RUSI in the News: 17 September - 23 September


Tensions flare between India and Pakistan after militant strike

'We're in a war of words, and ahead of the UN Assembly General next week both sides are going to take their case to the international community.'

Shashank Joshi for ABC, 19 September


On Syria, US and Russia really are in parallel universes

Russia may care less about what happens as long as Assad allows Russia to be a crucial player in the conflict. As long as the United States continues to desire cooperation with Russia on Syria on the basis of Russia's relationship with the Syrian regime, Russia's position as a key international player is reinforced

Sarah Lain for CNN, 22 September

The bitter truth about the world’s biggest challenge

Once, Mr Obama spoke about "red lines" – and it turned out that he didn’t have any. Now, as he draws to the end of his presidency, he appeals instead for "hard diplomacy". After five years of war, one might have thought the international community would have risen to the challenge, particularly considering that a half a million people are dead and millions more are refugees. But little changes.

HA Hellyer for The National, 22 September

Uri attack may push Indo-Pak relations, already at their lowest, to a new low

Uri is not a turning point. There will be no airstrikes or mass mobilisation. But it is a stepping stone towards what will be a more violent, unpredictable, and tumultuous period in India-Pakistan relations.

Shashank Joshi for The Hindustan Times, 19 September

Why Post-9/11, Racial and Religious Profiling Is In Danger of Becoming Normalized

I’m not really sure what “winning” against al-Qaeda and the likes of it, such as ISIS, quite means, since it’s been said that we “won” many times over in the past 15 years. But it is clear that right here at home, in Britain, in Europe, in the West, we’re not winning in one key respect. And that is the recognition of the indigenous nature—the indigenization—of Muslims in these lands. They’re integral parts of our societies, our communities, and our countries. But 15 years later, we treat them far too often as though they were so alien, so foreign to us.

HA Hellyer in Newsweek, 21 September

China Is Supporting Syria's Regime. What Changed?

The current fracturing of the Middle East as a result of the Syrian crisis, however, poses a central roadblock to China’s ability to make this vision a reality. In this context, Beijing views the United States’ approach to Syria as driven by Washington’s desire to use the civil war as a pretext to overthrow the Assad regime in order to weaken Iran’s growing power and influence in the Middle East.

Raffaello Pantucci in National Interest, 17 September

Quoted in the Media

Kashmir Attacks

Indian troops kill suspected militants in Kashmir

They are not going to start a war — this doesn’t meet that threshold,” said Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. “That would take a much bigger mass-casualty attack. But it’s sufficiently serious that it will prompt an escalation.”

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 20 September

Narendra Modi’s strongman reputation tested by Kashmir attack

People want to see something but they don’t know what that something is,” says Shashank Joshi, a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. “It combines ideas of revenge, retaliation, justice and deterrence into this kind of nebulous idea of a giving Pakistan bloody nose.”

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 19 September

Kashmir militants kill 17 in deadly attack on Indian army base 

“It’s trapped by its own rhetoric,” Mr Joshi said of the BJP administration. “It spent so many years telling Indians that Congress was weak, lily-livered and cowardly that they are obliged to either back down and be humiliated, or escalate and match up to their rhetoric.”

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 18 September


Life after Brexit: a 'renationalisation' of economic policy

‘The UK will not accept freedom of movement of people or accept single market regulation without having a say in drawing it up,’ said Chalmers. ‘The UK will have to leave the single market and it is very likely that because we have our own trade policy we will be out of the customs union.’

Malcolm Chalmers in Citywire, 21 September

The fog of politics

'The most urgent need,” he says, “is to find a way to keep Britain as integrated in Europe’s defence as possible.'

Jonathan Eyal in The Express, 24 September

Military development

US Army builds 'ambidextrous' grenade

'I'm slightly surprised the US has earmarked funds for it as it's a relatively niche improvement at a time when budgets are stretched,' said Justin Bronk, research fellow in military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think tank. 'The old grenade doesn't really have any deficiencies per se. This is much more scalable - it can be used as traditional hand grenade or dialled back if you are trying to minimise collateral damage.'

Justin Bronk for the BBC , 20 September

Army building new ‘ambidextrous’ multi-purpose grenade

“What’s quite interesting is the objective they are trying to achieve with this, which is a discretionary weapons system,” he told “This is important because it is all about minimizing collateral damage and civilian casualties, ensuring the appropriate effect is easily achieved and simple concussion/fragmentation selection makes it more likely to employ appropriate force.”

Peter Quentin in BGR, 22 September

Cyber Security

Discord Over Snooping Muted by Security Fears

“What is interesting in the U.K. is that, while the agencies are pushing for as much as they can, they also recognize that it is important to have oversight,” he said. “They have no interest in living in an Orwellian world either. It is a question of having the right structures.”

Raffaello Pantucci in The New York Times, 22 September

NSA hacking tools used against Cisco customers

'I wonder if in part this is a reaction by Shadow Brokers to the response that the tools were dated and therefore likely already patched against? It seems to have gone very quiet regarding the auction with public attention switched to Colin Powell and WADA hacks.' Lawson added, 'I would like to think that the key agencies were already sharing the exploits with the vendors however circuitously but perhaps that's me being naive'

Ewan Lawson in SC Magazine, 20 September

Drone warfare

RAF base used to talk to Assad over Syria truce

'Although the US has the Global Hawk, a sophisticated drone, it is prone to technical difficulties,' said Justin Bronk, combat airpower and technology expert with the Royal United Services Institute think tank. 'It would be understandable that the US would want to deploy its U2s over Syria.'

Justin Bronk for The Express, 18 September

Countering Daesh

Daesh prepares ‘river of fire’ to defend Mosul

It’s been a pattern for [Daesh] units to embed amongst civilians since coalition airstrikes first began,” Stephens told MEMO, “Clearly, the issue of rules of engagement is a complex and sensitive matter that has restrictive effects on the ability of coalition forces to fight the group. The reasoning is primarily tactical and unfortunately rather successful.”

Michael Stephens in Middle East Monitor 21 September

Egyptian Security

Egypt freezes assets of human rights activists

“I think certain parts of the establishment view civil society groups as being inherently destabilising'

HA Hellyer in The Financial Times, 17 September

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