US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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The American Conservative vom 20.05.2019

"Why Tiny Qatar May Be Our Greatest Hope in the Iran Crisis"

In der aktuellen Iran-Krise könnte Katar Mark Perry zufolge eine wichtige Vermittlerrolle spielen. Das Emirat stelle den USA den unentbehrlichen Militärstützpunkt Al Udeid bereit und pflege zugleich gute Beziehungen zu Teheran. "For some, those enhanced relations provide a told-ya-so moment (as in 'see, we told ya they were in the pockets of the mullahs'). But for others, Qatar’s friendship with Iran could well make the difference between war and peace. The truth of this was obvious last week when, in the midst of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin al-Thani arrived in Tehran for talks aimed at dampening the crisis. (...) 'He’s one of the best, a top-notch diplomat. I wish he was ours,' John Duke Anthony told me. 'It might be that the Iranians were a little miffed to see him, as he’s not the representative of a great power, but they know he has close relations with the U.S. and influence in Washington. That matters.' This seems more than notionally true. Qatar matters. It’s the mouse that roared — the Qataris, not the Saudis or Emiratis, have become America’s most important ally in the Persian Gulf."

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The Times of Israel vom 20.05.2019

"Trump: I don’t want to fight but we can’t let Iran have nuclear weapons"

US-Präsident Trump hat dem Iran im Fall eines Angriffs gegen die USA mit der Vernichtung gedroht und in einem TV-Interview noch einmal bekräftigt, dass er iranische Atomwaffen nicht zulassen werde. "US President Donald Trump said in an interview Sunday that while he does not want to go to war with Iran, he will not let them acquire nuclear weapons. 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons,' he told Fox News in an interview that aired late Sunday. 'I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons — you just can’t let that happen.' (...) Trump, who withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal forged by his predecessor Barack Obama, said that the sanctions he reimposed were working better than he imagined. 'I ended the Iran nuclear deal, and actually, I must tell you — I had no idea it was going to be as strong as it was. It totally — the country is devastated from the standpoint of the economy,' he said."

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Los Angeles Times vom 19.05.2019

"There’s no compelling reason for the U.S. to go to war with Iran — yet"

Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky betonen, dass es für die USA bisher keinen überzeugenden Grund für einen Krieg gegen den Iran gebe. Es sei kaum zu erkennen, welche handfesten Ziele in einem militärischen Konflikt erreicht werden könnten. "Surgical strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities would only temporarily set back its nuclear program, and they would have to be preceded by large-scale attacks on Iran’s conventional air, naval and missile assets, which would cause civilian casualties and widespread destruction. It is fanciful to believe that attacks on Iranian territory would provoke a popular uprising that would topple the regime — and even if it did, the new government would likely be more militantly anti-American than the current one. If the U.S. goal is regime change, it would require a ground invasion and U.S. occupation. We’ve seen how well that worked out in Iraq and Afghanistan — and Iran has a much larger population, much more territory and more ways to hurt the U.S. than both those countries. (...) A mix of deterrence, transactional negotiations, renewed dialogue and, yes, military force if Iran acts against America’s vital interests, is the most effective way to manage that competition. As Winston Churchill is believed to have said, 'meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.'"

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Radio Free Europe vom 19.05.2019

"Erdogan Insists Russian Missile Deal Will Go Through, Plans Additional Work With Moscow"

Die Türkei besteht zum Missfallen der NATO-Partner nicht nur auf dem Kauf von russischen S-400-Luftabwehrraketen, sondern will mit Moskau auch bei der Produktion des Nachfolgemodells S-500 kooperieren. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again insisted he will go through with the purchase of S-400 defense systems from Russia and will also cooperate with Moscow on producing S-500 systems in the future, despite U.S. pressure against the deals. 'There is absolutely no question of [Turkey] taking a step back from the S-400s purchase. That is a done deal,' Erdogan said on May 18 in a question-and-answer session with university students in Istanbul. 'There will be joint production of the S-500 after the S-400,' Erdogan added. He added that he still expected the United States to allow Ankara to participate in production of F-35 fighter jets amid threats from Washington that Turkey could be excluded if it buys the Russian missile system. Turkey has also ordered 100 of the jets for its military."

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The Independent vom 18.05.2019

"Four times the US has made the same mistake in the Middle East. Now Trump is making it yet again over Iran"

Patrick Cockburn, langjähriger Nahost-Korrespondent des Independent, meint, dass US-Präsident Trump mit seiner aggressiven Iran-Strategie die Fehler früherer US-Regierungen im Nahen Osten wiederhole. "In its escalating confrontation with Iran, the US is making the same mistake it has made again and again since the fall of the Shah 40 years ago: it is ignoring the danger of plugging into what is in large part a religious conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. (...) Now the same process is under way yet again, and likely to fail for the same reasons as before: the US, along with its local allies, will be fighting not only Iran but whole Shia communities in different countries, mostly in the northern tier of the Middle East between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean. (...) A little-noticed feature of the US denunciations of Iranian interference using local proxies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is not just that they are exaggerated but, even if they were true, they come far too late. Iran is already on the winning side in all three countries."

