RUSI in the News: 6 August - 12 August


Xinjiang trade raises doubts over China’s “Belt and Road” plan

If this pattern holds, it will be important for countries that deal with China to look beyond the visionary rhetoric of the BRI (Belt and Roads Inititative) and engage instead with actual projects that are bankable. This requires a focus on what made sense before the BRI was announced.

Raffaello Pantucci and Anna Sophia Young, The Financial Times, 10 August

Turkey’s tilt East is no threat to western powers

The West probably doesn’t need to worry about Russia displacing the western-Turkish relationship – but it may need to be concerned about that same relationship deteriorating as the result of other factors. Russia, in this regard, is a sideshow – a lack of a cohesive and constructive western engagement with Turkey, and the wider region, is far more pertinent to consider.

HA Hellyer for The National, 11 August


Trevor Taylor on defence spending, BBC World at One, 10 August

Liz Quintana on the West’s response to Russian technology use, Sky News, 8 August

Quoted in the Media


Brexit BEGINS: UK set to quit EUROPOL first before EU police force launches expansion

Raffaello Pantucci, counter-terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said: "Cooperation is the way forward when it comes to counter-terrorism, so from a practical perspective it would make sense to be part of Europol. "However, the agency became a feature of the Brexit debate, and I assume that the politics of it will be more complicated in the coming months."

Raffaello Pantucci in The Express 10 August and Politico

UK Defence Planning

U.K. to Establish Fund for Development of Next Generation Military Equipment

'Numerous countries were looking to develop their own defense industrial capabilities to reduce their dependence on foreign suppliers and boost their own economies.'

Travor Taylor in The Wall Street Journal, 11 August

The messy business of implementing Brexit

Nevertheless, the UK will need to remain a strong security provider for European partners and other allies, which we may see as a key bargaining chip in negotiations with the EU, as suggested by RUSI deputy-director-general Professor Malcolm Chalmers.

Malcolm Chalmers in Politics Home, 10 August

UK Defence Budget Facing A “Perfect Storm”

The Royal United Services Institute think tank said the UK paid the US around $10 billion a year for defence products including nine P8 maritime patrol aircraft, 138 F-35B aircrafts and 50 Apache aircraft.

Forces TV, 10 August

Ministry of Defence 'facing extra £700m costs post Brexit'

The Ministry of Defence is facing extra costs of up to £700m a year following the UK's Brexit vote, experts warn. The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) says this is due to the fall in sterling where military equipment purchases have been made in US dollars.

BBC, 10 August

Ministry of Defence facing £700 million black hole after pound slumps against dollar

The Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), a defence think tank, has warned that the cost of buying planes, helicopters and missiles from the US has increased after the Brexit vote.

The Telegraph, 10 August 

Defence expert forecasts 'perfect storm' in military spending after Brexit

Defence thinktank the Royal United Services Institute said the MoD’s bills were set to increase by about £700m each year due to the plummeting value of the pound against the dollar.

PoliticsHome, 10 August

Brexit Briefing: Balance at the BBC

The Ministry of Defence is facing extra costs of up to £700m a year following the Brexit vote, largely because of a fall in sterling, says Royal United Services Institute.

Financial Times, 11 August

Russia’s International Relationships

Is Ukraine Just About to Blow?

One of the units filmed driving armored personnel carriers through Kerch seemingly supports this analysis. Dr. Igor Sutyagin, a Russian military expert at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, told The Daily Beast that he recognized the insignia of the 127th Reconnaissance Brigade, a unit formed last year in Sevastopol.

Igor Sutyagin in The Daily Beast, 8 August

Behind the story: A return to the tactics of Cold War boosts Putin

President Putin’s use of force and propaganda are not so different from the Cold War, Russia watchers say. “The difference is there is no ideology,” Igor Sutyagin, senior research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said. “It is a return to the imperial competition of the 19th century.

Igor Sutyagin in The Times, 10 August

As Kremlin sets up propaganda HQ in (of all places) Edinburgh, are Putin's beauties on a secret mission to break up the UK?

Earlier this year, Parliament was presented with a report prepared by Jonathan Eyal, of the Royal United Services Institute, and Ben Nimmo, a former Nato press officer. They concluded: ‘Russia’s information warfare in the UK can best be thought of as an attempt to airbrush reality. Both RT and Sputnik regularly and systematically violate journalistic standards in a way which serves the Kremlin’s interests.’

