a doubt, peak travel season. Almost everyone is planning a trip — from low-key visits with relatives to extended tours of far-off places. And along with the seasonal rise in trips comes a wave of shady travel scams, like insects to a flame, as all sorts of people and companies try to trick us travelers.

Read more…


Quote of the Day:

“To lead people walk behind them.”- Lao Tzu


Leave your comments below and remember to Stay Safe & Thrive!