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European Views vom 17.05.2019

"Germany Set for Largest Defense Budget Boost since Cold War, Still Far off NATO Target"

Ivan Dikov betrachtet die geplante Erhöhung des deutschen Rüstungsetats als Konzession der Bundesregierung gegenüber US-Präsident Trump. "Germany, the largest economy in the EU and the second largest in NATO, is set to increase its defense spending by some EUR 5 billion, the largest boost since 1991, the year when the Soviet Union was dissolved, and the Cold War ended. Despite the major increase, however, Germany’s defense budget would still be far below the NATO target of 2% of the GDP, a source of frequent criticism for the country by its main NATO ally, the United States, and especially by US President Donald Trump. (...) If it materializes, Germany’s defense budget boost might be construed as a concession to US President Donald Trump, who also keeps targeting the EU’s largest economy on trade."

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Al-Monitor vom 16.05.2019

"US prepares new pressure campaign on Assad"

Die US-Regierung will den Druck auf die syrische Regierung in den kommenden Monaten nach Informationen von Al-Monitor erneut verstärken, um Zugeständnisse in den stagnierenden Verhandlungen unter Führung der UN zu erzwingen. "A senior State Department official told Al-Monitor that the Trump administration plans to intensify political and economic pressure on Syria in the coming months to compel the Bashar al-Assad government to 'see reality and make concessions' regarding the stalled UN-backed peace process. (...) The pressure campaign comes as Assad’s forces are stepping up their offensive against the last rebel-held province of Idlib, which is largely under the control of al-Qaeda breakaway group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham."

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South China Morning Post vom 15.05.2019

"A third US-North Korea summit is the last best chance for resolving nuclear crisis"

Glyn Ford sieht in einem dritten Gipfeltreffen zwischen Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un die wohl letzte Chance, um den laufenden Verhandlungsprozess zu einem positiven Ende zu führen. "The elephant in the room remains: security guarantees for North Korea. The US belabours the point that North Korea once said it would not necessarily demand the withdrawal of US troops from the south, yet fails to acknowledge the decades of it demanding exactly that. If the US were to end its hostile policy, what better demonstration of commitment than withdrawing US forces from the peninsula? It is inconceivable that this will not be on the table at a future meeting even if ultimately Pyongyang would allow Washington to buy out the demand with concessions. (...) It would be no surprise – and suit Washington – if some time after the G20 summit in Osaka, there was a blitzkrieg summit in Pyongyang."

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Foreign Affairs vom 14.05.2019

"A Russian-Chinese Partnership Is a Threat to U.S. Interests"

Die immer engeren Beziehungen zwischen Russland und China sollten von den USA nicht tatenlos hingenommen werden, sind Andrea Kendall-Taylor und David Shullman überzeugt. Es reiche nicht aus, sich einfach darauf zu verlassen, dass die bestehenden strategischen Differenzen beider Länder eine echte Allianz verhindern werden. Washington sollte stattdessen versuchen, die Spannungen zwischen Russland und China anzufachen, so ihre Forderung. "Efforts to split Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to be effective. From the Kremlin’s perspective, the United States is a far less predictable partner than China, and Putin’s anti-Western views run deep. Xi, for his part, views Russia as useful in undermining U.S. global dominance and countering U.S. efforts to limit Chinese leverage in multilateral institutions. Still, Washington should seek to stoke tensions between the two and strain the seams in their relationship. In communicating with Beijing, Washington should underscore Russia’s proclivity for wreaking havoc in democracies that oppose its interests. (...) U.S. policymakers will also have to take care not to drive Russia and China together and consider how policies designed to confront one country could inadvertently hinder efforts to confront the other. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, for example, was designed to deter Russian aggression by limiting the Kremlin’s revenue from arms exports. Yet these sanctions have prevented some countries, including India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, from purchasing the Russian arms they need to deter China."

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Spiegel Online vom 14.05.2019

"USA attackieren EU-Pläne für Verteidigungsfonds"

Die USA drohen mit gegen Europa gerichteten Strafen, sollten diese die Regeln für den EU-Verteidigungsfonds nicht ändern, berichtet Gerald Traufetter und Matthias Gebauer auf Spiegel Online. "Auf vier eng bedruckten Seiten kritisieren die beiden Rüstungs-Staatssekretärinnen Ellen Lord und Andrea Thompson zwei zentrale Projekte der EU - die Abmachungen für mehr Kooperation bei der Verteidigung und den milliardenschweren Fonds zur Entwicklung von EU-Rüstungsprojekten.(...) Die beiden Spitzenkräfte aus dem Pentagon kommen schnell zur Sache. Der Vertragsentwurf für die Projekte stellt für sie 'eine dramatische Umkehr' von 'drei Jahrzehnten wachsender Integration des transatlantischen Verteidigungssektors' dar und widerspreche konkreten Zusagen der EU an die Nato. Kurzum riskiere die EU so die partnerschaftliche Zusammenarbeit mit den USA."

