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"Algeria’s Revolution Risks Repeating Arab Spring’s Mistake"


Die algerische Protestbewegung ist nach Ansicht von Bobby Ghosh an einem Scheideweg angelangt, der über Erfolg oder Niedergang entscheiden wird. Viele Revolten des Arabischen Frühlings seien in dieser gefährlichen Phase gescheitert. "If it sounds like the Arab Spring, smells like the Arab Spring…then it also suffers from the Arab Spring’s fatal flaw: the absence of leadership. The mostly young protesters are a movement with no formal organization, no recognizable representatives. There is nobody to take their demands to the regime, and negotiate a transition to a more democratic system — or to manage the protesters’ expectations of the nature of such a transition. Without leaders, the protesters’ only means of forcing change is to keep protesting, and to keep demanding more. 'The evolution of demands is characteristic of a leaderless revolution,' says Geoff Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting. 'If there’s nobody to tell you what’s possible, you can believe that anything is possible.' And that’s where things get dangerous. The experience of 2011-2012 suggests two paths from there, neither of them ending in satisfaction for the protesters. One path leads to violence. (...) Another path leads to the hijacking of the revolution, by groups that have what the protesters lack — leadership and organization. That’s what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where Islamist organizations capitalized on the political space opened by the Arab Spring, much to the disappointment of the protesters."

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"Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops"

US-Präsident Trump will von Verbündeten wie Südkorea, Japan und auch Deutschland verlangen, dass sie für die Stationierung von US-Truppen künftig den vollen Preis und einen "Premium-Aufschlag" von 50% zahlen. "Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter. In some cases, nations hosting American forces could be asked to pay five to six times as much as they do now under the 'Cost Plus 50' formula. Trump has championed the idea for months. His insistence on it almost derailed recent talks with South Korea over the status of 28,000 U.S. troops in the country when he overruled his negotiators with a note to National Security Adviser John Bolton saying, 'We want cost plus 50.'"

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"India and Pakistan Are a Brewing Nuclear Nightmare"

Der frühere NATO-Oberbefehlshaber James Stavridis warnt, dass der Konflikt zwischen Indien und Pakistan nach einer zwischenzeitlichen Entspannung durch die indischen Wahlen und die pakistanische Wirtschaftskrise erneut verschärft werden könnte. "The extremely fragile cease-fire in place for two decades is fraying. Partly this is the result of domestic politics in India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, elected on a Hindu nationalist agenda, is up for re-election in April and May. After the Indian bombing of Pakistani territory, a popular hashtag in India became #Indiastrikesback. This is rare behavior, given that Indian armed forces have not otherwise crossed the so-called Line of Control between the nations since 1971. (...) As Hussein Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., recently pointed out, Pakistan in on the verge of an economic crisis. While the Khan government has tried to defuse the situation, in part by appealing to the International Monetary fund, internal pressures are building. Make no mistake: With Pakistan’s economic plight and the upcoming elections in India, South Asia is in a situation in which a military miscalculation, perhaps even a nuclear one, is real possibility."

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"Pence Asked Merkel to Provoke Russia by Sending Warships to Crimea"

US-Vizepräsident Mike Pence hat während der diesjährigen Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz offenbar versucht, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel davon zu überzeugen, deutsche Kriegsschiffe vor die Krim zu schicken. "At a Feb. 16 meeting at the Munich Security Conference, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Merkel to send German warships through a narrow channel between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia to show Putin that Western powers won’t surrender their access to those waters, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The German leader refused, they said, citing reservations from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. A spokesman for the chancellor declined to comment. (...) Merkel had indicated she was willing, in coordination with the French, to send a convoy through the waterway as a one-time maneuver but Poroshenko said that wasn’t enough to solve his problem -- he wants to ensure the strait is open permanently, the people said. France also refused to take part, judging the idea as an unnecessary provocation, according to another official who declined to be identified."

