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
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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'.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.