Foreword: January 2016 Newsbrief

Introducing the January 2016 edition of Newsbrief

January’s issue of Newsbrief leads with an analysis of the UK’s latest Strategic Defence and Security Review by John Louth, who looks at the thorny question of the affordability of some of the defence systems and other acquisition programmes currently envisaged.

The issue also contains a collection of articles attempting to shed new light on terrorism as a phenomenon, and terrorists as groups, organisations, concepts, or even as ‘brands’, as one of the articles suggests. Tom Keatinge, the director of RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, highlights the measures required to throttle terrorist finance and suggests that, as is often the case, governments are well advised to start by examining their provisions at home before advocating global measures. This issue also runs an article by Max Abrahms who researches and teaches on asymmetric conflict and International Relations theory at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. He argues that without a proper understanding of what terrorists want, the public is invariably tempted to believe that terrorists are always successful in their deeds.

Finally, Newsbrief looks at the major strategic changes taking place in the Middle East, from the lifting of the economic sanctions on Iran, and the corresponding rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran; Michael Stephens analyses the security debates now taking place inside the Gulf Cooperation Council on how to ensure regional stability.


Jonathan Eyal

Associate Director, Strategic Research Partnerships

RUSI International

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