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"5G policy 'biggest strategic disaster in US history'"


Ein Berater des US-Präsidenten hat David P. Goldman zufolge davor gewarnt, dass die USA bei der Weichenstellung für die kommenden 5G-Netzwerke vor dem "größten strategischen Desaster der US-Geschichte" stehen könnten. Der US-Regierung sei es nicht gelungen, China eine prominente Rolle beim globalen 5G-Ausbau zu verwehren. Hinzu kämen eigene Versäumnisse wie eine inkompetente Regulierung und Fehler von US-Unternehmen. "The adviser has urged President Trump to make a radical policy shift to ensure that the United States isn’t late to roll out 5G. The US president hasn’t yet made a decision, the adviser said. The US military controls most of the spectrum that civilian 5G broadband would use, and the major US telecom providers are holding back from a full commitment to 5G, the adviser added. (…) If President Trump backs away from the global campaign against Huawei championed by US intelligence agencies and focuses instead on accelerating America’s own 5G rollout, prospects for an early end to the US-China trade war will improve markedly. China doesn’t like American pressure to reduce the bilateral trade deficit but is willing to buy more US agricultural products and energy to placate a protectionist president. American attempts to stifle Huawei, though, are viewed by China as an existential issue: If the United States can’t accept the fact that China has taken leadership in an important field of technology, the Chinese believe, it means that America wants to stifle China’s development. In that case, China would hunker down for a long-term trade war."

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"Rebuilding Syria – without Syria’s oil"


Pepe Escobar betrachtet das erste Treffen des neuen Verfassungskomitees für Syrien in Genf als hoffnungsvolles Zeichen. Der Erfolg der Verhandlungen hänge allerdings auch von den Entwicklungen vor Ort ab. Aktuell sei dies z.B. ein türkischer Vorstoß gegen die Stadt Tal Tamr, die sich mit 50km Entfernung zur Grenze deutlich außerhalb der von Ankara beanspruchten Sicherheitszone befinde. "Then there’s the nagging issue that simply won’t go away: the American drive to 'secure the oil' (Trump) and 'protect' Syrian oilfields (the Pentagon), for all practical purposes from Syria. (…) All across the Global South, especially among countries in the Non-Aligned Movement, this is being interpreted, stripped to the bone, for what it is: the United States government illegally taking possession of natural resources of a third country via a military occupation. (…) Under international law, the whole 'securing the oil' scam is a euphemism for pillaging, pure and simple. Every single takfiri or jihadi outfit operating across the 'Greater Middle East' will converge, perversely, to the same conclusion: US 'efforts' across the lands of Islam are all about the oil. Now compare that with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution and normalization of Syria – not to mention, behind the scenes, China, which quietly donates rice and aims for widespread investment in a pacified Syria positioned as a key Eastern Mediterranean node of the New Silk Roads."

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"Vladimir Putin, Syria’s pacifier-in-chief"


Nach Ansicht von Pepe Escobar spielen die Pipeline-Pläne Irans, Iraks und Syriens im Hintergrund der aktuellen Ereignisse in Nordsyrien immer noch eine entscheidende Rolle. "As I have argued for years, Syria to a large extent has been a key 'Pipelineistan' war – not only in terms of pipelines inside Syria, and the US preventing Damascus from commercializing its own natural resources, but most of all around the fate of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline which was agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012. This pipeline has, over the years, always been a red line, not only for Washington but also for Doha, Riyadh and Ankara. The situation should dramatically change when the $200 billion-worth of reconstruction in Syria finally takes off after a comprehensive peace deal is in place. It will be fascinating to watch the European Union – after NATO plotted for an 'Assad must go' regime change operation for years – wooing Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus with financial offers for their gas. NATO explicitly supported the Turkish offensive 'Operation Peace Spring.' And we haven’t even seen the ultimate geoeconomic irony yet: NATO member, Turkey, purged of its neo-Ottoman dreams, merrily embracing the Gazprom-supported Iran-Iraq-Syria 'Pipelineistan' road map."

