Royal United Services Institute
September 2016 Issue 82
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Forthcoming Events
Priorities for UK National Security
4 October

Security Challenges Facing the Next US President: A Conversation with General (Ret) David H. Petraeus
5 October

Defining FinTech: actors, challenges, opportunities and financial crime
19 October

The Second International Cyber Symposium: Cyberspace And The Transformation Of 21st Century Warfare
19 -20 October

Lord Trenchard Memorial Lecture 2016
24 October

The Armed Forces Covenant – The Corporate Covenant in Action
27 October

Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century
1 November

Full list of events >

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

Dear friends,

The tragic civil war in Syria shows no signs of abating, with another ceasefire collapsing in the last week. US Secretary of State John Kerry accused his Russian counterpart of living in a ‘parallel universe’, as the bombing campaign of Russia and the Syrian regime targeted civilians, hospitals and a UN aid convoy, all during the supposed ceasefire.

At RUSI, we have been commenting on recent events. I discussed the attacks on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and on Channel 4 News. Justin Bronk analysed footage from the bombsite and found that Russian-made munitions were used, likely dropped from Russian Su-24s. Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi examined the fraught relations between Iran and Turkey and warned how this will also impede peace talks.

In neighbouring Iraq, government forces are getting ready for the long battle to recapture Mosul from ISIL. The Iraqi Foreign Minister spoke at RUSI discussinghis government’s preparations to drive the terrorists out of the city. Even when ISIL is defeated in Mosul in Iraq and in Raqqa in Syria, the group will still pose a threat not just in the Middle East region, but further afield. ISIL is directing and inspiring attacks around the world – notably in Europe and North America – and ISIL’s global affiliates also pose a threat to a number of countries. In an essay for Save the Children, I discuss how the UK could take the lead and work closely with the United States and other countries to stop the spread of the terrorist ideology and prevent further attacks.

I am honoured this month to have been appointed to a new UK government task force on tackling slavery. Chaired by the Prime Minister, the task force aims to pioneer ‘a more co-ordinated policy and operational response’ to modern slavery. I intend to bring RUSI’s wide-ranging expertise to the conversation as the task force explores what more can be done to bring perpetrators to justice and to support victims of slavery.

We are also working hard to assess the implications of Brexit: in September’s RUSI Newsbrief, serious questions are asked about the state of European Union foreign policy-making. The Newsbrief also carries a special feature on tackling terrorist financing and financial crime.

I am delighted to announce that Sir Peter Ricketts, a veteran British diplomat, will be joining us as a Senior Associate Fellow. Sir Peter has been at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 40 years and he served as British Ambassador to France before he retired.

I also welcome to RUSI General Sir Richard Barrons as a Senior Associate Fellow. General Barrons served as Commander Joint Forces Command, one of the six ‘Chiefs of Staff’ leading the UK armed forces until April 2016. Last week,Sir Richard spoke at RUSI’s Warfare in the Information Age conference.

Next month, RUSI will host the second International Cyber Symposium in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence. This year, the Symposium’s theme will be Cyberspace and the Transformation of 21st Century Warfare.

I invite you to read RUSI’s 2015-16 Annual Report, where you can find out about the Institute’s activities in the past year and how the Institute produces independent, practical and innovative analysis to address the complex challenges of the modern world.

We welcome your feedback on our work, so please get in touch with thoughts, ideas, criticism and questions.

Finally, the trustees of the Institute are inviting RUSI members to nominate the next recipient of the Chesney Gold Medal. The medal is awarded in recognition of a lifetime contribution to international defence and security, to the benefit of the United Kingdom and/or the Western Alliance. Serving politicians are ineligible for the award. Nominations close on 28 October. Further details here.

Karin von Hippel
Director-General, RUSI

RUSI Director-General to Join New Government Task Force on Slavery
RUSI’s Director-General Dr Karin von Hippel has been invited to join a new UK government task force, chaired by the prime minister, which aims to pioneer ‘a more co-ordinated policy and operational response’ to modern slavery.  More information

RUSI Journal

The latest issue of the RUSI Journal features articles on Brexit, financial sanctions on Iran and the coup in Turkey. To read more, click here

Other recent publications

Occasional Paper: An EU Terrorist Finance Tracking System

Conference Report: The Future of Post-Brexit Germany–UK Security Relations

RUSI Defence Systems: Clearing Up in Space: The Next Global Flashpoint?

For more publications, click here
The Syria Crisis
During September a ceasefire was declared in Syria. RUSI analysis examined the agreement, the state of the conflict and the aftermath of the ongoing Russian bombing campaign.

For more information and analysis, click here
Recent Speakers
Dr Ibrahim al Jaafari, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq
RUSI hosted Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari, who briefed the Institute on the taking of Mosul, the security situation in the country and Iraq's relationship with its neighbours.

Members can watch the speech here

General Sir Richard Barrons on 'Warfare in the Information Age'
General Sir Richard Barrons spoke at RUSI on the nature of the Information Age and its implications for conflict and the conduct of warfare.

Watch the speech here
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

Cyberspace and the Transformation of 21st Century Warfare
19 October 2016, London
This conference will explore how the integration of cyberspace into current operational practices and broader national strategy is a challenge faced by all nations, and will provide a platform to look at best practice and the development of norms for future action. Book now >
Commentary Online Now
Did a Top Secret Threat Assessment Prompt Sweden to Deploy Troops to the Baltic Island of Gotland?

What's Behind the Sino-Russian Exercises in the South China Sea?

‘Tell the World Community Where the Terrorists Are’: Afghanistan and India Draw Closer Together in Tackling Pakistan

Why is Daesh Able to Inspire More Attacks Than Al-Qa’ida?

Assessing Terrorist Finance: A Regional Approach

Tehran Expels Russian Bombers from Iran
RUSI in the News
Karin von Hippel on US –Turkish relations

'In fact, team ISIS would be far more likely to choose Trump as its MVP (Most Valuable Player), due to his conflation of Islam with terrorism. Already in April this year, we’ve seen an ISIS video glorifying the Belgium attacks featuring Donald Trump in the backdrop. And it’s not just ISIS that is using Trump for recruitment: Al-Shabaab, the Somalia affiliate of Al-Qaeda, has also released a Trump video.'

Karin von Hippel for Newsweek, 9 September

The Full Circle of Reason

'This diplomatic initiative is now pressing Kabul and New Delhi back together, potentially breathing new life into the strategic partnership signed five years ago. During his trip, Mr. Ghani publicly reinforced India’s new approach to Balochistan, demanding that “this violence needs to be covered".'
Shashank Joshi in The Hindu, 16 September

On Syria, US and Russia Really Are in Parallel Universes

'Russia may care less about what happens as long as Assad allows Russia to be a crucial player in the conflict. As long as the United States continues to desire cooperation with Russia on Syria on the basis of Russia's relationship with the Syrian regime, Russia's position as a key international player is reinforced'
Sarah Lain for CNN, 22 September

RUSI analysts have also been quoted on a range of issues including:
North Korean Nuclear Tests, the Syrian crisis and the political situation in Kashmir.

To see more, click here >

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