US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

3. Bündnisse und internationale Diplomatie

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Al Jazeera English vom 17.01.2019

"US rejects Russia's offer to save key missile treaty"

Die USA haben einen russischen Vorschlag zur Rettung des INF-Vertrags zurückgewiesen. "Speaking a day after a meeting in Geneva between Russian and US officials, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson said on Wednesday Moscow was refusing to allow proper inspection of a new Russian missile system that Washington says breaks the INF accord. A six-month US withdrawal process will start from February 2. (...) The US and its NATO allies want Russia to destroy its 9M729 nuclear-capable cruise missile system, which Washington says could allow Russia to strike Europe at short notice, and comply with the INF. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was ready to save the pact and the US had not properly considered Moscow's proposals and prevent a new arms race in Europe. But Thompson said the Russian side only offered a look at the cruise missile system, a so-called static display, which she said would not verify the true range of its warheads. Moscow says the range puts them outside the treaty and the distance they can fly is not as long as Washington alleges, meaning Moscow is fully compliant with the INF."

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The Diplomat vom 16.01.2019

"Why Vietnam Should Host the Second Trump-Kim Summit"

Viet Phuong Nguyen empfiehlt, das nächste Gipfeltreffen zwischen Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un in der Hauptstadt Vietnams abzuhalten. "(...) one criterion makes Vietnam really stand out from other potential candidates: its warm relation with all three major players in the recent nuclear dialogue including North Korea, the United States, and South Korea. Although disagreements did occur in the relationship between Vietnam and North Korea, the two still consider each other 'fraternal' state due to their ideological closeness, and North Korea’s support for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Vietnam’s successful economic reform during the 1980s has also been cited by North Korean officials as a possible model for the new economic policies carried out under Kim Jong Un’s leadership. On the other hand, even though the U.S. and Vietnamese political systems share almost no common values, the United States has quickly become one of the biggest trading partners of Vietnam since the end of its embargo of Vietnam in 1995, and more recently Vietnam has been considered a key partner of the United States in the latter’s Asia-Pacific strategy under both the Obama and Trump administrations."

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Middle East Eye vom 16.01.2019

"Syrian Kurds reject 'security zone' under Turkish control"

Ein Vertreter der syrischen Kurden hat die amerikanische Idee, an der Grenze zwischen Syrien und der Türkei eine "Sicherheitszone" unter türkischer Kontrolle einzurichten, kategorisch abgelehnt. "Senior political leader Aldar Khalil said the Kurds would accept the deployment of UN forces along the separation line between Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops to ward off a threatened offensive. 'Other choices are unacceptable as they infringe on the sovereignty of Syria and the sovereignty of our autonomous region,' Khalil said."

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BBC vom 15.01.2019

"Ivory Coast ex-President Gbagbo acquitted at ICC court in The Hague"

Der frühere Präsident der Elfenbeinküste Laurent Gbagbo, der wegen schwerer Verbrechen nach der Präsidentschaftswahl 2010 vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof in Den Haag stand, ist überraschend freigesprochen worden. "'Whenever a case involving mass atrocities essentially collapses at the ICC, it does damage to the perception of the court as a credible and effective institution of international justice,' Mark Kersten, author of Justice in Conflict, told the BBC's Anna Holligan. 'Many are concerned that the court is emerging as an institution where only rebels can be successfully prosecuted,' he added. The ICC has also seen cases collapse against former DR Congo Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. On the other hand, the ruling demonstrates the judges' independence and impartiality and makes it harder to push the narrative, popular among those who fear the long arm of the ICC, that the court is a biased weapon of neo-colonial justice used purely to convict African leaders, our correspondent says."

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Al Monitor vom 14.01.2019

"Intel: How Trump's tweet is sparking debate over a new Syrian 'safe zone'"

US-Präsident Trump hat in einem seiner Tweets der letzten Tage eine "Safe Zone" für die syrischen Kurden gefordert. Al-Monitor erläutert, was dies vor dem Hintergrund des US-Truppenabzugs in der Praxis bedeuten könnte. "Since the United States and Turkey are still hashing out the details, [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] said, the 'precise methodology' on next steps is still in the works. The top US diplomat indicated that the Trump team hasn’t decided whether it will be a 'safe zone' or a 'buffer zone.' (...) The emerging 'safe zone' plan could see the Turks gain more control on the border with Syria, potentially allaying Ankara's fears of US military support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. Experts tell Al-Monitor such a zone could keep Turkish forces away from areas liberated from the Islamic State in the Euphrates Valley. (...) With 2,200 US troops set to withdraw from Syria, experts tell Al-Monitor that the Trump administration may be debating how to bring a residual CIA presence into the fight to monitor the defeat of the Islamic States, keep Iran out of the country and deter Turkey from striking the Kurds."