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"India and Pakistan Are Already at War on Truth"

Pankaj Mishra hat einen Blick auf die indische Berichterstattung über die aktuelle Verschärfung des Konflikts mit Pakistan geworfen und kaum Gutes entdeckt. "The confrontation could spiral out of control quickly. But fortunately, apart from a wounded Indian pilot and a Pakistani villager hit by falling rubble, the only confirmed casualty so far seems to be truth. Right now, the more extensive and damaging war in South Asia is the multi-pronged assault on reality by the warriors of Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and hyper-nationalist news channels as well as mendacious governments. India’s public sphere was the first to erupt with war cries. (...) The key to such wildly delusional behavior lies, as does much else, in broad and radical shifts in Indian politics, communication technologies and self-perceptions. Many Indians have found themselves ushered by digital media into a frantic realm of hyperreality -- one in which extreme feelings and continuously simulated experiences replace the obdurately dull facts of real life."

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"Eastern Europe Feeds on a Shrinking Ukraine"

Leonid Bershidsky berichtet, dass osteuropäische Länder gegenwärtig von der Migration ukrainischer Arbeitskräfte profitieren, die ihrem Land enttäuscht den Rücken kehren. "Eurostat says 662,000 Ukrainians, more than any other nationality, received EU residence permits in 2017. Meanwhile, according to the Ukrainian government, only 430,290 people migrated out of Ukraine that year. Most of the inflow went to Poland which, according to Eurostat, issued 585,439 residence permits to Ukrainians in 2017. Ukrainians were also the biggest group of permit recipients in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania. It’s hard to miss the irony here: These are all countries with anti-immigration governments, which openly fight or quietly boycott the EU’s attempts to redistribute asylum seekers throughout Europe on the grounds that they are too poor to pay for big integration efforts or that the Middle Eastern and African Migrants are too culturally dissimilar from them. (...) The eastern European resistance to accepting refugees isn’t anti-immigrant sentiment per se: it’s anti-Muslim and often racist, and it’s based on a common perception that immigrants from outside Europe won’t want to work or blend in."

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"Europeans Grow Tired of the U.S.-Led Alliance"

Die USA haben ihre Führungsrolle in der liberalen Weltordnung unter Präsident Trump weitgehend aufgegeben, schreibt Leonid Bershidsky. Die resultierende Stimmung unter den Verbündeten spiegle sich im Titel des Berichts der diesjährigen Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz wider. "The 2019 report, titled 'The Great Puzzle: Who Will Pick Up the Pieces?,' is somewhat less anxious in tone than the 2018 version, which raised the specter of a large-scale conflict. That danger appears to have devolved into a competition as the U.S. takes on a long-term challenge from China and a more immediate one from Russia. The way the U.S. is handling these tests, though, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in its long-time allies. (...) The lack of a security and economic infrastructure that doesn’t include the U.S. makes it difficult for the second-tier powers – Germany, France, the U.K., Japan – to pursue any kind of independent policy. The result is a balancing act between a U.S. that acts like a competitor with a tendency toward bullying and and a security architecture that depends on the U.S. being an ally."

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"With Cocaine Flowing, the Push to Pry Generals From Maduro Hits a Snag"

Ethan Bronner und Andrew Rosati berichten, dass der Versuch der Opposition in Venezuela, Präsident Maduro mit amerikanischer Unterstützung zu stürzen, ins Stocken geraten sei. Bisher habe sich nur ein hochrangiger Offizier an die Seite des selbsternannten Übergangspräsidenten Guaido gestellt. "U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton recently offered to remove sanctions against military chiefs who join Guaido. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida repeated the offer, saying that if any of the top six military leaders defect, the U.S. will guarantee their immunity. Longtime observers, however, say the generals doubt the promises will be kept. This is a major reason why the revolution isn’t moving as quickly as some had hoped when Guaido electrified the world on Jan. 23 with his declaration. This has led to impatience and finger-pointing. U.S. policy makers and those around Guaido -- as well as leaders in Brazil and Colombia -- are eyeing one another and worrying about failure. Officials in each camp have said privately they assumed the others had a more developed strategy."

