RUSI in the News: 13 August - 19 August


Anjem Choudary case shows law could improve, says government terrorism expert

He said: “I think that him not being around for a period of time because he is sitting in a prison cell will mean that his network will be degraded and you will see that the bright flame that he was which drew people to it and then ultimately led to some of them going on to do other activity is going to be out of the picture.”

Raffaello Pantucci for BBC Today Programme, The Evening Standard, Press Association and Forces TV, 17 August

Iran war graves shows their vow to fight IS

Shashank Joshi from the Royal United Services Institute said Iran may be deliberately signalling a continuing commitment to remain involved. 'The very fact that Iran is talking more openly about its role in Syria shows they are ready to defend their position and their legitimacy of their support for Assad in a way that is very unusual and perhaps signifies a degree or an effort to get public international support and portray themselves as being against ISIS,' he said.

Shashank Joshi on Sky News,  18 August


The challenge in Mosul won’t be to defeat the Islamic State. It will be what comes after.

There is no question that the Islamic State will be defeated in Mosul; the real question is what comes afterward. Can the post-Islamic State effort resolve the squabbling likely to arise over numerous issues and bring lasting stability to one of Iraq’s most diverse and challenging provinces? Failure to do so could lead to ISIS 3.0.

General (Retd) David H Petraeus for The Washington Post, 13 August

Choudary never spoke on behalf of UK Muslims

Choudary made a critical error – he gave allegiance to ISIL. His discourse crossed the boundary by actively supporting a terrorist group. He has now paid the price – but there remain difficult questions for the media. One hopes that more responsibility will be shown in dealing with such extremist figures. That’s not simply a question for the courts. Rather, it is the responsibility of certain members of the media to become more professional.

HA Hellyer in The National, 18 August

Anjem Choudary was a leader. His conviction will damage terror networks

Terrorist networks are, at their core, groups of people gathering around an ideology. Individuals are drawn in for various (often deeply personal) reasons, but to function as an effective unit that works to advance an ideology requires organisation and leadership. Otherwise, it is just a cluster of angry people with no particular direction.

Raffaello Pantucci in The Guardian, 17 August

Analysis: Russia's bombers come to Iran for Syria raids

This move, therefore, is far more significant in geopolitical terms than operational ones, as it shows that Russia - like the US - can and will deploy strategic bombers to overseas bases for combat operations.

Justin Bronk for Al Jazeera, 18 August

The failure to police the EU’s financial border is a security weakness

Whilst policymakers grapple with the challenges of migration to, and within, the EU, the Union’s financial borders are wide open with virtually no entry controls in place, and what monitoring exists is either inadequate or in the hands of the financial services industry, not governments.

Tom Keatinge for Euractive, 19 August

Quoted in the Media


From optimism to enmity in Modi’s outreach to Pakistan

“If you can point to Pakistan as the fundamental cause of the problem, you are exculpating yourself,” said Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute.

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 19 August

Recalibrated in India’s favour

What matters most, of course, is the American position. Washington’s posture has evolved in response to Pakistan’s catastrophic decision to invade Kargil in 1999, India’s successful linkage between Kashmir and international terrorism after 2001, the relative calm that developed in Kashmir in the decade after the 2003 ceasefire and, above all, the remarkable growth of US-India relations in the past 10 years. It is an enduring diplomatic truth that US criticism of allies’ domestic crackdowns is muted. Recent examples include Saudi Arabia in the Eastern Province, Bahrain in its Shia villages, Israel in the occupied territories, and Pakistan in Balochistan.

Shashank Joshi in The Hindustan Times, 17 August


Leaked report reveals Russian battlefield cyber-weapons

Ewan Lawson, a senior fellow for military influence at the Royal United Services Institute, told, “The use of offensive cyber capabilities on the battlefield as opposed to at the strategic level is inevitable given the network nature of armed forces. If ISIS for example is using Whatsapp for command and control, if you could interfere with that then you would be able to undermine their battlefield performance. This is not about breaking the encryption in order to read the messages but potentially being able to disrupt those messages through the integration of cyber and electronic warfare activities. Indeed, this is increasingly known in the West as CEMA or Cyber and ElectroMagnetic Activities.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, 15 August

Defence Planning

MoD flings £800m at Dragons' Den miltech startup wheeze as post-Brexit costs bite

The Royal United Services Institute think tank says that the MoD could face extra costs of up to £700m – which is based on the assumption that the rate of decline of the pound against the dollar stays steady for the next two years.

Meanwhile, in tech creche world, the ministry wants to fling money at UAVs that look like dragonflies and virtual reality helmets.

The Register, 15 August


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