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"Lebanese army prepares to step in as nation revolts"


Alison Tahmizian Meuse zufolge gibt es Anzeichen, die darauf hindeuten, dass die libanesische Armee eine gewaltsame Eskalation der Massenproteste gegen die Regierung verhindern möchte. "The leadership of the Lebanese armed forces was carefully gaging a nationwide protest movement on Tuesday — as ruling political factions scrambled to contain a massive eruption of discontent. A video showing Lebanese soldiers forcefully stopping dozens of motorcyclists – purported supporters of the Shiite party Hezbollah and its ally Amal – from attacking protesters in central Beirut late Monday night, went viral on social media, spreading from mobile phones to the airwaves. (...) The composition of, and support for the Lebanese army, cuts across sectarian lines, and it is seen as a clean institution in comparison to the corrupt political class. It also enjoys the backing of the United States. 'There is little doubt that the [army] may be called upon to act in favor of civil peace again, and decisively,' said Nerguizian. The army is already deeply involved in managing and monitoring the situation, with 'all operational units currently involved in internal stability operations.'"

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"US military pivoting from Mideast"


Christina Lin macht darauf aufmerksam, dass das US-Militär seine Truppenpräsenz zuletzt nicht nur in Syrien, sondern auch in Katar reduziert habe. Sie interpretiert dies als Ausdruck eines Strategiewechsels der USA im Nahen Osten und meint, dass die EU in einer Art Arbeitsteilung die Rolle als neue Ordnungsmacht in der Region übernehmen könnte. "Trans-Atlantic relations would likely evolve into a new division of labor, with the EU assuming more responsibility for its eastern and southern neighborhood, while the US focuses on the Asia-Pacific rim. This is due to increasing divergent interests and a threat-perception gap, which was recently punctuated at the United Nations, where the US and Russia blocked an EU-drafted resolution on NATO member Turkey’s invasion of Syria. (...) And as the US continues to pivot away from the Mideast, one ponders if the stage is set for the EU army, perhaps more so than Iran, Russia or others, to rise up as the new security guarantor for the Euro-Mediterranean region."

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"Hong Kong’s failing revolution"


Der in Peking lebende italienische China-Experte Francesco Sisci erinnert angesichts der revolutionären Forderungen der Protestierenden in Hongkong daran, dass die meisten Revolutionen in der Geschichte gescheitert seien. Der chinesischen Regierung empfiehlt er deshalb Geduld. "From what we can see, the best policy for Beijing is not a crackdown but to let the movement eat itself from within, and thus show to the domestic Chinese public and the world the results of unrestrained 'democratic' demands and wanton violence. We could call it an evolution of the 'Qiao Shi' method. In the face of this 'revolutionary chaos,' Beijing conversely will show restraint and benevolence in not deploying tanks for a bloody crackdown, and yet firmness in not giving in to extremists. (...) Eventually everything could peter out in months or years. In time, this could all play out in favor of the authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing. And perhaps it is right to be so. In a revolution, the government needs only to hold out and keep its nerve; it is the protesters who have to think of ways to score a victory."

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"Erdogan base rejects refugees, pressuring EU pact"


Einer neuen Umfrage zufolge haben mittlerweile 80% aller Türken eine negative Einstellung gegenüber Flüchtlingen aus Syrien. "Once-welcoming attitudes in Turkey toward victims of the eight-year Syrian conflict are worsening daily, creating both a liability and – in the view of some – an opportunity for President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. (...) In Turkey, some 97% of the refugees live within the host population, according to Unicef figures. 'The neighbors gave us spare furniture for the house and helped us get connected to utilities and many other things,' he recalls. Initially, with the Islamist AKP highly supportive of the Syrian opposition and the expectation that victory would be quick and the refugees would return, the government was also welcoming. Yet, as the conflict dragged on and the numbers grew, the refugees became increasingly seen as a burden. 'Ankara says it has spent more than 40 billion Turkish Liras so far on the Syrians,' Berkay Mandiraci, an Ankara-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, told Asia Times. 'Overstretch in terms of public services has contributed to negative public reactions.'"

