StratCom Dialogue and 'Moscow Rules' in Rīga

The annual Rīga Dialogue strategic communications conference winds up June 12, with another two days of academic, military and technological discussion having passed at the Latvian National Library.

Among the participants was the eminent British journalist Edward Lucas, who gave his verdict on this year's event to LSM and the ways in which he believes it has become a an important stop on the international conference circuit.

Edward Lucas on StratCom Dialogue 2019Mike Collier/LSM

    "I think it's turned into a real heavyweight event and the fact they were able to get the top China expert from New Zealand and the most prominent China expert from Australia over here shows the pulling power, which is very good," Lucas told LSM.

    'It feels like a global event that's looking at a global problem rather than a Latvian back yard event looking at the Latvian back yard... actually I would like to see more about Latvia," he said.

    Having launched the event June 11, the director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, Jānis Sārts, said he was satisfied with how things had gone - and had himself encountered plenty of thought-provoking material along the way.

    Janis Sarts on Riga StratCom Dialogue 2019Mike Collier/LSM

      "I liked this morning where there was this idea of some technologies being inherently authoritarian, almost suggesting a power that is corrupting anybody who has a hold on that power, which I thought was an interesting way to consider [things], though I'm probably not fully in the same line," said Sārts.

      Another attendee at this year's event was Keir Giles, a well-known British defense expert and author of the recently-published book Moscow Rules, about Russia and the West. He spoke to LSM about the book, its message and its reception - which included an inadvertent piece of marketing by the Russian Embassy in London. 

      Keir Giles

      "The main message of the book is that since Russia is continuous in its history over a long period and actually displays very consistent behaviors in response to external stimuli - both the country and its leaders - we shouldn't necessarily expect that it is going to change any time soon. And the result of that is that if the West tries the same thing over and over again while trying to arrange its affairs in the relationship with Russia, it will be disappointed over and over again."

      You can hear more about Moscow Rules in the audio interview below.  

      Keir Giles on 'Moscow Rules'Mike Collier/LSM

         

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