Commentary

SR-72 [SQUARE]Speed is the New Stealth: The SR-72 Challenges the Future at Mach 6 Last week, the normally secretive ‘Skunk Works’ division of the Lockheed Martin company unveiled a new, remotely piloted, hypersonic jet with strike and reconnaissance capabilities. Given the right investment, it has the potential to revolutionise military aerospace technology.
5 Nov 2013

Data protectionThe Snowden Leaks: The Need to Update Our Legislation on Data and Security The recent leaks about the surveillance capabilities of our intelligence agencies have undoubtedly harmed national security. Nevertheless, they also provide a long overdue opportunity to update legislation that will help security agencies and protect the rights of individuals.
31 Oct 2013

Xi JinpingXi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign China’s leader has launched an anti-corruption drive that seems to strike at the heart of the Communist Party. Yet the persistence of the campaign may instead reflect his stubborn faith in the fundamental correctness of the system.
28 Oct 2013

Pavlo Lapshyn 2From Ukraine with Hate: What Pavlo Lapshyn Conviction Says About the Far-Right Extremism Far-right extremist Pavlo Lapshyn has today been imprisoned for murdering a Muslim man and attempting to bomb mosques. The incident highlights that violent Islamists are not the only ones willing to murder in advance of a political ideology.
25 Oct 2013

Ayman al-ZawahiriA Global Fund for Community Engagement against Terrorism Al-Qa’ida is enjoying a period of resurgence and is attracting recruits. This is a poor commentary on over 12 years of concerted international effort to counter the threat. Governments need more community support to confront the appeal. A new global fund aims to help them do so. A new global fund aims to help them find it.
28 Oct 2013

GCHQDebating Intelligence and Surveillance Where should the limits surveillance be placed? And how should intelligence oversight work? Following his first public speech delivered at RUSI, Andrew Parker, Director General of MI5 sparked off a national and international debate about the current terrorist threat and the role of surveillance and intelligence.
14 Oct 2013

Intelligence Oversight in the UKIn Defence of National Security Scrutiny Why should the public be asked to accept blanket assurances that their privacy and security are protected?
14 Oct 2013

GCHQ Bude sateliteThe Snowden Leaks Are Damaging to National Security, But the Subsequent Debate May Benefit Us All The intelligence-gathering revelations from Edward Snowden did harm national security, but they should now serve as an opportunity to have a mature national conversation on the hierarchy of accountability in intelligence gathering.
14 Oct 2013

Hasan Rouhani sqIran and the US: the Politics of Détente The Iranian President’s recent charm offensive in New York could be regarded as the start of a diplomatic revolution. Received well in the US and in Iran itself, it will disturb regional neighbours long accustomed to being estranged from Iran.
7 Oct 2013

National Crime Agency [thumbnail]Out of the Shadows: Five Challenges facing the National Crime Agency Billed by the media as the UK’s answer to the FBI, the National Crime Agency is launched today. The agency faces the herculean challenge of reducing organised crime in the UK and overseas with inadequate intelligence, a limited budget and a public who remains largely ignorant of the true scale of the threat.
7 Oct 2013

Al-Shabaab FighterThe Westgate Nairobi Attack: A Sign of the Diversified Threat from Al-Qa’ida The locus of countering Al-Qa’ida style terrorism has now shifted overseas, with Western governments facing a new and complex set of issues that have been brought into particular focus by recent events at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
4 Oct 2013

British ArmyGreat Power Expectations Vs. Little Britain Following the British parliamentary vote on intervention in Syria, the government and the Prime Minister have defended Britain’s international relevance. However, polling data suggest there’s a creeping gap between willing and self-image in British attitudes to the world.
3 Oct 2013

Chemical Weapons Inspectors IraqSyrian Chemical Weapon Disposal: Confronting the Challenges This week, a UN inspection team begins the onerous task of monitoring and dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons stock. A former UN weapons inspector charged with the destruction of Iraq’s stockpiles highlights the challenges ahead.
3 Oct 2013

European UnionGerman Joint Venture Signals Big Changes in European Defence Industrial Base Last week, the German automobile parts and military equip­ment manufacturer Rheinmetall announced a joint venture with German industrial services provider Ferrostaal. The arrangement sheds light on how the European defence industrial base is significantly diversifying.
2 Oct 2013

Hasan Rouhani sqRouhani, Obama, and US-Iran Diplomacy: A Nuclear Thaw or a False Start? With the first signs of a US-Iran thaw, there are great hopes – and great cynicism. Yet while the optimists may be overstating the scope of any deal, the cynics are wrong to dismiss Hasan Rouhani's rhetoric.
1 Oct 2013

CyberUK Cyber Response: Getting it Right Matters There currently exists an alphabet soup of organisations tasked with upholding the the UK’s cyber-defences. Proposals for a national UK Cyber Response Team will therefore need to have clear responsibilities, differentiating from other cyber-response initiatives
30 Sep 2013

British ProcurementThe UK’s Defence Growth Partnership: Refocusing the Relationship Between the Private Sector and Government The first report of the UK government’s ‘Defence Growth Partnership’ is aimed at addressing barriers to growth for the defence industry. With on going austerity measures in UK defence, the focus will have to be on export opportunities abroad.
30 Sep 2013

Persian GulfThe New East of Suez Question: Damage Limitation after Failure Over Syria The UK can do little to affect the Syrian civil war. But it is shoring up its interests on the periphery of the conflagration, reinforcing the UK’s military reorientation East of Suez. The question is whether, in light of Parliament’s vote last month, the Government now wants to say so.
18 Sep 2013

Crisis of Brilliance - Paul Nash The Void Photo courtesy of MBAC, Tate LondonReview: David Boyd Haycock’s A Crisis of Brilliance 1908 -1922 An exhibition of six British Post-modernists depict the impact of the Great War 1914-18 on our society and culture. It provides a perfect entry point for the visual dimension of the 2014 programme marking the centenary.
18 Sep 2013

2013 03 NB Hellyer thumbnailRendering Unto the State: What Role do Egyptians Want for Religion? While polling suggests that Egypt’s otherwise religiously conservative population are ambivalent towards religion-based political parties, support for restrictions on the ousted Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has yet to be tested.
18 Sep 2013

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The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of RUSI
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