Royal United Services Institute

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"The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research. A unique institution, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters." [1]

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is a London-based centre for defence studies.


The RUSI website says: "Founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington and based in the centre of Whitehall, London, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) ( is the oldest institute of its kind in the world. It aims to be the 'Professional Forum in the UK for those Concerned with National and International Defence and Security'. Its purpose is to study, promote debate, report and provide options on all issues relating to national and international defence and security." [1]

RUSI's place at the heart of the British Establishment is symbolised by its Whitehall location, a short walk away from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

RUSI's stated aims

The Institute claims to have four principle roles:

  • "Through its research programmes (, to promote the study of selected national and international defence and security issues thus making an independent and original contribution to thinking about defence and international security policy";
  • "Through its programme of lectures, conferences and seminars, to provide a forum for discussion ( of all aspects of national and international defence and security, set in a wide international context, bringing together participants from the armed forces, politicians, the civil and diplomatic services, embassies and high commissions in London, industry, commerce, media, police, academia and a wide range of other disciplines";
  • "Through its Journal ( and other publications (, to assist in creating informed opinion and extending knowledge of national and international defence and security matters"; and
  • "To encourage the maximum participation of individual, corporate, and diplomatic members in these roles."

George W. Bush addresses RUSI

The important role played by RUSI within the UK military-industrial complex was attested to when George W. Bush visited London in November 2003. The only speech he made during the entire visit was co-hosted by RUSI [2]. Critics pointed to the anti-democratic symbolism of this, given that he had declined to address Parliament. The WSWS wrote "Despite his paeans to democracy, Bush chose not to address the House of Commons, the proverbial 'Mother of Parliaments', because of concern that antiwar MPs might disrupt the speech or heckle him. Instead, he spoke before a carefully vetted audience assembled under the auspices of the Royal United Services Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies." [3].

People [2]

Patron: Her Majesty the Queen President: His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG, GCMG, GCVO, ADC Senior Vice-President: General (Ret'd) David H. Petraeus Chairman: The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond Vice-Chairman: Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE Vice-Presidents: The Rt Hon. the Lord Hutton of Furness, Vice Admiral Rory McLean CB OBE



People (2015)

Accessed November 2015: [3]



Advisory Council


Contact details


Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


External links


  1. Royal United Services Institute About, organizational web page, accessed November 16, 2015.
  2. Royal United Services Institute Goverance, organizational web page, accessed July 8, 2020.
  3. Royal United Services Institute Council, organizational web page, accessed November 17, 2015.