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"Germany Chooses China Over the West"


Janka Oertel vom German Marshall Fund of the United States kritisiert die Entscheidung der Bundesregierung, das chinesische Unternehmen Huawei weiterhin am Ausbau der deutschen 5G-Netze zu beteiligen. Der Vorgang sei symptomatisch für die unentschlossene Haltung Berlins gegenüber Peking. "The failure to formulate a decisive and courageous policy, which would include strenuous efforts to curb the influence of Chinese companies, is indicative of Berlin’s broader approach toward China and reflects two aspects in particular: the fear of an economic downturn that could tank the German economy and the serious divisions within the German government over how it should approach China. German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems bent on avoiding alienating Beijing at almost all costs and is willing to put immediate economic considerations above long-term strategic, security, and economic interests — and above Europe’s interests."

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"Assad Is Now Syria’s Best-Case Scenario"


Unter vielen schlechten Szenarien für die Zukunft Syriens sei die Rückkehr eines stabilen Assad-Regimes mittlerweile das beste, meint Stephen Walt. "As depressing as it is to write this sentence, the best course of action today is for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to regain control over northern Syria. Assad is a war criminal whose forces killed more than half a million of his compatriots and produced several million refugees. In a perfect world, he would be on trial at The Hague instead of ruling in Damascus. But we do not live in a perfect world, and the question we face today is how to make the best of a horrible situation. (...) At this point, allowing Assad to regain control over all of Syria will solve a number of vexing problems. It addresses Turkey’s fears about Kurdish autonomy — Erdogan doesn’t like Assad one bit, but he likes the Kurds even less. Once Assad regains full control, the Islamic State becomes his problem, not the United States’. He is certain to deal with the group ruthlessly because the Islamic State is a radical Sunni movement that views Syrian Alawites as apostates. Moreover, the more secure Assad becomes, the less he will need Russian or Iranian backing. Propping him up has been costly for both Moscow and Tehran, and their presence and influence is likely to decline once Damascus is able to exert reliable sway over all of pre-civil war Syria. Some other countries, such as Israel, will be happy to see Iran’s presence in Syria decline. And if Russia and Iran stay in Syria, they will simply be pouring additional resources into a country of minimal strategic importance."

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"For Eastern Europe, Brussels Is the New Moscow"


Nach der Parlamentswahl in Polen stehen in den kommenden Wochen auch in Ungarn, Bulgarien und Rumänien eine Reihe von Urnengängen an. Jérémie Gallon zufolge erwarten einige Beobachter, dass sich die tiefe innereuropäische Kluft in den Resultaten ausdrücken wird. "Some commentators argue that Europe’s east-west divide has never been wider. In the western corner we have the pro-European leaders, led by France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel, who push for deeper European integration and promote multilateralism to a world that appears to have fallen out of love with the idea. In the eastern corner, figures led by Hungary’s unpredictable and charismatic Viktor Orban position themselves as the champions of nationalism and blame Brussels for everything from the migration crisis to the erosion of what they label as traditional family values. (...) In reality, however, the European Union is faced with a chasm that runs much deeper than short-term political expediency. There is a structural difference in the way the pre-2004 and post-2004 member states think about Europe. The former see Europe as a means for amplifying their presence and power on the global stage. The latter used to see Europe as a means of salvation but now increasingly see it as a national existential threat."

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"The Rise and Fall of a Russian Mercenary Army"


Neil Hauer schreibt, dass der rasante Aufstieg des privaten Sicherheits- und Militärunternehmens Wagner Group nach einem unerlaubten Angriff auf einen US-Posten im Nordosten Syriens im vergangenen Februar durch Präsident Putin abrupt beendet worden sei. Russische Söldnerfirmen seien allerdings weiterhin aktiv und könnten bald zu einem Sicherheitsrisiko für Moskau werden. "Wagner may have been weakened, but its most important legacy is that it ever existed. In a Russia bereft of any legal constraints that could regulate and limit the scope of private military firms, where elite infighting is only growing, there now exists a precedent for a thousands-strong private army ultimately answerable only to whichever man leads it, even if that individual holds the innocent-sounding moniker of 'chef.' Firms such as Vega, Shield, and Patriot are currently a pale echo of what Wagner was at the height of its power in early 2018, but they have a shining example of what they could one day become. What remains of Wagner’s service members are now largely acting as glorified bodyguards and mall cops. But its successors will likely set their sights much higher — and in a less stable post-Putin future, that could pose a threat to Russian, and global, security."

