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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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"Syria’s Civil War Is Now 3 Civil Wars"

Ein Sturz des syrischen Präsidenten Assad ist Jonathan Spyer zufolge zwar kein Thema mehr, der Krieg um die künftigen Grenzen Syriens werde allerdings bis auf weiteres an drei Fronten weitergehen. "In place of the old wars (...) three new ones have started. They are taking place in the three de facto independent areas whose boundaries are becoming apparent as the smoke from the previous battle clears: the regime-controlled area, guaranteed by Russia; the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily composed of Kurdish fighters protected by the United States and Western air power; and finally the area controlled by the Turks and their Sunni Islamist allies in Idlib province. The regime area consists of about 60 percent of the territory of the country, the SDF has around 30 percent, and the Turkish-Sunni Islamist area is around 10 percent. Each of these areas is now hosting a civil war of its own, supported by neighboring enclaves. (...) As the Islamic State’s caliphate disappears from Syria’s map, the country is settling into a twilight reality of de facto division, in which a variety of low-burning insurgencies continue to claim lives. Open warfare in Syria is largely over. Peace, however, will remain a distant hope."

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"America’s Polarization Is a Foreign Policy Problem, Too"

Das Ausmaß der innenpolitischen Polarisierung in den USA gefährde mittlerweile die außenpolitische Handlungsfähigkeit des Landes, stellt Stephen Walt fest. "Unfortunately, one negative impact of excessive polarization is a decreased ability to do the things that can keep the country on top for a long time. If polarization prevents the federal government from taking effective action on climate change, decaying infrastructure, the opioid epidemic, primary education, financial regulation, the deficit, or any number of other problems, America’s long-term position of power could erode and leave the country less able to handle future foreign-policy challenges. (...) On balance, U.S. foreign policy would be better served if Congress provided a forum for genuine debate — in part to better inform the public — and if it performed effective oversight over many aspects of the country’s foreign policy. But a Congress divided into warring factions, that uses its powers not to debate, oversee, and refine U.S. policy, but rather to grandstand, distract, and advance a purely partisan agenda, is hardly an institution that is likely to have a positive impact on U.S. foreign policy."

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"Europe Doesn’t Even Agree on Assad Anymore"

In der EU gebe es immer mehr Stimmen, die sich für eine Neubewertung des Verhältnisses zum syrischen Präsidenten Assad aussprechen, berichtet Anchal Vohra. "Italy is emerging as the most vocal backer of Assad and opponent of sanctions against Syrian entities, at least behind closed doors. On the condition of anonymity, a diplomat from Southern Europe told FP that Italy was 're-evaluating its position.' He said: 'If you want the refugees to leave, if you want to stop the second wave of refugees, if you want to end the suffering of the internally displaced, if you want to tackle ISIS in Europe — and they are there — then you need to deal with the Syrian government.' 'The solution is on the table,' he added. 'The solution is Assad.' (...) Experts say there is still a presumption that EU member states, even in foreign-policy matters, are under pressure to operate through consensus. Over time, however, Italy is likely to secure more supporters for change. Already, Poland, Austria, and Hungary are believed to sympathize with the idea of re-engaging with Syrian authorities."

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"Europe Isn’t Realistic. It’s Weak."

Der Historiker Adam Tooze hält die Kooperation der EU mit autoritären Regierungen im Nahen Osten und in Afrika nicht für Realpolitik, sondern für ein Zeichen der Schwäche. "What forces the EU to seek a constructive dialogue with the Arab League is its failure to address the problem of migration at home in Europe. (...) Talk of realism all too easily becomes an excuse for failing to explore options and avenues for action. It is one thing to be realistic about needing to work with China on climate change. There is no alternative. It is a different matter altogether to insist that you have to deal with Sisi and his ilk because Europe cannot deal with the migration problem. That is Europe’s choice. It is not realism so much as a humiliating failure of democratic governance."

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"Are India and Pakistan on the Verge of a Water War?"

Die indische Regierung hat damit gedroht, Pakistan in Reaktion auf den Terroranschlag in Kaschmir am 14. Februar teilweise von der Wasserversorgung durch den Ravi-Fluss abzuschneiden. Keith Johnson hat sich mit dem Asienexperten Sunil Amrith über die Hintergründe und die politische Bedeutung der Wasserverteilung in der Region unterhalten. "Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. One recent estimate suggests that Pakistan will face a shortage of 31 million acre-feet of water by 2025. (...) Having said this, I am always reluctant to draw too direct a line between water scarcity and political conflict — either across or within borders. Conflicts over water are inextricably bound up with politics at every level from the local to the regional. The specter of 'water wars' is a blunt tool with which to capture the unpredictability of struggles over water. The existential importance of water might defuse conflict as much as competing attempts to control water will deepen it."