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"Israeli Iron Dome system needed for Saudi defense"


Stephen Bryen kann sich vorstellen, dass Saudi-Arabien beim künftigen Schutz seiner Ölanlagen gegen Raketenangriffe aus dem Ausland auf das israelische Raketenabwehrsystem "Iron Dome" zurückgreifen könnte. "The Israeli Iron Dome system is the best system for protecting Saudi assets from a similar attack. The US Army bought two Iron Dome batteries from Israel with delivery expected in 2020. Whether Israel could quickly deliver a system to meet the current urgent need is unclear. Right now the US lacks ideal systems to counter cruise missiles and drones. Iron Dome was developed by Rafael in Israel and Raytheon in the United States to deal with the threat of short-range missiles, primarily those being fired by Hamas in the Gaza strip. The system has performed brilliantly against these threats."

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"Saudi oil facility attacks may have come from Iraq"


Stephen Bryen zufolge deutet einiges darauf hin, dass der Angriff auf die beiden saudi-arabischen Ölanlagen durch Iran-treue schiitische Milizen im Irak durchgeführt worden sei. "The leading Iraqi analyst based in the United States is Entifadh Qanbar, President and Founder of the Future Foundation. He previously served as Iraq’s deputy military attaché and as the spokesman and adviser for Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister. He closely follows developments in his home country and has many associates feeding him information that has more than once proved to be accurate. His information about the attack coming from Iraq is backed by prior history and by Pompeo’s clear declaration. As Qanbar knows, this attack would not be the first time Iran has used Iraq to hit Saudi oil facilities. At least one major previous attack was launched by Iraqi militias and the Iranians from Iraqi territory. Last June the Wall Street Journal carried an important report, based on conclusions reached by US officials, that a May 14 drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry originated in southern Iraq."

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"US military in Asia, destroyed in hours: study"


Eine neue Studie des United States Study Center der University of Sydney in Australien ist zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, dass die USA nicht länger die vorherrschende Militärmacht in Asien sei. Das US-Militär wäre demnach im Kriegsfall nicht in der Lage, die regionalen Verbündeten gegen China zu verteidigen. "The report highlights areas where China’s military is making huge strides in comparison to the US and its Asian allies and partners. Chief among those is in missiles. 'China has deployed a formidable array of precision missiles and other counter-intervention systems to undercut America’s military primacy,' the report states. Those missiles number in the thousands, the report said. Almost all US military installations in the Western Pacific, as well as those of its key partners and allies, 'could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict,' according to the report."

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"Turkey to annex northern Syria with US blessing"


Mit der Vereinbarung über die Einrichtung einer "Sicherheitszone" im Norden Syriens hätten die USA der Türkei einen "Sieg" verschafft, um die befürchtete türkische Invasion des Kurdengebiets aufzuhalten, schreibt Alison Tahmizian Meuse. Angesichts vieler ungeklärter Punkte in der Vereinbarung bleibe allerdings fraglich, wie lange ein offener Konflikt aufgehalten werden könne. "The fate of the towns to be included in the Turkish 'peace corridor' will likely mirror that of other regions annexed by Turkey and its allies in the northern countryside of Aleppo. Those areas included the Kurdish-majority town of Afrin and its surrounding villages, seized more than a year ago. The takeover carved out a safe haven for tens of thousands of defeated rebels and their families, while displacing half the local population. Afrin this season shipped its most famed product, olive oil, from its vast orchards to Turkey, whose authorities insist they must prevent the profits from falling into the hands of the ousted PKK. Schools now enforce gender segregation, Turkish flags fly over public buildings and portraits of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hang in shops, according to residents interviewed by Asia Times. The battle for Afrin was relatively quick, as it was isolated from other Kurdish-held areas. But the proposed 'peace corridor' includes hundreds of kilometers of contiguous YPG-held territory."

