Russia’s S-400 surface to air missile system and its Su-35 fighters in Syria are a major headache for the US-led coalition. However, from Moscow’s standpoint they create almost as many problems as opportunities.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was scheduled to visit Moscow this week. His trip has now been cancelled, partly because he wishes to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also because he is keen to persuade the new US administration about the virtues of foreign and security policy coordination.
The reported fall of Ramadi to Daesh should not come as a surprise. The militants are now relying on their Shia opponents to give a brutal response which will allow them to consolidate and expand their popularity.
The jihadist movement known as Daesh has claimed responsibility for the aborted attack on an art contest in Texas. But other than shared motives, there are hardly any real linkages. Overreaction and misreading of the threat will merely play into their hands.
2015 will be a critical year for the financial battle against Daesh. The focus on the group’s financing will undoubtedly restrict Daesh in Syria and Iraq, but the group is proliferating abroad. The international community needs to get ahead of the financial curve.
As the coalition enters its sixth month of air strikes, a new parliamentary report analyses the UK’s response to the so-called Islamic State. What are the factors affecting policy-makers, and should the UK be doing more?