PS21 Update: Week Ending July 24


One highlight among many this week was our conflict death tolls research being quoted in a press release about George Clooney’s new project. To read the article in the Guardian, go to George Clooney seeks to expose those who fund and profit from wars in Africa.

Other highlights included us hosting a truly incredible event with  John F. Spoko, Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and Andy Wright, Founding Editor of Just Security, looking at transparency and accountability in the Afghan war and what it will take to rebuild the country. Moderated by Ian Wallace, Senior Fellow of the International Security Program at New America, this is a discussion worth watching. To see the live recording of this event, click hereWe also received some unexpected coverage on this event, with the discussion being referenced by TRNS, the Talk Radio News Service as well as The Intercept. To read the coverage on this, click here and here. The transcript and PS21 Report on this will follow soon.

For more, see Rasha Elass’ interview with a Syrian political prisoner, the PS21 report on South Asia Geopolitics, what our global fellows got up to and our upcoming events below…

Our Upcoming Events for July:


July 29, Beyond the SDSR. As Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) gets underway, we have an excellent panel to discuss the defence challenges facing the UK and how they might be addressed. How should the UK handle new challenges such as a resurgent Russia and the prospect of Scottish independence? What do the British people really want? And regardless of the answer, is there any option other than doing less with less? Chair: Peter Apps, Executive Director PS21. Panel includes Patrick Bury, former Captain British Army Royal Irish Regiment and PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute, Philip Thicknesse, former head of futures, UK Defence Concepts and Doctrines Centre, Tom Bruxner, British Army officer, Defense Concepts and Doctrine Centre and Josh Arnold-Forster, former special advisor to John Reid MP, Defence Secretary 2005-2006, currently strategic advisor at Hanover. This event is currently fully booked – please email if you would like to go onto a waiting list.

August 4, The Middle East after the Iran Deal. After July’s historic nuclear deal between the P5+1 great powers and Iran, what is next for the volatile region? PS21 brings together an experienced and well-qualified panel to discuss. The panel will include Ari Ratner, former State Department political appointee and PS21 board member, and Lara Fatah, Iraqi Kurdistan-based former journalist and PS21 global fellow. Other panellists to be confirmed. This discussion will be chaired by Metsa Rahimi, regional head of intelligence within corporate security and business continuity at Deutsche Bank. This event is now being hosted by the UK Cabinet Office in White Hall and is fully booked.  

Washington DC

July 28, Event with Eurasia Group President Ian BremmerWe are excited to invite you to join us for a conversation with Ian Bremmer, president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group and leading geopolitical thinker. His latest book, Superpower, examines the potential routes forward for the United States in a new and uncertain era. The event will be moderated by Ali Wyne, PS21 global fellow and member of the adjunct staff at the RAND Corporation. This event is currently fully booked – please email if you would like to go onto a waiting list.

Watch this space. More events to be announced soon.

 This week at PS21:

Amr Ismail, a writer specializing in international affairs and the Middle East, looks at the numerous reasons why he believes there’s no end in sight for the Yemen crisis and why, if no one in the Middle East with influence takes action, Yemen could become another Syria.

Earlier this year we held a discussion with three great experts on South Asia Geopolitics. Moderated by Peter Apps, the discussion included Amjad Saleem, Colombo based humanitarian and geopolitics consultant as well as PS21 global fellow, Omar Hamid, former Pakistani government official and head of Asia-Pacific risk at HIS and Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). For insights gained in this discussion, go to  PS21 Report: South Asia Geopolitics from Afpak to Sri Lanka. For a full transcript, click here.

Rasha Elass is a journalist and global fellow at PS21. She has spent the past two years covering the uprising-turned-civil-war from inside Syria and now divides her time between Washington DC and Beirut. She recently spent hours interviewing a young man who recalls his few months in detention in 2012 after he and his friends organized a peaceful protest. Click here for more info or  listen to this intimate interview.