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"The Coming Crime Wars"


Robert Muggah und John P. Sullivan erwarten, dass viele der künftigen militärischen Konflikte unter Beteiligung von Drogenkartellen, Mafia-Gangs oder Terroristen ablaufen werden. Dieser "Cocktail" aus Kriminalität, Extremismus und Rebellion sei in vielen Krisenregionen der Welt bereits heute verbreitet. Diplomaten, Militärplaner und Hilfsorganisationen suchten derzeit nach einer angemessenen Gegenstrategie. "The problem, it seems, is that while the insecurity generated by these new wars is real, there is still no common lexicon or legal framework for dealing with them. Situated at the intersection of organized crime and outright war, they raise tricky legal, operational, and ethical questions about how to intervene, who should be involved, and the requisite safeguards to protect civilians. (...) Today’s crime wars hark back to a pre-Westphalian era of perpetual conflict involving feudal kingdoms and marauding bandits. This partly explains why the norms developed to regulate armed conflict between modern states don’t really apply."

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"This Is the Moment That Decides the Future of the Middle East"


Die Reaktion der US-Regierung auf den Beschuss saudi-arabischer Ölanlagen könnte die Nahostpolitik der USA für Jahre prägen, schreibt Steven A. Cook vom Council on Foreign Relations. "It is not just at moments of crisis that the United States has sought to ensure that the oil spigot remains open. Its entire approach to the region, from routine business of diplomacy to high-stakes affairs such as maintaining 'dual containment' and even negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been geared toward making it safe for tankers to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. (...) Of course, no policy is risk-free and the dangers of a wider regional conflict are everywhere, but the Iranians (if they were behind the attacks) are testing the entire rationale for U.S. investment in the Middle East over the last 70 years. If Trump does not respond militarily, the United States should just pack up and go home."

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"How to Keep the Colombian Peace Deal Alive"


Obwohl einige führende Farc-Rebellen den bewaffneten Kampf gegen die Regierung in Kolumbien wieder aufnehmen wollen, glaubt Megan Janetsky, dass das Friedensabkommen noch gerettet werden könne. Hierfür sei allerdings entscheidend, dass die Regierung damit beginnt, wichtige Teile des Abkommens umzusetzen. "Nearly one-third of the accord’s 578 provisions have not been implemented at all, and the implementation of another third has barely begun, according to an April report by the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. In particular, the government has failed to move quickly on rural development and effectively reintegrating former rank-and-file FARC members, as well as addressing a pattern of hundreds of targeted killings of social and community leaders since 2016. Those failures represent 'death by a thousand cuts' to the peace in Colombia, according to Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America. (...) With all eyes on the Colombian government, the coming months will determine both if Duque’s words and actions will escalate or defuse the situation and how many guerrillas may follow the lead of Márquez and other rebels, said [Ariel Ávila, the deputy director of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, a Colombian research group]."

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"When Everything Is a Human Right, Nothing Is"


Seth Kaplan hält es für falsch, Forderungen nach einem freien Zugang zum Internet oder kostenloser Arbeitsberatung als Kampf zur Durchsetzung universaler Menschenrechte zu definieren. In vielen nichtwestlichen Ländern wirke das Wort "Menschenrechte" dadurch wie ein Kampfbegriff zur Durchsetzung westlicher Normen. "If advocates for human rights wish to overcome the current challenges, they would do well to learn from the course of the human rights project from ideal to reality in the wake of World War II. The framers of the Universal Declaration learned that the best way to build a system of rights with a strong claim to legitimacy across different cultures and ideologies was to stick to basics. Today, only a modest and flexible approach can restore the moral authority that gave the universal human rights idea its greatest successes. (...) The human rights field’s ambitions not only have produced unnecessary clashes over human rights, but they have also diminished the core rights that were meant to, above all else, uphold human dignity. (...) Ultimately, a culture of human rights can only be built from the bottom up. Focusing on the gravest violations of human dignity while understanding that other rights can be protected in a legitimate variety of ways is the best way to achieve this."

