RUSI in the News Week Beginning 1 February 2016


BBC Newsnight: Malcolm Chalmers and Andrea Berger discuss Trident and UK Nuclear policy 4 February

Raffaello Pantucci discusses US elections, Burma, China and international Politics on Monocole magazine’s Midori House 1 February

Op-Eds by RUSI staff and fellows

Analysis: How Russia keeps piling pressure on Turkey 

‘By continuing to violate Turkey's airspace, Russia is sending a deliberate message that it will not be intimidated and will retain control of escalation dominance in Syria and beyond.’

Justin Bronk for Al Jazeera 8 February

Threats to Israel's bid to exist as a 'villa in the jungle'

Yet, when Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, the country's foremost strategic think-tank, held its annual gathering of top Israeli security specialists recently, almost everyone attending the event, from academics to senior Israeli politicians and chiefs of the intelligence services, agreed that Israel's days of "splendid isolation" are over, and that the continued disintegration of the old state order in the Middle East is not something Israel can continue to ignore.

Jonathan Eyal for The Straits Times, 8 February

Quoted in the Media

North Korea 'planning satellite launch'

"Satellite launches do not give North Korea the opportunity to demonstrate a re-entry vehicle capability, the component of a ballistic missile system that would bring a nuclear warhead back down towards its intended target," said Andrea Berger from the think tank the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi).

"Whether or not they have managed to develop that particular capability without having visibly tested it is a question we simply don't have the answer to."

Andrea Berger for BBC 2 February and in Dow Jones

Also in Radio Free Asia Korean 7 February

Russia and the UK

Igor Sutyagin, Russia analyst at the Royal United Services institute, said: “They (Russia) never carry live weapons, just dummies - that is the universal practice since the early years of the Soviet nuclear weapons.”

Igor Sutyagin for the Daily Express 4 February

BlackEnergy virus now using Word documents

Dr Igor Sutyagin, an expert in Russian military policy at the Royal United Services Institute spoke to SC on the possible geopolitical implications of BlackEnergy. It is, as Sutyagin admits, very hard to assign culpability in situations like this but he feels it aligns with the Kremlin's behaviour. “It's a hallmark of the Russian side,” said Sutyagin. “They do these sort of attacks in case of any increase in tension. (because of) The timing for this attack (it) seems quite logical to identify the Russian side.”

Igor Sutyagin in SC Magazine 2 February

Police smash ISIS terror gang 'planning attacks across Russia'

Igor Sutyagin, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said the war in Syria, state oppression of religious minorities and high youth unemployment had combined to create the "perfect" conditions for radicalisation.

Igor Sutyagin in The Express, 8 February

Insight - To silence propaganda, Iraq seeks to take Islamic State offline

A moral quandary is whether IS-held areas should be denied Internet access thereby cutting off civilians living there, said Rafaello Pantucci, of Britain's Royal United Services Institute think-tank. Some have used the Internet to relate the abuses they have suffered.

"Would cutting off such communications have a major impact in disrupting and degrading Islamic State's operations, or would it mostly just make the lives of people living under Islamic State even more difficult?"

Raffaello Pantucci in Reuters, 4 February and in Daily Mail

Over 10,000 ISIS affiliates based in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Report

In a commentary, Dr. Antonio Giustozzi, Associate Fellow, RUSI, has written there are around 7,000–8,500 Daesh members based on Afghan soil and 2,000–3,000 based in Pakistan, citing different sources (Daesh cadres themselves, Afghan security sources, Pakistani security sources and Iranian Pasdaran sources).

Dr. Antonio Giustozzi  in Khaama Press (KP),  5 February

See on The Islamic State in ‘Khorasan’: a nuanced view

Europe’s ports vulnerable as ships sail without oversight

“What’s needed is better upstream intelligence,” says Calum Jeffray, research fellow at the defence think-tank RUSI. “There is thematic analysis across Europe, but a lot of that is specifically around narcotics . . . there’s a tendency to overlook maritime and port security when it comes to terrorism. When you think about how much effort goes into airport screening — there’s a huge difference. And what is happening in north Africa at the moment is going to make that much more noticeable.”

Calum Jeffray in The Financial Times, 4 February

Also quoted in the Daily Express 5 February

F-35 fighter jet development hampered by many flaws

"It's one of the most delayed and problematic fighter programmes in history," said Justin Bronk, a military analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi).

"While the aircraft could be operationally deployed in its current state, pilots would not be able to undertake such high-g force turns as planned with a lot of fuel on board because of limitations in the flight control software which will take time to overcome.

"If this sort of news keeps coming out in terms of continued problems with the testing... it's potentially embarrassing," he told the BBC.

Justin Bronk in BBC 4 February

How Lasers Will Revolutionise the Way We Fight Wars

“If you have a drone swarm coming at you, you’re just not going to have the physical number of munitions in your arsenal [to defend yourself],” says Elizabeth Quintana, senior research associate and director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), of the constraints of conventional weapons. “Even if you did and you fired them all off, you’re going to be bankrupt by the end of the first wave. The Israelis have faced this with their Iron Dome missile defence system. They can very successfully counter most of the rockets that are fired at them, but the cost of it is astronomical.”

Elizabeth Quintana for Gizmodo 4 February

VICE News Reveals the Terrorism Blacklist Secretly Wielding Power Over the Lives of Millions

"For World-Check this is a terrific virtuous circle," said Tom Keatinge, the Director of the Centre for Financial Crime & Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). "The problem of course is that if you add an extra 25,000 names per month you had better keep them up-to-date".

Tom Keatinge in VICE News, 4 February 

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