Commentary

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

Egyptian flagIran's Nuclear Diplomacy: A Response from Egypt If Iran were to overtly cross the nuclear threshold, Egyptian restraint may be temporary, since Egypt may start its own nuclear programme or find itself fully supporting Saudi Arabia’s attempts to seek parity with Iran.
27 Jan 2014

Turkey Flag 2Iran's Nuclear Diplomacy: A Response from Turkey Turkey is wary of Iran’s nuclear programme and its development of ballistic missiles. Whilst Ankara pursues dialogue with Tehran,Turkey will also put in place conventional assets to help defend Turkish territory.
27 Jan 2014

Netanyahu Red LinesIran's Nuclear Diplomacy: A Response from Israel In Israel, unlike the West, there is no serious containment school, and any discussion of Israel’s response after the fact is, necessarily, highly speculative.
27 Jan 2014

Roberts_Saudi ArabiaIran’s Nuclear Diplomacy: A Response from Saudi Arabia This response first appeared in the RUSI Whitehall Paper An Uncertain Future: Regional Responses to Iran’s Nuclear Programme
8 Jan 2014

China Coast GuardChina’s New Coastguard: Not Handing Out Many Carrots (But Definitely Starting to Wield a Big Stick) China has unilaterally established a national fisheries zone in the international waters of the South China Sea, policed by a newly formed Coastguard. At first glance this seems as an attempt to de-militarise disputes in the region, when in fact it frees up the PLA Navy to pursue their blue water ambitions.
23 Jan 2014

US Flag StylizedThe United States Implements Defence Export Control Reforms Export controls for the US defence industry are being reformed. This is a strategic judgment by the Obama Administration where ‘higher fences around fewer items’ of very advanced technologies are designed to counter threats to the US from advanced states or near-peer competitors such as China.
22 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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