Peter's Feed
Oct 21, 2012

As Iraq, Afghan wars end, private security firms adapt

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – On a rooftop terrace blocks
from the White House, a collection of former soldiers and
intelligence officers, executives and contractors drink to the
international private security industry.

The past decade – particularly the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan – provided rich pickings for firms providing private
armed guards, drivers and other services that would once have
been performed by uniformed soldiers.

Oct 13, 2012

Firms, policymakers struggle as West’s defense binge ends

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Whether or not America’s politicians can find a way to sidestep the brutal automatic military cuts of sequestration, the era of rising Western spending on weapons and wars is over.

That reality increasingly is challenging major arms manufacturers, spurring them to look for new markets, cost cuts and mergers. It is also confronting policymakers with difficult political and strategic choices as new rivals, particularly China, spend more on their armed forces.

Oct 1, 2012

Geopolitics, resources put maritime disputes back on map

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Small and occupied largely by seabirds, goats and a unique indigenous species of mole, the islands named Senaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China have long been largely ignored.

But as rising powers face off against each other in a battle not just for influence but also vital resources, such disputed islets, reefs, and areas of seabed are swiftly growing in importance; and not just in Asia.

Sep 17, 2012

Weeks before U.S. election, Mideast gives Obama perfect storm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An eruption of violent unrest across the Middle East is confronting President Barack Obama with the most serious challenge yet to his efforts to keep the Arab Spring from morphing into a new wave of anti-Americanism – and he has few good options to prevent it.

Less than two months before the U.S. presidential election, a spate of attacks on embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen poses a huge dilemma for a U.S. leader who took office promising a “new beginning” with the Muslim world but has struggled to manage the transformation that has swept away many of the region’s long-ruling dictators.

Sep 17, 2012

West’s rebel worries leave Syria strategy struggling

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – France may be considering
arming Syria’s rebels but the U.S. and other Western powers have
yet to find opposition figures they genuinely trust as they
worry over growing jihadi and sectarian forces.

The attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya’s Benghazi that
killed its ambassador and anti-American demonstrations elsewhere
this week over an obscure video that ridiculed the Prophet
Mohammad mi ght have no Syria links but will make nervous
governments even more cautious.

Sep 13, 2012

Analysis: Weeks before U.S. election, Mideast gives Obama perfect storm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An eruption of violent unrest across the Middle East is confronting President Barack Obama with the most serious challenge yet to his efforts to keep the Arab Spring from morphing into a new wave of anti-Americanism – and he has few good options to prevent it.

Less than two months before the U.S. presidential election, a spate of attacks on embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen poses a huge dilemma for a U.S. leader who took office promising a “new beginning” with the Muslim world but has struggled to manage the transformation that has swept away many of the region’s long-ruling dictators.

Jul 27, 2012

Kurdish worries drag Turkey deeper into Syria war

LONDON/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – - Turkey may be some way from acting on Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to strike Kurdish separatists in Syria, but week by week it finds itself sucked ever further into its neighbor’s worsening war.

The shooting down of a Turkish reconnaissance jet last month was seen by many as a turning point, prompting Ankara to join Saudi Arabia at Qatar in semi-covert support for the Free Syrian Army fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

Jul 26, 2012

Syria could see prolonged endgame, ensuing chaos

LONDON (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days may be numbered but his fall could be slow and chaos could ensue.

Few analysts, foreign governments or intelligence agencies believe Assad himself faces any fate other than negotiated flight or death at the hands of his own people. But for Western officials, the challenge has become much more complex than forcing Assad out or pushing Russia to abandon him.

Jul 19, 2012

Syria rebels push forward but foreign worries rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Rising violence in Damascus and a lethal bombing at the heart of Bashar al-Assad’s government might be good news for Syria’s rebels, but the ever murkier situation puts foreign powers in a tough position.

The US, Britain, France and others remain adamant Assad must go. But there is still little clarity on who if anyone could run the country in his stead, while the recent crop of bomb attacks raise their own worries about a perhaps growing jihadi presence.

Jul 12, 2012

No longer just a U.S. toy, drones go global

FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) – Having revolutionized warfare for the United States in the last 15 years, unmanned aerial drones are going global as the number of countries building and operating them soars.

Until now, such systems have largely been the exclusive purview of the U.S. and a handful of allies. Washington allowed Britain, Italy and Turkey to buy U.S.-built drones and operate them usually alongside U.S. forces, but largely rejected requests from other nations keen to acquire the same capability.

    • About Peter

      "Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. Previously, he was emerging markets correspondent based in London after postings in southern Africa and Sri Lanka. His neck was broken in a vehicle smash on assignment in Sri Lanka in 2006, leaving him largely paralysed from the shoulders down."
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