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"Europe Is Ready for Its Own Army"


Eine Wiederwahl des US-Präsidenten im kommenden Jahr könnte in Europa den Eindruck erhärten, dass sich die USA tatsächlich dauerhaft von ihrer jahrzehntelang geltenden globalen Bündnisstrategie verabschiedet haben, schreibt Azeem Ibrahim vom U.S. Army War College. Dies könnte der Idee einer eigenständigen europäischen Armee seiner Ansicht nach zum entscheidenden Durchbruch verhelfen. "Some quarters of Europe, most prominently in French defense circles, have long aspired to a continental military force powerful enough to grant Europe a degree of autonomy in global affairs proportionate to its population and level of economic development. (...) So it should not be surprising that France has been the first to call for the formation of a European army. What is new, is that most other Western European countries agree, and most significantly that Germany agrees. (...) With the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the formation of a European army would no longer be vetoed by the U.K. So that does increase the likelihood that efforts in this area will be successful. But the U.K. is hardly the only country in Europe which jealously guards its nominal national sovereignty. Poland and Hungary are quite likely to seek to block this initiative unless they have cast-iron vetoes on operational matters. Italy may soon join the chorus of skeptics. But if done this way, the European army will be a largely meaningless project."

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"The World Is Reaping the Chaos the British Empire Sowed"


Amy Hawkins betrachtet die aktuellen Konflikte in Hong Kong und Kaschmir auch als Spätfolgen des "Chaos", das die Briten beim Rückzug aus ihren ehemaligen Kolonialgebieten hinterlassen hätten. "Today, the fallout from Britain’s absent-minded imperial management is making itself clear. Since India is often hailed as Asia’s great democratic success, one might hope its treatment of minority groups would be different from China, whose government does not allow for dissenting views. But recent events in Kashmir are strikingly similar to Chinese policies that seek to homogenize autonomous regions into a Beijing-defined image of China. (...) It is not solely Britain’s fault that two of its former colonies are embroiled in battles over their identity. Kashmir has been plagued by decades of sectarian fighting, and the terms of the Hong Kong handover were supposed to guarantee the region’s rights until 2047. Nor is it clear how Britain could directly help ameliorate these situations today; China routinely portrays any opposition in its realm as a manifestation of foreign interference. Similarly, India has always insisted that Kashmir must be an internal issue. But Britain could do more to recognize its contribution to the discontent of millions of people who have never had a say in their own government."

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"A Mysterious Explosion Took Place in Russia. What Really Happened?"


Jeffrey Lewis vom James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies am Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey hat die Umstände des mutmaßlichen Unfalls auf einem russischen Raketen-Testgelände in Severodvinsk sorgfältig untersucht und erläutert in diesem Beitrag anhand von Satellitenbildern, was geschehen sein könnte. Sollte es tatsächlich zu einem neuen atomaren Wettrüsten zwischen den USA und Russland kommen, wäre die Katastrophe wohl nur die erste von vielen weiteren, so seine Warnung. "When we think about the dangers of the arms race, we think about the possibility of a civilization-ending cataclysm. But even though the Cold War didn’t end in wide-scale catastrophe, it still resulted in a series of small-scale catastrophes for many of the people who lived it. Ask environmentalists in Russia about the costs of the nuclear arms race or the people who live near Rocky Flats, Hanford, or countless other sites in the United States. Sometimes we are so focused on the horrific things that we narrowly avoided during the Cold War that we forget all the horrific things that actually did happen. The sorts of things that often happen, as Rosatom noted so coldly, 'when testing new technologies.'"

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"Iran Owns the Persian Gulf Now"


Steven A. Cook vom Council on Foreign Relations wirft der US-Regierung vor, mit ihrer passiven Reaktion auf die iranische "Aggression" im Persischen Golf den strategischen Rückzug der USA aus der Region angekündigt zu haben. "The United States is leaving the Persian Gulf. Not this year or next, but there is no doubt that the United States is on its way out. Aside from the president’s tweet, the best evidence of the coming American departure from the region is Washington’s inaction in the face of Iran’s provocations. (...) Trump has begun operationalizing something that former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and other U.S. officials have articulated in various ways over the last 15 years: The United States is now energy independent, and the Persian Gulf is no longer as important as it once was. That may not be entirely accurate, but Trump doesn’t care. He wants to leave the Middle East, the United States doesn’t need the oil, and the Persian Gulf is someone else’s problem. That message is inviting the IRGC to prey on more tankers."