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Al-Monitor vom 13.01.2019

"France weighs its Syria presence, cooperation with Russia"

Der begonnene Rückzug der USA aus Syrien habe Frankreich veranlasst, die eigene Syrienstrategie zu überdenken, berichtet Igor Delanoe. "After President Donald Trump said in December that US troops were to leave Syria 'very soon,' a French military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that this situation would create a critical problem for France’s special forces in Syria. 'It’s not only about logistics. Should they leave, we will have to figure out what to do in a relatively short lap of time.' French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on a French TV channel Jan. 10, 'France will militarily withdraw from Syria once a political agreement is reached.' This remark has significance. First, French officials rarely comment on the military presence of France in Syria as there is no legal basis for intervention in the Arab republic. Second, Le Drian, who served as defense minister under President Francois Hollande, commented on military affairs while serving as minister of foreign affairs. All this raises the question of what would happen if a political road map is set in Geneva tomorrow and if, in the meantime, the Islamic State is able to retake control of a sizable chunk of Syrian territory. Would the French troops leave anyway?"

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CNN vom 13.01.2019

"Trump threatens to 'devastate' Turkey's economy if they attack Kurds in Syria"

Präsident Trump hat der Türkei in einer Twitter-Nachricht mit wirtschaftlicher "Verwüstung" gedroht, sollte Ankara die mit den USA verbündeten Kurden in Syrien angreifen. "It's a stark threat toward an ally in the region that has partnered with the US in the fight against ISIS. Turkey views some Kurdish groups in the region as terrorist organizations and Kurds make up the majority of US-allied fighters operating in Syria in the civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. On Monday, Turkey's Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara expected Washington to 'honor' the two countries' strategic partnership. In a tweet directed at Trump, Kalin said 'terrorists can't be your partners (and) allies.'"

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Los Angeles Times vom 11.01.2019

"Trump’s demand that South Korea pay more for U.S. troops leads to impasse"

Die US-Regierung erwartet von Südkorea eine deutliche Erhöhung der Zahlungen für den Betrieb der US-Militärstützpunkte im Land, berichten David S. Cloud und Victoria Kim. "U.S. negotiators have sought a 50% increase in Seoul’s annual payment, which last year was approximately $830 million, or about half of the estimated cost of hosting 28,500 U.S. troops, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the discussions. The hard-line U.S. stance reflects Trump’s view that U.S. allies have taken advantage of American military protection for decades — a view bitterly resented by many South Korean officials, who say they already pay more to the U.S. than almost every other American ally except Japan. (...) South Korea, which initially called for adjusting annual payments only to account for inflation, is expected to make a counteroffer this month, but it is unlikely to satisfy the White House, U.S. officials said."

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty vom 10.01.2019

"Putin, Merkel Agree To Coordinate Syria Peace Efforts Amid U.S. Troop Pullout"

Bundeskanzlerin Merkel und Präsident Putin haben telefonisch vereinbart, ihre Bemühungen zur Beilegung des Konflikts in Syrien zu koordinieren. "Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed in a telephone call to coordinate efforts to work toward peace in Syria, the Kremlin says. 'The desire was expressed to advance the political processes in close coordination with the United Nations, in order to solve the Syrian crisis in the long term,' the Kremlin said on January 9. Merkel and Putin also discussed the formation of a constitutional committee for Syria, which is to work out a new constitution for the war-torn country, repeating issues they covered during a phone call at the end of December and at an October summit in Istanbul involving Russia, Germany, Turkey, and France."

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BBC vom 09.01.2019

"Russia in Africa: Is it becoming a key player?"

Kumar Malhotra schreibt angesichts der russischen Aktivitäten in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik und im Sudan, dass Russland offenbar seinen früheren Status in Afrika wiederherstellen wolle. "The former Soviet Union used to be an important player on the African continent - until its economic and political clout waned with the end of the Cold War. Today, Russia 'seeks to restore and strengthen its position on the African continent', according to Inna Andronova, from Moscow's Higher School of Economics. (...) But there are limits to what Russia can achieve, some analysts believe. Alex Vines, of Chatham House, points out that Russia is not the old Soviet Union. 'It lacks the resources to extend itself significantly in Africa. Instead, it will look for niches, such as defence and raw material extraction,' he says."

