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The global economic importance of the Middle East region - with the dependence of so many countries in the region upon access to the sea for national prosperity and security, and with significant percentages of the world’s natural resources originating from the region - has reinforced the position of the Straits of Hormuz arguably as one of the most pivotal Sea Lines of Communication (SLoC) in the world.

However, with the Straits being only 30-40 nautical miles in width, what is effectively a maritime chokepoint is tightened further by the fact that international traffic transits the Straits via a pair of two-mile-wide shipping lanes located on one side of the Strait. Significant actors have the potential to dominate – and thus limit the use of, or even close – the Straits. Securing the Straits clearly is a continually relevant, but also incredibly complex, issue. Responsibilities of the international community to enable the peaceful use of the Straits are set against the national requirements of both regional states and those from elsewhere who rely on what sails through them.

The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) is launching a research project which will look at the challenges to, and implications of, delivering security in the Straits of Hormuz. The project will be launched with a conference, to be held at RUSI on Friday 14th December 2007.


A range of speakers will examine the nature of potential threats to the security of the Straits and potential responses to such threats. The programme will: set the scene with geo-strategic, geo-physical and economic perspectives; assess potential military capabilities, threats and responses; examine potential courses of action for all parties, in the context of legal and Rules of Engagement restrictions; and to draw out key points for discussion.


Confirmed speakers include:

·         Dr John Allen (National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton)

·         Captain Andrew Cassels RN (British Petroleum)


RUSI is interested in securing speakers from other key stakeholders in this particular issue. Please contact Paul Smyth (Head, Operational Studies Programme): +44 20 7747 4951 ;



Opportunities exist for stakeholders to sponsor the conference. Interested parties should contact RUSI to discuss options. Please contact Dr Lee Willett (Head, Maritime Studies Programme): +44 20 7747 2611 ;


Fees and Registration

Please note that places are limited.


Standard Rate: £249.00 + VAT

RUSI Corporate Members Rate: £199.00 + VAT

Military/Government: £149.00 + VAT



The debates in the conference will feed into a report which RUSI intends to publish next year. Research and sponsorship opportunities exist for the report. Please contact:


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