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"Europe Is Back"


Max Bergmann vom Center for American Progress glaubt, dass die EU auf dem Weg zu einer ernstzunehmenden geopolitischen Macht sei, die von den USA nicht mehr wie bisher ignoriert werden könne. "(...) the EU isn’t going anywhere. It has survived the global economic crash, the rise of far-right populists, and Brexit, which far from signaling the beginning of the end, as many observers on both sides of the Atlantic feared, has served as a deterrent to any other country thinking about leaving. The EU is driving Europe’s future, yet Washington has barely noticed. (...) Europe has radically transformed since the 1990s, when Washington was last consumed with its future. The EU now has all the trappings of a state: an executive, a government, a central bank, a parliament, and a capital. And it is increasingly acting like one. This gradual shift has also seen the EU slowly but surely carve out a presence in world affairs. (...) The American right will inevitably balk at such an effort, seeing the European Union as a potential counterbalancing force to the United States. They aren’t wrong to fret. A stronger EU will push back against many policies the American right supports, such as withdrawing from the Iran deal, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, or, previously, invading Iraq. And the world, and the liberal global order, will be a better place for it."

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"F-35 Sales Are America’s Belt and Road"


Mit dem internationalen Verkauf von F-35-Kampfflugzeugen verfolgten die USA ähnliche strategische Ziele wie China mit dem Infrastrukturprojekt der Neuen Seidenstraße, schreiben Jonathan D. Caverley, Ethan B. Kapstein und Srdjan Vucetic. Aktuell versuche Washington im Streit um die russischen S-400-Raketen, Ankara mit Hilfe des F-35-Programms unter Druck zu setzen. "China has been criticized for using Belt and Road-related debt coercively, for example by taking over a Sri Lankan port lease for 99 years after the country failed to repay a loan. And China’s Defense Minister recently confirmed that the initiative has a military component. But the F-35 program goes far further. It makes a state’s very security reliant on the United States for decades — and Washington uses that leverage. In 2005, it suspended Israel’s access to the program in retaliation for Israel selling drone parts to China. Israel quickly stopped those sales. Turkey is even more dependent on the F-35 network, because its own aviation industry supplies a number of F-35 components. It would face major losses if the United States cut Turkey off for good. (...) Erdogan will thus pay a high cost if he crosses the United States and persists in his purchase of Russian weaponry."

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"Billionaires Can't Buy World Peace"


James Traub beurteilt die Gründung eines neuen sicherheitspolitischen Think-Tanks durch George Soros und Charles Koch kritisch. Die beiden US-Milliardäre strebten das Ende der interventionistischen US-Außenpolitik an, ohne die Motivation liberaler Interventionisten wie Barack Obama und Hillary Clinton zu verstehen, so sein Vorwurf. "There is a natural affinity between left-wing critics who regard American power as malevolent and realists who eschew moralism of both the left and right but view democracy promotion, nation building, and other liberal vocations as a gross dissipation of national energies and a project doomed to fail. (...) To thinkers on the left like Bacevich and Wertheim and to realists like Walt and Michael Mandelbaum, the difference between liberals and neoconservatives — between, say, John Kerry and Paul Wolfowitz — is no more than tactical. (...) Liberals recognize the need to continue searching for areas of cooperation like climate change but do not fool themselves about the motives of other great powers. Similarly, one can be horrified by Trump’s decision to unilaterally abrogate the nuclear deal with Iran without fooling yourself about the danger of Tehran’s decision to blow through caps on uranium enrichment. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the lesser-footprint crowd is rearranging the world’s problems in order to fit their doctrine."

