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RUSI in the News: 28 October - 4 November

News, 4 November 2016
From 28 October - 4 November, RUSI experts were quoted on a range of international issues including the Syrian Civil War, the battle for Mosul, Japan's Defence Policy, Afghan security, counter-terrorism, North Korea's Nuclear Programme and India's Foreign Relations

Broadcast

Karin von Hippel on the Battle for Mosul, BBC World at One, 31 October

Op Eds

China’s development lenders embrace multilateral co-operation

Taken against this background, the SRF and AIIB are clearly minnows. But they are minnows which have focused on national interest, something that highlights the degree to which the broader ‘Belt and Road’ is aimed at advancing national interest rather than being a benevolent vision for Eurasia.

It also illustrates to outsiders that to properly understand how to connect with the ‘Belt and Road’, there is a need to understand China’s broader international ambitions under the vision.

Raffaello Pantucci in The Financial Times, 1 November

Should US be worried about China's new J-20 stealth fighters?

While it is not as hard to detect as the F-35 and certainly the F-22, it would still be a lethal and evasive threat hidden within a mass of conventional aircraft and missile tracks in any flashpoint scenario.

Justin Bronk in CNN International, 2 November

China Offers First Glimpse of Chengdu J-20 Stealth Fighter

China "will mostly ramp up production of these things pretty quickly...They might not be a matchup one-on-one with the F-35 but they may well be able to put far more of them in the sky in the next few years."

Justin Bronk in NBC News, 3 November

Is This Really ISIS? Uncertainty Surrounds Attacks in Afghan Province of Ghor

"The war in Afghanistan, irrespective of any extremist narratives, is often more about how regional factors interact and mutually reinforce each other. Before buying into the hype created by the mere mention of the word ISIS, it is necessary to explore the regional context in which attacks take place and the roles of local actors; something that western audiences have shown a woeful failure to do, and Afghan policymakers have, at times, wilfully ignored."

Emily Winterbotham in Newsweek, 1 November

Quoted in the Media

The Battle for Mosul

Defeating ISIS in Mosul Will Open Door to Many Challenges

'If the people who live there don't feel that a future government represents them, then in a year or two we might see the next iteration of ISIL roll in and take over Mosul,' said Karin von Hippel, director-general of the RUSI defence think tank in London.

Karin von Hippel for NBC, 31 October

Japan's Defence Policy

Japan moves to solidify security relations with British forces

Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, ASDF chief of staff, and Stephen Hillier, chief of the air staff of the Royal Air Force, took part in the exercise in the backseats of two F-2 fighters.

The previous day, they participated in a forum in Tokyo sponsored by Britain’s Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies. The session was titled “New Form of Partnership Between the U.K. and Japan: Achievements and Challenges.”

The Asahi Shinbum, 3 November

Europe looks skeptically at Japan's warming to Russia

Jonathan Eyal, international director at the Royal United Services Institute, points out that "any long-term policy of containment of China has to have some Russian participation. In that respect, what Abe is doing is strategically correct. But he was unfortunately too late. If he tried this policy about 10 years ago, he may have had a better opportunity for it to work. The stage in which Russia is in right now is more aggressively confronting the West. That makes it more difficult for Japan to engage Russia."

Jonathan Eyal in Nikkei Asian Review, 3 November

Counter-terrorism

From mafia to terror, the Italian way

"[Deportations are] an effective way of getting rid of people, one other countries are looking at jealously,” said Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank. “The question is, ‘How long will it be effective for?’ If you have powers like that used in indiscriminate fashion you start to threaten the model you are trying to protect.”
Raffaello Pantucci in Politico, 4 November

The Syrian Civil War

Putin’s bombers prepare to blitz Aleppo as the West looks away

The Europeans will not act without the Americans, and the Americans are not going to do anything until January, and may not do anything after that either, so Putin has an unfettered period for the next three months,” he said.
Michael Clarke in The Times, 31 October

World War III Update: Russia to launch major attack in Aleppo; Britain’s defence secretary says UK is ready for war

If the attack would happen, it would be a repeat of Grozny, the Chechen capital attacked by Russia in 1999 and 2000, predicts Michel Clarke, ex-director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank based in London.

Michael Clarke for International Business Times, 4 November

Big question: What is Putin’s aim in Aleppo?

The aim of Russia’s “humanitarian pause” is likely to be in preparation of an offensive, but it also seeks to soften some of the reputational damage done by its recent bombing campaign on Aleppo, including on civilian targets.

Sarah Lain in Prospect Magazine, 3 November

North Korean Nuclear Programme

Experts baffled after top U.S. official utters hard truth about North Korean nukes

“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 in The Japan Times, 30 October

India's Foreign Relations

UK must boost defence budget to be taken seriously by US says Lord David Owen

"On the basis of the rules previously used for its Nato returns, the UK would have been on course to spend £36,820m on defence in 2015: equivalent to 1.97% of GDP," said Professor Malcolm Chalmers, a research director at Rusi.

Malcolm Chalmers in International Business Times, 31 October

Afghan Security

Exclusive: Chinese security forces caught patrolling deep inside eastern Afghanistan

'The pictures show Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and Humvee-type vehicles. Both appear to be Chinese versions of common Western armoured vehicles,'' said Justin Bronk, a Senior Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. 

''The Humvee-type vehicle is very identifiable as a Mengshi 4x4, also known as the Dongfeng EQ 2050. They have very distinctive markings on the doors which are absent from US-manufactured Humvees,'' he said.

Justin Bronk for WIO News, 3 November

The pivot through Kabul

"India’s growing arms footprint in Afghanistan points to an important future aspect of its regional power projection."

Shashank Joshi in The Hindu, 1 November

Defence Policy

The high cost of avoiding the draft

“Given the resurgence of Russia on the borders of Europe, a lot of countries are re-thinking their strategies on conscription and national defence,” says Elizabeth Quintana, director of military science at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a think-tank.

Elizabeth Quintana in the BBC, 3 November

Russia–NATO Relations

Russia and NATO Hold Dual Drills 150 Miles Apart in Balkans

"Russia wants to show that it can intimidate NATO ... and NATO is saying to Russia, 'If you show up, we'll be there as well,'" according to Igor Sutyagin, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a London-based think tank.

Igor Sutyagin for NBC, 3 November

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