PS21 update week ending August 5

Apologies for the delayed update this week – was traveling in Paris last week which was a fascinating experience but inevitably nudged me a little behind.

Over the last 10 days, we’ve had some great updates on the PS21 website including this look at the current situation in the South China Sea. We also have the latest addition to our Imagining 2030 series, this time looking at the potential bleak future for young people in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, on, I’ve been looking at just how much worse 2016 could get, whether Vladimir Putin is really trying to get Donald Trump elected president and also examining what Americans really want from the world this election season.

PS21 is relatively light on events this August, but the one event we do have coming up in Whitehall on August 17 should be seriously good. If  the militant threat is the story of the summer – and that definitely feels like the case for now – it’s as good a panel as you could possibly expect.

We also have some really great events coming up for September including looking at potential scenarios for tensions in the Baltic states, I look back at 911 15 years on and a discussion on migration in Europe. Stay tuned for further details.

Peter Apps

Executive Director, PS21

Global affairs columnist, Reuters news



The changing face of counterterrorism

Wednesday, August 17, 530 p.m. for 6 p.m. start. Whitehall – attendees to be notified of exact location

From Paris to Brussels,, Nice, Orlando and beyond, Western states appear to be facing an almost unprecedented tempo of militant attacks – although they pale in comparison to those in truly front-line nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria. With a growing number of such incidents apparently involving single radicalized individuals, often with mental health problems, how can one really define “terrorism”? And with recent attacks in Europe and North America now helping drive domestic politics, what can be done to protect civilians while avoiding further polarizing communities and deepening divisions?

Peter Apps [moderator] – executive director, PS21. Reuters global affairs columnist

Nigel Inkster – former deputy chief, MI6, now head of transnational threats and political risk for international Institute for Strategic Studies

Omar Hamid – former Pakistani police officer, now head of Asia-Pacific risk at IHS

Julia Ebner – policy analyst specializing in European militant threats, Quilliam Foundation

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PS21 update week ending July 1

The increasingly brutal fallout of the Brexit vote continues, but we are moving towards some degree of clarity on who is going to wind up running the country, at least in the short term – probably, anyhow. At the beginning of last week, I wrote a piece for Reuters suggesting we might end up in months if not years of messy hiatus while the government decides whether or not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

I think that’s slightly less likely now – Home Secretary Theresa  May, now the front runner for the Conservative leadership, looks rather more like she has decided to take that step, although there is little clarity on timescale. Still a lot uncertain, however – and last night’s PS21 discussion on British politics after the vote really showcased that. A really great panel and some really great discussions.

As you can see below, we have some further great events coming up. Look forward to seeing you there…

Peter Apps

Global affairs columnist, Reuters

Executive director, PS21



Britain in the world after Brexit

Tuesday, July 12 2016, six p.m., King’s College London

After the referendum, where does the United Kingdom go next? PS21 pulls together a panel to discuss the future of Britain and the world as it begins – probably, or at least  possibly – the process of extricating himself from the European Union. Is that iit for British power and influence? What is the future of UK relations with Europe outside the EU? Can it rebuild and grow other alliances? And what, if any,  might its approach to the outside world now be?

Peter Apps [moderator] – Global Affairs Columnist, Thomson Reuters. Executive Director, PS21

Lt Gen Sir Graeme Lamb –  Former  Director, UK Special Forces

Catherine Fieschi – Director, Counterpoint

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Assertive Russia, Unstable Europe?

Tuesday, July 19, 6 p.m., Thomson Reuters

PS21 global fellow Ali Wyne interviews former US national intelligence officer for Russia Fiona Hill, now head of the Europe program at Brookings, on an increasingly unpredictable continent and the inner workings of the Kremlin.

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Further London events

Save the date

The defense of Europe after Warsaw, Brexit

Thursday, July 21, 6 p.m., King’s College London

In the aftermath of the UK referendum and Warsaw NATO summit, PS21 looks at ongoing tensions with Russia and the defense of Europe. Moderated by Reuters global defense correspondent  Peter Apps  with speakers including former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Lt Gen Sir Richard Shirreff

London networking drinks

Wednesday, July 27, 7pm