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"Britain, France Agree to Send Additional Troops to Syria"


Während Deutschland der Anfrage der USA nach Bodentruppen in Syrien eine Absage erteilt hat, wollen Großbritannien und Frankreich der amerikanischen Bitte Lara Seligman zufolge nachkommen und den Abzug der US-Truppen durch eine Erhöhung der eigenen Truppenkontingente vor Ort teilweise ausgleichen. "Britain and France, the only other U.S. partners that still have ground forces in Syria, will commit to a marginal 10 to 15 percent troop increase, a U.S. administration official confirmed. Other countries may send small numbers of troops as well, but in exchange the United States would have to pay, the official said. (...) In addition to Britain and France, Italy is close to a decision on whether or not to send additional forces, and a number of Balkan and Baltic states are 'almost certain to send handfuls of soldiers each,' according to a separate source with knowledge of the discussions. (...) While it is a success for the administration, the marginal increase of U.K. and French troops likely won’t completely fill the gap left when U.S. forces leave. The U.S. footprint in Syria is expected to drop from an estimated 2,000 troops to just 400; the exact number of British and French forces in the country is unknown, but the second source estimated each country currently has just 200 to 300 troops there."

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"Iran Isn’t Trying to Build a Bomb Tomorrow. It Wants Sanctions Relief."


Gérard Araud und Ali Vaez betrachten Irans Überschreitung der im Atomabkommen vereinbarten Obergrenze für niedrig angereichertes Uran nicht als bloße Provokation, sondern als kalkulierten Versuch, die Europäer unter Druck zu setzen und das Abkommen doch noch zu retten. "Iran’s violation of one of its less consequential commitments under the deal should be seen for what it is: a calibrated response to compel the remaining deal signatories (Europe, Russia, and China) to counter the U.S. 'maximum pressure through sanctions' campaign, just as was its downing of an unmanned drone. But it also should be seen as a warning shot, a signal that should economic pressure remain, Tehran is likely to up the ante and accelerate its nuclear program. Iran’s logic seems straightforward: If its leaders ever agree to negotiate with an administration that is holding a gun to their heads, they will do so only after first having restored their leverage by partially resuscitating its nuclear program. In short, the risky gambit implies any path to negotiations risks passing through another perilous nuclear standoff."

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"You Can’t Defeat Nationalism, So Stop Trying"


Politikwissenschaftler Stephen Walt ist sicher, dass nationale Gemeinschaften auch künftig eine prägende Rolle in der internationalen Politik spielen werden. Dies werde sowohl positive als auch negative Effekte haben, könne aber nicht einfach weggewünscht werden. "The challenge, therefore, is to acknowledge its value and limit its vices. That is, of course, easier said than done. At the very least, its power and persistence needs to be recognized and respected. Among other things, a healthy respect for nationalism’s power would discourage powerful states from thinking they can remake the world according to their own particular designs, and help us avoid the hubristic fantasies that have caused so much harm in recent years. We live in a world of bristling nationalisms, that’s not going to change anytime soon, and acknowledging that is a good basis on which to construct a more realistic foreign policy."

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"Playacting the Cold War in Kosovo"


Alexander Clapp berichtet in seiner Reportage aus Mitrovica über die verbreitete Korruption und Kriminalität im Norden Kosovos. Albaner und Serben drücken ihre gegenseitige Ablehnung demnach auch mit Symbolen des Kalten Krieges aus. "Mitrovica was once a war zone, but like the new Cold War, it is now a theater, festering with electoral stunts and international meddling and media intrigue. And like the new Cold War, the city offers a distraction — one so convenient for its various political actors that if it didn’t exist, they would have to make it up. (...) Mitrovica is itself a divided city. On the south bank of the Ibar River, the Albanians use euros. American flags line the streets. There is a KFC and a hulking mosque and a maze of relief organizations. On the north of the Ibar, which you reach by a bridge blockaded at both ends by dark blue Italian Carabinieri armored vehicles, signs shift to Cyrillic. The Serbs use dinars. The city becomes visibly more bedraggled. Shabby streets are packed with internet gambling joints bearing blacked-out windows. Russian flags hang from banners. Posters of Putin are plastered across apartment buildings. 'Crimea is to Russia as Kosovo is to Serbia,' reads a great chalk sketch."

