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Global Elections 2024: A Stress Test for Democracy and Security

47% of Global Population eligible to vote in 2024. Why is this a big deal?

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As the sun rises on 2024, the world is bracing itself for a year of unprecedented electoral activity. This year, more than two billion voters across over 50 countries will exercise their democratic rights, marking it as a historic year for global elections. These elections, spanning from the United States to India, will shape domestic policies and have far-reaching implications for international relations, security dynamics, and economic landscapes.

As frontline protectors, our roles are influenced directly by the outcomes and aftermath of these political events, so understanding the nuances of these elections is crucial. 'On the Circuit', the trusted newsletter for protectors worldwide, will keep you covered throughout the year and ensure you’re well informed and prepared.


Global Elections 2024: A Stress Test for Democracy and Security

Election year

Source: Geoglobal

The World Votes

2024 is not just another year; it has the potential to turn into a battleground for global democracy, with over 40% of the world's population casting their votes. From the U.S. to the far reaches of Asia, the democratic process will be put to the test, and for security professionals, this is a crucial period to monitor.

The Spectrum of Democracy

Power Dynamics in Major Players: Nations like India, Russia, the U.S., and Mexico will vote to decide the global power balances. India's struggle with minority rights under Modi, Russia's expected continuation of Putin’s regime, and the U.S.-Mexico relationship hangs in the balance.

Democracy vs Autocracy: Joe Biden's portrayal of global politics is being billed as a fight between democracy and autocracy, and it’s already playing out on our screens with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Israel's war with Hamas and U.S. competition with China. And with elections planned in all these nations, the outcome could significantly impact global security.

Small States, Big Impact

Influential Middle Powers: Don't overlook countries like El Salvador, Iran, and Taiwan. Their electoral outcomes could shift regional power dynamics and influence larger global narratives. Why? Let’s take a look:

  • Iran: Their nuclear program remains a focal point of international concern, and the election outcome could affect global non-proliferation efforts and regional security. Iran's role in supporting various militant groups is of concern for neighboring countries. A change in governance could escalate or de-escalate tensions in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

  • El Salvador: Amidst a backdrop of rampant gang violence and cross-border crime, El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender has made it a test case for cryptocurrency governance, potentially influencing global financial systems.

  • Taiwan: As a global leader in semiconductor production, U.S.-aligned Taiwan's political stability is crucial for the global tech industry. Political disruptions can have cascading effects on worldwide supply chains and economic security.

International Relations

🇹🇼🇺🇸 Taipei and Washington Elections: These concurrent elections could drastically alter the U.S./China dynamics in the Indo-Pacific.

🇪🇺🇹🇳 EU and Tunisia: The EU's controversial deal with Tunisia, aimed at controlling Mediterranean migration, hinges on electoral outcomes.

🇮🇳🇿🇦 Nonaligned Nations: Countries like India and South Africa face the challenge of maintaining their nonaligned status in a polarized world.

A Demographic Giant Awakens

India has just surpassed China as the world's most populous nation. More than just an interesting statistic, it represents a significant shift in global power dynamics and has profound implications for the future of democracy.

Key facts about India’s growing population based on analysis from the Pew Research Center:

📈 Surging Population: With an estimated population exceeding 1.4 billion, India is a serious player on the world stage. In contrast to China's decline, the country's population growth points towards a shifting balance in Asia's geopolitical landscape.

🍼 Youthful Demography: Over 40% of India's population is under 25. To put that another way, roughly one in five people globally who are under the age of 25 live in India.

🐝 Worker Bees: The country’s median age is 28. By comparison, the median age is 38 in the United States and 39 in China - the two other most populous countries globally. This means that only 7% of India’s population is over 65, compared with 14% and 18% in China and the U.S., respectively.

It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on these elections and being aware of the reaching impact they could have on our clients:

  • Financial market fluctuations affecting business interests with ties to India.

  • Cybersecurity threats could escalate, especially for businesses engaged with Indian counterparts.

  • Social movements or protests impacting public safety and mobility.

  • Heightened public attention or scrutiny could arise, especially for high-profile individuals with significant ties to India.

The Biggest Show on Earth

U.S. Elections: The U.S. election will be the world's focal point, and the outcome will be crucial for global security. The importance of these elections can be seen in the mammoth outlay of expense when compared to other democracies. The aftermath could set the tone for international relations for years to come.

Here are our top 5 concerns to watch out for during the US Elections:

1. Polarized Political Landscape: Donald Trump’s popularity, despite the various controversies, and the Democratic Party's insistence to back Joe Biden, despite his age, points towards an increasing polarization with the potential for heightened social unrest and political demonstrations.

2. Impeachment Proceedings: The likelihood of impeachment proceedings against President Biden by a Republican-controlled House could increase political tensions and associated security risks.

3. Election Dynamics and Public Sentiment: The potential rematch between Biden and Trump, coupled with general dissatisfaction toward both candidates, might lead to unpredictable public responses, including protests or civil unrest.

4. Economic and Foreign Policy Uncertainty: An uncertain political future could result in volatile economic conditions and unpredictable shifts in foreign policy, impacting international business operations and requiring dynamic risk management strategies.

5. Cybersecurity Concerns: An increased risk of cyber attacks aimed at influencing election outcomes or destabilizing societal trust. Enhanced cybersecurity measures will be crucial, especially for entities involved in the electoral process or handling sensitive political information.

