RUSI in the News 26 November - 2 December

Chinese govt reacts to WION expose, rejects accusations of military activity deep inside eastern Afghanistan

“The pictures show Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and Humvee-type vehicles. Both appear to be Chinese versions of common Western armored vehicles,” WION quoted Justin Bronk, a senior analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.

“The Humvee-type vehicle is very identifiable as a Mengshi 4×4, also known as the Dongfeng EQ 2050. They have very distinctive markings on the doors which are absent from US-manufactured Humvees,” he said, adding that MRAPs are trickier to identify.

Justin Bronk in Afghanistan Times and DNA India, 1 December 2016

Battle for Mosul: How IS is making life tough for Iraq’s elite forces

"The problem was always the over reliance on airpower, which by the time Mosul had started had still not been overcome," said Michael Stephens, head of the Royal United Services Institute Qatar. "The Golden Division has little artillery to rely on and almost no air support. It is really difficult to target ISIS in some of these areas without causing huge civilian casualties. ISIS have no such qualms, and so what we have is an imbalance tactically."

Michael Stephens in Middle East Eye, 30 November

Jets can’t take off from Putin’s only aircraft carrier

In addition, only a limited number of Russian pilots have the required level of training to take-off or land from a carrier, according to Igor Sutyagin, a senior research fellow from the Royal United Services Institute.

Igor Sutyagin in The Times, 30 November

Report Urges Industry Diversification in UK Shipbuilding Projects

"The report reflects the problems in defense acquisition that were visible at the time of the Smart Acquisition initiative in 1998.The Royal Navy appears to have learned little about the management of the supply base or the link between requirement and cost," said Taylor.

Trevor Taylor in Defence News, 29 November

The Foremost, Anonymous Investigator of the Ukrainian Conflict

Dr. Igor Sutyagin of the Royal United Services Institute provided various estimates, including approximately 3,500–6,500 Russian servicemen in August 2014, and reaching as high as 10,000 in December 2014.

Igor Sutyagin in  Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Lab via Medium, 28 November

Trump presidency could roll back global progress in democracy and governance

Malcom Chalmers, deputy director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, also said he was concerned about Trump’s unpredictability.

He said he fears his approach to foreign policy will be “over-militarised” and asked how a man with a temperament like Trump’s will act when crises keep arising, problems can’t be solved or foreign leaders try to deceive or get the better of him.

“When his popularity starts to tank, and it will, for some issue or other, who will he blame?” Chalmers asked. “Will he lash out?”

Malcolm Chalmers in Public Finance International, 29 November

Dead or alive? Why the world’s most-wanted terrorist has been killed at least three times

Raffaello Pantucci, a counter-terrorism researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, and the author of “We Love Death as You Love Life”: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists, says figures such as Belmokhtar use reports of their deaths as propaganda. “It increases the mythology around a character, a warrior able to sneak in and out and evade the world’s intelligence services,” he says. “And when you look at the narratives of people who go out to fight, we often see that those charismatic individuals are crucial.”
Raffaello Pantucci in The Guardian, 28 November

Mixed Signs for Foreign Military Sales Under Trump

“The US will need to accept that the Europeans, Japanese, Koreans and the Gulf States will look to build and protect their own defence industries as they rebuild their national capabilities, which will hurt US industrial interests,” Quintana said.

Elizabeth Quintana in Defence News, 28 November

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