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Dec 4, 2012

Terrorist attacks soar, deaths down from 2007 peak: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since September 11, 2001, a study released on Tuesday said, with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan the most affected.

The number of annual deaths in attacks, however, peaked in 2007 — the height of the Iraq conflict — and has been falling ever since. The survey reported 7,473 fatalities in 2011, 25 percent down on 2007. That figure included dead suicide bombers and other attackers.

Dec 2, 2012

Special Report: Why some new countries are more equal than others

By Peter Apps

(Reuters) – Not all new countries are really new. Some are born almost fully formed; others have to start from nothing.

That difference is crucial to a new nation’s chances of success.

More than half the youngest nations in the world were born or reborn after the collapse of communism in Europe and had existed as independent states as far back as the Middle Ages. Most regained independence with established institutions – courts, banks, police forces, schools – and skilled people to run them.

Nov 28, 2012

As China showcases carrier, global naval balance shifting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China has showcased its first aircraft carrier landings while maintenance woes have reduced the United States to a single carrier in the Gulf, pointing to the beginnings of a subtle shift in the balance of naval power.

With South China Sea tensions growing, the threat of Middle East conflict still very real and counterterrorism and counter piracy operations also demanding resources, demands on Western navies – and the U.S. in particular – seem ever-growing.

Nov 23, 2012

Israel wins U.S. support on Gaza but differences remain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As conflict erupted in Gaza last week, Israel’s officials and supporters embarked on what proved a successful diplomatic and media campaign to ensure the United States remained right behind them.

Israel’s ambassador to Washington Michael Oren became a regular fixture on cable news channels and talk shows. Pro-Israel lobby groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Israel Project bombarded journalists with e-mails offering footage of Hamas rocket strikes and interviews with ordinary Israelis in the line of fire.

Nov 23, 2012

Analysis: Israel wins U.S. support on Gaza but differences remain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As conflict erupted in Gaza last week, Israel’s officials and supporters embarked on what proved a successful diplomatic and media campaign to ensure the United States remained right behind them.

Israel’s ambassador to Washington Michael Oren became a regular fixture on cable news channels and talk shows. Pro-Israel lobby groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Israel Project bombarded journalists with e-mails offering footage of Hamas rocket strikes and interviews with ordinary Israelis in the line of fire.

Nov 12, 2012

Election over, U.S. cautiously mulls Syria options

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the U.S. election over and Syria’s civil war growing bloodier and spreading, the Obama administration is quietly re-examining its options for involvement in the conflict.

Whether that will lead to a change in strategy remains unclear. President Barack Obama and his advisers are extremely cautious, current and former officials involved in discussions say.

Nov 12, 2012

Analysis: Election over, U.S. cautiously mulls Syria options

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the U.S. election over and Syria’s civil war growing bloodier and spreading, the Obama administration is quietly re-examining its options for involvement in the conflict.

Whether that will lead to a change in strategy remains unclear. President Barack Obama and his advisers are extremely cautious, current and former officials involved in discussions say.

Nov 6, 2012

From Sudan to cyber, secret war with Iran hots up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From a suspected Israeli airstrike in Sudan to cyber warfare in the Gulf and a drone shot down over Israel, the largely hidden war between Iran and its foes seems heating up and spreading.

Despite months of speculation, most experts and governments believe the risk of a direct Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear program stirring regional conflict has eased, at least for now. But all sides, it seems, are finding other ways to fight.

Oct 24, 2012

Cyberspace the new frontier in Iran’s war with foes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two years after the Stuxnet computer worm attacked its nuclear program, Iran is increasingly turning to cyber warfare itself in a growing, stealthy confrontation with its enemies.

While the immediate threat of an Israeli military strike on its nuclear facilities has eased for now, Tehran’s rulers are under increasing pressure from crippling sanctions, a collapsing currency and rising popular discontent.

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.

    • 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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