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RUSI in the News: 21October - 28 October

News, 28 October 2016
From 21 October - 28 October, RUSI experts were quoted on a range of international issues including the fight against Daesh, the Russian naval manoeuvres, nuclear security, UK defence policy, cyber security and Russia's energy policy.

Quoted in the Media

The fight against Daesh

Lessons of war: David Petraeus warns that a bigger challenge awaits after Islamic State is driven from Mosul

'The Iraqi security forces [are] this mix of Iraqi army, Iraqi police, Kurdish peshmerga, the Iraqi counter-terrorism service, the Iraqi air force, popular mobilization units — some Shia Arab from the south, some Sunni Arab from the tribes of Nineveh province. And the challenge is going to be, first of all, to keep all of them pulling in the same direction. But the real issue, the real battle, of course, is the battle after the battle for Mosul, and that is the struggle for power and resources in one of the biggest and most complex provinces in all of Iraq.'

General (Ret) David H. Petreaus in The LA Times, 28 october

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-mosul-david-petraeus-q-and...

Isil 'took part' in Quetta attack, says Pakistani terror group ally

"The group is effective, has forces and is doing training, so it has potential. So South Asia may turn out to be the region people should worry about.”

Raffaello Pantucci in The Telegraph, 26 October

Isis unleashes lasting revenge as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul

“This is a form of scorched earth policy,” he says “They want to make it terrible to go back. They want to keep a lingering suspicion: is there something in the water? In the air? It’s doing the most you can do to destroy a sense of normality.”

Justin Bronk in the FT, 24 October

IS set fire to sulphur fields, creating toxic gas clouds that injure 1,000

Michael Stephens, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told MEE the latest events show how IS disregards the life of civilians. “It’s basically a low-grade form of chemical warfare. But very foolish because it leaves you at the mercy of the wind and can backfire badly. It shows how callous the IS disregard is for the life and safety of civilians,” he said.

Michael Stephens for Middle East Eye, 23 October

Former US general calls for Marshall Plan for the Middle East

"A second is that the Marshall Plan operated in a totally different political environment, with over half the money going to Britain, France, and Germany – all democratic governments with good governance, or in Germany’s case an occupied and pliant regime."

Shashank Joshi for The National, 23 October

The Russian Naval Manoeuvres

Belching smoke through the Channel, Russian aircraft carrier so unreliable it sails with its own breakdown tug

Mr Roberts, a former Royal Navy officer, said: “There’s nothing more depressing for a naval captain when he leaves home waters than to be escorted by a tug because even your commander in chief thinks you are going to break down.”

Peter Roberts in The Telegraph, 22 October

Russian Warships Escorted Through English Channel By British Navy

“It’s a clear and military signal that Russia is back on the international stage,” said Peter Roberts, a senior research fellow for sea power and maritime studies at the Royal United Services Institute “They are off to conduct a mission. They are off to conduct it off Syria, they are very focused on their mission."

Peter Roberts for The Huffington Post and the Daily Mail, 21 October

Russia's Nuclear Programme

Russia reveals new arsenal of missiles pointed at the West

“The Sarmat won’t change the status quo because the existing Satans would already be ­extremely hard to intercept,” he said. “It’s huge overkill. There is a political message here: Russian wants to tell the world: ‘We are a great power, we are scary’.”

Mr Sutyagin also expressed doubt that the image of the Sarmat published by Makeyev was accurate. “It looks like a fake, the design features are wrong,” he said. “I have doubts that the real stuff exists in metal yet.”

Igor Sutyagin in The Times, 27 October

Putin's greatest warning to the West yet: Russia unveils first image of its Satan 2 super-nuke that is capable of wiping out England and Wales and 2,000 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb

Igor Sutyagin, an expert in Russian nuclear capability at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told MailOnline: 'The SS-18 is more than 30 years old. It is past its sell-by date. So even if you had the warmest relations in the world with Nato you would want to update your missiles. But (President) Putin of course is happy for it to be portrayed as an aggressive move. He wants to stress his unpredictability and his importance.'

Igor Sutyagin for MailOnline, 26 October

North Korea's Nuclear Programme

Experts wonder why US official uttered hard N. Korea truth"Looking at the ways that Kim Jong Un has spoken of the North Korean nuclear program, it's clearly not something he wants to trade away," said Andrea Berger, a proliferation expert at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based security research center. "They actually may never sell their nuclear program at any price."

Andrea Berger for AP, 27 October

UK Defence Policy

Head of UK Regulations Enforcement Agency Resigns

“It was probably designed to make a statement around the commitment he had for thinking of the SSRO as an independent regulator. I do think the issue comes down to the different understanding of what is meant by a regulator.There is a professional services [industry] understanding of what a regulator is and there is a MoD  understanding. The two aren’t the same thing,” Louth said.

John Louth for Defence News, 24 October

Russia-Turkey Relations

Who Suffers From Russia, Turkey Pipeline Deal?

“Turkish Stream hurts Ukraine because it deprives them of the trans-Balkan route that supplied Turkey via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. So it also deprives Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania of transit fees. Bulgaria is even more unhappy than the others of course since South Stream is dead,” says Sijbren de Jong,

Sijbren de Jong for Forbes, 24 October

Cyber Security

Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday, Sir Michael said the investment into the Cyber Vulnerability Investigations programme would “help us protect against these threats”.

“The average cost of the most severe online security breaches for bigger companies starts at almost £1.5m, up £600,000 from 2014,” said Sir Michael, adding: “It’s only a matter of time before we have to deal with a major attack on UK interests.

The Register, 21 October

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