RUSI in the News: 1 May - 6 May


Egypt: A Faltering Revolution

Back in 2011 and perhaps until today, there were those who tried to insist that the revolutionary uprising of January 25—I still remember it as #Jan25, the hashtag of the revolt—was a ‘Facebook revolution.’ It wasn’t—Egyptians beyond social media were deeply involved, but in any case, there won’t be a repetition of that kind of mobilization strategy. Social media is tightly controlled—and activists seem to be looking at other ways to organize.

HA Hellyer for Newsweek ME, 4 May

IS Files Reveal A Militant Bureaucracy

Social media has given the group greater access to a global audience, but the social processes underlying the radicalisation and mobilisation of foreign fighters still mirrors that seen among the recruits of al Qaeda. Behind the bureaucracy, foreign fighters are still just a bunch of guys.

Raffaello Pantucci and Clare Ellis for Sky News, 4 May

Do not ignore the Taliban

In the past week alone, the Taliban have applied ferocious pressure in the southern province of Uruzgan, a gateway to Helmand and Kandahar to the south where the government controls only the isolated capital. Between January and March 2016, civilian deaths rose by 13 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year, while the number of “complex and suicide attacks” rose by over a quarter.

Shashank Joshi for The Hindu, 5 May

Quoted in the Media

Global Counter Terror

Italy ponders military intervention in Libya

“IS is adept at making money out of stuff that crosses its territory, whether it is oil or trucks or people,” says Tom Keatinge of the Royal United Services Institute. Extracting “taxes” from people-smugglers is easy when you have guns and a homicidal reputation.

Tom Keatinge for The Economist, 5 May

The Syria Crisis

IS Files Reveal Assad's Deals With Militants

Almost certainly there will be some sort of communication going on between mortal enemies, and that is for short term tactical gains and losses. Certainly if there is economic trading going on, which we know there is, there would be communication."

Afzal Ashraf for Sky News, The Mirror, International Business Times, and Albawaba 3 May

China’s Economic Policy

Potholes in China’s Silk Road

Much of the historical bilateral projects have been funded through linked loans, where China provides the funding through loans that have stipulations attached to them, such as the requirement that Chinese companies implement the projects on the ground. In other cases where China’s Exim bank or the Silk Road Economic Belt CDB has provided loans to fund projects, it is unclear whether there are any short- or medium term returns or even security on the investment.”

Sarah Lain and Raffaello Pantucci in Asia Sentinel, 3 May

Diplomacy in the Middle East

‘Deep freeze’ between Qatar and the UAE is over

“The deep freeze is thawing,” Michael Stephens, director of the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar, told Doha News this week. “There are still divisions over how both sides view the region and its politics, but the hostility can’t continue.”

Michael Stephens in Doha News, 3 May


Ministry of Defence unveils new armed drone that can spy on targets for twice as long to double RAF fleet

The aircraft is much more capable than its predecessor. It has almost double the endurance of the Reaper so with a fleet of 20 aircraft, this represents an almost quadrupling of the capability, vital given the MoD's range of commitments and its requirement to respond to emerging crises."

Liz Quintana for The Telegraph and The Mirror, 1 May

Liam Fox MP at RUSI

Fury ERUPTS over German plot to HIDE secret EU army using UK troops till after referendum

"As one of the few countries meeting its 2% Nato commitment, British taxpayers are paying a disproportionate share of continental European defence," he said. "Far from magnifying capabilities in the potential application of hard power, our partners are increasingly taking a free ride on our substantially greater capabilities. 

The Express, 4 May

Quitting the EU would cost Britain £250bn, says Darling: Labour peer's trade warning branded 'absurd' by Brexit supporters

But in a speech to the Royal United Services Institute, Dr Fox will say: ‘One of the more absurd assertions made by the Remain campaign is that President Putin would be happy to see Britain leave the European Union and that this would increase his appetite for aggression. Am I mistaken or were we not part of the EU when Russia launched a cyber attack on Estonia, invaded Georgia or annexed the Ukraine?

The Daily Mail, 3 May

Mullah Rassol

Will the US government establish a power-sharing government with the Afghan Taliban?

In an interview with the UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Mullah Rasool, leader of the splinter group, said he is not opposed to a reconciliation peace process in principle, but strongly opposes Mullah Mansoor’s participation and Pakistan supporting him.

The Express Tribune, 4 May

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