Peter's Feed
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.

Sep 30, 2013

Analysis: From Syria to South China Sea, navies cruise back into vogue

LONDON (Reuters) – After a quarter century of Middle Eastern land wars and a sharp fall in big powers’ naval spending after the Cold War, sea power is back in vogue in response to the rise of China and Western reluctance to deploy ground troops in conflicts like Syria.

The greater interest in navies is being felt from the corridors of Washington to the pirate hunting grounds off Africa and the shipyards of Asia.

Sep 30, 2013

From Syria to South China Sea, navies cruise back into vogue

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – After a quarter century of
Middle Eastern land wars and a sharp fall in big powers’ naval
spending after the Cold War, sea power is back in vogue in
response to the rise of China and Western reluctance to deploy
ground troops in conflicts like Syria.

The greater interest in navies is being felt from the
corridors of Washington to the pirate hunting grounds off Africa
and the shipyards of Asia.

Sep 13, 2013

Tiny recon robots herald new generation of drones

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Ex-U.S. Marine Ernest Langdon
pulls a pin and throws a small black object onto the ground. But
it doesn’t explode. Instead, the robot rights itself and swiftly
scuttles away, feeding infrared video back to a small radio
control screen.

Unmanned drones have become an almost ubiquitous presence on
the battlefield for U.S. and other high-tech forces.

Aug 27, 2013

U.S. strike would aim to punish Assad, not turn tide of war

LONDON (Reuters) – Any strike by the United States and its allies on Syria will probably aim to teach President Bashar al-Assad – and Iran – a lesson on the risks of defying the West, but not try to turn the tide of the civil war.

U.S. and European officials say a short, sharp attack – perhaps entirely with cruise missiles – is the preferred response to what they believe is Assad’s responsibility for a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas last week.

    • 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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