RUSI in the News - April 2010

Citations of RUSI experts, analysis and events in the global media from April 2010

RUSI's Defence Coverage and the General Election

In the run up to the General Election, RUSI's research, publications and events helped frame the defence debate, attracting extensive media coverage.

The RUSI British Defence and Security Survey

To gauge the opinions of the defence and security community RUSI surveyed over 2000 of its members on issues central to the election debate. The results were analysed by Michael Clarke and demonstrated strong consensus for a 'radical reassessment' of Britain's position in the world. The survey also established that the majority of the community believe that tackling terrorism will continue to be the 'leading security priority' and that Britain's interests are best served by maintaining a special relationship- with the US, ahead of all other partners.

Coverage: Times, Radio 5, BBC, BBC News, Reuters, Guardian

Leaders' statements published in the RUSI Journal

As the general election approached, RUSI asked each of the main political parties to outline their views on current defence and security challenges, and put forward proposals for the future. The content of these articles drew significant press attention and was even used by Gordon Brown to attack Nick Clegg - during the second election debate - over what he perceived as an 'anti-American' stance.

Coverage: Guardian, Economist, Guardian

The Parties' View of Defence Policy

Continuing its role as the leading forum for defence and security debate, RUSI hosted presentations from the three main political parties. Bob Ainsworth, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Lord William Wallace all put forward their respective parties' viewpoint on the issues, outlining the hard choices that will need to be made ahead of the strategic defence review.

Coverage: The New Statesman, Le Monde, Financial Times, The Times

Expert Commentary in the Press 

As the defence debate inevitably turned to Britain's nuclear deterrent - the only area of strong discrepancy between the Liberal Democrats and the other main parties - various experts from RUSI were recruited by the press to give their analysis.

Dr. Lee Willett, head of RUSI's Maritime Studies Programme, was interviewed by the BBC and was asked to explain alternatives to the Trident nuclear deterrent.

Professor Malcolm Chambers was involved with Channel 4's FactCheck, analysing the Liberal Democrats claim that Trident could cost up to £100bn over its life time.

Dr. Jonathan Eyal, RUSI's director of International Security Studies, commented in the Financial Times about David Cameron's statement that Chinese foreign policy is a justification for Britain to maintain a nuclear deterrent.

Russian Subway Bombings

After it was revealed that Chechen Rebels were responsible for the bombings in Russia Dr. Jonathan Eyal predicted that 'If the Chechen conflict festers, it will increasingly start infecting the other parts of the Caucasus region, which is a mosaic of many ethnic disputes, all of which are simmering away.'

Coverage: CBS

A Strain in American-Afghan Relations

During a period of strained relationship between Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration, RUSI's Director Professor Michael Clarke was interviewed on BBC's Newsnight, providing expert analysis of the tensions and options for both sides.

Coverage: Newsnight

The American - Russian Nuclear Pact

As Russia and America reached an agreement on the Nuclear Arms treaty, RUSI's Ian Kearns commented on the opportunities for delaying the Trident renewal in order to 'save money and signal UK support for Obama's agenda.' He also noted the potential difficulties America's new position will have for the Israelis; 'The more progress Obama makes, the more difficult it will become for Israel to sustain its 'ambiguity' in diplomatic circles.'

Coverage: Times, Reuters

The future of Britain's Armed Forces

As the first Strategic Defence Review in over 12 years approaches and the future of the UK's armed forces are determined, Professor Malcolm Chalmers predicts a 20 per cent decrease of military personnel over the next six years.

Coverage: Time Magazine

Kyrgyzstan Revolution

During the violent turmoil of the Kyrgyzstan revolution, Alexander Neill - the head of RUSI's Asia Security Programme - warned that it might cause problems for the ongoing Afghan offensive; 'One of the core concerns for the United States and Nato forces is to maintain supply routes into Afghanistan and the northern route has traditionally been viewed as one which is more secure.'

Coverage: The National

The Navy sent to Rescue Britons Stranded by Volcanic Ash

As the volcanic ash cloud originating from the Icelandic eruption stopped any planes from flying, Gordon Brown ordered two Navy warships to rescue stranded tourists trying to make their way home off the continent. Dr. Lee Willett was recruited by a variety of broadcast and print news outlets to give his expert opinion on the operation.

Coverage: FT, Sky, ITV


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