Royal United Services Institute was created by 19th century imperialist, Tory prime minister and enemy of the British people Arthur Wellesley in 1831 a year after his party had been kicked out of government because of its failure to reform the right to vote. In that year Wellesley was attacked whenever he appeared publicly and the windows of his home were smashed by opponents.
Alongside his opposition to the right to vote, Wellesley was an antisemite. In a speech on August 1st 1833 in the House of Lords he spoke against a bill to allow Jewish people the same rights as Christians in Britain: “We do not wish Jews to come and settle here.” Full speech: Wellesley on Jewish emancipation.
188 years after it was founded, RUSI promotes arms industry profits, imperialist financial subjugation of most of the world and post-service careers of ex-military personnel.
The world’s beneficiaries of war and destruction make regular large payments to RUSI; these payments are tax-deductible due to the fraudulent status of RUSI as a charity.
Tax-payers’ money is handed to RUSI via various government departments and quangos in many countries.
Banks and large international corporations – the biggest beneficiaries of international capitalist exploitation – make regular payments to RUSI.
Other think-tanks and lobby groups are used by unnamed donors to channel money to RUSI secretly.
Partial list of main RUSI donors: RUSI funding
The members of RUSI’s list of its “distinguished fellows” have two constant features: RUSI Distinguished Fellows. Can you spot what the two features are? (Note: A woman does appear if you scroll down far enough and look to the end of the final row.)
The president, vice-presidents, chair and vice-chair positions are filled with royals, ex-senior army officers, ex-politicians and lords including former director of CIA David Petraeus (senior vice-president), former Tory leader William Hague (chairman) and the Grand Master of United Grand Lodge Of England, Duke of Kent (president).
One of the RUSI trustees is Charles Wellesley, great-great-great grandson of the RUSI founder. Not only did the current Wellesley inherit his ancestor’s association with RUSI he also inherited his Dukedom and, thus, parks his backside in the House of Lords.
For the RUSI, nothing has changed since 1831 regarding which people the RUSI thinks should be in charge.
The articles in its Commentary section, some written by RUSI research fellows and others written by invited contributors, share a common style wherein analysis is observational and not insightful and the tone is very dry. There are no attempts to offer opinions other than say-what-you-see remarks and no attempts to develop a didactic narrative. The shared blandness indicates that all contributors know what style to adopt and they adhere to it fully.
What is interesting about the commentary articles is what they don’t say.
In Delicate Footwork: Security and Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula RUSI research fellow Cristina Varriale failed to describe the theatrical essence of the “diplomacy” between Trump and Kim; her observations were informed by a self-blinkered perspective that assumed the two megalomaniacal leaders had concern for the people of their respective countries and she chose not to put the leaders’ actions into the context of fooling their populations. These omissions were deliberate. RUSI is keen to posit the farce of “negotiations” as a real enterprise in order to give legitimacy to the intent of Donald Trump and his government.
In Ukraine: Five Years Of Enduring Changes former British army officer Adam Coffey celebrated Ukraine’s celebration of its independence and cast the (partial) country as stuck between the respective financial and expansionist interests of the EU and Russia. He depicted the Ukrainian government as being let down by duplicitous interests of various EU governments. But, Coffey neglected to mention that the previous Ukraine government (pre break-up of the country and loss of Crimea) was overthrown violently by EU-backed extremists and he omitted to say that the current illegitimate Ukrainian government is a gang of extremist, racist, violent, corrupt thugs. He followed the RUSI lines of selective omission coupled with dryly expressed acceptance of legitimacy for something that doesn’t exist.
In Army recruitment crisis RUSI fellow Jack Watling bemoaned falling recruitment for the British armed forces. He noted some technical and organisational issues with recruitment and falling pay for professional soldiers but he did not discuss why fewer young people are willing to risk life and limb to protect the financial interests of oil companies and the arms industry’s profits. The intent of British military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere has been exposed. Why should young working-class people put their lives on the line for the profits of Lockheed or ExxonMobil? Watling expressed his joy that young people from Commonwealth countries can be coerced into joining the British armed forces.
In Is This the End of Nuclear Arms Control? Malcolm Chalmers and Dmitry Stefanovich appeared to express alarm at the USA’s decision to withdraw from the . They predicted that the fall-out (no pun) from the withdrawal would include “especially severe implications for European security.” The scary rhetoric avoided the key point that informed the withdrawal: The USA government’s keenness for handing more money to the arms industry, and the authors’ portents of doom – “one last push towards saving the INF Treaty (or at least its legacy) could still be worthwhile. Otherwise, a further, and even more dangerous, twist in the spiral of mutual distrust between Russia and the West may be inevitable.” – was a typical scare-mongering marketing tactic of enablers of that industry’s profits.
Two reprobates from arch imperialist Henry Jackson Society were handed a platform by RUSI. In AUKMIN 2018: The Future of Global Britain? John Hemmings and Milia Hau wrote entirely from a ‘Western’ perspective (with emphasis on Britain and Australia) that viewed SE Asia and Pacific nations as opportunities for financial exploitation and locations for naval and air bases. “It has been an odd time for Western liberal democracies” declared the authors – there is nothing “liberal” about the Tory government or its counterpart in Canberra – ahead of salivating over the opportunities for money-making and military base-building in “the world’s most dynamic region by a wide margin.” In Henry Jackson Society philosophy, the world beyond the ‘West’ is viewed with the same exploitative eye as that of the 19th century imperialists.
The examples above demonstrate that RUSI contributors are unwaveringly selective with the information they impart and that they present their arguments from similar narrow political, geographical and cultural perspectives.
The dry, cold pseudo-academic tone of the writing is chosen to try to create the false impression of passionless, independent analysis; the tone is a con: Every article published by RUSI fits into the narrative of a ‘Western’ eye seeking what is best for capitalist exploiters.
RUSI death porn
The dry tone of RUSI literature is discarded if the writer is indulging in a pornographic frenzy about the killing power of weaponry.
In What Does the Future of Land Fires Look Like? Adam Coffey struggled to contain his joy when describing the use of thermobaric weapons, cluster munitions and large numbers of simultaneous “precision fires.” He asked whether “humanitarian objections” to cluster munitions should be eschewed.
“The sheer number of sub-munitions that some systems have, causes significant post conflict issues when discarded and faulty munitions cause havoc for returning civilians. These risks have resulted in the humanitarian objections overriding a military need. Is it time to reconsider this approach – giving greater weight to military, rather than humanitarian needs?”
Coffey’s response to the question he posed was that if the Russian military are using such weaponry then so should the British, regardless of collateral consequences. As an obedient marketing man for the arms industry Coffey was keen to demand that British tax-payers are forced to spend as much money on explosions and death as the Russian tax-payers. Pesky “humanitarian objections” are getting in the way of endless profits.
RUSI has not changed its outlook on the world nor its intent since 1831. Created by an embittered and rejected elitist Tory, RUSI was and is a tool to promote military conflict, to support the control of the world by Western capitalists and to maintain power in the hands of an elite. It is intrinsically anti-democratic and xenophobic.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks: UK think-tanks