These takeaways underscore the need to maintain high alertness and adaptability in the lead-up to and aftermath of the US 2024 presidential elections.

Results Already In

Vice President Lai Ching-te won Taiwan's presidential election with 40.1% of the vote, leading the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to a third term. Influenced by concerns over China, Lai's victory promotes dialogue while protecting Taiwan from Chinese intimidation.

Global reactions varied, with China opposing "separatist activities," the US offering congratulations, and Russia reaffirming its view of Taiwan as part of China.

The Security Lens

The global 2024 elections will be a decisive moment for global democracy and security. As security professionals, keeping a vigilant eye on these elections is critical for understanding and preparing for the emerging global landscape. We’ve put together a list of some of the major threats worth keeping an eye on:

  • Election Interference: Cyber threats aimed at influencing election outcomes or public opinion. Read more on this below. 👇

  • Information Security: Foreign actors may attempt to gather sensitive political or economic information during this period.

  • Global Elections Impact: The results from key countries, like India, China, Russia, and Iran, could have ripple effects on global security and economic stability.

  • Regional Alliances: Pay attention to shifts in alliances or tensions, particularly in regions like the Indo-Pacific, which could affect international trade and security policies.

  • Market Sensitivity: potential for market volatility, particularly in emerging markets.

  • Trade Policies: Changes in trade policies or economic sanctions that may arise from new administrations or political shifts.

  • Polarization Risks: Internal unrest and political violence due to polarized political climates, especially in the US.

  • Global Trends: Incumbents worldwide are suppressing opposition - a worrying sign for the health of global democracy and a potential flashpoint for security concerns.

The Threat Posed by AI on Elections

There is growing concern about AI-enabled misinformation due to decreased content moderation on major tech platforms. Following Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter, significant layoffs have diminished the platform's ability to combat harmful content. Similar cutbacks at Meta and Google amplify these worries.

Misinformation tactics, like those seen in India's 2019 elections, demonstrate the growing challenges of digital disinformation. The wholesale adoption of AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E has increased the risk of realistic deepfakes and tailored misinformation campaigns being used to effect. Despite social media platforms claiming commitment to election integrity, policy changes and reduced moderation efforts cast doubt on their preparedness.

The potential for AI to be misused poses a global threat to the integrity of democratic elections. It underscores the need for vigilant oversight by platforms, governments, and security professionals alike.

Staying informed and adaptable to the evolving geopolitical landscape will be key to effective security management. On the Circuit has you covered; we’ll be reporting on all the election activity across the year as it occurs.

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🇺🇸 US: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Bill to Seize Russian Assets - Pressure increases on EU to follow suit

🇰🇪 Kenya: Kenyan High Court Rules Against Deployment to combat extreme gang violence in Haiti

🇧🇩 Bangladesh: India meddling in Bangladesh political affairs, Opposition Advocates for 'India Out' Movement

🇨🇳 China: Beijing Pushes Tehran to Reduce Houthi Attacks on Commercial Shipping in the Red Sea

Breaking Down Barriers & Unlocking Doors with Higher Education

Craig Smith of Minerva Elite on the Circuit Podcast

Are Master's degrees designed for your employment prospects or personal fulfilment?

This week, we’re joined by Craig Smith from Minerva Elite Performance, who shares his thoughts on the importance and value of higher education within the security industry.

We examine how higher qualifications like Masters or PhDs could differentiate professionals in this field, add value to their careers, and even provide a 'key' to open doors to opportunities.

Tune in to hear this wide-ranging discussion, including:

  • What are the opportunities that HE unlocks for protectors?

  • The Role of Higher Education in Enhancing Employability

  • Is There a Danger of Overqualifying Yourself?

  • How can protectors differentiate between higher education providers?

  • What do all the levels actually mean?


From Defeating Federer at Wimbledon to Fighting Russians in Ukraine

Sergiy Stakhovsky, once a top-31-ranked tennis player known for his upset over Roger Federer, faced a life-altering decision in early 2022. Retired and settled in Budapest, his world was upended by news of Russia's impending invasion of Ukraine. Advising his parents in Kyiv to prepare for the worst, he confronted a grim reality: the scarcity of ammunition, symbolizing a nation bracing for conflict.

Torn between his family and homeland, Stakhovsky faced a gut-wrenching decision. Understanding yet furious, his wife Anfisa told him, "You cannot go because you have three kids. It’s irresponsible." Yet, Stakhovsky felt compelled to leave his family and join the Ukrainian resistance, a decision he described as "disastrous" and "the toughest decision I ever made."

“I represented the country throughout the 18 years of my career,” Stakhovsky says. “I stood up for the anthem. I sang the anthem. I went to the Olympics. Everything which gives you that attachment, [that] emotion is there in me.” 

As security professionals and those of us who are ex-military, Stakhovsky's story resonates deeply. It illustrates the eternal conflict between personal responsibilities and the call of duty. How does one balance the safety of loved ones with the obligation to protect the larger community?

How would you navigate this dilemma if thrust into a similar situation?


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Q: How should security professionals adapt their protection strategies for high-profile clients when traveling to high-risk destinations?

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 📰 Enhanced Local Intelligence: (46%)

🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ ⚠️ Advanced Risk Assessment: (18%)

🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ 🏋️‍♂️ Specialized Training: (31%)

⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ ✍️ Other. (5%)


Thank you for sticking with us to the end; we appreciate your support.

Stay safe, and keep looking out for one another.

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