William's Feed
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.

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.