Commentary

Turkey Flag 2Explaining Ergenekon: Civil Military Relations in Turkey's Post-Coup Era 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.
7 Aug 2013

Al-Shabaab SomaliaAl-Qa'ida's August Surprise? US officials are speaking of a level of terrorist chatter as high as that prior to 11 September 2001. With Embassy closures across the Muslim world, large-scale prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, the threat tempo is rising. Is Al-Qa'ida planning an August surprise?
5 Aug 2013

Iraq counter-insurgencyThe Shia and the Battle for Survival It could be argued that for the Shia of Iraq - who have consolidated power after decades, if not centuries of oppression - the Syrian conflict has transformed itself from one simply about realpolitik or a battle for the region to a battle for the very survival of the Shia.
30 Jul 2013

60 years on, why should we care about the Korean War? This weekend marks the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Why should it matter? Two RUSI Journal articles examines the unanswered questions from this seminal moment in the Cold War.
27 Jul 2013

FloodThe National Risk Register's Value to Business and Communities The 2013 National Risk Register (NRR) of civil emergencies was published by the government on 11 July. The risk profile for most communities and businesses remains complex and unpredictable, heightening the value of the general measures of resilience and business continuity planning that the NRR promotes.
26 Jul 2013

FloodNational Risk Register: Striking a Balance Between Preparedness and Preparing a Response Now at its third iteration, the UK's National Risk Register has been praised internationally for giving an official stock take of threats and hazards facing the country. However, a more proactive Register would help to enlarge the focus from emergency preparedness and response towards more prevention and vulnerability reduction.
26 Jul 2013

HMS Vanguard Nuclear SubmarineThe Risks and Rewards of Alternative Approaches to Trident The security risks posed by an alternative 'non-continuous' nuclear posture, as outlined in last week's Trident Alternatives Review, are inherently subjective. Financial (rather than strategic) arguments may come to dominate the alternatives debate - something the Liberal Democrats should bear in mind.
23 Jul 2013

Morsi protestMorsi's Overthrow: All Sides Must Now Be Held to Account The Muslim Brotherhood can't escape blame for its ousting from power and Egypt's subsequent polarisation. If the international community can do anything, it is to persuade all political actors to refrain from violence and respect civil rights.
15 Jul 2013

Opium poppy growersAfghanistan's Opium Trade: Why Britain Should Not Kick the Drug Habit after 2014 As British troops depart Afghanistan, increasing production of opium and heroin in the country remains a cause for concern. There is a clear need for the British government to continue funding counter-narcotics programmes, and work with regional partners, including Iran.
12 Jul 2013

Abu Qatada croppedAbu Qatada Leaves the United Kingdom Abu Qatada symbolised an era of British jihadism that relied on radical preachers to motivate a generation of terrorists. His departure, alongside a general degradation of al Qaeda's capacity to launch large-scale orchestrated plots from Waziristan marks an end of an era that had its peak during the 7 July 2005 attacks on London.
9 Jul 2013

Morsi and Tantawi thumbnailThe Regional Winners and Losers in Egypt's Military Coup 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?
5 Jul 2013

Norway Women soldiersConscripting Change: Norway’s Case for Neutrality Norway has become the first NATO nation to introduce gender neutral conscription. This maximises operational capability and will go a long way to setting a framework for other militaries contemplating change, in female if not in conscription terms.
5 Jul 2013

MoD Plaque 2Respite from the Storm? Defence and the 2013 Spending Review outcome The Spending Review, announced on Wednesday, has surprised the many commentators who thought defence capabilities would face further significant cuts. The Ministry of Defence has achieved a settlement that is substantially better than might have been expected.
28 Jun 2013

Sheikh hamad Emir of QatarQatar Emir Voluntarily Abdicates Hamad Bin Khalifah Al-Thani has abdicated as Emir of Qatar, a move which again underlines Qatar's atypical politics. The Emir leaves behind a huge legacy that has changed the character of his state. Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the new Emir, has some big shoes to fill.
25 Jun 2013

Hasan Rouhani sqRouhani's victory: An Iranian Spring or Business as Usual? The mere election of Hasan Rouhani should be considered revolutionary as it repudiates the extremist ideology of Iranian hardliners. However, whether the new Iranian leader will be able to affect any change remains to be seen.
18 Jun 2013

Syria ReportThe Need to Establish the Rule of Law and Accountability in Syria's Rebel Held Areas Syria's civil war rages on with ad hoc arrangements for civilian law enforcement in rebel-held areas. Debates about the relative merits of arming the Syrian opposition should not hijack attempts to promote accountability and the rule of law.
17 Jun 2013

Fire Service ThumbnailA Snapshot of Fire and Rescue Services Reform in Europe European governments are findings ways to 'do more with less' and Fire Services are increasingly the focus of their efficiency drives. A review of English Services follows from reforms initiated on the continent and North of the Border.
7 Jun 2013

Erdogan thumbnailExplaining Erdogan: The Prime Minister Engages his Base The unrest in Turkey demonstrates how Erdogan's rhetoric has polarised Turkish society, despite his political and economic achievements. The events could signal political trouble for the powerful Prime Minister.
5 Jun 2013

Woolwich Help for Heroes TributesWhy Woolwich Matters: The South London Angle The vivid and disgusting images witnessed in Woolwich come not necessarily from the pages of Al-Qa'ida's Inspire magazine, but out of rap videos shot in South-East London. Here is an environment that combines the urban disaffection with perceived certainties from Islam.
31 May 2013

Obama salutingObama's Counter-Terrorist Policy President Obama's recent speech on counter-terrorism policy defended drone strikes while suggesting a new determination to close Guantanamo. To undermine the narrative of international terrorists, he must show that force is a less efficient tool than the observance of universal values and the rule of law.
30 May 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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