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"All This Should Remind You of the Run-Up to the Iraq War"

Steven A. Cook vom Council on Foreign Relations fühlt sich durch die Iran-Rhetorik der Trump-Regierung an die Vorbereitung des Irak-Krieges durch die Bush-Administration erinnert. "The one big difference between 2019 and 2002 is the determination among Democrats not to make the same mistakes they made 17 years ago when they allowed the Bush administration to frame the terms of the debate that paved the way for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Though many members of Congress are concerned about Iran, Democrats in particular are not going to support another preventive war in the Middle East. This might change if there is some type of provocation in the region, but at the moment, the Iranians do not seem willing to take that step. Still, the prospects of getting into a conflict with Iran seem greater than they were even six months ago. As hard-liners drive U.S. policy with bellicose rhetoric, the Trump administration is the wild card, not Iran."

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"China Couldn’t Dominate Asia if It Wanted to"

China strebe mit seiner militärischen Aufrüstung und dem Projekt der Neuen Seidenstraße keineswegs eine Dominanz Asiens an, da Peking den multipolaren Charakter der sicherheitspolitischen Lage in der Region sehr genau erkannt habe, meint der Strategieexperte Parag Khanna. "(...) commentators who portray China as having a thousand-year vision and presume an unwavering path to its achievement both overstate China’s wisdom and underestimate that of its neighbors, who have thousands of years of historical engagement with China. China today seems an unstoppable force — but Asia is full of immovable objects in the form of civilizational states such as Russia, Iran, and India, whose ancient histories allow them to stand up to China whenever it suits their interest to do so. (...) This is a reminder that even with all of China’s investments in military modernization, there it is little reason to believe it will purchase any more political leverage beyond its immediate periphery than America’s mighty forces have in Iraq and Afghanistan. (...) The more the Belt and Road Initiative becomes a multilateral exercise, the more it connects not just Asian countries to China but also all Asians to each other. From Russia and Turkey to Iran and Iran to Myanmar and Thailand, the resurrection of multidirectional Silk Roads with no dominant power symbolizes the return of Asia’s past, one characterized by deference, not dominance."

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"The INF Treaty Is Dead. Is New START Next?"

Dem nun auch offiziell vollzogenen Zusammenbruch des INF-Vertrags könnte recht schnell das Ende des START-Vertrags folgen, so die Befürchtung vieler Experten. "Signed in 2011, the strategic arms treaty limits the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and it is due to expire in early 2021 unless Washington and Moscow agree to extend it. Most analysts are in agreement that Russia is adhering to the New START treaty. Some prominent Republican foreign-policy experts, including top Trump aides, have criticized that agreement as one-sided. National Security Advisor John Bolton in a 2010 Wall Street Journal op-ed described the treaty as 'profoundly misguided,' while Trump in February 2017 called it a 'bad deal.' (...) 'Bolton has the same hostility toward New START historically as he had toward all the other international agreements where he has been the primary assassin,' [former career Thomas Countryman] said. 'You have to be concerned he will welcome any excuse not to extend New START, just as he welcomed this reason to kill the INF Treaty.' But other experts and U.S. officials say there’s no point adhering to a treaty Russia ignores. 'If there’s an arms race going on, Russia’s off and running, and we’re sitting on the sidelines playing with our shoelaces,' said Matthew Kroenig, a foreign-policy hawk and an expert on nuclear weapons policy at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank."

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"Everything You Know About Global Order Is Wrong"

Adam Tooze meint, dass westliche Eliten mit ihrer zuletzt in Davos geäußerten Forderung nach einer Neugründung der liberalen Weltordnung verkennen, unter welchen Voraussetzungen die heutige globale Ordnung tatsächlich entstanden sei. "The reality of the liberal order that supposedly came into existence in the postwar moment was the more or less haphazard continuation of wartime controls. It would take until 1958 before the Bretton Woods vision was finally implemented. Even then it was not a “liberal” order by the standard of the gilded age of the 19th century or in the sense that Davos understands it today. (...) By the late 1960s, barely more than 10 years old, Bretton Woods was already in terminal trouble. And when confronted with demands for deflation, U.S. President Richard Nixon reverted to economic nationalism. (...) The truth is that the postwar moment that the Davos crowd truly hankers after is not that of 1945 but the aftermath of the Cold War, the moment of Western triumph. It was finally in 1995 that the Bretton Woods vision of a comprehensive world trade organization was realized. (...) What will resolve the current tension is a power grab by a new stakeholder determined to have its way. And the central question of the current moment is whether the West is ready for that. If not, we should get comfortable with the new disorder."

