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Dr Jonathan Eyal

Position: International Director and International Studies Director

Dr Eyal is the International Director at the Royal United Services Institute and Editor of the RUSI Newsbrief . He was born in Romania, but has lived most of his life in Britain. Educated at Oxford and London Universities, his initial training was in international law and relations, in which he obtained both his first degree and his Master's with a Distinction. His Doctorate, completed at Oxford in 1987, analysed relations between ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe since the end of the First World War.

After teaching at Oxford for three years, Dr Eyal was appointed a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London. Since 1990, Dr Eyal has been Director of Studies at the Institute.

Dr Eyal has completed books on military expenditure in the former Warsaw Pact and a published study on military relations in the Balkans during the time of Communism. He is a regular commentator on East European affairs for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times dailies and the Observer newspaper on Sundays. He has also given evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on the conduct of British foreign policy in Eastern Europe, and the teams of experts which contributed to the peace plans for the former Yugoslavia. He has acted as an adviser to the European Union's studies on the process of dividing the assets of the former Yugoslav state, and has published two studies on the errors committed by the West in handling the Balkan conflict since 1991. He is fluent in French, Romanian, Italian, Hungarian and German.


RUSI articles and analysis by this author

RUSI CREST Foreword 29 Sep 2015
Welcome to the September 2015 issue of RUSI Newsbrief, bringing you expert analysis of recent events and trends, and their significance to the defence and security community. (Free access)

China flag China’s Stock Market Crash Threatens Her Global Power Ambitions 27 Aug 2015
China’s stock market crash is not the beginning of a global economic downturn, or the start of a Chinese recession. But it is a reminder of just how fragile China remains, and how far it still is from the status of a global power.

201508 WHR 3-15 Partners for Global Security: New Directions for the UK-Japan Defence and Security Relationship 11 Aug 2015
There are opportunities for policy-makers in both London and Tokyo to strengthen the Japan–UK relationship.

RUSI CREST Foreword - July 2015 Newsbrief 13 Jul 2015
Welcome to the July 2015 issue of RUSI Newsbrief, bringing you expert analysis of recent events and trends, and their significance to the defence and security community. (Free access)

Greece Euro Why Europe, and Greece, may survive this crisis 2 Jul 2015
There are no good choices with Greece: regardless of how the country votes in a referendum on Sunday, Greece will remain a constant problem in Europe. But far from threatening the stability of the continent, the Greek tragedy may reinforce some European principles.

RUSI CREST Foreword - May 2015 Newsbrief 1 May 2015
Welcome to the May 2015 issue of RUSI Newsbrief, bringing you expert analysis of recent events and trends, and their significance to the defence and security community. (Free access)

RUSI Logo 3 Foreword - March 2015 Newsbrief 4 Mar 2015
Welcome to the March 2015 issue of RUSI Newsbrief, bringing you expert analysis of recent events and trends, and their significance to the defence and security community. (Free access)

Ukraine tanks Ukraine and Russia: The Thorny Questions That Will Not Go Away 27 Feb 2015
It is time for the West to face up to reality: with Ukraine set to be the site of a proxy war for the foreseeable future, European security is no longer a given. (Free access)

Alexis Tspiras The New Greek Government: Neither Left Nor Right Turn, But Wrong Turn 28 Jan 2015
Greece has elected a government bent on confronting Germany and the rest of the EU, and is determined to prove wrong those who believed that, once in power, rebel politicians become ‘responsible.’

RUSI Logo 3 Foreword - January 2015 Newsbrief 26 Jan 2015
Welcome to the first issue of Newsbrief of 2015, bringing you expert analysis of recent events, trends, and their significance to the defence and security community.

Je Suis Charlie sign The Terrorism Challenge Facing France and the Rest of Europe 26 Jan 2015
The Paris attacks exposed deep-rooted social and political issues which the French government must address if it is to prevent further terrorist incidents on its soil

Marine Le Pen Murders in Paris: A Boon for European Islamophobes 8 Jan 2015
The terrorist attacks in France encourage a new European trend: the argument that, supposedly, Islam is incompatible with European cultures, and that Muslims cannot be integrated into European societies. Both these views must be fought by mainstream European leaders.

Wreckage of flight MH17 The Downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17: Russia in the Dock 18 Jul 2014
Did Russian rebels in Ukraine mistakenly shoot down the Malaysian airliner? Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to deny any responsibility, but at the very least his country bears a moral culpability for the episode, and Russia will pay a heavy diplomatic price for this tragedy.

