US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

4. Militär und bewaffnete Konflikte

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The Moscow Times vom 27.01.2020

"Fresh Russian-U.S. 'Skirmish' Reported in Syria"

Im Osten Syriens ist es einigen Berichten zufolge offenbar zu weiteren (kampflosen) Konfrontationen russischer und amerikanischer Truppen gekommen. "Russian and U.S. forces have faced off for what could be the fourth time in less than two weeks in oil-rich northeastern Syria, the local Kurdish news outlet Anha reported Saturday. Video of the reported standoff in the Hasakah province showed a Russian-flagged armored vehicle and what appeared to be two U.S. Army armored vehicles standing on a highway off-ramp. Following the 'skirmish' at the entrance to the town of Tal Tamr — which lies on a highway to the region’s key oilfields — the U.S. and Russian convoys reportedly headed in different directions. Russian helicopters and U.S. warplanes flew over Tal Tamr half an hour after the incident, Anha reported. The outlet did not say how long the standoff lasted. American troops have blocked a Russian convoy from accessing oil fields at least four times in the past eight days, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported Sunday."

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The Daily Star vom 27.01.2020

"Libya: east-based forces advance toward strategic city"

Trotz der beim Berliner Libyen-Gipfel unterschriebenen Absichtserklärungen sind am Sonntag neue Kämpfe zwischen den Truppen der beiden rivalisierenden Regierungen ausgebrochen. "Officials from Libya’s two rival governments said fighting erupted Sunday as the country’s east-based forces advanced toward the strategic western city of Misrata, further eroding a crumbling cease-fire agreement brokered earlier this month. The clashes came just hours after the United Nations decried 'continued blatant violations' of an arms embargo on Libya by several unspecified countries. The violations fly in the face of recent pledges to respect the embargo made by world powers at an international conference in Berlin last week. Libya is divided between rival governments based in its east and west, each supported by various armed militias and foreign backers. (…) Haftar’s forces were advancing some 120 kilometers east of Misrata, near the town of Abugrein, according to the media office of militias allied with the Tripoli government. It said clashes were still taking place on the outskirts of Abugrein. A spokesman for forces allied with the Tripoli government, Mohammad Gnounou, said in a statement posted online that Haftar’s repeated violations made the cease-fire 'useless.'"

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty vom 26.01.2020

"Syrian Government Troops Advance In Last Rebel Stronghold"

Syrische Regierungstruppen setzen ihren Vormarsch in der letzten von Rebellen kontrollierten Provinz Idlib Berichten zufolge weiter fort. "Syrian government forces have captured several rural settlements in the northwestern province of Idlib, as they continue an offensive into the country’s last rebel stronghold, state media and a war monitor said on January 26. At least six villages in the Idlib countryside have fallen to government forces over the past two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Backed by Russian air strikes, government troops on January 26 reached the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan, 33 kilometers south of the city of Idlib, on an important highway that connects Damascus to Aleppo. (…) Turkey said on January 24 that around 400,000 people from Idlib Province were moving toward the Turkish border as a result of the surge in violence."

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BBC vom 24.01.2020

"Iraq after Soleimani: What is the future for US troops?"

Nach dem Attentat auf General Soleimani und dem darauffolgenden iranischen Raketenangriff auf einen irakischen Militärstützpunkt mit US-Truppen beschreibt Nafiseh Kohnavard in dieser Reportage das aktuelle Ausmaß und die mögliche Zukunft der US-Stützpunkte im Irak. "When I was last here, both the US and Iraqi officers were keen to show the media how their relationship was deepening on a professional and personal level. Both sides were keen to appear on camera to talk about their mutual goal of defeating IS. Now, coalition commanders are hesitant to go on the record. Recent developments have cast a long shadow over what was once 'a great friendship'. (…) Angry with moves that had nothing to do with the US mission in Iraq to 'defeat IS', pro-Iran paramilitary groups and politicians want US troops to leave Iraq immediately. But coalition forces hope to start what they say will be the final stages of operations against IS with their Iraqi allies soon. It is this uncertainty that makes commanders on both sides reluctant to talk to the media about it, especially when politicians might contradict them the next day."