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"How Trump Stole the Democrats’ Best 2020 Foreign-Policy Stances"

In seiner Vorausschau auf den Präsidentschaftswahlkampf im nächsten Jahr schreibt Michael Hirsh, dass viele demokratische Herausforderer es schwer haben könnten, der Außen- und Handelspolitik Präsident Trumps grundsätzlich andere Konzepte entgegenzusetzen. "(...) if [former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden] is eventually nominated by the Democratic Party to run against Trump in 2020, it’s not going to be all that easy for him to differentiate himself from the incumbent. That’s because Trump has already called, Biden Plan-style, for halving U.S. troops in Afghanistan and is currently negotiating intensively with the Taliban over an American withdrawal — another approach long supported by Biden, who back in 2011 declared controversially that the Taliban 'is not our enemy' and reconciliation was possible. And here’s the problem for the Democrats as the 2020 race begins: Biden, of all the party’s potential nominees, may have the most differences with Trump on foreign policy. Other contenders could well have even more trouble distinguishing themselves from the president, especially if the Democratic Party is prodded by its progressive wing into trade protectionism and the populist arena dominated by Trump since 2016."

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"The Left Keeps Getting Venezuela Wrong"

James Bloodworth kritisiert die anhaltende Unterstützung der "antiimperialistischen" Linken im Westen für die Maduro-Regierung in Venezuela. "(...) much of the Western socialist left has persisted in ignoring the trajectory of Venezuela in order to sustain a fantasy of '21st-century socialism.' It’s reminiscent of the Western apologists for the Soviet Union that Arthur Koestler once compared to peeping Toms 'who watch History’s debauches through a hole in the wall' while not having to experience it themselves. This willingness to stand by a brutal dictator — albeit passively — belies a deeper sickness on the contemporary left. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, few on the left have had much real idea as to what a contemporary socialist economic program would — or should — look like in practice. (...) Much of the Western left, including those who once had only kind words for Chávez and his successors, is treating Venezuela as an embarrassment best brushed under the carpet. Yet what is really frightening are those who, under the guise of anti-imperialism, consistently favor dictators — as long as they mouth anti-American platitudes."

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"Don’t Let Ethiopia Become the Next Yugoslavia"

Florian Bieber und Wondemagegn Tadesse Goshu machen darauf aufmerksam, dass die politische Transformation in Äthiopien in einem Staat mit etwa 100 Millionen Einwohnern und mehr als 80 ethnischen Gruppen stattfindet. Äthiopien gleiche heute in vieler Hinsicht dem früheren Jugoslawien, dessen Transformation nach 1990 in einem "Albtraum" geendet habe. "The Yugoslav scenario is not destined to repeat in Ethiopia, but it offers a cautionary tale: During moments of political liberalization, ethnonational federal systems are particularly combustible. (...) Some differences work in Ethiopia’s favor. First, the units of the Ethiopian federation did not previously exist as separate states. Second, loyalty to the Ethiopian state irrespective of ethnic or national allegiance and identification is strong. (...) Third, the bond among nationalities appears stronger. (...) Finally, separation and secession appear impossible in key cases."

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"30 Years After the Rushdie Fatwa, Europe Is Moving Backward"

Der Gedanke, dass Religionen gesetzlich vor Beleidigungen geschützt werden müssen, scheine in einigen Teilen Europas wieder auf dem Vormarsch zu sein, stellen Jacob Mchangama und Sarah McLaughlin fest. Aus historischer Sicht und im internationalen Kontext sei dies ein klarer Rückschritt. "In a recent case, the European Court of Human Rights even reaffirmed that European human rights law recognizes a right not to have one’s religious feelings hurt. (...) Some have argued that the court’s decision was a necessary defense of an embattled Muslim minority vulnerable to bigotry and religious hatred. But laws against religious insult and blasphemy are generally different from hate speech laws — which are problematic in themselves — that purportedly protect people rather than abstract religious ideas and dogmas. (...) The United Kingdom, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Malta, and Ireland have all abolished blasphemy bans. Still, around 20 percent of European countries formally criminalize either blasphemy or religious insult. Rushdie no longer lives in hiding, but the fatwa still formally remains in force 30 years after it was issued. And while Charlie Hebdo continues to outrage right, left, and center, its continued freedom to do so comes at the price of an annual $1.7 million in security costs. Against this backdrop, there could be no better occasion for European democracies to lay the crime of blasphemy to rest for good."