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"Iran runs rings around Royal Navy"


Die jüngsten Ereignisse im Golf haben nach Ansicht von Alison Tahmizian Meuse bestätigt, dass Großbritannien schon lange nicht mehr in der Lage sei, nach Belieben seine Interessen auf den Weltmeeren zu vertreten. "The raid itself – videotaped and published by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – shows Balaclava-wearing commandos descending on the British tanker by helicopter. The seizure appeared designed to replicate Britain’s impounding of an Iranian tanker earlier this month. Asked on Monday what the United States would do to help retrieve the vessel of its ally, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to wash his hands of the incident. 'The responsibility in the first instance falls to the United Kingdom to care of their ships,' he told Fox and Friends. The UK – in the midst of messy talks to leave the European Union – said on Monday it was looking to its European allies to help secure Persian Gulf shipping. Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional arch-foe, appeared to quickly absorb the severity of the situation, releasing an Iranian oil tanker on Saturday which Tehran for weeks had accused Riyadh of illegally detaining."

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"Sultan shines in the court of the Dragon King"


Mit dem Kauf russischer S-400-Raketenabwehrsysteme und der diplomatischen Reaktion auf den chinesischen Umgang mit den muslimischen Uiguren hat der türkische Präsident Erdogan nach Ansicht von Pepe Escobar klar gemacht, dass er die geopolitische Zukunft der Türkei in enger Partnerschaft mit Russland und China sieht. "Erdogan seems to have finally realized that the New Silk Roads are the 2.0 digital version of the Ancient Silk Roads whose caravans linked the Middle Kingdom, via trade, to multiple lands of Islam – from Indonesia to Turkey and from Iran to Pakistan. (...) The Russia-China strategic partnership – directly involved in linking Belt and Road with the Eurasia Economic Union and also the International North-South Transportation Corridor – considers Turkey and Iran as absolutely indispensable key hubs for the ongoing, multi-layered Eurasia integration process. (...) In conjunction with his success at the court of the Dragon King, Erdogan now feels emboldened enough to offer his services as mediator between Tehran and the Trump administration – picking up on a suggestion he made to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20. Erdogan would not have made that offer if it had not been discussed previously with Russia and China – which, crucially, are member signatories of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA)."

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"US-China tech war and the US intelligence community"


Die US-Geheimdienste fürchten eine chinesische Führungsrolle beim Aufbau der internationalen 5G-Netze nach Ansicht von Spengler vor allem, weil eine großflächige amerikanische Überwachung dieser Netze dann nicht mehr möglich wäre. Dies würde die aktuelle Machtposition der Dienste und nicht zuletzt eine wichtige Finanzierungsgrundlage gefährden. "The spooks’ ability to tap the conversations of prospective terrorists, foreign leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel and pretty well anyone it wants is a source of enormous power as well as justification for continued funding. All of that is about to come to an end and the spooks will have to find something else to do. (...) I continue to believe that the United States cannot effectively restrict the spread of a technology under Chinese leadership without offering a superior product of its own. The fact that the United States has attempted to suppress Huawei’s market leadership in the absence of any American competitor in this field is one of the oddest occurrences in the history of US foreign policy. If the US were to announce something like a Manhattan Project for 5G broadband and solicit the cooperation of its European and Asian allies, it probably would get an enthusiastic response. As matters stand, America’s efforts to stop Huawei have become an embarrassment."

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"Iranians under sanctions decry funds for allies"


Angesichts der spürbaren ökonomischen Folgen der US-Sanktionen wachse in der iranischen Bevölkerung das Unverständnis für die staatliche Unterstützung von ausländischen Gruppen und Regierungen, berichtet Kourosh Ziabari. "The Islamic Republic’s ideology-driven foreign policy does not merely prioritize advocacy for the Palestinian cause. Iran supports militant groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen in order to counter the influence of the US and its allies in those countries. Although the figure is not confirmed by Iran, the US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Sigal Mandelker asserts that Iran donates $700 million a year to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the United States. The Islamic Republic has also spent lavishly in Syria in an attempt to sustain the government of the embattled President Bashar al-Assad since civil war broke out in 2011. This is in addition to the military support Iran has been offering to the Syrian government. The former UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, reportedly revealed in 2015 that Iran had been spending $6 billion yearly to prop up the Assad government."

