RUSI in the News - March 2009

Citations of RUSI expert analysis and events in the global media, March 2009.

  • RUSI Experts in the News
  • Reports of RUSI Events

RUSI Experts in the News

G20 Summit

As planned protests added to the existing challenges of policing the G20 summit, Michael Clarke warned that anti-terrorist efforts could be undermined. 'The protests will cause uncertainty and chaos, and if they turn violent could complicate the lives of those police and security service staff who are looking for terrorists,' said Clarke, who was this month made a member of the British government's National Security Forum, an advisory panel of security experts.

Media coverage:  Washington Post, Washington Times, Globe and Mail, Seattle Times, Nouvel Observateur, AP commentary:
Policing the G20 Summit Under the World's Gaze
by Tobias Feakin

Northern Ireland

After the tragic deaths of two soldiers and a police officer in Northern Ireland, Margaret Gilmore emphasised the importance of ‘the way in which the security forces, intelligence agencies, the Government and politicians respond’. Though the Real IRA are undoubtedly very small, ‘they are obviously very solid’.  Security services have to get a firm grip on the organisation, and Sinn Fein must make sure the more extreme ends of their own membership do not slide into terrorist groups.

Media coverage: Irish times, Gulf Times commentary:
The Antrim murders - the implications for the Peace Process and UK-wide security
by Margaret Gilmore

France and NATO

France this month reintegrated into NATO command structure, a decision that was greeted with trepidation by British officials ‘cautious about what it will mean in terms of the French having access to new committees and new decisions’.  A successful reentry could though ‘constitute an important landmark in the reform process’ within NATO, said Alastair Cameron. He also emphasised the personal role of President Sarkozy in making reintegration possible. The French president was instrumental in ‘reshaping old mindsets in France’.

Media coverage: Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, New Zealand Herald 

For more research and analysis see RUSI NATO Research


As Russia began the process of rationalising and modernising its armed forces, Alastair Cameron warned that ‘Russia has demonstrated itself to be at best an unreliable partner, and at worst an impending concern’. Jonathan Eyal commented on the military rationalisation on Deutsche Welle Radio.

Media coverage: Deutsche Welle Radio (audio available), Sunday Herald

See also Who ‘Lost’ Russia? An Enquiry into the Failure of the Russian-Western Partnership, a new Whitehall Paper by Dr Jonathan Eyal


Whilst in some quarters Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe’s Central Bank Governor, has been seen as a major obstacle to Western aid, Knox Chitiyo argued that donor organisations will be more pragmatic. Given evidence of working relationships and appropriate government oversight, he said, ‘even the Western countries, from what we hear on the ground, would be willing to engage.'

Media coverage: Reuters, The Times (South Africa)

For background analysis see RUSI Analysis Africa


The US sought renewed promises of help in Afghanistan from a number of actors at a major UN conference. Amongst the nations in attendance was Iran, whose presence at such a conference was highly significant. Bringing Tehran to the table is an important step, said Malcolm Chalmers, as ‘there are many ways Iran can help’.

Media coverage: Chicago Tribune, Libération, Reuters, Swissinfo

For background commentary and analysis see RUSI Analysis Afghanistan

Secret Inquests

Plans for government powers to hold inquests in secret were a source of controversy as some suspected an illiberal concession to American interests. ‘I can't see any other circumstances why it would be in the legislation’ said Michael Codner. Such a move, he commented, ‘may be helpful to the Ministry of Defence in the short term but it can't be a good thing in the long term if military deaths are not properly explained, families are excluded and the Press are not able to have this sort of information’.

Media coverage: The Telegraph

Reports on RUSI Events

Frontline Insights: Col Patrick Sanders

A former commander of British troops in Basra, Colonel Sanders said that a lack of equipment for training had seriously affected communication capabilities when new electronic countermeasures (ECM) kit was first deployed. ‘We would have undoubtedly have benefited from familiarising ourselves with ECM before deployment’ he said. Colonel Sanders also described the difficulty of fighting in the intense heat of southern Iraq. It was, he said, ‘for pride and for each other’ that our troops fought, ‘not for a cause or a prime minister’.

Media coverage: The Telegraph, The Guardian

Audio and slideshow available here>

Alternative Energy and Sustainability Conference

The defence industry might seem like an unlikely ally for environmentalists, but as this RUSI conference made clear, there is a growing recognition in the industry and the military that new, sustainable technologies have a role to play. 'We can be agnostic about the politics of climate change' said Paul Stein, MoD's Science and Technology Director, to Time Magazine, 'but there are operational reasons why we need these new technologies'.

Media coverage: Time Magazine

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