Commentary

NetanyahuNetanyahu's Israel: Strategic Fatalism and Disaster 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.
22 Jan 2013

Operation ServalFrance in Mali: What Risk for the 'New' Hollande? As French troops continue to engage Islamist rebels in Mali, questions are being raised over how long they will stay, and the real commitment of the president to ending France's long history of interventionism on the continent.
22 Jan 2013

Obama revolutionInauguration Day Priorities for Transatlantic Co-operation After some disappointment in Obama's first term, there is a moment of optimism for transatlantic relations. Washington and Brussels should capitalise on this moment, and work to ensure closer co-operation in pursuit of their strategic objectives in President Obama's second term.
21 Jan 2013

YouTube Prophet Muslim Protest LondonClash of Civilisation in Full Flow? Charting Anglo-American Attitudes to the 2012 YouTube Crisis Polling research by YouGov-Cambridge in conjunction with RUSI suggests significant belief in a wider cultural clash of civilisations, and mixed views on exercising free speech to offend religion.
17 Jan 2013

Al-Shabaab SomaliaFrance Confronts Terror Threat in Africa, Risks Attack at Home The French assault on militant jihadists in Mali reflects a recognition in Paris that the long-brewing Islamist trouble in North Africa is something that has started to spiral out of control, and has potential to have a direct impact within France.
17 Jan 2013

Nuclear weaponsThe Nuclear Agenda for 2013: New Solutions to Old Problems While the leadership transitions of 2012 have altered this year's political landscape, they have left the nuclear agenda for 2013 regrettably unchanged. Thankfully, this new backdrop may provide opportunities to find new solutions to old problems.
10 Jan 2013

chavezImagining a Post-Chávez Venezuela Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's ill health continues to place question marks over the future political stability of the Bolivarian Republic, rekindling concerns that instability, power struggle and the possible out-break of violence could once again be on the horizon.
10 Jan 2013

Bin Laden DeadDoes Decapitating Terrorist Leaderships Work? In the last two-years, international counter-terrorism strategies have focused on decapitating terrorist leaderships. But the threat and the ideology remains. In the coming year it is important to address the psychological motivations for conducting terrorist acts.
7 Jan 2013

Iraqi ArmyA Year of Endemic Instability in Iraq Sectarian and ethnic polarisation now dominates Iraq's political landscape. It could lead to toxic instability in 2013 as the Syrian civil war bolsters a restless Sunni Iraqi opposition while the Kurds continue to assert their independence from Baghdad.
3 Jan 2013

North Korea NuclearOld Ally, New Headaches: Will China Turn Cold on North Korea? With North Korea’s recent missile test capturing the world’s attention, China’s response to its old ally’s transgressions will be critical for any chance of progress. With new leadership in Beijing, is there the possibility for a change in China’s approach?
17 Dec 2012

Putin 2012 thumbnailCrime and Punishment: Why Was the Russian Defence Minister Sacked? The recent dismissal of the Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, over Putin's public objections, brings into question the Russian President's control over the Russian elite. It also reveals latent tensions between the reformers and traditionalists within Russia’s defence establishment.
12 Dec 2012

China America FlagBetween Barack and a Hard Place: Asian Regional Integration in the Shadow of Superpower Rivalry The recent visit by Barack Obama to Southeast Asia is a clear elucidation of his Administration’s ambitions for the region. It is becoming clear that both China and the US are competing for regional influence, forcing the ASEAN states to walk a tightrope in their engagement with the two major powers.
28 Nov 2012

Iraqi Kurdistan FlagTension on the Trigger-Line As the eyes of the world are focused on Israel and Gaza, tension in northern Iraq between the Kurdish regional government and the Maliki administration has been mounting. Any violence between the two factions would be a disaster for Iraq.
26 Nov 2012

Erdogan thumbnailTurkey Defers to Egypt Turkey’s grander regional ambitions have been thwarted by its alienation of important regional players. Now a more inward looking Turkey has adopted a supporting role as Erdogan positions himself for a run at the Turkish presidency.
23 Nov 2012

Iron DomeBeyond the Iron Dome: Placing Missile Defence in its Regional Context The latest crisis between Israel and Palestine highlighted the utility of the Israel Defence Force’s Iron Dome system. It emphasises once again the importance of missile defence and has gained the attention of the United States. Still deemed as a key US priority, it sees cooperation with Israel as integral to developing future capabilities.
23 Nov 2012

Hamas HQ Gaza bombingA Tenuous Ceasefire in Gaza In the latest Gaza conflict, neither side has 'won'. The ceasefire as it stands does no more than restore a fraught status quo, one that will almost certainly crumble again in the absence of dramatic political shifts in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank.
23 Nov 2012

Hamas HQ Gaza bombingOperation Pillar of Defence: Israel’s Strategic Objectives The ongoing Operation Pillar of Defence is the latest manifestation of Israeli efforts to disarm Hamas of its supply of long range missiles and to demonstrate to Hamas’ leadership the strategic miscalculation of using force to pursue its objectives.
19 Nov 2012

Gaza CityIsrael's Strategic Gamble in Gaza The engagement with Hamas and the subsequent escalation of force after Hamas’s response represents a strategic gamble by the Netanyahu government. While on the tactical level the operation has parallels with Operation Cast Lead, the wider strategic context has changed since 2009.
19 Nov 2012

Gaza civiliansTahrir Squared: Egypt, Israel and Gaza The regional strategic context stands in contrast to 2008-2009. The government in Cairo is now much more sensitive to popular sentiment, which has been enflamed by the violence. Egypt’s reaction to the conflict will be of keen interest to regional observers.
19 Nov 2012

GotovinaThe Gotovina Verdict Does Not Wipe the Slate Clean A previous judgement to indict two Croatian generals of war crimes during 1995 has been overturned on appeal. While their conduct is deemed within the reasonable demands of a military offensive, Serbian prejudices against the War Crimes Tribunal process will be reinforced.
19 Nov 2012

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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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