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RUSI in the News: 16 July - 22 July

News, 22 July 2016
From 16 July to 22 July RUSI experts were quoted on a range of international issues including the attempted coup in Turkey, the Parliamentary vote on Trident, the Nice Attacks and the NATO Warsaw Summit.

Broadcast

Andrea Berger on North Korea and Namibia

“There have been number of African customers of North Korean business who have been under immense pressure to cut their ties with the country following the introduction of significantly more expensive sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Security Council.

Andrea Berger for RFI, 20 July

Tahir Abbas on the Turkish Coup

"There's the refugee situation – three million or so. There's the ongoing attacks from ISIS, which have really petrified the population. And now this failed coup. President Erdoğan is increasingly demonstrating authoritarian tendencies. This repression of the various institutions is not a healthy approach to fighting terrorism and building a society which can trust them. "There are a host of implications for the people.”

Tahir Abbas for Talk Radio, 21 July

Op Eds

Tragedy in France again

How the French government responds to the Nice attacks will have far-reaching ramifications. The French president François Hollande has extended the state of emergency instituted in November for another three months. He announced, yet again, that France is “at war” with the threat of Islamist terrorism. A further 10,000 army reservists are to be deployed and activities will be “strengthened” in Iraq and Syria.

Emily Winterbotham for Prospect, 19 July

In times of stress, Turkey and the West only come closer together

It is Nato's largest continental army in an age of Russian revanchism; a powerful force in the Syrian civil war; and at the crux of Europe's migrant crisis. It is therefore likely that, had last Friday's plotters succeeded in ousting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Western countries would have come to terms with the new regime, much as they did with Pakistan's junta after 1999 and Egypt's after 2013.

Shashank Joshi for the Irish Independent 17 July

Why Does Putin Say Russia is Not a Threat?

From Russia’s perspective, it tried the cooperative approach under Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and during Putin’s early years—resulting in complete failure to retain influence. If everyone in the Kremlin is convinced that cooperation does not bring “fair” treatment to Russia, after all isn’t it time for them to play “bad cop” and try confrontation, Moscow ponders?

Igor Sutyagin for Newsweek 17 July

In the West, the hijab debate kicks up a storm

Many years ago, I taught law at the American University in Cairo and I came across a graduate student who was a practising lawyer at the time. She told me that her employer had bluntly told her that if she ever thought of wearing the headscarf she would be fired. This was a Muslim telling another Muslim in a Muslim country that fulfilling an accepted religious practice would lead to her expulsion from work.

HA Hellyer for The National, 21 July

Turkey Coup

'Trapped between fire and collapse': How terrorism and recession left the popular Turkish president battling on all fronts after a decade of unprecedented growth

Professor Tahir Abbas, a lead researcher with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said: 'With the civil war in Syria and the Eurozone crisis, he is caught between fire on one side and collapse on the other.'

Tahir Abbas in The Daily Mail, 16 July

Turkish state media: The former commander of Turkey's air force has confessed to plotting attempted coup

If it's true Ozturk was behind the attempted coup, "it might explain why they were able to get air support so quickly in the coup's early phases," Michael Stephens, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, noted on Twitter over the weekend.

Michael Stephens in Business Insider UK 18 July

Turkey's coup failed, but it can still hurt the fight against the Islamic State

“Turkey is a vital linchpin in both European and Middle East security architecture, sharing a heavy burden of coping with millions of refugees from Syria, hosting coalition aircraft targeting Daesh in both Syria and Iraq, as well as being a vital intelligence asset in tracking Daesh activity across the region,” he wrote after Friday's takeover bid (using the alternative name Daesh for ISIS).

Michael Stephens for Global Post, 17 July

VOA: Experts Saw Signs of Turkish Military Discontent Before Coup

"For the first time in 15 years, young officers were making comments about their government in cynical terms," said Ashraf, a frequent visitor to Turkey. That was unusual, especially in front of visiting foreigners, he said. He noted, though, that top-ranking officers seemed more supportive of the government.

