William's Feed
Jul 13, 2012

Wary of rebels and chaos, Syria moves chemical weapons

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) – Syria appears to be quietly
shifting some chemical weapons from storage sites, say Western
and Israeli officials, but it is not clear whether the operation
is merely a security precaution amid the chaos of war, or
something more.

Some analysts see the move as serving a dual purpose – to
keep the weapons from capture by an expanding insurgency, and to
deprive Syria’s Western foes of any excuse for intervention on
the grounds of securing dangerous material gone astray.

Jul 11, 2012

Djibouti: Western bases pose manageable risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Host to the most important U.S. and French military bases in Africa, the tiny Red Sea state of Djibouti agrees it faces a risk of retaliation from the Islamist militants its Western guests hunt on forays into nearby countries.

But it argues the menace is limited.

Instead, the strategically placed country points to what it suggests is a more significant, long-term security consideration: the poverty, unemployment and regional political instability it sees as potential pathways to extremist thinking.

Jul 5, 2012

Insight: Local wars blur al Qaeda’s threat to West

LONDON (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden would not have approved.

Spinoff groups from al Qaeda have become increasingly engrossed in insurgencies in Africa and the Middle East, inflicting death and mayhem on local communities. But this emphasis on the pursuit of the enemy nearby has cast doubt on their commitment, in practice, to bin Laden’s war on the “far enemy” – the West and the United States in particular.

More than a year after U.S. forces killed bin Laden, some groups such as the Yemeni-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) undoubtedly remain a menace to the West.

Jul 5, 2012

Local wars blur al Qaeda’s threat to West

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden would not have
approved.

Spinoff groups from al Qaeda have become increasingly
engrossed in insurgencies in Africa and the Middle East,
inflicting death and mayhem on local communities. But this
emphasis on the pursuit of the enemy nearby has cast doubt on
their commitment, in practice, to bin Laden’s war on the “far
enemy” – the West and the United States in particular.

More than a year after U.S. forces killed bin Laden, some
groups such as the Yemeni-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP) undoubtedly remain a menace to the West.

Jun 26, 2012
via FaithWorld

Egypt election result stirs joy among Islamists, doubts in the Gulf and Israel

Photo

(Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood's President-elect Mohamed Mursi hold a poster with his image as they celebrate his victory in the presidential election and shout anti-military council slogans, at Tahrir square in Cairo June 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egypt’s new president may lack real foreign policy clout for now, but the mere fact that a Muslim Brotherhood man is at the helm of the biggest Arab nation will embolden fellow Islamists seeking revolutionary change around the Middle East.

Jun 25, 2012

Egypt stirs Islamist joy, Gulf, Israeli doubts

LONDON (Reuters) – Egypt’s new president may lack real foreign policy clout for now, but the mere fact that a Muslim Brotherhood man is at the helm of the biggest Arab nation will embolden fellow Islamists seeking revolutionary change around the Middle East.

Mohamed Mursi’s tenure as head of state is likely to unsettle Israel, please the Jewish state’s arch-foe Iran, and dismay secularist critics of the Brotherhood at home and abroad who argue that political Islam is no antidote to unemployment, a flatlining economy and social misery, analysts say.

Jun 22, 2012

Iran talks: Across the table, a wary stalemate

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – The talk can be blunt and the rhetoric can be flowery, with invocations of deity and Persian poetry. Sometimes, it has been suggested, there is the sense of a well-worn cast acting out a script.

Iran’s negotiations with the West on its nuclear programme have developed their own rituals and etiquette bound up with the frustrations of a decade of fruitless talk. Sheltering from a Baghdad sandstorm or esconsed in a drab communist-era Moscow hotel, diplomats confront the same historic suspicions.

Jun 22, 2012

Insight: Iran talks: Across the table, a wary stalemate

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – The talk can be blunt and the rhetoric can be flowery, with invocations of deity and Persian poetry. Sometimes, it has been suggested, there is the sense of a well-worn cast acting out a script.

Iran’s negotiations with the West on its nuclear program have developed their own rituals and etiquette bound up with the frustrations of a decade of fruitless talk. Sheltering from a Baghdad sandstorm or ensconcedin a drab communist-era Moscow hotel, diplomats confront the same historic suspicions.

Jun 20, 2012

Iran impasse to stir sanctions pressure, tensions

MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) – Western diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program may not have breathed their last but the troubled process appears to be on life support after talks this week failed to resolve a row stirring regional tensions and unsettling oil markets.

Mindful of a possible Israel strike, both Iran and its negotiating partners are keen to pursue even a minimal level of contact to shore up the process despite the failure of the negotiations in Moscow on Monday and Tuesday.

Jun 8, 2012

Wounded Syria nears threshold of civil war – experts

LONDON (Reuters) – Whatever label the world gives it, Syria’s worsening conflict justifies a U.N. warning of imminent civil war following massacres that have heightened the risk of widespread sectarian violence.

Political analysts say several powerful factors are setting the stage for prolonged turmoil: the increasing brutality of the state and its proxies, better organised and armed rebel forces, devastating suicide attacks by shadowy armed groups, and growing interest by neighbouring countries in arming various parties to the violence.