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"Putin Ally’s ‘Deep State’ Twist Is Deep Russian People"

Leonid Bershidsky macht auf ein Interview mit Vladislav Surkov aufmerksam, der als enger Berater von Präsident Putin und als Schöpfer des Begriffs der "souveränen Demokratie" gilt. Surkov vergleiche das von Putin geschaffene Regierungssystem mit dem Gaullismus und sei sicher, dass es nach einem Abtritt des russischen Präsidenten überleben wird. "The reason, according to Surkov, is that Putin’s state understands and works for the 'deep people' — a concept that is antithetical to the 'deep state' of Western democracies. Surkov’s idea goes like this: Unlike Western nations, Russia doesn’t have a 'deep state' that is run by security services operating behind a veneer of democracy, The Russian state operates in plain sight (...) Russia, however, does have a 'deep people' — 'always with a mind of its own, unreachable by polls, propaganda, threats and other methods of direct study and influence.' (...) The Putin state with its enforcement bent, expansionist drive, goal of geopolitical greatness and socially conservative impulses is, according to Surkov, traveling in the same direction as the 'deep people' and thus 'isn’t subject to the destructive pressures of history’s headwinds.'"

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"Trump Doesn’t Need North Macedonia in NATO"

Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass der eingeleitete NATO-Beitritt Nordmazedoniens dem Militärbündnis keinen sicherheitspolitischen Nutzen bringen werde. Für Nordmazedonien selbst sei der Beitritt vor allem ein wichtiger Schritt hin zum eigentlichen Ziel: der EU-Mitgliedschaft. "It’s hard, if not impossible, to make any kind of geo-strategic case for North Macedonia’s NATO membership. The country didn’t play a major role in the Balkans conflict. It is tiny, landlocked and resource-poor. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s government hasn’t even tried to make the case. It’s interested in a NATO membership less as a security guarantee than as a de facto prerequisite for EU membership. All the former-communist EU members joined NATO before the bloc. (...) For the U.S., which provides the security umbrella for NATO countries, North Macedonia looks to be just another freeloader. (...) NATO gains nothing by taking it in and stretching the umbrella a little more. (...) the U.S. does need to consider what it gets out of an alliance with an increasing number of small members primarily interested using it as a step on the way to EU accession."

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"Call U.S. Move on Venezuela What It Is: Regime Change"

Nach Ansicht von Noah Feldman ist die vom US-Außenministerium vorgebrachte juristische Begründung der amerikanischen Position im Venezuela-Konflikt nicht besonders überzeugend. Er spricht sich dafür aus, die Strategie der US-Regierung beim passenden Namen zu nennen: Regimewechsel. "(...) the constitutional argument that Maduro isn’t really president is nothing more than a fig leaf for regime change. Even as fig leaves go, it’s particularly wispy and minimal. The U.S. policy is, in practice, to seek regime change in Venezuela. It would be better to say so directly. It may seem convenient now for the U.S. to hide its objective behind a constitutional argument. In the long run, however, it’s far from clear that President Donald Trump’s administration should be embracing a legal argument that invites foreign countries to rely on doubtful interpretations of the local constitution and declare that they know who the president genuinely is. That kind of argument can be flipped against governments the U.S. wants to support — or even, albeit symbolically, the U.S. itself.“

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"France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest Riots"

Die französischen Behörden wollen in einer Untersuchung herausfinden, ob die Proteste in Paris durch Berichte russischer Medien und durch russische Aktivitäten im Internet angefacht worden sind. "According to the Alliance for Securing Democracy, about 600 Twitter accounts known to promote Kremlin views have begun focusing on France, boosting their use of the hashtag #giletsjaunes, the French name for the Yellow Vest movement. French security services are looking at the situation, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday in a radio interview with RTL. (...) The Twitter accounts monitored by the alliance usually feature U.S. or British news. But the French protests 'have been at or near the top' of their activity for at least a week, according to Bret Schafer, the alliance’s Washington-based social media analyst. 'That’s a pretty strong indication that there is interest in amplifying the conflict' for audiences outside France. The Alliance for Securing Democracy is a unit of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., which monitors pro-Kremlin activity."

