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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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"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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"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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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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