Commentary

UK and US troops in IraqParliament's Decision on Syria: Pulling Our Punches The UK Parliament's decision not to intervene militarily in Syria marked an important watershed in UK defence and security policy. The consequences will be examined with interest by allies and potential adversaries alike.
30 Aug 2013

Bashar al-Assad posterAssad's Allies are Only Just Warming Up If the West must attack Syria, then it must be limited to give Assad a bloody nose and nothing more. Otherwise they shift the tide in favour of the rebels and elicit greater support from Assad's allies, who have greater reach into Syria.
30 Aug 2013

FSA Syria AleppoMilitary Action in Syria: Plucking Legal Justifications out of Thin Air Creative reasoning is being deployed to justify the legality of military intervention in Syria. But the the legal case for strikes against Syria is far from being either obvious or clear-cut.
29 Aug 2013

Syrian Soldier - Chemical Weapons SuitWestern Options to Respond to the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria Western governments are now discussing when, not whether to attack Syria after reported use of chemical weapons. What would be the scope of any intervention mission, and what would be the targets?
28 Aug 2013

ReaperEyes over Syria: Using Drones to Monitor Atrocities The Syrian government has rejected 'utterly and completely' US claims that there was 'undeniable' proof of a regime-initiated chemical attack last week. To determine the truth, and deter further atrocities, we should deploy unarmed and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's).
27 Aug 2013

Free Syria Army FlagHow Might Syria Come Back to the UK? Day by day, the Syrian Civil War is attracting foreign fighters, particularly from Europe. While there is no clear evidence of such individuals being sent back to carry out terrorist acts, historically similar jihadist battlefields have produced terrorist threats of one form or another.
19 Aug 2013

Hasan Rouhani sqHoneymoon in Tehran: Rouhani's first 100 days Since his election as Iranian President, many Western commentators welcomed Hassan Rouhani as a 'moderate'. However, his cautious choice of a new Cabinet point to an administration focused on economic reconstruction rather than political change.
15 Aug 2013

India - Foreign Policy - FlagThe Future of Indian Sea power: Navalists versus Continentalists This week, India unveiled major introductions to its navy. They are aimed at applying pressure to China, its chief strategic adversary, but will this be done at the expense of its border defences in the Himalayas?
15 Aug 2013

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

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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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