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Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 14.05.2019

"Trump missachtet die Diplomatie"

Georg Mascolo sieht durch US-Präsident Donald Trumps Missachtung diplomatischer Gepflogenheiten die globale Sicherheit gefährdet. "Trump hat bisher nichts vorzuweisen. Außer der Zerstörung eines Abkommens, das den Iran-Konflikt entschärft hatte. Der selbsternannte Meister des großen Deals spielt mit immer größerem Einsatz. Niemand weiß, wie er reagieren wird, wenn er scheitert. Vielleicht weiß er es nicht einmal selbst."

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Lobelog vom 12.05.2019

"60 Days To Save The JCPOA"

Ellie Geranmayeh vom European Council on Foreign Relations analysiert die Hintergründe und möglichen Konsequenzen des iranischen Ultimatums im Atomstreit mit Europa. Beide Seiten seien grundsätzlich am Bestand des Atomabkommens interessiert, auf beiden Seiten gebe es allerdings das Risiko einer Fehlkalkulation. "The prevailing view in Europe has been that Iran would comply with the JCPOA until the U.S. 2020 election outcome was clear. This assessment seems to be the only rational path from a European perspective, but it has failed to fully appreciate the domestic politics of Iran. This includes the concept of maintaining dignity that underpins Iran’s foreign policy interactions, and the heavy economic pressure the country faces. Iran, on the other hand, needs to have more realistic expectations from Europe and accept its shortcomings in the face of U.S. secondary sanctions. Europe is a very different polity to the one that negotiated with Iran to strike the JCPOA in 2015. The E3 governments today are far more distracted by their own domestic politics."

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Middle East Eye vom 10.05.2019

"'Thousands could die': Are US and Iran headed for war?"

Ein offener Krieg zwischen den USA und dem Iran hätte für die gesamte Region "katastrophale" Folgen, so die Warnung vieler Experten. Unmittelbare Leidtragende könnten vor allem die Länder sein, die den harten Iran-Kurs der USA immer wieder gefordert hätten. "Should that happen, [Imad Harb, director of research and analysis at Arab Center Washington DC.,] painted a doomsday scenario in which Iran would not only retaliate against US troops in the region, but would also target the Arab Gulf countries hosting those American forces. Tehran and its allies in Yemen may also block or at least disrupt the straits of Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb, the passageways into the Gulf and Red Sea, crippling international trade. 'Iran is not going to go down without harming others,' Harb said. 'We're talking about a Gulf that's anywhere between 35 and 70 miles-wide, and on the western coast ... we have Saudi and UAE installations. And Iran is not going to spare them if things really come to a head.' In fact, the same countries that have pushed the US to adopt a more confrontational approach to Iran - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - may be the ones to pay the price if violence breaks out. 'The Gulf countries - Saudi Arabia and the UAE - should really be cautious about what they wish for ... because if Iran is to be vanquished, it's going to hit them really hard,' Harb told MEE."

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NBC News vom 10.05.2019

"Trump may be underestimating Iran's resolve in resisting nuclear sanctions"

Andrea Mitchell stellt fest, dass US-Präsident Trump mit seiner Iran-Strategie international zunehmend isoliert dastehe. Die "Falken" im Weißen Haus unterschätzten zudem die Entschlossenheit Teherans, dem Druck der USA nicht nachzugeben. "(...) the president’s hawkish circle of advisers very well may be underestimating Iran’s resolve and resilience. With the approach of the U.S. election, Tehran may decide to wait out the Trump administration. And while the president seems confident in his powers of persuasion if he were in a room with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, how has “the art of the deal” worked so far with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? In addition, Iran, unlike North Korea, does not have one-man rule. Rouhani has to answer not only to the supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, but also the powerful Revolutionary Guard, recently named by the State Department as a terrorist group, the first time an official government organization was so designated. Under those conditions, negotiations between the two governments are all but impossible. And Pompeo said last week he does not believe Iran’s government could ever change enough to satisfy the administration."

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Spiegel Online vom 10.05.2019

"Trump's Iran Escalation Poses a Threat for Germany"

Der SPIEGEL warnt in diesem Beitrag aus der aktuellen Printausgabe, dass die Eskalation des Konflikts zwischen den USA und dem Iran auch Europa und Deutschland bedrohe. "Experienced diplomats are reminded of the period in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. And sources within the German government believe the threat of war is greater than it has been at any point in recent decades. 'We're seeing increasing confrontation everywhere in the region,' said Volker Perthes, the head of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). He believes there's 'a dangerous concurrence of conflicts and too many actors who are willing to take risks and are not speaking with each other.' (...) Europe is basically watching helplessly as tempers flare between Washington and Tehran. 'We are sitting on a rope, with the Americans pulling at one end and the Iranians at the other, and the rope is getting thinner and thinner,' said one EU diplomat. German foreign policy is essentially limited to appeals to the Iranians. No one in Berlin believes that Germany's allies in Washington can be persuaded to shift course. Germany at the moment considers the theocracy in Tehran to be more reasonable and rational than the country's own allies in Washington."

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