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"Why capturing Huawei is no victory in tech war"


Die Sanktionen gegen Huawei werden den USA keinen Erfolg im Tech-Krieg gegen China verschaffen, ist Pepe Escobar überzeugt. Peking betreibe seit längerem die strategische Kampagne "Made in China 2025", mit der die technologische Unabhängigkeit vom Westen und die globale Führerschaft in Tech-Bereichen wie der Künstlichen Intelligenz erreicht werden soll. In Asien werde China diese Führungsrolle nicht zu nehmen sein. "It’s always important to remember that a great majority of so-called US 'allies' – especially in Asia but also in vast swathes of Europe – now do more trade or investment with China than with the US. (...) Huawei, even under attack by the US government and spurned by Google, will have no problems finding other Chinese and Asian suppliers. In fact, count on Beijing to forcefully rally all China tech majors to develop all component technologies that China still lacks. (...) Beijing will tell China tech to reach the next level. Anyone who’s been to frantic tech-experiment-hub Shenzhen knows what this means. The US crackdown on Huawei will inevitably backfire. Huawei has now accelerated the commercial implementation of its own operating system, which will be thoroughly adapted for global markets. Their Plan B is now Plan A – with a vengeance. Never underestimate the power of unintended consequences; Huawei breaking Google’s de facto monopoly may be just around the (tech) corner."

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"US jittery about Chinese subs in Arctic"


Das Pentagon fürchtet Frank Chen zufolge, dass China moderne Atom-U-Boote in die Arktis schicken und die geltende Abschreckungsstrategie der USA unterlaufen könnte. "Even though it does not border the world’s northernmost waters, China outlined plans in a white paper last year to develop new shipping shortcuts opened up by the melting of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and to collaborate with Russia to form a 'Polar Silk Road'. Beijing’s Arctic ambitions have understandably caused trepidation among nations in the region, as the melting of sea ice may also enable new locations to launch faster missile attacks to anywhere in the northern hemisphere. (...) The PLA [People’s Liberation Army] has launched six cutting-edge Jin-class submarines, aka Type 094, with four currently operational and two still under construction, and the force may need at least five such submarines to maintain a continuous nuclear deterrence at sea. The Type 094 is armed with 12 JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, each with an estimated range of 7,400 kilometers and it can also carry three to four nuclear warheads, giving the PLA its first credible sea-based nuclear strike capability. Analysts say a Type 094 patrolling in the Arctic Ocean would be able to strike the United States mainland."

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"Russia winning the push for peace in Kabul"


Die russische Regierung sei drei Jahrzehnte nach dem sowjetischen Rückzug aus Afghanistan mit pragmatischer Realpolitik erneut zu einem Schlüsselakteur im Land aufgestiegen, schreibt Alexander Kruglov nach der strategischen Grundsatzvereinbarung Russlands mit den USA und China. "After years of open anti-Talibanism, the Kremlin appears to be turning toward legitimization and engagement with the group. This opens up major possibilities for influence. 'Russia will be at the helm of almost every development in Afghanistan,' said Salman Rafi Sheikh, a Pakistani analyst, citing the long-delayed intra-Afghan dialogue that could, possibly, end 17 years of conflict. 'It not only underscores Russia’s influence in the country, but also speaks volumes about how Russia is helping shape peace among the Afghan.' (...) It seems unlikely that Moscow would topple a Kabul regime and put a proxy in power – it has none, bar some Uzbek warlords in the north. But it now appears that, even if the Taliban prevails, the Kremlin could probably work with the group, given the contacts they have obtained. All this suggests that Russia is, once more, a key player in Afghanistan."

