RUSI in the News: 16 May - 20 May


Iraq death toll rises after coordinated ISIL attacks

"Certainly Daesh (ISIL) has always looked for options to divert attention away from losses but there are two other things that are driving this wave of bombings."

Afzal Ashraf on Al Jazeera, May 16


Op Eds

The "Tutap" Pipeline could fracture Afghanistan yet further

"At this stage, TUTAP is unlikely to be divisive enough to split the government. But it is not unique: there is an ever-greater tendency among Afghan leaders to politicise issues in their own battles for power. They need to recognise this is a dangerous game to play. It could further destabilise the fragile country."

Emily Winterbotham for Prospect Magazine, May 20

A pauper France is a threat to Europe

“The French government should be congratulated for mustering the courage to implement changes to labour legislation. Still, the rest of Europe should pluck up the courage to tell Paris that France is simply too important now to be left to the mercies of timid French politicians alone.”

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times, May 16


British laws on 'hate preachers' set to ignite fiery debates

“Britain unveils measures today to crack down on "hate preachers" and others who advocate religious violence, as part of a broader effort to tackle what the country's leaders refer to as the "poisonous narrative" of Islamic extremism.”

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times, May 16



Egypt's tourism trade 'one disaster from being finished' following MS804 'terror attack' feared to be aimed at destroying industry

“We’ve no full confirmation yet that this was a terrorist attack, so we ought to wait and see – but if it was a militant group that brought down MS804, then damaging Egyptian tourism is likely only a part of the motivation.”

Dr H A Hellyer for The Daily Mail, May 19


HRH Prince Turki al Faisal at RUSI

Veteran Saudi Prince Rejects Idea That Economic Reforms Should Lead To Political Changes

“I don’t see that having an economic vision or plan for Saudi Arabia at this time requires any political alteration.”

RUSI Event on Forbes, May 16


President Ashraf Ghani at RUSI

Protester Punched At RUSI

Ashraf Ghani was speaking about security in his country, at the Royal United Services Institute, when he was interrupted by two protesters. One of them was forcibly removed as the president argued his country was not becoming a safe haven for Al-Qaeda, but admitted his worries about them kept him awake at night.

RUSI Event on Forces.TV, May 13


Afghan President toughens stand on Taliban and Pakistan

Last week, in a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute in London, the Afghan president pointed out that his country is facing an “undeclared war” from Pakistan. He lashed out at the Pakistani government’s refusal to carry out a “single operation against the Haqqanis or the Taliban leadership.”

RUSI Event in Asia Times, May 16


Heckling of Afghan president at Anti-Corruption Summit gives glimpse of country's divisions

RUSI Event in The Independent, May 13


Afghan President toughens stand on Taliban and Pakistan

“Are their addresses not known? Where do they congregate, where do they meet, do they not meet openly, do they not recruit openly, do they not receive arms openly,” he asked.

RUSI Event in Asia Times, May 16


Can a pipeline route kill Afghan Hazara pipe dreams?

During his London address, Ghani tried to placate a heckler by noting, “See, even in the middle of a war, we are prepared to discuss and debate infrastructure issues.” Maybe this time Afghans simply need to give their president more time.

RUSI Event on France 24, May 17


NY Times Calls Pakistan 'Duplicitous', Backs Hold on F-16 Jets Subsidy

Delivering a well-received lecture on the theme “Fifth Wave of Political Violence” at the Royal United Services Institute on Thursday, Ghani expressed frustration at Afghanistan becoming a battleground for fighters from various countries, but mainly from Pakistan.

RUSI Event in Manila Times, May 14


Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland, at RUSI

Deputy Minister Szatkowski in London

Deputy Minister Tomasz Szatkowski was also a guest at the think tank RUSI (Royal United Service Institute), which cooperates with the British Ministry of Defence. As a keynote speaker, he took part in a panel discussion on the challenges facing NATO in the context of the July Summit in Warsaw, entitled “The NATO Summit: The Challenge Ahead.”

RUSI Event on The Ministry of National Defence Republic of Poland, May 20


EU Referendum

Liam Fox is wrong to suggest that the EU controls the Foreign Office

Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox told an audience at the Royal United Services Institute last week that the Foreign Office had been reduced to “little more than the EU embassy in Whitehall”.

RUSI Event in The Spectator, May 14


Deadly ISIL attacks kill at least 129 in Iraq

“Certainly Daesh (ISIL) has always looked for options to divert attention away from losses but there are two other things that are driving this wave of bombings,” Afzal Ashraf, consultant fellow for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Al Jazeera.

Afzal Ashraf for Ezspk, May 16


Cyber Security

German Intelligence blames Russia for Parliament hack

However, added Lawson, “Arguably the whole point of this approach is proving the link between ATP 28 and the Russian state and even further with Putin's inner circle. As such, I think the Russians will smile knowingly but it won't lead to any escalation at this stage. The bigger significance is the growing public conversation about the state/non-state nexus.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, May 16



Kerry Says ‘Competing Interests’ Hold Up Syria Peace Accord

“Together those crises are bolstering Russia’s arguments that removing Assad would unleash greater chaos and repeat mistakes made in Iraq and Libya, where the overthrow of long-standing regimes gave free rein to jihadist groups.”

Afzal Ashraf for Bloomberg, May 17



Russia’s military ambitions make waves in the Black Sea

Jonathan Eyal, international director of Rusi, the military think-tank, says: “The Russian strategy is to use military pressure to open up little cracks in the security architecture of Europe wherever it can.”

Jonathan Eyal for The Financial Times, May 16


Activation of US Missile Shield?

“For most Nato European states, they’re happy to go along with the phased adaptive approach to missile defence, but most of all because it’s a way of binding the Americans to European security.”

Malcolm Chalmers for The Pakistan Observer, May 20


Former Nato commander’s new book predicts invasion of Baltic as Putin bids to ‘make Russia a great power again’

Speaking at the launch of the book at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) at Whitehall, in London, he [General Sir Richard Shirreff] said that war can be avoided if the West began to position personnel and weapons in the Baltic States and eastern Europe.

RUSI Event in The Independent, May 18


'Court martial threat' to general who blasted cuts: New book claims Philip Hammond wanted to discipline senior soldier who said plans were a 'hell of a gamble' 

At the launch of his book at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday, he said: ‘There has been a hollowing out, a cutting away at muscle and damn nearly as well bone frankly in UK defences.’

RUSI Event in The Daily Mail, May 19


North Korea

North Korea adopts anti-money laundering law

“Pyongyang is looking to undercut arguments that it is anything but sanctions that is obstructing its efforts to engage in global trade and investment,” she said.

Andrea Berger for NK News, May 18


Air Koryo operates first Kuwait flight since February

“It is unclear from the wording of Resolution 2270 whether the exemption for ‘civilian passenger aircraft’ includes North Korean charter flights which are not scheduled to return to the country in question.”

Andrea Berger for NK News, May 19


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