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The National Interest vom 21.01.2020

"The Brutal Reason American Tanks Shoot Depleted Uranium Shells"

Kyle Mizokami erklärt, warum das US-Militär bei seinen Panzern auch künftig nicht auf den Einsatz der umstrittenen panzerbrechenden Uranmunition verzichten dürfte. "(…) the United States was researching the use of depleted uranium as an armor penetrator. A byproduct of nuclear reactor fuel, depleted uranium was harder and denser than existing tungsten-tipped penetrators. Accelerated to extremely high speeds, this allowed a depleted-uranium (DU) round to smash through an unprecedented amount of armor. The pyrophoric nature of uranium and steel would cause the DU to catch fire upon penetration, causing catastrophic damage inside the tank. (…) The use of depleted uranium as a penetrator has resulted in superior armament for U.S. tankers crossing the battlefield. Nobody knows how long the one-two combination of the M256 gun and DU ammunition will continue to overmatch enemy armor, but given DU’s superior armor piercing capability, it’s a fairly sure bet DU will arm the next generation of Army tanks as well."

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War on the Rocks vom 21.01.2020

"The Drone Beats of War: The U.S. Vulnerability to Targeted Killings"

David W. Barno und Nora Bensahel erwarten nach der gezielten Tötung von General Soleimani, dass US-Offizielle bald selbst zum Ziel derartiger Angriffe werden könnten. "As advanced technologies inexorably became cheaper and more widely available, the U.S. monopoly on these capabilities started to erode. By 2016, for example, eight countries other than the United States had conducted armed drone attacks, including Iran, Pakistan, and Nigeria. By 2019, Russia and two other countries joined this exclusive club. (…) The Soleimani strike has given potential U.S. adversaries every reason to accelerate their efforts to develop similar capabilities. Moreover, these same adversaries can now justify their own future targeted killings by invoking this U.S. precedent. Sooner or later — and probably sooner — senior U.S. civilian and military leaders will become vulnerable to the same types of decapitation strikes that the United States has inflicted on others."

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Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty vom 20.01.2020

"Eight Countries Back European-Led Naval Mission In Strait Of Hormuz"

Acht europäische Staaten, darunter auch Deutschland, haben ihre Unterstützung für eine europäische Militärmission zur Überwachung der Straße von Hormus signalisiert. "Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal backed the new force, they said in a 'political statement' issued by France's Foreign Ministry on January 20. The move comes amid 'rising insecurity and instability' in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz last year, the statement said, citing 'multiple maritime and nonmaritime incidents.' 'This situation has been affecting the freedom of navigation and the security of European and non-European vessels and crews in the area for months. It has also been jeopardizing trade and energy supplies with potential worldwide economic consequences,' it said. France, Denmark, Greece, and the Netherlands have already confirmed they will contribute to the so-called EMASOH mission, which is to be based at a French naval facility in the United Arab Emirates."

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Die Welt vom 20.01.2020

"Geheimdienste warnen US-Truppen in Deutschland vor geplanter Attacke"

Die US-Armee in Deutschland hat nach eigenen Angaben eine mögliche Bedrohung ihrer Soldaten in Deutschland überprüft, berichtet die Welt. "Am Samstagabend sei eine 'potentielle Gefahr identifiziert und untersucht' worden, sagte eine Sprecherin des US-Militärs in Europa der Nachrichtenagentur AFP am Montag."

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NPR vom 20.01.2020

"Migrant Caravan Crosses River into Mexico In Standoff With Security Forces"

Im Süden Mexikos hat eine neue Migrantenkarawane aus Zentralamerika versucht, auf ihrem Weg in die USA die Grenze zu überschreiten. Mexikanische Sicherheitskräfte versuchen Berichten zufolge, den Vormarsch der Karawane zu verhindern. "At least 4,000 people who hoped to travel northward to the U.S. entered Guatemala from Honduras last week, according to the Guatemalan government. The migrants threatened to enter by force if authorities refuse to allow that. But now, in Mexico, security officials apparently are not planning to budge. (…) The latest showdown between Central American migrants and Mexico's border enforcers comes after the Mexican government told the Trump administration it would clamp down on migration flows toward Mexico's border with the U.S. Trump has threatened to impose economic sanctions on Mexico if it doesn't crack down harder on migrants."

