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26 May 2022

King's partners with US Department of Defense to develop knowledge on Russian strategic thought

Academics from across KCL departments partnered with the Russia Strategic Initiative to seek a deeper understanding of Russian decision-making in the war with Ukraine and beyond

Speakers at the RSI event

Last week, the Department of War Studies at King’s College London joined with the Russia Strategic Initiative (RSI), to sponsor and host a conference seeking deeper insight into Russia’s decision-making and ways of war.

A US Department of Defense organisation, RSI works with structures throughout the US government and with public and private think tanks across the globe to further knowledge of Russian war-making.

The conference, entitled "Understanding Russia: Beginning of a New Era?", saw experts from a range of disciplines across various KCL departments and faculties and transatlantic think tanks exploring Russian economics, military capacity, posture, strategy, and information / cyber operations in collaboration with the RSI and the British Academy.

At the heart of the conference was the objective of bringing together academics working on Russia across different disciplines, departments, and schools, with US and UK think tank analysts, transatlantic civil servants, NATO allies, and international military professionals, to have a discussion about Russia.

Speakers and keen audience participants provided a robust and innovative discourse on the best ways to cut across disciplinary and sector silos to foster further collaboration on Russia and European security issues between academia and government going forward.

The conference also benefitted from generous support from the British Academy's Global Professorship Scheme that funded a tenure for Professor David Gioe, the organiser of the conference and Visiting Professor of Intelligence and International Security in the Department of War Studies.

Professor Gioe said:

I had been working with RSI for over two years in my capacity as a US Navy Reserve officer, so it was wonderful to join my reserve career and military colleagues with my civilian academic colleagues from across numerous departments and research institutes at King’s, including War Studies, Defence Studies, and the King’s Russia Institute. I was confident that some synergies were to be found by joining the two organisations, but the result exceeded my greatest expectations.

Professor David Gioe

Head of the Department of War Studies, Professor Michael Goodman, reflected that:

The strength of King’s real world policy relevance was fully on display at this event, and joining with the Russia Strategic Initiative enabled us to get the right people from across government and academia together to generate insights on Russia that matter now more than ever since the end of the Cold War.

Professor Michael Goodman

RSI Director Ken Stolworthy commented:

RSI greatly appreciated our recent collaboration with the Department of War Studies at King's College London. Our combined Russia forum provided the opportunity to expand our network of professional experts through a timely discussion on Russia, the current war in Ukraine, and potential impacts to the rules-based international order. We look forward to deepening our relationship with King's College London and planning future events to continue these important conversations.

RSI Director Ken Stolworthy