Even though there is a state of ‘deep-freeze’ between the UK and Russia, especially in relation to security, there are still important opportunities for dialogue and cooperation which policymakers on both sides should exploit.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates has been parachuted into the job of the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer. He was appointed amidst a crisis created by his predecessor. The affair underlines the tough brief that the new incumbent must master, whilst negotiating a treacherous political terrain.
The Director of RUSI Professor Michael Clarke has been appointed to the new National Security Forum, alongside a distinguished independent panel of world experts in security. This group is tasked to study specific security questions posed by Government. The committee held its first meeting on 9 March at 10 Downing Street.
The murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland is the latest and most horrific manifestation of increasing dissident activity there. The Real IRA which carried out the shootings remains marginal and fragmented. How far the killings risk undermining the peace process, will depend on how the security and intelligence agencies and politicians in Northern Ireland, respond to them.