Global Security Briefing provides regular insights from leading international experts to help you make sense of the far-reaching changes affecting international security around the globe. Hosted by analysts from RUSI's International Security Studies team, the podcast looks at how the UK can best shape its foreign and security policies in an increasingly dynamic international environment. The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.
A Year of Russia’s War in Ukraine
43:59As we approach the one-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Global Security Briefing looks at the effects of the war, the potential risks for escalation, and what to expect in the future. A year after Russia’s full-scale invasion began, the Ukrainian armed forces and population, with strong backing from a coalition of allies, have managed to blunt the attack. Russia has, however, begun to reorganise and learn from its mistakes. Host Neil Melvin sits down with Hanna Shelest, Director of Security Programmes at Foreign Policy Council ‘Ukrainian Prism’ and Editor-in-Chief at Ukraine Analytica, to discuss the future of this conflict, European security, and the eventual settlement of the war, which is likely to become the foundation for a new balance of power on the continent. Tune in now for in-depth analysis on the war the world is watching.
A New War Over Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus?
50:05With growing uncertainty about the regional power balance in Nagorno-Karabakh, we analyse the concerns that another conflict could erupt. For nearly 30 years, the confrontation over landlocked Nagorno-Karabakh persisted through numerous rounds of negotiations and a massive regional arms build-up between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In 2020, Azerbaijan launched an offensive using its modernised armed forces, overwhelming the Armenian defences and reclaiming the occupied territories as well as key parts of Karabakh itself. The agreement at the end of the conflict led to the introduction of a Russian peacekeeping force and proposals for new transport corridors to open up the region. The war of 2020 also unsettled the region’s geopolitical balance, with Russia further weakened by the ongoing Ukraine war, and Turkey and Iran taking a stronger interest in the South Caucasus. Western countries are belatedly stepping up their engagement. What are the prospects of finding a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and avoiding ethnic cleansing of the region? Host Neil Melvin sits down with Laurence Broers from Conciliation Resources and Amanda Paul from the European Policy Centre to answer this very question. Tune in now!
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The New Geopolitics of the Antarctic
34:08After decades of peace, the Antarctic is emerging as a zone for future geopolitical competition. While recent years have seen a growing international focus on the Arctic, the Earth’s southernmost region – governed by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty – has appeared divorced from wider polar tensions. However, in the last decade, China has expanded its presence and, along with Russia, has emerged as a disruptor of the existing system of Antarctic governance. This episode of Global Security Briefing examines the core issues of dispute and how China and Russia are challenging the existing regional status quo. Can the governance of the region weather the current tensions? And how should Latin American countries – situated as gateways to the Antarctic but increasingly caught in the confrontation between the West, Russia and China – approach the region? Neil Melvin is joined by Juan Pablo Toro, Executive Director of Athena Lab – Chile's foremost think tank on foreign and security issues – and Dr Carlos Solar, RUSI’s Senior Research Fellow in Latin American Security.
Seasonal Special: Trends in International Security 2022-2023 Part 2
39:42To welcome in the new year, the International Security Studies team at RUSI reviews the biggest stories from 2022 and what to look out for in 2023. In the second instalment of the two-part seasonal special, host Neil Melvin is joined by Tobias Borck, Carlos Solar and Simon Rynn to discuss key developments in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. What are the key threats to look out for in these regions? How are these regions engaging in the international security community and what kind of security actors are they shaping up to be? Join us to find out!
Seasonal Special: Trends in International Security 2022–2023 Part 1
43:50As the year comes to a close, the International Security Studies team at RUSI reviews the biggest stories from 2022 and what to look out for in 2023. 2022 has been a watershed year in the security sphere, from the war in Ukraine to major developments in the Indo-Pacific. This two-part seasonal special brings together the regional experts from RUSI’s International Security team. Host Neil Melvin is joined by Emily Ferris, Veerle Nouwens and Ed Arnold to discuss what to look out for in 2023. What lies ahead for Ukraine? What will be the key developments to look out for in East Asia and the Indo-Pacific? What is the future trajectory of security relations in Europe? Tune in to find out, and happy holidays from GSB!
What Sort of Security Actor is Sweden Becoming?
40:24As NATO prepares to welcome Sweden as a member, we examine what Stockholm’s security agenda could look like in the years ahead. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden quickly announced its intention to seek NATO membership. This move marked a significant departure from the country’s previous military non-alignment. With a new right wing-led government in place, and the country awaiting Turkey and Hungary’s ratification of its NATO membership, Sweden has made clear that national interests are at the heart of its international agenda. The new government has moved away from the idea of a feminist foreign policy and has begun to increase defence spending and to reduce international development assistance. What lies ahead for Sweden on its NATO journey, and what kind of member will it become in the years ahead? How will Sweden’s security priorities change as a member of the Alliance? For answers to all this and more, tune in now!
Ukraine’s Winter War
38:27As the conflict enters the harshest months of the year, wen discuss what the winter could mean for both sides. The Russian invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves around the world and has dominated the headlines ever since. Russia has focused heavily on seizing territory, and even formally annexed some regions in September. Moscow’s narratives of success have, however, been severely undercut by Ukrainian battlefield victories, the most recent of which, in Kherson, is seen by many as a turning point. As the war heads into its 10th month, Neil Melvin sits down with Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman of King's College London to discuss what the coming months will bring for both sides in the war. The onset of winter will test Ukraine’s ability to sustain its recent military successes, as well as Russia’s strategy of holding the Ukrainians along its new defensive line while drawing Kyiv into a protracted war. For in-depth analysis on likely scenarios and more, tune in now
The Midterms and the Future of US Foreign Policy
45:22As the final electoral results trickle in, we discusses what the midterm elections can tell us about the future of US domestic and foreign policies. Neil Melvin sits down with Max Bergmann, Director of the Europe Program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. With an anticipated strong Republican win heralding the prospect of Donald Trump’s return to the White House, the ballots were seen as a clear signpost as to the direction of travel of US politics, with a likely immediate impact on Washington’s foreign and security policy – especially its support for Ukraine. What do the results indicate about the larger political battle being prepared for the 2024 presidential elections? Could the world still be facing a shock on the scale of the election of Donald Trump in 2016?
Iran Confronts Domestic and Regional Change
37:04As the world watches, protests continue to rage across Iran. With protests continuing across the country, Dr Neil Melvin is joined by Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI International Security Studies, to consider Iran’s future as it faces a changing regional and global security. They assess whether the protests can be a catalyst for domestic reform, and how these internal developments are shaping Iran’s foreign policy. What are the implications of Tehran’s growing relationship with Moscow for the war against Ukraine? What might future regional relations between Iran and China look like?
Is Central Asia Experiencing a Strategic Shift?
48:33More than thirty years since independence, we look at how the nations of Central Asia are navigating shifting regional power dynamics and an evolving international security environment. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the nations of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – quickly transformed into authoritarian orders, while external investment in natural resources became the basis for the post-Soviet economies. Today, the region faces significant security challenges – the war in Ukraine has weakened Russia’s regional position, while the influence of China is palpable. Join us as host Neil Melvin sits down with Professor David Lewis of the University of Exeter to discuss how Central Asia is evolving and adapting, and what the real prospects are for political and economic reform.