William's Feed
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.

Nov 9, 2011

Analysis: 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.

Nov 3, 2011

“Wounded bear” Iran spectre haunts West’s planners

LONDON (Reuters) – A military raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities would wreak such profound damage on global prosperity and security that other means — principally a mix of sanctions and sabotage — must remain the levers of pressure on Tehran.

So says conventional wisdom among opinion-makers in Europe, who fear Iran could retaliate to an attack by lashing out in the Gulf and temporarily severing the marine and pipeline arteries supplying a large part of global oil and gas demand.

Nov 3, 2011

Analysis: “Wounded bear” Iran specter haunts West’s planners

LONDON (Reuters) – A military raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities would wreak such profound damage on global prosperity and security that other means — principally a mix of sanctions and sabotage — must remain the levers of pressure on Tehran.

So says conventional wisdom among opinion-makers in Europe, who fear Iran could retaliate to an attack by lashing out in the Gulf and temporarily severing the marine and pipeline arteries supplying a large part of global oil and gas demand.

Oct 21, 2011

Race for the spoils may stir Libya rifts

LONDON (Reuters) – The chaotic scenes surrounding the apparent summary execution of Muammar Gaddafi may suggest to many among Libya’s Western allies that the country is headed towards a future of bloody score-settling rather than peace.

His death and that of his son Mo’tassim following the fall of the Gaddafi hometown of Sirte on Thursday will do nothing to calm fears voiced by human rights activists including Amnesty International that Libya’s new rulers will repeat the abuses of the Gaddafi era.

Oct 21, 2011

Analysis: Race for the spoils may stir Libya rifts

LONDON (Reuters) – The chaotic scenes surrounding the apparent summary execution of Muammar Gaddafi may suggest to many among Libya’s Western allies that the country is headed toward a future of bloody score-settling rather than peace.

His death and that of his son Mo’tassim following the fall of the Gaddafi hometown of Sirte on Thursday will do nothing to calm fears voiced by human rights activists including Amnesty International that Libya’s new rulers will repeat the abuses of the Gaddafi era.

Oct 21, 2011

Libya’s next tests: Big expectations, power plays

LONDON (Reuters) – Jockeying for power among Libya’s well-armed and fractious new leadership may intensify after the death of Muammar Gaddafi, an anxious and, for many, joyous moment in a country hungry for stability and impatient to swap the bullet for the ballot box.

The interim government will be determined to ensure that lingering pro-Gaddafi forces are prevented from launching any rearguard guerrilla insurgency from the countryside that could destabilise the north African OPEC member and its oil industry.