Obama and Rasmussen Burning Questions for Our Alliance 30 Jun 2014
NATO must adapt to what amounts to a fundamental shift in Europe’s security environment

European Union Flag Dealing With Europe's Electoral Debacle 27 May 2014
The rise of far-right and anti-European Union parties at the European Parliament elections was the biggest vote of no confidence in the continent’s ruling elite since the launch of the EU project. But it need not be a disaster, provided governments act with composure and tact.

Orpen Self Portrait Portraits and the Centenary of the First World War 9 May 2014
An interview with National Portrait Gallery curator Paul Moorhouse about The Great War in Portraits

Jnl 159 2 Braithwaite thumb Ukraine Crisis: The Strategic Importance of Slavyansk 1 May 2014
The Ukranian city of Slavyansk has become the focus in a game of deterrence and brinkmanship that Kiev and Moscow feel compelled to play and in which, despite evident Russian military planning, neither is likely to be in full control.

Putin and Xi Jinping Ukraine: Quiet Support for Russia Will Harm China's Long-Term Interests 11 Apr 2014
Though China is reticent over aspects of Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine, the general assumption in Beijing is that China could benefit from the Ukraine crisis. But a more careful look at the potential fallout from the showdown indicates that China’s strategic horizons are not as rosy as currently assumed.

US-Russia Diplomatic Feelers Over Ukraine: Based on Wrong Assumptions 7 Apr 2014
The US and Russia have vowed to continue negotiations aimed at defusing the Ukraine crisis. But the current diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Moscow will achieve nothing, since they are based on wrong US assumptions and may encourage the worst Russian instincts.

Ukraine flag Europe and Ukraine: All Change 25 Mar 2014
While the Ukraine crisis may not herald a Second Cold War, it signals a decisive turning point which will alter strategic calculations across the globe (Free access)

Putin 2012 thumbnail Russia’s Crimea Gamble: another Reckless Putin Move 28 Feb 2014
President Putin believes he can escalate and de-escalate the conflict in Crimea at will. But that is the same fallacy of omnipotence which has led Mr Putin to gamble so often on Ukraine, and lose the bet every time.

Ukraine protestor 2014 Russia and Ukraine: the Empire Will Strike Back 24 Feb 2014
With a revolution under way, it is unlikely for Russia to have tanks rolling into Ukraine. But humiliated now for a second time there, Russia does not need a military intervention to achieve its objective of squeezing Ukraine hard.

Euromaidan Kiev protests Ukraine Ukraine Protests: International Sanctions May Be Irrelevant to The Unfolding Crisis 20 Feb 2014
With scores of anti-government protestors now dead, the Ukranian president undoubtedly has blood on his hands. But the European Union and international community risk making the situation worse by imposing sanctions.

Barack Obama Putin G8 How Effective is the US-Russia Deal on Syria? 16 Sep 2013
The deal between Russia and the United States over Syria is more an agreement to disagree rather than a pact between two powers which see eye to eye. But its impact could be profound for Barack Obama's foreign policy legacy.

Cameron No10 Voting for Irrelevance? The UK Parliament Passes its Verdict 3 Sep 2013
In seeking Parliament’s approval for military intervention in Syria, Prime Minister Cameron not only suffered humiliating defeat but also, inadvertently, set a precedent that will impede the ability of future British leaders to exercise the Royal Prerogative (Free access)

FSA Syria Aleppo Military Action in Syria: Plucking Legal Justifications out of Thin Air 29 Aug 2013
Creative reasoning is being deployed to justify the legality of military intervention in Syria. But the the legal case for strikes against Syria is far from being either obvious or clear-cut.

Turkey Flag 2 Explaining Ergenekon: Civil Military Relations in Turkey's Post-Coup Era 7 Aug 2013
For many in Turkey, the case against leading officers represents an end to the military's meddling in civilian politics. But the AKP government has failed to pursue with the same vigour, more prosaic changes to Turkish law that would help instil more civilian oversight over the Turkish armed forces.

Morsi and Tantawi thumbnail The Regional Winners and Losers in Egypt's Military Coup 5 Jul 2013
Egypt's neighbours are now counting the costs and opportunities of Mohammed Morsi's ousting as President. Will Gulf monarchies now play a more active part in Egypt's internal politics?

