Recent increases in Russia’s military presence in Syria not only help reinforce a regional ally in opposition to the West, but also ensure Russia’s prominent role in Syria’s political future, with or without Assad.
The announced review of the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance regime under the Cutting Red Tape programme sends mixed policy messages at a sensitive time. The focus on increasing supervisory effectiveness is the right one, but must be delicately balanced with the need to strengthen the UK’s illicit finance defences.
Operation Moshtarak is the most important campaign in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. Its success, however, will not be measured in military terms but in terms of public opinion, both in Helmand and the rest of Afghanistan and in the Coalition's domestic electorate.
The Obama Administration has outlined a refocusing of the United States missile defence plans, revising the approach previously taken by the Bush White House. Central to the plan is the deployment of more mobile systems that could assuage the once sceptical Russians.