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Die Welt vom 19.01.2020

"Trumps neue 'U.S. Space Force' stellt Uniform vor – und erntet Spott"

Die Uniformen der neu gebildeten US-Militäreinheit "U.S. Space Force" haben in den Sozialen Medien für einigen Spott gesorgt, berichtet die Welt. Dort wurden Fragen gestellt wie "'Was bringt es, im Weltraum Camouflage zu tragen? Was bringt die 'Space Force' überhaupt?' Ein anderer Nutzer fragte, wie viele Bäume die 'Space Force' denn meine im Weltraum anzutreffen. Wieder andere unterbreiteten Vorschläge für eine bessere Tarnung – zum Beispiel ein schwarzes T-Shirt mit funkelnden Sternchen."

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The National Interest vom 14.01.2020

"The World Spends $3 Trillion a Year on Arms"

Einer neuen Untersuchung des US-Außenministeriums zufolge haben Staaten weltweit zwischen 2007 und 2017 jährliche Rüstungsausgaben in Höhe von drei Billionen US-Dollar getätigt. "Ironically, rich, democratic nations – which like to think of themselves as being the most peaceful – also accounted for a bulk of a global arms trade averaging $181 billion annually. 'Countries in the most democratic quintile of world population appear to have accounted for about 92 percent of world arms exports and 50 percent of world arms imports,' the study found. The United States accounted for 79 percent of the global arms trade, or an average of $143 billion per year, followed by the European Union at 10 percent, Russia at 5 percent and China at less than 2 percent."

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Defense One vom 10.01.2020

"Building Post-INF Missiles Would Be a Waste, or Worse"

Nach Ansicht von Kingston Reif von der Arms Control Association sollten die USA nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags auf neue Mittelstreckenraketen verzichten. In diesem Beitrag widerspricht er den Argumenten der beiden Sicherheitsexperten Rebeccah Heinrichs und Tim Morrison, die für eine beschleunigte Entwicklung entsprechender Raketen plädiert haben. "In an op-ed published last month in Defense One, Rebeccah Heinrichs, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Tim Morrison, a former top official on arms control and Russia on the National Security Council, call for accelerating development of conventional missiles formerly banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. They also recommend sharing the development burden with allies. Morrison and Heinrichs claim these systems are an essential response to Russia’s fielding of the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile that violated the INF Treaty, and to the growing military prowess of China, which was never a party to the treaty. In addition, they assert that the missiles would strengthen the U.S. ability to strike new arms control agreements. But their arguments are unconvincing."

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Political Violence @ a Glance vom 10.01.2020

"Trump’s Casual Approach to War Crimes Has Grave Implications"

Mit seiner scheinbar gedankenlos ausgesprochenen Drohung einer Zerstörung iranischer Kulturstätten hat US-Präsident Trump nach Ansicht von Thomas Gift und Andrew M. Bell auch im Hinblick auf die Kultur der US-Streitkräfte ein bedenkliches Exempel statuiert. "Trump’s pattern of flouting international and military law and norms matters for the conflict with Iran because it suggests that even the most extreme military options — including ones inconsistent with established law — aren’t off the table should a crisis emerge. More broadly, however, Trump’s degradation of norms matters because of what it signals to US servicemembers: that following the laws of war isn’t necessarily a priority. Leaders play a key role in establishing the organizational culture of any institution. That’s particularly true for professionalized militaries. (…) Trump’s challenges to the laws of war obscure respect for military rules and send conflicting messages. On the one hand, US combatants are taught to follow orders and adhere to training that prohibits the unauthorized use of force. On the other hand, their commander-in-chief seems to imply — through word and deed — that following the laws of war isn’t essential. That message could make some US servicemembers second-guess the imperative of abiding by the rules amid the 'fog of war.'"

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Reuters vom 08.01.2020

"Exclusive: U.N. investigators find Yemen's Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack"

Reuters hat Einblick in einen UN-Bericht über die Raketenangriffe auf zwei saudi-arabische Ölanlagen im vergangenen September erhalten. Die UN-Ermittler sind demzufolge zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass die Huthi-Rebellen in Jemen die Angriffe nicht durchgeführt haben können. "The U.N. investigators said they doubted that the drones and land attack cruise missiles used in the Sept. 14 attack 'have a sufficient range to have been launched from Yemeni territory under the control of the Houthis.' 'The panel notes that Abqaiq and Khurais were approached respectively from a north/northwestern and north/northeastern direction, rather than from the south, as one would expect in the case of a launch from Yemeni territory,' the report said. The investigators, who monitor sanctions on Yemen, also said they do not believe that 'those comparatively sophisticated weapons were developed and manufactured in Yemen.' They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible for the Saudi attack."

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