RUSI in the News 3 December - 9 December


HMS Illustrious was part of the nation's identity – we sailors feel real grief at her loss

The next generation of sailors will undoubtedly feel a similar bond with the Royal Navy’s new carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. We can only hope that the next generation of the British public can feel a similar sense that the new ship is part of the nation’s identity, as we did with Lusty

Peter Roberts for The Telegraph, 7 Decmber

Counter terror policies must deliver nuance

The concern now is that Mr Trump’s counter-terrorism efforts are not going to address these errors. On the contrary, he may very well build on those flaws. Any effective counterterrorism strategy has to recognise, first and foremost, that Muslim Americans are citizens of America, rather than tools in counter-terrorism or counter-radicalisation measures. Those voices that are promoted ought to have currency on the popular level either as community figures, or as genuine experts, rather than simply being supportive of the political executive – even when they are openly opposed to the political power of the day.

HA Hellyer for The National, 7 December

Quoted in the Media

The Fight against Daesh

How ISIS Returned to Syria

“The regime has mostly ignored ISIL,” said Karin von Hippel, a former State Department official who worked on the Syria issue for six years until November, 2015. You would be hard pressed to find many instances of the regime attacking ISIL—and the few sporadic attacks that have taken place have targeted more civilians than ISIL fighters.”

Karin von Hippel for The Daily Beast, 05 December

Coalition strikes Mosul hospital amidst heavy fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS

“There is little doubt that the fight ISIS has put up is more than was expected. The problem is made worse by the lack of available forces that can successfully close the noose around Mosul and get ISIS to divert resources away from defending the eastern side of the city,” he said.

“As such, it’s placing undue pressure on those units operating in the eastern neighbourhoods of Mosul, hugely slowing down the advance,” he said.

Michael Stephens for ARA News, 8 December

Russian Deployment in Syria

Second Russian fighter jet deployed in Syria ‘crashes into the Mediterranean while attempting to land on aircraft carrier’

Igor Sutyagin, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute said the lack of a catapult system to launch the planes has hampered the ability of pilots to operate at sea.

Igor Sutyagin for The Sun, 5 December

UK Defence Planning

Amid Trump concerns, Japan could learn from US-UK alliance

He said: "If President Trump is going to be 'putting America first,' the U.K. government also needs, if necessary, to put Britain first. That means thinking a bit more about our ability to act more independently, including with military force. We need to have options for working militarily by ourselves without American support, and we need to be thinking about cooperating with our European allies."

Malcolm Chalmers for Nikkei Asian Review, 5 December

EXCLUSIVE: British Army has just FIVE Russian interpreters despite Cold War threat

"As far as our deployments to the Baltics are concerned, there is clearly a Russian speaking population in Estonia and you might ask whether we need additional Russian speakers for that. But often you are better off actually contracting people who are native speakers, as interpreters do so much more than just translating. They offer local situational and cultural awareness and it is very hard to generate that from an MoD classroom. I don't think it is about headcount."

Peter Quentin for The Express, 3 December

The Kurdish Region

US support for Kurds likely to continue under Trump administration

“I think US support for YPG operations is guaranteed for the duration of the fight against ISIS, and most likely for some time afterward,” he said.

“However, a political commitment to the Rojava project [a Kurdish-led Self-Administration in northern Syria] is much harder to see being made explicitly until the greater political dynamics in Syria become more clear,” Stephens told ARA News.

Michael Stephens for ARA News, 7 December

Former American diplomat calls for a US-protected Kurdish autonomy in Syria

Michael Stephens, director of the Royal United Services Institute–Qatar, told ARA News that the US government hasn’t made a policy decision yet on the future of the Kurdish-led administrations in northern Syria.

“I don’t think they’ve made a decision on it yet. I think they’re waiting to see what becomes of the rest of Syria, before deciding what to do with the Kurdish region,” Stephens said.

“It’s a classic case of playing for time, and the operations against ISIS buy them some time at the moment,” he concluded.

Michael Stephens for ARA News, 8 December

Tensions between Syrian Kurdish parties intensify, local security forces deny involvement

(Additionally) the KNC’s (Kurdish National Council) position is increasingly weakened by the general course of the war in which the mainstream opposition is fast losing to Bashar al-Assad,” he said.

“This has caused a problem for the KNC and heightened tensions between themselves and the PYD at the same time. Ultimately the KNC has fewer and fewer cards to play. And their grip both inside Rojava and in the Syrian opposition more broadly is slipping,” Stephens argued.

Michael Stephens for ARA News, 8 December

Drone warfare

Drone strikes expected to increase under Trump, warn warfare experts

Counter Terrorism is likely to get "more emphasis with Michael Flynn as NSA, at least initially," agreed Elizabeth Quintana, a senior researcher in air power technology at the British defence and security think tank The Royal United Services Institute. "If that is the case," she said, "then drones will continue to play an active role."

Elizabeth Quintana for International Business Times, 8 December

Russia Missile Capability

EXCLUSIVE - Putin's chilling 'missile base' in the heart of Europe: Inside Russia's secretive stronghold of Kaliningrad 'where World War Three could start

'There was no reason to be very concerned five years ago when you could count on more or less peaceful behaviour of the Russian side,' said Igor Sutyagin, research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

'Now it's becoming more and more possible that these forces could be used, and this is reason for concern.

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