RUSI in the News: Week Beginning 15 February 2016


BBC World Service: Kamal Alam discusses the Syria Crisis

Sky News with Adam Boulton: Edward Schawrck activity in the South China Sea

Op-Eds by RUSI staff and fellows

India and China key partners in keeping Afghanistan stable

For Beijing, the ‘Belt and Road’ can flow cleanly through Central Asia, across Russia or the Caspian to Europe, or go straight from Kashgar to Gwadar, turning Pakistan in a ‘corridor’ for Chinese goods. For Delhi, the investment into the Iranian port Chabahar can be read as an attempt to create a route for Indian interests and investments to get out of Central Asia bypassing Afghanistan. In other words, both are developing regional visions that can go around Afghanistan. 

Raffaello Pantucci for Reuters 15 February

Quoted in the Media

Turkey and the Syria Crisis

Kurds deny responsibility for Ankara bombing, but fear blowback 

“It is certainly not the type of tactic we have seen from the YPG before and there appears no good reason why such a tactic would be adopted now, given how damaging it is for Kurdish goals,” said Michael Stephens, a Middle East research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

Michael Stephensfor Middle East Eye on 18 February

Turkey Blames Kurdish Militia for Ankara Attack, Challenging U.S.

“Sponsoring or being involved with car bombings in Turkish cities would break its alliance structure with the U.S. and Russia,” said Michael Stephens, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security. “Neither of which the P.Y.D.-Y.P.G. wants. In short, the Y.P.G. have nothing to gain and everything to lose by being involved in this.”

Michael Stephens for New York Times on 18 February and for CounterPunch

Syrian Crisis

Hopes of a speedy end to the agony of Syria’s people are sadly misplaced

“The real mistake is assuming that we can separate a ceasefire from a meaningful political process,” says Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. “So one day you have a ceasefire and then the next Assad says he wants to take back all of the country.”

Shashank Joshi for The Guardian on 14 February

North Korean Nuclear Weapons

African states empowering N Korean nuclear programme

But a new report by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) has brought some of the culpability for North Korea’s verbosity to our doorstep. The report outlines how a number of southern and east African countries are actually providing the necessary revenue to North Korea to enable it to fund its nuclear programme. That seems impossible, but it is true.

Independent Online (IOL) and Cape Times on 18 February

The Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine’s Other War

Ukraine’s adversary in the conflict, the pro-Russian rebels, number around 45,000 deployed personnel with around 9,000 to 12,000 deployed Russian soldiers and 4,000 Russian volunteers. A report from the London-based military think tank Royal United Services Institute estimates that Russia has around 42,000 soldiers on the Ukraine border rotating in and out of combat. No official figures for suicide, PTSD or domestic abuse were readily available from the Russian military or Pro-Russian rebels.

International Business Times on 18 February

Terrorism in Africa

Is Al-Shabab Training Boko Haram Fighters?

“Even if they [the leaders of Boko Haram and Al-Shabab] did prescribe to these bigger ideologies, that’s not to say that the organizations wouldn’t necessarily cooperate at the ground level,” says Pantucci. “The fact that the leadership [of Boko Haram] has pledged allegiance to Daesh [ISIS] does not necessarily filter all the way down.”

Raffaello Pantucci in Newsweek magazine on 15 February

UK Radicalisation

According to Kamal Alam, Research Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the flag is 'the best known symbol of global jihad', and is 'instantly recognisable as Al Qaeda and other groups'.
'It is the regular flag used by all groups calling for a global Caliphate,' he told MailOnline.

Kamal Alam in The Daily Mail  16 February

UK and cyber security

SDSR cyber focus outlined

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute Information in Warfare 2016 conference in London in February, Martinek said that the SDSR 2015 cyber strategy aimed to build on the foundations laid down by SDSR 2010, which included GBP860 million (USD1.23 billion) allocated to cyber activities.

RUSI Information in Warfare Conference in IHS Jane’s 360


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