IISS Voices

Strategic Snapshot

Britain’s confusing election

Alexander Nicoll, IISS Senior Fellow for Geo-economics and Defence, explains how Britain’s next government hinges on the outcome of a ‘confused’ set of circumstances leading up to the May 7 general election.

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    Alexander Neill: China’s reclamation in the South China Sea - purely defence?

    20 April 2015.  By Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security United States and Filipino armed forces launched the month-long exercise Balikatan 2015 today, amidst increasing tension over China’s programme of reclamation in the South China Sea’s contested Spratly Islands. This year the US has doubled the size of its contingent joining the exercises, with a total of 11,500 troops participating from the US and Philippines. Although Philippines defence officials have emphasised...

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    Antonio Sampaio: Criminal ambushes in Jalisco - a hyper-violent wave of cartel brutality

    16 April 2015.  By Antonio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development Criminal attacks against the police and even the armed forces are nothing new in Mexico. Since 2006, organised crime in the country has adopted militarised strategy in order to compete in a crowded drug-trafficking market. But even Mexicans have been surprised and shocked in recent weeks by a display of heightened military prowess and boldness from criminal groups. A series of well-organised ambushes...

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    Hebatalla Taha: The power struggle in Yemen and its paradoxical alliances

    14 April 2015.  A full-blown civil war erupted in Yemen when the Houthis marched to Aden on 22 March, sparking confrontations with southern militias. The war is essentially a power struggle between the Houthis, allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, supported by various Yemeni militias, but several paradoxical alliances reflect the complex and multi-factional nature of this conflict.

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    Ben Barry: Countering ISIS in Iraq - from containment to counter-attack

    13 April 2015. 

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    Virginia Comolli: Nigeria’s Unlikely Election - The Road Ahead

    07 April 2015.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Fellow for Security and Development Although the Nigerian presidential campaigns were only formally launched in November 2014, we have been awaiting the recent presidential elections for much longer. It all began roughly two years ago when speculation over whether President Goodluck Jonathan would seek re-election sparked controversy. Now, almost anti-climatically, the wait is over: with a lead of 2.5 million votes, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and retired general Muhammadu...

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    Antonio Sampaio: Colombia focuses on post-conflict challenges as FARC conflict de-escalates

    30 March 2015.  Two significant announcements were made in March related to the de-escalation of the conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Many in Colombia believe these are the first steps towards the end of the conflict waged by the western hemisphere’s largest and longest-running insurgent group.

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    Strategic Snapshots: Britain’s confusing election

    30 March 2015.  Alexander Nicoll, IISS Senior Fellow for Geo-economics and Defence, explains how Britain’s next government hinges on the outcome of a ‘confused’ set of circumstances leading up to the May 7 general election. If, as opinion polls suggest, no single party wins an overall majority, negotiations led either by the Conservatives or Labour would almost certainly prove more complicated than in May 2010, and could even force fresh polls...

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    Hanna Ucko Neill: African insurgent groups look to ISIS as they face increasing pressure

    24 March 2015.  Two of the most significant African insurgent groups – Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Somalia – are looking to ISIS, possibly to gain momentum as both face the increased pressure of successful military operations against them. 

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    Maxime Humeau: Countering Ebola in Sierra Leone - the British military contribution

    20 March 2015.  By Maxime Humeau, Land Warfare Research Assistant In the spring of 2014, several West African countries reported of what was to become the widest and most lethal Ebola epidemic in history. By mid-July the spread of the virus in Sierra Leone had outpaced the infection in Guinea and Liberia combined. The amplifying emergency drove the United Kingdom to deploy a force of 750 uniformed personnel to the country on October the...

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    Nigel Inkster: Privacy and security

    12 March 2015.  By Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk As a result of the revelations by rogue NSA contractor Edward Snowden on the scope of global telecommunications monitoring undertaken by the NSA and its ‘Five Eyes’ partner, the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) carried out a comprehensive review of the communications intercept and surveillance activities undertaken by the UK intelligence agencies. This report was one of the first...

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