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"'Game of Thrones,' War Crimes, and the American Conscience"


Charli Carpenter und Alexander H. Montgomery betrachten die heftige Reaktion vieler Fans der TV-Serie "Game of Thrones" auf den gezielten Drachenangriff gegen Zivilisten als ermutigendes Zeichen. "(...) the underlying reason for the outcry went unspoken: The deliberate targeting of civilians from the air, using incendiary weapons that are impossible to escape, is rightly recognized by Americans as a terrible crime — something good actors just don’t do. Although it seems obvious that Americans would oppose such war crimes, it was not a historical inevitability. After all, the United States perpetrated some of the most horrifying episodes of aerial firebombing in history and largely with public support. (...) Like survey experiments, pop culture — and audiences’ reaction to it — can be a window into a society’s values. What Game of Thrones has revealed more clearly than any survey is that most Americans care more about fighting wars justly than some political scientists would have us believe. Most of all, Americans care about following the laws of war: Survey experiments show opposition to torture and civilian targeting increase the more information participants are given about international law."

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"The Balkan Wars Created a Generation of Christian Terrorists"


Azeem Ibrahim und Hikmet Karcic halten die Balkan-Kriege der 1990er Jahre für eine wichtige Brutstätte radikalisierter Rechtsextremisten im heutigen Europa. "The Muslim side of this story is well known. Bosnian Muslim militias were joined by thousands of foreign volunteers. (...) The fighting skills developed by the foreign volunteers in the war, the contacts forged with others from across the world, and the radicalization of the fire of battle laid the foundations of entire networks of Islamist extremist violence with which the world contends to this day. These developments, however, were not unique to the Muslim side in the conflict. Thousands of volunteers from across Europe also joined the Orthodox Christian Bosnian Serb Army and the Catholic Bosnian Croat army. The Croat side in particular attracted many neo-Nazis from across the continent during this period. (...) Just as with the Muslim volunteers, the Christian veterans returned to their home countries after the war, radicalized and ready for new action. At least some of these veterans became the core of new right-wing militias that would over time morph into potent political forces."

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"In Africa, All Jihad Is Local"


Nach Ansicht von Hilary Matfess sollte vermieden werden, radikalislamische Gruppen in Afrika vorschnell als Verbündete des "Islamischen Staates" einzustufen. "Analysis that characterizes local groups primarily as subsidiaries (or potential subsidiaries) of a global jihadi movement fundamentally misrepresents their nature. This sort of analysis is not merely a distortion of the armed groups’ activities — it also has tangible and dangerous policy implications. Overemphasizing the role of transnational jihadi ideology in African rebellions will lead to ineffective counterinsurgency strategy, in part by enabling the kind of government abuses that have previously driven recruitment into armed groups. (...) The label 'Islamic State affiliate' comes with significant implications. At the country level, it could embolden heads of state to adopt more of the very security tactics that contributed to the insurgencies to begin with. In sub-Saharan Africa as elsewhere, anti-terrorism proclamations have been used as excuses to clamp down on the freedom of press and to punish government critics. (...) analysis that prioritizes linkages with the Islamic State over other relevant factors is likely to lead to ineffective government responses at the domestic and international level. Responding to the threats posed by these groups requires confronting the political and economic marginalization and the government abuse that drives these groups to take up arms in the first place."

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"The New Space Race"


Angesichts der Rivalität zwischen den USA, China und Russland will das Pentagon Lara Seligman zufolge neue Anstrengungen unternehmen, um eigene Raketenantriebe zu entwickeln. Seit fast 20 Jahren griffen die USA bei Weltraumstarts auf die russischen Triebwerke RD-180 zurück. "The U.S. government now increasingly views Moscow as a source of instability worldwide and the U.S. military’s reliance on the RD-180 for access to space as a liability. The Pentagon is caught in the middle as operations in space become increasingly critical to the United States’ ability to wage war. (...) Part of the U.S. offensive is ending all use of the Russian engine, which powers the workhorse Atlas 5 rocket, manufactured by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The Defense Department is racing toward a congressionally mandated deadline of December 2022 to fly the first all-American rocket, powered by domestically produced engines, for U.S. national security space launches. (...) Four companies are vying for two available contracts: ULA, the longtime defense contractor Northrop Grumman, and two relative newcomers that have shaken up the industry, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. For the industry players, the stakes are astronomical. The two winners would get 25 launches, which at $100 million to $150 million a pop could add up to $3.8 billion, estimated Todd Harrison, the director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies."

