RUSI in the News - May 2010

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

Limiting Nuclear Arms

As William Hague disclosed that the UK had set a limit on its nuclear weapons stockpile, at 225 warheads. Professor Malcolm Chalmers commented that this "brings the UK into line with what the U.S. and France have already done."

Coverage: Reuters

With the government appearing constrained from reducing the sums involved in Trident, Nick Ritchie and Paul Ingram, writing in the RUSI Journal stated that measures to end 'continuous-at-sea' deterrence would save more than £11bn without compromising Britain's security.

Coverage: The GuardianReuters, The Guardian

Defence Budget Cuts

Even though the defence budget is ring-fenced, tough decisions will have to be made for future spending. The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank has said the most optimistic scenario would mean the defence ministry could face a cut in its 50 billion pound budget of around 11 percent in real terms over the six years to 2016/17.

Coverage: Reuters

'As secret defence budget cuts put historic Scots battalions in firing line, military think-tank the Royal United Services Institute say the armed forces will face personnel cuts of more than 30,000. In addition, they could lose about 20 per cent of their current ships, aircraft and infantry units over the next six years.'

Coverage: The Daily Record

As Michael Codner sees it, the upcoming defence review will show whether Britain is prepared to spend enough on its military to retain its influence in the world. The government will make a strategic choice between a military built to conduct largely continental operations, as in Afghanistan, or a maritime-focused one with aircraft carriers and fewer but more specialised and agile land units.

Coverage: Defense News

US and British commanders have discuss the possibility of redeploying the UK force in Afghanistan when, as expected, Canadian troops leave next year. However, a RUSI report suggests Britain is at a "tipping point" and, according to its author Michael Codner, needs to consider future military capabilities by addressing the key question: will defence spending be increased in real terms?

Coverage: The Guardian

As austerity measures come into play, Michael Codner believes that Britain is facing "a relinquishment of aspirations to sustain global influence".

Coverage: The Daily Telegraph

Armed Forces

As the race to equip the armed forces with eco technologies continues between the US and China, Elizabeth Quintana believes reduction in need for fuel supplies would save lives.

Coverage: New Statesman

With Homeland security budgets looking to rise, Tobias Feakin considers that for defence companies, security is a very attractive market.

Coverage: Reuters

With the public deficit threatening the armed forces, Michael Codner talks to the BBC about the likely effect on armed forces housing.

Coverage: BBC Radio 4


With UK troops in Afghanistan to come under US command, Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, said the split makes military and administrative sense.

Coverage: BBC News

As a new report claims a resurgent Taliban are behind an increase in assaults on British troops, Professor Michael Clarke notes that any sign of wavering on the part of the armed forces could be costly.

Coverage: The Independent

With a number of US and British military offenses in southern Afghanistan over the past few months, Malcolm Chalmers explains how this new strategy is breaking the momentum of the Taliban.

Coverage: VoA News

UK General Election

With the upcoming election, Michael Clarke talks on defence on the BBC News at Ten.

Coverage: BBC

With the General Election imminent, Lord Wallace, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman in the House of Lords, set out the Liberal Democrat's UK defence policy at the Royal United Services Institute.

Coverage: New Statesman

Opinion polls pointing to a change of leader after May 6 are likely to prompt the new government to reconsider the Afghan strategy. Alex Neill believes that "there will be a refocusing of how the UK can operate within Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also there will be some serious questions about whether or not the UK can maintain this expeditionary role, potentially punching above its weight".

Coverage: VOA

UK Police Force

With the £164 billion public deficit, Margaret Gilmore believes fundamental reforms are needed to help fund an effective police service. A RUSI investigation into British policing structures, entitled Responding in a Modern World, said: "With an evolving and increasingly integrated range of domestic threats, reform of the UK police is long overdue".

Coverage: BBC News, The Daily Telegraph,, LGC,  

UK: Security for David Cameron

Despite fears for David Cameron's safety after his refusal to use police outriders, Garry Hindle, head of security and counter-terrorism at the Royal United Services Institute, said that the Prime Minister was unlikely to face any significant increase in danger because of his decision.

Coverage: The Sun, Evening Standard

UK - US Relations

A new survey of British public opinion, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Legatum Institute and the Royal United Services Institute, reveals that close ties with the United States still exist, though less strongly than may have been expected.

Coverage: The Wall Street Journal

With the recent publication of a report on the future role of NATO, Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), comments on whether NATO's military alliance still has a purpose.

Coverage: BBC Radio 4

As the maintenance of the Special Relationship continues to take a back seat, especially on the side of the US, Lisa Aronsson states "It's clear that investing in the relationship with the U.K. was not a priority."

Coverage: USA Today

With William Hague's first overseas trip to meet his US counterpart Hillary Clinton, the war in Afghanistan is high on the agenda. Professor Malcolm Chalmers, from the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, said Mr Hague wants to strike a balance "making it clear that this is our most important relationship, but we're not going to be the United States' poodle".

Coverage: BBC News

South Korean Warship

 As theories over the sinking of the South Korean war ship by North Korea continue to appear, Alex Neil provides expert commentary on the situation

Coverage: Sky News

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