Asraf Afzal for Voice of America, 17 July

Erdoğan’s ‘Reichstag fire’

“He had a golden opportunity to change the narrative,” said Jonathan Eyal, associate director at the Royal United Services Institute, a U.K. think tank. “Instead, he chose the path of vengeance and score-settling. That will make it far more difficult for Western allies to stand by him.”

Jonathan Eyal for Politico, 17 July

Turkey’s Coup That Wasn’t

“It may well be that democracy has triumphed in Turkey only to be strangled at a slower pace,” Jonathan Eyal, the international director at Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, told me.

Jonathan Eyal in New York Times

Turkey Coup: Who Is Fethullah Gulen and Is He To Blame?

‘The Turkish government has been saying all through last night that this is backed by Gulen and they can say that it’s the Jolly Green Giant if they want. At the moment we cannot be certain. The fact is that regardless of who was pulling the strings, this attempt still shows there is an element of the military who doesn't want Erdogan in power,’ Stephens tells Newsweek. ‘There are many, many reasons for that, which do not begin and end with an ethereal cleric in the U.S. who may or may not be behind this.’

Mike Stephens in Newsweek, 16 July

Trident

Trident: What is Britain's nuclear deterrent? Why does it need replacing? How much will it cost?

The Royal United Services Institute estimated in 2013 that a new system would cost between £70bn and 80bn over its lifetime but the independent Trident Commission put that figure at £100bn. 

The Independent, 18 July

NATO

Trump Stuns U.S Allies with Terrifying Comments About NATO

“The suggestion that Trump may consider abandoning a guarantee of protection to fellow NATO countries would in some ways indeed make NATO obsolete,”

Sarah Lain in Vanity Fair, 21 July

Russia poses biggest nuclear threat to UK says security think tank RUSI

The study by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) also points out that China is the next most nuclear-capable country, while India, Pakistan and North Korea all have nuclear programmes that could possess the capability in the future to pose a risk to the UK.

International Business Times, 18 July

Russia’s Lethal Tank Force Ready For World War Against NATO

“This is not the time to wobble over enlargement or pretend that Brexit doesn’t matter. Both matter desperately for the cohesion of the transatlantic relationship.” NATO cannot deny that Britain’s exit will not affect things and it also needs to address the seemingly growing alliance between Russia and Greece as the latter is still crucial for the Union.

Jonathan Eyal for The Washington Post, 15 July

Trident: The view from Moscow. . .

“It’s certainly in the Russian interest to encourage more doubts,” Jonathan Eyal, international director at the Royal United Services Institute, said.

Jonathan Eyal in The Times, 18 July

Nice Attacks

French wonder after latest terror attack: What can we do to feel safe?

The reality is that France is at the epicenter of the current global terror threat,” said Raffaello Pantucci, a counterterrorism expert and associate fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation in London. 

Raffaello Pantucci in the L.A Times, 19 July

Terror expert warns Nice attack could be 'easily replicated' in Britain as police review security at major events

International Security Expert for the Royal United Services Institute, Raffaello Pantucci, said the 'success' of the Nice attack will make a huge impression in Britain and across the world that simple attacks are effective. He said: "If you think about the methodology of this attack it could easily happen in the UK."

Raffaello Pantucci for The Mirror, 17 July

Nice attack: Security services helpless against 'weaponisation of everyday life'

“You are dealing with something that is just so unpredictable and on top of that it is utilising weaponry that is just lying around,” Pantucci told MEE.

Raffaello Pantucci in Middle East Eye, 15 July

Olympic Terror plot

Brazil: 10 suspected of planning Olympics terror

Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said there doesn't appear to be evidence of a sophisticated plot.

Raffaello Pantucci for CNN, 21 July

Cyber Attacks

'Right Sector' hackers attempt to blackmail Polish government

So why would a Ukrainian ultra-right group, currently involved in a low intensity conflict with Russian proxies, attack the Polish ministry of defence? Ewan Lawson, a cyber-warfare expert and fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told SC, “It is difficult to see the logic other than financial reward.”

Ewan Lawson in SC Magazine, 20 July

UK Defence

UK Government Shuffle Spells Uncertainty for Industry

The London-based Royal United Services Institute think tank released a report before the referendum saying that a weakening economy would likely trigger defense cuts.

Defence News, 18 July

 

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