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"Erdogan Just Committed Political Suicide"


Präsident Erdogan könnte mit seiner Entscheidung zur Annullierung des Kommunalwahlergebnisses in Istanbul "politischen Selbstmord" begangen haben, meint Henri J. Barkey vom Wilson Center. "Erdogan risks a tremendous backlash from an electorate that will deem the action as unfair and may deliver him another humiliating defeat despite the fact that he and his party will mobilize to cheat and effectively try to guarantee success à la 2017. Even if he wins, it will be a Pyrrhic victory; it will be viewed by a very large segment of the population as an illegitimate and tarnished result. He will also have created a formidable and popular new opponent in Imamoglu, who had already captured the imagination of large numbers of citizens. Imamoglu will likely parlay his victim status to the national leadership of his party. (...) The unintended consequence of the Istanbul elections will be the slow but steady evolution of new forms of opposition to the regime. (...) If people lose faith in elections, they will resort to alternative forms of opposition. A regime, especially one still ensconced in Western institutions, that provides no avenues for real dissent amid worsening economic conditions will eventually give rise to an uprising. When the Turkish Spring arrives, Erdogan will only have himself to blame."

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"With Trump’s Talks Faltering, Putin Wants In on the North Korea Game"


Robbie Gramer meint angesichts des geplanten Treffens zwischen Wladimir Putin und Kim Jong Un, dass Präsident Putin die stockenden Verhandlungen der USA mit Nordkorea offenbar nutzen wolle, um Russland erneut als "diplomatisches Machtzentrum" zu präsentieren. "'Russia doesn’t want to be sidelined in any North Korean negotiations — it wants to be a player,' said Jung Pak, a scholar on North Korea at the Brookings Institution and former senior CIA analyst. (...) Russia plays a secondary role to China in helping prop up Kim’s regime through limited shipments of food aid and hosting thousands of North Korean laborers, who in turn send funds back to the cash-strapped government in Pyongyang. Pak doesn’t expect a Putin-Kim meeting to lead to any major shifts in ongoing nuclear negotiations. 'Russia is not a driver of what happens in Northeast Asia. The Russians generally follow the Chinese line,' she said. 'They’re not going to contradict each other, they’re not going to go out of their way to do something dramatic.'"

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"Nostalgia Is a National Security Threat"


Micah Zenko meint, dass die US-Außenpolitik von einer gefährlichen Nostalgie geprägt sei. Die Idealisierung einer vermeintlich stabilen Vergangenheit habe dazu geführt, dass aktuelle Krisen und Bedrohungen regelmäßig überschätzt werden. "The practical consequences of misremembering a supposedly stable global past, and misrepresenting the allegedly threatening present (and future), are many. The first is the habitual practice of foreign threat inflation, which we detail exhaustively in our new book, that results in over-reactionary policies best represented by the staggering $4 trillion spent overseas in post-9/11 wars. Second, and relatedly, perpetual threat escalation leads to disproportionately spending finite taxpayer resources on the military, as there is nothing more responsive to counter purported threats than troop deployments or uses of force. Third, it enables a strategic misdiagnosis about what actually threatens the American people — threats that are almost exclusively domestic, including guns, drugs, and noncommunicable diseases — and where to apportion the greatest attention and resources to mitigate and prevent such threats. Fourth, and most importantly, when leaders believe the world is only getting worse and worse, it reduces America’s sense of agency and urgency to use its vast wealth and influence to improve things, both within the United States and abroad."

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"Congress Is Finally Done With the War in Yemen"


Die Bestätigung der Resolution des US-Senats zur Beendigung der amerikanischen Kriegsbeteiligung in Jemen im Repräsentantenhaus kann nach Ansicht von Robbie Gramer und Amy Mackinnon als historisch betrachtet werden. "It marks the first time in history that legislation invoking the 1970s-era War Powers Resolution, aimed at reasserting Congress’s role in U.S. wars abroad, passed both the House and Senate. It now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk, where most officials expect the president to veto the measure. (...) The Trump administration has strongly pushed back on congressional efforts to curb its involvement in the conflict, which includes arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition as well as intelligence and surveillance support. It argues that the civilian death toll from Saudi airstrikes would be much higher without U.S. input and precision-guided munitions, and that the United States cannot ignore the threat from terrorist groups and Iran’s influence in the country. 'If you truly care about Yemeni lives, you’d support the Saudi-led effort to prevent Yemen from turning into a puppet state of the corrupt, brutish Islamic Republic of Iran,' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in March, addressing lawmakers who opposed U.S. involvement in the war."

