RUSI in the News: 25 April - 1 May

Op –Eds

China’s Silk Road in Central Asia: transformative or exploitative?

However,China has done far more than just invest in extractives. Chinese companies have built roads, railways, tunnels, power lines and refurbished oil refineries as well as special economic zones. It is also actively involved in agri-business and telecommunications investments.

Sarah Lain for The Financial Times, 27 April

Obama deals a blow to Brexit campaigners

Mr Obama's warning last week during his visit to London appears to have had a profound impact on the current British campaign ahead of a referendum on the issue. The latest opinion polls indicate that 51 per cent of Britain's electorate now supports continued EU membership, against 40 per cent wanting to withdraw - the highest score for the "yes" camp since the start of this year.

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times, 27 April

Rise of populist parties in Europe

The Austrian vote was greeted with jubilation by other populist movements in Europe, which hope to emulate Mr Hofer's performance. Dr Frauke Petry, head of the populist Alternative for Germany party, hailed Mr Hofer's "superb landslide victory". Dutch anti-Islamic leader Geert Wilders called the Austrian election results "fantastic". And French populist leader Marine Le Pen said Austria's vote was "an indication of the way that history is pointing".

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times, 30 April

Quoted in the Media

EU Referendum

Northern Ireland warned of Brexit dangers

The RUSI assessment, published on Thursday, is written by Edward Burke, a lecturer in strategic studies at the University of Portsmouth. It is the first to sketch the political implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland, which, he argues, are neglected in the debate on the UK’s future in Europe and require “urgent attention”.

Edward Burke for The Financial Times, 28 April 2016

Brexit will cost workers a month’s salary, says OECD

The report, by lecturer in strategic studies at the University of Portsmouth Edward Burke, states that a “departure from the EU could see Northern Ireland re-emerging as a major political, security and economic crisis for future governments in London”.

Edward Burke in The Irish Times, 28 April 2016

Brexit ‘could damage peace process’

“While the debate focuses on trade and English and Scottish issues, inattention in the case of Northern Ireland, particularly on Brexit, is complacent and dangerous; Northern Ireland’s departure from conflict remains brittle.”

Edward Burke in The Newsletter, 28 April 2016

Brexit 'Would Damage Delicate Northern Ireland Peace Process'

"Northern Ireland, with its 300-mile land border, its fractured political structures, weak economy and enduring terrorist threat, requires urgent attention in the debate on a potential Brexit."

Edward Burke for Forces TV, 28 April

RUSI - Northern Ireland’s Delicate Peace Process at Risk Should the UK Leave the European Union

With 192 suspected criminals or terrorists handed over to the UK authorities by Ireland under the EAW from 2004-2013, he observes that European police and judicial co-operation agencies such as Europol and Eurojust are also frequently used by the British and Irish police and security agencies during counter-terrorism and criminal investigations on both sides of the border. 

Edward Burke in Wired Gov, 28 April

Brexit's Impact May Be a Foreign Affair

"On balance, the UK would be less secure," says Jonathan Eyal, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, a London defense think tank.

Jonathan Eyal in USA News, 28 April

Defence Procurement

Row over design of submarine hunters delaying Clyde orders

Peter Roberts, naval expert at the Royal United Services Institute, said: “The critical thing is that the design for the anti-submarine frigates has got to be perfect before any steel is cut. They cannot make any noise when they are at sea and that requires careful consideration and thought.”

Peter Roberts for The Telegraph, 27 April 2016

Ministry of Defence unveils new armed drone that can spy on targets for twice as long to double RAF fleet

Liz Quintana, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said: “The aircraft is much more capable than its predecessor. It has almost double the endurance of the Reaper so with a fleet of 20 aircraft, this represents an almost quadrupling of the capability, vital given the MoD's range of commitments and its requirement to respond to emerging crises."