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"America’s Spies Won’t Let Trump Shield MBS"

Die Bereitschaft der CIA, den saudi-arabischen Kronprinzen direkt für die Ermordung des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi verantwortlich zu machen, wird von Bobby Ghosh als durchaus bemerkenswert eingeschätzt. Zuletzt habe die CIA einen Regierungschef (den chilenischen Diktator Pinochet) im Jahr 1976 in ähnlicher Weise bloßgestellt. "First, the CIA must be sure it has powerful evidence of the prince’s alleged responsibility — tapes and phone intercepts included. Second, the agency must believe that MBS isn’t essential to American security interests in the region. Had the spies agreed with the president’s assessment, it is unlikely they would have leaked their conclusion of MBS’s guilt. This is significant because the CIA works closely with its Saudi counterparts, and would not have made such a determination lightly. And third, the CIA is determined not to be involved in a shabby cover-up. (...) With the CIA and Congress now of one mind on MBS, other governments might feel emboldened to take action as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia (...). More empowered still are Saudi Arabia’s rivals. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has kept up pressure on MBS without naming him, will now feel vindicated."

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"There’s No Need for a European Army"

Bloomberg hält den Aufruf des französischen Präsidenten zur Bildung einer europäischen Armee in diesem Leitartikel trotz der aktuellen Spannungen im NATO-Bündnis für unnötig. "Macron’s proposal ignores a more significant reality: The U.S. continues to strengthen its military involvement in Europe. Pentagon spending on Europe has risen to $4.77 billion this year, from $789 million when Trump was elected. The U.S. contributes 70 percent of NATO’s military spending. The Pentagon has 65,000 military personnel and dozens of bases in Europe, and rotates thousands of troops and loads of heavy equipment in and out of Baltics and Poland, the states most vulnerable to Russian aggression. Europe hardly seems able to afford to do as much. (...) It’s sadly ironic that Macron made his proposal as he toured battlefields of World War I, a brutal conflict that demonstrated the necessity for Europe and the U.S. to work together to maintain peace on the continent. NATO has done this job admirably for six decades, as both a military firewall and a forum for negotiating policy disagreements among its 29 members. Europe has no need to replace it."

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"Today’s Armies Are Still Fighting World War I"

Der Erste Weltkrieg wurde nach Ansicht von James Stavridis von technologischen, strategischen und medizinischen Neuerungen begleitet, die moderne Armeen bis heute prägen. "First, World War I produced stunning technological improvements that remain the foundations of modern combat operations in the air, on the sea, and on the ground. The most obvious is the development of air forces. (...) And while air, sea and land saw the fundamental advances, there were remarkable improvements in medicine (blood banks, antiseptics, plastic surgery); communications (radio signals for combat movements); sensors (ultrasound and primitive sonar); and materials (synthetic rubber). All of these innovations are a fundamental part of modern warfare today. In addition to all these technological marvels, the aftermath of the war saw a proliferation of new theories of combat operations. (...) Finally, it is worth noting that the First World War was a fundamental shifting point in how states have tragically become willing to conduct 'full national war.'"

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"Why Erdogan Is Pulling His Punches at Saudi Arabia"

Die Türkei habe ihre Konfrontation mit Saudi-Arabien im Khashoggi-Skandal bisher sorgfältig kalibriert, schreibt Hussein Ibish. Grund für die relative Zurückhaltung Ankaras sei vor allem das schwierige Verhältnis zu Washington. "Erdogan’s restraint on Tuesday reflects his understanding that even if he pushed hard to bring down the crown prince, he would sacrifice other, more important goals. Backing off a bit, by contrast, prevents a complete breakdown with Saudi Arabia and preserves leverage with Washington. At the same time, he can hope to embarrass Saudi Arabia and weaken the crown prince enough to blunt Saudi Arabia’s effectiveness as a regional rival. As for the crown prince and the Saudi government, they are entirely in damage-control mode, and their main audience right now is Trump."

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"Turkey’s Leaks Are Undermining the Khashoggi Investigation"

In türkischen Medien werden immer neue Details der Untersuchung des Mordes am Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi veröffentlicht. Bobby Ghosh meint, dass diese Taktik die Wahrheitsfindung eher behindert. "The leaks, and the motivation behind them, have become subject of much speculation. A common assumption is that the leakers are indulging in schadenfreude by putting out information embarrassing to the Saudis, and especially those linking Khashoggi’s murder to the crown prince, better known by his initials as MBS. (...) But the leaks serve nobody’s constructive purpose. They undermine the credibility of the investigation, and of Turkey’s impartiality. There are two obvious ways to stop them. One is to swiftly conclude the investigation and bring all the evidence to light. But given the sensitivity attending the case, it makes more sense to emphasize accuracy over speed, stopping the leaks to give investigators time to work."

