Op-Eds by RUSI staff and fellows
Building support for the Belt and Road
‘Xi Jinping has laid out what is going to be the defining foreign policy vision of his leadership in the form of the Belt and Road. An all-encompassing initiative, it is something that repeated Chinese leaders have said they want to engage with foreign partners on, in particular with European capitals given the vision is one that starts in China and ends in Europe.’
Islamic State: The struggle to stay rich
‘Whilst most people decry the validity inferred from the name of IS as a "state", the group's financing is certainly more reminiscent of a state than that of organisations such as al-Qaeda that relied heavily on donations to fund their operations.’
Merkel’s refugee deal ‘aimed at protecting political career’
‘Dr Merkel may live to regret her conduct this week, for she needs the cooperation of all her EU colleagues to make the Turkish deal stick. And this now looks highly unlikely.’
Iran's missiles: How big a threat to regional rivals?
‘However, since each ballistic missile only carries a single 1000kg payload, whereas a fighter can carry multiple bombs and rockets, the impact of a conventional-warhead from a Qadr or Shahab missile would be less than the strike power of a single F-15E or F-16 fighter bomber.’
Quoted in the Media
Daesh files revealed
Islamic State Files: ‘ Goldmine of Information’
"It will give them an indication of not just who they are, where they come from, but will be able to potentially to lead them to the individuals who radicalised these individuals as well as facilitated their departure."
Islamic State defector brings 'goldmine' of details on 22,000 supporters
"It seems a bit dated. Very interesting though and a real gift for researchers into understanding the group more," he added. "The key for me in many ways is how this highlights the bureaucracy of the organisation once again - kinda like al Qaeda in fact."
Thousands of secret Isis recruitment files leaked
Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said that the haul was similar to a discovery of jihadist service records from al-Qaeda in Iraq by US special forces in 2007. Those proved vital in building a picture of the organisation.
Germany says stolen Islamic State files ‘probably genuine’
Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank, told the Press Association the papers could be "incredibly important". He said: "It is a law enforcement gold mine. It means it might make it easier to prosecute those who have returned."
Fighting against Daesh
Poisonous war: Low-tech chemical rockets become growing IS threat
"The method of delivery is so crude it tends to dissipate the chemicals before they can be focused into an area concentrated enough to kill people. They lack sufficient bursting technology to make their weapons more lethal," said Michael Stephens, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Jihadi John biographer pulls out of speaking event over 'gagging' fears
“It’s a very difficult space,” he said. “Individuals have to make their own decisions about this. But part of the issue is that it hasn’t always been clearly indicated by Government who it is that schools are meant to be keeping out.”
Security in Egypt
Egypt escalates crackdown on dissent
“What we’ve been seeing in Egypt over the past two years is the attempt of each institution to consolidate its own power, in pursuit of what it sees as its role in the Egyptian arena,” he said. “At the same time, state institutions are not consolidated under a single cohesive individual or regime and thus, the security establishment may not feel it has to answer to any other authority, which might otherwise restrain it.”
Why Almost No One Believes Egypt’s Security Services
“Many analysts speculate the most likely culprits behind the assassination were rogue pro-MB [Muslim Brotherhood] elements—but that doesn’t mean the Egyptian Ministry of Interior’s latest release will be taken particularly seriously,”
European parliament condemns killing of Giulio Regeni in Egypt
“In the member states it’s likely to make even less difference. However, it certainly creates a certain amount of moral pressure, but nothing that’s going to change the policy in the short term at all,” Hellyer said.
North Korean Sanctions
Seoul adds new sanctions on North Korea
“The significance of additional limited South Korean sanctions at this stage is primarily symbolic and political,” said Andrea Berger, deputy director of proliferation at the Royal United Services Institute. Such an action reasserts that (South Korean) President Park (Geun-hye) is willing to go beyond UN requirements and respond to North Korean behaviour with sticks as well as the carrots that she promoted earlier in her tenure.”
U.N. Panel: North Korea Used Chinese Bank to Evade Nuclear Sanctions
“China has agreed to sanctions packages in the past, each harsher than the last,” she said. “Yet on each occasion, it has also failed to follow up by systematically enforcing the measures, encouraging the private sector to do the requisite due diligence to flag prohibited trade, and acting when they do not.”
UK action on Libya
Barack Obama blasts David Cameron for letting Libya plunge into a 'mess'
Mr Joshi added that Mr Obama's attack on countries not doing enough militarily was not solely aimed at Britain but Chancellor George Osborne might not have committed to the Nato spending target had Mr Obama and his aides not "shamed" the UK into it.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Pro-Israel NGO puts pressure on UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees
“It shows how the humanitarian sector has become so politicised - when it starts to involve UN agencies, you’ve got a problem,” Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the RUSI security think tank in London, told Middle East Eye.
Pawn Storm targets Turkish government, says Trend Micro
“The interesting question remains as to the extent that this is being directed or organised by the Russian state and in particular those close to the leadership.”
Lynne Owens, Director General, NCA at RUSI
The Telegraph: New crackdown on 'untouchable' crimelords