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Feb 5, 2014

Saudi Arabia tops UK as fourth largest defence spender-report

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia beat Britain to
become the world’s fourth largest defence spender in 2013, a
report said on Wednesday, as Western cuts and Asian and Middle
Eastern growth shift the global balance of military power.

London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies said
the United States remains by far the world’s pre-eminent
military power, spending some $600 billion Last year, some 38
percent of the global total.

Nov 21, 2013

U.S. military says it may have to cut Europe budget by fifth

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States may be compelled to cut its military spending in Europe next year by as much as a fifth in the latest round of reductions under “sequestration”, America’s top general in the region said on Thursday.

U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who serves as both head of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), said the reductions will require NATO forces to work more closely together and train “smarter”.

Nov 18, 2013

Airshow – Despite diplomatic spats, U.S. arms firms trust in Mideast

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – For U.S. arms firms flocking to the Dubai Airshow this week, the Middle East has never been more important – the second fastest growing market after Asia as western defence spending shrinks.

But they face an awkward reality: an apparently ever-growing gap between Washington and its closest regional allies.

Nov 18, 2013

Despite diplomatic spats, U.S. arms firms trust in Mideast

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – For U.S. arms firms flocking to the Dubai Airshow this week, the Middle East has never been more important – the second fastest growing market after Asia as western defense spending shrinks.

But they face an awkward reality: an apparently ever-growing gap between Washington and its closest regional allies.

Nov 14, 2013

U.S. military faces Africa cuts, sees Somalia, Mali successes

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. military forces in Africa may lose well over a tenth – or some $40 million – from their 2014 budget, the U.S. Africa Command said on Thursday, although it saw success against militants in Somalia and Mali.

The bulk of such cuts will fall on headquarters and training programs, AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said, most likely forcing smaller exercises.

Nov 8, 2013

Arab Spring fallout fuels Mediterranean smuggling rise

LONDON (Reuters) – The chaotic fallout of the “Arab Spring” is fuelling a surge in the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people across the Mediterranean, and cash-strapped regional powers are struggling to respond.

Last month, European leaders in Brussels turned down calls from southern European states already hard hit by the euro-zone crisis for additional support to tackle record numbers of migrants attempting to cross to the continent in frequently perilous journeys arranged by people smugglers.

Nov 1, 2013

NATO stages exercise as rearming Russia worries some allies

LONDON (Reuters) – When NATO forces start a major exercise in Latvia and Poland this weekend, they will be rehearsing how to oust an anonymous invading enemy from a fictional region.

For some, however, exercise “Steadfast Jazz” will test how the Western alliance could deploy rapid reaction forces to its eastern flank – which borders Russia.

Oct 22, 2013

Without chemical arms, Syrian weaponry still fearsome

LONDON (Reuters) – On Sunday, September 29, President Bashar al-Assad declared to the world, via an interview on Italian television, his resolve to clear Syria of chemical weapons – accepting a Russian-brokered deal to avert punitive U.S. action.

That same morning his forces appear to have dropped some of the most powerful conventional weapons yet used in the civil war, in the rebel-held town of Raqqa. Evidence at the scene and witness testimony led Human Rights Watch to conclude that the 14 dead, many of them children, were killed by “vacuum bombs”.

Oct 16, 2013

Turkey missile deal shows China’s growing Mideast clout

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s likely sale of sophisticated missiles to Turkey over the objections of its NATO allies might have angered Washington and other capitals, but it should not have been a surprise.

Even as the U.S. has spent billions of dollars and lost hundreds of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, Beijing has been quietly upping its presence in the Middle East.

Oct 13, 2013

Cyber warrior shortage hits anti-hacker fightback

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – For the governments and
corporations facing increasing computer attacks, the biggest
challenge is finding the right cyber warriors to fight back.

Hostile computer activity from spies, saboteurs, competitors
and criminals has spawned a growing industry of corporate
defenders who can attract the best talent from government cyber
units.

    • 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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