RUSI in the News: 20 August - 26 August


Karin von Hippel on Obama’s policy in Syria

He was never convinced that force or a greater use of force would make a difference. Now I precise disagree with that, and I personally disagreed with that when I worked in the State Department, and I worked on Syria as well as on ISIL, for about four years and there are many other people in the State Department who felt that there were many things you could do between sending a hundred thousand troops in and nothing 

Karin von Hippel, BBC Today Programme, 20 August


ISIL’s fans love the burqini ban because it confirms their claims

The burqini ban benefits two enemies to pluralism in the West – ISIL and anti-Muslim populists. For Muslims and non-Muslims more generally, however, it only makes a pluralistic public space that much more difficult to sustain. Moreover, it doesn’t help the cause of female autonomy in Muslim communities, in the West or elsewhere – it only narrows their autonomy altogether. At least in this regard, extremists in ISIL and pseudo-liberals have something in common.

HA Hellyer for The National, 25 August

India’s next generation of submarines are now more vulnerable

Let there be no doubt: India’s next generation of submarines are now more vulnerable, thanks to this breach of operational security. When, in the future, a Chinese Yuan-class sub seeks to slip past the Nicobar Islands into the Indian Ocean, or a Pakistani Agosta hunts an Indian attacker prowling off the Makran coast, they will bring to bear a non-negligible psychological and operational advantage.

Shashank Joshi for The Hindustan Times, 25 August

Quoted in the Media


Kabul ‘beacon of hope’ becomes a prime Taliban target

At a strategic level, these attacks in Kabul don’t matter so much, but they are all contributing to the sense of deterioration of security in the capital, and that is in turn contributing to the bigger crisis in Afghanistan. That is why the insurgents put enormous significance on these.

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 25 August


Islamist Extremists in Britain Tap Smugglers to Reach Syria

Jihadist smuggling is “a weak spot and a problem” for the U.K., said Raffaello Pantucci, a security specialist at the Royal United Services Institute

Raffaello Pantucci in The Wall Street Journal, 23 August


Cyber espionage: A new cold war?

'The fact that the Shadow Brokers did not exist before, appeared at this time and are using intelligence that has been saved up until now suggests this is all part of some deliberate, targeted operation, put together for a particular purpose,” says Ewan Lawson, a former cyber warfare officer in the UK’s Joint Forces Command and now senior research fellow at RUSI, the think-tank. 'That purpose looks like it is to highlight perceived US hypocrisy.” Russia, he says, is the obvious perpetrator.

Ewan Lawson in The Financial Times, 20 August

Shadow Broker's leaked files confirmed real by Snowden docs

Ewan Lawson, a senior fellow for Military Influence at the Royal United Services Institute, largely agreed with Snowden and told that “this would look like an effort by Russia to point out what they perceive as US hypocrisy in cyber-space. It feels as if the stakes are very definitely being raised.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, 23 August

The UK Investigatory Powers Bill – what it would mean for your business

The Bill is in part a reaction to the Snowden revelations of the scale of bulk interception conducted by GCHQ. It draws on subsequent reviews of investigatory powers conducted by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, David Anderson Q.C. and the Royal United Services Institute. A draft Bill published in November 2015 was scrutinised by three Parliamentary Committees.

IP Frontline, 24 August

Anjem Choudary

MI5 stopped Scotland Yard taking Choudary down, sources claim

Raffaello Pantucci, a terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute, said: “Intelligence officers have to generate leads somewhere, so if you have got a kind of honeypot that is Anjem Choudary and every nutter in the UK is gravitating towards him and from there you just trail them and follow them, you can see how it’s doing your job for you in some ways.

“There is undoubtedly an element of security folk who work in the intelligence side who would probably see this as something that is potentially quite useful.”

Raffaello Pantucci in The Telegraph and  The Express, 22 August

The Syria Crisis

U.S.-Backed Kurds to Assad Forces: ‘Surrender or Die’

The Assad regime “is increasingly weak and the regime’s external supporters have little ability to support the regime’s armed forces there,” Michael Stephens, the head of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Qatar, told The Daily Beast. And the events of the last couple of days would seem to bear that out.

Michael Stephens in The Daily Beast, 23 August

Scorpene submarine leak

Indian subs more vulnerable after leak, UK  experts

“The major risk, following this disclosure, is from the exposure of data related to propeller and radiated noise – as a result Indian submarines will be more vulnerable after the data breach,” he said.

Peter Roberts in The Hindustan Times, 25 August

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