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"Germany’s Shrinking Political Center"

Bloomberg hält den Ausgang der Landtagswahlen in Bayern in diesem Leitartikel nicht nur für Deutschland, sondern auch im Hinblick auf Europa für bedenklich. "German politics is fragmenting, with parties on the right and left gaining strength at the expense of a center that has controlled national politics for years. Merkel will struggle to hold her coalition together, let alone govern effectively. And a diminished chancellor preoccupied with internal turmoil bodes ill for the West, with liberal democracy in retreat worldwide and the European Union challenged by an erratic American partner and rising right-wing populism in Italy, Hungary and Poland, as well as in Germany itself."

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"Putin Gets the Spies He Deserves"

Leonid Bershidsky hält die Aufdeckung der mutmaßlichen Aktivitäten des russischen Militärgeheimdienstes GRU im Westen für eine direkte Folge der langjährigen Amtszeit von Präsident Putin. In dieser Zeit sei Loyalität auch in den Geheimdiensten stets höher eingeschätzt worden als Kompetenz. "(...) professionalism in general has become rare in Russia, especially in the government sector outside a tiny technocratic elite that deals with sophisticated economic policy. Putin’s struggle to appoint competent regional governors is a case in point. Last month, for the fourth time since 2016, the Russian president picked one of his former bodyguards to run Astrakhan, a place to which he has no obvious connection. (...) Putin doesn’t have a deep bench when it comes to competent bureaucrats, diplomats or law enforcers. (...) Years of thought suppression, the erosion of intellectual life and educational institutions, and Putin’s clear preference for personal loyalty over competence have taken a toll on Russia’s public service, including the intelligence community."

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"Erdogan Gets Something for Nothing in Germany"

Auch Bobby Ghosh sieht Erdogan als klaren Gewinner des Staatsbesuchs in Deutschland. Bundeskanzlerin Merkel habe offenbar nur wenig Einfluss auf den türkischen Präsidenten. "He didn’t get everything he wanted: There were no promises of visa-free access to the Europe Union for Turks, for instance, and the prospects for a more extensive customs union with the EU haven’t improved. But the German chancellor, having accorded her guest full state honors, ensured that he went home with gifts of great symbolic and diplomatic value. (...) In return, Erdogan gave Merkel… not a lot. The president largely ignored his hosts’ concerns about the state of democracy and human rights in Turkey, and instead accused Germany of harboring spies and terrorists. He didn’t apologize for previously accusing Merkel of 'Nazi measures.' If she expressed any criticisms of his economic policies, these weren’t made public, and Erdogan doesn’t seem to have promised any changes. The outcome reflects an uncomfortable reality for Merkel: As much as Erdogan needs German support — all the more now that his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump has soured — she plainly doesn’t have much leverage over him."

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"Europe Finally Has an Excuse to Challenge the Dollar"

Die EU will europäischen Unternehmen mit Hilfe einer neuen Finanzinstitution ermöglichen, die US-Sanktionen gegen den Iran zu umgehen. Nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky ist dieser Schritt auch eine Herausforderung der amerikanischen Dominanz des globalen Finanzsystems. "Creating 'a defensible banking architecture' may well be the end goal for the Europeans, China and Russia, anyway. Iran is only a convenient pretext: The nuclear agreement is one of the few things that unite the EU, China and Russia against the U.S. But working to undermine the dollar’s global dominance isn’t ultimately about Iran at all. In his recent State of the European Union speech, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for strengthening the euro’s international role and moving away from traditional dollar invoicing in foreign trade. China and Russia have long sought the same thing, but it’s only with Europe, home of the world’s second biggest reserve currency, that they stand a chance of challenging American dominance."