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"After ISIS: Iraq has a drug problem"


Seit dem Sieg über den IS drängt sich im Irak Omar al-Jaffal zufolge ein anderes gesellschaftliches Problem in den Vordergrund: der Handel und Konsum illegaler Drogen. "In less than a decade, Iraq has been transformed from a transit country for illicit drugs into a consumer and manufacturer. The industry seems to be expanding as Iraqi courts handle about 30 drug-related cases daily. Prior to the April 2003 US invasion, illicit drug activity was limited in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s regime imposed harsh penalties for both dealers and users, including the death penalty. The situation changed after the fall of the dictatorial regime. (...) After the invasion in 2003, the security apparatus collapsed, and Iraq’s borders in all directions became open for the trafficking of all kinds of drugs, to be transported to Gulf countries using different methods, some of them comical. (...) 'Drug dealing is expanding in Iraq to the extent that some drug dealers have relations to international drug trade mafias in South America and Eastern Europe. Iraq is on the verge of turning into a drug hub not only in the Middle East but in the world,' said Zamly, a leading member of the Sadr political movement, led by the Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr."

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"Vietnam is an unlikely Korean peacemaker"


David Hutt wirft in seinem Beitrag zum zweiten Gipfeltreffen Donald Trumps mit Kim Jong Un einen Blick auf die neue Vermittlerrolle Vietnams. Trotz der heute sehr viel engeren Beziehungen Hanois zu Südkorea gebe es einen Rest "kommunistischer Solidarität" zwischen den regierenden Staatsparteien in Vietnam und Nordkorea, so der Asienexperte Bill Hayton von der britischen Denkfabrik Chatham House. "'It’s almost like a family relationship in which Vietnam views itself as the hip one who has moved with the times and the DPRK as the weird one that still hasn’t moved on from the 1970s,' he says, referring to North Korea’s national acronym. 'Whenever Vietnamese communist party cadres look at the situation in the DPRK it reminds them how right they were to open up and reform their economy in the 1980s,' Hayton adds, referring to the doi moi (renovation) reforms Hanoi introduced in 1986 that transitioned Vietnam from a command to free market economy."

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"How New Silk Roads are shaping Southwest Asia"


Das chinesische Projekt der Neuen Seidenstraße ist Pepe Escobar zufolge dabei, den Nahen Osten, der von ihm als "Südwestasien" bezeichnet wird, nachhaltig zu verändern. "A key lab to watch will be the Gulf Cooperation Council. Geoeconomically, the GCC – as well as Iraq and Iran – are focusing on Asia much more than the West. China is their top – or near top – energy buyer. Arrays of Chinese companies are heavily investing across the GCC. A glimpse of what’s to come is offered by China’s online Silk Road offensive in the UAE – a masterpiece of geo-connectivity. Tech consultant Sam Blatteis sums it all up: 'Simply put, China is rewriting the rules on how to rise in influence in the Middle East. Because of the UAE’s Goliath-sized ports and the country’s geographic position almost sandwiched between Saudi Arabia to its West and Iran to its East, the UAE is thinking at-scale too about how to contribute to both Silk Road routes.' Investors from ASEAN to Southwest Asia are increasingly convinced that China is the only game in town for new ideas and major capital investment, way ahead on 5G and just about every technology."

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"Why Indo-Pacific region is becoming global hotspot"


Manoj Kumar Mishra, Politikwissenschaftler an der University of Hyderabad in Indien, erwartet, dass der Indopazifik in den kommenden Jahren zum neuen "Hotspot" der internationalen Geopolitik werden wird. "The Indo-Pacific region encompasses large oceanic and territorial areas between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, bordered by Japan, India and Australia. The geopolitical significance of the region has grown as a result of the major powers’ extensive reliance on sea routes for the transportation of energy resources and commercial goods. For instance, the South China Sea has not only emerged as one of the world’s busiest commercial waterways but has become one of the most controversial geopolitical hotspots, pitting Chinese territorial claims against the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’s emphasis on a rules-based order."

