Weekly Snapshot
17-23 June 2018

1. The Taliban is calling for negotiations to end US involvement in Afghanistan

Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada has come out with a statement saying that the Afghans’ salvation lay in America and other occupying forces leaving and repeated a call for talks with the United States.

Akhunzada said, “If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio, then they must directly present themselves at the negotiation table.”

The Taliban has been fighting the US and other NATO forces, under the Resolute Support mission, since 2001. The Taliban has announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, except against foreign forces.

2. The FED raises interest rates again

The Federal Reserve has announced that it is going to raise the interest rates. This would bring the federal interest rate to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.

This will help with strengthening the US dollar but will weaken some foreign currencies. Countries with more instability and vulnerability may experience even more currency volatility. These countries would be places such as Turkey, Colombia, and Argentina. Mexico will likely experience some instability as well, especially with new tariffs that were enacted last week.

The FED has also suggested that there will be four interest-rate increases in 2018. This is to help cool off the economic growth and protect the American economy from expanding too quickly.

3. Turbulence in Mozambique has led to UK travel warning and US company evacuations

The United Kingdom has issued a warning to citizens about traveling to Mozambique after terrorist attacks have killed 17 people since May. The US state department issued a warning to citizens early this month, regarding the dangers caused by those terrorist attacks.

The US oil and natural gas company, Anadarko, has started to evacuate its staff from the area, citing instability and an increased danger to its workers.

These attacks are being perpetrated by groups with links to Islamic militants. 17 people have been killed: 10 of them beheaded since May.

4. Russia vows retaliation against US sanctions

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow is set to impose retaliatory measures in response to the US sanctions passed earlier this June.

This past Monday the US imposed more sanctions on Russia. The sanctions targeted three Russian individuals and five companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.”

It is unclear what the retaliation will be against the United States. However, it is suspected that the attacks will be tit for tat measures equaling the amount of the damages given by the US.