Commentary

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

Iraq flagThe End of Iraq Iraq is on the brink of civil war. Restless Sunni minorities are emboldened by Sunni opposition in Syria and entrenched authoritarianism by a Shia led government. The only solution is deeper de-centralisation or a break-up of Iraq itself.
29 May 2013

police officerPolice and Crime Commissioners - Is There a Need for Stronger Scrutiny? The Home Affairs Select Committee has issued a highly critical first report on Police and Crime Commissioners. Already criticised for politicising policing, the report highlights the need for greater scrutiny of commissioners to enhance their authority in the eyes of the public.
29 May 2013

Woolwich attackerThe Woolwich Murder: Initial Assessments of Another Lone Actor Attack From film and eye-witness footage, it is quite clear that the perpetrators of the Woolwich attack were motivated for terrorist ends. The trend is now quite apparent, as is their intended objective of sowing societal discord.
23 May 2013

Iran flagIran: Conservatives Given Free Rein by the Guardian Council Iran's Guardian Council has just published its list of approved candidates for presidential elections -notable for its absence of challengers to the Supreme Leader. The eventual winner needs to repair external alliances and re-energise faith in the Islamic Republic amongst Iranians.
22 May 2013

Sierra Leone: A Post-Conflict Success Story? In June, a RUSI team will visit Sierra Leone to study the country as a model of successful peacebuilding. This will take place in light of recent elections and the conclusion of many military missions. The following outlines what they hope to achieve.
22 May 2013

MONUSCO Congo 2The UN Intervention Brigade: A Force for Change in DR Congo? With troops assigned to the UN's new offensive unit in the DR Congo arriving in Goma, hopes for a tougher response to the region's non-state armed groups have been raised. Yet while novel, the deployment of the unit poses its own challenges.
17 May 2013

Cocaine in West AfricaThe Crime Terror nexus in West Africa The attack on the Al-Amenas facility in Algeria earlier in the year reveals the nexus between organised crime and terrorism in West Africa. This has major implications for the international community and requires greater support to national governments in the region.
15 May 2013

We Hate the EDL More Than We Love Life? Last week, Islamist extremists were found guilty of plotting a terrorist attack on a rally of the English Defence League. The case shows how extremists from both sides are turning to violent means. It also shows how Jihadists in the United Kingdom are focusing on domestic targets.
9 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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