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"The New Face of Terrorism in 2019"

Vera Mironova erwartet, dass die antiwestliche Terrorbedrohung im Jahr 2019 nicht mehr vorwiegend aus dem Nahen Osten, sondern aus den ehemaligen Republiken der Sowjetunion kommen wird. Um der neuen Gefahr effektiv entgegentreten zu können, sei auch die Kooperation mit Russland nötig. "The threat posed by Middle Eastern terrorists has been shrinking for some time. Even during the war against the Islamic State, Russian speakers from former Soviet countries were already committing many of the major attacks in the West. (...) There are several reasons for the relative increase in anti-Western terrorism coming out of the post-Soviet world. For starters, in recent years Middle Eastern jihadis have been too preoccupied with local conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen to head elsewhere. The pull of the Islamic State, meanwhile, has faded after its almost total defeat in Iraq and Syria. At the same time, the wars in the Middle East have transformed militants from Russian-speaking areas, who previously focused on fighting repressive governments at home, into global terrorists. (...) The United States and its allies need to recognize that future attacks are more likely to come from the East than the Middle East and that there is no other option than to cooperate with Russia and its neighbors to stop them."

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"James Mattis Wasn’t Ready to Serve in a Democracy"

Micah Zenko zieht ein kritisches Fazit der Amtszeit des zurückgetretenen Verteidigungsministers James Mattis. "It is often overlooked that Mattis oversaw a growth in the wars that he inherited from the Obama administration. There was a steady growth in airstrikes in declared warzones (such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan), as well as in non-battlefield settings (Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan). There was also an expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East, from 40,517 troops in mid-2017 to 54,180 by September of that year, according to then-available Pentagon data. Under Mattis the Pentagon also systematically reduced its overall transparency and accountability. (...) for somebody who claimed he was not okay with civilian casualties Mattis tolerated an enormous number of them. The most consequential decision Mattis made in this regard was to push the power to approve airstrikes — target engagement authority — to lower levels of command. (...) Perhaps future presidents and senators — who confirm Pentagon chiefs — should consider whether 42-year military officers can overcome their deep institutional biases and beliefs, and if they are best suited to be the top civilians leading and overseeing the armed forces."

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"Martial Law Is a Test. Will Ukraine’s Democracy Pass?"

Michael Colborne betrachtet die Verhängung des Kriegsrechts in der Ukraine als Test der jungen Demokratie. Vor diesem Hintergrund sei es ermutigend, dass sich das Parlament der Forderung von Präsident Poroschenko nach einer landesweiten 60-tägigen Dauer widersetzt habe. "'Poroshenko’s decision to impose martial law is a surprising action, one which is inadequate in relation to the current threat,' analysts from Centre for Eastern Studies, a think tank in Warsaw, wrote on Monday afternoon (...) After a few tense, sometimes loud hours of speeches and side chats and horse-trading, by late evening Ukraine’s parliamentarians had approved a martial law bill by a vote of 276 to 30. But it was a different one than the one Poroshenko proposed. Martial law will be limited to 30 days instead of 60 — and not affect or delay the election — and will only be in effect in 10 regions of Ukraine that border Russia, Belarus, and Transnistria, the unrecognized breakaway region of Moldova where more than 1,000 Russian troops have been stationed since 1995. 'The Rada,' said Alexander Clarkson, a lecturer at King’s College London, 'did its job as a check on presidential power here.'"

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"Trump’s Iran Sanctions Could Work"

Micha'el Tanchum meint, dass der Iran durchaus in der Lage sein könnte, die neuen US-Sanktionen kurzfristig zu umgehen. Mittel- und langfristig können die Maßnahmen seiner Meinung nach jedoch durchaus die von der US-Regierung gewünschte Wirkung zeigen. "The country is the world’s fifth largest oil producer, but it relies on relatively mature fields for its output. (...) Prior to the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran had not brought a new oil field on stream since 2007. And it is unlikely that Iran will be able to develop new fields now, because it needs foreign investment to do so. (...) In the medium and long term, then, the latest U.S. sanctions could make things very difficult for Iran. As long as Washington can prevent it from obtaining vital enhanced oil recovery technologies, Iran’s economy will become increasingly fragile. The Iranian government’s lack of sufficient oil, gas, and petrochemical revenues to satisfy basic consumer demands while simultaneously financing bloated state and military institutions could induce Tehran to return to the negotiating table."

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Informationsportal Krieg und Frieden

Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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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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