201305 NB Eyal thumbnail Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013: An Irreverent Look at her Foreign-Policy Record 3 May 2013
Margaret Thatcher’s death, more than twenty years after leaving office, provides an opportunity to reassess her foreign-policy record

Greece Euro The Next Domino: Cyprus and the Euro Crisis 22 Mar 2013
The Cyprus financial crisis again begs the question: how long can the Euro-structure survive these periodic tremours, especially since every single shock which comes is bigger and has a deeper structural impact than its predecessor.

House of Commons Evidence to House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Saudi Arabia 6 Mar 2013
Dr Jonathan Eyal, Senior Research Fellow and RUSI's Director of International Security Studies gave evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on the UK's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Netanyahu Netanyahu's Israel: Strategic Fatalism and Disaster 22 Jan 2013
On the road to his inevitable re-election, Benjamin Netanyahu has pursued a policy that politically isolates Israel further and ends hopes for a two-state solution. It will be the Israeli Prime Minister, not the surrounding Arab states, who threaten the very existence of the state itself.

Turkey Flag 2 Turkey Lashing Out At Syria: A Sign of Frayed Nerves In Ankara 4 Oct 2012
Turkey's recent diplomatic offensive has been brought to an abrupt end by the Syrian conflict which spilled into Turkey last night. Last night's violence has revealed the weakness in Ankara's position resulting from its failed approach to the Syria Crises.

Barack Obama 5 The US and the Arab World: The Failures of Engagement 18 Sep 2012
The recent protests in the Middle East may have been sparked by the anti-Islamic film produced in the US, but Middle Eastern opinion has been shaped to a much larger degree by US foreign policy rather than its cinematography.

NB 201209 Eyal If You Can't Make It, Fake It: The Age of Invented News 4 Sep 2012
What are the implications of the growing trend in the international media to report fabricated news?

Free Syria Army Idlib February 2012 - Photo by tinyccSyriaFreedom SYRIA CRISIS BRIEFING: A Collision Course for Intervention 25 Jul 2012
The Syrian crisis took a decisive new turn on 25 July. President Bashar al-Assad’s own future is now significantly less relevant to whatever will happen next in the country and external intervention, in some form, is now significantly more likely. In this Briefing, experts detail the risks and challenges of intervention in Syria. Our contributors delve further into the internal andexternal aspects of this conflict, offering a sobering assessment ofthe prospects for Syria and the region.

European Union VIDEO: The Greek Elections and Implications for the European Financial Crisis 19 Jun 2012
18/06/12 - Now that the Greeks have voted in a government that will -- more than most -- agree to abide by stringent European austerity measures, is the Eurozone safe? Dr Jonathan Eyal assesses the implications for Europe and its impact on European security.

OP 201205 Rethinking Europe cover Rethinking Europe: The Federalist Choice for a Continent in Crisis 25 May 2012
Wracked by a crisis of both solvency and democracy, the European Union must make some difficult choices. This paper presents both sides of the debate

Ahmedinejad Nuclear Are We Able to Deter Iran? 29 Mar 2012
In pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, Iran is acting rationally and in accordance with its past actions and strategic interests. Nevertheless, this does not mean at a nuclear-armed, or nuclear-capable Iran can be deterred or contained, at least not with traditional deterrence policies. A nuclear Iran means a multi-polar Middle East. And that, in turn, means a multi-polar, or multi-tiered deterrence strategy, of a kind which the world has never experienced before, and one which may well fail to contain the Iranian challenge.

Vladimir Putin Putin's Return: Much of the Same, Only Older 5 Mar 2012
The less-than-convincing victory of Vladimir Putin in the Russian presidential election suggests a presidency that may be a little more liberal and a little less authoritarian. But Putin is unlikely to change his tune as he delivers on his election promise: that Russia must be feared.

Greek riot The EU's Alternative Futures 21 Feb 2012
Europe's political and financial turbulence is now reverberating into the security realm

euroflagthumb The Shape of Europe to Come 1 Nov 2011
Last week saw European leaders agree to a mega-deal with the aim of abating the huge crisis engulfing the continent. Yet much of the details appear to be smoke and mirrors with Europe inevitably facing decades of misery and decline.

al-Awlaki thumb VIDEO - Assessing the Legal Implications of Anwar al-Awlaki's Assassination 10 Oct 2011
Was the United States right to target one of its own citizens? What are are the implications for future drone attacks?

Libya Rebels Accidental Heroes: Britain, France and the Libya Operation - RUSI Interim Libya Campaign Report 23 Sep 2011
23/09/11: A RUSI report looks at the diplomatic, strategic and military aspects of the recent Libya campaign.