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Al-Monitor vom 09.01.2019

"Iranians slam new EU sanctions as JCPOA hangs in balance"

Die EU hat wegen angeblicher Aktivitäten des iranischen Geheimdienstes auf europäischem Boden Sanktionen gegen Offizielle der iranischen Regierung verhängt. Auf iranischer Seite mehren sich nun Al-Monitor zufolge die Stimmen, die auf die europäischen Maßnahmen zur Rettung des Atomabkommens nicht länger warten wollen. "(...) signs of frustration are already appearing not just from the country's hard-liners. On the sidelines of his meetings with Indian officials, Zarif noted that while working with the Europeans, Iran won’t wait for them to enforce the SPV and will instead turn to what he called 'traditional partners' — namely India, China and Russia. Kayhan, a hard-line daily affiliated with the office of the supreme leader, found the EU announcement to be a validation of its previous predictions that, unlike what the Iranian government assumes, Europe will tighten the noose around Tehran's neck rather than help it enjoy the dividends promised by the JCPOA. (...) In a critical piece, moderate daily Khorasan also slammed Europeans for pushing Iran into a corner instead of accelerating the implementation of the stalled SPV. Javan, a conservative paper close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, likened Europe to a cow that has given Iran 'the kick rather than the milk.'"

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Defense One vom 08.01.2019

"Moscow’s Little-Noticed Islamic-Outreach Effort"

Hassan Hassan berichtet, dass Russland ein international bisher kaum beachtetes Programm zur Förderung eines moderaten Islams auf den Weg gebracht habe. Dabei bemühe sich Moskau um eine enge Kooperation mit arabischen Staaten, was dort positiv aufgenommen worden sei. "The Russian emissary for this effort is Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic. For Kadyrov, opposition to Islamic extremism is an extension of the war in Chechnya, in which he fought on behalf of Moscow against the separatist Chechen movement. (...) Over the summer, Kadyrov was welcomed like royalty in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities let him inside Prophet Mohammed’s room, which is closed to all but special guests. (...) Russia’s Islamic outreach is driven by several factors, first among them domestic worries. Muslims constitute nearly 15 percent of the Russian population, and Moscow fought two religious and nationalist insurrections in the Muslim-majority North Caucasus region. The rise of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria increased Moscow’s concerns about an extremist threat, especially given the sizable role of jihadis from North Caucasus within the two groups."

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The Washington Post vom 08.01.2019

"The Trump administration downgraded the E.U. ambassador — and didn’t tell him"

Die US-Regierung hat den diplomatischen Status der EU-Vertretung in Washington herabgesetzt, ohne Brüssel vorab zu informieren. "The State Department’s office of protocol downgraded the European Union in its order of precedence, E.U. officials said Tuesday. That relates to where diplomats are seated at dinners, when they are invited to receptions and in what order they are called to pay respects at state funerals, such as that of former president George H.W. Bush last month. No longer will the European Union be as exalted as equivalent to a country. Instead it will be back alongside the African Union, after the rest of the national ambassadors. (...) Some European diplomats said they didn’t rank it as particularly important, especially given the long list of substantive disagreements between the two sides. An E.U. official said they would try to move onward without further fuss. But some analysts were quick to add it to the list of slights from the Trump administration. Even if the protocol change was purely symbolic, they said it showed that there are few arenas of relations left untouched by Trump’s disdain for the European Union."

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Haaretz vom 08.01.2019

"Turkey to Ask U.S. to Hand Over 22 Military Bases in Syria, Report Says"

Die Türkei erwartet einem Bericht der Zeitung Hürriyet zufolge, dass das US-Militär seine Stützpunkte in Syrien im Fall eines Truppenabzugs an das türkische Militär übergibt oder selbst abreißt. "'Give them or destroy them,' a Hurriyet newspaper headline said, referring to what it said were 22 U.S. military bases in Syria. It cited unspecified sources as saying Turkey would not accept Washington handing them over to the YPG.  A senior Turkish security official told Reuters last week Washington needed to allow Turkey to use its bases in Syria."

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UPI vom 08.01.2019

"Yemen peace deal could unravel over control of the critical port city of Hudaydah"

Die britische Hilfsorganisation Oxfam hat vor einem Scheitern des fragilen Waffenstillstands in der Hafenstadt Hudaydah in Jemen gewarnt. "Dina el-Mamoun, Oxfam's head of policy and advocacy in Yemen, said the agreement reached last month in Stockholm, Sweden, is 'too vague.' The Houthi rebels, who are fighting Yemeni government forces and are backed by Iran, were expected to hand over the port city of Hudaydah, Yemen, the main source of humanitarian aid for millions of starving civilians. Both sides have disagreed over the meaning of the text. The Yemeni government wants to seize control of the port because it operated it before the Houthis took it over. The Houthis disagree, saying they want to hand it over to their allies who are running it now."

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