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"A U.S. Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Be a Disaster"

Shannon K O'Neil erläutert angesichts offener Überlegungen einiger US-Politiker über eine amerikanische Militärintervention in Venezuela, warum ein solcher Einsatz als "Desaster" enden würde. "Venezuela isn’t Grenada or Panama, the two Latin American countries invaded by the U.S. during the closing days of the Cold War. Instead, it is twice the size of Iraq with only a slightly smaller population, and teeters on the verge of chaos. Any invasion requires preparations on a similar scale, meaning a 100,000-plus force. U.S. troops are unlikely to be welcomed. (...) If they enter, U.S. troops must prepare to stay for the long haul. (...) In response to these risks, some have called for a multilateral force, which could spread the burden and mitigate charges of Yankee overreach. But Venezuela’s neighbors will not answer a military call. Public opinion in these democracies is against intervention. Their foreign policy elites, steeped in a doctrine of non-intervention, also stand in opposition. (...) instead of pushing for anachronistic and counterproductive military measures, Venezuela’s neighbors should take the hard but necessary diplomatic, financial and humanitarian measures needed to achieve economic and political change and an improvement in the region’s collective fortunes."

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"Putin’s Swashbuckling Spies Are Hurting Him"

Russlands Präsident Putin sollte sich nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky Gedanken über die Effektivität und Sorgfältigkeit seines Militärgeheimdienstes GRU machen. Verschiedene Operationen, die dem Geheimdienst zugeschrieben werden, auch das fehlgeschlagene Attentat auf den Ex-Spion Sergei Skripal, hätten zu viel Aufmerksamkeit erregt und Russland politisch geschadet. "By comparison, the other two Russian intelligence services that work overseas, the SVR and the FSB, have spotless records. Although no GRU officers have actually been arrested as a result of the failures, the string of mishaps resembles — at least in scale — the GRU’s nightmare period from the late 1920s to the mid-1930s. (...) If, like Stalin in 1934, Putin is interested in deniability, he’s not getting it with the swashbuckling GRU. It’s possible, of course, that the Russian president’s real interest is in enhancing his reputation as a fearsome enemy. May told Parliament on Wednesday that she thought the Skripal poisoning was meant to send a message to other Russians in London that they weren’t safe. If so, Putin should be fine with the publicity the military intelligence service is getting — but only up to a point. The GRU, after all, is not publicity-oriented, and the scandals are undermining its usefulness in real intelligence work by drawing the attention of Western adversaries."

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"Don’t Give Up on North Korea"

Bloomberg meint in diesem Leitartikel, dass es trotz der aktuellen Probleme im Verhandlungsprozess zwischen den USA und Nordkorea zu früh sei, die diplomatische Denuklearisierung Nordkoreas als gescheitert zu betrachten. "Disappointment was to be expected because Kim conceded next to nothing in his summit with Trump, pledging only to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — a formula that implies the removal of U.S. forces — and only after striking a comprehensive peace agreement with Washington. (...) Nonetheless, Kim can’t revert to the pre-summit status quo. State media have celebrated the recent contacts and Kim’s promise that they’ll promote trade and development. The young autocrat has staked his legitimacy on improving his country’s dire living standards. Estimates suggest that nearly three-quarters of North Koreans now derive some of their income from markets of one kind or another. A taste of economic liberty is apt to create an appetite for more. North Korea’s command-and-control model is under internal assault. (...) Trump will have to convince Kim that North Korea cannot avoid coming to terms with the U.S. — which means, in turn, closer U.S. coordination with China and, especially, South Korea. This should be possible, despite suggestions from Trump that Beijing is encouraging the North’s recalcitrance."

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"Europe Wants to Defend Itself? Good Luck With That."

Nach Ansicht von Hal Brands werden die Europäer trotz der jüngsten Appelle einiger Politiker für eine größere sicherheitspolitische Eigenständigkeit schnell feststellen, dass sie ihre strategische Abhängigkeit von den USA nicht so leicht überwinden können. "On security, European military weakness is so severe that it would take decades for the EU or any other association of European nations to be able to defend the continent’s eastern flank from Russia, much less project power into unstable neighboring regions such as the Middle East and North Africa. (...) The realization that Europe is impotent to escape its strategic dependence will only deepen the resentment that many Europeans feel, by underscoring that the continent remains in thrall to even an erratic, often-unfriendly America. That realization, in turn, may not lead to a quick trans-Atlantic divorce, but it could promote a more gradual trans-Atlantic drift that would ultimately prove quite damaging."

