Our defence-related topic areas cover UK defence policy, defence industries, armed services, developments in military technology, military alliances and modern deterrence strategies.

Defence topics

Air Power

We examine the evolution of military air operations in the 21st Century.

Climate Change and Energy Security

RUSI’s research addresses climate change as the backdrop to all national security, defence and foreign policy discourses.

Defence Acquisition and Industrial Strategy

We consider how the ideas, rules and arrangements that shape governmental defence relations with private sector suppliers challenge all governments.

Defence Management and Economics

We analyse defence management practices undertaken by the UK Ministry of Defence, including defence spending and the economic impact of defence expenditure.

Gender and Security

This topic focuses on gender and its impact on conflict, extremism and security, highlighting the importance of a gender lens in policy and programming.

Global WMD Issues

Our research focuses on regional affairs associated with the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; countering proliferation finance; and broader issues of deterrence, disarmament and arms control.

Land Warfare

We assess how land forces train and fight in contemporary conflict and how they plan to operate over the coming two decades.

Military History

Understanding how the military instrument of power has been used is a core part of RUSI’s mission and legacy with profound lessons and implications for today’s decisions and tomorrow’s policies.

NATO and Military Alliances

Alliances are a critical part of the Western way of war and an enduring source of strength. Our research examines the detail behind alliances’ success or failure.


Resilience looks at how our political, military,  and societal preparations make us a less attractive target for adversaries – a wider contribution to deterrence for a modern era.

Sea Power

Our research assesses the strategic and operational trends that will dictate how navies fight, and what their role is.

Space Policy

Our research analyses UK and international space policy, the military aspects of space power and what the future of space conflict will look like.

Technology, Security and Intelligence

RUSI’s research spans areas such as the intersection between technology and geopolitics, ethical and legal applications of AI, technology procurement, FinTech and cyber.

UK Foreign and Security Policy

RUSI analyses today’s critical UK foreign policy issues, including the impact of Brexit, the response to Russia and China, and the Asian Pivot.

UK Integrated Review Refresh

Contributing to the debate on the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Foreign Policy and Development (IR), and its successor the March 2023 Integrated Review Refresh

UK Nuclear Policy and Programmes

RUSI conducts research and convenes discussions on the UK’s nuclear weapons programme, its nuclear policy, and its approach to non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.