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"Why Myanmar’s military will win the Rakhine war"


In Myanmar sind die Kämpfe zwischen den Regierungstruppen und den Rohingya-Rebellen der Arakan Army (AA) Anthony Davis zufolge im Januar erneut aufgeflammt. Das Militär könnte demnach bald die Oberhand gewinnen, da die Rebellen ihren Widerstand ohne Unterstützung aus China, Bangladesch oder Indien nicht lange aufrechterhalten können. "The AA faces daunting challenges on both counts. To date, the group’s primary source of munitions has been the KIA and the UWSA. If not entirely dependent on China, both armed groups are certainly subject to Chinese influence and pressure. And, given that Beijing has no interest in the Rakhine war spreading state-wide to impact on its Belt and Road Initiative specifically and national economic and political stability generally it seems likely that both the KIA and UWSA will be under growing pressure to distance themselves from logistic support for the AA. (...) there is little to suggest that the AA’s new war will secure the sources of munitions along reliable supply lines it will need to expand its fight in the coming months. And that realization will almost certainly encourage the Tatmadaw [the military] to ramp up operations, as it has in recent days, with an aim to decimate the AA before the Rakhine conflict spreads any further."

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"Why the West won’t act on China’s Uighur crisis"


Auch im Westen habe es bestenfalls verhaltene Proteste gegen die Behandlung der Uiguren in China gegeben, schreibt David Hutt. "Political pressure from Beijing partly explains the response, but money likely matters more. During talks in the European Parliament before it issued a resolution in October, one Hungarian MEP asserted that 'economic interests cannot be an obstacle to honest dialogue and the demand for legitimate human rights' of the Uighurs. But this exactly what is happening, say activists and analysts. (...) China is the EU’s second largest trading partner, after the US, and has been a major investor in many European states for many years. So vital is Chinese trade that Europe has struggled to decide whether it should support its historic political and security ally, the US, during the ongoing US-China trade war. (...) many European governments have gambled their economic links to Beijing on national security grounds. Yet they clearly do not think the security of more than a million Uighurs in China is worth the potential economic loss of Chinese trade and investment."

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"Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy"


Pepe Escobar hält die Vorstellung, dass die NATO Russland im Schwarzen Meer mit türkischer Unterstützung entgegentreten könnte, für unrealistisch. "Far-fetched scenarios of the Turkish navy fighting the Russian Black Sea fleet will continue to be peddled by misinformed think tanks, oblivious to the inevitability of the Russia-Turkey energy partnership. Without Turkey, NATO is a cripple in the Black Sea region. (...) it will be up to a new government in Kiev after the upcoming March elections to realize that any provocation designed to drag NATO into a Kerch Strait entanglement is doomed to failure."

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"Western mercenaries ready for Syria, Russians already there"


David Isenberg und Andrew Salmon berichten über Spekulationen, denen zufolge einem Rückzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien der verstärkte Einsatz privater Sicherheits- und Militärunternehmen (PMCs) folgen könnte. Allerdings müssten die westlichen Söldner sich in Syrien der Konkurrenz der dort bereits aktiven russischen PMCs stellen. "There is considerable speculation underway as to whether US PMCs – and the man who had led the American sector, Erik Prince of former blue-chip PMC Blackwater – will fill the vacuum created by Trump. However, the sector is in flux. (...) Western PMCs face rising competition from market entrants with a more aggressive and risk-tolerant approach: Russian PMCs. While a war-weary West retreats from the Middle East, Russian mercenaries are benefitting from Moscow’s play in Syria. Unlike the support and security roles that are Western PMCs’ stock-in-trade, the Russians are engaging in direct action. With Moscow’s combat operations in Syria largely restricted to air and special forces missions, PMCs provide a proxy ground force that a casualty-averse Kremlin can keep 'off the books' when it comes to body bags coming home.“

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"New 'global Britain' sets naval sights on Asia"


Großbritannien will seine globalen sicherheitspolitischen Ambitionen durch die Errichtung eines Marinestützpunkts in Asien, z.B. in Brunei oder in Singapur, untermauern. "If as expected the United Kingdom leaves the European Union later this year, the one-time colonial power will again shift its gaze towards Asia. That was confirmed last week when Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said that Britain aims to establish a new naval base somewhere in Asia in the coming years. (...) Regardless of where the prospective base is located, or how significant it will be militarily, it is yet another indication that Britain aims to play a much bigger role in Asian affairs than it has for decades. It’s all part of the ruling Conservative party’s axiom to forge a new 'global Britain.' But the move comes at a confusing time, both in Europe and Asia."

