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RUSI in the News 14-21 October

News, 20 October 2016
From 14 October - 21 October, RUSI experts were quoted on a range of international issues including the the Battle for Mosul, the Russian naval manoeuvres, cyber security, the Syria Crisis, military technology and Brexit.

Op Eds

In defeat, Isil will still be a danger to the West

'Yet the consequences of any Isil defeat are hugely important for the West too - and not exclusively positive. We must be prepared.In particular, what will happen now to the thousands of foreign fighters who will be suddenly left without a home? Rudderless but with a sense of revolutionary purpose, they will present a menace to security officials around the world for years to come.'

Raffaello Pantucci in The Telegraph, 18 October

Battle for Mosul: will this be the end of Islamic State?

As the group appears to be losing Mosul, it is likely that we will see the beginning of a period of retraction. But this will not be its end – rather, it will flee back to the hills and the ungoverned spaces in Iraq and Syria from where it will continue a persistent terrorist strategy in both countries. Here it will bide its time until the moment presents itself to rise up.

Raffaello Pantucci in Newsweek, 18 October

Quoted in the Media

The Battle for Mosul

The Battle for Mosul Will Be Live Streamed, With Emoji

“IS have been extremely good at web-based propaganda, recruitment online and getting the message online using high quality videos of their own operations,” she said. “So it doesn’t surprise me that Kurdish fighters are taking the fight to them online and on the ground.' She added: “It’s certainly to undermine the message that IS has been putting out that they are undefeatable.”

Elizabeth Quintana in Bloomberg, 18 October

Mosul offensive could cause world's most complex humanitarian crisis: UN

Raffaello Pantucci, the director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Service Institute, warned that ISIS has shown a capacity to send fighters back hidden among refugees entering Europe.

Raffaello Pantucci for Arirang, 19 October

US-Russian Relations

Russia has muscled the US out of Syria

Igor Sutyagin, an expert on Russian missile defenses at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that the US would now strain to strike at Syrian government targets. Even the US Air Force's fifth-generation stealth aircraft would have to be "operationally, tactically brilliant" to strike Russian or Syrian targets, he said.

Igor Sutyagin in The Business Insider, 18 October

The Response to Russia’s Attempt to Influence the U.S. Election

“Certain questions are being raised over the corporation and its sources of funding,” he said, “and the bank must have been aware that this is not a happy commercial transaction.” Mr. Eyal noted that some financial institutions had recently faced large fines for handling questionable accounts, and he speculated that NatWest may “prefer the controversy of closing the bank account over dealing with a business that may have tainted money.”

Jonathan Eyal in The New York Times, EUObserver, 17 October

Gorbachev Warns US-Russia Tensions Are at ‘Dangerous Point’

Some military experts agree. Igor Sutyagin is with London’s Royal United Services Institute. “The dramatic reaction of the West about Iskander [missiles] now is that it is just a wake-up call, it is just a very clear message. It is that ice-cold bucket of water that (says), ‘Wake up, you are not living in a safe world.’”

Igor Sutyagin in VOA, 14 October

The Second Annual Cyber Symposium

Britain using cyber warfare in battle against IS, says Sir Michael Fallon

Sir Michael told the cyber warfare conference, organised by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), that the UK was preparing itself for a significant assault. "It is only a matter of time before we have to deal with a major attack on UK interests."Last year GCHQ detected twice as many national security level cyber incidents - 200 a month - as the year before.'

RUSI in Press Association, Daily Mail, 20 October

Britain to battle ISIS using cyber warfare, Sir Michael Fallon declares

Sir Michael told the RUSI military think-tank in London: "I'm not going into operational specifics, but yes, you know we are conducting military operations against Daesh as part of the international coalition, and I can confirm that we are using offensive cyber for the first time in this campaign."

RUSI in The Express, 20 October

The Russian Naval Manoeuvres

Russian aircraft carrier is more a show of force than ‘start of world war’

Igor Sutyagin, a senior fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said the aircraft carrier could not accommodate any planes that could not also be flown from Latakia. “There is not a great deal to be worried about. This is not the beginning of world war three. It is more a public relations exercise, a show of force,” he said.

Igor Sutyagin in The Guardian, 20 October

'Posturing' Russians to send aircraft carrier and fleet along the English Channel

Dr Igor Sutyagin, a Russia expert at the Royal United Services Institute, said that as the country’s economy foundered it was left only with its military might to project influence.

Igor Sutyagin in The Telegraph, 14 October

Turkey and the Syrian Crisis

Deadly Turkish raids on US-backed Syrian Kurd fighters

Michael Stephens, senior research fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute said Turkey's actions were "a message and a warning to the YPG 'understand something, you won't join these two cantons up. There are going to be consequences'". "If there is a signal that that is what is happening, the Turks will fight it and they will use the premise of national security to do that," he told AFP.

Michael Stephens for AFP, 20 October

The BRICS Summit

BRICS Summit: PM Modi terms Pakistan as ‘mothership of terrorism’, keeps a close eye on China

"So far, we haven't seen any indication at all that China is softening its public support for Pakistan. India did not expect differently," said Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London

Shashank Joshi in Business Insider, Gulf Times, 17 October

Egyptian Protests

Signs of dissent, desperation amid food shortages and rising prices in Egypt

“Things can change quickly in Egypt – so perhaps November 11 will surprise us all. But as of yet, it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of momentum behind them,” Hellyer said. “I think that is testimony not to the idea that the population is not hurting – it is hurting via the economic pressures – but that the space for political organisation has shrunk, and that the population is less inclined to go down the route of mass protests anyway after the tumultuous period of the last five years.”

HA Hellyer for France 24, 16 October

UK Defence Policy

UK Regulatory Office May Investigate US Foreign Military Sales

“The lack of transparency drives uncertainty and cynicism. Some of these deals are really good for the operator and can be good for the taxpayer as well. Having a light shine on these kind of contracts would not necessarily be a bad thing,” Louth said.

John Louth in Defence News, 19 October

Military Technology

After 100 Years, What's Next for the Tank?

'The thing that you can’t get away from that the tank provides is that psychological, symbolic impact of an immensely powerful and invulnerable presence on the ground,” says Quentin. 'So whether that’s conventional force-on-force [conflict], or counter-insurgency… it’s a show of force'

Peter Quentin in Gizmodo, 17 October 2016

Brexit

Brexit Risks Weakening NATO in the Longer Term

On the monetary front, the Royal United Services Institute has argued that the pound’s historic post-referendum decline relative to the dollar (a 15% depreciation as of October 4) means a projected yearly shortfall of £700M on average annual UK defense imports of £6.5B.

RUSI in Medium, 11 October

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