Commentary

Prince Muqrin Abdul Aziz al Saud [thmbnail image]Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince: A Sign of Real Transition Ahead? Even though he may be 68-years-old, the appointment of Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to Deputy Crown Prince suggests that Saudi Arabia is paving the way for a careful transition of power to a younger generation of princes.
1 Apr 2014

Free Syria Army Idlib February 2012 - Photo by tinyccSyriaFreedomThick As Thieves: European Criminals Take to Syria’s Battlefield Individuals with known criminal histories are a surprisingly common feature of the current Syrian battlefield. While their motives may be a combination of redemption and opportunism, returnees in this mode pose a complicated threat picture for security services to process if they return.
31 Mar 2014

Xingjiang mosque china thumbTerrorism in China: Seeing the Threat Clearly Recent Western and Chinese media focus on terrorism in Xinjiang has diverted attention away from the greater threat that Beijing faces from its ethnic Uighur population: namely a repeat of the large-scale rioting that hit the regional capital of Urumqi in 2009.
31 Mar 2014

Ukraine flagUkraine's Ground Forces Having effectively annexed Crimea, Russia now threatens the territorial integrity of the rest of Ukraine. How are Ukraine's ground forces configured to deal with the challenge? Dr Igor Sutyagin, RUSI Research Fellow for Russia Studies has researched the following map.
27 Mar 2014

Persian GulfRifts in the Gulf, What Lies Ahead? The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to withdraw their Ambassadors from Qatar has the potential to turn into a genuine diplomatic crisis.
13 Mar 2014

Euromaidan Ukraine 2Ethnicity and Language in Ukraine In justifying military intervention in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has expressed determination to ‘defend’ those he considers as ‘Russians’ throughout the former Soviet Union. But the definition of who is a Russian varies, and is particularly opaque in Ukraine’s case.
12 Mar 2014

Vanguard classThe UK’s Naval Nuclear Reactors: Ageing Ungracefully? Worrying reactor test results have prompted the Ministry of Defence to schedule an unexpected reactor replacement for the UK’s oldest nuclear-armed submarine, at a cost of £120 million. If forensic tests exacerbate these concerns, the financial costs of reactor replacement may not be the UK’s only worry.
11 Mar 2014

GCHQThe Politics of Surveillance There seems to be a political consensus on the need for surveillance of digital data that is proportionate to the danger faced by UK citizens. However, to counter threats, agencies face the challenge of sifting through huge volumes of data while maintaining the trust of the public.
7 Mar 2014

Gravity filmHazards of the Space Junkyard The recently Oscar-nominated film Gravity underscored the very real danger of space debris from old and existing satellites and space missions in the low earth orbit. Reducing the number of satellite missions will not be enough, and there are a number of initiatives underway to have space junk removed.
3 Mar 2014

Putin 2012 thumbnailRussia’s Crimea Gamble: another Reckless Putin Move President Putin believes he can escalate and de-escalate the conflict in Crimea at will. But that is the same fallacy of omnipotence which has led Mr Putin to gamble so often on Ukraine, and lose the bet every time.
28 Feb 2014

Eurofighter Typhoon multinationalBAE Systems’ Salam Deal Hints at the Importance of Defence Industrial Partnerships with Emerging Powers After protracted negotiations, UK defence giant BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia have agreed on the pricing for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets. The deal highlights the crucial relevance of and challenges to defence-industrial partnerships between Western countries and emerging powers around the world.
25 Feb 2014

Ukraine protestor 2014Russia and Ukraine: the Empire Will Strike Back With a revolution under way, it is unlikely for Russia to have tanks rolling into Ukraine. But humiliated now for a second time there, Russia does not need a military intervention to achieve its objective of squeezing Ukraine hard.
24 Feb 2014

Euromaidan Kiev protests UkraineUkraine Protests: International Sanctions May Be Irrelevant to The Unfolding Crisis With scores of anti-government protestors now dead, the Ukranian president undoubtedly has blood on his hands. But the European Union and international community risk making the situation worse by imposing sanctions.
20 Feb 2014

FloodUK Floods: Is it Time to Reconsider Environmental Security? As parts of the UK still come to terms with flooding, Opposition Leader Ed Miliband has described climate change as an issue of national security. It is time to take environmental security seriously once again?
19 Feb 2014

Persian Gulf foreign ministers July 2009Iran’s Nuclear Diplomacy: How the Gulf Feels Threatened Stoking sectarianism, threatening stability and interfering in sovereign countries: Iran already is a source of instability to Gulf countries even without a deal on its nuclear programme. Feeling vulnerable, Gulf countries may look to US alternatives to guarantee their security.
18 Feb 2014

AbdulWahidMajeedSyria's First British Suicide Bomber: The UK Jihadist Backdrop The revelation that the Syrian conflict has perhaps claimed its first British suicide bomber poses urgent questions for the radical group he came from in the UK, and the threat from extremists radicalised over a long period of time.
14 Feb 2014

Typhoon take-off‘4.5 Generation’ Fighters – Multi Role Aircraft in Search of a Role Europe’s leading manufacturers are competing with each other to sell the latest generation fighters. But in an age of decreasing defence budgets, air forces around the world are being more cautious with their new purchases.
11 Feb 2014

Iraq flagIraq on the Edge of the Abyss With elections in 2014, the situation in Iraq may unravel, with ramifications not only for the stability of the Iraqi government, but for the broader security of Iraqis and even the integrity of Iraq itself.
3 Feb 2014

Geneva II Talks 220114 -  UN PhotoEskinder DebebeThe Syria Geneva-II Talks: ‘The Only Show in Town’ While both refuse to talk directly to each other, and threaten withdrawal at the slightest pretext, both sides realise that this dialogue is the only means acceptable to the international community to move forward.
29 Jan 2014

Iran's Nuclear Diplomacy: A Response from Oman For the Gulf as a whole, Iran’s nuclear ambitions represents the most serious ongoing threat to the security of the region as a whole. However, there is diversity of opinion, reflecting important differences in the strategic circumstances and historical experiences of each Gulf state.
28 Jan 2014

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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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