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  Royal United Services Institute
August 2016 Issue 81
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Forthcoming Events
NATO-Russia Nuclear Relations: A Post-Warsaw Review
6 September

The Great Game Replayed
12 September

Warfare in the Information Age
21 September

Conflict and the Information Environment: Future Strategic Communications
22 September

Belfast to Benghazi: Untold Challenges of War
22 September

A Conversation with Sir Malcolm Rifkind on his Memoirs, ‘Power and Pragmatism'
28 September

Full list of events >

A Message from
Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, RUSI

Dear friends,

In August, the fight against Daesh gained focus with news that Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, Daesh’s chief strategist, was killed in air strikes. He had coordinated the movement of Daesh fighters, encouraged lone-wolf attacks in the West and actively recruited for the group.

My colleague Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at RUSI, assesses whether his death will yield any strategic benefits for the counterterrorism community. Raffaello also writes this month on the significance of Anjem Choudary’s imprisonment, sentenced after swearing allegiance to and recruiting for Daesh in the UK.

This month I visited RUSI’s team in Kenya and witnessed first-hand our work countering violent extremism (CVE) in the country and in Somalia. The Institute is in the region to implement the European Union’s STRIVE Horn of Africa project. It involves the research into drivers of radicalisation and pilot CVE interventions with law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations and vulnerable youths in Kenya and Somalia.

RUSI’s authoritative analysis on national and international security is strengthened by its partnerships and the expertise of our analysts and fellows. I am therefore delighted to announce this month that Christine Wormuth, who just stepped down as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the US Department of Defense, has joined RUSI as a Senior Associate Fellow. For almost 20 years, Christine has been at the heart of US policymaking in defence and security. Christine's biography is on our website now

The war in Syria has enabled the growth of Daesh, and this month we published a major paper exploring Iran’s role in the Syrian conflict. The analysis aggregates perspectives of policymakers in Tehran, based on in-depth interviews with state and non-state actors in the region. I have also given my assessment of US policy in Syria and Turkey in the media, which you can listen to here.

Over the last month we also published If War Comes Tomorrow: How Russia Prepares for Possible Armed Aggression, detailing the extensive economic preparations that Moscow has made for war, and a paper entitled Public–Private Security Cooperation: From Cyber to Financial Crime by RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime.

In August, RUSI also launched its Illicit Trade project, part of the Institute’s ongoing research on organised crime. Illicit trade is a modern criminal activity driven by organised crime networks, posing a substantial threat to national security and public safety. Over the next eighteen months, the project will gather evidence from five EU member states – Poland, Spain, Greece, Italy and Romania – to assess the scale, methods and routes of organised criminals involved in illicit trade and identify best practice in policy and law enforcement responses. The first country report on Poland has now been published.

Finally, RUSI has a busy research and event agenda all the way through to Christmas. In September we will be welcoming the Iraqi Foreign Minister to speak to our members, and also hosting a major conference on Warfare in the Information Age. Please get in touch with any thoughts or suggestions!

Karin von Hippel
Director-General, RUSI

Understanding Iran's Role in the Syrian Conflict

This  Occasional Paper provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran's role in the Syrian conflict, drawing on the perspective of major regional state and non-state actors. Read the paper

Other recent publications

Making Information Flow: Instruments and Innovations for Enhancing Financial Intelligence

If War Comes Tomorrow: How Russia Prepares for Possible Armed Aggression

On Tap Europe: Organised Crime and Illicit Trade in Poland: Country Report

Public–Private Security Cooperation: From Cyber to Financial Crime

For more information:
Become a Member
RUSI’s research embodies an ethos of quality and objectivity. Through its convening power and membership, RUSI brings together a diverse range of leaders from the public and private sectors to tackle national and global concerns. Join now

Careers at RUSI
RUSI has vacancies available for Research Analysts in defence industries, counterterrorism, and organised crime. Applications are also open for an intern in Communications. For more information and to apply, please click here

RUSI Conferences
Warfare in the Information Age
21 September 2016, London
This conference will explore the nature of the Information Age and its implications for conflict and the conduct of warfare. It will endeavour to identify how western militaries in particular need to change and adapt to meet these new challenges. Book now >
Conflict and the Information Environment: Future Strategic Communications
22 September 2016, London
This conference will seek to develop understanding of the interplay between the developing information environment and its use in conflict, and hence how strategic communications can be utilised more effectively and efficiently in the future. Book now >

There is a 25% discount offered when registering for both Conflict and the Information Environment and the Warfare in the Information Age conferences.

The Second International Cyber Symposium: Cyberspace And The Transformation of 21st Century Warfare
19 October 2016, London
Following the success of last year’s symposium hosted by France at the École Militaire in Paris, the symposium will explore how the integration of cyberspace into current operational practices and broader national strategy is a challenge faced by all nations.  Book now >
Commentary Online Now

Assessing Terrorist Finance: Leadership from Australia

Tehran Expels Russian Bombers from Iran

Russian Bombers in Iran: Misleading Operational Justification, Serious Geopolitical Significance

Counter-Daesh Financing Has Been a Convenient Distraction

The Call of the Valleys: Violence Returns to India’s Jammu and Kashmir State

Warfare in the Information Age: Time for a Change?

Closing ‘The Jungle’ Will Exacerbate, Not Solve, the Calais Migration Crisis


RUSI in the News
Karin von Hippel on US-Turkish relations
'And of course Turkey is already upset with America ... they feel that America was too slow in condemning the coup, and so the talks are not going to be cordial, that’s for sure.'

Karin von Hippel for BBC World Tonight, 29 August

Now China Too is in Isil's Firing Line
'Where China has usually faced the menace of international terrorism, it is more usually in an incidental fashion with nationals in the wrong place at the right time.'
Raffaelo Pantucci in The Telegraph, 1 September

Kabul ‘Beacon of Hope’ Becomes a Prime Taliban Target
'At a strategic level, these attacks in Kabul don’t matter so much, but they are all contributing to the sense of deterioration of security in the capital, and that is in turn contributing to the bigger crisis in Afghanistan. That is why the insurgents put enormous significance on these.'

Shashank Joshi in The Financial Times, 25 August

Anjem Choudary Was a Leader. His Conviction Will Damage Terror Networks

'Terrorist networks are, at their core, groups of people gathering around an ideology. Individuals are drawn in for various (often deeply personal) reasons, but to function as an effective unit that works to advance an ideology requires organisation and leadership. Otherwise, it is just a cluster of angry people with no particular direction.'

Raffaello Pantucci in The Guardian, 17 August

Can Putin Really 'Win' the Syrian Conflict?
'Russia still has options in Syria: in principle, it could exit the conflict at any time. To secure its interests, as it will seek to do, Russia is in the long run likely to be more flexible on negotiating a settlement than some of its allies. To reach that stage, it must keep fighting other powers in this multi-layered struggle, thus adding numerous other interests to the mix and reducing its own control over the outcome.'
Sarah Lain in The Telegraph, 10 August

RUSI analysts have also been quoted on a range of issues including:
cyber security, the Anjem Choudary case and counterterrorism in Europe.

To see more, please click here >

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