Putin and Medvedev Russian Dolls Russia's Political Rumblings 31 May 2011
Medvedev has recently taken firm control of Russian foreign policy, but Putin is still looking over his shoulder. How will the Russian presidential elections play out?

Europe Europe's Stunted Baby Boomers 31 May 2011
Europeans are having more children. Has Europe defused the demographic time bomb?

Wen Jiabao China and Europe: A Dialogue of the Deaf 31 May 2011
China and Europe's financial interests may seem well-matched on the surface. But is it an unrequited affair?

Bin Laden Death of a Criminal 31 May 2011
America's most wanted man has been killed just months before the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Will his legacy live on?

Ratko Mladic VIDEO: The Arrest of Ratko Mladic 26 May 2011
Dr Jonathan Eyal, Director of International Security Studies, assesses the impact of the arrest of Ratko Mladic, the Serbian general accused of war crimes in the Balkans. WHat will this mean for the region and for Serbia's hopes for accession to the European Union?

Eyal thumbnail Revolutions in the Arab World: Myths, Cliches and Uncertainties 17 Mar 2011
As the spirit of revolution spreads, the West must not fall prey to simplified myths and comparisons

Libya Map Mediterranean Assessing British Diplomacy in Libya and the Middle East 10 Mar 2011
Dr Jonathan Eyal on the UK's 'jerky policy' towards unrest in the Middle East, the complete lack of any contingency planning within the FCO, and the importance of accepting that there is no such thing as 'the Arab exceptionalism'.

Moscow Metro Bomb 2 The Moscow Bombings: Cause and Effect 31 Jan 2011
The Director of RUSI's International Security Studies programme assesses the likely causes and probably consequences of last week's attack on Moscow's Domodedovo airport

Russian flag Terrorism Strikes Heart of Modern Moscow 26 Jan 2011
The motives likely to have informed Monday's suicide bombing are not new - and if such attacks are to stop, Moscow needs to urgently rethink its counter-terror strategy

Kuwait Diplomatic Institute Kuwaiti Security Dialogue 10 Aug 2010
RUSI to broker a series of high-level meetings between UK and Kuwaiti policymakers

Obama Medvedev talks Russia, the US and the old business of spying 29 Jun 2010
The unravelling of a Russian spy network in the United States could well destabilise the rapprochement between the two countries which began after the election of President Obama.

Moscow Metro bomb victim Terrorism Returns to Moscow 29 Mar 2010
Apart from the human tragedy, the political consequences of the attack are likely to be severe.

Russian troops in Georgia 2 A war report short on facts and weak on findings 5 Oct 2009
The long-awaited European Union investigation into last year's war between Russia and Georgia ignored the real context of the conflict - resulting in a banal and simplistic report that has failed to fulfil its intended purpose.

Jonathan Eyal More4 Russia and NATO Dr Jonathan Eyal assesses NATO Secretary General's maiden speech 20 Sep 2009
Dr Jonathan Eyal, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, is interviewed on Channel 4's More4 News on NATO and the West's relations with Russia. He is responding to the first speech of the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Missile Defence US missile defence: right decision, wrong presentation 18 Sep 2009
Scrapping the European missile defence system may well have been the right decision for American security. But this terribly-timed move will undermine future relationships with long-suffering Eastern European allies for very little benefit from the Russian bear.

Obama Russia US-Russia summit: a meeting of minds, but not of souls 9 Jul 2009
A breakthrough on arms control was achieved at the first summit between US president Barack Obama and the Russian leadership. However, the ‘reset button’ has yet to be pressed on the relations between the two countries. What the Russians really want the US is not prepared to grant, and what the US expects, Moscow is not willing to provide either.

EU Russia The European Union and Russia: A Halting Relationship 21 May 2009
The European Union’s summit with Russia, which begins today, will achieve nothing substantial. The relationship between Moscow and the rest of the continent is stuck in a time-warp, largely of Russia’s making. And, until European leaders are prepared to rebuff Russia’s old imperial inspirations, no serious dialogue can be expected.

WHP 71 Eyal Who ‘Lost’ Russia? An Enquiry into the Failure of the Russian-Western Partnership (WHP 71) 6 Apr 2009
An enlarged NATO, forced to consider how to defend its new members from possible Russian aggression, is set for an ‘unavoidable clash’ of interests with Russia transfixed by Cold War logic that still harbours ‘imperial ambitions’.

Vladimir Putin Russia’s Government Reshuffle: Changing in order to Make No Change 14 Sep 2007
Putin has appointed a prime-minister with no power-base, perhaps in order to maintain his own power when he leaves office.

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