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
Thick 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
Terrorism 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'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
Rifts 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
Ethnicity 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
The 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
The 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
Hazards 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
Russia’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
Russia 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
Iran’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