Negar Razavi is an anthropologist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a global fellow at PS21. She tweets @razaraz. Read her insights on what Washington is missing in the Iran deal.

Milena Rodban is an independent Geopolitical Risk Consultant and a global fellow with PS21. She is currently writing a book and you can follow her on Twitter @MilenaRodban for insights on political risk and international relations. Read her fascinating opinion as to why rockstars need geopolitical risk consultants.

What else our PS21 global fellows got up to this week:

Quoting extracts from one of our events earlier this year with Lieutenant-General Sir Graeme Lamb, Patrick Bury, former Captain British Army Royal Irish Regiment. PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute, has written about the Strategic Defence and Security Review and three big ideas on the future of British defence. He will also be a panellist at our SDSR event next week. One not to be missed.

Jonn Elledge, editor of CityMetric and journalist at New Statesman looks at why a graph shows many Britains under 40 will probably never own their own homes.

Ali Wyne, PS21 global fellow and member of the adjunct staff at the RAND Corporation wrote a piece for the World Economic Forum on America’s multi-generational geopolitical balancing act.

Previous PS21 Reports:

01/07/2015      The Future of Drones

29/06/2015     Countering Violent Extremism 

17/06/2015     What Would a Hillary Clinton Foreign Policy Look like?

10/06/2015     Former UK Special Forces Chief on 21st Century Defence

31/05/2015     The ISIS War: Where Are We?

17/03/2015     Death Toll in 2014’s Bloodiest Wars Sharply Up on Previous Year

Other Articles

July 2015

16/07/2015      PS21 Global Fellow wins US book prize

15/07/2015      A roadmap for the Middle East after Iran nuclear deal – Rasha Elass

14/07/2015      PS21 Insight: Iran deal implications go well beyond the nuclear

13/07/2015      London Event July 20: a summer of market turmoil from Greece to China?

13/07/2015      PS21 Insight: Eurozone clinches deal, serious strains remain

09/07/2015      Civil wars of regionalisation: what we can learn from ISIL – David Murrin

08/07/2015      PS21 Insight: What the SCOTUS Jerusalem passport decision means

06/07/2015      A false start for Nigeria’s president?Emmanuel Akinwotu

05/07/2015      PS21 Insight: With Greek vote, euro reaches crunch point

June 2015

29/06/2015      Narendra Modi’s Foreign Policy – The West’s View – Amitha Rajan

24/06/2015      The Confederate flag is a useful reminder – Donna Bryson

23/06/2015      Chaos and Complexity: megacity management – David Rubens

22/06/2015      How will the war against the Islamic State End? – Peter Apps

15/06/2015      Not just a click! Online activism not slacktivism – Sandy Schumann

15/06/2015      IS advances in Libya : NATO again?Patrick Bury

09/06/2015      Iraq is America’s best hope in the Middle EastPayam Ghalehdar

04/06/2015      Sisi’s foreign policy co – David Hartwell

03/06/2015      ‘New’ TerrorismDr. Chris Mackmurdo & Dr Alia Brahimi

01/06/2015      A South China Sea Air Defence Zone?Erik Lin-Greenberg

May 2015

27/05/2015      What next for Britain? – David Murrin

21/05/2015      London event takeaways: The UK election – what we’ve learned

19/05/2015      Italicum: Achieving governability and democracy – Giulia Pastorella

14/05/2015      African strategies key in addressing terrorism – Edward Wanyonyi

14/05/2015      DC May 27 Event: The ISIS war – where are we?

14/05/2015      Karachi: low-intensity attacks increase minority risk – Omar Hamid

11/05/2015      SNP victories real seismic change in UK election – Peter Apps

08/05/2015      PS 21: The First 100 Days

06/05/2015      Event Takeaways: The Middle East in Flux

06/05/2015      What now for Libya?Patrick Bury

04/05/2015      The Rise of Anti-Immigrant Movements in EuropeSandy Schumann

03/05/2015      What does this election tell us about modern Britain? – Peter Apps

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