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Editor's Note: RUSI Journal, April 2020

Emma De Angelis
RUSI Journal, 20 August 2020
Editor Dr Emma De Angelis introduces the April 2020 issue of the RUSI Journal.

The third edition of the RUSI Journal in 2020 presents a wide range of articles analysing longstanding defence and security challenges. These include: the impact of developing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, on military affairs; new developments in foreign influence and interference and how to tackle them; North Atlantic security; defence healthcare; how to think about strategy; and regional security issues.

Rod Thornton and Marina Miron discuss how Russia, unlike Western militaries, conceives of the use of artificial intelligence at a strategic rather than tactical level, and suggest that this entails a revolution in military affairs. At a more granular level, ongoing technological developments inform the methods used by hostile actors in cyberspace, as Daniel Dobrowolski, David V Gioe and Alicia Wanless discuss. Using the examples of two recent episodes of foreign influence operations in the UK, they suggest ways to inform effective response at both a governmental and societal level.

Martin Bricknell and Paul Cain look at the challenges facing military healthcare systems beyond the field, and analyse examples to propose a whole-of-military healthcare system that addresses both operational and non-operational healthcare needs.

As great power competition makes a return as the favoured shorthand for today’s geostrategic situation, many commentators have already revisited the question of North Atlantic and Arctic security. Rebecca Pincus looks at the renewed strategic importance of the Arctic to argue that the Greenland–Iceland–UK–Norway region should no longer be understood only in a transatlantic context, but should be seen in a new, transpolar perspective so as to encompass its enhanced relevance as great power competition intensifies. However, if, as John Andreas Olsen argues, NATO is to remain a major player in the region, it will need a mixture of adaptation and ongoing commitment to a common purpose and set of values – which have served NATO well over the course of its history – that must be the foundations if its success is to endure in the coming decades. Taking a bird’s eye view of the strategic considerations at play, William James discusses how grand strategy can be understood in both theory and practice, based on his 2019 prize-winning Trench Gascoigne Essay.

Finally, P Sadeghi and Jack Watling examine the power of rhetoric in making foreign policy with a detailed look at the narratives developed over the years by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. They show how, in creating an idea of infallibility for himself and his office, Khamenei has also increasingly constrained his ability to make clear policy shifts in his public interventions, lest they undermine that same narrative of infallibility.

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Emma De Angelis
Director of Publications/Editor, RUSI Journal

Emma De Angelis completed a doctorate on the European Parliament's identity discourse and EU enlargement at the London School of... read more

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