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Jul 18, 2014

Malaysian airliner downing puts spotlight on Buk missile system

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – As Russia and Ukraine trade
blame over the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian airliner,
they appear to agree on one thing: the type of Soviet-era
missile that brought it down.

But if an SA-11 Buk missile, known as “Gadfly” in NATO,
struck the aircraft and killed all 298 on board, that won’t
solve the mystery of who did it: Russia, Ukraine and
Russian-speaking rebels have all claimed the missile in their

Jul 2, 2014

U.S. military to face growing crises, falling budgets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – First it was worries over the South China Sea, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and Syria. Then it was Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the hunt for Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Now the United States and its allies find themselves preparing once again for potential military action in Iraq.

For U.S. defense planners already struggling to implement savage spending cuts, the last year has been one of the most demanding since the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Jun 18, 2014

World peace declining after long post-WWII improvement: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World peace has deteriorated steadily over the last seven years, with wars, militant attacks and crime reversing six earlier decades of gradual improvement, a global security report said on Wednesday.

Conflict in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Central African Republic in particular helped drag down the annual Global Peace Index, according to research by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

Jun 10, 2014

After Ukraine, U.S. trains more special forces in eastern Europe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As NATO refocuses on its eastern borders after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the United States is quietly deploying more troops to train special forces in former Soviet bloc states anxious about Moscow’s intentions.

Major exercises began last month in Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia involving several hundred personnel from U.S. special forces, the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement to Reuters.

Jun 9, 2014

Upsurge in hacking makes customer data a corporate time bomb

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – With hackers stealing tens of
millions of customer details in recent months, firms across the
globe are ratcheting up IT security and nervously wondering
which of them is next.

The reality, cyber security experts say, is that however
much they spend, even the largest companies are unlikely to be
able to stop their systems being breached. The best defence may
simply be either to reduce the data they hold or encrypt it so
well that if stolen it will remain useless.

Jun 3, 2014

West ponders how to stop – or fight – a new Great War

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After more than a decade focused on combating Islamist militancy, Western military planners are once again contemplating potential war between major powers – and how to prevent one happening by accident.

Although the Cold War rivalry with Moscow has never been forgotten, current and former Western officials say Russia’s annexation of Crimea has NATO powers tearing up strategic assumptions and grimly considering both conventional and nuclear fights.

May 27, 2014

Estonia exercise shows NATO’s growing worry about cyber attacks

WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) – It started with hactivists
defacing websites and a e-mails pointing users to links that
stole data.

Soon, Ragnar Rattas and his team of Estonian computer
security experts were battling the heaviest and most
sophisticated cyber attacks they had ever encountered.

May 7, 2014

Corrected – Cost of Somali piracy slumps as attacks fall – report

LONDON (Reuters) – (This story corrects the description of Madsen to one of the report’s authors (not sources), in paragraph 6)

The cost of Somali piracy to the global economy fell by almost half last year as attacks slumped, but piracy in West Africa was on the rise, an annual security report said on Wednesday.

May 7, 2014

Cost of Somali piracy slumps as attacks fall-report

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – The cost of Somali piracy to the
global economy fell by almost half last year as attacks slumped,
but piracy in West Africa was on the rise, an annual security
report said on Wednesday.

The Oceans beyond Piracy report put the total cost of Somali
piracy – by far the largest single threat to international
shipping in recent years – at only $3.2 billion in 2013.

Apr 15, 2014

Rebel videos show first U.S.-made rockets in Syria

LONDON (Reuters) – Online videos show Syrian rebels using what appear to be U.S. anti-tank rockets, weapons experts say, the first significant American-built armaments in the country’s civil war.

They would signal a further internationalization of the conflict, with new rockets suspected from Russia and drones from Iran also spotted in the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

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      "Peter Apps is Reuters global defence correspondent, currently on sabbatical as executive director of the Project for Study of the 21st Century (PS21):"
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