Op-Eds by RUSI staff and fellows
Pakistan university attack: after fragile gains terror returns
‘Pakistan and Afghanistan must cooperate to eliminate the Taliban threat’
Cameron finds new way to alienate Muslims
‘It seems the only times that Muslims in the UK are to be raised in public discourse is through a security paradigm – either they are susceptible to terrorism, or they are fighting against terrorism.’
In the News
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Quoted in the news
The Litvenenko Murder
"In some ways, the trajectory of the Litvinenko case has acted as a barometer of British-Russian relations," says Sarah Lain, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
"Originally, a public inquiry was ruled out in part due to 'international relations;' instead they proceeded with an inquest. Holding a public inquiry that would allow Sir Robert Owen to consider closed evidence and hold closed hearings, with the potential of revealing some Russian state involvement or connection in the murder of Litvinenko, would obviously damage British-Russian relations."
“The inquiry has indicated that not merely are the culprits agents of the Russian state, but that this was no rogue operation, but one authorised at the highest level, at the level of the president of Russia.
“In such circumstances it is difficult to see how the British government could simply forget about this criminal investigation in the future, and it is difficult to see how we can conduct ‘business as usual’ with the Russians in the future.
“It reduces the scope for any potential dialogue between London and Moscow. It would allow, of course, continued political dialogue but it would make it very difficult to consider any intelligence or counterterrorism co-operation or any kind of joined activities.”
The finding would make it difficult for Britain to “return to business as normal with Moscow”.
“London also has to calculate whether this particular juncture when we need Russian support for a variety of operations in the Middle East for instance is the right moment to corner Moscow over this,
Also in Tass News Agency
On ‘Jihadi John’
"You're hearing it in your own language, so the threat sounds all the more menacing," Raffaello Pantucci…had said.
"It speaks to the audience and says, you know, 'We are you...You think we're this alien thing but actually no, we're from within your very communities,'" Pantucci had added.
If the coalition were to fully support the ground element of the intervention, it would have deployed aircraft more suited to that mission, notably the British Army’s Boeing/AgustaWestland Apache AH-1 attack helicopters with forward-firing weapons, Afzal Ashraf, consultant fellow for the Royal United Services Institute, adds. Ashraf says that stressing the supposed number of targets hit by the government is arbitrary, as the number of bombs dropped does not equate to a successful mission.
Instead, the Panavia Tornado GR4 and Eurofighter Typhoon fleets will simply “exhaust themselves, and the crew”, he adds. Ashraf notes that the coalition air strikes have led to ISIL dispersing and travelling in tunnels, and more intelligence is needed by opposing forces to understand the tactics of the militants. He adds that it would be surprising if ISIL was not employing decoys to trick the coalition into air strikes on the wrong targets, because economic draining of the opposition would be an advantage to them.
Syria Peace Talks and Turkey
Michael Stephens, who is monitoring the “peace process” for the Royal United Services Institute, said that not being at the talks was to an extent beneficial for the Kurds too, who were creating “facts on the ground” as they carve out autonomous territory between the regime, Isil and non-Isil rebels.
He also said that by taking a hardline position Saudi Arabia and Turkey were both standing in the way of their allies in the West, who were committed to supporting both the rebels against the regime and the Kurds against Isil.
“They have Russian political backing and American political backing,” he said. “They are in a strong position.”
“The tensions between the two sides (Saudi Arabia and Iran) are going to mean that instability across the region will continue."