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"Iran Says It Will Block Middle East Oil Exports If It Can't Ship"

Sollten iranische Ölexporte über die Straße von Hormus durch die USA blockiert werden, werde der Iran auch andere Länder daran hindern, die wichtige Meerenge für Öltransporte zu nutzen, so die Warnung des iranischen Stabschefs der Streitkräfte, Mohammad Bagheri. "If the Islamic Republic can’t use the Strait for its oil exports, 'there will be no security for others either and no other crude will be exported from this region,' Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said, state-run Mehr news agency reported. The U.S. Army and other military forces present in the Middle East 'know full well that the smallest mistake in the region will bear a heavy cost for them.'"

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"EU Looking to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions With Payments System Plan"

Deutschland und Frankreich wollen die US-Sanktionen gegen den Iran mit Hilfe neuer unabhängiger Finanzinstrumente umgehen, berichten William Horobin und Birgit Jennen. "'With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,' French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. 'I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.' (...) Le Maire said using the European Investment Bank, which has exposure to the U.S., as a 'financial channel' would be 'very complicated' and that the French and German governments are talking to their respective central banks about their involvement. 'If we want to build a truly independent instrument we must open up all the options,' he said."

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"Europe Should Stop Trying to Save the Iran Deal"

Bloomberg empfiehlt der EU in diesem Leitartikel, die Bemühungen zur Rettung des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran aufzugeben. "Saving the deal — which granted Iran sanctions relief in return for new restrictions on its nuclear program — was never a real prospect after Trump pulled out. Once U.S. sanctions snapped back into place, few companies would dare to do business with the Islamic Republic. And yet Europe’s leaders have clung to the conceit that the agreement could still be made to work, ignoring not only the exhortations of the Trump administration but also the clear message from their own companies, which (like their American counterparts) have been scrapping plans to do business with Iran. (...) Now Europe must start working toward a new one that would address the weaknesses of the original while satisfying the Trump administration and the Iranian regime."

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"Could Trade War Lead to the Real Thing?"

Kevin Rudd analysiert die Hintergründe des aktuellen "Wirtschaftskriegs" zwischen den USA und China und warnt vor den Folgen einer ungebremsten Eskalation. "I’m not sure which way the Chinese leadership will choose to go. If they decide to double down rather than back down, the global economy should prepare for a major blow, one capable of tipping us all into recession. And that’s not even considering where the next steps in escalatory politics could take us once trade-related measures are exhausted. Bilateral investment flows are already slowing rapidly. A new Cold War in high technology is looming, if not already underway. And on the security front, we could easily see escalation in the South China Sea and beyond. Historically, we’ve routinely failed to discern when the tipping points come between public disagreement, failed diplomacy, political crisis, failed crisis management, limited conflict and then more general war. In this case, we aren’t even yet at phase two in the sequence."

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"China-U.S. Trade Spat Is Just a Start to the Economic Cold War"

Der drohende Wirtschaftskrieg der USA gegen China könnte das Ausmaß des Kalten Kriegs gegen die Sowjetunion annehmen und das Leben einer ganzen Generation prägen, schreibt Conor Sen. "China is not just another front in President Donald Trump's war on trade. Unlike Mexico, Canada, Europe and other targets of the president, China will be a source of economic conflict for years to come, long after the tariff level on soybeans has been settled. Like the rivalry with the Soviet Union, economic competition with China may form a cold war that shapes American politics and economic policy for a generation or more. (...) A future economic cold war between the U.S. and China may push American leaders to favor a pro-growth policy at any price, even if that risks stoking additional inflation and inflating economic bubbles. If China invests more in space exploration, that could kick off another space race. In whatever realm China decides to emphasize, the U.S. will be afraid to let it get too far ahead. Fights over currency manipulation and soybean tariffs are likely to be just the beginning. The economic conflict between the U.S. and China could define the next generation of American life."

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