Liz Quintana for The Telegraph, 1 May 2016

US Foreign Policy

Trump Speech Elicits Little World Reaction

International leaders were expecting him to provide some specifics of what a Trump foreign policy would look like, says Jonathan Eyal, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, a UK defense think tank, but they were disappointed. "He substantially reiterated a few of his campaign slogans. The feeling among European leaders was this was a missed opportunity to flesh out some details."

Jonathan Eyal in USA News 28 April


NATO alliance getting new supreme commander

US forces have shifted primary focus from reassuring NATO partners that they will support them to “overtly stopping or warning Russia that if they try to do anything silly, they will be punished, and that the U.S. and NATO as a consequence will respond,” she said.

Liz Quintana in Alarabiya, 30 April

Flight MH17

Conspiracy Files: Who shot down MH17?

Once again, the experts I spoke to in the West were damning. Igor Sutyagin, a former Soviet air defence officer and now a defence analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in London, complained that it is "not scientific". He said the idea was to "kill the truth, providing excessive details to create a smoke screen".

Igor Sutyagin in The BBC, 25 April

Global counter-terror

Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabaab

Analyst Cathy Haenlein of Britain’s Royal United Services Institute says al-Shabaab has been extending its reach across east Africa as it has lost territory in Somalia.

“So we have seen it exert a much greater level of influence in Kenya for example, there are much higher levels of recruitment and fundraising going on in Kenya,” Haenlein said.

Cathy Haenlein for VOA, 30 April

More violence forecast in Ethiopia's Gambella as death toll rises

"It's because of the security vacuum, which is the consequence of the conflict in South Sudan," Ewan Lawson, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London told RFI. "It's been a very large part of local culture for a long long time."

Ewan Lawson in RFI, 25 April

IS using Iraqis as 'human shields' as civilian toll mounts in Mosul

“Iraqi security forces have been and will continuously be advised to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible,” said Michael Stephens of the Royal United Services Institute. However this advice is not always followed, partly due to a wide gap in professionalism across the force – while some units will observe these rules, others will not."

Michael Stephens for Middle East Eye, 28 April

ISIS is ripping itself Apart from the inside; suicide bombers & caliphate fanatics

Dr Afzal added: “A split along leadership lines is less likely. But it is possible if a leader feels he is not getting enough airtime. Then he may decide to create his own reputation and so may decide 'we will support the ISIS by being a semi-independent organisation that looks after its duty to attack the far enemy to prevent it from endangering the Caliphate’."

Afzal Ashraf in The Express, 25 April

Five Years After Bin Laden's Death, What's Changed?

"He's a fighter, he's a warrior," Shashank Joshi, a research fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute think tank, told NBC News last year. "He's carved out the state, whereas Zawahiri is seen as someone who is on the run."

Shashank Joshi in NBC News, 2 May

Cyber - warfare

The US declares cyber-war on Islamic State

Ewan Lawson a Royal United Services Institute fellow and cyber-warfare expert dissents from Limnéll's position, telling SC that escalation is already a moot point: “looking at the range of targets that Russia or its proxies have been attacking of late. You could argue that only by declaring a position that suggests it too is prepared to take action can the US get Russia to consider the consequence and to start to think about norms of behaviour.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, 28 April

Qatar National Bank breached, files published, Turkish fascists claim responsibility

SC spoke to Ewan Lawson, a cyber-warfare expert at the Royal United Services Institute. Lawson told SC that the choice of a Qatari bank was an odd target for a group with strong ties to Turkey. A Russian target would have been more likely. However, the notion “that the Grey Wolves had developed a hacking capability it is not surprising and is more likely to be the result of a relationship with an existing hacker/hacktivist group.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, 29 April

The Giulio Regini Case

“They will be rather cautious about inviting that sort of hassle – but that’s not to say they can’t find other ways to make things difficult for Reuters to operate,” he said. “There are other options: the ministry can launch a case against Reuters as a company, I think that would be something they would not entertain, as it would cause a huge amount of hassle not just for the ministry of the interior but for the Egyptian state with three countries that they’re keen to maintain good relations with,”

HA Hellyer in The Guardian, 25 April

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