Jonathan Eyal in The Daily Mail, 10 August

Can Putin really 'win' the Syrian conflict?

Russia still has options in Syria: in principle, it could exit the conflict at any time. To secure its interests, as it will seek to do, Russia is in the long run likely to be more flexible on negotiating a settlement than some of its allies. To reach that stage, it must keep fighting other powers in this multi-layered struggle, thus adding numerous other interests to the mix and reducing its own control over the outcome.

Sarah Lain in The Telegraph, 10 August


Mood Darkens Among Restless Iranians Wanting Rouhani to Deliver

“The push back from hardliners is very strong and will likely increase,” said Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a research fellow in Middle East Security at the Royal United Services Institute in London. If Rouhani can’t show “concrete benefits” from his diplomatic success, he may “have difficulty getting the support he needs to be re-elected,” she said.

Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi in Bloomberg, 10 August


Cyber insiders: Putting warriors on the front line against hack attacks

Ewan Lawson, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), offers an insight into why the MoD chose to detect aptitude rather than recruit individuals who already have proven cyber skills. “There is a sense that the existing military career and organisational structure can only deliver so much in terms of capability,” he says. “There are very few people with computer science degrees who want to be pilots, for example. DCAT would be aimed at younger people who have no formal IT qualifications but have previously unrecognised skills.”

Ewan Lawson in Army Technology, 8 August

Israeli parliament recommends creation of national cyber-authority

Ewan Lawson, a senior fellow for military influence at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) told SC that the UK might benefit from a similar move. “From a UK perspective, I would argue that the fragmentation of cyber-security across so many HMG departments is probably unhelpful. However, added Lawson, “On balance I would be reluctant to support bringing it all together under one roof.”

Ewan Lawson for SC Magazine, 11 August

Military Covenant

Gold standard for Nationwide's military support

Another key element of Nationwide’s military support work stream is a major piece of research currently being carried out with renowned military think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on the Military Covenant. Expected to launch in the autumn, the report will provide in-depth analysis of how organisations put the Military Covenant into practice.

Thisiswiltshire, 9 August

Countering Terrorism

Germany mulls stripping citizenship in terror crackdown

“If a person is not conducive to being a valuable participant of society then it’s logical to take these people out of the stream. But it has to be used judiciously.”

Raffaello Pantucci for France 24, 11 August

Police arrest two women over ‘security pass scam' at Heathrow Airport

Raffaello Pantucci, from the Royal United Services Institute, said: "It is quite worrying as any lapse in airport security can present a major risk. "The last big terror attack in aviation was the Russian Metrojet flight brought down over Sinai by a bomb, and those responsible had help from the inside at the airport. "So there's always concern someone may want a pass to try to smuggle a bomb on the plane." 

Raffaello Pantucci for Police Professional, 11 August

Europe Offering Welfare for Terrorists

“We’ve identified that the benefit system is vulnerable to abuse for terrorist financing purposes,” Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told WSJ. “What are we going to do about that?”

Tom Keatinge in LifeZette, 8 August

Gaza aid workers fear impact of Hamas collusion allegations

Keatinge said the allegations could make banks reconsider their services for large NGOs not just in Gaza but in other areas where “terrorist” groups are operating, such as in Syria.

“I wouldn’t quite say this is a deathblow, but it is very serious.”

Tom Keatinge for AFP, 11 August

Terrorism in Pakistan

Lawyers seemingly targetted in Pakistan hospital attack

Shashank Joshi is a London-based senior fellow with the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security studies, a research and policy group. He has told Sky News, Pakistan can be a dangerous place for lawyers. "Lawyers doing their job in Pakistan means that they are enmeshing themselves in very messy political struggles. It's easy to make enemies, whether those enemies are the government itself or militant groups who may not like the person you defended, the person whose trial you're represented at, the person you prosecuted. It's very easy to make enemies with the wrong sort of person. And in an environment as, I won't say lawless, but as uncontrolled as parts of Pakistan, it's easy to settle these scores in very, very deadly, destructive ways."

Shashank Joshi in SBS, 9 August

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