Iraq Crisis: Dispatch from the North
This week, as the international community considers how best to reverse the gains of ISIS, RUSI analyst Michael Stephens offers first-hand perspectives from Erbil, in the Kurdish heartland of what is still Iraq. Each day he will be offering his thoughts and encounters from the ground.
17 Jun 2014
Iraq’s Future Hangs in the Balance
The fall of Mosul to Islamist extremists poses the single biggest challenge to the Iraqi nation state since the fall of Saddam. Baghdad may not be able to fend off the insurgents by their own, and the United States lacks the political capital to intervene.
12 Jun 2014
NATO Baltic Air Policing – Revenge of the Cold War Relic
NATO’s primary military response to the Russian annexation of Crimea was to reinforce its long standing Baltic Air Policing operations. Airpower is a domain in which NATO can credibly challenge Russian dominance in the region and provide ‘hard’ deterrence against military intimidation.
4 Jun 2014
Dealing With Europe's Electoral Debacle
The rise of far-right and anti-European Union parties at the European Parliament elections was the biggest vote of no confidence in the continent’s ruling elite since the launch of the EU project. But it need not be a disaster, provided governments act with composure and tact.
27 May 2014
Polio and the Syrian Crisis: The Accidental Bioterrorist
The World Health Organization’s recent declaration of a public-health emergency due to the re-emergence of polio in countries including Syria and Somalia highlights the nexus between insecurity, violent Islamist groups and the spread of deadly diseases.
21 May 2014
Nigeria’s Opaque Jihad: Insurgency in Africa’s Richest Nation
The kidnapping of girls in Chibok by Boko Haram has increased the international spotlight on Nigeria. The dilemma for the international community at this point is to understand this complicated environment, but also to make sure the interest is not simply transitory.
16 May 2014
Narendra Modi as Prime Minister: Engagement, Continuity and Reform
Considering his past reputation, the frontrunner to be Indian Prime Minister will have his work cut-out to prove he is not a pariah. In foreign policy,Narendra Modi needs to balance the muscular approach demanded by his supporters and his newfound mercantilist pragmatism.
15 May 2014
Colombia’s Long Road to Peace
Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) could form a central pillar of a lasting peace in Colombia. But how can you make it attractive for those heavily involved in organised crime, which profit the most from the country’s internal conflict?
15 May 2014
Russia with Crimea: Back in the USSR?
Today’s Victory Day Parade (9 May) was poignant for Russia with Vladimir Putin flying to newly-annexed Crimea to celebrate the Soviet victory in the Second World War. Past Soviet glories provide a useful cultural and political backdrop for the Russian president as he deals with the ongoing Ukrainian Crisis.
9 May 2014
Crisis in Ukraine: How Effective are Sanctions against Russia?
As Russia piles on the pressure on Ukraine, the West is responding through targeted sanctions against the Russian elite. A robust sanctions framework will only be effective if it can demonstrate that the West will accept some financial pain.
6 May 2014
Ukraine Crisis: The Strategic Importance of Slavyansk
The Ukranian city of Slavyansk has become the focus in a game of deterrence and brinkmanship that Kiev and Moscow feel compelled to play and in which, despite evident Russian military planning, neither is likely to be in full control.
1 May 2014
Ukraine: Quiet Support for Russia Will Harm China's Long-Term Interests
Though China is reticent over aspects of Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine, the general assumption in Beijing is that China could benefit from the Ukraine crisis. But a more careful look at the potential fallout from the showdown indicates that China’s strategic horizons are not as rosy as currently assumed.
11 Apr 2014
Tensions Over Ukraine: Where Does China Sit?
On the growing crisis over Ukraine, China has remained quietly supportive of Russia. Yet, Russia overestimates and exaggerates China’s level of support that is closer to acquiescence rather than actual support for the turmoil that Russia is engendering.
11 Apr 2014
US-Russia Diplomatic Feelers Over Ukraine: Based on Wrong Assumptions
The US and Russia have vowed to continue negotiations aimed at defusing the Ukraine crisis. But the current diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Moscow will achieve nothing, since they are based on wrong US assumptions and may encourage the worst Russian instincts.
7 Apr 2014