The study of UK defence policy has always been central to RUSI's work. It remains one of the largest elements in the Institute's research programme and has set the parameters of debate on pressing defence issues.
Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is toying with the idea of asking Parliament for permission to expand Britain’s campaign of airstrikes from Iraq into Syria. His impulse should be tempered with a sense of strategy.
It is reasonable to assume that there will be a real-terms increase in the defence budget now that the Conservatives have full control of the government. However, commitments to future military interventions are less certain.
A curious thing is happening in continental Europe: defence spending is rising. The United Kingdom may soon be among only a handful of nations with fewer resources for defence at a time of increasing commitments.
The Conservatives have historically touted themselves as the party to be trusted with the UK’s defence and foreign policy, arguments which were duly repeated during the current electoral campaign. However, in practice, their record may diverge from such claims.
The UK can do little to affect the Syrian civil war. But it is shoring up its interests on the periphery of the conflagration, reinforcing the UK’s military reorientation East of Suez. The question is whether, in light of Parliament’s vote last month, the Government now wants to say so.
As the UK sends 330 personnel to assist France's military intervention in Mali, there are real concerns that, like Afghanistan, the UK will be mired in another intractable conflict. However, the strategic conditions are very different for this to happen and it is wrong to assume there will be mission creep.
On 1 February 2012, the UK government published its long awaited on defence procurement. It sets a vision intending to reform Britain's fraught acquisition and procurement process, but the challenge will be at the implementation stage.
The UK's National Audit Office has published its latest report assessing the Major Projects of the Ministry of Defence. The informative document reports only very limited cost overruns, and few of them can be seen as industry's responsibility. It also provokes thoughts about the government's accounting system and the protected position of the Joint Combat Aircraft in the British defence...