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"5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows"


Die globale sicherheitspolitische Entwicklung in den kommenden Jahrzehnten wird nach Ansicht des Politikwissenschaftlers Stephen Walt von fünf Fragen geprägt werden. "China’s future trajectory. There are few subjects of greater importance to the state of the world than China’s future course. Whether China keeps rising rapidly, slows, stalls, or retreats will have far-reaching effects on the global balance of power, on relations throughout Eurasia, the rate and extent of climate change, and a host of other issues. (...) How good are America’s cybercapabilities? (...) What’s going to happen to the EU? (...) How many states will go nuclear in the next 20 years? (...) Who will win the debate on U.S. grand strategy? (...) There are powerful structural forces pushing toward a more restrained foreign policy, including the perceived need to focus more on China (see #1 above), the growing desire to escape the various Middle East quagmires, and the expanding divide between the United States and Europe, but there’s going to be lots of pushback, too. Defenders of liberal hegemony are still well-placed and well-funded in Washington, and there’s no shortage of pundits and politicos who are eager to defend the mantra of the 'indispensable nation.'"

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"Scandinavia Won’t Be Russia’s Next Target"


Der Militärexperte Jyri Raitasalo von der Finnish National Defence Univerisity (FNDU) hält es trotz einer entsprechenden Warnung des früheren georgischen Präsidenten Micheil Saakaschwili für ausgeschlossen, dass Russland Finnland oder Schweden angreifen könnte. "Fortunately for Finland and Sweden, Saakashvili’s argument is based more on threat inflation, Russia hype, and bad analysis than it is on a realistic understanding of interstate relations in Northern Europe today. (...) First, starting a war is always a potential avenue for future catastrophe. Looking at the costs of Russia’s incursions in the Crimean peninsula and Eastern Ukraine since 2014, they are very high — and rising. Today, Russia faces increasing economic sanctions and political isolation. If anything, Russia’s self-described success in Ukraine was a Pyrrhic victory. Second, even though relations between Russia and the West are strained, there is quite a lot of day-to-day cooperation. This state of affairs reflects the fact that Western states — or Europe as a whole — cannot be secure without some sort of a long-term diplomatic understanding with Russia. Both sides recognize this. (...) Finally, Finland and Sweden take their territorial defense commitments very seriously. (...) even the biggest bear will not eat a porcupine. Georgia did lose part of its territory to Russia in 2008, when Saakashvili was president of Georgia. There is much to learn from that experience, but it does not suggest that Russia will start a war against Sweden or Finland, as Saakashvili contends, in order to boost Putin’s popularity."

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"The Netherlands’ Luck Is Running Out"


Robin Simcox schreibt, dass die Niederlande lange Zeit von katastrophalen radikalislamischen Angriffen wie in London, Madrid und Paris verschont geblieben seien. Mit dem Terroranschlag von Utrecht und dem Ende des IS-Kalifats in Syrien könnte sich dies ändern, so seine Befürchtung. "For example, the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) in the Netherlands has described the country’s security situation as 'unsettled.' Further, at least five terrorist plots targeted the Netherlands just last year. That is as many as were focused on the United Kingdom and more than on Belgium and Germany — all frequent terrorist marks. (...) The Netherlands’ future looks no safer. Approximately 300 people left the country to fight alongside the Islamic State in Syria. About 50 were killed in combat and over 100 are still there. Some have managed to make it back to the Netherlands, where security services may monitor their movements or, if available evidence allows, prosecute and jail them. (...) the threat to the Netherlands is likely to endure. After all, the various factors that led individuals down the path to radicalism are still in place. Islamists continue to recruit based on their violent interpretation of faith, attempt to push the narrative of a Western war on Islam, and castigate the Netherlands for its liberal policies on issues such as gay rights."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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