RUSI in the News: 20 August - 26 August


Now China too is in Isil's firing line

Where China has usually faced the menace of international terrorism, it is more usually in an incidental fashion with nationals in the wrong place at the right time.

Raffaello Pantucci for The Telegraph, 1 September

It’s high time we tackled hypocrisy and inconsistency

There are more than 50 countries with Muslim majority populations. Few Muslims would be able to name all those countries, let alone be responsible for their policies. If Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive, it’s irrelevant to the discussion around civil liberties and counter-terrorism policy in Germany. If Iran insists that women wear a hijab in public, it has nothing to do with restricting female Muslim dress on French beaches. It is only a foil with which the justification of repressive policies is made easier.

HA Hellyer for The National, 1 September

Quoted in the Media

Syria Crisis

Inside 'the Glasshouse': Iran 'is running covert war in Syria costing BILLIONS from top secret spymaster HQ near Damascus airport'

Kamal Alam, a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said that the leaked intelligence was 'entirely plausible'.

'I go quite regularly to Syria and visit the battlefields, and I've seen how the Iranians try to keep their operations as secret as possible,' he said. 'Their troops tend to speak Arabic rather than Farsi in public, and generally don't wear Iranian uniforms. This makes it very hard for observers to know how many are in the country.'

Kamal Alam in The Daily Mail, 30 August 

Syria as a Global Battleground: More Actors, More Interests, More Problems

“…some wealthy individuals from the Gulf have funded extremist groups in Syria, many taking bags of cash to Turkey and simply handing over millions of dollars at a time. This was an extremely common practice in 2012 and 2013 but has since diminished and is at most only a tiny percentage of the total income that flows into Islamic State coffers in 2014.”

Michael Stephens in International Policy Digest, 31 August


Why the F-35 could 'never in a million years' beat the RAF Typhoon or the Russian Su-35 in a dogfight

"A low wing loading means that Typhoon and Su-35 can sustain much tighter turns than the F-35 whilst also creating less induced drag and losing less energy," Bronk said.

Justin Bronk in The Business Insider,  and The Fiscal Times, 30 August

North Korea

How N Korea’s merchant ships became a target for UN sanctions

Andrea Berger, deputy director of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme at the Royal United Services Institute, says the sugar used to hide the arms was also probably a form of payment for North Korean railway parts dropped off in Cuba by the ship upon docking.

“Meaning, the weapons and related parts had to be paid for,” says Berger. “There would’ve been something else that had to be negotiated.”

Andrea Berger in Intellasia, 30 August


UK Official Calls for Security Spending Review Post-Brexit

‘While a Brexit could lead to calls for the UK to return to a more global defense posture, there could simultaneously be countervailing pressures on the UK to redouble its commitment to European defense, in part to address concerns that an exit from the EU would risk undermining confidence in NATO, and in part because the UK’s commitment to European defense would represent one of its few bargaining chips as it entered a period of tough negotiations on the terms of its future economic engagement with its EU neighbors,’ Chalmers said.

Malcolm Chalmers in Security Magazine, 1 September

Terrorism in China

Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan hit by suicide bomb attack

The embassy’s location outside Bishkek city centre and the nature of the attack suggested this was a conscious targeting of the building, according to Raffaello Pantucci, directory of international securities studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

Raffaello Pantucci in The Financial Times, 30 August

Suicide bomber attacks Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan

Raffaello Pantucci, the director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said Kyrgyzstan had a large Uighur community and that Uighur militants were the “obvious candidates” for the bombing. “It certainly would stack up in many ways,” he said. Pantucci, a Xinjiang expert, said the attack appeared to have specifically targeted the Chinese embassy, which is in an isolated compound outside the centre of Bishkek. “The Chinese embassy isn’t exactly in the heart of town,” he pointed out

Raffaello Pantucci in The Guardian, 30 August

Financial Crime

Caribbean countries entangled by US financial crackdown

"There is a sense that for a period of time now, it's been open season on the banks," said Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute. "Nobody wants to be the next HSBC or BNP Paribas. You're not going to take a risk."

Tom Keatinge in The Business Recorder, 30 August



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