Monday, 10 May 2021
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Peter O Polack Author PicJust before April Fool's Day 1971 Ivan Aleksandrovich Kulikov the Second Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in London walked into the Kensington High Street branch of bookseller W.H. Smith and stole a £5 Mickey Mouse kaleidoscope. He was tackled as he made his shuffling escape and was lucky not to be charged. A seemingly idiotic act of larceny was followed by the expulsion of Soviet Embassy personnel inSeptember.

A look through the kaleidoscope would have provided a guide to the future behavior of Russian diplomacy and espionage which could be described as erratic unless one were part of the state security apparatus soon to be shadow government. This extensive arrogance has its genesis in the post-Cold War successes of Soviet espionage that culminated in the overconfidence and excesses today by those at the control console.

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Noel-Hadjimichael-webIn the same week that France was dealing with the Nice Basilica terror killings and UK Labour suspended Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of the EHRC report findings, an important and insightful paper by Britain's leading defence think tank could have been missed. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) published a paper by its Deputy Director General Professor Malcolm Chalmers. The paper offers a sharp and sensible summary of the implications arising from the deferral of the original timetable for a comprehensive spending review.
The tag line A Reckoning Postponed is indeed powerful, comments Noel Hadjimichael.
Professor Chalmers spares the reader no illusions that the UK government's decision carries no serious implications for planners, leaders or strategists.

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The National Resilience Index 2020 is a study measuring how capable each of the D-10 club of democracies is in facing crises like pandemics or terrorist attacks.

Introducing it, the co-authors said :

"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the UK must do more to build up its national resilience. In the post-Brexit world, the UK needs to work on boosting public trust in central government, creating high-quality domestic supply chains for critical medical supplies, and improving social systems which help to protect the most vulnerable. " - Dr Rakib Ehsan Research Fellow, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

"Public health events have the capacity to cause disruption similar in scale to that of terror or hostile state activity. It is important that government systems recognise this in their outlook." - Nikita Malik Director, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

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