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Citations of RUSI expert analysis and events in the global media during November 2008.
More information and commentary from RUSI on the book: The Defence Acquisition Debate
A briefing note by Paul Smyth warning of famine in Afghanistan due to rising food prices and a summer drought this winter continues to dominate coverage of the region. The note says that the famine, which will affect an estimated 8.4 million Afghans, makes the mounting of an ‘intensive operation to deliver life-saving aid’ essential.
Michael Clarke said some people had a "perception of pointlessness" about the conflict in Afghanistan. "The need to build some public support for and understanding of what we are doing there is absolutely essential," he said.
Full media coverage: Council on Foreign Relations, Reuters AlertNet, Washington Post, IRIN News, United Nations, AFP, Trend News Agency, Washington Times, Pakistan Tribune, Relief Web, Heraldo, Der Spiegel, The National, Yahoo
More from RUSI on the situation in Afghanistan: Afghanistan
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have provoked questions about the provenance and purpose of the perpetrators. Alex Neill notes that the attacks could be an attempt to cause instability in the region, and that Al Qa’ida is likely to at least have been aware of the plans. He adds that the scale of the attacks indicates some level of outside planning and funding, although the terrorists are most likely to be members of India’s growing radicalized Muslim minority.
Addressing the terrorists’ funding, Tobias Feakin suggests that there is ‘bound to be a substantial amount’ of money flowing to Pakistan from communities in the UK. Assessing the performance of the Indian security forces, he identified a lack of co-operation and that there were ‘too many different law enforcement agencies involved.’
Michael Clarke observes that the attackers were well trained and well led, and had therefore probably been through regional Islamist training camps. Garry Hindle identifies concerns about the involvement of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence in the bombings, suggesting that the attacks may have been intended to disrupt the US-Indian relationship.
Full media coverage: Bloomberg, The Telegraph, The Independent, Financial Times, Daily Express, CBS, Financial Times, Economic Times (India), Belfast Telegraph, The Independent, Thai-Indian News, The Scotsman, IT Examiner, Argentina Star, Financial Times,
RUSI analysis on the attacks and their ramifications: Mumbai Terrorism
Growing piracy off the coast of Somalia, including the hijack of an oil supertanker, constituted a daunting challenge for national governments. Lee Willett says that the risks of storming the Sirius Star were 'too great'. 'I don't think there is a real military option,' he said. 'It's now more a matter of negotiating the size of the ransom'.
For more information from RUSI on piracy and maritime security: Maritime Security
President-elect Obama's future foreign policy priorities provided a constant source of debate. 'He has a very international background for an American president,' said RUSI's Chairman Paul Lever.
Media coverage: Defense News
RUSI examines Obama's future security options as President: International Security under Obama
A RUSI conference on 'Unfolding Instability in Kashmir' saw the former Chief General of the Pakistan Army Jehangir Karamat call for a negotiated settlement to bring about a solution in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
More information from RUSI on Pakistan's security situation: Pakistan