William's Feed
Dec 8, 2011

Insight: Algerian Islamists hope for “Arab Spring” revival

LONDON (Reuters) – Algeria’s Islamists, in the political wilderness since their last attempt to win power dissolved into civil war, are now trying again, galvanized by the success of their brethren elsewhere in north Africa in the wake of the “Arab Spring”.

Most Islamists in Algeria have been excluded from political life since the conflict, but in the past few months they have shown renewed signs of activity, much of it conducted from exile to dodge the attentions of the Algerian state.

Dec 8, 2011

Somali group fights tribalism in diaspora

LONDON (Reuters) – Menaced by a gang of fellow Somalis on a London bus, Adam Mataan took a stand against the tribalism he fled in his homeland, and emerged stronger for confronting what he and like-minded Somalis see as deadly clan divisions.

The former refugee now wants millions of compatriots to do the same.

Clans form the bedrock of Somali society and identity, but political exploitation of their rivalries has blocked every attempt at peace since Somalia collapsed into war in 1991.

Dec 5, 2011

West’s Afghan aims rankle with Iran

BONN (Reuters) – Iran renewed an objection on Monday to foreign troops staying in Afghanistan after 2014, a reminder that an enduring international role in Tehran’s neighbor may aggravate tensions between the Islamic republic and the West.

Iran has been accused in the past of providing low-level backing to Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency, and diplomats and analysts have suggested Tehran could ratchet up this support if it wanted to put serious pressure on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Dec 5, 2011

Afghanistan’s allies pledge to stay for long-haul

BONN (Reuters) – The West used an Afghanistan meeting on Monday to signal enduring support for Kabul as allied troops go home, but economic downturn in Europe and crises with Pakistan and Iran could stir doubts about Western resolve.

The goal is to leave behind an Afghan government strong enough to escape the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor, which collapsed in 1992 in a civil war. The country’s allies are preparing increasingly for a scenario in which there is no peace settlement with the Taliban before most foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

Dec 5, 2011

Economic woes, Pakistan strain West’s Afghan resolve

BONN (Reuters) – The West used an Afghanistan meeting on Monday to signal enduring support for Kabul as allied troops go home, but economic downturn in Europe and crises with Pakistan and Iran could stir doubts about Western resolve.

The goal is to leave behind an Afghan government strong enough to escape the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor, which collapsed in 1992 in a civil war. The country’s allies are preparing increasingly for a scenario in which there is no peace settlement with the Taliban before most foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

Nov 23, 2011

Kenya wants to galvanize world action on Somalia

LONDON (Reuters) – Kenya’s military push should trigger greater international efforts to stabilize Somalia and end “the expansion of terrorism’s tentacles,” the Kenyan security minister said on Wednesday, without spelling out what this would entail.

George Saitoti, a veteran politician and former vice president, said Kenya wanted the international community to “come in” and take joint steps to help Somalia, which has been without an effective central government for 20 years.

Nov 18, 2011

Analysis: Alone, Syria insurgency may struggle

LONDON (Reuters) – Growing Syrian army defections do not yet pose a mortal threat to President Bashar al-Assad, but outside support could turn the dissidents into a national insurgency able to harass and exhaust his military.

As the country apparently slides further toward civil war, analysts say Assad will seek to deny nascent armed opposition groups sufficient territory to organize a guerrilla campaign.

Nov 16, 2011

UK says torture charges hurt status, public trust

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s international reputation has been hit by allegations that its spies colluded in torture, but reforms to remedy the damage must preserve the secrecy that espionage needs, the government said on Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said he hoped a strengthening of outside scrutiny and an inquiry into reported abuse would contribute to “drawing a line under the past” and repair Britons’ trust in their intelligence services.

Nov 16, 2011

Torture charges hurt UK status: Hague

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s international standing has been undermined by allegations that its spies colluded in torture, but reforms to remedy the damage should preserve the secrecy that espionage needs, the government said on Wednesday.

According to extracts from a speech released in advance by his office, Foreign Secretary (Minister) William Hague said he hoped a strengthening of outside scrutiny of the security services and an inquiry into reported abuse would contribute to “drawing a line under the past.”

Nov 9, 2011

Iran report set to deepen Western curbs

LONDON (Reuters) – A U.N. report that Iran worked to develop an atomic bomb design is likely to trigger more Western sanctions and give impetus to a suspected covert campaign by the West and Israel to sabotage Tehran’s nuclear activities.

But any unilateral Western curbs will probably stop short of sweeping extra steps on Tehran’s lifeline energy sector for fear of damaging the global economy and backfiring politically on Western governments struggling to stave off recession.