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"UK’s hopes of Indo-Pacific strike group with France premature"


Die enge Kooperation der britischen und der französischen Marine hat die Hoffnung geweckt, dass beide Länder eine gemeinsame Einsatzgruppe für dauerhafte Operationen im Indopazifik bilden könnten. Emanuele Scimia berichtet, dass London hofft, auf diese Weise trotz der limitierten Kapazitäten der Royal Navy global aktiv bleiben zu können. "UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has made it clear that the Royal Navy will keep an 'unbroken presence' in the Indo-Pacific in 2019 and beyond. The British government says such a deployment is aimed at protecting the rules-based global order, including freedom of navigation (...). Apart from logistic issues, it is doubtful that Britain will have enough frontline warships to face an increasingly aggressive Russian navy in Europe, if it permanently stations a strike group in the Indian Ocean and the China seas. [Yale historian Paul Kennedy] wondered what would happen if there were new pressures in the North Atlantic from Russia, with a call for British long-range aircraft to keep a closer eye on Russian naval deployments, and it became clear that there was no longer a Royal Air Force Coastal Command of the olden days, and the best frigates were positioned elsewhere."

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"Djibouti: the Casablanca of a new Cold War"


In der kleinen ostafrikanischen Republik Dschibuti sind Bertil Lintner zufolge mehr Militärstützpunkte internationaler Mächte konzentriert als irgendwo sonst auf der Welt. "The tiny nation formerly known as French Somaliland has leveraged its strategic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes running through the Suez Canal to lease its otherwise barren, rocky land to foreign powers. (...) Geopolitics is a lucrative business for Djibouti. The US pays US$63 million annually in rent for its base, the French US$36 million, China US$20 million and Italy US$2.6 million. The amount Japan pays is not publicly disclosed. There are an estimated 4,000 soldiers and Filipino workers at the American base, 180 troops at the Japanese camp and 1,450 at France’s two bases — one near the airport and a naval facility on the coast where the Germans and Spaniards are also stationed. Around 80 Italians are situated in a base near the US camp. (...) The China Daily was probably more frank than Western spokespersons as it also quoted Liu Hongwu, a professor at Zhejiang University, as saying that Djibouti 'is situated at the juncture of Europe, Asia and Africa; in a sense, it is at the crossroads of the world.' That’s more likely why China is there, to protect its economic and strategic interests in the region — and hence also better position itself for any potential conflicts between China and the West, primarily the US."

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"Shock news! North Korea has missiles! And tunnels!"


Andrew Salmon hält die Berichterstattung der New York Times und anderer US-Medien über nordkoreanische Raketen- und Militäranlagen für reißerisch. Die Reaktion der Regierung in Südkorea auf die jüngsten Berichte sei bezeichnend: "Seoul is not always convincing when it comes to reaction to media reports, but the Blue House spokesman did the business. There is no 'deception' in play, he said, 'given that [North Korea] has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report.' The Blue House added – credibly, I think – that the existence of the missile bases is known to the military/intelligence communities in Seoul and Washington. (...) North Korea often brings out the worst in journalists: Lazy hacks can write virtually any nonsense, confident that they will not be refuted. Hence the ludicrous yarns – for example, about officials being ripped apart by dogs as a form of execution – carried in media. (That latter 'story,' incidentally, originated as a joke on the Chinese Internet). (...) Perhaps the piece was designed to attack US President Donald Trump’s (admittedly somewhat blasé) approach to North Korea. If so, it seems disingenuous – and that is putting it kindly."

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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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